How did majoring in English prepare you for your career?

Majoring in English prepared me for my career in so many ways. Not only did my studies provide me with a foundation of information and skills that I can now share with my students, but it also enabled me to learn how to be the best teacher possible from some of the best professors I have ever had. Of course I remember what they taught me, but HOW they taught me has had an even bigger impact on the world of education—I am constantly using their skills to educate my students. I appreciate my education more because of these quality educators.

How has majoring in English enriched your life?

Majoring in English has enriched my life in so many ways; from being a contender while watching Jeopardy with family, to being a better critical thinker in everyday situations and interactions. My professors challenged me in ways that I consider to be transferable skills simply because they cared more about their students’ success and less about looking good with their pass rate. In fact, I had a professor (Dr. Gravett) tell us once, “if literature is presented to us in words, then let’s interpret through image” (direct quote written down in my class notes from Spring 2013). She then proceeded to facilitate a class discussion over Moby Dick with 3 shapes drawn on the board. This is just one of many interactions with my professors that encouraged me to look at things from a different perspective, which has been extremely useful while navigating this crazy world we live in.

What advice or insight do you have for VSU alumni and students interested in your career field?

For future VSU English graduates, I recommend for them to not be afraid—don’t let the limitations set in front of you hold you back. Take a different perspective while considering others, and never stop learning. Mr. Gardner inspired me to be a professor because he said me, “I teach because I love learning, and I learn from you all each and every day, so don’t ever think that what you have to say isn’t valuable.” (Yes, that’s a direct quote written down from Gardner Rogers in the fall of 2010 in my class notes!) So, if you love to learn, get in the classroom and make the world a better place through education.