Former Staff

Alexandra Itzi. Former editor of El Portal (2013-2015) and assistant director of ENMU’s Writers’ Retreat (2014-2015). Earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern New Mexico University. Recently finished a Master’s Degree in English. Originally from Pennsylvania, she migrated to New Mexico in the summer of 2008. Will attend University of Massachusetts-Amherst in fall of 2015.

Stefan Kiesbye. The former faculty advisor for El Portal (2012?-2015) and Assistant Professor of English – Creative Writing at ENMU. Kiesbye is the author of the novels Next Door Lived a Girl (2004), Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone (2012), and Fluchtpunkt Los Angeles (2015). His stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and The Art of F(r)iction (2008), among others. Stefan Kiesbye will begin teaching at Sonoma State University in the fall 2015.

Gregory Rapp. The former IT manager for El Portal (2014-2015). Earned Bachelor’s Degrees in history and political science from Eastern New Mexico University. He finished a Master’s Degree in English during the spring 2015 semester. Although Greg was born in North Dakota, his family moved to southern Colorado when he was six. He spent much of his life playing video games, panning for gold, and hunting down odd rocks and minerals for his father, an amateur geologist and wireless internet evangelist.

Laura Jean Schneider. The former copy editor for El Portal (2015). Laura Jean is pursuing a low-residency MFA in Fiction Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her fiction and non-fiction have been published in numerous publications, including The Montana Quarterly and New Mexico Magazine, and online at High Country News and The Writer. She was awarded the Big Snowy Prize in Fiction in 2014.

Alexander Pappalardo. The former assistant editor of El Portal (2015-2016). Alex received a Master’s in English Literature from Eastern New Mexico University and is a member of the Air Force at Cannon AFB. Alex grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania before attending college at the Air Force Academy in Colorado. He eventually moved to Clovis, NM in the summer of 2011, where his love and appreciation for literature and writing began to grow in earnest.

Jade Smith. A former staff writer for El Portal (2016). Jade Smith is a graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and a Master’s in English Literature. She enjoys understanding and analyzing characters and human behavior. Her favorite activities include reading and writing, long meandering conversations with friends, and people-watching. (In the least creepy way possible.) She co-parents a great dane with her best friend and probably couldn’t survive without bread, laughter, and coffee.

Kayleen Burdine. The former editor for El Portal (2015-2017). Kayleen graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a M.A. in English. A native of Southeastern New Mexico, she enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games. She dabbles in many forms of writing, but starting fantasy novels and never finishing them is her specialty.


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