Author Archives: Cathy Day

M.A. student Justine Waluvengo: “Graduate school is fun!”

Justine Waluvengo is a new graduate student working toward an M.A. in literature from Ball State University. She studied linguistics and literature at the University of Nairobi, where she earned a B.A.

1) What degree are you pursuing? What is it about this degree/program that interested you?

I am pursuing an MA in Literature. I believe the English Department at Ball State, not just the literature area, is well established and capable of offering the challenge that I need to develop my career.

2) Where did you attend undergrad? What did you study?

 I am a graduate of The University of Nairobi, Kenya, with a BA in Education. My subject areas were Linguistics and Literature. I majored in Literature. Continue reading

Bryan Lubeck: Fortune 500 Marketer, Professional Musician

Guest post by Charlie Cain

Bryan Lubeck graduated from Ball State University with a major in English in 1989.  He has gone on to hold executive marketing positions with several fortune 500 companies and to a successful career in music.

What drew you to BSU English?

Well I went to Ball State not quite knowing what I wanted to do. I had a music background.  My original plan was to be a singer/dancer, maybe a guitarist. I did come to Ball State with a guitar scholarship, a small one, but my main goal was to be in the University Singers. But then it sort of dawned on me that my classical guitar playing, singing, and music theatre were going nowhere. I thought maybe I would get a business degree and become a producer. Continue reading

Why you should write a novel (and fail) in college

Jalynn is a junior Communication Studies major with an interest in social media, PR, and design. She loves to read YA novels and occasionally writes mediocre fiction – she’s working on the mediocre part.  Want to connect?

by Jalynn Madison

I’ve known I’ve wanted to write since the 5th grade – the same year I fell in love with books. I loved how words on a page could make me feel so many things at once. Sometimes I was sad, surprised, or angry. But no matter what I felt while I was reading, I was always hungry for more by the end. I decided at the age of 10 that I wanted to have a command over words so powerful that I could make people feel the way I always felt when reading a book.

And so began my journey of writing.

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Graham Brown: “Start a business. Change the world.”

The next speaker for the “Stars to Steer By Series” is Graham Brown, owner of United State of Indiana, clothing that helps Hoosiers express a love of Indiana, including the t-shirt that inspired the logo for the “Stars to Steer By Series” itself!

When and where?

Wednesday, November 8 at 6:30 PM in WB (Business Building) 141.

What’s the topic?

“Your Job is to Have Fun: The New Era of Entrepreneurship.”

Entrepreneurship? That’s a business word, not an English word. 

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Becca Wolfley: Marketer and Freelance Copywriter

Becca Wolfley graduated from Ball State University with a B.S. in Advertising (and a minor in Creative Writing) in 2015. After graduation, she worked as a content writer and manager for tech company Lesson.ly until May of 2016, then became the digital copywriter for The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis a month later. She continues to work as a creative for the museum’s marketing department while moonlighting as a freelance copywriter.

How did your major and minor lead to your current position? What series of steps did you make after college to get there, and what skills did you learn with us that helped you in that transition?

From my experience as an Ad major, many of my peers didn’t know how to tell a single story in various ways. I suppose that’s how I got here—I was one of the few that could. I thank my creative writing classes for that.

Screenwriting, poetry, English literature…the combination of these classes (and then some) taught me to write practically, write concisely, and interpret critically. Between literature courses and rhetorical analysis with Rai Peterson and abstract, post-modern poetry with Pete Davis, I got the hang of how to write for the perception I desired from multiple audiences without compromising creativity.

By the time I finished college, I had a portfolio of various types of work. In cover letters, it didn’t hurt to show the similarities between a commercial script and a screenplay, or how poetics play a big role in commercial scripting.
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Survey Says! Tell us how we’re doing

We need your help, #bsuenglish. Please take our survey!

Please do this…

  • Whether you’re a prospective, current, or former student.
  • Whether you’re a faculty member in this department or elsewhere.
  • Whether you’re a parent keeping tabs on your progeny.
  • Whether you’re a fan of all our literary and scholarly events.

We need feedback to learn how you engage with us.

Tell us! We want to know!

Take the survey now. And tell your friends to take it too!

Alt-Ac: You Don't Have to be a Professor to Work at a University

By Cathy Day, Assistant Chair of English

On Tuesday, September 27th at 6:30 PM in 104 Bracken, we’re hosting our second Stars to Steer By session. The title of this one is “You Don’t Have to be a Professor to Work at a University.” RSVP if you’re coming! 

Why this title? 

I’ve been teaching in higher education for over 20 years, and all too often, I hear students say things like this:

“I want to do what you do. Teach college. I love English. I love reading and writing. I love my professors. They are my role models, and I want to do what they do. I want to stay in school forever.”

This is exactly what I wanted in 1991 when I decided to go to graduate school in English/Creative Writing instead of entering a tough, post-recession job market. When I graduated in 1995, I went on the academic job market. First I got a two-year “contract” position and then a tenure-track teaching position. I’ve been in academia ever since.

But the academic job market in the humanities has changed. You can read all about it.

This does NOT mean you should give up your dream. I am not a dream squasher!

But I do want you to consider following that dream, but from a slightly different direction.

The Alt-Ac Route

I pursued an academic teaching career because, to me, a college campus is a small utopia and because my college professors changed my life. To thank them for that, I wanted to follow in their footsteps. But since becoming the Assistant Chair, I’ve realized that teaching is NOT the only way to live in that utopia and NOT the only way to change the lives of college students.

Maybe you should consider the Alt-Ac Route.

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What can you do with an English major? We'll show you!

Instead of Career Week, the English department will host monthly career workshops all year long.

You know you need this, right?

Right.

The first one is coming up fast and we want to tell you all about it. Let us know if you’re coming!

Put these dates on your calendar right now, people.

Fall 2016

Tuesday, August 30 at 6:30 PM in RB 290

“Stars to Steer By: Finding Your Way with a Humanities Degree”

To kick off our “Stars to Steer By” series, we’ll talk about both personal and professional development and help you discover your passions.

Tuesday, September 27 at 6:30 PM in 104 Bracken Library

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"Literature gives life a story": Sean Southern on finding your path

Alum Sean Southern

Alum Sean Southern

Sean Southern graduated from Ball State University in 2000 as double major in English and History. After college, he earned an M.A. in English at DePaul University in 2002 and a J.D. in Law at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law in 2007, where he graduated cum laude.

Following law school, Sean practiced law in both the public and private sectors. First, he joined a large Chicago law firm where he focused his practice on commercial leasing and other real estate matters. Thereafter, Sean represented indigent criminal defendants at the Office of the State Appellate Defender, obtaining favorable decisions on both direct appeal and in collateral proceedings.

Then in 2011 he joined the Office of Professional Development at Indiana University’s School of Law, where he now serves as Associate Director. Sean’s responsibilities include developing and maintaining effective relationships with legal employers and the greater legal community, assisting alumni and students with job search strategies and resume design, and administering the on-campus interview program.

How did your English major lead to your career in law–as well as your job as a career counselor? What skills did you learn as an English major that helped you transition? 

Continue reading