Dean Karpowicz: Professor Spotlight

Professor Dean Karpowicz has been an English professor at UW-Parkside for ten years. Starting with a part-time job, he eventually became full time around six years ago. “I knew I was going to be an English major in high school,” he said, heavily inspired by J.D Salinger’s book, Catcher In The Rye. After trying out a biology major for two semesters as an undergraduate, he made the switch to English, and by his junior year he knew that he was poised to graduate with that major.

Some of his favorite aspects about being a professor include both getting feedback from students, and learning from them as much as they learn in his classes. After all, “Teachers are students, also. We’re always learning new things.” He also enjoys being able to participate in abstract concepts and discussions, and seeing his students participate and get involved in class.

One of the biggest contributions he has brought to Parkside is Straylight, the literary journal of creative and visual arts that’s published biannually. Students initially brought up the idea for the journal to him one night. Due to his background with journals (he worked for a literary journal in graduate school), he knew that it would be possible to make one for Parkside. Currently into its fourth year of publication, it’s been steadily growing every semester, with features available now that weren’t available in the first issue. It focuses not only on fiction and poetry, but also has book reviews, interviews with authors, and digital art. The journal is run by the students here at Parkside, but the content is a mix between students and other professionals.

There is now a website with an abundance of interesting content, which consists of podcasts with authors or poets. Students can enter their work up until Apr. 15; then, the next round of entering work will begin on Aug. 15. As the Editor, Dean oversees all of the content that goes into an issue of Straylight. If interested in submitting some work to Straylight, head on over to the website, which is For fiction, one can submit only one story, however, for poetry, there can be anywhere from three to six poems that are submitted. Everything that’s needed in order to submit is written on the website. For any questions about Straylight, contact Dean at

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