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Texas State University
Texas State University


Twister Marquiss, Director of the Common Experience

Twister Marquiss

Director of the Common Experience


Twister Marquiss grew up in Wyoming on a buffalo ranch first homesteaded by his great-grandfather, and on one occasion, he arrived by airplane at his rural elementary school. He attended St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, serving as the university’s Sports Information Director while still an undergraduate, and earned a B.A. in English through the Honors Program. He later earned a terminal M.F.A. in creative writing from Texas State University, where he was a Mitte Foundation Scholar. After nearly a decade at Texas State as a lecturer in English and editor of several scholarly journals and magazines, he left academia for a year — he moved back to Wyoming to work on his family’s buffalo ranch and focus on writing projects. In 2012, he returned to Texas State in a new senior lecturer role, teaching courses in English and in the Honors College. And in 2017, he became director of the Common Experience, Texas State’s annual academic theme with related events for students and the community. Today the Common Experience at Texas State is the nation’s #1 initiative of its kind, offering students more academic event opportunities than any other university. His fiction and photography have appeared in Narrative Magazine and other publications, and he has hosted a one-time segment on CNN Headline News. His honors at Texas State have included a Foundations of Excellence Award and several listings as an Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. In 2018, the Innovation Week team that he headed was awarded the Texas State Quarterly Team Award after presenting 54 events in five days; the 132 organizers made it the largest team to ever win the award.


M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Texas State University, 2002
Minor Cognate in Technical Communication
Mitte Foundation Scholar

B.A. in English, St. Mary's University, cum laude, 1997
Honors Program
President's Scholar, Dean's Scholar

Graduate Studies in English, University of New Mexico, 1997-1998

Undergraduate Studies in English, University of Wyoming, 1996
Honors Program

Key Committee Assignments

Chair, Common Experience Committee, 2017-present.
- - - . Member, 2007-2011, 2014-present.

Co-Chair, LBJ Distinguished Lecture Series Committee, 2019- present.
- - - . Member, 2017-present.

Common Reading Selection Committee, 2017-present.
- - - . Chair, 2015-2017.

University College Council, 2012-present.

Chair, Common Experience 2018-2019 theme, Innovation, 2017-2019.