President's Showcase

Andy Mills

Oral Presentation, 6:15 - 6:30 PM, Ballroom C
Short Story Reading, 6:55 PM, Ballroom E
Andy Mills headshot.jpg

Nancy Casper Hillis and Mark Hillis Undergraduate Research Award

Room to Grow and Other Stories
Supervising Professor: Dr. Diane Roberts
Andy Mills is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. They are interested in memory, rock and roll, and the transformative properties of the ocean. Their work has been published in The Eyrie, the Kudzu Review, SIX Magazine, and the Exposition Review, where they were nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Additionally, their work has been included in exhibitions at LeMoyne Arts, the Greenville Museum of Art, and the Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery. They have interned for the Southeast Review and for Professor Lilian Garcia-Roig. They are pursuing a degree in Creative Writing and Studio Art at Florida State University.


The mid 20th century was a time of radical change within American culture. This period of time is defined by the Vietnam War and its many aftermaths, the rise of vibrant and explosive counter-cultures, the proliferation of images and information through mass media, struggles for liberation, shifting expectations of women, and changing norms around sexuality. None of these examples are separable; the changes are interconnected and led to a profound reconception of what it means to be a person living in America. This research project investigates the turbulent cultural developments of this period through five interconnected short pieces of fiction. When read together, the collection suggests the form of a novel. With an intimate, character-driven
approach, I focus on providing readers with a rich sense of vast changes through personal stories. In producing this project, I used a two-pronged research model, utilizing both academic and artistic modes of investigation. The former consisted of historically-informed research which constitutes the study and analysis of both secondary sources and primary sources. The latter consisted of experiments with form, craft, language, and perspective. In the culminating collection, each story delves into a moment in time in the last four decades of the 20th century through a different lens and comes away with different, sometimes combating conclusions.

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