Author Profiles

Welcome to The Flaneur’s Turtle Hall of Fame. Below are self-written profiles by every person who has authored five or more posts on the Turtle. Want to join the Hall of Fame? Start submitting your work!



Michael Stelzer Jocks, Father of the Flaneur’s Turtle.


I teach history at Robert Morris University, Illinois.  Though Modern European History is my specialty, I enjoy studying, pondering  and discussing all the Liberal Arts, especially with the inimitable Dr. Peter Stern.  I hope one day, someone will use the term ‘polymath’ when describing me, but that might be a bit much.  I live in Oak Park, Illinois with my wife (Jenny Jocks Stelzer) and our two girls.  This profile picture was taken long before the Turtle existed and has nothing to do with the blog.  That is just how I roll….seriously.


Tricia Lunt, see “Charming”


I teach writing and literature classes at Robert Morris University in beautiful downtown Chicago. If I’m not in the classroom, look for me at every type of cultural outing this great city offers: museums, concerts, lectures, festivals; I am there.  I love to travel, heading off to new places whenever possible. If you live in an interesting city and have a couch, I’d be happy to spend the night. I have freakishly fantastic “friend karma”: I meet lovely, remarkable, fascinating people wherever I go, and they become a part of my fabulous friend network, making my life all the more sweet. I also work as an academic librarian from time-to-time (including May 2013-July 2013 at RMU), and belong to the world’s best book club, The Lady Woolfs. I adhere to the belief, “if you think reading is boring, you’re doing it wrong.” I live in a vibrant, diverse neighborhood. As a regular at local spots, I am habitually greeted with hugs and kisses. My hope is that everyone else can live a rich, rewarding life that fills them with joy. What a wonderful world that would be!

Paul Gaszak

Paul turtle pic

I was born in the 80s. I like things. I require instant gratification. I’m emotionally fragile and need regular positive reinforcement. Overthinking is my kryptonite; laughter is my yellow sun. Zooey Deschanel is supposed to marry me; she doesn’t know this yet. I write things on whiteboards – sometimes to teach, sometimes to laugh, sometimes for photo shoots. I grew up on the Ninja Turtles and now write for the Flaneur’s Turtle. And I dated a girl who was turtley – she was the quiet type until I got her out of her shell. I enjoy margaritas which are also green and liquid-based. I have green eyes to match my turtle-themed life. I teach English at Robert Morris University in Chicago. I got paid to write this. Sort of. Life is awesome, except when it sucks. I don’t get excited easily. I was born in the 80s.

Peter Stern


I teach an array of social science and humanities courses at Robert Morris University whose home campus is in downtown Chicago.  As a strong believer in interdisciplinary education, I enjoy teaching and learning material in a variety of academic areas.   Increasingly this has led me to join in discussions with colleagues about the subjects they’re teaching, especially in areas somewhat outside my immediate area of expertise, and these discussions have become for me an important part of teaching here.  Whether, among others I could easily name, I’m getting the low down about Caesar and Brutus from our resident polymath, Michael Stelzer Jocks, or talking with Gerry Dedera about Alfred Hitchcock, and St. Augustine, or yakking about George Saunders and Chuck Klosterman with Paul Gaszak, teaching consumes a major portion of my day, as well as a big part of my week, and even a significant slice of my month.

When non teaching types hear about how much time I put into teaching, they usually react in horror telling me, in effect, “get a life.”  My response to them is twofold:  first I assure them I’m convinced I’ve already done that;  second, I try to explain that teaching is what life’s all about.  Everyone’s on this great green globe to teach and learn and/or to learn and teach.

Jenny Jocks Stelzer

Jenny summer 2012I love things. Every single day at RMU, I get to talk to cool and smart people about critical thinking and argument (“Question everything! Don’t be a sucker!”), verbal and nonverbal communication (“I LOVE cursing! Wait, did you just give me the finger?”), and literature (“Who’s the illest MC: Rakim or KRS-One?”). I love it.  I work with my friends and neighbors to build a food co-op in my ‘hood: Oak Park. It’s all about good food, neighborliness, and equity. It’s really, really, really hard to build a grocery store. I love it. I get up early and I run, spin, swim, and train a lot, which is TOTALLY reasonable, though others say I’m “obsessive,” “disturbing,” or, sometimes “completely freaking insane”. That’s their problem. I love it. I also garden, and cook, and read, and use social media to accost my friends with posts about my delicious food, my beautiful daughters, my killer taste in music, and my excellent politics. Everybody else might not, but, me: I love it.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (Faculty/Staff with 1-4 Posts):

James Baltrum, Jonathan Derr, Gerry Dedera, Paula Diaz, Mick McMahon, Jennifer Muryn, David Pyle, Jane Wendorff-Craps



Blake WhitmoreBlake Whitmore

I am a graphic design and writing student at RMU’s Chicago campus. In addition to writing for The Flaneur’s Turtle, I am the Editor-in-Chief for The Eagle and I have worked as a writer and designer for Epic Magazine. I am a freelance arts and entertainment blogger as well. I have had guest posts on,, and a number of other blogs. You can keep up with my blog posts on my twitter, @bmeredithw. I am also currently taking classes at Chicago’s Second City Training Center.

My ultimate goal in life is to become a successful female television, film, and science fiction writer. In my screenwriting class at Second City I was a little upset to see the major lack of female representation among directors and screenwriters in Hollywood today (even Sex and the City was written by a man). I guess I should not be surprised, but I still plan to change that dynamic. I guess some might consider me outspoken and my best friend considers my personal hobby “stirring the pot.”

I am quickly approaching graduation and contemplating graduate school. You will have to get back to me on that; I still have yet to decide if I want to continue my education or just pack my bags for New York or LA. When not writing or watching Netflix, I enjoy longboarding and exploring the city. I currently reside in Rogers Park with my two stellar roommates and my cat, Nona.

HONORABLE MENTIONS (Students with 1-4 Posts):

Heather Alexander, Larry Larys, Brenda Santos, Cecilia Workman-Gonzalez

  1. Alice Hackett says:

    I saw your super squirrel photo and was wondering if I could have permission to use it for a wildlife brochure called “Be a Wildlife Hero”. It is aimed at teaching children what they can do to help wildlife. It would be used by a not for profit wildlife hospital called Volunteers for Wildlife (

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