Name: Leanna J. Gable 

Age: 29

Hometown: Summerville

High school: Trion High School

Major: English Literature and Language

Graduation date: Graduated in 2012

Why did you choose Dalton State? It was close to home, had an excellent English program, a viable newspaper, and was cost-effective.

What did you do after graduation? I’m lucky enough to be doing exactly what I wanted to do. When I told my senior seminar class that my goal was to be a technical writer, they all looked at me like I’d chosen the most boring and unrewarding path possible. I presently work for a small software company that creates materials that interface communication between agencies such as the FDA and medical device, food, and drug companies. I’ve worked for two Fortune 500 companies and even worked on contract with the Department of Defense writing user manuals for airplanes. What’s boring about that? And I happen to also make good money doing it.

Who was your favorite professor and why? Dr. Keith Perry was my absolute favorite professor. I’ve always valued teachers who force me to give my best and Dr. Perry always did. I felt like he was really looking at me and my ability every time he massacred one of my essays in red ink and made me want to impress him with the next one.

What were some of your biggest achievements or accomplishments at Dalton State? I think having one of my photographs published on the front page of the Roadrunner was pretty awesome. I also was nominated to represent the Humanities Department in student government and was asked to present a paper for our undergrad seminar.

Where was your favorite study spot? I loved the little nook beside the library in spring. The benches and flowering trees and the soft breeze were really soothing and inspiring to me.

What was your best memory as part of the Roadrunner Nation? I think what I love most about my experience at Dalton State is the entire sense of community. Many of my graduating class still keep in touch, and I feel a little jolt of pride every time I see a Dalton State parking sticker or bumper sticker as I drive down the road.

What is the last book you read? It may sound silly, but I just finished up Treasure Island last week and I’m in the middle of reading A Confederacy of Dunces and a fantastic book about Mesoamerica by a local author, Tim Knowlton, Maya Creation Myths: Words and Worlds of the Chilam Balam.

Favorite comfort food? I am so bad. I love fried potatoes pretty much any way you can serve them.

If you had a theme song, what would it be? Probably “Follow Your Arrow” by Kacey Musgraves.

What do you feel most proud of? My son, Gabriel. He’s the very best of me. He’s bright and sensitive and beautiful. If there is anyone in the world that can value the good in me, it’s because of that little boy. He is my heart on the outside of my body. That changes you. When the doctor holds up that dark-haired, violet-eyed, wide-awake baby and you realize how truly vulnerable you are because your heart is that tiny, delicate, fragile little life. If I am generous, patient, loving, accepting, strong, brave, ambitious, fiercely loyal and protective, or any of the other good things people tell me I am, it’s because I’m his mom.

If you won the lottery, what would you do? Call me selfish. I’d go on vacation, buy a Fisker, find myself a nice, comfortable house, big enough for all my favorite people, hire a chef and a personal trainer and live out my days with the best company and the best life has to offer. Of course, I’d go back to school and probably make that my job. The remains of my cash would go into an investment group with the proceeds to fund literacy, education, and scholarships for graduate and post-graduate degrees for students who want to continue their education.

What cheers you up? Running. Something about that combination of endorphins and the sense of accomplishment always makes me feel better.

What is your favorite book? All the King’s Men gave me a new understanding of southern literature. Not everything is Faulkner.

Who is your hero? I have so many heroes. My grandmother is probably my biggest hero. My grandmother grew up during the Depression. Her mother, Lena, was a midwife and a single mother because her father died as part of the 1927 Civil Rights Riots in East Ridge, Tn. My grandmother grew up and married her high school sweetheart, a World War II era naval veteran and gave him four beautiful children. She wanted to be a nurse, but her husband wouldn’t let her go to school. When he passed of heart attack, she held her life together with a job as an elementary school secretary. She’s strong and kind and generous. She’s what I want to be.

Who would play you in the movie version of your life? Probably Katee Sackhoff. She and I favor and we really do share some personality traits. One of my good friends calls me Vic because of her character in “Longmire” and another has called me Starbuck for years.

Where is your favorite place to eat? There’s this tiny little place in Woodstock called Vingenzo’s. They are Neapolitan Italian and the pasta is handmade, the pizza is brick oven cooked. Something about their egg white fettuccine with the rustica sauce makes me sad it’s so good.

What does it mean to you to be part of the Roadrunner Nation? For me, being part of the Roadrunner Nation is knowing that I always have a group of diverse, talented, intelligent, funny people in which to include myself. It means being proud of where I came from and where I went as a result. Being a Roadrunner is being part of something bigger than myself without having to sacrifice who I am.