Amanda Chase '14
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Minor(s): Honors Program, French, Publishing & Editing
Clubs/Activities: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, FUSE, SU Dance Corps, SU Transformations, Modern Language Studies
Post-Graduation Plans: 1-2 years in mission work abroad followed by editorial work at a publishing company
Most Exciting Thing About Studying English
The English department at SU is full of real-world applications. The classes in the publishing & editing minor are very practical and valuable for life after graduation. In addition, there are many chances to be published, to present at conferences, and to be a teacher's assistant. They are very focused on helping you realize what you can do with an English degree. Plus, our relationships with faculty mean that we get to use this practical information in internships. I have really enjoyed getting to interact with Dr. Roth as editorial assistant for Modern Language Studies. It is an environment where I have grown visibly for three years, much of it as a result of his guidance. It is also a more professional situation, allowing me to gain valuable work experience while still under the supervision of a professor.
Connecting GO to Studying English
I spent a semester in London, England, at Regent's College. As an English major, studying in England was an obvious choice. I got to watch Shakespeare performed live several times in the locations where they were meant to be performed. I visited museums filled with artifacts from the periods I like to read about. Not to mention, London is an incredibly diverse city, which has informed its literature. Although the authors are writing in English, much of our modern canon is produced by immigrants or citizens of a multicultural background. Living abroad, I got to share in a bit of their experience.
Emily J. Gorge '14
Minor(s): Political Science, Honors Program
Clubs/Activities: University Honors Council president, editor-in-chief of English department journal Transformations, Susquehanna University Writing Center consultant, University Chorale member, History Club secretary, Pre-Law Society, Orientation Team leader, English department student advisor, staff writer for The Crusader student newspaper, tutor at Selinsgrove Intermediate Elementary School
Post-Graduation Plans: My ambition is to become a lawyer. I am applying to several law schools in the Philadelphia area. I am also interested in teaching at a law school, publishing books about law or history, and serving on the board of supervisors in my township.
Meaningful Connection with a Faculty Member
A professor that I have worked closely with in the English Department is Dr. Rachana Sachdev. I established a connection with her while a student in her Shakespeare class. That course has been my favorite class, because the structure allowed students to be fully immersed in the plays and culture of Shakespeare’s period through acting, dancing, and group projects. After taking that class, Dr. Sachdev invited me to be a teacher’s assistant for Shakespeare during Fall 2013. Starting last spring, I helped Dr. Sachdev choose texts and readings, develop a syllabus, and determine class activities for the Shakespeare course. Dr. Sachdev is also my mentor in my pursuit of the English departmental honors project. She is assisting me in crafting a thesis that focuses on Shakespeare’s critique of law and emotion in his play, The Merchant of Venice. As a result of working together on these projects, we have come to know each other in a personal and professional manner. It is great fun to collaborate with a scholar on topics that both parties enjoy.
Internships at Susquehanna
I worked in the office of Pennsylvania State Senator Andrew Dinniman during the summer of 2012. I was only supposed to intern at the office for one month but was invited to work for the Senator through the summer in a paid position. I conducted legislative research, composed and edited press releases, worked with the Senator and the staff on drafting bills to be presented on the Senate floor, and assisted constituents. The internship was beneficial because I was able to apply my skills as an English major to my interest in government and law. I was challenged to use my intellect and creativity to develop my skills in communication, reading, and writing. I learned that the skills of an English major could be used outside of areas such as authorship, teaching, and editing and publishing. This internship essentially helped me to make the decision that I really wanted to dedicate my future to studying law and politics.
Bill Petersen '14
Hometown: Northumberland, Pa.
Major(s): English, History
Clubs/Activities: Shakespeare Club, Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society, Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta Honor Society, Student Adviser
Post-Graduation Plans: I plan on attending graduate school to attain a master’s in history and hope to eventually earn a doctorate as well.
My favorite classes have always been history and English courses. My top courses from the past are American Masculinities, Shakespeare, Pennsylvania History, Muslims/Christians/Jews in Medieval Spain, and Arthurian Literature because they all encompassed my twin passions for history and literature. This semester my favorite class is Dr. Robertson’s British Literature: Jacobean to because it involves heavy doses of literary analysis coupled with historical context which I find very intriguing. It’s cool to be able to incorporate my love for history into my English major and to be able to bring those interests together. The texts in the class are also primarily satirical which I find to be a fascinating mode of literature.
Biggest Academic Challenge
To prepare for the undergraduate literature conference, I'm revising a paper I wrote on the identity construction of Sir Gawain in Thomas Malory’s Le Morte Darthur in the spring of 2013. I examined the identity construction of Gawain and how his presence in the court of King Arthur influenced the court. I have to reexamine the paper and find the crucial elements of my argument while simultaneously editing out any extraneous pieces. This will be very difficult because at the time of writing this piece, everything was relevant to the topic and was crafted with the purpose of forming a whole, cohesive argument. Thus I will have to determine which parts of Gawain's identity construction were most important to the character and to his influence on Arthur's court.
Karen Stewart '14
Hometown: Hazleton, Pa
Minor(s): Creative Writing, Spanish
Clubs/Activities: Alpha Lambda Delta (First-Year honor dociety) and Sigma Tau Delta (English honor society), Transformations Literary Journal reader, Religious Life
Post-Graduation Plans: I am going to graduate school to earn my master’s and doctorate degrees in English or a related field. One day I hope to be a professor or a professional writer of some kind. In both graduate school and my career, I want to keep learning—I just cannot get enough of it! I have also set a goal for myself that my future job must involve enriching the lives of others, especially young people.
Most exciting thing about studying English
The most exciting thing about studying English at Susquehanna is the fact that I can combine many of my interests into one major. English is very much an interdisciplinary subject, which is great for students like me who have so many different interests! Within my curriculum, I can learn the literature of a time period, as well as its historical context, and also get inside the minds and lives of the individuals I am studying. It is hard to combine all of these things with some majors, but with English, one can do it.
Research through Internships
This past summer I interned for five weeks at the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)in Washington, D.C. The NEH is a federally-funded organization that awards grants to a variety of humanities projects across the United States, from Civil War documentaries to individual scholarly projects. I worked in the Communications Office, publishing articles on the NEH website and attending panels that determined what sorts of projects would earn funding. While at the NEH, I wrote a follow-up article to a funded project titled “BackStory with the American History Guys.” BackStory is a radio/podcast program from Virginia that relates our nation’s history to current events in a lighthearted way, which makes it interesting for everyone, and not just history buffs. My article focused on two of my favorite topics—football and the Civil Rights Era—and the integration of the University of Alabama football team during the 1960s. It is awaiting publication on the NEH website. Since I was writing about topics that are important to me, I really enjoyed the research and submission process. In fact, I loved it so much, that I am currently working on expanding this project for my Capstone course and as an independent Honors Project.