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English Student and Alumni Profiles

Hear from current students and alumni about their experiences in the English program.

John Au '12

Web & Email Communications Coordinator

John Au

John Au

John Au ’12 is using the writing and creative thinking skills he learned at Fisher to carve out a place in the digital communications field. He credits his degree in English for giving him an upper hand, especially the program’s emphasis on the value of writing and analysis. In his role at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, he was able to achieve one of his ideal jobs. "I wanted a career that allowed me to be creative, yet work with technology—being involved in advocacy is a bonus."

He attributes his current position in web communications and strategy to his internship experiences while at Fisher. He describes his internship at Amnesty International as a “dream job,” that ultimately led to new skills, an expanded network of colleagues, and a job opportunity. 

While Au’s job varies day to day, he spends part of his time coding, designing email campaigns, and improving the user experience on the foundation’s website. “Other days I can be writing, editing, or designing content—even assisting with live social media for concerts.”

Au advises new students to try courses and experiences outside of their initial area of study. “You might find something you like and are good at—it might even lead you to a future career that you wouldn't have imagined.” 

Jacob Boone '18

Health and Benefits Specialist

Jacob Boone

Jacob Boone

First-generation college graduate Jacob Boone '18 is grateful for his experience studying English at Fisher, sharing that majoring in English literature “enabled me to become more engaged as a student and increased my capacity to understand and interact with the world at large."

On campus, Boone was the co-managing editor of Angles, Fisher’s national literary magazine, edited by undergraduates, where he gained valuable experience as a leader. He credits his coursework for teaching him key skills like working in a collaborative environment, as well as providing and receiving feedback. These are skills he uses daily as a health and benefits specialist at Paychex.

He says that being a part of the English department was what he loved most about Fisher and that he has “never known a better learning community or met such interesting people.” 

Shannon DeHoff '17

Graduate Assistant, Penn State University

Shannon DeHoff

Shannon DeHoff

The mentorship and support of faculty at Fisher had a transformative impact on Shannon DeHoff ’17.  DeHoff began her Fisher career as a pre-pharmacy student but ultimately became an English major. Through her early classes, she met Fisher faculty that would eventually become her mentors: Dr. Uman, Dr. Ruehl, and Dr. Lowe. “Those classes sparked my intellectual curiosity in a profound way, and led me to think about structural inequity in society,” she shared. “Since then, I have been passionate about understanding oppression and advocating for the disenfranchised.”

She cannot stress enough how much she values her Fisher education and the “soft skills” she gained by studying the humanities. “Fisher is where I was wholly transformed by both learning and unlearning about the meaning of the world around me and how I can best fit into it.”

She appreciates how her faculty mentors challenged her, encouraged her to take risks, and allowed her to pursue her intellectual interests. During her time at Fisher, DeHoff presented at several conferences, had her work published, and completed two internships - all of which she credits to opportunities provided through her faculty mentors.

Her passion led her to pursue a graduate degree and a role at Penn State University as a graduate assistant at Gender Equity Center, where she advised the peer education groups hosted within the office. As her career advances, she plans to research and publish scholarship on feminist pedagogies, sociology of higher education, and systems of oppression.

“Find something you are enthralled by and delve into a research project about it,” she advises students in all disciplines.