Get to know EUA’s board members past and present!
2018 – 2019 Board
Giovanna Lomanto is a second year English major. She has been passionate about reading and writing since she was a kid, and her first ever book appeared in the form of 4 sheets of construction paper stapled together. Originally hailing from a small suburb on the outskirts of Sacramento, she loves the small city vibe of Berkeley, and feels incredibly humbled to be surrounded by so many wonderfully radiant and endlessly interesting people. She’s passionate about storytelling in all different forms, and she can’t wait to further explore what that will look like at Cal. When she’s not helping out with the EUA, you can find her writing poetry, working part-time at the U.C. Press, cheering with Rally Committee, getting ready for the Bay Area Book Festival, or managing health events for her co-op. Ask her about any of these at any time, and she’d be happy to answer all questions to the best of her ability! Her favorite book is actually a translation–the English version of The Little Prince. She read it as a teenager, and now is a proud owner of two Little Prince mugs and a Little Prince bookmark.
Stephanie Reyna is a third year double major in English and Anthropology from Monterey county. She enjoys reading, writing, and watching film adaptations of novels. She has been passionate about literature since she was a child always getting lost in a book. She enjoys listening to music, eating thai food, and cheesecake. She hopes to pursue a career in forensic anthropology or work for a publishing firm. One of her all time favorite books is A Separate Peace by John Knowles. When not studying, she enjoys watching The Office, Shadowhunters, and Bones as well as exploring new things to do in Berkeley and SF.
Cindy Lim is a senior English major and Creative Writing minor. This probably means you’ll find her furiously annotating a novel, writing her essay, or drinking iced coffee at practically any time of the day. Born and raised in Orange County, California, Cindy loves writing and finding inspiration both within literature and outside of her tiny apartment. Since freshman year, the EUA has been a wonderful community for her, and she enjoys the EUA and English department for all of the interesting people she can meet and stories she can hear. She hopes to have a career in publishing one day, or write the next New York Times bestseller (whatever comes first, really). In her free time, she loves writing poetry, visiting art museums, singing at karaokes, playing Tetris, taking way too many Buzzfeed quizzes, and, inevitably, napping. Her favorite books are Rudy Francisco’s Helium, Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, and Harry Potter.
Madeline Fahselt is a third year English and Economics double major. Raised in Salinas, California – a city rich with the literary history of John Steinbeck and the socio-political history of agricultural labor movements, she is most interested in literature and systems of oppression. One of her favorite classes within the English department here at UC Berkeley has been Contemporary Poetry with Professor Falci. She is excited to be working with the English Undergraduate Association and hopes to grow the undergraduate community as well as to diversify the curriculum of the English department. She hopes to become a community organizer after she graduates and plans to go to law school sometime in the future. When not writing essays or scrambling to finish a problem set, you can find her hiking or running in Berkeley. Her favorite book that she has read so far is Swing Time by Zadie Smith!
Kaitlin Weinstein is a second year English and Theater & Performance Studies double major. When she was in elementary school, she had a diary where she wrote about her immense hatred of writing. Fast forward a few years, and she had taken several creative writing workshops, written a couple of novellas during NaNoWriMo, and actually started enjoying writing essays a little bit too. Fast forward once again, and she is hoping to pursue a career that involves writing and sharing her passion for the craft with others. Kaitlin loves stories — listening to them, telling them, reading them, writing them. Perhaps that’s why she also has a passion for theater and the way it incorporates visual elements into the telling of a story. Outside of EUA, Kaitlin can be found working on the production teams of BareStage and The Golden’s shows and designing layouts for Cal Literature & Arts Magazine and the International Relations Review of Berkeley. One of her favorite books is The Princess Bride, in part because of the fake introductions that continue adding to the narrative of fake William Goldman’s life in each new edition of the novel.
Nora Ornstein is a senior English major. Last year, Nora transferred to Berkeley from a community college not far from her hometown, which she describes as, “aggressively normal.” Nora enjoys Berkeley’s quirky vibe, old horror movies, and dogs. Nora is afraid of clowns, praying mantises, and Oski. Nora loves reading and writing; which is good, because otherwise she’d have to pick a new major and it’s a little late for that. Nora would like to pursue a career in publishing but in case that doesn’t work out she’s also considering opening a Goth Bed and Breakfast or becoming a private detective. Everything in this bio is completely true. Nora doesn’t really have a favorite book, but she really enjoys Great Expectations because it has a little bit of everything.
EUA Board Alumni
President (2017 – 2018)
Barbara Montano does not quite believe that she is a senior English and Legal Studies double major. Ever since taking 45A her first semester at Berkeley, she has found English a delightful and engaging challenge and has enjoyed every English class she has taken. Beyond English, Barbara takes in interest in all kinds of subjects, from science to philosophy, and decided to tack on another major in order to explore the field of Legal Studies. The EUA has been a home to Barbara throughout her four years on campus, and, as president of the club, she hopes to make EUA a home and a welcoming community for all those who join. Barbara is also part of Colleges Against Cancer and Cal ACLU, and does her best to progress beyond the basic step at Salsa at Cal events. If she ever has any free time, Barbara loves to run through the Berkeley hills, cheer on the Giants and Warriors, and read the paper.
Vice President (2017 – 2018)
Taylor Follett is a third year English major and History minor. She’s very excited for her second year as Vice President of the EUA, and can’t wait for another year of literary fun and friendship with her fellow lit geeks. Taylor hopes to pursue a PhD in English in her future, with a possible focus on gender and sexuality within 20th century literature. However, no literary focus will ever top her absolute favorite novel, Harry Potter. She spent the past summer pouring over Oscar Wilde texts in a research apprenticeship, and would be perfectly happy to never hear the words “Dorian Gray” again. Besides the EUA, Taylor also works at Yali’s Café in Stanley Hall and is this year’s managing editor for the The Folio. On the rare occasion she’s not on campus, you can find Taylor hanging out with her cat, Midnight.
Director of Communications (2017 – 2018)
Shweta Belur is a senior English, MCB and MEB triple major. Born in Austin, Texas, raised in Bangalore, India, and as a student in Berkeley, Shweta is an eclectic mix of cultures and identity. A voracious reader, she has always loved literature and enjoys reading absolutely everything, from The Origin of Species to Lolita. Shweta enjoys the EUA for its relaxed, quirky vibe and loves listening to the fascinating stories that every member has to share. In her second year on the EUA board, she is excited to meet lots of new people and explore the cultural and academic diversity that our members have to offer! When not in class, you can find her at the gym, exploring various study spots around campus or cuddled up at home with tea and a good book. She loves listening to people and helping them make it through the struggle that is college. Feel free to talk to her declaring major(s), the newest workout/diet craze, or even just drop by to tell her about your day!
Director of Finance and Administration (2017 – 2018)
Olivia Lewke is a second year English and Cognitive Science double major. As she is fond of telling people, she loves learning about “books and brains.” This last summer, she was part of an archaeological excavation of Mycenaean tombs in Greece. Olivia has always had a deep love for literature, and she dreamed of the day she could take advantage of an English department’s course offerings. She almost wishes that her undergraduate career could be eight years long rather than four, just so she could have the opportunity to take nearly all of the courses that the English department regularly offers. Olivia spends her time editing for both Cal Literature and Arts Magazine and the Berkeley Undergraduate Journal, and one can usually find her writing a paper, editing a paper, or drinking absurd quantities of tea. Of all the organizations Olivia is a member of, she maintains a special love for the EUA because she believes that it provides a unique low-stress environment for students to meet engage with both literature and one another. When Olivia isn’t in class, she’s either reading, going on runs, or simply enjoying living in Berkeley.
Community Outreach Director (2017 – 2018)
Madeleine Calvi is currently a senior working toward an English major, Gender and Women’s Studies minor, and a career in publishing. Madeleine’s interests include reading, writing, cats, road trips, and flannel. Esoteric and English-related hobbies include evangelizing about proper semi-colon use, calligraphing quotes from Max Ehrmann’s poem “Desiderata,” and laughing about how terrible Medieval translations of the Iliad are.
Public Relations Director (2017 – 2018)
Erica Dion is a senior English major here at UC Berkeley who first visited an EUA meeting last year and never looked back. She loves that this club brings Cal book lovers together to create a sense of community on campus and is extremely thankful for how the EUA has introduced her to so many wonderful new people! She is originally from Southern California but in her time here at Cal, the Bay Area has become a home away from home. She enjoys browsing through Berkeley’s many book stores and frequenting coffee shops near campus. Café Strada is a favorite of hers and she’s always down for a slice of their apple pie. One of her other favorite places on campus is the Berkeley Botanical Garden where she spends many afternoons with a novel or sketchbook in hand. She’s always happy to talk about great books, interesting places, and exciting things to do on campus. She’s looking forward to helping create an excellent year for the EUA!
Social Media Director (2017 – 2018)
Katie Elconin-Donoho is Los Angeles native going into her junior year. Although she is majoring in English and harbors a definite predilection for Modernism, she is also pursuing a minor in the Scandinavian Department, where she is delighted to focus on ancient mythology and literature relevant to the Nordic regions. Katie initially joined the EUA in the hopes of finding a community of like-minded literature enthusiasts at Cal. As this year’s Social Media Director she cannot wait to strengthen that sense of community through social media connection and outreach. When she’s not thoroughly absorbed in lecture or caught in a library drafting essays, Katie divides her time between writing poetry, meditating, talking about social justice with friends, or playing (and generally losing) games of ice hockey. She would love to talk to you about anything even tenuously related to literature, but you can also ask her about adjusting to the Bay Area and navigating the English major!
EUA Reads Director (2017 – 2018)
Summer Farah is a third year English major who can’t make up her mind about a minor because she just loves reading books so dang much. She likes to organize her brain into several categories: the part that cares about social justice, the part that cares about all types of media, and the part that cares about desserts. Those wonderfully crossover in late-night discussions of politics of representation and food colonization on the Food Network. Summer is also very into planning schedules and studying syllabus; if you ever need a buddy to figure out your life, imagining every scenario is a favorite past-time. For fun and friendship, talk to her about poetry, Pokemon, or Palestine.
Emma Schiffer is a soon-to-be-graduated senior who is very scared of the real world. She knew she wanted to be an English major ever since she was little; she spent her spare time in elementary school writing trenchant exposés of society’s wrongs for her fake newspaper, The Informer. Although her alter-ego, Liz Panama, is no longer a journalistic sensation, Emma carries on her love for the newspaper industry by working as assistant blog editor for the Daily Californian. When she’s not writing bitingly funny posts or editing the work of others, she enjoys playing guitar, re-watching Flight of the Conchords, and defending the Oxford comma. She has worked at a wide range of organizations, from UC Berkeley’s Admissions Office to San Francisco Playhouse. Although she still doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up, she loves giving sage advice, so ask her about anything from finding a job to surviving the English major to finding the best boba place in town.
Vice President (2015-2016)
Kevin Figueroa was born in Guatemala and grew up in Los Angeles. English is his second language and he fell in love with the way it empowers and influences others. Kevin is a transfer student from East Los Angeles Community College. He’s also a senior graduating this upcoming spring and a part of Learning Enterprises at Berkeley, which involves sending students to teach abroad in various countries. This past summer, he taught English in China. He is currently working as a legal assistant for Katzoff and Riggs Law Firm and doing an internship with the Berkeley’s Rent Stabilization Board. His main goal is to go to Law school and eventually practice civil law, but his life goal is to make a positive difference during his time on this world.
Communications Manager (2015-2016)
Emily Kuo is a senior English and Gender & Women’s Studies double major who loves talking about both herself and her second major (GWS) — preferably at the same time! A native of both Taipei and Los Angeles County, Emily has lived her life as staunchly hyphenated and proud. Her main area of focus within the English major is post-WWII Asian, usually Chinese, diaspora literature. Outside of English, she loves talking fantasy and sci-fi and social justice. (Protip: talking about any of these things will guarantee Emily word vomit!) She has also made it her life’s policy to visit every bookstore she comes across. Needless to say, her list of favorite things about Berkeley has bookstores near the very top. She can usually be found at said bookstores, wandering around with an armload of books, or in the English Department Lounge, catching up on much-needed sleep.
Publicity Manager (2016-2017)
Megan Breazeale is a senior graduating in Spring 2017 with absolutely no clue how she’s going to use her coveted English degree. HR? PR? Law? Teaching? She really doesn’t know, but the plan is to try them all! She transferred to Cal in 2015 after traveling all over California, but finding the Berkeley vibe to be something she couldn’t live without. This past summer, Megan worked for a publishing house in Ireland as part of a study abroad program. After all this, she claims to be an expert at revamping her whole life just to keep things interesting. Her childhood was spent in lazy afternoons writing novels and giving faux-interviews with faux-talk shows in the shower. When she’s not having an existential crisis about the void that is her future, Megan spends her time hiking, writing, going to the City, or subtly critiquing others’ grammar. Her favorite thing, however, is to play the Mom and give out advice over a glass of wine; please talk to her, so she can spew all her favorite life-advice quotes, like Zelda Fitzgerald’s, “She quietly expected great things to happen to her, and no doubt that’s one of the reasons why they did.”