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College of Liberal Arts

Alumni Stories

adrian matejkaAdrian Matejka, an MFA alumnus from the Department of English, has been named a Pulitzer Prize finalist for poetry and declared winner of one of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards for his collection The Big Smoke, joining the company of such illustrious previous recipients such as Junot Díaz, Louise Erdrich, Nam Le, and Edward P. Jones, to name just a few. The award recognizes books that have made important contributions to the understanding of racism and the appreciation of the rich diversity of human cultures. Award recipients traditionally receive a monetary gift of $10,000 from the Anisfield-Wolf Fund. (Photo from

Aron Aji, (MA 1984, PhD 1989) was nominated for the 2013 PEN Translation Prize for Bilge Karasu’s Long Day’s Evening (City Lights, 2012), for which he also received an NEA translation fellowship.

Emily Ostendorf (Eng), Senior Project Manager at AkQA, San Francisco, is "currently living in San Francisco and working as a project manager at an award-winning global interactive agency. It was a gradual metamorphosis from my English degree to print publishing, to writing and editing for websites, to managing web-related projects. My degree in liberal arts has served me well throughout these transitions, offering flexibility while my colleagues in more specialized fields have found it harder to find jobs tailored to their skills. Outside of work, I enjoy pursuing my own writing projects, supporting San Francisco's literary scene and writer community, attending film festivals and lectures, and volunteering." — from an interview with the CoLA Communication Office