Monday, August 08, 2016

Leadership lived: Graduate student gains professional and creative inspiration at UIS

Courtney Cox loves to express her creativity through the written word. The graduate English major is focusing on digital publishing at the University of Illinois Springfield.

Cox is the managing editor of “The Alchemist Review”, the literary journal on campus, and “Uproot”, a national online magazine she started with two other UIS students.

As part of the Graduate Public Service Internship Program (GPSI), she works off campus for the non-profit Energy Education Council. In that role, she puts her writing skills to use as a communication specialist writing press releases and marketing material.

“The GPSI program is really great because it funded my way through my master’s program and also provides a stipend,” said Cox, who is vice president of the GPSI Student Association. “It’s a really great experience for me to get professional work alongside my graduate degree.”

Faculty members in the UIS English Department have fueled Cox’s passion for writing and have helped her to hone her creative abilities.

“UIS has taught me that leadership is about pursing all of my passions,” said Cox. “I’ve been able to balance my professional career, alongside my creative and critical endeavors. I think that ultimately being true to myself has really pushed me forward at UIS.”

The English Department recently funded a trip to Los Angeles where Cox and five other UIS students attended the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference. There she met professional writers from around the world.

“It was really interesting to see those communities beyond the Midwest and beyond anything I have experienced up to this point,” she said.

Following graduation from UIS, Cox plans to pursue a Ph.D. in English and hopes to eventually inspire others as a college professor.

“I absolutely love school and I’ve had so many great experiences at UIS,” she said. “I want to have the kind of influence on others that my professors have had on me and really inspire students to read, write, learn and think about the world critically.”

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