Featured Alumni

Jason Clark, MA (2013) 

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason began his undergraduate study at Multnomah University in Portland, Oregon. Originally planning to pursue a pastorate, he eventually received his BA with a double major in Biblical Studies and New Testament Greek. But during his time at Multnomah, Jason found himself irresistibly courted by the imaginative literature to which he was exposed in his English courses, taught compellingly by Professors Domani Pothen and Douglas Schaak, both graduates of ISU’s DA program. As his Bachelor’s study neared its close, Jason sought the counsel of his professors, and became excited at the prospect of pursuing literary study: here, it seemed, his interests in the life-altering potentials of language, theology, philosophy, psychology, and art intersected in near-infinite combinations of perspective and form.

In 2011, Jason came to Pocatello with his wife, Andrea, and entered the MA in English program at Idaho State. His literary interests were sustained by a desire to get back to the roots of the human, and especially the English-speaking, imagination. Poetry was, and remains, his favorite genre, and his undergraduate training lent itself to formal analysis and close reading. In his second year, Jason fell in love with Old English language and literature in a class taught by Dr. Thomas Klein, who later became advisor to his Masters paper. In his final term, Jason completed a 68-page research project on a 53-line Old English poem known as The Wife’s Lament. During the writing process, and under the guidance of Dr. Klein, he presented a snippet version of this paper at the annual conference of the Rocky Mountain Medieval and Renaissance Association.


After graduating from ISU, Jason and Andrea returned to the Northwest, where they had their first child, Clara. In the interim, Jason studied Latin at Portland State University in preparation of doctoral education. He was accepted into the PhD in English program at Saint Louis University last year, being awarded a four-year assistantship. Jason is now finishing his first year in St. Louis, where he has been able to teach two sections of an advocacy-centered academic composition course (Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research), and where he is also working with graduates and undergraduates at University Writing Services. His coursework at SLU thus far includes Manuscript Studies and the History of the English Language. Involved in two medieval reading groups, and one in classical Latin, Jason will next year accept co-leadership of Neoxnawanga, a group which meets weekly to read Old English, Old Norse, and Middle English literature in the original languages. This summer, Jason is hoping to finish revising his work on The Wife’s Lament which began at ISU, and submit the paper for publication in a journal of medieval philology. This article will explore semantic repetitions in the poem in an effort to solve a philological crux at its close, answering the question of whether or not the rare female narrator is calling down a curse upon her lover.


After he reaches candidacy, Jason and Andrea would like to return to their beloved home in the Portland area, where they can dwell in its natural beauty and be near family, and where Jason can dissertate and navigate college teaching options. In addition to teaching university-level English, he desires to continue research in medieval English literature, and is especially interested in the collision of medieval Christianity with the Germanic heritage of the early English peoples. His long-term project goals include publishing translations of Old English poetry – for the sake of those interested in the literature but not invested in the language – and producing a user-friendly grammar and vocabulary of Old English for undergraduate students.

Zac Vineyard, BA (2005)

Zac Vineyard received his bachelor’s degree in English and Philosophy from Idaho State University in 2005. Immediately after, he attended Eastern Washington University and graduated with his MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) in 2007. While at EWU, he became the managing editor for Willow Springs, an opportunity that let him meet writers like Marvin Bell and Stuart Dybek, among others. At the same time he pursued his passion for writing, he also became a self-taught web developer. After putting his first website online in 2004, he’s gone on to develop numerous websites and web applications. He’s currently the Director of Web Development at Northwest Nazarene University, a position he’s held since 2008. His professional time is devoted to the development and maintenance of www.nnu.edu, digital marketing strategy, app development, and other similar pursuits. In 2015, he graduated with his MBA from NNU and is now pursuing advancements in his career. He’s also working on his first book. Zac lives with his wife and twin daughters in Nampa, Idaho.