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Student Advisory Board

The Student Advisory Board (SAB) is made up of a group of students representing diverse aspects of the English Department and the University. Among their key duties, they provide important feedback from the English majors at large to the Director of Undergraduate English. Additionally, SAB members particpate in English open houses and meet with prospective UMass students who've expressed interest in studying English. They provide majors with invaluable peer advising assistance at the beginning of pre-registration and are there to help majors make informed decisions based on their aims and interests. 

The board can be contacted by email at and can answer questions about courses, the major, and English department events.

2017-2018 Student Advisory Board

Headshot of Julia AvilaJulia Avila is a senior English major. She writes, "I am an English major because I think writing is one of the most important tools we have. I decided to study English because I wanted to learn more about how writing functions socially. I was drawn to UMass and its English department because it offers five concentrations, two of which fall outside of traditional literary studies. These concentrations have given me the opportunity to take classes in rhetoric, literacy, and digital humanities. I love that I have been able to tailor my academics to my interests, and I know that when I graduate UMass I will leave with a wide variety of professional skills."

Rachel Barry is a sophomore English major hoping to declare another major or a minor in Spanish. I also plan to specialize in Creative Writing and Technical Writing. I am a member of The Reader Society and I have two black kittens Boo and Scout named for the characters in To Kill A Mockingbird.

Quinn Breen is a sophomore English and Political Science double major. I'm interested in specializing in American Studies and Creative Writing. I like to read fiction and poetry, and my favorite book is A Visit From the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan. I'm from Lowell, Massachusetts.

Kelly Brown is a junior English major. She picked it because, "it’s one of the broadest fields that you can incorporate many different interests into. I have a strong interest in film, music, and video games, and the study of English has enhanced my skills of analysis which increase my appreciation for these different forms of art. I’m also very interested in the study of computer science/engineering and robotics, which people always question when I’m an English major. In reality, I’ve learned that the basis of computer science and computer engineering is prospered by rich imagination developed in the humanities departments, like English. In the English major, I am able to incorporate my interest into my other passions and strengthen my knowledge of them."

Igor Bykov  Being originally from Russia and currently living in New Jersey I am a senior majoring in English and Sociology with high hopes to pursue a career in law. I am employed by Chancellor's Office at Whitmore and am also the president of the Delta Chi Fraternity on campus. Music and soccer are my top interests, but I find myself passionate about the legal and sociological aspects of our society. One of my favorite quotes to live by comes from Invictus written by William Ernest Henley "It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."

Pavithra Devarajan is a junior English and Art History double major, pursing studies in Education as well. She is a part of the HFA Student Leadership Board, The Reader's Society, the Art History Society, and writes for one of the many literary journals on campus. In addition to reading and writing, she enjoys being outdoors and going to museums.

Headshot of Yashika IssraniYashika Issrani is a senior English major. When asked why she picked her major, she said, "I am an English major because I want to be a lawyer and I am confident that the English major can prepare me for a rigorous career in law. I wasn’t confident of it at first because of the lingering fear of “what will you do with that major,” but being in the major has allowed me to appreciate the versatility of the major. Moreover, the major has been an integration of all my interests and passions. The best part about the major is that you discover your identity and voice as a writer. I learned that I am not a creative writer. While I appreciate reading creative pieces, I am not the creator of such. Formal and professional writing is my style."

Avery Lussier is a senior English major with a specialization in the Study and Practice of Writing and an enthusiasm for Early Modern drama and history. She is a certified ESL Instructor, member of the NNETESOL Board, and tutor at the UMass Writing Center. In her spare time she loves hanging out with her dog and drinking coffee.

Ashley McDermott is a senior English and Communication double major specializing in creative writing and professional writing and technical communication. She has a passion for all things English, and is involved in various student run organizations on campus. She is a member of English Society, Vice President of HFA Student Leadership Board, Editor in Chief of "The Scribe" literary magazine, Events Coordinator of Enough, and an assistant fiction editor of "Jabberwocky." In addition, she writes for "The Tab" and has been published in various works on campus.

Headshot of Amanda RoseAmanda Rose is a senior English major because she has always had an appreciation for writing and literature. She came into the university as a Dance major, so she initially had very different expectations for how my career would turn out. She's since added Journalism and English. Rose says, "Being in the English major has been one of my most eye-opening experiences as a student here at UMass. I am grateful for how much I’ve learned about the world, and about myself. The professors and students have made the environment tremendously easy to grow and learn in, and I’m proud to be apart of such an intellectual group of people every day."