STAFF BIOS

Chris Beaton is a third-year English and Creative Writing student taking on the roles of audio-visual editor and script editor. He is an aspiring Mohawk First Nations writer and storyteller.

Kristen Bounds is a fourth-year Creative Writing major, minoring in Journalism. Her work has been featured in The Navigator, where she is the Features Editor, as well as in Incline. In 2020 she received the Barry Broadfoot Award for Journalism and Creative Non-Fiction. She is a Non-fiction Editor for Portal 2021 and on the Ads team.

Joe Enns has a BSc in Ecological Restoration from BCIT and is currently in third-year Creative Writing courses at VIU. He received the Pat Bevan scholarship for poetry. His feature writing has appeared in The Link and his fiction was shortlisted in FreeFall’s 2020 Prose and Poetry Contest. He is a Non-fiction Editor for Portal 2021 and on the Ads team.

Dave Flawse has been published for non-fiction in CV Collective and in Portal 2020 for his poem “Nest.” He was a recipient of the Meadowlark Award for fiction in 2020 and is a co-managing editor for Portal 2021. He volunteers for the Fat Oyster Reading Series in Fanny Bay.

Miles Hayes (he/him) is in his fourth year, pursing a minor in Media Studies and Creative Writing. In 2019, his one-act play Public Intoxication was produced by Western Edge Theatre as part of the New Waves Short Play Festival and performed as a part of 2019 Comox Valley Pride Nite. His poem “We Southenders” appeared in the 2020 issue of Portal. He is a Book Review Editor and Script Editor for Portal 2021.

Aaron Koch is a fourth-year Creative Writing student minoring in English Literature. He writes poetry and short fiction and has had “Saturday,” “Foreign Policy,” and “Gasoline” published in Portal 2020 and 2019. He is a Poetry Editor and on the Social Media team for Portal 2021.

Kashmir Lesnick-Petrovicz is completing a BA in Visual Art with a minor in Global Studies at VIU. She enjoys working with oil paint and photography. Her work has been exhibited in student shows at VIU, including Progressions 2019, and she had her first photo published in Portal 2020. She is Portal’s Art Director.

Lauryn Mackenzie is a third-year Digital Media Studies student minoring in Creative Writing. She was the Junior Reporter for CHLY 101.7 FM, has written for the Powell River Peak, and is currently the News Editor for The Navigator. She was a Poetry Editor for Portal 2020 and this is her second year as an Audio-Visual Editor and her first time on the Social Media team for Portal 2021.

Isaac Maschek is in his fifth year of studies at VIU, studying Business and Creative Writing. He hopes to work in the publishing industry helping writers tell their stories. When he isn’t studying, he’s running Dungeons and Dragons or thumbing through a pulp fantasy novel. This year he will be a Fiction Editor and is on the Social Media team.

Danielle Minnis is a fifth-year Media Studies transfer student from the Bahamas. She is a filmmaker and videographer that has done corporate work for organizations including the Bahamas Ministry of Education, University of the Bahamas, HearLife Bahamas, and a co-venture between Master Technicians Ltd. and KitchenAid. She loves telling stories on the themes of race and religion. This year she is an Audio-Visual Editor and on the Portfolio team.

Brennan O’Toole is a third-year Creative Writing student at VIU. He writes short fiction and poetry and is developing his portfolio. This is his first year as Poetry Editor for Portal. He has received the Mary Garland Coleman Prize and the Pat Bevan Award for poetry.

Elijah Robinson is a fifth-year English and Journalism student at Vancouver Island University. In addition to Portal, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief at VIU’s newspaper The Navigator

Ashley Smith is a third-year BA student pursuing a Creative Writing major and Media Studies minor. It is her second year on the Portal team. She is currently Acquisitions Editor, as well as a Fiction and Copy Editor. Her passion lies in reading and writing YA contemporary fiction reflecting mental health and LGBTQ2S+ issues.

Kiara Strijack is a fifth-year Creative Writing and Psychology student. She was an editor for Rebel Mountain Press’ In Our Own Teen Voice 5 anthology and is Copy Editor for The Navigator. Her poems “In the Space Between Love,” “Global Summer,” and “Eviction,” and her photography have been published in Portal 2020 and 2019 and The Navigator, and she has received the Meadowlark, Pat Bevan, and Jason Mayes Memorial awards. She is co-Managing Editor of Portal 2021.

Kaleigh Studer is a third-year Creative Writing student. She is a Poetry Editor for Portal this year and is also on the Sales and Marketing team. She is also the Arts Editor at The Navigator. She loves writing free verse poetry and hopes to publish a novel one day.

Darian Wagner is in her final year of a BA majoring in Creative Writing and minoring in Psychology at VIU. Her focus is young adult fiction, but she has also taken several courses in scriptwriting. She is currently writing a young adult novel about addiction. This year she is on the Merchandise and Sales and Marketing teams.

Benjamin Weick is a fourth-year Creative Writing student at VIU. His story “Stone Wisheswas published inCamosun College’s Beside the Point, and he has been on the editing team of the magazine twiceHe has been an ardent follower of science fiction and fantasy and hopes to make a significant contribution to both genres. This year he is a Fiction Editor and on the Merchandise team for Portal.

Patrick Wilson is Wet’suwet’en from Smithers and is in his fifth year of a BA in Creative Writing. He is currently working on a screenplay, a collection of short stories, and a memoir. His non-fiction “Spotless,” and fiction “Those You Hold,” were published in the 2020 issue of Portal as was a book review and interview with Gregory Scofield. His article “Transition Ambitions” was published in Incline. This year he is a Feature Writer and on the Sales and Marketing team.

Gabriel Villasmil is a third-year Creative Writing student at VIU. He has been published in The Ants of the Elves Hotel anthology and contributed to Portal 2020 as Script Editor and Portfolio series Coordinator. This year he returns to the latter role as well as being a Book Review Editor for 2021. He is a Latino queer actor and performer known for his role in Minority Report and his drag persona Divine Intervention.