Concluding the Editors and Writers Speaker Series sponsored by the Master of Arts in English program, alumna Denise Wynn ’00 will be the final speaker on April 21.
Wynn graduated with two B.A. degrees, one in communication studies and the other in art, with an emphasis in photography. Wynn was the first student to graduate from the photography program.
During her time at APU, Wynn attended events, joined clubs, worked on campus and even worked for The Clause as a staff writer and photo editor.
“I lived every minute of my college experience,” she said. “The creative energy and real-life grappling with issues and ethics was invaluable training for life.”
During her time at The Clause, Wynn formed a lasting friendship with the newspaper’s adviser at the time, Joseph Bentz, Ph.D. Wynn said that Bentz taught her to tell stories well and responsibly.
“Denise Wynn was a vibrant and creative student,” Bentz said. “Everyone depended on her, and she never let us down. I felt at that time that she had the intelligence, drive and work ethic to do well after college, and she has.”
Bentz, a professor in the Department of English, will host the conclusion of the speaker series. In the series, professors highlight people in the publishing field who have managed their careers in entrepreneurial ways. Bentz said Wynn certainly fits that description, as she has written books, such as her most recent, ‘The Prayers of Many,’ and founded Armory Publishing Group.
Bentz also invited Wynn to speak due to her pursuit of creative interests and giving an energetic spirit.
“I can’t wait for our M.A. students and others in the APU community to hear about how she launched these endeavors,” Bentz said. “The students in that course are excellent writers, and I think hearing from Denise will inspire them as they further their own careers as writers.”
After graduating from APU, Wynn had several jobs awaiting her. She explained the importance of finding a job during senior year and said it is much easier to find a job while employed in another.
“[When] you are in your final year, you need to be thinking of next steps and capitalizing on the optimism and potential that everyone sees you with while you are still a student [in order] to land a decent first job,” Wynn said. “Pick one you like [that] you can do well [and] will stretch you a bit and teach you new skills. It is just the first steppingstone to where you are going, but it is an important one to get you started on the path toward your dream job.”
Wynn explained that Bentz’s invitation to be a speaker has led to a book launch at the U.S. Center for World Missions (now called Frontier Ventures) at the Venture Center in Pasadena on April 23.
“That’s how it works,” Wynn said. “One door can open several more.”
Sara Champlain, an M.A. in English student, said she has seen tremendous expansion and an exceptionally high level of research and scholarship coming out of the department. She said she is eager to hear Wynn as the final speaker in the series.
“Similar to all of the speakers in the series, it has been so insightful to see people with very successful carriers in the field of writing and English,” Champlain said. “I look forward to hearing about Wynn’s success as an author.”
Wynn is excited to speak at APU and hopes to give students an idea of the behind the scenes of being an author.
“While I’m a visionary and a dreamer, I’m also a really practical person who wants to know next steps and what I have to do to get somewhere,” Wynn said. “I’m hoping that what I bring to the speaker series gives people a practical picture of what the book industry looks like…and also encourages them to go for it.”