The Oakland Arts Review is staffed by undergraduate and graduate students of Oakland University, and one faculty adviser from the Department of English.

Students interested in participating in the journal may register for CW 3800, a Special Topics class in Editing and Publishing taught in Fall 2021 by Dr. Susan McCarty. More information can be found by reviewing the OU Schedule of Classes. The class meets T/R from 3:00-4:47 p.m.

If you are unable to take the class but are interested in volunteering in the future, you must be an undergraduate student at Oakland University. For more information, please fill out an OAR Volunteer Application and attach it to an email to All students are encouraged to apply.

Current OAR Staff 2021-2022

2021 – 2022 Faculty Adviser(s)

Dr. Susan McCarty’s story collection, Anatomies, was published in 2015 by Aforementioned Productions. Her essays have appeared in Lithub, Ecotone, Creative Nonfiction, the Iowa Review, Utne Reader, and other publications. She has an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and a Ph.D from the University of Utah. She is an Assistant Professor of English at Oakland University.


Dr. Alison Powell’s first collection of poems, On the Desire to Levitate, was selected as the 2013 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize winner and published by Ohio University Press in March 2014. It was selected as one of “Thirty Amazing Poetry Titles for Spring 2014” by the Library Journal and was recently featured on PBS NewsHour’s Weekly Poem edition. She has been a Guest Editor for Crazyhorse and an editorial assistant at the Indiana Review. Her poetry has appeared in American Literary Review, Boston Review, Guernica, AGNI, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, Antioch Review and others, and is forthcoming from Alaska Quarterly Review, Copper Nickel, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere. She is Assistant Professor of Poetry at Oakland University.

Fall 2021-2022 Student Staff


Malaena Caldwell, Managing Editor

screen-shot-2021-10-03-at-11.15.42-am-2Malaena Caldwell is a senior at Oakland University, double majoring in French Language & Literature, and Creative Writing with a specialty in literary nonfiction. Although she will be graduating in the spring, she plans on being a career student—first getting her MFA in Creative Writing, then her PhD—for school is the only place she feels truly at home. Unsurprisingly, after that, Malaena aspires to follow in the footsteps of the people she looks up to most—her professors. In between teaching, she wants to write her own memoir. When Malaena is not at work or studying, she can be found at practice with the cheerleading team or in her bed playing Animal Crossing. She hopes to never stop learning.

Steph Wong, Managing Editor and Copyeditor

Steph Wong is a senior at Oakland University double majoring in general Anthropology and Creative Writing with a specialization in Fiction. They enjoy playing piano, singing, listening to music, and reading. They also volunteer with Michigan Student Power Network, an activist and advocacy organization empowering youth, and help out at their uncle’s bakery on the weekends. As a queer POC themself, they would like to one day open a bookstore that caters to minorities. Otherwise, ideally, they will not have to work under capitalism and will instead live a self-sufficient life in the middle of nowhere with some friends. 

Riley Becks, Poetry Editor

Screen Shot 2021-10-03 at 11.26.52 AMRiley is currently a senior at Oakland University obtaining her B.A. in Creative Writing with a minor in English. While she enjoys her work as a staff writer in the greater Metro Detroit area, she hopes to pursue a career in the editing/publishing industry following graduation. In her spare time, you can find her at home writing poetry and lounging with her two cats, Clove and Crumble.

Jack Bugbee, Nonfiction Editor

Screen Shot 2021-10-06 at 7.13.55 PMJack Bugbee is a senior at Oakland University majoring in Creative Writing, looking forward to graduating in spring 2022. After graduating, he plans to use his writing skills in the field of copyrighting and writing fictional short stories and novels. When he’s not writing or working, he can be found reading, playing video games with his friends, and adding to his ever-expanding collection of Legos and Star Wars action figures.


Alana Drasnin, Fiction Editor

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 9.50.05 PMAlana is a senior at Oakland University majoring in Creative Writing with a specialization in Fiction. She is planning to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing. She hopes one day to become a book editor, and is also an aspiring fantasy and horror fiction author. In her free time, she enjoys baking with friends, thrifting, roller skating, and going on hikes.


Halee Gates, Nonfiction Editor

Halee Gates is a senior at Oakland University, majoring in Creative Writing with a specialization in Fiction, and minoring in Writing & Rhetoric/Professional Digital Writing. She hopes to one day use her writing skills to become an author, video game writer, or a technical writer/editor. In her free time, she can be found reading, writing, playing video games, or researching voice actors and their various roles. 

Katherine See, Social Media Manager

Screen Shot 2021-10-03 at 11.39.28 AMKatherine See is a senior at Oakland University, majoring in Creative Writing, with a Specialization in Memoir and Essay. She has been writing since she was fourteen and aspires to someday publish a memoir, as well as books of poetry. After taking several journalism and advertising classes, she discovered her desire to work for an advertising agency or become a blogger, incorporating her love for travel, food, and music. When she isn’t with her friends and family or hasn’t caught dance fever while listening to various tunes, Katherine can be found reading, attending church events, or exploring new places.

Jeff Thomas, Poetry Editor

Screen Shot 2021-10-03 at 11.28.20 AMJeff is a senior at Oakland University. Majoring in English with double minors in Journalism and Creative Writing, he is a firm believer in the power of the written word. In addition to his duties with OAR, he also currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Oakland University’s independent student newspaper, The Oakland Post. After years of bouncing around in retail, skilled trades, and bar entertainment, Jeff’s goal post-graduation is to continue getting paid to write. If he doesn’t end up pursuing an MFA, he’ll be on staff at some small town newspaper covering euchre tournaments, or the middle school science fair, or how the local municipality is trying to railroad sanitation workers.

Antonio Verrelli, Fiction Editor

Antonio Verrelli is a junior at Oakland University, studying Creative Writing and English with an emphasis on fiction. While studying, he hopes to further specialize in the psychological realism and thriller genres. Many of his hobbies reflect an interest in humanity, as he can often be found in crowds of new people, either jiving to whatever music is playing or, if there’s no music, simply chatting about life. Other times he can be found listening to coffee shop conversations or notebooking in public places on campus. People-watching is a guilty pleasure of his, but for the writer, it’s also a priceless tool—giving insights into the detailed lives of strangers.