Ohio Wesleyan English and creative writing graduates go on to excel in careers in writing, teaching, publishing, business, public policy, and a wide range of other fields.

Some have pursued graduate study at such schools as Columbia, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, New York University, Northern Arizona University, the University of Colorado, the University of Iowa, The Ohio State University, and the film school at the University of Southern California. Our graduates have become editors at such publishers as Random House, McGraw-Hill, and Little, Brown, and at magazines such as Paris Review, New York Review of Books, Village Voice, and even America’s Test Kitchen.

Others have attended law school or used their skills in business, government, or the nonprofit sector. Still others are published writers of fiction, poetry, nonfiction. One recent graduate is a writer and performer whose debut solo play — developed in Ohio Wesleyan creative writing courses — has since been performed at sold-out shows in New York City.

What will you do with your degree?

Lee Anderson '18

Teaching and working toward her MFA in Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University
"At NAU, I have taught three different classes, worked on and eventually became Managing Editor for the graduate-run literary journal (Thin Air Magazine), published essays in places such as Columbia Journal and The Rumpus, volunteered at book festivals and conferences, and basically lived and breathed the so-called writer's lifestyle. ... My minor in English, particularly my classes with Dr. Comorau, helped to prepare me as a critical thinker willing to engage thoughtfully and deeply with the world around me."

Chase Montana Smith '17

Teaches English and serves as the girls' soccer coach at Northland High School in Columbus.
On my best days, I maintain a rigorous discipline of reading and writing. I don't want to become complacent in my career. I try to educate myself with the same dedication I had while I attended OWU. ... Looking back on my time at OWU, I clearly see how my courses prepared me for where I am in my career. I particularly recall the sociology courses I took with Paul Dean, the nonfiction classes I took with Amy Butcher, and the Native American literature courses I took with Karen Poremski. I teach to redirect power and resources to the marginalized in society and to dismantle systems of oppression, including illiteracy. I teach to improve accessibility to English. I coach to improve accessibility to sports. I make positive outcomes out of challenging situations. I'm trying to make a better tomorrow, today."

Ryan Haddad '15

Actor/Writer
Ryan Haddad's solo play "Hi, Are You Single?," developed in Ohio Wesleyan's creative writing workshops, earned Ohio Wesleyan's 2015 Excellence in Performance Award and has since been performed in New York to sold-out audiences, with Huffington Post calling his performance "a stirring work of theater...that should and needs to be seen." In April 2016 he appeared in "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

Katalyn Kuivila '14

Development Writer, Ohio Environmental Council
As a former English and Politics & Government major, Katalyn Kuivila traveled to England to study Black British literature, to Puerto Rico to explore nationalism and citizenship, and to Ireland, where she examined postcolonial narratives and reproductive rights. After graduating, she worked as a legislative fellow and aide in the Ohio House of Representatives before joining the Ohio Environmental Council.

Jacob Miller '14

Jacob Miller earned his doctor of law degree at Northeastern University and is an associate at Harter Secrest & Emery LLP in Rochester, N.Y. He focuses his practice in the areas of general business and corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, securities, and not-for-profit organizations.

Samantha Rammaha '14

Instructional Coach, Al-Bayan International School in Kuwait
After teaching elementary ESL in Memphis, Tenn., through Teach for America, Samantha Rammaha became a teacher and instructional coach at Al-Bayan International School in Kuwait. At OWU she studied English literature and vocal performance.

Diane Bizzarro '12

Strategic Account Manager at WalkMe
“After graduation, I moved to New York City and began a job with Indeed.com, managing a team of six people in the Client Services department. Clear communication (both written and verbal) are keys to this job, and my experiences presenting and developing a clear writing style at OWU have helped prepare me for my current role. Managing is all about communicating effectively and working to motivate others. All of the novels I read and papers I wrote at OWU investigating the human condition of different characters has paid off. This has helped me to figure out what makes my team members tick. All of my OWU English classes have helped prepare me for my current job. It's surprising how many people simply don't have quality writing skills these days — even my colleagues that I respect and look up to! The communication skills I learned — from group projects, presentations, and writing and rewriting many drafts of papers — have helped me to succeed in my company and life in general (forming strong relationships with friends and colleagues)!"

Kelsey Kerstetter '12

Career Coach & Marketing Coordinator, Vortechs Group
"It is hard to pick just one class or professor that influenced me, because there were so many! I would say the experience I learned the most from was serving on the English Student Board, because it gave me an opportunity to take on a leadership role in the department and work closely with so many different professors... I still stay in touch with Nancy Comorau and Karen Poremski, and they continue to be mentors and role models for me, but every single class and professor taught me something new. There is so much to be thankful for as an English major, and I know I would not be successful today without the skills I developed as a member of the Ohio Wesleyan English Department."

Martha Park '11

Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Memphis Theological Seminary
Martha Park received the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University and the Melanie Hook Rice Award for Creative Nonfiction. She earned her MFA from Hollins University. Her graphic essay, "Consolation Puppies," coproduced with Professor Amy Butcher, appeared in Granta in September 2018.

Christopher Green '10

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Allen County Community College, Burlingame, Kansas
“I've been able to communicate in an effective manner with a wide variety of stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students, administrators, and many others through writing and interpersonal communication. Also, I utilize critical and analytical thinking processes when making important decisions that influence the institution I'm charged with managing... The first experience that impacted me (at OWU) was the opportunity as a sophomore to study abroad in Tanzania with Dr. Randolph Quaye. The English professor and class that impacted me the most was Dr. Michelle Disler's James Bond class. The class infused the use of James Bond novels and movies; I enjoyed that class because it incorporated a creative learning style that was foreign to me, and I will never forget it. Also, Dr. Disler was a very eccentric, yet down-to-earth, professor, and I connected with her as an English major."

Marlon Frisby '09

Communications Specialist, PARAGON TEC, Los Angeles
Marlon Frisby earned an MFA from Columbia University. At Paragon, he has created communications products for NASA including feature articles, image features, content for infographics, blog posts, social media, websites, scripts for videos, and slide presentations. “I believe taking Dr. Hipsky's Modern and Contemporary British Literature course was one of my most impactful experiences at OWU. Our English professors taught me everything I needed to know for the next step of my education."

Ben Owen '08 Trial Attorney, FEMA, Washington, D.C.

Trial Attorney, FEMA, Washington, D.C.
"My English degree at OWU really prepared me for the demands of writing and oral advocacy that are essential to being a litigator. I take point on many first drafts of briefs and other court documents we write, and I have OWU and the English Department to thank for my strong writing and rhetorical skills. All of my classes with the brilliant Drs. Hipsky, DeMarco, and Poremski were central to my development as a writer and as a thinker, but Dr. DeMarco's Medieval Literature was probably the class that most changed the way I thought about the world. Considering the Crusades from the point of view of Saladin and his men showed me that things can be quite different from how we may be led to believe by those who shape history and the media. Dr. Poremski's Early and Native American Literature classes similarly encouraged me to consider perspectives outside the ones presented by society as the dominant or primary perspectives. Dr. Hipsky's Modern and Contemporary British Literature classes, meanwhile, honed my writing by forcing me to make succinct points in just two pages while considering great and challenging literature in recent history."

Kate Shannon '08

Deputy Editor at America's Test Kitchen, Boston
"I'm now an editor atAmerica's Test Kitchen. It's a dream come true for a writer who likes to cook. The company has two magazines, two cooking shows on public television, and a whole slew of cookbooks. Some parts of it look a lot like any office, but we also have a 2,500-square-foot test kitchen that is always full of activity. I work on the Tastings and Testings team, which is kind of like Consumer Reports for kitchen ingredients and equipment. In the past two years, I've reviewed everything from smoothie blenders and ice cream makers to beef broth and apricot jam. Although I spend about half of my time in the kitchen, no day goes by that I am not grateful for my time in the English department. ATK is very collegial, and each piece of writing goes through a rigorous editing process. My professors at OWU prepared me well by teaching me to express myself clearly and to embrace feedback instead of running from it or pushing back against it. It's incredibly valuable, whether I'm chatting about my discoveries in the kitchen or writing articles for the magazines. If I could go back to OWU and do it all over again, there's not a doubt in my mind that I'd major in English."

Maggie Smith '99

Poet
Maggie Smith is the author of three books of poetry: Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (2015); and Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005). Her latest book, Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change (One Signal/Simon & Schuster 2020), a collection of essays and quotes, is a national bestseller. Smith’s poems and essays are widely published and anthologized, appearing in Best American Poetry, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Tin House, POETRY, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. In 2016 her poem “Good Bones” went viral internationally and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Public Radio International called it “the official poem of 2016.”

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