What made you decide to pursue English as a major?
Books have always been a major part of my life, but it wasn’t until high school that I definitely knew that English literature was something I wanted to pursue long term. From a young age I voraciously read whatever I could get my hands on, and as I got older I was excited to learn that I could transfer my love of reading and writing into an education. Luckily I had some great high school English teachers who helped me realize that literature was something I could pursue in college. My grandmother used to be an English teacher, and she was also very influential in fostering my passion for the subject.
Can you describe the learning experience here at Brockport?
My learning experience at Brockport has definitely been a positive one. I have been able to explore a wide variety of topics, and I’ve also had the opportunity to focus on areas of literature that are particularly interesting to me. I think the professors here are incredibly helpful and approachable. Everyone in the English department really cares about what they’re teaching, and it makes the learning experience that much better. I wouldn’t trade this department for one anywhere else.
Tell us about your study abroad experience.
I have been lucky enough to take part in two Brockport study abroad programs, the Dublin internship program and the Oxford program. For the Dublin program I obtained a journalism internship at a local Dublin newspaper. This job allowed me to utilize the skills I’ve acquired so far in college and see how they work in a professional setting. My duties included writing original pieces, conducting interviews, editing, and making video content. It was an amazing opportunity.
The Oxford program was also a fantastic experience. My main tutorial focused on the works of the Brontes, while my secondary tutorial was on the poetry of John Keats. I am considering studying the Brontes in graduate school, so that is why I chose them as my primary tutorial. I really love their work. The Oxford program allowed me to get intensively close with their writings. I learned so much in the short time I was there. Also, since I was living in England I had the opportunity to go to Yorkshire and see the place the Brontes were from. I got to take a walk through the moors and see the inside of their parsonage. I really cannot put into words how much that experience meant to me; it was almost spiritual.
All in all, both programs were great experiences and I cannot stress enough the importance of studying abroad. Brockport has some really amazing programs, and as students we should take advantage of them while we are here.
What are your future goals?
Currently I am planning on applying for graduate school for the Fall 2016 semester. I would like to continue my studies in English literature, most likely with a focus on British Victorian lit or early American. Ultimately I would love to obtain a PhD and potentially teach someday at a university.
What are you reading right now?
As far as formal literature is concerned, as mentioned above I really love the Brontes. I enjoy Victorian literature in general, as well as early American, specifically American gothic. I am also a big poetry fan, my favorite poet being Emily Dickinson.
In terms of contemporary authors, I really love Neil Gaiman. My favorite book by him so far is The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Recently I finished reading Holy Cow by David Duchovny (Mulder from X-Files). It is a humorous satire on the nature of factory farms as well as religion. I also just finished one of my favorite books of poetry I’ve ever read, Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson. He is a contemporary poet that primarily writes with typewriters, and I think his poetry is really inspiring.