About Us

Tell Your Story Walking 2022 staff
The 2022 Tell Your Story Walking staff.

Tell Your Story Walking is a collection of creative work by Syracuse University honors students and alumni, curated by current honors students.

We connect our community by providing a platform for creative nonfiction, visual art, and multimedia to give a voice to individual experiences and perspectives.

Tell Your Story Walking is published on this website and as a print magazine. Read more below about the project—and its title.

Staff 2022

MJ Gray
Managing Editor
Policy Studies & Geography & Environment, Sustainability, and Policy ‘24

Grace Ripperger
Psychology & Creative Writing ‘25

Rachel Musman
Editor & Social Media Director
Psychology ‘25

Junhui Yang
Art Editor
Nutrition Science & Psychology ‘23

Yuxuan Li
Multimedia Editor
Computer Science ‘25

Whitney Welbaum
Marketing Director & Designer
Public Relations ‘22

Maureen Ferguson
Design Director
Architecture ‘25

Arya Narang
Architecture ‘26

Hanying Wang
Communication and Rhetorical Studies ‘25

Eleni Cooper
Web Director & Web Designer
Communications Design ‘25

Simone Bellot
Web Editor
Communication Sciences and Disorders & Neuroscience ‘23

Yanqing Su
Web Editor
Applied Data Analytics & Computer Engineering ‘25

Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers

About Tell Your Story Walking

A note to those who may be wondering why this website and magazine is called Tell Your Story Walking.

Back in 2011, I introduced a creative nonfiction writing course in Syracuse’s Renée Crown University Honors Program in which students write stories about their lives—their childhoods, families, hometowns, travels, and more. 

I called the course Tell Your Story Walking, after a song by Deb Talan. (As it happens, she in turn adopted this phrase from another source—Jonathan Lethem’s detective novel Motherless Brooklyn.)

I chose this title for my class because Tell Your Story Walking, to me, captures a vital truth about writing or any creative work: the best writing is about exploring, searching for understanding…finding the story. A great story is not a summary or recap—it’s a journey of discovery for both the author and the reader. It’s not stationary; we are walking through experiences as they unfold, and reckoning with what they mean.

Over the years the Tell Your Story Walking course has inspired some great writing—vivid, thoughtful, and heartfelt, with the clear ring of personal truth. These stories sparked a conversation within the honors program about how this work deserved a wider audience, in the campus community and beyond. Which is why we created the Tell Your Story Walking magazine and website. 

In 2020, a group of undergraduate students edited and published all the content for an inaugural edition through a new honors course (titled Producing a Creative Nonfiction Anthology). Right away they expanded the project beyond its roots in creative nonfiction writing, to encompass visual art, multimedia, and more. 

In 2021 came a second edition of Tell Your Story Walking, and as I write a new group of students is completing the third edition, putting their own stamp on this publication—and continuing the good work of sharing the diverse voices and stories of this community.

—Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers

Read more about the debut 2020 collection in this Daily Orange story.