Past English majors share their best moments at St. Ambrose, including memories of specific writing exercises and creative writing skills that became useful in unexpected ways.
Stacy Bloom '99
Website Manager, Marketing
"I transferred from a state school to SAU my sophomore year, and I was blown away by the individual attention that I received in the English program. The professors really got to know me and pulled out the best in me and made me believe in my writing skills. I was also the editor of the student newspaper, The Buzz, for two years and received hands-on newspaper experience and developed project management skills that really helped shape my future."
Stephanie Olson '11
Coordinator for Academic Support Services
"The writing and critical thinking experiences I learned as an English and Writing major made me prepared to think outside the box and easily compose an essay or paper, when I saw my fellow classmates significantly struggle with writing in graduate school. I wouldn't change my major for anything; all of the faculty challenged me to explore new opportunities and experience the world around me."
Mary Madormo '13
"In most of my English courses, we did not just read stories but completely absorbed them – from acting out scenes to group discussions, the classes were very engaging. This degree gives you a base of knowledge that can be applied in any industry. Working in marketing, I think it is extremely important to have a solid writing background. From all of the literary works we read to each paper I wrote, I find it so much easier now to think about who my audience is and to paint a picture with my words."
David Banash '93
Professor of Contemporary Literature, Film, and Popular Culture
Western Illinois University
"The faculty in English at Ambrose created a culture of intense study, and they inspired us to become better, more ambitious students. They worked with us in small classes and one-on-one as we read widely in both classics and contemporary literature and learned how to express what we thought in lucid and graceful prose."
Sarah Wurst '11
Food Justice Intern/Community Organizer/Chaplain
The Abundant Table Farm Project
"Highlights of my four years include editing Quercus, reading Shakespeare in Nancy Hayes's class, reciting Chaucer with a group to Sr. Joan and taking a night class on Victorian Lit. with Sr. Joan. I still think very fondly of 3rd floor Ambrose and miss the warm, supportive, and rich learning environment. Everything in my life has been enhanced by a love of storytelling, creativity, reading, critical thinking, and writing."
Emily Clifton '07, '11 MSW
Vera French, Staff Therapist in Children's Outpatient
"Pat Connelly took the time to supervise an independent study in playwriting while Barb Pitz spent hours with me and others preparing applications for Fulbright – both things that weren't part of their job title, but that they took on for me, the student. I also got so much out of the creative writing program run by Carl Herzig, both in classes and through the literary magazine Quercus; he started where we, the writers, were and challenged us to be better: being insightful and honest about how we could improve."