Alumni

Our alumni have gone on to distinguished and diverse careers in academia and secondary education, journalism, publishing, writing and editing, law, public relations, nonprofit communications, and other professions that require rigorous critical thought, creativity, and expertise in writing and communication. 

Here, alumni, faculty, and potential employers can connect with one another, while current and prospective students can learn more about the rich and rewarding places the Master's in English at Georgetown can take them. We've grouped some of our recent alumni by profession here for your ease, but note that many of them, if not all, work across two or more of these categories, reflecting the dynamic and interdisciplinary nature of the Master's in English.

If you are an alum of the program and would like to share your professional accomplishments with us, or if you would like to connect with others in your field, please contact Jessica Marr at jm2807@georgetown.edu. Current students should also be in touch with Jessica if interested in making professional connections with alumni of the MA program.

Recent Alumni Showcase 


PHD STUDENTS

 

Mallory Findlay, MA'14

PhD Student, English | University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?

"I taught high school for a few years after earning my BA, so I felt a bit out of touch with academics. My coursework at Georgetown helped me update my knowledge of trends and methodologies in the discipline. The professors who mentored me provided detailed feedback on papers, which helped me decide on a specialization and develop my thinking. The work I did with those mentors allowed me to craft a writing sample and personal statement for applications to PhD programs, as well as get a head start on professionalization by putting together presentations and attending conferences. Without the experience I gained at Georgetown, beginning a PhD program would have been overwhelming. Instead, when I arrived at Chapel Hill, I felt confident and prepared."

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"If you decide this path is right for you, be sure to research various programs extensively. Find universities that have several faculty members who share your interests. Reasonable funding and numerous teaching opportunities are also things to consider. Be prepared for a grueling application process and a few setbacks, but keep in mind that the process is idiosyncratic; apply to a number of places, but restrict your applications to programs you’d be enthusiastic to attend. Last but certainly not least, the personal and social aspects of graduate study should be considered. Apply to programs in locations where you’d care to live for several years, and try to get a sense of how the other graduate students interact with one another before committing to a program."


Claudia Marion Allen, MA'15

PhD Student, English | University of Maryland
Connect with Claudia on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?

"Matriculating from a smaller university in southwest Michigan, Georgetown exposed me to literary works I had not had the privilege of coming in contact with prior. With its overly competent faculty and staff, I received the necessary mentorship and direction shaping me into a better a thinker, a better writer, and hopefully a better scholar. I am beyond grateful to Dr. Robert Patterson for serving as my thesis advisor, to Dr. Gay Cima for being a second reader, and to Dr. Angelyn Mitchell for being my mentor. Without these crucial individuals my dreams of pursuing my doctorate would remain a figment of my imagination."

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"Continue to seek out experienced mentorship from those already in the field as well as those leaving it in retirement. Their knowledge, counsel, and connection will do nothing better than shape you for the journey that is academia."


Steven Minas, MA'15

PhD Student, English | University of Southern California 

How did the English MA program prepare you for your doctoral work?

"I attribute my success at Georgetown to three distinct though interrelated features of the program: the distinguished faculty, access to local scholarly resources, and the program’s structure, which allows students to pursue various areas of interest with considerable focus. When I arrived at Georgetown, I knew that I wanted to work on John Milton’s poetry under the guidance of Daniel Shore and N. K. Sugimura. But what I didn’t anticipate before arriving, and what truly prepared me to pursue a PhD in English literature, were the myriad ancillary opportunities that arose while I was in the program. Such unforeseen opportunities, along with the wide selection of seminar courses and year spent researching and writing my thesis, allowed me to understand the workload and complexity of graduate work in English studies, but also helped me to learn the art of time-management, a skill that translated into careful and judicious scholarship "

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"If someone were to ask my advice about the best way to prepare for a PhD in English literature, I would tell him or her to first get an MA at Georgetown University. I would suggest this without hesitation because Georgetown’s two-year terminal MA provided me with the necessary training, guidance, and encouragement to begin my PhD work."

EDUCATORS, ACADEMIC ADMINISTRATORS, AND EDUCATION TECHNOLOGISTS

Anna Kruse, MA'09

eLearning Specialist for MOOCs | Technische Universität München 

Connect with Anna on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"During the English MA program I discovered the 'digital humanities,' which I found fascinating and energizing. That served as a bridge to learning technologies and pedagogy more generally. I can't overstate how important I've found my background in English to the work I have done since graduating. Each position has entailed communication design, project management, and partnership/relationship management, and facility with language and nuance has been key on a day-to-day basis."

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"Never stop expanding your skill base--go both wide and deep. Grow skills in all the technology you can, and most importantly learn how to learn technology. Get comfortable with ambiguity and shifting priorities. Take initiative and learn how to prioritize (urgent is not always important, so don't let urgent overtake your day). Perhaps most importantly, find the team dynamic specific to your organization and bring to it whatever value it's most lacking: harmony, motivation, creativity, support, decisiveness."


Eurae Muhn Primosch, MA'13

Part-Time English Professor | Montgomery College 

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"My coursework in the English MA program at Georgetown had a prominent impact on my ability to be successful in my current position. Courses like Approaches to Teaching Writing and Approaches to Teaching Literature provided a platform for me to join the current discourse surrounding reading and writing pedagogy at the post-secondary level. The literature and excellent teaching practices I was exposed to in my other courses, ranging from Dickens to Human Rights & World Literature to Class Fictions (just to name a few) have also shaped my current curriculum and teaching philosophy. Finally, the experiences I had while working as a Graduate Writing Associate and Writing Center Tutor deeply influenced the impetus behind my Capstone project, which served as a springboard for pursuing, attaining, and thriving in my role as an English professor at Montgomery College."

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"I encourage you to reach out to other alums who are already teaching at community colleges--some may be on hiring committees and others would be happy to provide more information about their departments. Also, don't be afraid to directly reach out to department chairs. Sometimes this is a more efficient way to begin the hiring process."


Carolyn Wakulchik, MA'13

Instructional Design Lead, Product and Training | General Assembly

Connect with Carolyn on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"The English MA program at Georgetown prepared me for my career as an instructional designer in an ed tech start up because it allowed me to take e-learning courses in CCT and create a capstone project. I had a writing and curriculum studies concentration; I needed the hands-on experience working with relevant technology in order to transfer my knowledge into job-ready skills. The ability to create a capstone project was a game-changer. The reality is, instructional designers work with digital products every day. Getting a chance to produce a website prior to going on the market enabled me to practice and get feedback on the type of work I wanted to do upon graduation. The fact that GU offered this alternative to the traditional thesis helped me graduate job-ready, with a portfolio and digital product in hand."

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"While at GU, enroll in the e-learning courses in CCT and all of the tech workshops offered by the library. After graduation, challenge yourself to keep learning and keep making your skills relevant. Join tech meet ups. Learn to code. There are free and low cost workshops popping up everywhere. It's all about closing the gap between your education background and the kind of skills needed in the data and tech-driven education technology / alternative education industry. The professors, staff, and support made all the difference! I worked at CNDLS upon graduating, and it was a great way to hone my skills, work on faculty ITEL projects, and learn from instructional designers who were already in the work force. I'm definitely grateful for all of the support along the way, and I still keep in touch with my CNDLS colleagues to this day."


Jen Nguyen, BA'09, MA'14

Director, Student Center for Academic Achievement | California State University East Bay 

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"I am currently the directory of a hybrid math and writing center at a Bay Area public university. I feel very indebted to the MA program. I now teach an approaches to tutoring and learning class that is based off of Norma Tilden's infamous Approaches to Teaching Writing class - her choice of readings and our class discussions have been the backbone of my philosophy in working with students. Additionally, I opted to do an online capstone project with Professors Jennifer Fink and Maggie Debelius, which has been absolutely instrumental to my professional life. A vast majority of university work is conducted online - running a website, tracking data of center usage, online tutoring, etc. Creating a website - despite some of the headaches - gave me the technical expertise to complete projects like re-doing my center website. Who knew an MA English program could be practical?"

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"If you're interested in heading into the writing center (and generally university administration) world, I would highly suggest you take on opportunities in grad school to 1) work in a writing center, 2) work on web development either for websites or online tutoring platforms (it's all the rage!), 3) spruce up your quantitative skills because assessment is a huge buzz word in higher education, and 4) immerse yourself in as much pedagogical reading as humanly possible (there's never enough time in the day to delve into great readings when you're working). I would also suggest surrounding yourself and staying connected with the wonderful professors in the Georgetown English department. I was so lucky to have been surrounded by them twice - as undergrad and grad student - and feel very influenced (in a good way) by Norma Tilden, Maggie Debelius, Jennifer Fink, David Ebenbach, Dana Luciano, and Dinaw Mengustu."


Alex Myers, MA'15

English Teacher | Phillips Exeter Academy  

Check out Alex's work at AlexMyersWriting.com

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"The classes at Georgetown got me to read material that I would not have read on my own--and also got me to revisit texts that I hadn't read for years. Both of these aspects were really healthy and helpful in getting me ready to teach English to high school students."

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"Be flexible and willing to stretch your areas of expertise. I teach at boarding schools, which expect you to live in a dorm and coach as well as teach. So be ready for that... and also be ready to be a generalist.  For instance, if you studied African-American literature, be open to the idea of teaching an African-American history course--be confident that your Georgetown Education prepared you for that!"

JOURNALISTS, WRITERS, AND EDITORS

Bridget Harrington Rector, MA'08

Owner of Tall Sister Writing and Editing | cofounder of Coterie Denver

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"The time I spent as a teaching assistant and as a tutor in the Writing Center helped me hone my skills as an editor. And my internship at Georgetown University Press provided great insight into the world of publishing." 

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"It's intimidating to hang your shingle as an editor or writer--there isn't a graduate program that will give you the title, so you have to assume it for yourself. So my best advice is to tell everyone you know that this is what you're doing, and then start small with any projects that come in and build from there. It does help to develop some sort of specialty or angle, though part of the beauty of freelancing is not having to overcommit to a specific topic or genre. Then do really excellent work so you continue to get word-of-mouth referrals!" 


Laura Bassett, MA'09

Politics Reporter | Huffington Post

Follow Laura on Twitter 

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"I cover women's rights issues. The MA program strengthened my writing skills and gave me a strong background in feminist and class theory that informs my politics reporting every day. I frequently have to appear on TV and on panels to discuss and debate women's rights issues, and the experience I acquired participating in classroom discussions and giving presentations in the MA program greatly contributes to my comfort speaking publicly on these topics." 

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"You have to develop a portfolio of clips to land a journalism job. If you are able to do an internship at a publication you respect, do that. Otherwise, write freelance stories with unique angles on news topics of interest to you and pitch them as widely as you can. The more you are able to get published, the better chance you have of landing a full-time reporting gig." 


Colin Dwyer, MA'13

Producer/Editor | NPR

Connect with Colin on LinkedIn 

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"It may never have trained me how to edit audio or arrange a home page, of course, but it prepared me for life in a newsroom in every other meaningful way. It taught me how to think critically about complex issues, to find angles into inquiry beyond the obvious. It taught me how to conduct myself in intensive conversations with extremely intelligent peers — to quash the impulse to feel intimidated, to learn from them by listening, and to feel confident enough to add thoughts of my own when they're worthwhile. It taught me how to defend ideas I believe in, to answer professors (nowadays, editors) whose sharp questions are intended less to cut me down than to help sculpt those ideas into something better." 

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"Don't be daunted by having a lack of experience, either in journalism or radio. I certainly had none when I started. At NPR, at least, the staff is a motley group, and I suspect it's the same situation at other organizations, as well. The people at NPR come from a vast range of interests and backgrounds; what unites them, generally, is just a knack for words (which any Georgetown MA student has already) and a persistence that occasionally verges on the foolhardy." 

PUBLISHING PROFESSIONALS

Laura Chasen, MA'10

Associate Editor | St. Martin's Press

Follow Laura on Twitter

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"The program certainly opened me up to a breadth of new writers and allowed me to hone my reading tastes, something that's integral to my current job for sure. On a practical level, it definitely prepped me for the massive amount of reading that I do as an acquisitions editor. I became a much faster, more discriminating reader in the program. Since the reading pile in my job is endless, this has been invaluable (and thankfully I love to read!)." 

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"Reach out to people in the publishing field. Ask for informational interviews, or try to get an internship. I stumbled into an internship at a literary agency while in the Georgetown program and it ended up being crucial in securing a job after graduation. But you don't need to stumble like me, go ahead and be proactive. If you love to read contemporary literature, like fast-paced, dynamic work environments, and have good people skills and a creative mind, definitely think about the publishing field. You'll be surrounded by books and writers and book-loving people. What's better than that?" 


Elizabeth Forney, MA'10

Production Editor | The Urban Institute

Connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"First, the obvious, participating in the rigor of academic research and writing field bettered my own writing and research skills. I use these skills every day as I read and think critically about the work I edit. Further, I understand the pressure the authors are under and the investment they put into their work. The experience has helped me develop positive relationships with authors." 

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"Learn what it is like to be edited. Give your work to your peers and your professors asking for feedback. Then listen carefully to how that feedback is delivered. In editing, it is important to have a balanced tone and remain flexible where appropriate. Authors are more likely to heed your remarks if they understand them and feel they can talk to you about them. Having your own work edited both puts you in the author's shoes and allows you to observe different methods for feedback. Take notes on what works and what doesn't." 

MULTIMEDIA AND COMMUNICATION PROFESSIONALS

Ryan Walter, MA'12

Video Production Manager | Georgetown's Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS)

How did the English MA program prepare you for your career?

"My primary role at CNDLS is to use video as a tool for storytelling. Putting that tool to use everyday, I can tell you that storytelling in any medium is a kind of writing. It requires the same kind of critical thinking, the same editorial interventions, and the same tenacity of vision as writing a paper or designing a syllabus. The English MA program at Georgetown trained me to do precisely this kind of work necessary for success in so many fields beyond the scope of academia.  My secondary role at CNDLS is to help faculty implement creative media design into their teaching. Close mentorship with faculty in the MA program, especially those in the writing program, helped me better understand the needs of faculty and the challenges facing higher ed in the 21st century."

What's your advice for recent alums who hope to go into your field?

"My advice to any alums coming to the job market after a long stretch of training in the humanities is to think patiently and creatively about your career options. Employers in every field are looking for people who can write, people who can think critically and, sometimes especially, people who can think unconventionally. So don't be too beholden to the lit realm: if an unexpected opportunity comes along, take it, and allow yourself to be surprised."