Faculty Bios

We proudly offer the bios of our accomplished teachers.

Mary Donnelly has managed, produced and/or edited video, print, and digital projects for such companies and organizations as Arts & Entertainment, Ovation, iNEXT TV, and The Rockefeller University Press, as well as various non-profit clients through Generation Branding and Communication. Her poetry has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Indiana Review, Prairie Schooner, The Literary Review and The Yale Review, and she published the chapbook Mad World Colored Oil (Dancing Girl Press). She is an editor for DMQ Review. She is a visiting faculty member for Sierra Nevada College’s low-residency MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts. She holds a BA in English literature from Columbia University and an MFA in Poetry from Bennington College.

Shahnaz Habib has published fiction and nonfiction in the anthologies Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers (Random House) and 21 Under 40 (Zubaan). She is a regular contributor to the New Yorker online, the Guardian, and Of Note magazine. Her work has also appeared in Afar magazine, Brevity, and Laundry, among many others, and been named a Notable Essay by the Best American Essays series. She has been awarded a New York Foundation for the Arts Artists' Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature. She holds a BA from Mahatma Gandhi University, an MA in English Literature from the University of Delhi, and an MA in Media Studies from the New School.

Corie Hengst has served as a contributing copy editor for Adweek and Penguin Random House, and has written business and finance content for Bankrate, Chief Investment Officer magazine and ShoeFitts Marketing, among others.  She has held editor positions with the magazines Plan Adviser, Plan Sponsor, and American Salon. She has also written white papers, newsletters and blogs, and has ghostwritten and edited business books. Corie holds a BA from Missouri State University.

Stacy Pershall is the author of the memoir Loud in the House of Myself  (W.W. Norton), selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Program, and her work is included in the anthologies Lost and Found (W.W. Norton) and Spent (Seal Press). She has taught at Writopia, Pratt Manhattan, City College of New York, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. She holds a BA from the University of Arkansas and an MFA in Performance Art from the University of Cincinnati.

Steph Spector is founder of the Karuna Writer’s Residency and Indraloka Animal Sanctuary’s communications specialist. She has served as managing editor of the Roanoke Review and director of contests and conferences at Gotham. She has led workshops at Harbor House, Trust House, and the O, Miami Poetry Festival. She holds a BA from Roanoke College.

Arlaina Tibensky is the author of the novel And Then Things Fall Apart (Simon & Schuster). Her short fiction and nonfiction have appeared in One Story, McSweeney's Internet Tendency, the Madison Review, and The Dinner Party Download on NPR. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.