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October 12, 2023
By Annalynn Mueller, English Major
Pictured above: The iconic Churchill Hall in the fall morning light.
First of all, some of you may be noticing that there is a new name at the top of the page. My name is Annalynn Mueller and I am a junior English major here at SOU. I am excited for the opportunity to blog for the English Program. I saw the need for a new blogger at the end of sophomore year in Dr. Margaret Perrow’s weekly email. I was immediately interested in this opportunity and after encouragement from English faculty as well as the support of former blogger and friend, Jewel Blanchard, I was in! One of my favorite things about the English Program is that it allows me ways to learn about all types of people and experiences. I hope that the blog will give me another vessel to continue this journey and connect with past, present, and future students, staff, and faculty.
Pictured Above: Annalynn Mueller, current English Program blogger.
At the start of my college journey, I was not sure what major to pick or where to go. I picked English because it seemed like a good starting point; I figured I would switch my major later once I figured out more of what I wanted to do. However, it quickly became clear to me that this was where I was supposed to be and that this program had exactly what I wanted. The English Program offers many more opportunities than many people realize. English courses are offered in literature, professional writing, rhetoric, teaching, and linguistics. All of these courses prepare students for a wide variety of fields such as teaching, marketing, publishing, editing, and many more. Our program also partners with many other programs around campus, preparing students further for their future goals. Dr. Merrilynne Lundahl, Associate Professor of English, explains that “English is a small program within a small school, which means that there is a lot of cross-pollination as we get to draw on other faculty’s specialties. For example, many English courses are also GSWS (Gender Sexuality and Women’s Studies) and ERS (Ethnic and Racial Studies) courses, and colleagues in Spanish and EMDA (Emerging Media and Digital Arts) contribute to our English course offerings.”
“SOU’s English Program is unique because we use our small size as a big strength!”
– Dr. Merrilynne Lundahl
The English Program is an excellent space for opportunity and growth. One of my peers shared that they feel as if the English Program gives them the opportunity to be “constantly learning about new authors, ideas, theories, literary elements and histories.” They mentioned that the camaraderie and support from students and faculty in this program makes it stand out.
“I switched majors for a single term and then came back to English and it was like all the windows were flung open. I had found my people and place.”
– Senior English Major
English is a great program to be a part of no matter where you come from or your background. One of the powerful things about learning from literature is that it brings many different kinds of people together. English Professor Dr. Alma Rosa Alvarez emphasizes, “If your first language was not English and you feel “iffy” about English, know that you don’t have to have great pronunciation or a large vocabulary to become an English major. All that is required is a love of reading. You don’t need to be a great writer. Writing is a process that requires reworking/revision; all effective writers learn this. I can tell you this because English was not my first language; I spoke Spanish at home; and I went to a writing tutor my first year of graduate school. And here I am, working as an English professor!”
Pictured Above: The lovely English faculty matching for the first day of school. From left to right: Dr. Alma Rosa Alvarez, Dr. Diana Maltz, Dr. Merrliynne Lundahl, Dr. Margaret Perrow.
In addition to being a well-rounded and welcoming program, we have fun in the English department. English Professor Dr. Diana Maltz states that she loves teaching English students because of “their excitement as they encounter new literature in class; their wonderful rapport with one another during class; the really funny moments during our class discussions.”
“It is always nice to come back to SOU after the summer and see everybody again.”
– Dr. Maltz
In addition to the fun we have in class, the English Program offers many exciting events outside of class time. On Fridays the English club meets on the top floor of Britt Hall from 1:30 – 2:20 pm. Contact Nat Brame for more information, or stop on by for snacks, games, and fun. Molly McGinley has been working hard as the new English Program student worker and has curated a 13-word spooky-story contest for students, staff, faculty, and community to enter. For more information, contact Molly McGineley or check out this flyer. All of the fun events and faculty offices take place on the top floor of Britt Hall. To learn more about the building that this program resides in and its fascinating history, check out this blog post.
Pictured Above: A dramatic example of a spooky story.
With the creative help of Molly and Nat, as well as other English majors and minors, this year seems like it is off to a great start. There are already many exciting things on the horizon. Dr. Margaret Perrow, English Professor and Chair of the English Program, shares that she is “super excited about all our new certificates, for English majors and non-majors!” Come talk to an English faculty member about how to add one or more to a degree in any major, or check out this flyer.
The English department is full of interesting classes, helpful faculty, a wide variety of opportunities, and supportive peers. If any of this sounds like something that you would be interested in becoming a part of, contact Dr. Margaret Perrow. Welcome back to campus, everyone, from the SOU English Program! We hope you have a great start to the year.
Interested in being featured on the English Program blog? Or know someone who is interested? Contact English Program blogger Annalynn Mueller at email@example.com .