The English Program

The English Department at Saint Vincent College provides an atmosphere and a setting for students to continue the 2,500 year-old conversation about text, language, creativity and imagination. With literature at the center of the conversation, students pursue focused intra-textual reading and apply wider insights that cross national, historical, critical and disciplinary boundaries.

Students in the Saint Vincent College English department think, research and write more fluently about the canon as well as popular culture. Ultimately, the person graduating with a degree in English will comprehend language both as an instrument and an art, having explored the felicitous tension between creative impulse and traditional form. 

What Can I Do With a Major in English?

Our English major alumni not only survive in the “real world,” they thrive.  Saint Vincent English majors teach in high schools throughout the United States, and many recent graduates have launched successful, fulfilling careers as lawyers, business administrators, college professors, librarians, professional writers, editors and authors. 

English Department Publications
The English department oversees three publications, each which utilize varying degrees of student leadership and participation. Saint Vincent's student-run newspaper, The Review, is a weekly news source. Generation Magazine is a yearly literary magazine written, designed and launched by students.  Eulalia Books is a literary press that publishes works of literary translation with the help of student interns and work studies.

Eulalia Books website: https://www.eulaliabooks.com/

The Review website: https://www.stvincentreview.com/

Read the 2019-2020 issue of Generation Magazine:
Epub ebook file: Generation Magazine '19-20
Pdf: Generation Magazine '19-20
English Minors

The English Department at Saint Vincent College offers three specialized minors in addition to the minor in English.  These minors are Literary Translation, Creative Writing and Children's Literature.  Further information about these minors can be found at the links below.

Literary Translation   |   Creative Writing
Resultsenglish-results
English Majors are Going Places!

Alumni have attended the following schools for graduate studies:
Columbia University
University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop
George Washington University
Vermont College of Fine Arts
Queens College
University of Denver Center for International Security and Diplomacy
Colorado State University
New York University
Duquesne University
Penn State Dickinson School of Law
Carnegie Mellon University
American University
Point Park University

SVC English Majors are working in the following positions in various industries:

  • Publishing
    • Book Publicist
    • Editor
    • Literary Translator
    • Poet
    • Author
  • Communications
    • Marketing Coordinator
    • Director of Development and Public Relations
    • Freelance Writer
    • Technical Writer
    • Proposal Writer
    • News Anchor
    • Graphic Designer
  • Law
    • Litigation Associate
    • Judicial Law Clerk
  • Education
    • Teacher
    • Counselor
    • ESL Instructor Abroad
    • Professor
SVC English Majors in the Classroom

Our majors teach in elementary, middle grade, and secondary schools, both public and private, in New York, Virginia, Maryland, Florida and the District of Columbia.  In the Pittsburgh area, Saint Vincent English majors teach in the Gateway, Norwin, Hempfield, Canon-McMillan school districts, and at Bishop Guilfoyle, Geibel Catholic, Serra Catholic, the Valley School of Ligonier and the Winchester-Thurston school.

SVC English Majors in Creative Writing Programs

Recent graduates have attended top MFA programs in creative writing with notoriously steep acceptance rates.  They have studied Poetry at Saint Mary’s College, Colorado State, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Columbia University, Literary Translation at Queens College of CUNY and University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, and Screenwriting at Chapman University. 

Our students and graduates have active writing lives, and many have attended top creative writing residency programs, including Banff, NY State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore College and the Juniper Institute at UMass.

SVC English Majors in Academia

Students from our department have earned doctorates from the University of Cincinnati, the University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, Duquesne University, Carnegie-Mellon University, West Virginia University and the University of Leuven, Belgium.  Presently, two recent graduates are pursuing doctorates at the University of Pittsburgh and one at the University of Illinois. 

Our students are professors at numerous institutions, such as the University of Ankara, University of Arkansas-Monticello, University of St. Thomas, Saint Vincent College, University of Texas and others. Some majors have earned the terminal degree of Masters in Library Science and work as librarians and archivists, and others have gone into academic administration and student affairs. 

SVC English Majors in Law, Business and Professional Writing

Every SVC English major who has applied to law school has been admitted. Our majors have studied law at Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh, Dayton University and Penn State Law School at Dickinson. 

The skills in writing and critical thinking have won our majors fulfilling administrative careers with companies and organizations such as United Way of Pittsburgh, Wheeling Jesuit University, Samuel Industries, Postcard Mania, Saint Vincent College, BNY Mellon and The Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, among many more. 

Many of our graduates have successful careers as freelance writers, copywriters and journalists, working in such firms as Mullen Advertising, St. Lynn’s Press, University of Pittsburgh Press, Public Citizen, Rosetta Books, The Santa Barbara News-Press, The Blaze, the Washington County Community Organization and the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance. 

Curriculumenglish-curriculum
Requirements for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English: 36 Credits

Required Courses
English majors must take the following 4 courses:
EL 202 - Intermediate Writing (taken after the freshman year)
EL 325 - Literary Criticism I (offered only in the fall)
EL 326 - Literary Criticism II (offered only in the spring)
Taken after the freshman year, these two Literary Criticism classes are not sequential.
EL 400 - Senior Project - Taken during the fall semester of the senior year, this course engages you in the completion of your capstone project. Capstone projects may range from twenty-five page literary analyses to collections of poetry. These projects should spring from your concentrations and may be extensions or elaborations of a paper that you completed in another English course.

Electronic Portfolio
Your English portfolio is a collection of four term papers or projects, written throughout your time at SVC, that help you touch base with your intended concentration, organize your interest, and collect work that you are most proud of within the context of useful courses. You must complete at least two researched literary analyses and two term projects. As you finish each term paper/project, complete a survey (found on Schoology English Course) after submitting each portfolio requirement. Papers completed in the Common Courses, including your senior capstone project, DO NOT satisfy the term project requirement. During your final semester, to fulfill requirements for your Exit Interview grade, you will upload a Senior Reflection paper that assesses your work as an English major throughout your college career.

English Concentration
By the end of your freshman year, you should choose one (1) of the following twenty (20) concentrations. Advisers will work with you to create term projects and a senior project that spring from your concentration. If you seek any exceptions for the courses required for the concentration, please see the department chair. 

American Studies
Choose four of the following:
EL 113 - Women's Literature
EL 133 - American Literature: Beginnings to Present
EL 137 - American Short Story
EL 138 - Multiethnic Literature of the US
EL 139 - African American Literature
EL 143 - The Beat Generation
EL 242- American Renaissance
EL 256 - Sentimental Fictions: 19th Century Women's Literature
EL 258 - American Modernism

Classicism and Romanticism:
Required classes:
EL 115 - British Literature: Neoclassicism to Modernism
EL 131 - American Literature: Exploration to Civil War
EL 210 - Classical Greek Poetry & Drama
EL 224 - The Romantic Age
EL 242 - American Renaissance

Creative Writing:
Choose four of the following:
EL 110 - Introduction to Creative Writing
EL 142 - Literary Magazine Internship
EL 203 - Poetry Workshop
EL 204 - Fiction Workshop
EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop
EL 252 - Literary Translation Workshop

Drama and Performance:
Choose four of the following:
EL 114 - British Literature: Middle Ages to Restoration
EL 126 - Rock 'n' Roll Criticism
EL 127 - Shakespeare on Film
EL 210 - Classical Greek Poetry & Drama
EL 213 - Shakespeare's Histories
EL 214 - Shakespeare's Comedies/Tragedies
EL 236 - Modern European Literature  

Interdisciplinary Studies:
Choose four of the following:
EL 111 - Environmental Literature
EL 127 - Shakespeare on Film
EL 128 - Children's Literature: Fables - 1900
EL 138 - Multiethnic Literature of the US
EL 147 - Arthurian Literature
EL 149 - J.R.R. Tolkien
EL 211 - Medieval Studies
EL 224 - The Romantic Age

Literary Publishing:
Take these three courses:
EL 110 - Introduction to Creative Writing
EL 142 - Literary Magazine Internship
EL 230 - Small Press Publishing
Take one of the following:
EL 203 - Poetry Workshop
EL 204 - Fiction Workshop
EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop
EL 252 - Literary Translation Workshop

Literary Translation:
Required courses:
EL 110 - Introduction to Creative Writing
EL 252 - Creative Writing: Literary Translation
Choose one of the following:
EL 203 - Poetry Workshop 
EL 204 - Fiction Workshop
EL 244 - Creative Writing Workshop
Choose one of the following:
EL 230 - Small Press Publishing
EL 236 - Modern European Literature
EL 250 - Contemporary World Literatures in Translation

Literature and Politics:
Choose four of the following:
EL 111 - Environmental Literature
EL 113 - Women's Literature
EL 138 - Multiethnic Literature of the US
EL 139 - African American Literature
EL 143 - The Beat Generation
EL 179 - The Literature of Protest
EL 256 - Sentimental Fictions: 19th-Century Women's Literature

Literature and Spirituality:
Choose four of the following:
EL 124 - Literature and the Bible
EL 143 - The Beat Generation
EL 148 - Modern Catholic Literature
EL 211 - Medieval Studies
EL 216 - British Renaissance Literature

Literature and the Family:
Choose four of the following:
EL 113 - Women's Literature
EL 128 - Children's Literature: Fables - 1900
EL 138 - Multiethnic Literature in the US
EL 216 - British Renaissance Literature
EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop
EL 256 - Sentimental Fictions: 19th-Century Women's Literature
EL 273 - Representations of Childhood in Young Adult Literature 

Literature of Dissent:
Choose four of the following:
EL 126 - Rock 'n' Roll Criticism
EL 139 - African American Literature
EL 143 - The Beat Generation
EL 179 - The Literature of Protest
EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Medieval and Renaissance Studies:
Choose four of the following:
EL 114 - British Literature: Middle Ages to Restoration
EL 127 - Shakespeare on Film
EL 147 - Arthurian Literature
EL 211 - Medieval Studies
EL 212 - Chaucer
EL 213 - Shakespeare's Histories
EL 214 - Shakespeare's Comedies/Tragedies
EL 216 - British Renaissance Literature  

Modernism and Postmodernism:
Choose four of the following:
EL 126 - Rock 'n' Roll Criticism
EL 138 - Multiethnic Literature of the US
EL 143 - The Beat Generation
EL 236 - Modern European Literature
EL 258 - American Modernism
One of the following may substituted:
EL 203 - Poetry Workshop
EL 204 - Fiction Workshop
EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop
EL 252 - Literary Translation Workshop  

Narrative:
Required courses:
EL 110 - Introduction to Creative Writing
EL 204 - Fiction Workshop
Choose two of the following:
EL 137 - American Short Story
EL 236 - Modern European Literature
EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop
EL 256 - Sentimental Fictions: 19th-Century Women's Literature
EL 258 - American Modernism

Poetry: 
Required courses:
EL 110 - Introduction to Creative Writing
EL 203 - Poetry Workshop
Choose two of the following:
EL 114 - British Literature: Middle Ages to Restoration
EL 115 - British Literature: Neoclassicism to Modernism
EL 143 - The Beat Generation
EL 210 - Classical Greek Poetry & Drama
EL 212 - Chaucer
EL 216 - British Renaissance Literature

Pop Culture Studies:
Choose three of the following:
EL 111 - Environmental Literature
EL 125 - History and Development of Science Fiction
EL 126 - Rock 'n' Roll Criticism
EL 127 - Shakespeare on Film
EL 149 - J.R.R. Tolkien
EL 256 - Sentimental Fictions: 19th-Century Women's Literature

Shakespeare:
Choose four of the following:
EL 114 - British Literature: Middle Ages to Restoration
EL 127 - Shakespeare on Film
EL 213 - Shakespeare's Histories
EL 214 - Shakespeare's Comedies/Tragedies
EL 216 - British Renaissance Literature

Women’s Literature:
Choose four of the following: 
EL 113 - Women's Literature
EL 138 - Multiethnic Literature of the US
EL 148 - Modern Catholic Literature
EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop
EL 250 - Contemporary World Literatures in Translation
EL 256 - Sentimental Fictions: 19th-Century Women's Literature

World Literature:
Choose four of the following:
EL 110 - Introduction to Creative Writing
EL 111 - Environmental Literature
EL 138 - Multiethnic Literature of the US
EL 210 - Classical Greek Poetry & Drama
EL 236 - Modern European Literature
EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop
EL 252 - Literary Translation Workshop

Writing:
Required courses:
EL 110 - Introduction to Creative Writing
EL 107 - News Writing
EL 108 - Technical Writing
Choose one of the following:
EL 142 - Literary Magazine Internship
EL 203 - Poetry Workshop
EL 204 - Fiction Workshop
EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop
EL 252 - Literary Translation Workshop

Secondary Education Certification
If you are pursuing Secondary Education Certification, you must take the following courses, which may serve as elective or concentration credits: 

  • EL 119 -  History of the English Language (offered only in the fall)
  • CL 129 - Young Adult Fiction or EL 273 - Representations of Children in Young Adult Literature
  • EL 127 - Shakespeare on Film (offered only in the summer), EL 213 - Shakespeare’s Histories (spring semesters only), EL 214 - Shakespeare’s Comedies and Tragedies (spring semesters only), or EL 265 - Shakespeare in London (study abroad)
  • EL 133 - American Literature: Beginnings to Present   
Electives
Choose four courses offered by the department, but keep the term project requirement in mind.
Requirements for a Minor in English

The minor in English offers a flexible program of study that allows students to build skills in writing, analytical reading and critical thinking. This minor nurtures curiosity and fosters appreciation of literature, art and culture. A minor in English communicates both technical and analytical competencies to future employers and graduate admissions counselors. Because it enhances intellect, conversational agility and marketability, a minor in English complements any major.

Students seeking a minor in English must take:
  • Either EL 325- Literary Criticism I or EL 326- Literary Criticism II
  • Five other English courses - Two of which must require researched literary analyses.

See also Minor in Creative Writing and Minor in Literary Translation.

Term Projects
Term projects are heavily weighted requirements of certain courses listed below. The nature of these projects may vary, but two of your term projects must be researched literary analyses. You must file evidence of completed Term Projects in your electronic portfolio in the English Majors Schoology site.  

The following courses require Term Projects: 

  • EL 110 - Introduction to Creative Writing
  • EL 125 - History and Development of Science Fiction 
  • EL 126 - Rock 'n' Roll Criticism 
  • EL 128 - Children's Literature: Fables to 1900 
  • EL 143 - The Beat Generation 
  • EL 147 - Arthurian Literature 
  • EL 148 - Modern Catholic Literature 
  • EL 149 - J.R.R. Tolkien 
  • EL 203 - Poetry Workshop
  • EL 204 - Fiction Workshop 
  • EL 224 - The Romantic Age 
  • EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop
  • EL 252 - Literary Translation Workshop
The following courses require Researched Literary Analyses: 
 
  • EL 203 - Poetry Workshop
  • EL 210 - Classical Greek Poetry & Drama
  • EL 211 - Medieval Studies 
  • EL 212 - Chaucer 
  • EL 213 - Shakespeare's Histories 
  • EL 214 - Shakespeare's Comedies/Tragedies 
  • EL 216 - British Renaissance Literature 
  • EL 236 - Modern European Literature
  • EL 242 - American Renaissance 
  • EL 242H - Honors American Renaissance
  • EL 244 - Creative Nonfiction Workshop
  • EL 250 - Contemporary World Literatures in Translation
  • EL 256 - Sentimental Fictions: 19th-Century Women's Literature
  • EL 256H - Honors Sentimental Fictions: 19th-Century Women's Literature
  • EL 258 - American Modernism 
  • EL 258H - Honors American Modernism
  • EL 273 - Representations of Childhood in Young Adult Literature 
Internshipsinternships-english
Internships and Careers

Ultimately, the person graduating with a degree in English will comprehend language both as a tool and an art, having explored the felicitous tension between creative impulse and traditional form. Such a comprehension enables graduates to succeed in teaching, law, professional writing, creative writing and academia.

Kathryn Ordiway: Editorial Intern

Internship: Editorial Intern, St. Lynn’s Press/Pittsburgh
Date: Summer 2015
Class of 2016

Kathryn OrdiwayThere’s never a dull day in a publishing company, especially if you’re an intern at a small press. This summer, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to intern at St. Lynn’s Press in Pittsburgh. Somehow, there seems to be this common consensus that interns spend most of their time picking up the mail and getting coffee for their boss; my experience was the complete opposite.

From day one, I was part of every part of the publishing process, from beginning to end. My big project for the summer was to pitch book ideas at the query meetings we had every week. I wrote copy for newsletters and blogs, worked on tipsheets, attended all the staff meetings and participated in phone meetings, communicated with authors and agents, and, of course, edited. I saw books at every stage of the editing process. I also spent a lot of time on the copyright office’s website registering books. 

My time with St. Lynn’s wasn’t just about professional experience. I had amazing life experiences as well. We visited a St. Lynn’s author who lives off the grid, took a field trip to the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, went to the Three Rivers Arts Festival, and took the occasional walk along the Monongahela River. 

It was an amazing summer on the South Side and I was sad to see it end. I left St. Lynn’s with a fuller appreciation for the editing process and a new understanding of what it means to edit someone else’s work. 


Zach Tackett: Editorial Intern
Internship: Sampsonia Way Magazine & City of Asylum/Pittsburgh
Date: Summer 2012
Class of 2013

Zach TackettAs an editorial intern for Sampsonia Way Magazine, I was given the opportunity to gain real life experience in journalism and civil rights activism. After a few short weeks during the summer between my junior and senior years, I conducted interviews with several prominent figures, including a Guatemalan journalist who was forced to flee her home after speaking out against an unjust vigilante law enforcement group, as well as City of Asylum/Pittsburgh's then-current writer-in-residence, Israel Centeno, about his first U.S. publication.

I learned to write in not only classic-journalistic styles, but also through more multimedia-driven styles, such as photojournalism and blurb "roundup" styles. Before leaving, I also had the opportunity to volunteer for City of Asylum/Pittsburgh's annual Cave Canem reading where such fine poets as Nikky Finney, Nikki Giovanni, Angela Jackson, and Thomas Sayers Ellis read their award-winning work. (I also aided in the video interview of Thomas Sayers Ellis.)

It was a busy and fun experience, and I walked away from my internship with a stronger understanding and appreciation of the editorial process, more experimental styles of journalism, and web-based content, and on a more personal note, with more patience for taking the time necessary to truly edit something. 


Bethany Biesinger: Professional Writing Intern
Internship: Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau
Date: Spring 2011
Class of 2014

Being an intern with the Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau was an excellent experience. That was in the spring of 2011 at their office in Ligonier. The first portion of my internship was writing summaries of the grants that had received funding from the Visitors Bureau. This was both for their records and in preparation for the program for their presentation of the grants. It involved researching the groups and choosing pertinent information for the summaries. After writing the summaries, I also proofed them. I was permitted to make my own schedule, and usually worked 10 to 15 hours a week. They then asked me to stay on once this project was finished.

My new job was to manage their client and member database from events and shows the Bureau would host or have a display at. It involved working with the database they had purchased for this purpose, organizing it, and entering new information. This internship absolutely came in handy because I have done both of these things in my current graduate student researcher job with the Learning Research and Development Center. My GSR position requires 20 hours of work a week and completely pays for grad school, healthcare, and gives me a monthly stipend. Part of my GSR position involves proofing documents and units. I have also worked on their membership database and have created programs similar to the ones at the Visitors Bureau. The internship undoubtedly helped me to get my GSR position and my GSR position has been worth thousands for me.

Eulalia Bookseulalia-books-english
Eulalia Books Literary Translation PressEulalia Books logo

 

"Interning for Eulalia Books has provided an incredible venue for learning the often overwhelming facets of publishing as a student. Working with familiar faces from Saint Vincent, I am able to learn the ropes of media, marketing and communications in a safe, educational environment. 

- Mallory Truckenmiller, '19

Haylee Ebersole demonstrates antique printing equipment.

"Interning for Eulalia Books as an undergraduate student has been a dream come true.  For those who want to become involved in small press publishing, Eulalia is conveniently on campus and offers so many op

portunities to use editing, writing, marketing and design skills alongside talented and passionate  professionals in the field." 

- Bridget Fertal, '19

Student work-studys
About Eulalia

Students who work with Eulalia Books will learn about manuscript acquisitions, editing and literary marketing by working closely with Saint Vincent’s new literary translation press, developed in coordination with the literary translation minor. Eulalia Books publishes two full length books of modern and contemporary international poetry in translation every year, in addition to letterpress chapbooks and broadsides. Students begin by taking the new Small Press Publishing course, and then may continue to intern with the press for academic credit.  


Click here to visit the Eulalia Books website.
 Literary Reading with Romina Freschi and Jeannine Marie Pitas 

Eulalia's first book was a translation of Eco Del Parque by Argentine poet, Romina Freschi, translated by Jeannine Pitas.







Photos: 
(1) Students work together on design project in the English department; (2)  Haylee Ebersole demonstrates her use of Tip Type's antique printing equipment. Ebersole prints
Eulalia Book's chapbooks and letterpress; (3)  Romina Freschi and Jeannine Marie Pitas read from Echo of the Park at Monroeville Public Library.
Visiting Writers Seriesvisiting-writers-series-english
Visiting Writers Series
Writers, Poets and Translators on Campus

Every fall, the SVC Visiting Writers Series highlights the work of foreign writers and literary translators. Readings, class visits, and Q&A sessions offer students in the program a glimpse of international literature in the making.   
Through the series, Saint Vincent has welcomed eminent writers and translators such as Ben Lerner, Toi Derricotte, Daniel Borzutzky, Valerie Mejer Caso, Kathrine Hedeen, Eduardo Chirinos, José Kozer, and many others. 

For information about upcoming events, visit the Visiting Writers Program page.
Visiting Writers Podcasts

Carmen Gimenez Smith - March 26, 2013
Eduardo Chirinos & Gary Racz  - October 22, 2012
Kevin Pilkington- March 26, 2012
Horacio Castellanos Moya  - October 20, 2011
Joy Katz - April 11, 2011
Khet Mar - October 21, 2010
Sarah O'Brien - April 23, 2010
Jose Kozer - September 24, 2009

Read More About Our Visiting Translators

Alumna Meg Matich Speaks about Literary Translation and Icelandic Poetry
A conversation with Eduardo Chirinos and Gary Racz
Students share their translations with Burmese poet

Exceptional Alumniexceptional-alumni-english
Exceptional Alumni

The following Saint Vincent College English Alumni have gone on to exciting, interesting, and diverse careers after they graduated. Whether you wish to pursue teaching, law, publishing, or writing, the English Department will prepare you for any career path that you might choose and work with you to make your dreams a reality. 

Ben Summers, Doctoral Student

Ben SummersI recently was accepted to The College of William and Mary's Computer Science doctorate program! I'll be teaching and studying the insides, outsides, and communication networks of computers for the next 3 to 5 years! 

I am lucky enough to have received some very substantial scholarships and a teaching aide position so I'm not going to have to pay much (or really anything) for school. It's a sweet deal and I can't express how excited and honored I am to be accepted to such a prestigious school. This summer I'll be attending concerts, reading as many books as I can get my hand on, and working as a full-time software engineer for Iron Bridge Integration!

On the English side of my two majors, I was recently published in Pittsburgh Craft magazine and have continued to write for Sunken Treasures Music Blog. I hope to continue writing about beer, music, and movies because, really, can I have a bigger dream job? And now that people are actually paying me, there's no reason to stop!

I absolutely believe that my English major helped me get where I am going. SVC gave me the best possible nerd to "normal person" translating skills; I know that my ability to explain complex computer science concepts in simple terms is a major advantage. Additionally, my training in English has given me some great opportunities in non-computer science areas. My time writing for The Review gave me the journalistic experience I use everyday for Sunken Treasures and my other music writings. I know that my articles, which have been spotlighted by The Flaming Lips, Gotham Publishing, and Grave Mistake Records, are chosen because of the eloquence, creativity, and technical skills stressed by the English program. My journalistic experience opened the door to my publications with Pittsburgh Craft magazine, writing as the London AIFS Student Blogger ( http://blog.aifsabroad.com/author/gruntbladegmail-com/ ) when I studied overseas (as well as my publication for the AIFS official blog ( http://blog.aifsabroad.com/2013/05/23/a-very-rock-and-roll-tour-of-london/ ). It's amazing how much I've had published in the few years I've been here and I cannot express how thankful I am for everything I learned and was given by the department. Not many students, no matter what the school, can say their copy was published as a cover story for a magazine that has a distribution in one of the major cities of the US!

I'd love to pass along Sunken Treasures Music Blog where I write as Marco Esquandolas ( http://sunkentreasuresmusic.com/ ) and mention all the achievements of the Coverlet Concert Series to bring major Pittsburgh bands to SVC for free. It's the perfect cross of my organizing, music love, and time as a writer for Sunken! And, in my opinion, is the coolest thing that has happened on this campus. 

Jenna Miley, International Educator

Jenna MileyAfter I graduate this May, I will jet off to France for the next year. I was accepted as a scholarship student at the International College in Cannes, which is on the beach in the South of France. At the college, I will work for about twenty hours a week in the library in order to compensate for daily French language courses, meals, and lodging for three months. I was also accepted into the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), which is sponsored by the French Ministry of Education. At the end of September, I will start a job teaching English at the secondary level in the Academy of Créteil, a region in the suburbs of Paris. Also during the fall, I plan to start my applications for graduate school. I would like to pursue a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, and my long-term goal is to become a college professor.

Pursuing an English major has definitely helped me achieve my immediate plans for after graduation. The Teaching Assistantship Program in France is very competitive and I know that my major in English greatly enhanced my application. Obviously, learning proper grammar rules is fundamental to teaching English as a foreign language; however, the English major encompasses much more. During my time at St. Vincent, the English Professors aided me in becoming a more confident public speaker, a more inquisitive reader, and a more skillful writer. My English major has also allowed me to cross cultural barriers and explore the world. As an undergrad, I was fortunate enough to study abroad in both France and Russia and to study each county’s respective national literature. Ultimately, my major in English has effectively prepared me to reach all of my life goals and has opened up the world to me for exploration.

Joseph A. Carroll, Esq., Litigation Associate, C'14photo of Joseph A. Carroll

When I graduated from Saint Vincent College in 2014, I wrote a short blurb—similar to the this one—extolling the virtues of the English Department. Therein, I (perhaps arrogantly) proclaimed: “I am exceedingly confident that my English major was instrumental in my success up to this point and will be invaluable to all of my future achievements.” My confidence was not misplaced.

Since the culmination of my studies at Saint Vincent, I graduated second in my class at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, served as the Managing Editor of the Penn State Law Review, completed a federal judicial clerkship with the Honorable Kim R. Gibson of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and began a position as a litigation associate at Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In all of these capacities, I have found success in large part due to my ability to conduct thorough research, communicate effectively, and produce work that withstood close scrutiny. The English Department faculty at Saint Vincent provide students with the unique opportunity to develop those skills.

Throughout law school and the early stages of my career, I have encountered many intelligent and hardworking people. However, few of my colleagues had the unique opportunity of consistently receiving meaningful feedback and being held personally accountable for producing high quality work on a regular basis. The English Department does just that.

The personal attention that the English Department offers is no small or common thing. It requires a remarkable faculty that sacrifices their time and dedicates their talents to challenging their students on a personal and intellectual level. None of my colleagues had Dr. Snyder empty the contents of a red pen on their essays, Dr. McDaniel challenge some of their fundamental preconceptions about the nature of language and creative expression, Ms. Gil-Montero challenge them to express themselves in new ways, Dr. Lindey lead a class discussion that somehow inspires every student to meaningfully contribute, or Father Wulfstan give his guttural Gollum impression. 

My experience as an English major broadened my horizons through exposure to fascinating new varieties of prose, poetry, and music while simultaneously honing my skills as a writer, researcher, and thinker. These foundational skills certainly helped me to attain academic and (at least initial) career success after leaving Saint Vincent. Yet, more importantly, being an English major at Saint Vincent enabled me to relax at the end of the day by reading a good (or bad) book with perspective that I otherwise would have lacked, to meaningfully munch on popcorn through a movie, to appreciate music outside of my usual genre and artist preferences, and to engage in thoughtful open-minded conversations with colleagues. In short, my English major has enriched my life in countless little ways that amount to something big. 

Our Studentsour-students-english
Super Students

Morgan Stout
morgan-stoutI find that both the English and Education departments here at SVC are second to none. Both of the departments provide students with ample opportunities for success not only academically but in their future endeavors. In particular, SVC affords their education students with the opportunity to pre-student teach as a preparation for their required student teaching. I love working with the middle-school students during my pre-student teaching experience so far. I find that it is important to instill a love of reading and to create a firm foundation for literacy at a young age. I wish to teach my students that literacy is a necessary skill that will affect their performance in both school and in life. The middle-school education curriculum incorporates such reading and literacy skills as text-based citations, word roots construction, and how to properly execute grammatical devices. I find that my Literary Criticism II class helped me to understand a multitude of critical concepts that adds a new level contemplation during reading. I wish to incorporate more of these literary critical theories into the middle-school curriculum so that my students can be better prepared for high school and college English classes.


Connor Chywski
connor-chywskiI have had the exciting experience of being a part of the English and Secondary Education departments for nearly three years.  During this time, I have encountered magnificent professors who show such genuine care and concern.  The small class size combined with these highly qualified and experienced individuals makes for a superb education experience through which essential skills are learned.  The education department has been instrumental in placing students in the field and making our faces familiar sights within many districts.  Additionally, my advisors have been an invaluable resource in getting through the many challenges of meeting mandated state standards and qualifications.  The English department has broadened my mind and sharpened my skills in my chosen content area.  The rigor of the writing courses and multiplicity of literature at my disposal has advanced my understanding and offered a wide range of skills.  Furthermore, the English department curriculum allows for many concentrations and flexibility in scheduling classes. Within the English and Education departments, students have the opportunities to take part in academic conferences as well as join honors societies, which are helpful in opening doors in the future.  Both departments have been instrumental in creating an atmosphere wherein students may learn and access the essential skills needed for their chosen fields. 


Christina Morgal
For the past three years, I have had the exhilarating experience to be a part of the English Department here at Saint Vincent. My professors have encouraged and inspired me to become a better writer and literary scholar through their course lessons and essay prompts as well as their attention to fostering our skills as English majors. The Department utilizes the small class sizes to host in-depth discussions of the novels and authors that we study in class and to provide personal insight to students work and research. I recently added a double major in Communication and the transition has been seamless due to the overlapping of topics and techniques explored by both departments. These departments allow me to develop writing skills for literary analyses, journal articles, and press and public relations releases. The English Department also offers students work-study positions that allow them to apply their skills to a multitude of jobs relating to the literary field. My current work-study positions in the department include being the Webmaster and Social Media Co-Director and a staff reporter for the school newspaper, The Review. My Webmaster and Social Media position requires for me to learn how to work on and design a website as well as communicate the image of the department that is as accurate and enticing as possible. I utilize my writing, editorial, and communication skills in this position as the information must be presented in the correct grammatical fashion and the most attractive design. As a staff reporter on the newspaper, I have learned a different writing style than the analytical style that the college environment fosters. This position allows me to be both writer and editor of my articles in order to produce the most newsworthy story that presents the information accurately. Overall, my experience with the English and Communication department thus far has allowed me to grow as a writer and to cultivate skills that will allow me to find a job in the literary field. And, I got to present a paper on Harry Potter at this year’s Sigma Tau Delta national conference! 


Double Majors

Bridget Synan
bridget-synanDouble-majoring in English and politics has given me the unique opportunity to fully engage myself in two interesting fields of study. I find that more often than not my areas of study overlap and lead to new and insightful discussions that I may have otherwise missed. For example, being aware of the socio-political climate and historical time period (I'm also a history minor) in which a novel takes place allows me to better understand character motivation. 

For my senior English thesis, I am working on comparing The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises with a view to how World War I led to a change in social and cultural dynamics depicted in the works. As for politics, I was able to engage myself in a Shakespeare as a Political Thinker course and plan to do my politics thesis on the way in which the political regime at work in the play affects plot and character motivation. I believe that without the multi-discipline background double-majoring has allowed me my theses would not have been possible. 

Traveling to conferences and attending lectures in both areas has been another major benefit of double majoring. I am able to discuss ideas in both areas outside of the classroom and feel that my background gives me an ability to sort through a broader range of new ideas. 

Overall, I believe that having a major in English has greatly benefitted my academic career, as I have honed the ability to write and communicate ideas verbally. Ultimately, my writing and critical thinking skills will benefit my career, whether in law school or other academic ventures.  


Alexis Zawelensky
alexis-zawelenskyMy primary area of student is Marketing, but I recently chose to add English as my second major. The decision to complement my business degree with a duel-focus in the humanities initially came as a surprise to many, yet I find that this decision has been one of the best I’ve made in life thus far. 

My classroom experiences as an English major have taught me to approach traditional marketing concepts in a new light, and have thus broadened my understanding of marketing as a whole. Additionally, the flexibility of the new concentration curriculum allowed me the opportunity to tailor my educational requirements to perfectly complement and enhance my marketing focus.  

I’ve also found that my English major has greatly complemented my business internship experiences; this summer I was a marketing intern for a company that entrusted me with writing their mission and vision statements, rewriting important Sales Proposal documents, and drafting other mass-propagated marketing materials, all because of the skills I’ve acquired in my duel-degree. In particular, I found the techniques taught in my Intermediate Writing course to be particularly valuable as I could apply the skills I learned in class to any field of study.  

My ultimate career goal is to obtain a PhD in Marketing. I know that my time spent in the English department here at Saint Vincent has more than adequately prepared me to write and publish an outstanding dissertation and other consumer-related research.  


Gina McKlveen
gina-mcklveenDoubling majoring in English and Studio Arts has been one of the most beneficial and equally satisfying decisions I have made since coming to Saint Vincent College. When I first graduated from high school, I had no idea what I wanted to major in, let alone where I wanted to go to college. So I spent my first year at Westmoreland County Community College trying to figure out what I really wanted to do with my life. It wasn’t until I sat down with Dr. McDaniel, the chairperson of the English department at Saint Vincent, that I was fully convinced that the pursuing an English major was the right path for me.

Not only was the English department welcoming of a transfer student like myself, but it also offered a flexible curriculum that allowed me to pursue both of my passions—literature and the visual arts. Through my studies so far, I’ve learned how to evaluate a body of work with a more critical eye, artistically and theoretically. The connections between literature and art have allowed me to trace the antiquities of these two fields of study and their influences to current literary and art critics. Particularly, Dr. Snyder’s Literary Criticism I: Ancient to Modern course has introduced me to literary critics from Classicism to those of the Renaissance as well as the Romanticism and Modernism movements. Coming from an art background, it is interesting to see how writers reflect the artworks from these same movements and vice versa. Together, these “Sister Arts” go hand in hand and studying each one in greater depth has helped me fully understand and appreciate the work these visionaries created.

In the future, I plan to apply these critical precepts when studying law. Both writers and artists have been the key advocacies for changing the law through their social commentary, so by understanding the concepts and theories of both Studio Art and English I will be able to analyze legislative principles from new perspectives. Ultimately, whether I become a lawyer, author, or artist, I know my dual major will continue to benefit my academic pursuits.


  • Student Learning Outcomes

    English students will be able to:

    • analyze and interpret literature recognizing and responding to context, genre, and style.
    • write well, reflecting SVC’s Six Principles of Good Writing.
    • explain and apply literary theory.
    • produce substantial literary and creative projects that reveal keen analysis, persistent revision, and thoughtful, responsible scholarship.