2021 Contributors

Amanda Babcock is 20 years old and a student at West Shore Community College. In her free time, she enjoys going for walks on the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, taking pictures, and reading books. She’s interested in pursuing a career in English and excited to try writing for a literary publication.



Debi BialikDebra Bialik graduated in 1973 from Manistee Catholic Central and earned an Early Childhood CDA. She retired from the Manistee ISD in 2003, where she had worked as a Teaching Assistant with the Four Stars At-Risk Preschool Program.  She enjoys traveling and although she has explored forty-two states, including Hawaii, she frequently returns to the Gulf Coast along Florida’s Panhandle.  Debi is married to Len Bialik and lives in the Manistee area.  She has four children and seven grandchildren.


Arthur (Art) John Demorest works as a Park Ranger, Emergency Medical Technician, and a Nurse Tech at the local hospital. With what free time he has, he enjoys spending it with either an instrument in his hand (guitar or piano) or being out in nature. Art aspires to work as a Nurse in an Emergency Room or as a Flight Medic someday.



Emily DykmanEmily Dykman is a dual-enrolled student at West Shore Community College. She is currently working towards a degree in business.




Missy GomezMelissa (Missy) Gomez is 35 years old, married, and has five children. She has decided to go back to college to earn a nursing degree. She absolutely loves to read and write stories! Her creative non-fiction piece in this issue of Dark Matter was originally written in her Composition I class.



Katelyn Gramza is 17 years old and attends Mason County Central High School. As a student in Digital Media, Katelyn loves to do Special Effects Makeup. She also loves to take pictures, anywhere, anytime, especially when she gets to set up a backdrop and set the scene.



Megan Gydesen is a Junior in High School and part of the Dual Enrollment program. She enjoys the arts, neuroscience, and plans to get her degree in biology.




Lorynn Hackert is a college sophomore studying Secondary English Education. After spending her freshman year at Northern Michigan University, Lorynn returned to West Shore Community College as a result of the coronavirus. Although her return was unexpected, Lorynn has enjoyed spending time with her family and working in the West Shore Community College Writing Center. She is also a student editor of the 2020-2021 issue of Dark Matter.  Lorynn will be resuming her studies at Northern Michigan University this fall.

Kennedi Hansen is currently a junior at Ludington High School and also dual-enrolled here at WSCC. She enjoys spending her time dancing, painting, and advocating for mental health. She is a hardworking and helpful individual who plans to become an adolescent psychiatrist after schooling.



Dylan Robert Ide is a 5th-year student in the ASM Tech Early College Program. He has always had a passion for photography and nature and loves to combine the two. He is considering starting a photography business in the future.



Darby Johnsen is a steadfast believer in the mission and value of the community college.  She has served her entire career teaching and providing leadership at community colleges in Oklahoma, Chicago, and Michigan, and is currently the Dean of Arts and Sciences at West Shore Community College. She cites a lifelong love of reading as her catalyst for curiosity and creativity and as her navigational North Star. Her favorite authors include Doris Lessing, David Mitchell, and Michael Ondaatje.


Russell LuxRussell Lux is a psychology student by choice; a writer by credit requirements. With time running out in the semester, Russell has raced against the clock to produce quality writing. Despite being a major procrastinator and doggy caretaker, he is proud of the poems he has published in this year’s issue of Dark Matter.  He openly wonders if they will secure him an A in Creative Writing.  [Senior Editor’s note: Perhaps we should let readers decide about that A.]


Ndio Mitchell is a second-year, interdisciplinary student at West Shore Community College and the student editor of the 2020-2021 issue of Dark Matter. His educational interests include physics, engineering, psychology, and neuroscience in addition to a lifelong attachment to the literary arts. After his time at West Shore, he intends to pursue degree programs that investigate physical science, technology, humankind, and the webs that they interweave.


Ashley RamirezAshley Ramirez is a fourth-year student in the ASM Tech program. In the future, she plans to transfer to a four-year university to study music technology and sound engineering. Currently, her chief interests lie in music and writing. She believes that through these artistic means and through other forms of creativity, new horizons and new worlds appear.



Emily Robinson is a 17-year-old ASM-Tech student on campus for the first time this semester and plans on pursuing a degree in forensic science after she graduates from West Shore. She is involved in many organizations through her high school and attributes her success in school and hobbies to her amazing family and friends who have supported her along the way. She wrote the piece that appears in this issue of Dark Matter (“Contact”) on a random night in 2017 just for fun.


Rachel ShoebridgeRachel Shoebridge is 25 years old and is currently attending West Shore Community College as the first step to a career in the medical field. Some of her hobbies include rock hunting, camping, and fishing. Traveling and seeing new places is her favorite passion and dream.



Eli ShoupEli William Shoup attends Mason County Eastern High School. He is currently a Junior and dual-enrolls at West Shore Community College. He enjoys writing fiction, hunting, fishing, and participating in athletics.




Jessica Smith is a dual-enrolled student at West Shore, completing her fourth semester. Jessica attends Mason County Eastern High School and will attend the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor in the fall to study engineering. “Apollo, Icarus, and I” was originally a personal project consisting of two poems but became a three-poem set that she is excited to share in this issue of Dark Matter.


Tandy Sturgeon grew up in the Catskills of New York. She holds a BA from Bard College, an MA from the U. of Colorado, and a Ph.D. from the U. of Wisconsin. An award-winning poet, Tandy is currently working on a creative non-fiction book about her father, the science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon.



Grace TarankoGrace Taranko graduated from Ludington High School and is currently a first-year college student at West Shore Community College. Throughout her school years, Grace has always enjoyed writing and plans to continue that passion by studying environmental science and journalism at Northern Michigan University in the fall. Through her writing, Grace hopes to show others that writing can truly leave a profound impact on others and help bring people together.


Stephanie WagnerStephanie Wagner is the author of multiple grants, state and federal reports, strategic plans, and elementary school science project narratives. She spends hours sitting in the window staring at the lake, composing lengthy stories and poems in her head. Occasionally, these make it to paper. In addition to her husband of 26 years and two emerging adult children, Stephanie shares her Ludington home—and her lap—with two robust felines, two over-indulged rescue pups, and one species-confused Siamese. Writing is a way for Stephanie to find meaning and order in the chaos of the human experience.

John WolffJohn Wolff has been a Professor of Humanities at West Shore Community College since 1997. He has published numerous poetry and essays in numerous small magazines and two anthologies by major presses. He is the author of two chapbooks of poetry (Complaints from the West-River Country and An American Solace), and, in 2016, his book The Driftwood Shrine: Discovering Zen in American Poetry was published by Sumeru Press. John is Dark Matter’s Grammar and Punctuation Zombie Overlord. (OK, Senior Editor.)


Jordan WolffJordan Wolff, a former West Shore student, is currently earning a degree at Moorpark College and has plans to enter a career in forestry after graduation. He is a musician and certified animal welfare professional in Thousand Oaks, California.