STAFF BIOS

Chris (Seabacola) Beaton is an aspiring Mohawk First Nations writer and storyteller and fourth-year English and Creative Writing student at VIU. This is his third year working on Portal, after having been Managing Editor for the 2022 issue, and Script Editor and Portfolio Series Manager for 2021. His poem “Like a Noose” appears in the 2022 issue. He co-authored Andy’s Tribal Canoe Journey with Jorja Johnson and Cadence Manson, published by Strong Nations this year, where he is Publishing Director. He is Portal’s Indigenous Outreach Liaison this year.

Sam Bollinger is a third-year Creative Writing student with a minor in English. She writes poetry and short fiction and has been published by Sad Girl Review. She has work forthcoming in Arc magazine and will serve as Poetry Editor and co-write the Gustafson feature for Portal 2023.

Barbara Burgardt is an aspiring Latin American writer and third-year Creative Writing student at VIU. This is her first year working on Portal as a Fiction Editor, as a Portfolio series coordinator, and as part of the Social Media team. 

Tammi Carto is a third-year Creative Writing student at VIU taking classes in fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and publishing, and is building her portfolio in these genres. This is her second year working on Portal; this time as Managing Editor after being a Fiction Editor and on the Social Media team for the 2022 issue. Her poem “Inter/section was published in Portal 2022 and she is the recipient of the Bill Juby Award.

Jack Corfield is a third-year Creative Writing and English student at VIU working on Portal 2023 as Managing Editor after having held the positions of Poetry Editor and Portfolio team member in 2022. On island time, he’s filling his portfolio with literary sci-fi, genre fantasy, and sesquipedalian poetry about space, including “After Abaddon” and “Black Hole,” which were published in the 2022 issue. He also works at The Navigator.

Kirsten Dayne is a Creative Writing major in her fifth and final year, an aspiring novelist, and a sometimes-artist. She was published in Portal 2022 for her short story “Only Human.” She is the Acquisitions Editor for Portal 2023 and as a Fiction Editor and the Book Review Editor for Portal 2022. She studied fashion design before realizing writing was her true passion.

Zeel Desai is a third-year international student pursuing a major in Creative Writing and a minor in Gender Studies at VIU. Her non-fiction work “Looking Back, Pay It Forward” was published in Portal 2022. This is her first year working on Portal as a Fiction Editor and part of the Ad team.

Susan Garcia is taking classes in Creative Writing, History, and Indigenous Studies at VIU after earning a Social Services Worker Certificate from College of the Cariboo along with a BA in English and a Liberal Arts Certificate from SFU. She has had “Homestead Murder” and “My Mysterious Great-Great Grandma” published in The Trail of 1858: British Columbia’s Gold Rush Past and the article “Upriver Captain, Downriver Family Man” in the journal British Columbia History. Her nonfiction work “Wrapped, Unwrapped, and Wrapped Again” was published in Portal 2022. This year she is a Nonfiction Editor, a Copy Editor and a Portfolio Series Coordinator.

Taylor Iverson is a third-year VIU student majoring in Creative Writing with a minor in Liberal Studies. She is interested in environmental issues, literature, and arts and culture reporting. She has published with YogiTimes and is the Book Review Editor, a Fiction Editor, and on the Social Media team for Portal 2023.

Rebecca Liu is a second-year international student from China completing her BA at VIU with a major in Creative Writing. She is particularly interested in novel writing and this is her first year working on Portal as a member of the Ad and Subscriptions teams

Nittu Prasai was born and raised in Taplejung in the Himalayas of Nepal. She is now in her third year at VIU majoring in Creative Writing. She has studied non-fiction with Susan Juby and Stephen Hume and has attended several workshops and readings around BC. “What Kind of Mother” is part of a memoir in progress and was excerpted in Portal 2022. This year she is a Non-fiction Editor and member of the Subscription Team.

Seth Scott is currently completing a BA at VIU in Politics and Journalism. In 2021 he received a scholarship to attend the Photo Evidence workshop in southern France. He has traveled to over 80 nations, and extensively in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Somalia, and the Sudan. He also completed The Mongol Rally, a charity intercontinental road trip from the United Kingdom to Mongolia. He is the Art Director and an AV Manager for Portal 2023.

Joyce Smith is a fourth-year BA student at VIU majoring in English with a minor in Creative Writing, who writes journalistic articles, short fiction, scripts, and poetry.  She has a deep interest in stories that make a difference. She is the Script Editor and a member of the Ad team for Portal 2023.

Soren Van Helm is a fourth-year Creative Writing and French student at VIU. For the 2022 issue he was a Script Editor and a member of the Portfolio and Ad Sales teams. His review of George Walker’s Kill the Poor appeared in that issue. For the 2023 issue he is on the Subscriptions Team and is an AV Editor. He interned at Riffable Music in 2022.

Tianna Vertigan is a fourth-year VIU student majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Studies in Women and Gender. She is the Web Designer for Portal 2023, a Poetry Editor, and co-author of this year’s Gustafson Feature. She is also Copy Editor at The Navigator. During her time at VIU, she has been a recipient of both the Barry Broadfoot and Meadowlarks Awards.

Jayne Wright is a third-year Creative Writing student at VIU after focusing on journalism at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She was the recipient of the Meadowlarks Award for Fiction in 2022 and has had several articles published in The Runner and an essay published in The Octopus Spirit Journal. She is a Non-fiction Editor for Portal 2023 and on the Social Media team.