"...Online Newsletter from the Pittsburg State University College of Arts and Sciences"

Green Gorilla Groneman goes and grows


While Matt Groneman was at PSU, he was a double major in English and Political Science, but he had other interests as well.

"My freshman and sophomore years I served as an Arts and Sciences Senator in SGA," he says.  "And around this time I also founded the Gorilla Greens."

He describes the Green Gorillas as "a mostly environmentalist club that also engaged in grass roots politics."

 For a brief period the Green Gorillas had over 70 members, according to Groneman.

Groneman was also one of the founding members of Phi Sigma Kappa, first Historian and first Vice President of Member Development, but he left before they got their charter.  All four years Groneman was involved with the Cow Creek Review.

"I was also active in Sigma Tau Delta and worked in the Writing Center my senior year."

After PSU, Groneman left for Manhattan, Kansas where he received an MA from K-State in English with an emphasis in Cultural Studies.

"After completing my degree I took on a position running tutoring for the PILOTS program, which helped at-risk freshmen survive their first year," he says. " In addition to the tutoring component, the 160 students enrolled in PILOTS each year were enrolled in special, smaller sections of general education courses and had a second advisor who tracked their progress."

 While at PILOTS, Groneman was simultaneously teaching English for Upward Bound's summer programs, teaching Composition and Literature as night classes for K-State's Division of Continuing Ed.

"Shortly before I left Manhattan I taught an intersession course titled 'Bob Dylan in Literary Context.'" This course included a study of Dylan's works, including liner notes, letters, his autobiography and film scripts, alongside works that influenced him, such as parts of the Old Testament, the poetry of William Black, Walt Whitman and others, and then closing with writers he had inspired, such as Sam Shepherd and Joyce Carol Oates.

After leaving Manhattan, Groneman moved to New Orleans and did an MFA in Poetry Writing.

"I completed my course work in two years and am still working on completing my thesis," says Groneman.  " I am hoping to defend this spring."

 While in New Orleans, Groneman was poetry editor for the Bayou literary journal.

As of this fall, Groneman is an Assistant Professor of English at Vincennes University in western Indiana. "VU is about the size of PSU but is a two-year school, with a limited number of four-year degrees. It is is unique in that it is not a community college but considered part of the state university system."

Groneman was hire for this position because of his background with PILOTS and success in working with at-risk students to teach developmental courses. He will also be teaching Creative Writing this spring, as well as Composition courses.

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