About the Spring 2016 authors


Victoria Baxter is a senior at Texas State University double majoring in International Relations and Spanish. She has taught English and Spanish in Puerto Rico, Haiti, and Costa Rica. She founded and currently runs a non-profit to sponsor the education costs for children at an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince. In her spare time, she enjoys cuddling her cat, riding bikes, and performing burlesque. After graduation, Victoria hopes to study Law and International Relations.





Amber Byer is a nursing major with a minor in honors studies. Although she is currently classified as a senior, she still has two years left to complete her BS in nursing. She is happily married and the proud mother of two boys (one six-year-old and one on the way). She currently works for a nonprofit charter school district that helps low-income children make it to and through college. In her spare time, she is an avid distance runner with a goal of someday competing in the Barkley Marathons. After obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Amber’s ultimate goal is to complete her masters and become a nurse anesthetist.





wp-1461645252970.jpgJonathan Check is a junior at Texas State majoring in journalism and minoring in sociology. He was born and raised in San Antonio and lived there until moving to San Marcos in 2014 to begin attending Texas State. In his spare time, he likes to listen to podcasts and read about both soccer and technology, watch soccer games, play video games and watch funny or interesting videos. He would like to work either in sports reporting or public relations after graduating.






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Samantha Ciaramitaro is a sophomore in pursuit of a degree in computer information systems with a minor in computer science. If she’s not spending time with her miniature poodle Soxy, you can see her pretending to be too busy to go to the gym while simultaneously procrastinating on any and all actual school work. Her greatest accomplishment is being able to find enough scholarships to spend a semester abroad in Australia.




profilephotoLesly De Leon is a freshman majoring in Journalism and minoring in Political Science. She is currently the Assistant News Editor at The University Star. She loves working for The University Star even though it’s consuming her life because she’s passionate about journalism. She hopes to one day be a news reporter covering Texas politics.





Ethan Durand is passionate about Political Science and will graduate in 2017. He is in love with Jesus Christ and enjoys sharing him with others. He is a member of the Bobcat Marching Band, Basketball Band, and Concert Band. He really values his family and enjoys visiting them frequently in his home town of San Antonio. He hopes to one day join the Air Force and serve as a JAG Officer.


Naomi Faltin is almost done studying Mass Communications in Public Relations and plans to graduate from Texas State in May 2017! With a major in mass communications and a minor in communication studies, it’s fair to say that Naomi loves people. She is a humanitarian at heart and spends her free time involved in volunteer service. In her free time, Naomi is an officer for Bobcat Build, and if you can’t find her doing Bobcat Build projects, she is probably at a concert or at a ministry event. She is making plans to study abroad at Maynooth University in Dublin, Ireland for Fall 2016.


Iris Gonzalez is a freedom-fighting freshman who majors in International Relations and minors in Anthropology at Texas State University, where she also works as a student worker in the Wittliff Collections, DJ for KTSW-FM 89.9, and Vice President/PR rep. of the Experimental Archaeology Club. Some of the things that fill her with determination are world cultures, social justice, animation, language, zombies, and creative writing. Outside of her plans to rule the world as Grand Empress/General of the Llama Revolution, she’s not entirely sure what she might do in the future, but she does know that she wants to help save the world and all people in it in whatever way she can.



Harold Holdridge is a freshman at Texas State University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in History. He is from Houston Texas, specifically Cypress. He is going to be the Resident Assistant at Laurel Hall next year. In his spare time, he likes playing video games (Dark Souls and Fallout in particular), working out, and watching Daredevil. He hopes to go to law school after his bachelors and go on to become a lawyer.






Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 11.39.14 PMAntonia Mac Crossan is a sophomore at Texas State University, majoring in Biology with the intent to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Toni is an avid birdwatcher, language learner, and follower of U. S. politics, and is always ready for a good debate. After graduating, Toni intends to attend Texas Tech University in Lubbock to study for a Pharm. D. and M. B. A., in preparation for becoming a pharmacist and eventual proprietor of an independent pharmacy.




12803105_1684661848488746_6780563316385464298_nMadison Neidlinger is a sophomore at Texas State University with a major in journalism and a minor in psychology. She is currently involved in Diamond Sweethearts, an athletic-based student organization here on campus. Madison plans on going to law school after graduation and wants to pursue a career in law. She enjoys going to baseball games and drawing and is eager to see what the future holds for her at Texas State.


Corey Pohlmeyer is a sophomore attending Texas State University majoring in B.S. in Geography and a B.L.A. in Political Science. Born and raised in Lyford, Texas, Corey has a strong interest in current events around the world and how they relate spatially with each other and the politics in their respective countries. In his spare time, Corey enjoys playing grand-strategy video games, staring at maps for countless hours,  and reading the news. After graduating, Corey plans to attend graduate school and inevitably find employment.



Kambiz Shabankare is an Iranian visual journalist in exile, currently studying Mass Communication at Texas State University. He also holds a BA in Theater/Directing (Sooreh Art University of Tehran). During his career, he has traveled around the world and has covered battle zones and disaster areas.





Darcy Sprague is a journalism major at Texas State University, a recovering work-a-holic and an avid coffee/tea drinker. She is passionate about good seafood, her puppy and hard work. She has been published by at least ten different publications and looks forward to a full life of writing. Darcy’s goals are to publish a book, travel the world and write stories that matter. At any given moment of the week Darcy can be found with her nine-month old puppy, or working to save money for her senior trip to New Zealand.



PicKelly Woytkewicz is a senior in English with a media studies minor at Texas State University. After she graduates this summer, Kelly plans to intern for Cru in San Marcos, TX and to learn what it’s like to live without homework. Kelly enjoys editing, reading, sketching, and immersing herself in many kinds of media, and she looks forward to doing these things and more when she moves on to the next stage of her life.

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