Alumni Connections, 2016 and 2021

Our panelists for the 2016 Alumni Connections career panel, left to right: Kent Glasscock (BA ’76), Lisa Sisley (BA ’92), Melia Fritch (MA ’04), Ashley Brown (BA ’09, MA ’12), and Cheryl Rauh (MA ’11)

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. On Friday November 5 (tomorrow!), we’ll host our 2021 edition.

Alumni Connections was initially inspired by a project that Greg Eiselein, in his previous role as Director of Graduate Studies, started for our graduate program. We soon expanded the event, 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 represents our panel as it appeared in 2016:

Ashley Brown (BA ’09, MA ’12), Museum Services
Melia Fritch (MA ’04), Library and Information Services
Kent Glasscock (BA ’76), Law and Economic Development
Cheryl Rauh (MA ’11), Technical and Professional Writing, College Teaching, Student Services
Lisa Sisley (BA ’92), Business, Public Relations, and Marketing

Thanks to social media and their current positions in Manhattan and the region, we’re still connected to all of our 2016 alumni panelists, and we enjoy following their pathways since 2016.

Our alumni network — fostered through social media platforms, email, or phone calls — continues to be one of the strengths of our department’s B.A. and M.A. programs. As faculty, we’re always thinking of possible connections between the current students in our classes and the students who have graduated. Our new undergraduate course on “Career Paths in English and the Humanities” offers yet another venue to share these connections.

Join us tomorrow (Friday, November 5) at 3:30pm CT via Zoom for our next panel —

… and we’re looking forward to the insights that our 2021 panelists will share!

You can register to join us at

Karin Westman, Department Head

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