Invictus Writers 2015

Aiste ManfrediAiste Manfredini was born in Klaipeda, Lithuania in 1992. When she was seven years old, she moved to the United States and grew up in the greater Chicago area.

She is a third-year student at Ball State University, where she studies magazine journalism. Outside of class, she works as a writer and photographer at Ball Bearings magazine, and chairwoman of BSU Global Brigades, a student-led global health and sustainable development organization. While volunteering in Honduras and Panama, she was able to explore and expand her knowledge in sustainability and international relations. Last summer, her experience as an editorial intern with Indiana Living Green magazine in Indianapolis has piqued her interest in environmental issues and science reporting.

When she’s not writing or organizing for the next brigade, she’s practicing photography, documenting her culinary skills on Instagram or planning her next backpacking trip to a faraway place.

One day, she hopes to attend graduate school and earn a master’s degree in Environmental and Science Journalism. Her dream job is to work for a nonprofit global development organization or environmental magazine where she can practice reporting on the sciences agriculture and the environment.

Twitter: @AisteManfredini


Jessica PettingillJessica Pettengill is a California girl at heart, but grew up all over the U.S. Much of her life was spent traveling from state to state with her military parents and two younger brothers. She spent most of her adolescence in Yuba City, California, and now finds herself in Muncie, Indiana. She is an undergraduate in Magazine Journalism, with focuses in creative writing and digital media.

Throughout her unsettled life, writing has always been a constant. From writing short stories in elementary school, to being editor in chief of the high school newspaper, all the way up to present day, she has wanted to do nothing but write. Now, she continues to travel, continues to write for herself and student media. She is currently looking at internships, researching graduate schools, and preparing to graduate in the spring of 2015.

She has many plans for her future. One day she hopes to write for a major publication, publish a book, join the Peace Corps, receive an M.F.A. in creative writing, receive a teaching degree through Teach for America, and maybe one day own her own independent publishing company. She will always be writing.

Twitter: @jmpetty10


Sara NahrwoldSara Nahrwold is a first year journalism graduate student at Ball State University. Born and raised in Ossian, Indiana, Sara hasn’t let her small town roots hold her back. She spent a summer interning at Fort Knox, Ky., an academic year abroad in England where she traveled to eight other countries and a summer internship at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. She will graduate in May 2015 (fingers crossed) and will take a journalism job almost anywhere, even if that means heading back to Europe for a few years. She hopes to settle down somewhere warmer with lots of sun, but wants to travel the world throughout her life.

Since discovering her love of writing in elementary school, Sara hasn’t stopped and has turned her passion into a college degree that will turn into a career upon graduation. She has written for her college newspaper and magazine, a professional newspaper, on websites for the Army, blogs and now for The Invictus Writers. Her passion is part of her everyday life and Sara hopes to one day publish magazine and book length stories in ebook and print formats. Look for her on The New York Times bestseller list someday.

Twitter: @saranahrwold


Dominique StewartDominique Stewart lived in Pembroke Pines, Fla., before uprooting and coming to Muncie. She’s a magazine journalism major with a minor in creative writing.

She realized her love of writing when she wrote and illustrated her first short story, “The Lost Duckling,” when she was nine. It ended up being a cheap knockoff of the more famous story, “The Ugly Duckling,” but she was already hooked.

Dominique recently got to go cover the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi for BSU at the Games, a group of journalism and telecommunications students that tell stories of the sports, people, places and culture at the games. The experience has taught her to yes to everything. Even if it scares you.

Twitter: @Dom_Stew