2017: Humanities in Action Panel – Initiative on Campus Dialogues at the Humanities Institute, UConn

Coordinator and facilitator for a panel of scholars who have brought their humanities knowledge and perspective to community activities. The goal of the panel is to raise awareness of the many ways humanities scholars contribute, participate, and enrich our communities. Such knowledge dissemination outside the academy brings the humanities to many public endeavors.

2016: Oral History Practices & Possibilities – History Department, UConn

Coordinator and facilitator for a panel to present techniques and concerns for gathering oral history interviews for different purposes, such as large archives and grassroots collecting.  Professors Bruce Stave, Fiona Vernal, and Eduardo Canedo presented on their uses and recommendations for building mutual communication, acquiring permissions, and conducting and transcribing interviews with various types of people.

2015: Get OnBoard! Event – OnBoard Springfield

Event planning committee member for OnBoard.  Its mission is to facilitate connections between talented individuals who might not have access to community leadership positions and active organizations around the Pioneer Valley.  Diversifying boards of directors, committees, and volunteers by recruiting members of under-represented populations provides organizations with insight into new and innovative ways to engage with the community at large. OnBoard hopes to foster dynamic relationships for both the individuals and organizations, which each benefit from the shared resources and experience. “Get OnBoard! 2015” took place on October 8 at the Basketball Hall of Fame, connecting local organizations with people of varied backgrounds who want to expand their community involvement.

2015-2016: 100 Years of Women AwardUConn Women’s Center

Established in 1992 to honor a current student who, as a role model or advocate, has advanced the role and contributions of women in society. The student must demonstrate a commitment to women’s issues through service to their community or school.

2015: Research Award, El Instituto – Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies

Predoctoral fellowships to support research in interdisciplinary fields related to the Caribbean or Latin America.

2015 May: Albert E. and Wilda E. Van Dusen Award

In 1983, Professor Van Dusen and his wife, Wilda, established the fund to support meritorious graduate students in any field of history, with a particular emphasis on service.

2014-2015: Special Ad Hoc Committee for the Springfield City Council – Workforce Development

President of the Springfield City Council, Michael Fenton, selected city residents for special ad hoc committees to address key issues in the communities. This committee, chaired by councilor Tim Allen, is developing three approaches to strengthen the workforce: adult basic education and training for under-skilled and unemployed residents, advanced manufacturing training, and connections with local college students to retain them as part of the city.

2014 May: Bruce M. and Sondra Astor Stave Prize in Recent American History

The Department of History at UConn awards this prize annually to an outstanding graduate student in recent American history. The prize ceremonies took place at the Dodd Center on May 2. The Staves remain active in the field, especially in the collection and preservation of oral history.

2014 April: New England Historical Association

As part of the association’s annual conference at Springfield College on April 26, I presented my paper “The Norma Rae Phenomenon: Southern Textile Workers as Raw Material for a Pop Culture Icon” for the Labor History panel. It was nominated for Best Graduate Student Paper of 2014.

2013 Film & History Conference: Making Movies–The Figure of Money On and Off the Screen

I presented my paper, “The Norma Rae Phenomenon: Southern Textile Workers as Raw Material for a Pop Culture Icon,” on November 23 in Madison, Wisconsin.  It traces the extraction of the simplified Norma Rae icon from the substantive network of collective resistance to the exploitation in the textile mills. The cultural narrative embedded in the pop icon glorifies the ability of a charismatic individual to overcome entrenched political and economic challenges–but Crystal Lee, “the real Norma Rae,” attempted to reclaim the icon for the working poor who repeatedly organize for better working conditions.

2012 Mentor: Dzanc Books

I joined the Dzanc Creative Writing Mentorships program in 2009. DCWM is an online program designed to allow writers to work one-on-one with published authors to shape their short story, novel, poem, or essay. Participating writers select an available author (like me) from the alphabetical list, then sign up using the form to the right. They will be contacted by Dzanc staff with instructions. When I receive the material from Dzanc, I read the work and provide a written critique. All proceeds benefit the small nonprofit press.

2012 UConn History Department: Ph.D. program

In September, I joined the Ph.D. program in the History Department at UConn-Storrs where I will focus on 20th-century U.S. women’s history. I received an Outstanding Scholars Program fellowship as well as a TA position. Although my writing will once again encompass scholarly research, I will continue with short fiction as I adjust to the new workload.

2012 “Asking the Authors” Interview: ELCAT

The local community access channel requested an interview to discuss my writing, education, and career.  Alexi Cohan is a high school student developing her own skills as a journalist.

2010 Short Story Finalist: Press 53 Open Awards

Press 53 selected “The Tangle of Stems and Light” as a finalist in its annual contest. Press 53 is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and supports literary writing of all types. In addition to showcasing new writers in the Open Awards Anthology, it has a fondness for bringing back great books that are out of print.

2010 Finalist: The Bellwether Prize

Barbara Kingsolver sponsors this prize, and the National Writers United Service Organization managed it. (PEN American Center currently coordinates the contest.) My novel manuscript, Being Good About It, reached the final eight out of hundreds submitted. The prize seeks to support a literature of social responsibility. It promotes literary novels that address issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships.

2010 January: LAByrinth Theater Company Master Class

I was accepted into the Master Class (now the Ensemble Workshop), a five-week program offered by the innovative LAByrinth Theater Company in New York City. Taught by company members, the class is multi-disciplinary and includes work in body, movement, scene study, writing, performing, producing, and most importantly, ensemble building. The class culminates in a presentation of original works written by the students, and my final piece was a comedic scene titled “Getting Hit.” Not to brag, but it earned the following review from Stephen Adly Giurgis, a company playwright and creative director: “That was well-written.”

2009 Honorable Mention Finalist: Glimmer Train

My short story “Three Women Wishing for a Boy” won a spot as an Honorable Mention Finalist in the journal’s Short Story Award for New Writers. The piece made it to the top 5% from over a thousand entries.

2009 Third Place: American Fiction Prize from New Rivers Press

The judge, novelist Clint McCown, selected my story “Souvenirs” for third place from a field of 20 finalists. The story appears in the anthology American Fiction: The Best Previously Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Writers, Volume 11 from New Rivers Press. (Look for American Fiction on Facebook.) Writer’s Digest has twice chosen the anthology as one of the best places in the United States to publish fiction. Available for order at your local independent bookstore, Powell’s, or Amazon.

2008 Semi-Finalist: Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Amazon Top Reviewers and Editors selected my novel manuscript Being Good About It as a semi-finalist in the general literature category. Publishers Weekly and interested readers provided reviews as part of the process.

2007 Finalist: Rick DeMarinis Short Story Contest

Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts in Durango, Colorado, chose my short story “Happy Sometimes” as a finalist in their annual fiction contest.

2007 December: Letter in Harper’s Magazine

A defense of Jonathan Kozol’s article “The Big Enchilada” and his analysis of for–profit education management organizations (i.e. shareholders making millions from our tax dollars via the privatization of our public school system).

2007 Short List for Finalists: The William Faulkner–William Wisdom Novel Competition

My manuscript Being Good About It was placed on the short list for finalists in this contest sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society in New Orleans. Judging is solely on the basis of writing talent, use of language, and universality of appeal in content. The precise standard is excellence in the use of the English language and readiness for publication.

2006 November/December: Letter in Poets & Writers Magazine

A response to the featured profile of critic Daniel Mendelsohn and his discussion of narrative nonfiction versus the novel.

2005 Fiction Finalist: The Loft Mentor Series

I was selected as a fiction finalist based on an excerpt from Being Good About It.  The Loft Mentor Series offers advanced criticism and professional development to twelve writers: four each in the genres of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The emerging writers are selected through anonymous competition to work intensively with six nationally acclaimed authors.

2004: Literary Magazine Review (vol 22)

Review of Square Lake by D.E. Steward

Square Lake, only in its fourth issue, is already a significant magazine and on its way up . . .  [I]n #4, Aimee Loiselle’s ‘Nina’ goes places in the world of the disenfranchised that most of us never see . . .”

2000-2012 Prized Rejections: Handwritten Note or Distinctive Email Message (much thanks to all editors who take the time to release these bubbles of hope into the tsunami of anonymous rejection)
Fugue, Hobart, Iron Horse, 322 Review, Story Quarterly, Versal, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Work, Breakwater Review, Zoetrope, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Feminist Studies, Lilies and Cannonballs, The Open Face Sandwich, The Broken Plate, Peregrine, The Charter Oak Review, Peeks and Valleys, The Redwood Coast Review, and Kalliope.