By Jack Despeaux
Student Life Editor
What could book cover designs, a Greek myth, Breton lais, and multiple on-campus writing organizations possibly have in common? Senior Casey Williams, of course.
Williams, a senior English major with a creative writing minor, has steadily built a strong repertoire of skills in her four years at Washington College. She has participated in multiple clubs and organizations, and through her involvement, she has developed into a leader and role model for younger students.
But when Williams entered WC, she doubted her interests.
“When I was coming in my freshman year, I didn’t really know what I could do with my degree. I didn’t think it was viable and I kind of chastised myself for wanting to move towards writing. I’ve learned there’s a ton of opportunities with the degree,” she said.
Williams has since completed her senior capstone experience in English. Her project was an in-depth look into the ways in which natural elements influenced the Breton lai, “Sir Orfeo,” which is based on the ancient Greek myth, “Orpheus.” Williams said that her interest in this lai stemmed from an interest as a kid in Greek mythology, and how ancient stories like these are “what defines us.”
“My interest in myths used to be an entertainment thing,” she said. “It’s not just entertainment anymore: [in] learning about the mythology, I’ve learned so much about medieval culture and society. It’s just a really fascinating Breton lai.”
Williams has also had an expansive career at WC, and in outside projects. Williams has been designing cover art for novelist Jeff Grode, and his series “Brothers of the Multiverse.”
“It was a skill I picked up at WC,” Williams said. Her experience with professor of English Emma Sovich’s Design for Editing/Publishing course helped her get the job, Williams said.
Williams also said that the job helped her understand that she was not only passionate about combining art and writing, she was skilled in the two.
“[It was ] just another way for me to play around with art and literature,” she said.
Williams is the project manager of the campus yearbook, The Pegasus, and she helps lead the Writer’s Union with senior Mallory Smith.
Lindsay Lusby, assistant director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House, is Williams’ supervisor at The Pegasus.
“Casey has brought a fabulous sense of organization and structure to The Pegasus,” she said. “Her strong leadership has allowed the interns to become a cohesive team with a single vision for the publication.”
“Casey has improved the work of Writer’s Union by being an inspiring, approachable leader. Her work is dynamic and engaging, and students thrive under her leadership,” Smith said.
Williams and Smith said that they primarily work with younger students in building their writing confidence.
Following her time at WC, Williams plans to attend Emerson College in Boston.
“Boston is a great literary hub,” she said.
Williams will pursue a Master of Arts in Publishing and Writing, which will help her continue to combine her interests in art and writing. She said that two major journals run through Emerson that she plans to get involved with, known as “Ploughshares” and “Redivider.”
“I’m so proud of all of the great work that Casey has done for the Literary House in her many roles, and I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in graduate school and beyond,” Lusby said.
Williams will graduate on May 20, but younger students have learned from her and will continue to strive from her guidance.
“A younger student could learn from Casey’s hard work ethic, especially regarding [their own] passions,” said Smith. “Casey genuinely loves what she does, which inspires everyone around her. Working with Casey and going to school with her has made me a better writer, leader, and friend. I am lucky to have someone like her in my life.”
Throughout all of her accomplishments, though, Williams has remained humble.
“I wouldn’t be where I am now without the professors here,” she said.