"My English degree is the foundation of my career. If you can write, you can do anything."
~ Jimmy Daly
"My professors taught me how to think creatively, read analytically and write persuasively. "
~ Michael A. Iannucci
"My studies provided a solid background in literature and honed my critical skills for my own writing."
~ Catherine Carter
"I made lifelong friends and I got my butt kicked intellectually. I’m eternally grateful for both."
~ Alexander Long
"The friendship and support of my mentors helped me to grow tremendously as a writer."
~ Erinn Batykefer
"I became an Assistant Editor in less than two years with my English degree."
~ Rachel A. Gearhart
"I use my English degree to advocate for my clients. The program helped me become a better writer & thinker."
~ Mary Akhimien
"I honed my writing & research on diverse issues of the human condition, focusing on ethics and civic justice."
~ Brian Byrd
"An education in the humanities helps to render the world into a language that is profound, mysterious & complex."
~ Rachel Eliza Griffiths
"My internships & editorial work at UD prepared me for a challenging but ever-rewarding career as a reporter."
~ Wallace McKelvey
"My job demands perfection when it comes to grammar, accuracy and objectivity, and it needs to happen fast."
~ Matt O'Donnell
"I found my passion for counseling students and helping them stay on track to attend college."
~ Sara Linton
"I got a great job teaching 9th grade English and film studies and will soon pursue my master's degree."
~ Kelly Emery
"Taking a variety of English courses allowed me to master and teach the modes of discourse to my own students."
~ Danielle Allen
"I secured my job prior to graduation at a UD teacher job fair. "
~ Melissa Paparozzi
What can you do with an English major? A better question might be, what can't you do? Our alumni have gone on to successful careers in a wide range of fields – education, journalism, law, the media, politics, professional writing, for instance. To see where an English degree could take you, read these stories about just a few of our thousands of alumni and their successful lives beyond UD.
Matt credits his time at the University of Delaware for helping him develop his most important skill: writing. While absorbing what he could in the classroom, he also spent much of his time reporting for The Review and hosting news programs at WVUD-FM. Plus, during his final summers at Delaware he completed two internships: one at WPVI-TV Philadelphia, PA (where he would later work) and another at WLYH-TV Lebanon, PA.
Matt took his first job in the broadcasting industry right out of school, at WICZ-TV Binghamton, New York. He was a TV news reporter on paper, but in reality he was much more: he filmed his own stories, he edited them on videotape, he wrote extra stories for the nightly news, he ran studio camera, he ran TelePrompTer (and we could go on).
Next up on Matt’s career journey was WSTM-TV in Syracuse, New York. This time, Matt added news anchor to his list of duties, and even tried out doing sports on occasion. But he always wanted to get back to the Philadelphia region, his adopted home, and work at the station he grew up watching, WPVI-TV.
His dream came true in 1996 when he was offered a job as a general assignment reporter for Action News. Matt spent eight years on the street until he was asked to co-anchor the weekday morning broadcast. That role has expanded as the program now runs from 4:30 to 7am. Matt also periodically hosts Inside Story, a news/talk program on Sunday mornings.
Since completing her English degree in the Spring of 2011, Molly has already begun pursuing her Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing at the University of Delaware. Her English degree and opportunities to present her research through the English Department have helped her appreciate and become proficient in the research process – a goal she plans to pursue in the nursing field. After graduation, she will work at Suburban Hospital in Maryland, a member of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Suburban Hospital is located across the street from the National Institute of Health, providing the perfect venue to pursue her nursing and research career.
Rachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet and photographer. She received her BA (’00) and MA (’02) in English Literature from the University of Delaware and her MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College. A Cave Canem Fellow and recipient of numerous fellowships, Griffiths’ literary and visual work has been widely published. Her third collection of poetry, Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2011), was selected for the 2012 Inaugural Poetry Award by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
Currently, she is working, as director, on her first feature documentary. Griffiths teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Brooklyn. At the University of Delaware, Griffiths felt that her skills as a reader were opened and enriched by the generosity and scholarship of her teachers and the relationships that were cultivated and the friendships that continue to teach her about literature and the significance of community. Please visit: www.rachelelizagriffiths.com.
Upon completion of his PhD (under Dr. James Dean) in 1998, Brian Gastle started work as an assistant professor at Western Carolina University. Since that time he has served as Director of the Professional Writing program, Director of the Undergraduate Literature Program, Editor of WCU's reaccreditation reports, and Associate Dean of the Graduate School. Currently he is the department head of English where he just received promotion to full professor. He has published a number of articles on medieval literature, as well as co-editing MLA’s Approaches to Teaching the Poetry of John Gower.
Brian remembers UD fondly, both for its academic/professional preparation and for its social environment. He still counts his fellow students and faculty from UD among his most cherished friends and colleagues. “UD provided a solid foundation for my career by allowing me to teach a wide variety of classes. It also allowed me to pursue scholarship important to me, but it tempered my personal desires with an eye towards the market and landing a job. I’ve got a great one now, and I owe much of that to the opportunities UD provided.”
Wallace McKelvey is a reporter currently writing for The Press of Atlantic City. The summer after graduating from the University of Delaware with a BA in English and a journalism concentration, he worked as an intern for The Philadelphia Inquirer. After graduating, he spent a year writing for Gannett weeklies and a daily newspaper before moving to The Press in 2011. He currently covers the growth area of Egg Harbor Township, as well as health, land use and veterans issues.
While at the University of Delaware, McKelvey served as editor-in-chief of the student magazine Deconstruction, interned at three different newspapers and participated in research for a faculty member's book. Those experiences -- as well as the continued guidance and support from McKelvey's professors -- have allowed him to pursue a challenging but ever-rewarding career.
Staci is currently employed by the Caesar Rodney School District in Camden, DE as a Secondary English Teacher. She teaches both 11th grade Survey of American Literature and 10th grade Writing through Literature in both traditional and TAM settings. Staci is also a club sponsor, the sophomore class advisor, and taught summer school in 2012. Her time at the University of Delaware as an English Education major helped her to develop a compassionate teaching style, master her content area, and establish connections with her classmates and professors that remain intact today, as she continues to collaborate with former English Education majors in order to share ideas and fine tune her teaching skills.
Graduating from the University of Delaware in 2006 with a degree in Secondary English Education, Melissa acquired a job as a sixth grade literacy instructor in Bernardsville, New Jersey. Melissa secured her job after meeting the superintendent and assistant superintendant of her school district at the University of Delaware teacher job fair. She has taught in Bernardsville ever since, making this year her sixth in the classroom. In addition to teaching, Melissa has advised the school yearbook, coached field hockey, coached a running/self-esteem program called “Girls on the Run,” and presently runs the school Writing Lab. Melissa has continued her education since graduating from the University of Delaware, earning a master’s degree in reading and a Reading Specialist certification from Montclair State University. Currently, Melissa is finishing up her fourth semester at Drew University, pursuing a doctoral degree in the humanities with a concentration in writing.
Deborah Brenner, a former technology marketer and owner of a public relations firm, is the author of the acclaimed book Women of the Vine. Writing the book inspired her to form the first-of-its-kind collaboration among sustainable family grape growers and award-winning women winemakers. Wines under the Women of the Vine brand first went on the market in 2007 and now are sold in 23 states and online. Brenner has won numerous entrepreneurial honors, serves on UD's Entrepreneurial Studies advisory board and on U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's New York Agriculture Working Group and has partnered with Farm Aid to support America's family farmers.
"I came to the University of Delaware as a biology major but switched to English. Now, 20 years later, I have found a perfect way to combine my love of science with my creative side—the art of winemaking. I attribute my ability to combine these skills to my education and the faculty who taught me. At UD, I learned how to take all the knowledge I gained over the years and apply it to real life."
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