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Current Student Bios

Nicole Constant is a first year M.A. student from Florida. She received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Anthropology from the University of South Florida. Her research interests include the influence of mythology and fairy tales on pop culture and the culture of cult classic movie followings, particularly the following of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. She completed her undergraduate thesis on the classical allusions of the character names in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series. Her other passions include choral music, theater, costuming, tabletop gaming, and Halloween.

Sarah Fisher is a second year Master’s student in the Folklore Program. She graduated in 2015 from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in English and History. Prior to that, she graduated in 2012 from Penn State with an A.S. in Business Administration. She is fascinated with mythology in literature and society, especially in regards to connections between myths and cultures. Her research goals center on cultural anthropological approaches towards literature and history, specifically in the areas of countercultures and ethnomusicology. Her favorite areas of research include Ancient Greek myths, Celtic literature, and the fascinating Beat Generation.

Jennie Flinspach is a second year Master’s student in the Folklore program. After graduating from Simpson College with a B.A. in English and Theatre, she taught high school English in Iowa for several years. In addition to her classes, she enjoyed writing for and directing the school’s competitive theatre and forensics team. While her research interests are varied, she is particularly focused on Celtic and British mythology and the folklore of Medieval England and France with an emphasis on the evolution of the ballad form. Other passions include musical and theatrical performance and direction, costume design and construction, storytelling and mime, and the American musical theatre tradition.

Tamara LeRoy is a first year Master’s student in Public Folklore. She graduated in 2016 from UO with a B.S. in Anthropology, and is interested in using qualitative methods as a tool for revealing quantitative data that can be used to identify, address, and communicate issues of structural inequity. She has served as Project Coordinator for the Latino Roots Project for two years, and intends to continue her work with the project indefinitely. Outside of academia, Tamara works as a farm hand, stage manager, and musician, but is most frequently externally identified as “Mom, mom, mom” by her three children.

Alina Mansfield is a second year Master’s student in Folklore. She graduated from UC Berkeley, where she designed her own Folklore and Mythology major. She is currently researching Mardi Gras traditions in Mobile, Alabama and Biloxi, Mississippi. She is an avid collector of supernatural memorates and is fascinated by contemporary legends, the occurrence of traditional tale types and motifs in television, the folklore of dreaming, and divination practices. She is also a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Women’s Folklore and Folklife.

Brad McMullen is a second year Master’s student in the Folklore Program. After earning a B.A. in Folklore & Mythology from Harvard University, he went to Wales for a year where he researched Welsh tall tales at the University of Cardiff. His other research interests include Celtic folklore in general, Nordic folklore, international tall tale traditions, the relationship between folklore and modern media, oral history, and the presentation of folklore and folk materials to the public.

Jacob Ochs is a second year Master’s student in the Folklore Program. He graduated from Mercyhurst University in 2015 with a B.A. in English. His interests are primarily focused on the connections between children’s literature and modern folklore, Nordic folklore’s continuation and mutation through Christianization, and the growing field of Digital Folklore, especially horror narratives. Some personal interests include video-game culture and narrative as well as South and South-East Asian folklore and legends.

Deb Parker is in the English Ph.D. program with a structured emphasis in Folklore. She is interested in expressions of illness and suffering, healing practices, healing communities, and structural factors that influence health and healing.

Kirk Peterson is a first year M.A. student in the Folklore Program. He grew up on the Allegheny Plateau in Western Pennsylvania and Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley immersed in the folklore and folkways of his family and neighbors. After graduating with a B.F.A in Film and Television from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, he lived and worked in New York City and Portland, Oregon. At Portland State University he studied Anthropology and World Literature, focusing on ethnographic method and narratology. His current areas of interest involve the dynamic nature of folklore diffusion techniques and how they interact with contemporary media forms.

Rachael Steineckert is a first year Folklore master’s student. She has a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in Religious Studies from Utah State University. Growing up amongst the religious communities of Salt Lake Valley shaped her endless fascination with gender in myth, sacred texts, and ritual. Her research focuses on women’s folklore and thealogy, with interest in subversive healing practices, oral histories as modern forms of ancestor worship, and dreaming in religious experience. She has lived in California and the Caribbean and is looking forward to her time in Eugene.

Hillary Tully is a first year M.A. student from Tallahassee, Florida. She received her B.A.s in English and in International Affairs and has been working for the past few years in public health. She is interested in the relationships between people, place, and ecology, and the traditions surrounding them. Her most important life experiences include growing up in the South and in the Pentecostal church, bike-riding across the country, studying abroad in Peru, and spying on wild animals.



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