Harris Risell

Harris graduated from Dickinson College in 2016 with a BA in English. He now teaches and tutors adult English language learners near his home in Blue Bell, PA. He also plays the ukulele, using primarily songs from Steven Universe for inspiration and practice.

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Holly Kosiewicz

photo of Holly

Holly Kosiewicz is Director of Policy Development at the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan and El Salvador and has worked on research teams in Colombia, Peru, and the United States. Her work has been included and published in several book projects as well as The Journal of Higher Education, The Journal of Economic Psychology, and Education Week. Holly earned her Master’s at Brandeis University (2007) and completed her PhD at the University of Southern California (2015).  

HARRIS: What were your immediate plans after finishing undergrad and did they work out the way you imagined they would?

HOLLY: I graduated from UT Austin in 2002, and my intent was to do international development work. I’m a first-generation American, and my Polish parents instilled in me the importance of understanding different cultures. So, after UT, I joined the Peace Corps and worked in Jordan. Unfortunately, we were evacuated after six months of service.…

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Between American Comics and Hollywood

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During the summer months, Dickinson College’s campus is largely uninhabited, save for a small collection of staff members, faculty, and students. So when folks who saw me at the college then asked me to explain why I chose to spend my vacation from the academic halls and the library—where I exhausted countless hours studying, writing papers, and snacking on Kashi granola bars and Chobani yogurt cups (I admit that I am among the few who survives without caffeine)—back in those spaces, you might imagine, reader, that I felt motivated to offer some spectacular response. To satisfy most inquiries, saying very plainly “I’m doing research on comic books” was an exciting enough phrase.

In the presence of interrogators who possessed stronger senses of doubt, though, I needed to elaborate in order to show them that research on comics is a real thing; “Greg Steirer, a professor in the English department who taught of few of the classes I have taken, is writing a book with Alisa Perren, a professor at University of Texas at Austin, about the relationships between Hollywood studios and American comic book companies,” I would start.…

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