Kiana Perez Granados [she/her]


Kiana is a fourth year English and Black Studies major, and considers herself honored to be part of The Catalyst as the new EIC! She spent her summer roaming Paris and learning more about the art of poetry. She finds herself mimicking Jon Woodward’s short line style and enjoys reading Frank O’Hara. Her greatest hope for the school year is to encourage others to write to their hearts content, and to learn from literature, as it can be very wise. 

Caden Luke [he/they]

Managing Editor

Caden is a fourth-year English major specializing in Modern Literature and Critical Theory. They love fashion, the great outdoors, listening to music, and spending time with friends. Having joined The Catalyst in Winter 2023, they fell in love with this creative haven and all of the wacky wonderful work it fosters. As Managing Editor, Caden hopes to maintain an inclusive comfortable space for all incoming Catalytes – as Caleb did before him!

Jessica Lee [she/her]

Art Editor

Jessica is a fourth-year Art major with a love for good music, poetry, and any and all things fantasy related. She joined The Catalyst in fall 2022 and found it to be the perfect place to express her love for both creating art and writing, and hopes it will be the same for the incoming Catalytes this year! When she isn’t scribbling in her journals you’ll find her painting late into the night, watching k-dramas with her friends, or at rehearsal in either InterVals A Capella or VocalMotion. Jessica is delighted to continue working with everyone in The Catalyst community as part of this amazing editorial team, and so excited to see the art and literature we create together this year!

Ellise Huston [she/her]

Literature Editor

Ellise is a fourth-year English major specializing in Creative Writing who, in a shocking turn of events, loves to read and write. If she isn’t holding a book or her precious laptop, she has typically replaced them with a guitar. You can find her singing to herself every place she goes, likely pretending she is in a music video. Her love for art and turning mundane words into poetry drew her to The Catalyst, where she is ecstatic to join the editorial team. She can’t imagine a better place to be or cooler people to be around! 

Frances Isler [they/them]

Assistant Editor (winter; spring)

Frances is a 4th year English major specializing in creative writing. They first began writing in 8th grade under the guidance of an English teacher and have continued writing and editing poetry since they transferred to UCSB in Fall ’22.  A few of their favorite writers include Mary Oliver, Donna Tart, and Sally Rooney. Frances first joined The Catalyst in the Spring ’23 quarter, and they are thrilled to continue being part of an inspiring and creative community as an Assistant Editor once they return from study abroad in the Winter ’24. 

Tristan Mortimer [he/him]

Assistant Editor

Tristan is a fourth year English and Film major. He loves to play pool with his friends, watch movies, and has recently taken up a love of cooking! He joined The Catalyst in Winter 2023, and he became enamored with the culture and the freedom of expression that the magazine provides. As he finishes up his senior year, he feels that The Catalyst gives him a creative outlet that he can look forward to every week. He hopes to help all incoming Catalytes feel comfortable investing in their own creative interests as they find a new home in The Catalyst. 

Nikita Podzolka [he/him]

Assistant Editor

Nikita is a fourth year English major of Ukrainian heritage. In addition to his creative work at The Catalyst, he is currently leading the development of a tabletop RPG and editing his first novel in hopes of publication! When he isn’t slogging away behind the keyboard, you can find him climbing a mountain, surfing it up, or sparring in a cage. He looks forward to joining you on your adventures with The Catalyst and can’t wait to see what incredible things this year has to offer.

MariaCarolina Sintura Sanchez [she/her]

Graduate Teaching Assistant

MariaCarolina is a Ph.D. student in the English Department at UCSB. Born and raised in Colombia, she inhabits the United States and the university as an international student. Her research investigates the contradictory meanings, fears, and expectations that U.S. culture ascribes to international students and she writes about how the figure of international students allows academic institutions to engage in border-making and exploitative relationships with the Global South while profiting from international diversity. She is involved in feminist activism in her home country where, as a public writer and digital content creator, she first experienced the power of personal narrative and creative writing for the emergence of critical conciencia. Her research, her writing, her pedagogies, and her work as the Graduate Teaching Assistant at The Catalyst aim towards the radical possibility of teaching and learning beyond the credentializing impulses that the institution instills and moving towards relationality, creativity, and solidaridad.

Brian Donnelly [he/him]

Faculty Advisor

Prof. Brian Donnelly has been the faculty advisor for The Catalyst since 2015, which will mean 24 issues come Spring 2023! Brian was born and raised in New Zealand, where he graduated with a BA in English Literature, before traveling to Britain and completing his PhD at the University of York. He moved to UCSB in 2007 and joined the English Department. His research interests are in word and image studies, science fiction and Victorian literature. Having been a baby when black-and-white photography was just what happened, rather than a fancy filter, he thinks he knows a thing or two about art and design. While he is always pushing his Catalyst editorial teams and their students to work harder, to be better, and to achieve more, he secretly believes they are among the most brilliant and dedicated students he has ever worked with, and he considers it a huge privilege to be part of The Catalyst project.