Current Students

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Robert Binney

 

Fun fact about New Jersey – once you turn 18, they can’t make you stay. It’s the law. (You have to pay a toll on your way out, but it’s only a few bucks. It’s totally worth it.) Man of Action Robert J. Robert Binney escaped the Garden State in the mid-80s for Atlanta, where he met and married Kelly, the love of his life. They have also lived in Seattle, Coastal Oregon, Philadelphia, and Sydney before returning to Seattle; they have trekked and climbed in Africa, South America, and throughout Europe. Armed with a pre-dotcom MBA, Robert has traveled the world as a hotel manager, a Christmas decorations manufacturer, and a management consultant. He is tired of telling people what to do; he is joining UC’s screenwriting program so he can tell people what to say.

Timothy Chambers

Timothy Chambers and his wife Kim left the bitter Chicago winters behind for Virginia where they raised kids and Goldens. He has enjoyed painting portraits for thirty years but desires to tell deeper stories with words.  Tim has authored and illustrated two books, most recently "Seeing Beautiful," a book about finding inspiration in the mundane; it also shares his story of pressing forward despite being profoundly deaf and visually impaired. Tim likes tennis, dark chocolate, and Calvin & Hobbes. He loves Jonathan Swift's charge to "live all the days of your life." You can read his story and view his paintings at timothychambers.com.

Katie Dugan

Katie Dugan is an aspiring author from Huntington Beach living in Los Angeles. She studied creative writing and screenwriting at California State University Long Beach where she received a BA in English. Besides reading and writing, Katie enjoys coffee, tarot, and meandering through bookstores.

Dannah Eckhardt

Dannah Eckhardt is a writer and director from Denver, Colorado. She attended Colorado Film School for three years and finished her degree in Humanities at Metropolitan State University. In 2018 she co-founded Sad Girl Productions, a female-led production company with a focus on female-driven stories. That same year, she wrote and directed the web series Filtered Water and the short film Not Your Mother’s Scouts. She was the production designer for all 3 seasons of I Put the Bi in Bitter, as well as a writer and actor for the last season. Other than film, Dannah enjoys reading, swimming, and drinking coffee. She hopes one day to have a corgi and live somewhere where the sun doesn’t set. She is also always looking for book and movie recommendations.

Shane Elizabeth

Shane Elizabeth is an award-winning writer who lives her life fueled by the words she writes. Her ability to jump off the page, right along with her characters, through a unique style of writing brings integrity, laughter, and attitude back to the written word. Adopted at birth and born legally deaf, Shane is diverse through a disability she has turned into an ability.

 Shane also comes equipped with an over ten-year background in development and story producing for unscripted television, working on shows such as Anthony Bourdain's The Taste, The Real World, and Project Runway. She holds a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Illinois and holds certificates in UCLA’s two-year Graduate Program for both Screenwriting and TV writing. She has also completed NYU's Tisch School of Arts Summer Program in Screenwriting, and was the 2019 Grand Prize Winner of the ISA Sundance Screenwriting Competition, and has gone on to win or place in several other screenwriting competitions since. She has written for several VR gaming companies in the past and is currently working on a docu-series competition show for Global Citizen and CBS as a story producer; while also, writing a feature film for Datura Studios and writing another film based on her own hearing disabilities for the International Screenwriters' Association.

Jennifer Eskridge

Jennifer Eskridge is obsessed with all things creative: theatre, musical theatre, vocal performance, songwriting, storytelling, and that love has permeated into most aspects of her life. After a brief career as a copywriter for the Los Angeles Municipal Court’s, Amicus Curiae (cir. 25,000), Jennifer discovered a passion for teaching and has spent the last fifteen years teaching high school Drama and Language Arts. During that time, Jennifer wrote and produced several one-acts, monologues, and plays for her students to perform, including her cover musicals, “Famous” and “Famous II.” Jennifer has been writing creatively and academically her entire life, but it has been her lifelong desire to earn an MFA in Creative Writing for the Performing Arts and she is thrilled to be working with the talented faculty at UCR/PD LR program.

Katy Hinterberger

A native Washingtonian and graduate of the University of Washington, Katy Hinterberger has spent her fair share of time dodging rain squalls. Because she believes that we all make sense of this life through narrative, Katy is thrilled to study the craft in-depth here at UC Riverside. When she is not writing, she delights in spending time with her three teenage daughters, designing with flowers in her garden, and reading stories in old and dusty books.

Elizabeth Holcomb

Elizabeth Holcomb aka Eli, Liz, Beth, and Betty is a woman who wants to write now and during that phase of life often referred to as retirement. Her love of theater and the human need to express oneself is what has driven her to pursue a formal education focused on screenwriting. After living a third of her life following her brain and heart in silos, she has decided that marrying the two and following her deepest passion to write is definitely worth a try. #NoRegrets. Elizabeth currently resides in Houston, TX. She is married to an amazing man who inspires her daily and has one daughter who has shaken up her world. She loves yoga, exercising, hiking, learning Greek, attempting to cook, and well, the stock market. 

Courtney Hunter

Courtney Hunter is a serial creator from Philadelphia, PA with experience in writing, the fashion industry, and live performance. After eighteen years of studying contemporary dance, she set out to carve herself a path in fashion and retail buying. Upon graduating from Philadelphia University and settling into her career, she turned back to dance. While working as a retail buyer for Burlington Stores, Courtney began producing contemporary dance and burlesque performances under her production company Stolen Fire Collective, aptly named after Prometheus, the fire-stealing god. Sentience, her debut science fiction novel, is a written extension of a contemporary dance piece that was produced for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival in 2017 based on artificial intelligence. The process of writing and self-publishing her own novel made it clear that the thread that connects her various passions is story-telling. She is participating in the Low-Residency MFA program as a fiction major and a screenwriting minor in order to hone her craft of telling stories. 

Rosemary King

Rosemary King has served as a speechwriter for national leaders in the charitable community, across the private sector, and at the highest levels of government. She served 24 years in the Air Force, including 6 at the Pentagon, where she wrote for the Secretary of Defense. Rose is the author of Border Confluences. She holds a doctorate from Arizona State University, a master’s from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s from the US Air Force Academy. Rose serves on the Advisory Board of the Professional Speechwriters Association, a worldwide network of leadership communication professionals. In 2013, she co-founded Rose City Hockey Club, a nonprofit for girls (6-19) that teaches them about ice hockey helps them thrive on and off the ice. She currently lives in Portland, OR, with her wife and their feisty cat, Piper. For more, please click here.

Tracy Kowalski

A New Jersey native, Tracy Kowalski left home after high school for the US Navy. While serving, he worked as an avionics technician on F-14's, received the National Defense Ribbon for service during Operation Desert Storm, and ended his service at the elite Fighter Weapons School (Top Gun) at Miramar, CA. Upon completion of his service, Tracy studied neuroscience and psychology at Northeastern University graduating Magna Cum Laude with high honors. At Northeastern, Tracy took his first acting class and caught the acting bug. Tracy then spent a few years playing professional football with the WNFL as safety and quarterback, appearing on several live morning shows and the Super Bowl in Houston in 2001. After which, Tracy went onto Law School, where he studied Constitutional Law with a focus on First Amendment issues. While in Law School, Tracy appeared in a few student films as well as a featured extra on "The Fighter" with Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams, and Christian Bale. Tracy pursued his passion for storytelling when he wrote his first screenplay "A Place in Time" which was nominated for a Golden Palm at the Beverly Hills Film Festival and won second place at the Sunset Film Festival. Since that time Tracy has written several screenplays and furthered his acting skills through several masterclasses. Tracy landed his first lead in a feature, Death and Bowling, which recently premiered at Outfest - LA and a sold-out virtual screening. Decades of daily meditation lead him to develop a program to help others learn to meditate and find peace in a crazy world called “Becoming One,” available at Sellfy.com. Insatiable curiosity, a positive outlook, and a love of learning continue to define him.  Tracy loves spending time in nature, as well as acrylic painting and spending time with his rescue pup Tilly.  

Ty Landers

Ty Landers is from a small town in rural Alabama that is hard to find on a map without a magnifying glass handy. He married the first person he ever met from Wisconsin and now lives in Milwaukee with his wife Emily and their sons Jack and Rowan. Ty spent twenty years in Nashville, Tennessee writing songs and playing in bands of minimal influence before discovering he just wanted to tell stories without needing a chorus. His work has appeared in Popshot Quarterly, Fjords Review, and In Shades Magazine. When he isn’t writing, Ty enjoys reading, movies, music, walking the beaches of Lake Michigan, the Lowcountry of South Carolina, asking his wife why Wisconsin has so many serial killers, arguing with his dog about causing bottlenecks around the kitchen island, and screaming at the snow. www.tylandersfiction.com

Esmeralda Montano

Esmeralda Montano is a queer, LA-based screenwriter, production assistant, and forever student. She graduated from the California State University of Long Beach with a BA in Film and Electronic Arts, specializing in screenwriting. She has worked as a crew member on various short films and theater productions. She recently began working in reality television and it has definitely taught her a thing or two about human nature. These experiences and being on sets have made her realize she feels more at home when she’s sitting in front of the computer dreaming up worlds. While she isn’t the most professionally seasoned writer, she believes she has a lot to offer the film and television world. Her number one goal when writing is to make people cry about the beautifully messy things in life, and she’s convinced UCR’s Palm Desert Low-Res MFA in Creative Writing program will be the place to sharpen her skills to do just that.

Perrin Pring

Born in Colorado, Perrin Pring spent her childhood playing outside and reading books. Unsurprisingly, she decided that upon becoming an adult, she’d like to be a park ranger and author. She was told these were unrealistic careers though, so she resigned herself to working in an office. Luckily for Perrin, she graduated college during the 2008 recession, thereby eliminating any real career prospects. After spending a winter working in Montana as a river raft saleswoman (a hard time of year for that industry), Perrin decided she might as well waste her time pursuing her dreams since it paid about the same as trying to get a real job. Since then, Perrin has worked as a park ranger in ten parks and published four books. She now has a husband, two amazing cats, real health insurance, a collection of loudly colored wall art, and an admission letter to the UCR low residency MFA program. Perrin is grateful for all of it, and is so excited about attending UCR’s MFA program she gets a little teary when thinking about it.

Allie Talavera

Allie Talavera recently graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in Spring 2021 with a BA in Writing for the Stage. She is a Mexican-American playwright born and bred right here in Southern California. Whether it be writing for the performing arts to creatively, her works aim to submerge readers in underlying themes of religion, sexuality, and race. 

Alex Wirth

Alex Wirth lives with his wife and 5-year-old daughter in San Diego, CA.  He has a bachelor's degree in English language literature from UC Santa Cruz and a master's of divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary.  He is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) but he's, like, chill about it. He has recently left parish ministry to pursue writing.