English – Outstanding Senior 2020

Sara Quenzer.

Sara Quenzer

Redding, California


  • Major in English/Creative Writing
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication – Journalism & Media Production

Clubs, Organizations, Leadership, and Service

  • LandEscapes – Editor-in-Chief
  • Cable 8 – Producer, Director

Internships and Employment

  • Hallmark Cards – writing and editorial intern
  • WSU Writing Center – mentor consultant
  • LandEscapes – Editor-in-Chief

Awards and Recognition

  • 2020 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Senior in English
  • Honors Thesis – Passed with Distinction
  • Jennie Brown Rawlins Scholarship in Creative Writing
  • Basil and Ella Alexander Jerard Scholarship
  • Sarah Weems Award for Creative Nonfiction
  • Cougar Academic Award

Faculty Comments

“Sara is an excellent and talented writer as well as an outstanding leader and critical thinker. I have had the opportunity to observe her leadership skills as managing editor and then as overall editor of LandEscapes. Sara Quenzer is one of the sharpest students I have worked with in my 30 years as a teacher.

“Her sharp feel for language and poetry, not to mention marketing, has also earned her a job right after she graduates. She will be writing greeting cards at Hallmark. Such a job may sound trite (Hallmark – really?), but it is anything but. Writing advertising and greeting card copy is tough, demanding work that requires a deep and creative understanding of language and people. The work is done on strict deadline.  Such work will also be a great training for going on in editing and publishing.”  –Dr. Peter Chilson

“Although Sara was only a freshman when she first took my English 302, she was by far the most outstanding student in the class. She is an excellent editor: Well organized, accessible, talented, and brilliant. Sara also understands the concept of gratitude…and for that, I am grateful.”  –Dr. Donna Potts

Personal Statement

College has been the best, worst time of my life, and that in itself is maybe not a unique experience. To those who made it the worst time of my life: I learned a lot because of you, and I’ve started to find myself again. So, ha. To those who made it the best time of my life: Thank you. I couldn’t have made it through this without supportive and loving family; impossibly sage and compassionate best friends; the kinds of mentors I thought only existed in movies; and Jr., Maybel, and Oscar (are those pets? I’ll never tell). I hope you’ll be reading more of my words in the future, and I hope your spirits are up despite the whole global pandemic thing. If they’re not, maybe, I don’t know, buy some Hallmark cards or something? Just a fun, completely-selfless-and-random thought.

Honored Faculty and Mentors

  • Donna Potts, chair and professor, Department of English
  • Buddy Levy, clinical professor, Department of English
  • Peter Chilson, professor, Department of English
  • Debbie Lee, Regents professor, Department of English, assistant director, Visiting Writer Series
  • Alison Boggs, instructor, Murrow College of Communication
  • Benjamin Shors, clinical associate professor, Murrow College of Communication

Future Plans

Sara will be moving to Kansas City, Missouri, to begin a job with Hallmark Cards. In the future, she hopes to publish a novel, host a podcast, and earn enough money to help her family pay off the mortgage!