Alumni Spotlight

Hey MLAS alumni (or future alumni)! Do you have any exciting news? Maybe you got a grant to teach abroad, or maybe you’re just traveling for fun. Are you going back to school, or did you land your dream job? Getting married or celebrating an anniversary? Tell us about your life for our new Alumni Spotlight, and we’ll post it here and on Facebook!


A round of applause is in order for Dean Morton, whose one-act play “Wolves in Yellowstone” is featured at the New American Festival of New One Act Plays in Los Angeles! The production will close on Sunday, December 8.

Dean is a current MLAS student who will graduate in Spring 2020. Some of his other work has been published in Stage It! 2: Thirty More Ten Minute Plays, and he is currently working on a novel.


Congratulations to Carolyn Ogburn, whose short story “Ordinary Time” was selected as the winner of the Missouri Review’s Peden Prize for best fiction published in a volume year (2018)! LaTanya McQueen, who selected Carolyn’s story, compared it to works by Flannery O’Connor, calling it “a smart, nuanced story about the role of collective inaction in the continued injustices plaguing those all around us.” A celebratory reading will be held on at 6:30 on October 28 at Orr Street Studios in Columbia, Missouri.

Carolyn currently works in the Office of Academic Accessibility as the Director of Accessibility Services, and has taught classes in the MLAS and Great Smokies Writing Programs. You can learn more about Carolyn’s writing (and read McQueen’s full comments on the story) on her website.


Congratulations to Candace Buck, whose poem “Nola in My Dreams” has been selected for publication in the 2019 Woody Guthrie Poets Anthology, Speak Your Mind! The Woody Guthrie Poets compose poems that honor Guthrie’s legacy of social justice and activism, and will read and recite their poems at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Oklahoma.

Candace currently works as our fearless Purchasing Assistant at UNC Asheville. She is also an active member of the MLAS community, keeping the Student & Alumni Facebook Group up to date with events and photos, and always ready to lend a hand at our final Capstone and Portfolio presentations. A poet, photographer, and traveler, Candace’s photo “Man’s Best Friends”–taken In Greenwich, UK–was the second prize winner in UNC Asheville’s 2018 International Photo Contest.


Have you ever wanted to turn your novel, memoir, or short story into a musical, TV series, or movie? Take MLAS alumnus Maryedith Burrell’s workshop “Adaptation: Or, a Book, an Agent, and a Movie Walk Into a Bar…” on April 27 at the Flatiron Writers Room!

Maryedith has over 22 films to her credit as a producer, screenwriter, and creative consultant. Most recently, her documentary “RAISE HELL: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins” won raves at Sundance 2019. Her writing has appeared in many notable publications, including Rolling Stone, Vogue, The Los Angeles Times, and The Great Smokies Review.


Love is in the air…. Future MLAS alumna Jacqueline Lowe remembers the end of March 2013, when she met her future husband, Jeremy Brooks, in an economics class as an undergrad at UNC Asheville.

“He shared his notes with me when I was absent from a class, and the rest is history,” Jacqueline says.

Four years later, in September 2017, they eloped in the Botanical Gardens at Asheville.

Want to be in the next Alumni Spotlight? Share your news with us at