Student Spotlight: Joel Hulseman


Joel Hulseman is part of the second cohort of the English Accelerated MA program, and the current Betsy Colquitt scholar. He credits the entire United States as his hometown, but particularly pinpoints Michigan, Illinois, and Texas. Before he discovered his love for English, Joel was a music major with a focus in jazz piano.

While Joel still finds time for the piano, he focuses his scholarly attention these days on reading and writing, particularly creative nonfiction, poetry, and short stories. He is always prepared for inspiration to strike, and never goes anywhere without a book to read and at least one notebook. Currently, Joel’s book of choice is Bright Dead Things, by Ada Limon, who will be participating in the Live Oak series in September. Joel rarely struggles with writer’s block, but when he does he “just picks up a book of poetry and reads. Sooner or later [he] finds something weird enough to inspire [him].”

When asked about his favorite part of TCU and the English department, Joel answered without pause – “the professors, without a doubt. Each are amazing in their own unique ways.” Joel credits his professors for encouraging him to challenge himself and think creatively.

Joel’s favorite thing to do outside of English and music is to spend time with his son, Dylan. They like to play Mario games “maybe too much” and watch Marvel movies together.

Joel’s advice for other TCU students? “I would quote Neil Gaiman: ‘the world doesn’t have to be like this. It can be different.’ That is why you should read and write. It’s the reason for writing.”