Jillian Pawlowski

Double Major: English Literature, Recreation and Leisure; Minor: Psychology; Honors Colleg

What made you decide to pursue English as a major?

Growing up, I loved to read. So, as a freshman, I knew I wanted to take at least some English classes. After the first few semesters, it made sense to declare English as a minor to get something out of the classes I was taking. At the start of my junior year, I faced the completion of my minor and the end of my English career at Brockport. However, the incredible staff in the Department of English made it difficult to just move on. Inspired by my professors and encouraged by my Honors College advisor, Dr. Conti, I made the decision to make English literature my second major and have not looked back since.

Can you describe the learning experience here at Brockport?

At Brockport, I get the sense that almost all of the teachers are truly there for the love of teaching and the passion for guiding young adults into their “grown-up” lives. I am so very thankful for the professors and advisors that have helped me along the way. In class, the lessons have been engaging, interesting, and relevant to the world outside of college. Outside of class, all of the professors have been more than willing to help students in fleshing out their education and working with them to provide the best learning environment possible.

Tell me about a faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on you.

Though it is very difficult to choose just one person, Dr. Conti, my Honors College advisor, has had the most drastic effect on my education here at Brockport. I knew from the first week of college that I wanted to study recreation and leisure but intended to take a few English classes on the side to round out my reading and writing skills. Fortunately for me, I had Dr. Conti to help me pick and choose the English classes I should take. One thing led to another, and in my second semester I became an English minor. Then, by my first semester of junior year – and after several classes with Dr. Conti— I decided to make the leap to become an English literature major. If not for Dr. Conti’s challenging yet encouraging nature, I would have never come this far in the field and would certainly never have thought I could possibly go to graduate school and make a career out of reading, writing, and teaching.

What are your future goals?

I hope to blend my love of leisure services and the YMCA with my love for English literature. I plan on going to grad school to continue one, if not both, of my degrees and one day teaching at the collegiate level in or around the Buffalo/ Rochester region.

What are you reading right now?

I have two favorite books that I keep at my bedside at all times. Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, is one of my guides to life; every day I try to bring a little bit of the transcendentalist beliefs into my thoughts and actions. My second book and childhood favorite, Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson, is my go-to book in hard times. This book helps me to remember the important things in life, such as fragility, humility, and never getting too old and serious.

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