Alumnus Spotlight: Stacey Cochran
Well, the truth is both of my parents are ECU graduates and met on campus in the early 1960s, and so ECU has been a part of my family my entire life. It was one of my first choices, and I was honored to be accepted.
> What drew you to English as your Major?
I knew I wanted to be a writer, and the faculty were amazing. As a grad student, the TA opportunities were a draw, and I started to learn the craft of teaching writing with the help of some outstanding mentors in the English Department at ECU.
> What is the best part of the program?
I think the thing I loved the most was the encouragement and support that faculty in the English Department offered. I was very much finding my way when I was a student, and their guidance shaped who I am as a writer and teacher today.
> What course would you most recommend to other students, why, and who taught it?
Well, that’s forcing me to choose sides isn’t it! 🙂 I loved all the classes I took in the English Department at ECU, but at the end of the day my heart probably lies with the CW folks. Although the Lit folks, FYW folks, and the Rhet/Comp folks are pretty amazing, too. Not to mention some of the amazing NTT faculty, too!
> What published work (article, book, etc.) had the greatest influence in development of your research interests?
Getting to know Ron Rash in the past few years has had a tremendous impact on my writing. I thank Amy Rogers (formerly publisher of Novello Festival Press) for first introducing us a good decade or so ago. Ron has become my literary idol in many ways.
> When did you graduate?
I graduated in 2001.
> How has your major benefited you since graduation?
Well, I’m not sure I can put into words all of the ways it has helped me. I mean, it’s shaped my entire adult life. I met my wife as a result of my success in the program. We have two kids. I taught at NC State University from 2006-2015, and we’ve most recently taken positions at the University of Arizona to begin in the fall (2015).
> What are you engaged in now?
My novel Eddie & Sunny launched in March 2015. Ron Rash gave me a nice blurb, and the News & Observer wrote a pretty darn nice review of it. An excerpt of the novel was originally selected as a finalist for the James Hurst Prize for fiction, and the novel itself was selected for publication by Kindle Press as one of the first ten novels acquired via Kindle Scout. I also have a co-authored textbook coming out this fall with Bedford/St. Martin’s Press titled The Insider’s Guide to Academic Writing.
A couple of links: