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Erica V.

I’m enrolled in African American Literature this semester (my final semester) and I’m so in love with the reading material (Passing by Nella Larsen, works by Charles Chesnutt, Autobiography of Malcolm X.) I’ve decided to do my senior thesis on African American Women Writers of the 19th century. I was told that this will be the very first in Fontbonne history and I want it to be perfect. On another note I’m thinking about maybe looking into teaching African American Literature. As I said, I’m so in love and the other literature classes I’ve taken never scratched the surface.

I’m taking this as an Independent Study because originally the class was canceled, and has been canceled every other time that I’ve signed up. This class has opened my mind and allowed me to be exposed to writers that I’ve never read before now.  The reading material is what makes this class so amazing. Knowledge is truly power.


What do you want to be when you grow up? What is your ultimate goal after graduation? How does Fontbonne help you fulfill it?

It’s amazing how when you’re a kid your imagination runs wild and free. As a kid, you come up with all of these ideas of what you want to be: veterinarian because you love animals, Astronaut because you want to be the first girl in your family to walk on the moon, a doctor because you want to heal the sick. All of these are great career opportunities, but as you grow older something happens to that imagination that used to be wild and free. You start to think that your childhood goals are unrealistic. After a long road of soul searching I’ve figured out one of the things I’m good at. I can tell a really good story. I’ve become inspired to put pen to paper and allow that childlike imagination to take control again.

When I grow up I want to be a writer. After graduation, I hope to work on completing my personal experience (memoir) as an officer with Transportation Security Administration. The University has put me in contact with some professors that I know can help me with perfecting my craft. I have at least one professor interested in my story.


When you look up the word inspire, the dictionary defines it as- to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence: His courage inspired his followers.

In the Fontbonne community I would have to say that Dr. Jason Sommer would be an inspiration to me. He’s my professor, my academic advisor, Department Chair of the English and Communication Department, and he’s a published poet.

After I’ve completed my BA here at Fontbonne University, my goal is to become a published writer. I’m currently enrolled in Advanced Creative writing which is being taught by Dr. Sommer. He’s the kind of frustrating inspiration especially when he sees capabilities in you that you don’t see within yourself. But he wouldn’t be the Dr. Sommer everyone has come to know if he didn’t push you to reach your full potential.

Another professor on my list would have to be Professor Margaux Sanchez; she’s a professor in the English and Communications department. She inspires me because, like me, she manages a home life/family, work and everything else. She’s also helped me reach new heights regarding my writing. Without her I wouldn’t know how to unclog my mind and thoughts when I’m suffering from writer’s block. She’s written for the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and most recently, the St. Louis Beacon. She’s someone I look up to and has shown me how to become a better me through my writing.


Erica V.

Hi my name is…

by Erica V. on September 14, 2012

in After College,College Life

My name is Erica Van Buren and I’m currently a senior here at Fontbonne University. For me, 24 hours is not enough time to juggle work, school and family. I’m majoring in English, and I’ve recently decided that my part time job gives me lots of writing material. At the moment I’m employed part time with the Transportation Security Administration and working at the airport — you see and hear some really interesting things. After graduating, I’m hoping to be able to dedicate myself completely to my notebook of weird and crazy things via the airport. I would love to get it published. Stay Tuned…


Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.