La-Tonia Willis

La-Tonia Willis settled herself on Antioch University Santa Barbara’s (AUSB) campus patio, perfectly tempered by sunlight beaming down on her. She looked around to admire her new school. “AUSB has such a great campus,” exclaimed Willis. “The program itself feels like a university and the physical property of the campus is just an added treat.” Willis is at AUSB for the MFA in Writing & Contemporary Media’s seven-day on-campus residency.

Willis has a unique story and a history with Antioch University.

She received her BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in media from Antioch University Seattle, where she currently resides and is a director of film. So pleased with Antioch’s teaching philosophy and structure, she decided to pursue her MFA at Antioch as well. Williams began in the MFA in Creative Writing program in Los Angeles before campus hopping to Santa Barbara.

“I was really interested in screenwriting and the Santa Barbara campus offers that exact topic. After talked to my counselor, I headed up to Santa Barbara,” said Willis. She explained how the idea of merging genres in writing and screenplay is what drew her to the campus and now that she is here, she knows that she made the right decision.

During this residency, Willis is most looking forward to the genre workshops and the seminars, particularly the “Craft of Writing” seminar.

“What I love about Antioch is their holistic viewpoint to take care of their student’s full person,” she explained. “The unique interplay between student and instructor creates a deeper relationship and there is a balance of conversation, compared to a large class in a lecture hall.”

Willis believes that the Antioch integrates the student’s own thoughts and opinions into the curriculum, creating a thought process centered around core values like critical thinking and most importantly, social justice, which is why she decided to continue her education with Antioch.

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Antioch University

Since our founding 1852, Antioch University has remained on the forefront of social justice, inclusion, and equality – regardless of ethnicity, gender, creed, orientation, focus of study, or ability.

Antiochians actively reflect these shared values to inspire positive change in the world. Common Thread is where we document the stories that showcase our communities actions, so the change we work for can be shared widely.  

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