All posts by hlverani

Alumni Perspective: Why I Chose to Get My Master’s degree at Millersville

August of 2021 was the beginning of the end of a certain chapter in my life. Like other students, I was happy to return to in-person classes and clubs on campus. My junior year had been completely virtual, and I was greatly missing the connections made in the classroom and in my social life. Although the excitement to return for my senior year grew stronger each day, so did the sadness of knowing this would be my last year at Millersville. I would torment myself with the question of “what will I be doing a year from now,” hoping that I could somehow find a way to align myself with my future goals. I knew that going to graduate school was something that I wanted to do, but where and when was something that overwhelmed me to think about. That is, however, until I learned about the Master of Arts in English program that was offered at Millersville.

When I looked back on my undergraduate years, I was able to see how much I had grown and changed in a positive way from being a student at Millersville. My freshman year, I was a quiet and uncertain student who didn’t believe in herself. Over the course of four years, I had turned into a student who was confident in her academic abilities, and knew the value in herself not only as an academic, but also as a teammate, peer, friend, and partner. The different skills I had learned in my English courses, such as learning how to compose a range of texts, fostering my creativity, and expanding my analytical thinking, had only reinforced that furthering my education in the subject was the best choice for me. Speaking with Dr. Pfannenstiel that spring semester my senior year, I saw a direct path on how to achieve my goals by staying at Millersville.

Although some may assume that staying at the same university for both undergrad and graduate degrees may limit one’s growth, I would argue that it only helps to expand it. Since I already knew the campus, department, and professors I would be working with, I didn’t have to worry about any of that when the school year started. Instead, I could just focus on my studies and figure out how to make the most out of my two years in the program. Another major reason I chose to further my education at Millersville was because of the opportunity to have a graduate assistantship in the English department. Working with Dr. P, Dr. Baldys, Dr. Mando, and my amazing fellow GA Becca on a daily basis has helped me grow as a professional and as a scholar in ways I never could have expected. Their kindness and knowledge have inspired me to look towards my own future, as the skills and connections they have provided me with have helped me to become more excited by the unknown rather than fearful.

Millersville has and continues to be a place where I am changing and growing in a positive way each and every day, and I am so thankful to my past self for choosing to stay here to continue my journey into higher education. Although this chapter will be closing soon, I now have direction on where the next one may start.

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Thesis Defense Announcement- “An Analysis of Abbott Elementary Through the Lens Black Placemaking”

The Department of English and World Languages would like to announce the thesis defense of Taylor Green for her BA in Multidisciplinary Studies in Digital Journalism, Honor’s College. Her thesis, titled “An Analysis of Abbott Elementary Through the Lens Black Placemaking” is chaired by Dr. A Nicole Pfannenstiel with committee members Dr. Caleb Corkery and Dr. Elizabeth Thyrum. Her defense will be held tomorrow, April 28th, at 1pm in McComsey room 359.

Thesis Defense Announcement- “Disability Studies Informed Creative Writing: Care not Cure”

The Department of English and World Languages would like to announce the thesis defense of blue Guckert for his MA in English. His thesis, titled “Disability Studies Informed Creative Writing: Care not Cure,” is chaired by Dr. Emily Baldys with committee members Dr. A Nicole Pfannenstiel, Dr. Jess Hughes, and Professor Michele Santamaria.  blue’s thesis defense will be held tomorrow, April 28th, in McComsey 359 at 4:30pm.

Successful Thesis Defense Announcement- William Artz

The Department of English and World Languages would like to congratulate William Artz on his successful thesis defense for his M.Ed. in English. His thesis, which is titled “The Digitized Post-Secondary Transdisciplinary Humanities Classroom,” was chaired by Dr. A Nicole Pfannenstiel with committee members Dr. Kaitlin Mondello and Dr. Emily Baldys.

English Internship Experience- Avery Hartman

I am currently completing an internship with Gemini Wordsmiths and I have to say, I couldn’t have hoped for a better internship. This internship heavily focuses on teaching me about the editing/publishing industry and ensures that they are providing me with projects that I deem useful for my future career. After graduation, I hope to go into the editing/publishing industry. Before this internship, I didn’t have much experience or knowledge of the field, but after completing 15 weeks, I feel that I have learned so much and even have a better idea on what career I hope to pursue after college. I went into this internship thinking that I wanted to go into copy editing. However, after working with Gemini Wordsmiths, I think I would rather pursue a career in book publishing. Not only has this internship taught me so much about the editing/publishing industry, but they have also helped me determine where I want to take my next steps and how I want to start the next chapter of my life.

My linguistic courses have played a major role in my success with this internship as I completed multiple projects in editing authors’ manuscripts. Many of my literature courses also played a major role in my success when it came to projects of recommending publication and research of authors. My degree has set me up for success for my career after college and I couldn’t be happier with my choice.

This internship has challenged me with new experiences in order to gain new skills. One of the projects I was given was to create a monthly newsletter. I had never created a newsletter before and was unsure of how to start. After sitting down with me and going over step-by-step what a newsletter entails, I was much more confident in completing this project and gained new skills to apply on my resume.

Throughout my experience with this internship, I was not only able to apply my relevant coursework to complete projects, but I was also able to expand on my hard and soft skills and gain more knowledge on the editing/publishing industry.

Throughout my college experience, I have developed skills in research, copywriting, copyediting, time management, attention to detail, organization, communication, and independence. A project that I think exemplifies these skills is a project where I was asked to be the first reader for a newly submitted manuscript. For this project, I read the entirety of an author’s draft to their manuscript, fact checked authors to ensure they were truthful in their previous work, researched books similar to theirs to see if they have been successful, and gave a full recommendation on whether or not the internship should follow through with publication. With this project alone, I was able to apply my skills of research, copywriting, time management, and organization as well as gain hands-on experience with the publishing industry. My degree has allowed me to apply recently acquired skills to the success of my internship. When I first applied to be an English major, I questioned if it was the right decision. Everyone asked me what I could possibly do with an English degree and said it would be difficult to find a career with a degree like English. I am so incredibly happy to say that I have successfully applied my degree to relevant work and am confident in my next steps after graduation.

“Integrating Social Emotional Learning through Instructional Strategies in the English Language Arts Classroom”- Natalie Flory Thesis Defense Announcement

The English and World Languages Department would like to announce the thesis defense of Natalie Flory for her B.S.E in English and the Honor’s College. Her thesis, titled “Integrating Social Emotional Learning through Instructional Strategies in the English Language Arts Classroom” is chaired by Dr. Kim McCollum-Clark with committee members Dr. A Nicole Pfannenstiel and Dr. Karen Rice. The defense will be held today, April 14th, at 4:30pm in McComsey English and World Languages conference room 359.

“Exploring Mythology Through Drama: A curricular artifact” Kara Travis Thesis Announcement

The English and World Languages Department would like to announce the thesis defense of Kara Travis for her MA in English. Her thesis, titled “Exploring Mythology Through Drama: A curricular artifact,” will be defended on zoom today, April 5th, at 2pm. Her thesis is chaired by Dr. Kim McCollum-Clark with committee members Dr. A Nicole Pfannenstiel and Dr. Justin Mando.

“L’État actuel du français louisianais” – Hunter Davis Thesis Announcement

The English and World Languages Department would like to announce the thesis defense of Hunter Davis for his BA in French and Spanish, Teacher Candidate, and Honor’s College. His thesis, titled “L’État actuel du français louisianais” or “The Current State of Louisiana French,” will be defended today, April 3rd, at 1:30pm in McComsey 237. His thesis is chaired by Dr. Christine Gaudry, with committee members Dr. Clarence Maxwell and Dr. Elizabeth Thyrum. The abstract for his thesis is included below.

Abstract: “In 2010, the American Community Survey of the US Census Bureau announced that less than 3.4% of the total population of Louisiana still spoke some form of Louisiana-dialectal
French at home (“Language Spoken at Home”). During the last 10 years, that number has only diminished, with a most recent estimate of around 1.5% of the total population in 2021 still speaking some form of the dialect (“Language Spoken at Home”). This shows a loss of 77,434 native speakers of Louisiana French or roughly 54.2% of the francophone population of Louisiana since 2010. The question proposed by this thesis is if there is any way to slow, stop, or reverse the decline of the use of dialectal varieties of Louisiana French in Louisiana. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the longevity of Louisiana French in relation to other linguistic groups who experienced a revival of their heritage language, with the goal of
analyzing their commonalities in order to draw concrete, feasible solutions for the case of Louisiana French.”

English Classes You Should Consider Taking Next Semester

With registration for the upcoming fall semester just around the corner, the English department would like to highlight some of the higher level courses that will be available next semester.

WRIT 280 – Intro to Rhetoric for Writers

Taught asynchronously by Dr. Pfannenstiel

Course Description: “In the past few decades, scholars of writing (Writing Studies and Composition) returned to rhetoric and rhetorical theories to develop productive ways of teaching writing. As part of our Writing Studies program here in Millersville University’s English and World Languages Department, Introduction to Rhetoric for Writers introduces students to the rhetorical theories that form the baseline of how we understand and develop as writers.

This course starts with rhetorical theory in Greek and Roman times. We then jump to contemporary uses. We build an understanding of how rhetoric exists within communication all around us, all the time

ENGL 331- Special Topic: The Beats- Before, During, and After

Taught by Dr. Ording on Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 11:00-11:50pm

Course Description: “Explore the brilliance and influence of The Beat Generation through the poets from each era. This includes predecessors Whitman, Emerson, then The Beats themselves Kerouac and Ginsberg, and their successors Brautigan, Bukowski, and Morrison.”

ENGL 334- African American Literature II

Taught by Dr. Jakubiak on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:10-2:25pm

Course Description: “Students will read works by 20th and 21st century African American poets, prose writers and playwrights including James Baldwin, Toni Morrison and Colson Whitehead. Explore how these major writers use literary art to ask questions about race and intersectional identity in the United States.”

ENGL 343- Ecofeminist Fiction Seminar

Taught asynchronously by Dr. Mondello

Course Description: “Ecofeminist Fiction centers relationships between women and the natural world in novels, novellas (short novels), and short stories. While sometimes this takes the form of a celebration of connection, it is more often portrayed as a shared subjugation to patriarchal forces. Responses include solidarity between women, animals, and nature, as well as monstrous figures and revenge plots against exploitation. We will read texts from a variety of time periods to consider the history of ideas about the connections between nature and gender in fiction to trace the wide range of styles and techniques across literary fiction more broadly. Readings and class discussions will focus on literary representations of the environment with an emphasis on gendered, racialized and other intersectional depictions of nature, as well as on human and non-human characters who are associated with nature.”

ENGL 428- Contemporary American Literature (1945-Present)

Taught by Dr. Ording on Mondays from 6:00-9:00pm

Course Description: “Explore fiction and other cultural productions in the contemporary period through works by notable writers such as Salinger, Steinbeck, Morrison, and Baldwin.”

WRIT 466- Special Topics Seminar on Rhetoric, Writing, and Social Justice in Educational Settings

Taught asynchronously by Dr. Farkas

Course Description: “Words are powerful and can be used to inspire and foster change.  This course will examine the intersections among rhetoric, writing, and advocacy, and in it, students will focus on understanding the ways language and practice can affect systems of inequality, particularly in an educational context.  Beginning with a reflection on their own educational journeys and culminating with a case study of an educational context, students will examine whether Pennsylvania and Lancaster County schools (K-12 and higher education) provide a thriving learning environment for every student, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, disability, and sexuality. Students will also analyze the role of power and privilege in shaping educational policies and practices and develop strategies to advocate for equity and justice in education.”