On May 2nd, 2017, Josh Bauer was awarded the 2017 Distinguished Master’s Thesis by the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire for his collection of creative work, Through the Portal: Narratives of Loss and Connection. Submitted to the English department in spring 2016 as a requirement for the MA program in English, these five stories and fourteen poems explore geographic, cultural, and genealogical relationships through the lens of the fantastic. This is the fourth year in a row that an English graduate has won the award.
Josh’s thesis committee includes Molly Patterson and Max Garland of the English department, as well as Ezra Zeitler of the Geography and Anthropology department. Josh also credits Allyson Loomis and BJ Hollars, both professors in the English department, with supporting his first attempts to bring magic and the fantastical into the creative writing workshop.
Currently working both as an Associate Lecturer in the English department and as an IS Service Professional at the Learning and Technology Services here at UWEC, Josh reflects on his time as a student fondly. “After six total years…,” he says, counting his undergraduate, graduate, and faculty years, “UWEC has really come to feel like home for me.” He feels a sense of belonging—in the university setting, in his major, and in his career choices—that he feels stemmed from the atmosphere and support he found in the English department and especially among the faculty.
Next year, Josh will continue to work in LTS, and he will teach one Blugold Seminar in the fall. In addition, he plans to apply to MFA programs in Creative Writing, setting out on the next part of what will hopefully be a long, successful career. And we here at the UWEC English department wish him all the luck in the world.