Alumni Connections, 2013 and 2020

Our panelists for the 2013 Alumni Connections career panel, left to right: Jimbo Ivy (BA ’10), Toni Tadolini (MA ’07), Sarah Caldwell Hancock (BA ’94, MA ’96), Michelle Haupt (BA ’93), and Alyssa Dawson (MA ’10)

Since 2005, the English Department has hosted an alumni career panel to connect our current students with the expertise and life experiences of our alumni.

Alumni Connections was initially inspired by a project that Greg Eiselein, in his previous role as Director of Graduate Studies, was completing for our graduate program. The event soon expanded, though, to include our undergraduate majors and minors as well as our M.A. students, and the planning process became a collaborative effort between the DGS and our Director of Undergraduate Studies, Naomi Wood. We realized that all of our students could benefit from hearing our alumni reflect on their pathway from their English degree to their current professional roles — and the various jobs and choices along the way.

The photo above and flyer below represent our panel as it appeared in 2013:

Thanks to social media, we’re still connected to all of our 2013 alumni panelists, and we’ve enjoyed following their careers (and retirements!) since 2013.

Our alumni network — fostered through social media platforms, email, phone calls, or old-fashioned letters — is one of the strengths of our department’s B.A. and M.A. programs. As faculty, we’re always thinking of possible professional links between the students in our classes and the students who have graduated, and it’s a pleasure to build and maintain those connections.

Our next Alumni Connections event is coming up on Friday, November 6 at 3:30pm via Zoom, given our the current global pandemic —

… and we can’t wait for the insights that our 2020 panelists will share.

You can register to join us at

Karin Westman, Associate Professor and Department Head

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