What made you choose this major?
I’ve loved reading and writing since I was a kid. In high school, I read books like The Great Gatsby and realized that I wanted to be part of the world that makes stories like that possible—I’m captivated by the stories we tell, which expands far beyond literature and reach into everyday life and interactions.
How has what you’ve learned prepared you for your future?
So much. One particularly influential English course for me was Postcolonial Literature with Dr. Deirdre Keenan. I read amazing literature about places that were so different than I have experienced with characters going through these awe-inspiring trials and tribulations. My studies at Carroll have helped me realize that great stories have the capacity to make us aware of others’ experiences (struggles and triumphs, together) and understand and embrace those differences—but they can also, in doing that, intensify our awareness and feeling of shared humanity. My communication courses have also fueled and enhanced this understanding. To me, stories—at that level—are the foundation of my future in the workplace, relationships and career.
What opportunities have you had to work closely with a faculty member and what impact has that had on your education?
One that also overlaps into being one of the most unique experiences that I’ve had at Carroll is working closely for a semester with Dr. Laura Karpenko. I took her ENG391: Special Topics in English: Editing an Academic Journal and had the opportunity to serve as undergraduate managing editor for a special issue of the scholarly journal Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. Dr. Karpenko and I met multiple times a week to discuss the articles, the journal and the class, and with her advice I lead many of our class sessions, oversaw much of the editorial process and coordinated the writing of the student introduction. Dr. Karpenko is also my academic advisor, but I see her as a mentor figure and inspiration.
I can’t imagine having been able to do that at another school, especially as a sophomore. Sure, it’s good for my resume, but that’s nothing compared how it grew me academically, professionally and even personally.
How has Carroll enriched your growth as a person outside of the skills you’re learning in the classroom?
I double-major in English and communication—which have been complementary and fascinating together—and I’ll still graduate in four years. I stay busy outside of my academics as well. I’ve written for Carroll’s student news publication, The New Perspective, since my freshman year, and now as a junior, I’m co-editor-in-chief. The New Perspective has been around since 1874, so getting to play a big role in continuing that tradition has been rewarding, especially this past year as my co-editor and I undertook a complete rebranding of the paper. Additionally, I’m an orientation mentor to first-year students and a leader in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.
If you were recommending your major to a prospective student, what would you tell them?
I’d tell a prospective student that at Carroll, the English and writing major and minors will test the limits of your understanding of people, words and their stories through unique and engaging classes and coursework. You’ll have the opportunity to work with incredible professors who care about how you’re doing both in and outside of the classroom. The other majors here are great too—so the community is good. Beyond classes and the major, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and pursue whatever you’re passionate about, especially for a small school.
Are you happy with your choice of attending Carroll University?
Yes, I am glad I came to Carroll. I have seized educational and extracurricular opportunities since coming here that I’m not convinced I would have been able to elsewhere. Still, the people I have formed relationships with—both faculty and other students—have made my choice the most worthwhile.