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MFA Teaching Opportunities

We know how important it is for MFA students to gain teaching experience. Among low residency programs this type of experience is hard to come by, so Bennington has developed the Residential Teaching Fellow program—a first-of-its-kind teaching opportunity among low residency MFA programs, offering a term's tuition remission, plus housing and board, among other benefits.

Residential Teaching Fellow

The Bennington Writing Seminars and Bennington College offers a full-immersion teaching fellowship to MFA students. The fellowship is the first of its kind in the country to offer full-time undergraduate teaching experience in a low-residency MFA format. This fellowship includes full tuition remission for one term, housing and board, enrollment in one class offered on campus, and experience in arts administration or editorial work thanks to unique partnerships with The Robert Frost Stone House Museum, Bennington Review, and Poetry@Bennington.

The Residential Teaching Fellow works for a full term in an undergraduate classroom where they assist a Bennington College literature faculty member. The selected Fellow gains experience in arts administration or editorial work while continuing their regular coursework for the term. We select two Fellows per year.

This competitive fellowship application is open to Bennington MFA students in their second, third or fourth term. Students will be mentored 1:1 with the on-campus faculty member with whom they are working (and/or by the faculty mentor with whom they have been assigned at BWS.)

“We are thrilled to offer this unique and necessary teaching experience to our MFA students. No other low-residency MFA program in the country offers full-time teaching opportunities of this nature to current students." Mark Wunderlich, Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars

About the Residential Teaching Fellowship

This competitive fellowship is open to MFA students who are rising into their second, third or fourth term by the time the fellowship begins. The Residential Teaching Fellow will serve as a teaching assistant for a full term in an undergraduate classroom. The selected Fellow will work with an on-campus faculty member, and gain experience in arts administration or editorial work while continuing their regular coursework for the term. 

Students awarded this fellowship in the past have been: Lisa Cockrel, Matthew Groner, Jeanie Riess, Puloma Ghosh, Nico Amador, Jordan McCord, and Ariél Martinez.

Students will be mentored 1:1 with the on-campus faculty member with whom they are working (and/or by the faculty mentor with whom they have been assigned at BWS.) Benefits include full tuition remission for one term, housing and board, enrollment in one class offered on campus, and experience in arts administration or editorial work. 

More Information: 

Eligibility

  • Due to the residential nature of this fellowship, and the tuition reimbursement, it is open only to current BWS students rising into their second, third and fourth terms by the time the fellowship begins.
  • Any rising second, third, or fourth-term student in good standing may apply.
  • Students in their graduate term are not eligible.

Benefits

  • Experience as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate literature course
  • Full tuition remission for the term in which you are in residence
  • Housing (in a shared faculty house), plus board in the dining hall for the term
  • Ability to take one course at Bennington College during the term
  • 1:1 mentorship with on-campus faculty member, or correspondence with BWS faculty mentor
  • Arts administration or editorial experience

Responsibilities

  • The selected student must reside full-time on campus in Bennington, VT 
  • Student may take one course at Bennington College during the term in residence, though this is not a requirement of the term.
  • Student will serve as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate course comprising up to 50 undergraduates, and will include all duties assigned by the faculty member with whom they will be working.
    • Duties may include: grading, advising, developing or assisting in the development of course materials, guest lecturing, or research.
  • Duties will also include arts administration or editorial work with Bennington ReviewPoetry@Bennington, or The Robert Frost Stone House Museum, depending upon College needs and student interest.  Approximately 5 hours a week will be devoted to this work. 

Meet the Teaching Fellows

 Ariél M. Martinez 

Ariel MartinezAriél M. Martinez, an MFA student in nonfiction has been selected to be the seventh Residential Teaching Fellow at the Bennington Writing Seminars. The fellowship is the first of its kind in the country to offer full-time undergraduate teaching experience in a low-residency MFA format. Benefits include full tuition remission for one term, housing and board, and enrollment in an on-campus class. She’ll begin in August.

“We conceived this fellowship to give Bennington students a unique opportunity to have full-time teaching experience and also to work closely with our literary partners,” said Mark Wunderlich, Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars. “We’re thrilled to have Ariél here as a Residential Teaching Fellow. Her skills and experience are well-suited to this position and we’re excited that we can return to in-person teaching.” 

Martinez will be working with Bennington faculty member Manuel Gonzales in his class, Screenwriting: The Story Studio. Her duties include grading, advising, assisting in the development of course materials, guest lecturing, and research, among other responsibilities, along with continuing her regular MFA coursework. 

“Spending the semester immersed in the classroom is a dream come true and I am so excited to work alongside Manuel this fall,” said Martinez. “I am very grateful to Bennington for this opportunity!”

Ariél M. Martinez is a queer femme writer from San Antonio, Texas. She holds a BA from Bard College where she majored in social sciences with a concentration in gender & sexuality studies. She attended the Tin House 2020 Winter Workshop and her work has been published or is forthcoming from The Rumpus, Peach Mag and The Gordon Square Review. She is working on a memoir and lives on the East Coast with her chihuahua, Frida.

The competitive fellowship is open to Bennington MFA students rising into their second, third or fourth term. Students are mentored 1:1 with the on-campus faculty member with whom they are working, and by the faculty mentor with whom they have been assigned to work on their manuscript. Martinez has studied with Bennington faculty members Jenny Boully, Dinah Lenney, and Chelsea Hodson. 

Jordan McCord

Jordan McCordJordan McCord, an MFA student in fiction was selected to be the sixth Residential Teaching Fellow at the Bennington Writing Seminars. The fellowship is the first of its kind in the country to offer full-time undergraduate teaching experience in a low-residency MFA format. Benefits include full tuition remission for one term, housing and board, and enrollment in an on-campus class.

“We conceived this fellowship to give Bennington students a unique opportunity to have full-time teaching experience and also to work closely with our literary partners,” said Mark Wunderlich, Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars. “We’re thrilled to have Jordan here as a Residential Teaching Fellow. Her skills and experience are well-suited to the shift to hybrid learning during the pandemic.” 

McCord worked with Bennington poetry faculty member Michael Dumanis in his undergraduate class, Introduction to Poetry. 

Her duties included grading, advising, assisting in the development of course materials, guest lecturing, and research, among other responsibilities, along with continuing her regular MFA coursework. In addition, she gained experience in arts administration working on The Bennington Review, the college’s award-winning literary journal.  

McCord is a writer from Ohio who spent the last several years living abroad in Italy where she worked as an English as a Second Language teacher and wrote for a variety of newspapers and magazines. She also worked as a museum assistant and lecturer at The Keats Shelley Memorial House in Rome.

"I was delighted to have the chance to spend the semester on campus at Bennington,” said McCord. “Even during a challenging time the teaching experience was invaluable thanks to both the diligence of the students and the support of the campus community.” 

The competitive fellowship is open to Bennington MFA students rising into their second, third or fourth term. Students are mentored 1:1 with the on-campus faculty member with whom they are working, and by the teacher with whom they have been assigned to work on their thesis manuscript. McCord has worked with Deirdre McNamer, Claire Vaye Watkins, and Lynne Sharon Schwartz in her time at Bennington and will complete her thesis manuscript with Doug Bauer.

Nico Amador

Nico AmadorNico Amador, a second-term MFA student in poetry was selected to be the fifth Residential Teaching Fellow at the Bennington Writing Seminars. The fellowship is the first of its kind in the country to offer full-time undergraduate teaching experience in a low-residency MFA format. Benefits include full tuition remission for one term, housing and board, and enrollment in an on-campus class.

“We conceived this fellowship to give Bennington students a unique opportunity to have full-time teaching experience and also to work closely with our literary partners,” said Mark Wunderlich, Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars. “We’re thrilled to have Nico here as a Residential Teaching Fellow. His skills and experience are well-suited to the shift to hybrid learning during the pandemic.” 

Amador is working with Bennington faculty member Manuel Gonzales in his class, Screenwriting: The Story Studio. His duties include grading, advising, assisting in the development of course materials, guest lecturing, and research, among other responsibilities. Amador will also gain experience in arts administration while assisting Michael Dumanis with duties at The Bennington Review, along with continuing his regular MFA coursework.

“During a time of so much isolation, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Bennington community this fall and excited to connect with undergraduates who are learning about themselves as writers and developing a vision for their creative work,” said Amador.

Amador previously served as the Executive Director for Training for Change, a national organization dedicated to promoting skills, analysis and training in popular education methods among people using direct action and other strategies to create social change. His prior work has also included efforts to fight mass incarceration, win a living wage, establish sanctuary policies, and end a public transportation system policy that discriminated against trans and non-binary passengers in Philadelphia. His poems have appeared in Bettering American Poetry, Vol 3., the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series, The Cortland Review, Hypertext Review, Poets Reading the News, Nimrod International Journal and elsewhere. His chapbook, Flower Wars, was selected as the winner of the Anzaldúa Poetry Prize and published by Newfound Press in 2017. He is a recent grant recipient from the Vermont Arts Council and an alumni of the Lambda Literary Foundation's Writers Retreat.

The competitive fellowship is open to Bennington MFA students rising into their second, third or fourth term. Students are mentored 1:1 with the on-campus faculty member with whom they are working, and by the faculty mentor with whom they have been assigned to work on their manuscript. Amador has studied with Bennington faculty members Craig Morgan Teicher and Jennifer Chang.

 

Puloma Ghosh

Puloma GhoshPuloma Ghosh, a rising fourth-term MFA candidate in fiction, has been selected as the fourth Residential Teaching Fellow at the Bennington Writing Seminars, working in the classroom for a full term beginning in Spring 2020. 

Ghosh will assist Bennington faculty member Phillip B. Williams in his course, The Devil. Her responsibilities will include grading, advising, assisting in the development of course materials, guest lecturing, and research. Ghosh will also gain experience in arts administration while assisting Bennington faculty member Michael Dumanis with duties at The Bennington Review, along with continuing her regular MFA coursework.

“We conceived this Fellowship to give Bennington Writing Seminars students a unique opportunity to have full-time teaching experience and also to work closely with our literary partners,” said Mark Wunderlich, Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars. “We’re thrilled to have Puloma here as the fourth Residential Teaching Fellow and excited to see the collaboration she’ll bring to The Bennington Review, given her experience in arts administration.” 

This competitive fellowship is open to Bennington MFA students rising into their second, third, or fourth term. Students are mentored one-on-one with the on-campus faculty member with whom they are working as a teacher, as well as by the faculty mentor with whom they have been assigned to work on their manuscript. Ghosh studied with Bennington faculty member and novelist Stuart Nadler this past term.

Previously, Ghosh served as a Research Assistant for a classroom-based project with the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, where she helped facilitate critical thinking activities with diverse students. She worked in arts administration for nearly two years as the Assistant Director of the Abigail Ogilvy Gallery, and she wrote for and interned at Artscope Magazine. Her work has been recognized with an honorable mention by Ploughshares Emerging Writers (2018), shortlisted for the Meridian Editor’s Prize (2018), and she was a finalist for the Grubstreet Emerging Writers Fellowship (2017). In 2014, she won the Morse Hamilton Fiction Prize from Tufts University. 

“I’m so excited for this opportunity to gain teaching experience within the low-residency format and to be more involved in the rich literary life on Bennington’s campus during my final term,” said Ghosh. 

Jeanie Riess


jeanie reissJeanie Riess, a rising second-term MFA student in fiction, has been selected to be the third Residential Teaching Fellow at the Bennington Writing Seminars. The fellowship is the first of its kind in the country to offer full-time undergraduate teaching experience in a low-residency MFA format. Benefits include full tuition remission for one term, housing and board, and enrollment in an on-campus class.

Riess will work in the classroom for a full term beginning in Fall 2020. She’ll assist Bennington faculty member Manuel Gonzales in his class Screenwriting: Scene and Structure. Her duties include grading, advising, assisting in the development of course materials, guest lecturing, and research, among other responsibilities. Riess will also gain experience in arts administration and programming while assisting with Poetry@Bennington, along with continuing her regular MFA coursework. 

Riess is a writer from New Orleans who currently works as research editor at The New Yorker. Her work has appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe New Yorker, the Oxford American, Smithsonian.com and The Atlantic's City Lab. She has also written for newspapers in Mississippi and Louisiana. 

“I'm really excited to spend the fall at Bennington, surrounded by talented writers and seas of books,” said Riess. 

Matthew Groner

Matt GronerMatthew Groner, a rising third-term MFA candidate in fiction, has been selected as the second Residential Teaching Fellow at the Bennington Writing Seminars, working in the classroom for a full term beginning in Spring 2019.

The fellowship is the first of its kind in the country to offer full-time undergraduate teaching experience in a low-residency MFA format. Benefits include full tuition remission for one term, housing and board, and enrollment in an on-campus class.

As the Residential Teaching Fellow, Groner will assist Bennington faculty member and acclaimed poet, Michael Dumanis in his class, “Reading Poetry: A Basic Course.” His responsibilities will include grading, advising, assisting in the development of course materials, guest lecturing, and research. Groner will also have opportunity to gain experience in arts administration or editorial work with The Robert Frost Stone House MuseumBennington Review, or Poetry@Bennington, while continuing his regular coursework.

“I am grateful to the Bennington Writing Seminars for giving me this opportunity, and I’m ecstatic to be working with Michael, who is a fantastic poet and teacher,” said Groner. “I plan to learn everything I can from him about both poetry and pedagogy, and I’m eager be a part of the Bennington campus community for an entire semester.”

Lisa Cockrel

Lisa CockrelLisa Cockrel, a third-term MFA student in nonfiction has been selected to be our first Residential Teaching Fellow. Cockrel will work in the classroom for a full term beginning in Fall 2018. She’ll assist Bennington faculty member Manuel Gonzales in his class, Screenwriting: Scene and Structure. Her duties include grading, advising, assisting in the development of course materials, guest lecturing, and research, among other responsibilities.

“Manuel is an excellent writer and a great teacher. I’m thrilled to learn all I can from him this semester,” said Cockrel. “Plus, as much as I enjoy our MFA residencies, I think it will be great fun to experience the lively literary scene that Bennington hosts when undergraduates are on campus.”