Iza Bruen-Morningstar, an MFA student in the Creative Writing and Environment program, was deeply fortunate to receive the 1st year CWE Graduate Fellowship, which bestowed upon her one of the most precious things one can have in graduate school: a bit of extra time. This gift allowed her to focus extra energy on the minds of her students, and in so doing she stumbled upon a great, previously undiscovered passion for teaching. Through teaching, she found herself obsessed with the human interaction with its environment, and particularly with the impacts of culture on the human psyche and the role of the individual as an active participant in the creation of culture. The relationship of the human with its environment—both physical and nonphysical—and how different individuals interact with, create and interpret the rhetorical space between a person and the medium s/he inhabits, became the primary focus of her research. Iza, as a transplanted naturalist from the American Southwest, also allowed herself time to focus on the natural history of Iowa, which kept her nearly sane in the darker moments of winter. Iza was honored to have nonfiction published in Animal: A Beast of a Literary Magazine, and Canary in spring of 2017.