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Dec. 8, 2017
By Hannah Brod, media relations assistant
Opportunities to gain experience through programs at Northwest Missouri State University such as the Visiting Writers Series and the GreenTower Press have enriched Bailey Weese’s education at the University and fueled her passion for writing.
“I think I’ve really gained a passion for the area I study and what I do,” said Weese, a Maysville, Missouri, native who receives two bachelor’s degree this month in English and writing with emphasis on creative writing and publishing. “I just love what I’m doing so much, and I don’t want to leave. People are like, ‘Your eyes light up when you talk about writing, and I’m like, I know.”
Weese credits her high school teacher for helping her develop her interest in writing. The teacher instilled in her that everyone has a story to tell, and Weese came to Northwest to practice sharing people’s stories as well as her own.
“I wanted to have a voice to share my experiences and other people’s experiences,” Weese said. “I feel like I’ve gotten to do that. I have worked with the Visiting Writers Series and interviewed different writers to get to know them and tell their story and what drew them to that genre.”
The Visiting Writers series, which brings published authors to Northwest to share their writing and discuss their work, gave Weese the opportunity to not only hear authors’ stories, but learn from them.
“They’ve published books and are traveling to these colleges and different places to talk about their work,” Weese said. “You realize, this is possible. I can do this. It’s an experience I never would have gotten otherwise.”
Weese also flourished through Northwest’s GreenTower Press, which publishes a literary magazine, The Laurel Review, and provides profession-based experience for students interested in careers in English, writing or publishing.
“It really gave me a chance to get some hands-on learning,” Weese said. “I do things there I would actually do in an editing and publishing job. If that’s what I decide to go into, I’m pretty prepared.”
Weese calls Luke Rolfes, a senior instructor of English, her biggest influence at Northwest. Rolfes supervised Weese’s work for GreenTower Press, and his classes enhanced her enjoyment of writing.
“Not only has she proved to be an outstanding editor, she has made her mark interviewing and introducing writers for our University’s Visiting Writers Series,” Rolfes said. “Her evolution from a tentative student to highly involved and motivated ambassador for our University is commendable.”
Weese said she felt valued by faculty and staff at Northwest. They knew her by name and asked about the things she was doing. They offered congratulations when she was married last year.
“I felt like they invested in me, not just as an academic person, but they asked about my life outside of school, and I really appreciated that they took the time to remember those things,” Weese said. “That made me even more comfortable asking questions and saying, ‘Hey, I need help with this.’ It’s just a really friendly and comfortable environment that they provide.”
She added, “You can tell that they love what they do and they love Northwest, and that makes you love it, too. It’s good to know that you’re surrounded by faculty and professionals and even students who feel that. It just creates this never-ending warm environment.”
Weese plans to continue her education at Northwest by pursuing a master’s degree in English with hopes of becoming a college instructor or seeking a career in publishing.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468