Scholar Stage - Caroline Winnenberg

Caroline WinnenbergCaroline Winnenberg

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
High School: Christian Academy of Louisville
Degree: Creative writing

Caroline Winnenberg is a sophomore at Murray State University seeking her creative writing degree. She serves as a student worker in Waterfield Library for the Office of Research and Creative Activity.

In her role, Winnenberg edits, revises and formats work for publication, reaches out to other students for a peer review process of editing, and performs a variety of clerical jobs to help organize the Scholars Week presentations and Posters at the Capitol event every year. This is her story.

Activities and Organizations

  • Sock n Buskin- a theatre department club. I was cast in their production of a show called “Student Body” that was supposed to happen in early April, though it didn’t get to take place.
  • English Student Organization- I’m also involved in this group of English majors who have helped me make friends in the department and do some writing exercises that have developed my skills.
  • Honors College- I am also proud to be a student in the Honors College. They have been the most helpful and flexible when it comes to my academic needs. They understand that no two students learn the same and are more than willing to help each student succeed in their own terms.


Who has influenced you the most in your life and why?

My biggest influence and role model is my big sister Lauren. She has always been there for me and can read me better than anyone. Her passion for the arts and perseverance through difficulties are both major encouragements to me. She lives in New York and works in theatre. If it wasn’t for her, I absolutely wouldn’t have found the courage to pursue a career in the arts. She has always been my biggest influence and I am proud to call her my best friend.

What first sparked your interest in your chosen field?

Honestly it was really no big surprise when I wanted to go into writing. Even when I could barely hold a pencil, I was scribbling little stories about inanimate objects. But I never believed I could do anything with it, so for the longest time I was going to go into a pre-med program and become a doctor. It wasn’t until I attended Murray State’s Commonwealth Honors Academy and was fostered in my passion for writing by Dr. Randall Black and the other professors at the program that I decided to turn 180 degrees and enter the English field and study creative writing.

What do you want to do after graduation?

If you’re asking the dreamer in me, I’d love to publish a collection of poetry soon after graduation, but as far as being rational (I can’t help but think this way), I want to work in a publishing house or literary journal as an editor. I love helping others with their writing as much as I love writing my own pieces.

Why did you select Murray State? 

Murray State is one of the few universities in this area of the country with an established program in my field. Other schools may have creative writing majors or programs, but when I was applying for college most of these programs were either being established my first semester I would have attended or had just been established a year or two prior to my first term. Murray’s creative writing program is years ahead of other universities and the community is truly the friendliest I have seen.

Who is one of your favorite professors and why? 

Dr. Rusty Jones is my absolute favorite professor. I was in both his Intro to Literature class and his Shakespeare class. His teaching style is extremely receptive for me and he is the friendliest professor I’ve met in my department. I’ve had the grand pleasure to work with him this summer, actually. I am directing a podcast production of “Hamlet Prince of Denmark” via Zoom with several friends from the theatre department for a theatre company we established back in March. Dr. Jones voices Old Hamlet’s ghost throughout the podcast and has been very helpful in conversation about interpretations of the text. This podcast is available on Apple podcast and Spotify for anyone to listen to by searching the name of the theatre company, Players Plagued. I hope to continue working with him both in theatre and in literature.

What is one of your favorite Murray State traditions/experiences?

My favorite tradition is “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” produced by Sock n Buskin every Halloween. I got to participate in last year’s production by chance, but I definitely hope to participate again soon.

What is something you've accomplished at Murray State that you're most proud of and why are you proud of it?

I’m extremely proud to be a student editor for ORCA. That department gives me so many opportunities to talk to student researchers from every department. The Posters At The Capitol event was such a cool experience for me as an underclassman to look at where my future research could potentially take me years down the line.

What do you think sets Murray State apart from other universities?

The community and faculty of Murray State truly consider the wellbeing and success of the students. I don’t think I could feel more at home at any other university.

For a prospective student considering which college to attend, why do you think they should consider attending Murray State?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Murray is my home away from home. My father was in the Navy for 24 years, so growing up and moving around made it difficult for me to call anywhere home. Besides my family home in Louisville, Murray is where I find home.


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