Anthony Princi debuted an EP for the London/Sheffield label Bad Taste Records UK. He was inspired to write a song about his favorite Victorian icon - Jack the Ripper. The song is called “Jack's Back,” an eerie club tune with distorted bass sounds and creepy vocals contrasted with bright, mystifying synths. He reports, “The artwork (see attachment) was done by Skidmore art major Melissa Schlobohm (2012) - kind of a cool creative thought matters collaboration.” The record topped the Bass music sales charts on one of the London retail sites.
Douglas Pilawa is an Assistant at IES abroad, living in Paris.
Lauren Marder Prentiss, Associate Director, Client Services, Communispace Corporation, Class of 2006.
The beauty of majoring in English is that the door is wide open when you graduate – you aren’t limited by narrow career paths or fated to follow in the same footsteps of other English students. In fact, the skills developed within the English Department are foundational and extremely valuable to almost any career, especially for one in business. Upon graduating, I was armed with the ability to analyze written opinions and narratives, and it nearly became second nature to identify patterns, metaphors, and themes in people’s words and work. These very skills serve me every day in the world of Market Research/Online Communities (MROC). Through qualitative research in private online communities, I leverage these same practices to uncover consumer trends or extrapolate unmet needs to help clients elevate their business strategies. Skidmore also trained me to assemble my own observations and arguments and craft a storyline from a slightly different perspective or angle to help the reader see something unique, provoking, and engaging. Even in today’s fast-paced, media driven world of business, organizations rely on written insights to understand the themes and trends that inform business decisions. Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways that humans relate and understand one another, and business organizations need creative minds to tell meaningful stories that spark positive change. That is what I do. I’m proud to be a Skidmore English Alumni and believe that any students who pursue an English Major at Skidmore have the opportunity graduate with the skills and confidence to seek, invent, and author a unique career story of their own.
Melissa Rampelli, Doctoral Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Literature at St. John’s University, Class of 2006.
My journey toward doctoral work in English has been a slow one marked with much growth and reflection, but my experience as an English major at Skidmore, nonetheless, proved the catalyst and provided a strong foundation. The “Peer Tutoring” course I took with Dr. Boshoff during my junior year truly honed my understanding of revision (I still recall the professor providing—to all students—personalized and extensive feedback on five drafts of one essay) and the important differentiation between editing a paper and conferring with a student. The experience I gained in the Writing Center my junior and senior years influenced my decision to pursue an MAT at Brown University. It helped me immensely as a high school English and Writing Center teacher and still influences how I confer with my students on their writing today.
The senior thesis work I completed under the mentorship of Dr. Golden shaped the doctoral work on female sexual and social subjectivity and sovereignty in Victorian literature that I would come to do six years later. The rigorous one-year long researching and writing (and re-writing!) process allowed me to work with a renowned scholar in the field (and absorb all the insight into process and product that she could bestow) and offered a graduate-level experience in a supportive undergraduate setting. Presenting this work at the Academic Festival and at the Academy for Lifelong Learning in Saratoga Springs provided me with presentation experience that would give me the confidence to join graduate conferences later on.
I started out as a Business major my first semester at Skidmore, but the English Department coaxed out my true passion, and I continue to be thankful for that mentorship.
It's probably easy to imagine how the Skidmore English major helped me to become an Assistant Professor of English, but in actuality becoming a person who teaches writing professionally took time. The English department prepared me for teaching from the very beginning. My first English class was the required composition course. I came into it strikingly confident and impressed with my own abilities - after all, I had made A's in AP English in high school. My first essay came back a D. I spent the rest of the year re-learning how to form arguments, and I did so in small writing workshops with my peers. Halfway through my four years, I grew enough to take the Peer Tutoring training class. I worked as a Writing Center tutor and then became Head Tutor my senior year. The training and all the one-on-one dialogues with students reinforced the peer review lessons from that first composition class: writing was a process, writing was social, and writing required me to rethink and recalibrate my initial thoughts. My senior year, I wrote a senior thesis on James Baldwin. I read all his novels in the fall and wrote the chapters in the spring. My close one-on-one contact with my advisor solidified my close-reading skills and opened my mind to absolutely beautiful literature. Besides giving me the confidence to write such a long document (it checked in at 110 pages!), it also gave me critical ideas for graduate school. Some of the literary critics I used in the thesis ended up in my dissertation for my Ph.D at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Looking back, I know my success so far has grown from my intimate relationships with Skidmore faculty and students: I got individual attention that mattered. By the time I graduated, I also realized that the energized faculty had taught me these life-long writing and reading techniques by blurring the distinction between work and play. I've been having fun ever since.
Please contact Mary Wright with news you would like to share. The English Department, as well as our alumni friends, would like to know where you are and what you've been doing.
CREATIVE THOUGHT MATTERS
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