Life after IWU

 What can you do with an English major? The short answer is, What can't you do with an English major?  A recent article in the Harvard Business Review told business leaders to hire from English and the humanities if they're looking for innovative thinking.  An English major is solid preparation for any number of fields.  Many of our graduates keep in touch.  Here's what some of them have been doing:

Anne Barker (‘96) is a research librarian at a law firm in the San Francisco area and Government Relations Chair for the San Francisco Bay Region chapter of the Special Libraries Association.

David Barrett (’92) is a Massachusetts civil litigation attorney, Vice-President of LawRex.com (The Legal Referral Exchange), and Director of Social Media for The Rainmaker Institute.

Sarah Bordson (‘06) is E-communications Associate for the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

Katie Brokaw (‘02) is pursuing a Ph.D. in English at the University of Michigan.

Dave Brown (’96) is Managing Editor at the Marine Corps Times and has interviewed Presidents Bush and Obama as part of his job.

Joshua Butts ('01) is the Director of Development for Principal and Major Gifts at Harvard University.

Martez Clark (’98) got a law degree from Stanford and is practicing privately in the Chicago suburbs.

Katie Coleman (‘04) received an M.A. in Environmental Journalism from Michigan State University and is now a Development Associate at the Environmental Law and Policy Center.

 Jackie Connelly ('12) is now Senior Editor of Independent Agent magazine, published by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America. 

Emma Davidson (’06) is pursuing a Master’s degree in international development.

Anna Deters ('05) is currently finishing her Ph.D. in eighteenth-century British literature at Washington University in St. Louis.

Emily Frantzen ('09) is teaching English as a foreign language in Romania for the Peace Corps.

Chris Fusco (’94) is an award-winning General Assignment Reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Gail Gaboda ('88) is a Special Sections Editor/Designer for The Daily Herald in Chicago.

Eric Gardner (’89) is Chair, Braun Fellow and Professor of English at Saginaw Valley State University whose experiences at IWU led him to pursue further research in the field of African American literature.

Catherine Gilbert ('05) is a tenured Assistant Professor of English at Heartland Community College, where she teaches different levels of composition as well as creative writing and the occasional literature class. She is also the Writing Across the College Coordinator, which means she is the point-person for help with creating assignments/teaching writing concepts in all the different disciplines and departments here at HCC.

Gretchen Grabowski ('03) is the Research Manager at FUSION, a new TV Network launched by ABC and Univision.

John Hagemann (’98) began as a journalist but is now in the Master’s program at Washington State pursuing a degree in English composition and rhetoric.


Charles Haugland (‘06) is literary fellow at the Huntington Theatre in Boston.

Katie (Forristall) Hermann, ('05) attended University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business and with an MBA concentrating on Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship. She is currently working for Coinstar, Inc. as part of their strategic planning team.

Valerie Higgins ('08) received an MLS from Indiana University and is now Lab Archivist at Fermilab.

Richard House (‘94) is an Associate Professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Elizabeth Hudson ('11) is teaching high school English at Lowpoint-Washburn High School in Washburn, IL.

Sarah (Zeller) Julian ('07) is a supervising editor at Wolfram
Research in Champaign, Illinois.

Tariq Khan (’93) is Foreign News Editor/Film News Contributor for Fox News Channel in New York.

Tracy Lytwyn ('12) is a press secretary for the Indiana Senate Republican Caucus.

Linda Martin ('10) is pursuing a PhD in English literature at Boston College. She also works part-time for a Chicago-area e-learning company.

Rachel Marusarz (’04) is Manager of Grant Writing & Direct Marketing at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

Karin McDowell (’00) used her English-Writing major, Argus work and internship experience to rise on the corporate ladder at Country Financial, where she is now ITS Project Manager specializing in Change Management.

Molly McLay (‘06) is pursuing an MSW degree at the University of Illinois and a career in writing therapy.

Kay Mitchell ('06) is Children's Marketing Associate at Sourcebooks, Inc., a publishing company in the Chicago area.

Marcus Mitchell ('09) currently pursuing his Ph.D. in English at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH

David Moll (’90) is the Night Editor at the International Herald Tribune in Hong Kong.

Paul Morello ('09) is working at WJBC radio in Bloomington and was accepted into the University of Illinois Master's program in journalism.

Jennifer (Christopher) Nau '03 is a Senior Account Supervisor at JSH&A Public Relations in Chicago, overseeing accounts for The Hershey Company, Nestle Purina PetCare, Beam Inc., and SKIL Power Tools.

Jen Pasyk (’96) is teaching religion at a private high school in the Chicago suburbs.

Doug Pietrzak (‘05) is bicycling across South America as part of the Reach the World program, reporting on his journey via the Internet to thousands of Chicago public school students.

Robert Rave (’96) went on to work for a New York City public relations firm and turned those experiences into his first novel, Spin (St. Martin’s Press, 2009). His second novel is already written, and he is under contract to produce a third.

Erie Martha Roberts (‘06) was a double major in English and history who’s now a secondary English teacher in Abingdon, United Kingdom.

Sarah Rueth (’07) is pursuing a Master’s degree in environmental studies.

Laura Sahn (’04) found that the skills an English major develops prepared her to work as Merchandise Planning Manager for Textiles at Crate & Barrel.

Sehaj Sethie (‘08) is pursuing an M.F.A. in filmmaking at New York University.

Joshua Shull (’02) went on to form his own marketing company.

Jim Stahly (’91) worked as a reporter for a time before moving on to become an Advertising Analyst for State Farm Insurance.

Leah (Strege) Huffman (’08) earned a Master's in English at DePaul University and is working as an assistant editor in the books department at Quintessence Publishing.

Zach Summers (‘03) received a J.D from Yale Law School and is an associate in the law firm of Irell and Manella.

Asra Syed (’98) is teaching high school English in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

Megan Thoma ('05) teaches high school Humanities in Providence, RI where she also teaches and mentors for the Brown University MAT program. She is an active poet and organizer in the spoken word community. She was the 2009 New England Individual Slam Champion and a 2011 National Poetry Slam finalist.

Kate Weber (‘02) became managing editor of West Suburban Living upon graduation, then got her teaching certification and now teaches honors English at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va.

Rebecca Welzenbach (‘07) is Digital Publishing Project Manager at the University of Michigan Scholarly Publishing Office.

Landis Wiedner (‘06) is a teacher at the Gwendolyn Brooks College Prepatory Academy.

Nikki Williams (’98) is working at a vineyard in northern California and pursuing a Master’s in winemaking.

Melissa Marie Wilhelm (‘05) was a double major in English-Writing and dance at IWU, and combined those majors in a career as the circus performer for Cirque-tacular who handles all the public relations for her troupe.

Jessica Wiley ('08) is a Development Editor working on health professional books for McGraw-Hill.