It didn’t take long for Alyssa Hamilton to return to the place that felt like home during her undergraduate years. In 2019, she came back to campus, not as a student, but as an adjunct lecturer in STAC’s English Department.
“When I arrived at STAC, I intended on becoming a high school English teacher,” Alyssa says. “But after doing some soul-searching and having several conversations with roommates and professors, I decided to simply be an English major with a writing minor to focus on my passions for reading and writing.”
During her undergraduate years, Alyssa was so inspired by her English professors that she decided that she’d rather teach at a college level, instead of high school. “The impact my professors at STAC had on me has been monumental,” she explains. “I wanted to be able to recreate the welcoming, challenging environments that helped me be successful in my endeavors.”
What Alyssa loves most about writing? Being able to facilitate the understanding and appreciation of something new, is the same thing she loves about teaching. The best part, she says, is that she gets to do both at her alma mater. “STAC cultivated the skills and drive I needed to help shape my dreams into an attainable reality,” Alyssa explains, adding that she is humbled to be part of providing the education that she was so enriched with to new generations of students.
Today, she teaches courses such as Writing About American Literature, Writing About World Literature, Introduction to Creative Writing, and Advanced Fiction Workshop.
As an undergraduate, Alyssa participated in the Spartan Comedy Club, the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club, and House Band, and served as the head editor of The Voyager, during which time she discovered a fascination with the publishing process of a literary magazine.
As a senior, she took part in STAC’s first Ignite Symposium and presented two projects, one, a thesis on American literature and the other, a manuscript of creative work. One of her short stories not only went on to help Alyssa get accepted into the MFA program at Reinhardt University in Georgia but also to become a finalist in the Agnes Scott College Writer’s Festival Contest. “The Ignite Symposium prepared me for the work ethic and discipline I needed to succeed in grad school,” she says.
Alyssa’s research interests include experimental fiction, flash fiction, marvelous realism, and American gothic literature, which has earned her many honors and awards, including the 2nd Place Faculty Choice Award, a copyediting fellowship with the James Dickey Review, and the Driscoll Prize—all from Reinhardt University. She was also the recipient of the Jon Roberts Award for Excellence in Literary Studies at STAC.
She continues to cultivate her writing craft and her work has been published in several prominent journals, such as the Stonecoast Review, The Blue Mountain Review, Halo Literary Magazine, Page and Spine, and Wyvern Lit.
Still, in the early part of her career, Alyssa looks forward to achieving many future milestones. “I’d love to teach full-time at the college level since it’s been so rewarding,” she says. “In terms of publication, I want to publish a short story collection, a novella, and a novel. I’d also love to eventually launch a literary magazine or small press.”
When she’s not reading or writing, Alyssa enjoys music, hiking, and traveling. Three fun facts about her: she has a cat named Izzy who is leash-trained; she is obsessed with RuPaul’s Drag Race; and she’s allergic to the cold.