What's it like to study English at Tennessee Tech? Classes are small, professors are approachable, and everyone is excited about what they do. Take it from some recent students in our program.
Isaiah Roe (M.A., English-PTC, 2022) was drawn to English for his love of books and reading. He said, "To get a degree for reading the books I love, as well as discovering new ones, is an amazing opportunity!" In the PTC program, Isaiah learned how to write "legal documents, grant proposals, business proposals, and to communicate in professional settings." He takes these crucial skills with him as he searches for a job that incorporates technical writing, such as working for a law firm.
Michael Lewis (B.A., English-Literature, 2022) has enrolled in the M.A. program as of August 2022. As an undergraduate student, he received recognition for his creative writing and contributions to editing the Iris Review. He has always loved reading and frequented Tech campus for events with friends even before enrolling. One of the most helpful things Michael learned was about all of the different job possibilities available to English graduates, saying "a lot of people assume you can only be a teacher, but there are a lot of diverse opportunities open to you."
Angel Filyaw (B.A., English-Literature, 2022) chose English at Tennessee Tech because it was close to home and offered courses in her favorite topics. After finishing a gap year for travel and work, Angel plans to further her education at UT Knoxville's graduate program for Library Information and Sciences. She has been published in the Iris Review and received recognition for her research essay by the Jane Austen Society of North America as well as the Southern Literary Festival for her fiction.
Nicki Parish (B.A., English-PTC, 2021) enrolled in the M.A. program in January 2022. She chose English at Tennessee Tech because she is passionate about reading, writing, editing, and engaging with how people communicate. Of her professors, she says, "Everyone in the department always has the students' best interest at heart, and they encouraged me to do so many things throughout my college career that I probably wouldn't have done otherwise." Nicki has learned a lot through her multiple undergraduate internships, like proficiency in lnDesign and Canva, and through her studies, she has developed substantially as a writer and editor.
Michaela Crawford (B.A., English-Creative Writing, 2022) came to Tennessee Tech as a journalism major, but her passion for creative writing drew her to change paths. She says her courses helped her develop her own style, and her time spent working on the Iris Review helped her see the editing and publishing industry from a new perspective. Michaela plans to continue writing poetry and to coordinate social media for companies and events. She has been published in the Bluffton University Literary Journal and she won a prize at the Southern Literary Festival for her poetry.
Bethany Kelsey (M.A., English-PTC, 2022) recommends that English majors should try to get published, join clubs, form bonds, take initiative with their studies, remain focused, and keep pushing through any lows. She says,"Take advantage of this opportunity to make mistakes and have a good time!" Bethany has learned a lot about determination in pursuing her goals and plans to intern in the fashion industry, aiming to land a job that merges her passion for fashion and technical communication.
Lena Albro (B.A., English-PTC, 2021) enrolled in Tennessee Tech's English M.A. program in August 2021. She has always loved languages, wordsmithing, and communication; these passions along with the dedicated faculty members and peers made her choose to study at Tech. Students should look into minors and classes outside of their concentration, suggests Lena, because it will "complement their English degree with as many useful skills as possible." Lena has received recognition for her writing in departmental writing contests, the Iris Review, and the Women's Center newsletter Attune, and she won the Foreign Languages category at the 2021 Research and Creative Inquiry Day.
Tess Longmire (B.A., English-Creative Writing, 2022) began at Tennessee Tech as a journalism major but switched to creative writing, saying that "My dream job is a screenwriter, and I knew that writing creatively was something I needed to study. My friend who was an English major helped me figure out I needed to switch! It was the best decision." Tess recommends that students should get involved and make connections by showing up to department club meetings, making friends, and visiting the Backdoor Playhouse. Tess says that the classes she's taken have "helped me shape and cultivate my worldview." She hopes to get a job in theatre and as a copywriter, using her skills from her work with the Backdoor Playhouse, the Iris Review, and Under the Sun to help her.
Cassie Voiles (M.A., English-PTC, 2022) chose English at Tennessee Tech because the university and department offered "affordable tuition, wonderful reviews, concerned staff, a plethora of student associations to participate in, and—most importantly—a sense of belonging." While at Tech, Cassie learned to take control of her wordiness and write with better grammar. She plans to work full time at a company that will cover her tuition for a M.A. in English or a related field. Cassie has been published in the Crossville Chronicle.