How would you describe your students’ strengths?
I find my DePaul students highly creative. Not a day goes by that one of them doesn’t surprise me with an original idea, a fascinating new character, an interesting turn of phrase, or a great insight. I always look forward to learning how they will surprise me today.
Why would you encourage an undergraduate to major in English?
In a word: flexibility. They say the average American changes careers seven times, but that kind of leap can be difficult when you’re only prepared for one type of industry. I went to journalism school as an undergraduate, for example, but the jobs I trained for there either don’t exist anymore or are disappearing rapidly. Thankfully I also decided to double-major in English. English majors are trained to think deeply and widely about the world around them, looking at how ideas change across centuries and cultures. No matter what an English major goes on to do in his or her professional life, or how many times he or she changes jobs, that deep understanding is still there.
What makes our department special? In other words, what does DePaul’s English program offer students that they won’t get somewhere else?
My friends at other universities are constantly surprised and impressed at the breadth of the interesting subjects I teach at DePaul, not just in creative writing but literature and mixed-media courses too. My colleagues and I are able to bring our own passions to our students, which leads to a truly exciting curriculum with a great variety of interesting courses. If you love reading or watching it, chances are that you’ll find someone teaching it.