Hometown: Germanton, NC

Major and Minor: BA in Creative Writing, English, and History; MA in English; MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction

Current Employment: Author and Affiliated Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Salem College

What role has the English major played in your career path?

I’ve wanted to be a published author ever since childhood, so I always expected to major in English because reading and writing are so intertwined. One of the most valuable assets of an English major is that you are exposed to writings by a variety of people throughout time and geography.

As a writer and a professor of writing, I see writing and reading as a way of communicating. An English major encourages this appreciation of the social and cultural value of books. The idea that books can transport a reader to a different world may be cliché, but it is also accurate. Reading allows us to access worlds and people who are different from us, sometimes in a reality similar to our own or in a fantastic place of imagination. Being an English major allowed me to learn about other people and places, and glimpse experiences far different from my own, while also giving me a community of other readers to engage with. I read and discussed works of value and made meaning and connections through the texts, which has helped me to write literature that can impact others—literature that is meaningful and human.

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