K-State English at Work in the World

Originally published October 28, 2016.

Welcome to the relaunch of our long-standing print newsletter, English Matters, for the 21st century!

This new platform will allow us to provide timely updates on our current work in English at Kansas State as well as glimpses into the department’s past and its future.

We are also eager to make visible the many contributions that English makes to our world – including the world of business, as the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week.

“Hunting for Soft Skills, Companies Scoop Up English Majors” (25 Oct. 2016) offers further proof of what our alumni tell us in conversation and what we observe over social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter: an English degree pays dividends, both personally and professionally, and has currency in a wide range of contexts.

These insights are not news to us. See, for example, two recent articles by Robert Matz, Senior Associate Dean and Professor of English at George Mason University: “What Can I Do with an English Major?” and “The Myth of the English Major Barista.” See also the accomplishments of our alumni who participated in our 2016 Alumni Connections Career Panel and whose current career paths only scratch the surface of possibility for graduates in English:


Photo, left to right: Lisa Sisley (BA ‘92), Business, Public Relations, and Marketing; Melia Fritch (MA ’04), Library and Information Services; Ashley Brown Morris (BA ’09, MA ’12), Museum Services; and Cheryl Rauh (MA ’11), Technical and Professional Writing, College Teaching, and Student Services. They shared the professional possibilities of a degree in English at our annual Alumni Connections panel, Oct. 2016.

We’re looking forward to sharing with you how K-State English is at work in the world. In the weeks ahead, you can look forward to hearing more about:

  • Current and upcoming events #KStateEnglishNow
  • Our faculty #WorkplaceWeds, #ShelfieThurs
  • Our students #KStateStudents
  • Our alumni  #KStateAlum, #EnglishJobs
  • Our community outreach #KStateCommunity, #KStateYoungWriters
  • Our history #KStateEnglishPast
  • Our areas of specialization #KStateCS, #KStateChLit, #KStateCW, #KStateLit, #KStateCompRhet, #KStateLing, #KStateTechWr, #KStateDH

Watch, too, for an opportunity to help us select the photo that best represents the work of our department. Our placeholder image – the roses blooming outside the English/Counseling Services Building – offers a reminder that English captures life in art, sometimes with beautiful results.

Have an idea for a post? A question or concern? Email us at english@ksu.edu.

Karin Westman has served as Department Head of English since 2007. This semester, in addition to her administrative responsibilities, she is teaching a graduate seminar on “Harry Potter and Literary History” and finishing her book on the same topic.


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