Department Coordinator for Glass Eye Studio, Author/Freelance Writer
Class of 2014, English: Creative Writing major
Rogland manages a small department at a local company while working on her next novel on the side, and occasionally taking on freelance copy writing projects. As a full-time department coordinator at Glass Eye Studio, she works with people who are grieving and healing after the death of a loved one, ministering to them as well as hearing their myriad of life stories. Her first novel, published while she was a student at SPU, is being re-branded and re-released through Inkitt.com.
How does your time at SPU connect to what you’re doing today?
I sponsor a child in Bhuta, India, through World Vision, inspired by the time I spent teaching in India with SPU’s SPRINT program; I am hoping to visit her in the next few years and continue to support her community. My time at SPU has also influenced my writing — the new novel I am working on deals with the often catastrophic consequences of using a religion to further one’s own goals or to discriminate against others. This is a conversation I remember having with my fellow students and professors in University Foundations and UScholars classes, about the purpose of religion and how it can be so easily twisted if you don’t keep your focus on Christ. I came to realize that following Christ can look so different from one person to another, and we can’t judge each other’s journeys, because that takes the focus away from where it should be: loving God and each other. So that’s something that has really influenced what I’m writing now.
Which SPU faculty or staff member made a difference in your education?
Dr. Luke Reinsma showed me that it’s OK to cry when you read something beautiful, to deeply empathize and feel for others, to connect with the soul of a writer through words and let it strengthen you. And Dr. Jeffrey Keuss showed me that words and music and artistic expression can connect people not just to their creators but to the Creator.
What advice would you give to current SPU students?
Don’t try to follow a schedule or compare yourself to where other people are on their journeys. Follow your own path and go to wherever your skills can help others, even if it’s not where you expected to be.