Wichita State graduate student returns to college after rediscovering herself

  • Twelve years following receiving her Master's, Janet Federico moved to Wichita to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing after rediscovering herself as an author, speaker and illustrator.
  • Federico has written several books, including one that parallels her own life and incorporates her personal trauma.
  • Federico's next step is to pursue her doctorate in community psychology and eventually, she would like to develop a psychological modality about healing through trauma.

Twelve years following receiving her Master’s in Business Administration, Janet Federico decided to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Wichita State after rediscovering herself as an author, speaker and illustrator later her career.

Janet also holds an associate’s degree in general studies and a bachelor’s degree in applied management and business. She will graduate with her Master’s of Fine Arts in creative writing in May 2022.

“I fell in love with writing when I started writing down the stories I was telling my daughter,” Federico said. “I started drawing pictures with the stories and creating books for her.”

Federico has written several books, including a novel that weaves in her own life and traumatic experiences. 

“I wove in a lot of back story from my own life and realized how cathartic it was for me to write about my domestic violence experiences,” Federico said. 

Federico said most people come into the MFA program wanting to be novelists and screenwriters, but her motivations were different. 

“I eventually discovered the healing power of writing and was inspired to get an MFA to become highly educated in the craft, so I could eventually help other people use writing to deal with trauma,” Federico said.

Federico has a graduate teaching assistant fellowship in the English department, and through her work in this role, she has discovered her strengths and passion for teaching.

“Teaching is so rewarding because I’ve had students reach out to tell me that something I’ve taught them stuck with them,” Federico said.

Ultimately, Federico is happy with her decision to come back to school as an adult learner and hopes more adults realize that college is for them, just as much as it is for the young adult undergraduate.

“Put your reservations aside and go do it,” Federico said.

“If you want to change directions, take some online courses and see what really inspires you at the end of the day,” Federico said. “I’m in my fourth career; you can reinvent yourself at any moment and we have so many technological advances that make it easy to do so. Embrace the change.”

Federico’s work has been featured in Elephant Journal, The Mighty, Medium, and Thrive Global. Janet is also an illustrator for Owl Medicine, which provides greeting cards for the situations not covered by Hallmark.

Federico said her next step is to get a doctorate in community psychology and eventually, she will use her two areas of expertise to develop a psychological model about healing trauma through writing. 

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