#MondayMotivation: Patricia Highsmith

“I create things out of boredom with reality and with the sameness of routine and objects around me.”


Patricia Highsmith

Image via The Guardian


NEW: Digital Publishing Minor


Rationale for the program:

Publishing is now mostly prepared digitally even when the outcome is a printed book, magazine or newspaper. Beyond the traditional publishing world, many businesses and organizations now handle their own publishing needs in-house, presenting their work to the world via an integrated platform that includes websites, blogging and multiform social media support. Students will learn the basic skills of digital publishing to pursue work writing and editing for a variety of content providers and marketing outlets.

Required courses (14-15 credits):

ENG 115 Intro to New Media


ENG 116 Professional Writing


ENG 253 Intro to Digital Publishing


ART 110 Two-Dimensional Concepts


CSC 112 Fundamentals of Comp Science


CSC 202 Intro to Programming


Choose one course from the following:

ENG 206 Creative Writing


ENG 251 Nonfiction Writing


ENG 252 Writing for Digital Media


Choose one course from the following:

The 300-level course should be taken after completing ENG 206, ENG 251, or ENG 252.

ENG 311 Wrtg Creative Non-Fiction


ENG 312 Writing Poetry


ENG 313 Writing Fiction


ENG 314 Script Writing


ENG 315 Professional Writing & Editing


ENG 317 The Art of the Essay


ENG 381 Periodical Studies


ENG 253: Intro to Digital Publishing

This course will introduce the processes of digital publishing with an emphasis on practical skill building. Students will survey the history of the book as a technology for information, examine the typical requirements for copy editing at a professional level, then work through the basic steps of producing a simple ebook including attention to design and layout. Prerequisite: ENG 105 or equivalent. (L05)

Download the latest English Department Newsletter! Link to PDF below

2018 St. Rose English Newsletter (1)


Dorothy K

Alumni Snapshots: Christopher Surprenant, ’14

By Kristina Golden, ’19

Over the past few months, the Academic Success Center at Saint Joseph’s Hall has been swamped with anxiety-ridden seniors. Some have their eyes set on the job market, while others are frantically submitting last minute applications to graduate programs. During an interview with Christopher Surprenant, ’14, who is currently pursuing his MA in English at Northeastern University, I got some insider tips for when it’s time to apply to your dream school.

_Surprenant IMG_4238

Were you an Albany local before attending The College of Saint Rose? What attracted you to our campus?

Surprenant: I’m from the Utica area, about 90 miles away from Albany. I wanted to be somewhere relatively close to home. I visited SUNY Oswego and LeMoyne, and finally Saint Rose with my mom in the fall. After we parked and left the car, we walked along Madison Avenue. I loved the idea of being able to get out of class and walk five minutes to grab some groceries or get a coffee at Tierra Coffee Roasters. I felt like I would have a little slice of home with me because the campus gave me a close-knit, connected vibe and that was really comforting.

Did you know as a high school senior that you wanted to become an English major? If not, what did you previously envision studying? What ultimately led you to pursue a degree in the humanities?

Surprenant: I was fairly certain that when I went to college I would major in English. I had always loved reading and writing, so the thought of being surrounded by others who did that for fun and not just for class was really appealing to me. I had excellent English teachers in high school that made the subject fun and made me think about the world around me in ways that I had never before considered.

I feel English majors get a lot of flack for our degree because of the stigma that it is unprofitable. Did you ever have friends or family in a STEM-oriented field question you about your future career possibilities as an English major?

Surprenant: I’ve never had anyone outright question my choice of major. I have always been very confident in my choice since the time I was a freshman. I respect the ways that STEM fields help their students to grow and develop. Humanities majors grow and develop in a different way. I hate seeing a divide between the two fields because they actually have a lot to learn from each other. Going into a field just for the money or the sake of a job doesn’t make much sense if someone isn’t particularly good at what they hope to do someday or they aren’t that invested in the subject.

Were there any classes at Saint Rose that you wish you could have taken, but you never got the chance?

Surprenant: I did want to take Dr. Sweeney’s 19th-century periodicals course, but it never fit into my schedule. I also wish that I had taken some more Communications courses like Comm Law or Film Production. That was definitely one of my favorite parts about academics at Saint Rose. There were so many courses to choose from and we had so many talented professors who cared about the success of their students.

How was your experience getting into Northeastern? Is there any advice you can give to students who are thinking of pursuing a graduate degree in English (or any field)?

Surprenant: I decided to take two years off between undergrad and grad school, and I think it was one of the best choices I made. I was able to work at a newspaper for two years and get some real experience, save money, and reflect and think about whether or not I should pursue another degree. The process of applying can get really overwhelming sometimes. I remember putting off the GRE and the [GRE English] subject test for as long as I could. The personal statement is what was most difficult for me. What helped me the most was reaching out to several former professors and asking them for feedback. While I do know people who wrote their personal statement in a week and successfully got into grad school, the majority of people I’ve spoken to about it spent many, many drafts perfecting it. While it takes time, a good personal statement feels like quite an accomplishment once it’s completed.

Stop what you’re doing right now and read ________________________.

Surprenant: Is It Just Me? by Miranda Hart. If you love goofy British humor, Miranda Hart will have you rolling—and definitely watch her show, too!

Alumni Snapshots: Abbey Barker, ’15

By Christiane Lee, ’18

Abbey Barker, 24, graduated from the College of Saint Rose with an English degree in 2015. She started college as a Communications major with a Journalism concentration, but switched into English at the beginning of her freshman year. She moved to Brooklyn after four years of traveling between Albany for school and Manhattan for her internship, but has since returned to the Capital Region for work. She loves writing creative non-fiction, literary criticism, and journalism. As an upcoming graduate, I took the opportunity to ask her some questions about her experiences as a humanities major after leaving Saint Rose.

_Barker IMG_4677What do you work in now? Do you use the skills you learned as an English major in this work?

Barker: I am currently the Field Director for Paul Tonko’s 2018 re-election campaign. Being an English major instilled in me the critical thinking skills and tools for thoughtful discourse that I use every day.

What kinds of jobs were you looking for after you graduated?

Barker: I interned every summer throughout college and, thankfully, was offered a full-time job before graduation. I started as the Administrative Director and Social Media Assistant at Bob Mackie Design Group at the beginning of 2015 and left as Social Media Director in 2017.

What difficulties did you face in the job hunt?

Barker: I started working at Bob Mackie when I was eighteen and before I knew it, I had been there for 5 years. What I wanted professionally and creatively began to shift. When I started looking for jobs and seeing what was out there, there were a lot of moments of feeling I wasn’t qualified to do anything combined with the insecurity of knowing there are 40 other people going for the same job I was. I say all that to say, be kind to yourself. It is hard to be young and unsure and searching for the job of your dreams or even the job that pays your rent. Be patient with yourself and with the process.

Have you thought about graduate school?

Barker: I have looked at CUNY Hunter and Emerson College’s MFA in Creative Non-Fiction/Creative Writing programs. Grad school is something I’ve been going back and forth on since my junior year of college. My approach has revolved around needing everything to fall into place perfectly: the timing would have to be right, the creative energy would have to be all but overflowing, and the funds to support myself would have to be available. In the three years since undergrad, I’ve been close to applying, but it never felt right.

If you could give one piece of advice to new and graduating English majors, what would it be?

Barker: You might think you know everything, but you actually know nothing. Let life happen so you can learn something.

English majors recognized at Honors Convocation

Five English majors were among the Saint Rose students recognized for academic achievement at the annual Honors Convocation at the Massry Center for the Arts on Saturday, March 24. The honorees were:

Carolynn Bruni — Outstanding English: Adolescence Education/Special Education Major

Derek Bushnell — Outstanding English: Adolescence Education Major

Danielle Epting — Professor S. R. Swaminathan Award for outstanding senior English major with plans to attend graduate school

Meghan Kelley — Outstanding English Major

Christiane Lee — Senior Writing Award

In addition, Jennifer O’Keefe, a double major in Special Education and Elementary Education with a concentration in English Language Arts, was honored for her essay “A Place for Sympathy within the Law,” which she wrote for ENG 223: Sympathy and the Early American Novel, taught by Dr. Brian Sweeney. The essay was one of five chosen for publication in the 2017 Saint Rose Journal of Undergraduate Research.

English faculty members Dr. Eurie Dahn, Dr. David Morrow, Dr. Dave Rice, and Dr. Sweeney were in attendance to congratulate honorees and their guests.

Congratulations to all the honorees!