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Profiles

Headshot of Emily Cerri

Emily Cerri '19

"My English major is kind of my saving grace. I love being an English major."

Emily is currently finishing an honors thesis that analyzes the action role-playing video game NIER. Her project looks at gender and sexuality in NIER and uses queer theory to show how the game critiques traditional fairy tales.

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Headshot of Syki Barbee

Syki Barbee '20

"I am an African American woman, who has an invisible disability and is married to a Puerto Rican woman. I would have loved to read characters who I could see myself in, but unfortunately, I didn’t get that. So, I want to help create that space for people like me."

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Headshot of Rachel Halpern

Rachel Halpern '14

"For English majors, I would say trust yourself … Focus on the skills and the passions that can come out of you from taking a varied course load." Rachel Halpern earned a B.A. in English from UMass in 2014. She now works at Facebook as a content strategist.


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Headshot of Gwendolyn Gustavson

Gwendolyn Gustavson '09

"Go live in the real world. Seriously. It will give you a tremendous sense of perspective, and help you both survive law school and perform better as an attorney. Lawyers are called “counselor” for a reason: we are supposed to counsel our clients. To do that, you need empathy, understanding, and an ability to see the big picture."

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Headshot of Rebecca Tarr Thomas

Rebecca Tarr Thomas '10

"The joke about being an English major ending up as a well-spoken homeless person is stupid. There are so many opportunities available to people with the ability to communicate clearly: it’s a rarer skill than you may imagine, and remarkably valuable in many fields. But you need to go looking for it; you have to start by giving yourselves the marketable skills to succeed."

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Yashika Issrani '20

"The English Department is phenomenal … I appreciate that the professors are accessible and the rest of the department is also easy to approach. The Department makes many efforts to support students, especially through career-related events."

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