Jared Linder is a two-time Ball State graduate, once as undergrad with the English department, and again as a graduate student earning an M.S. in Information and Communication Sciences at the Center for Information and Communication Sciences (CICS). He is a recent graduate from the MBA program at Butler University. He also serves as the Chief Information Officer for the State of Indiana’s Family and Social Services Administration.
Most people would assume that a student who majored in English would never have a job as a Chief Information Officer. How did you move from English to a career in information technology?
When I graduated from Ball State in late 1998, the world was heavily focused on IT jobs, especially Y2K and the possible issues we would face if things did not go well. I honestly had a hard time finding a job. I did not really know what I was looking for, and had not prepared well for what my post-college life was supposed to look like. I started a job working at the lowest rung at an IT company when soon someone realized I could write and communicate. That was when I became confident in my liberal arts background as a positive force for my success. I began to change my career mindset to focus on solving problems and helping people vs merely working in IT. That made all the difference; I just applied my learned skills to the reality of working in a 21st-century growth industry. I used to tell my mom I worked around computers; now I tell her I help people get things done. I started to gravitate towards client relationships and working with project teams and management.
Sreyoshi Sarkar comes to us from Baltimore, Maryland. She earned her doctoral degree in Postcolonial literature and media from George Washington University D.C. this past summer. She specializes in South Asian studies, gender, and eco-criticism, and has published works in journals like Commonwealth Essays and Studies, South Asian Review, and Green Letters Journal. She will be teaching courses in world literature and film studies here at Ball State.
How would you describe your perspective on teaching?
I love teaching because for me it is an interactive platform where everyone in class is a participant, including the instructor. My part in this collaborative process is to introduce students to the subject of study, its key concepts, and some important scholarship. But beyond that my classes are highly interactive – an eclectic mix of short lectures interwoven with a lot of in-class discussion, group work, and creative presentations.
The same applies to my written assignments. I always emphasize that students focus on their individual experiences of a text when making an argument about it. For me, “the experience of” is crucial. It invites us (and by “us” I mean both the students and me) to critically analyze the art and craft of the text and our own individual contexts that often inform how we receive a text.
In my experience, such deep thinking enables us to be more self-aware and also more patient with and respectful towards each other and our differences. Sometimes, such moments of teaching-learning go a long way in making us better citizens at home and in the world.
Finally, the teachers who made a difference in my life were always humble, sensitive, and truly caring individuals; they were invested in their students’ making the most out of a class. And that is what I strive to do as well. Continue reading
Kat Greene earned her BA in graphic design and Master’s degrees in journalism and English here at Ball State University. She’s currently working to complete her PhD in rhetoric and composition. She will be teaching classes in the Writing Program. Check out her website.
When are your office hours?
My fall office hours are MWF from 10-11:50 a.m.
What are you reading right now, if anything?
I’m about halfway through Tina Fey’s Bossypants.
Are you working on any projects at the moment? What are they?
For the past year, I have been working on my dissertation. I spent fall 2016 observing three first-year writing instructors who incorporated Ball State’s (final) freshman common reader, The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas by Anand Giridharadas into their courses. My dissertation describes their their teaching practices, successes, and challenges with using the book. Continue reading
Poet, activist, and visionary Mahogany L. Browne will visit Ball State for a performance and reading in the Student Center Ballroom on September 27 at 8:30pm. This event is free and open to the public.
Browne is a Cave Canem fellow, founder of Penmanship Books, and Poetry Program Director of Nuyorican Poets Café. She is the author of several collections, including the NAACP Outstanding Literary Works-nominated book Redbone and Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out On-Line. She is also an Urban Word NYC Poet-in-Residence (as seen on HBO’s Brave New Voices), founder of Women Writers of Color Reading Room (housed on Pratt Institute), and facilitates performance poetry and writing workshops throughout the country. Check out selections of her work at https://mobrowne.com/
This event is a part of the Marilyn K. Cory Speaker Series and is sponsored by the Departments of English, African American Studies, and Sociology; the Multicultural Center; and the Office of Institutional Diversity.
If you need an accommodation to fully participate in the event, please contact Professor Emily Rutter (email@example.com).
Want an answer to the question “What can you do with an English degree?”
Here’s what some recent #bsuenglish graduates are doing right now!
Ben Bascom, a specialist in early and nineteenth-century American literature, comes to the English Department from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he recently finished a dissertation on early U.S. life writings. His research and teaching combine a queer studies approach with material text methodologies to reimagine the relation between archive and canon. His scholarship has appeared in Early American Literature and is forthcoming in Common-Place: The Journal of Early American Life.
How would you describe your perspective on teaching?
I would describe my teaching as messily Socratic. I try to frame class with a series of questions or provocations that encourage students to engage with the reading material at a variety of levels. Since I teach a lot of material that feels remote to most students—from seventeenth-century sermons to nineteenth-century picaresque novels—I first urge students to understand the complex and unfamiliar language before they levy a critique about what they find as the text’s limitations. I discover myself being drawn to think with students about their experiences reading particular texts—beginning, perhaps, with whether something was pleasurable or difficult, easy or frustrating to read—to then prompt them to think about how their expectations, experiences, and interests influence them to consider certain texts as being more intellectually available or compelling than others. Continue reading
Angela Cox comes to us from the University of Arkansas, where she received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition. Her research is on definitions of genre and popular fantasy media. She will be teaching English 103 this semester.
What are some of your hobbies or interests?
I like to dabble in pretty much anything creative that catches my eye. I’ve been sewing and doing other crafts for as long as I can remember; I learned how to spin yarn on a drop spindle when I was two years old. I also like to write fiction, especially fantasy novels, which is where my interest in researching National Novel Writing Month comes from. I’ve been participating (and winning!) every year since 2005, but I’m not sure if it’s for everyone. I also love analyzing video games, but I tend to play older games.
If any students want to come talk about video game analysis techniques or theory during office hours, I’d love to have that conversation and even help them with a project!
But, mostly, I just love cats.
We’ve got so much good news this month. Let’s just get started…
Prof. Patrick Collier’s book Modern Print Artefacts: Textual Materiality and Literary Value in British Print Culture, 1890–1930s (Edinburgh University Press) was a finalist for the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize. A panel of judges determined the book that made the most significant contribution to modernist studies.
Prof. Matthew Hartman was awarded the C. Warren Vander Hill Award for Distinguished Teaching in Honors Education for 2016-2017. The recipient is selected by students of the Honors College.
Strange, but True
The “Stars to Steer By” career series is back!
The purpose of this series is to help liberal arts students at Ball State find what professional pathways are available to them and learn how to translate their skills to potential employers.
Basically, this series is for everyone who gets the question: What are you going to do with that major?
We’ll help you find your answer!
This year, the series will be coordinated by Eilis Wasserman, career coach for humanities and social science majors. All students (both graduate and undergraduate) are welcome, but especially students from the humanities (English, history, philosophy, religious studies and modern languages) and the social sciences (anthropology, sociology, women and gender studies, psychology, criminal justice, and political science).
Pizza and door prizes are available at each event. Continue reading
This semester, #bsuenglish Professor Aimee Taylor developed and organized an alternative final project for her ENG 104 class that focuses on archival research of Ball State’s history. With it, she hopes to immerse her students in scholarly research and unravel ageless inspiration. She will also be attending a conference this May where she plans to shed light on this exemplary work she is witnessing from her first-year students.
Ball State University will soon be celebrating its 100th anniversary, but one English class is already getting a head start. They are looking into the archives from 1917, the year the university’s land was purchased, to now. The professor behind this project is Aimee Taylor, who the English Department hired this past fall. She has experience with archival research at her alma mater, Bowling Green State University, and decided to apply this technique to her ENG 104: Composing Research course. For the course’s final project, students must compile research in their selected time period and connect their findings to the central question: “How has Ball State changed?”