Liberal studies alumna Cheryl Butler Brandreth ’10 placed first in the 2013 Literary LEO short fiction contest for her piece, The Tender Reed. Brandreth graduated from Spalding’s Adult Accelerated Program (AAP) with a degree in interdisciplinary humanities and now studies creative nonfiction in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing program.
“[This award] affirms me and the MFA in Writing program,” Brandreth says. “Spalding has nurtured me through this process by giving me the opportunity to work one-on-one with a [faculty] mentor. When I write it’s as if I can hear the advice of my past mentors ringing in my head. Winning Literary LEO has been a dream of mine for a long time and finding Spalding has made my dream come true.”
Brandreth learned of Spalding’s brief-residency MFA program from a friend at church, which prompted her to obtain her bachelor’s degree as an adult. She credits Spalding’s supportive faculty and an overall positive experience to setting her on the path to her ultimate goal: a master’s degree in creative writing.
“I have such a fondness for the faculty and staff,” says Brandreth. “They have ultimately made my Spalding experience rewarding. Each faculty member is not only well-qualified and knowledgeable, but genuinely interested in making sure students learn. The staff has always been helpful, from the AAP office to the liberal studies department to financial aid and the MFA office.”