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I've encountered challenges on a personal and academic level that have only stoked my desire to keep learning, wherever I may be. This desire has been encouraged by the faculty and staff that have contributed to my success as a student.

2016 Outstanding Graduate

Bachelor of Arts, English

Brittni Lee Wisner

My UAS Experience

UAS is such a beautiful, unique place to learn. From the diversity of the landscape to the diversity of perspective’s I’ve encountered, I’ve been presented with many opportunities to engage and grow. I’ve encountered challenges on a personal and academic level that have only stoked my desire to keep learning, wherever I may be. This desire has been encouraged by the faculty and staff that have contributed to my success as a student. My questions are always welcomed and I’m usually given a few more to consider—I’ve loved this learning dynamic! I’m so thankful to have been part of this community during this time in which my academic and personal interests in social justice intersect with the growth of the university, and I’m so excited to see where it leads.

UAS has shaped me both abroad and at home. I’ve had the opportunity to study in Bielefeld, Germany for a year, where I grew in my passions for language, learning, and challenge. My studies in Germany greatly influenced and prepared me for my upper-division English classes in Juneau upon my return, and my senior thesis reflects the intersection of interests that I cultivated through my growth at home and away. This spring semester I’ve had the privilege of being part of the Flying University, spending each Friday in a philosophy class at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center. This has definitely been one of the most meaningful experiences to me during my time at UAS. My interactions with my classmates in the prison offered different voices every week that have engaged and changed my perspectives on ethics and justice. This experience is a wonderful capstone of sorts that ties in all of my interests and studies, and it’s taught me that there’s so much more to learn and do in order to truly think of ethics as first philosophy, a notion that has changed the way I respond to others. I’m very grateful to have had this experience, especially during my final semester, as I prepare for the challenges my travels and studies in the next year will bring. UAS has provided me these opportunities in which to learn and engage on an international and local level; I can’t help but leave changed and excited to learn more.

About Brittni Lee Wisner

The English faculty at UAS nominates Brittni Wisner for Outstanding Student in English. In her studies at UAS, Brittni has consistently demonstrated some of the most rigorous scholarship shaped by creative and critical encounters with her studies. Moreover, her accomplishments are shaped by a rich quality of interdisciplinary and experiential learning that has brought her out of the classroom, across Europe, and even into the prison. For the 2013–2014 academic year, Brittni studied literature and theory in Bielefeld, Germany as part of the International Student Exchange Program (ISEP). During her senior year, she attended classes inside Lemon Creek Correctional Center as a participant in the Flying University. In all instances, Brittni brings a sophisticated and erudite concern for “ethics as first philosophy” to her scholarship, which she focuses through the aperture of social justice. She is highly regarded by faculty and students alike for both the quality of her writing and the astute contributions she brings to seminar discussions, which are disciplined and humbled at once.

Brittni’s studies have culminated in a Senior Thesis project, directed by Professor Neely, that examines the cultural logic and production of monstrosity. Although this thesis was concretely born during the Fall 2014 “Advanced Topics in Literature” course on Zombies, Brittni’s thesis draws from diverse sources of influence and inquiry, moving from representations of monstrosity in Victorian literature and modern horror cinema to the configuration of monstrosity in contemporary race relations in the United States. The thesis thus makes an important intervention against economies of signification that give alibi to the cultural productions of human abjection. After graduation, Brittni plans to continue her experiential and interdisciplinary learning by attending an eleven-month missionary trip, for which she will visit 11 countries in 11 months, prior to attending graduate school in English or education.

  • Sol Neely, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English
[Brittni's] accomplishments are shaped by a rich quality of interdisciplinary and experiential learning that has brought her out of the classroom, across Europe, and even into the prison.
  • Sol Neely, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English