Posted 1:09 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021
Students showcase creative talents through virtual publication, The Catalyst
By Maddie Kozel, English student
Some people at UWL might not know much about The Catalyst, a virtual magazine open for student and faculty submissions.
To learn a little more about what The Catalyst contributes to campus culture, I spoke with William Stobb, a professor of English and the faculty advisor for the magazine.
In his words, The Catalyst is a safe space for student and faculty creative writing and artwork. It originated with the UWL Honors Program in the 1970s as a printed publication, and was more of a newsletter than a liberal arts space.
But as the magazine has grown to encompass more freedom of expression, so has the university.
“Every university wants an active and vibrant ‘arts’ presence,” Stobb says. “It’s a part of the human experience.”
Gavin DuPont, a senior majoring in marketing and minoring in design, has done photography for over five years.
Seeing one of his photos featured on the cover of The Catalyst’s spring 2021 issue was a huge payoff, he says.
DuPont had taken the photo at the beginning of the pandemic as part of his coursework. It depicts his grandparents looking back at him through a window, their hands pressed against the glass.
After sending it to one of his friends, an editor at The Catalyst, he was thrilled to see that it made the cover.
“The reason I love this photo so much is because it captured an emotion that so many people around the globe were feeling,” DuPont says. “The day I took that picture, it had been close to five or six months since I had last seen my grandparents, and it was heartbreaking to only see them through a window.
“I chose this photo because it conveyed a feeling that everyone could understand on some level. It said so much about the pandemic without any words being spoken.”
DuPont wants to continue with photography in his future, possibly as part of a marketing career. He said he has worked hard to grow and improve as a photographer, and that it’s something he sincerely enjoys.
His advice to other students with a passion for art or writing: Don’t be afraid to share your work with The Catalyst.
“If you have any art or writing piece that you’re thinking about submitting, do it,” he says. “It’s the best confidence rush in the world knowing that this it — this is what you’ve worked for.”
About The Catalyst
The Catalyst is published twice a year, during the fall and spring semesters.
To make a submission, email Catalyst@uwlax.edu.
For more information, or to view past issues of The Catalyst, visit uwlcatalyst.wordpress.com.