Alumni Stories: Brian MacAlpine

Brian MacAlpine graduated from Saint Rose in 2007 with his BA in English. During his junior year at Saint Rose, Brian did a semester abroad in Cork, Ireland, and this trip served as a beginning for more travelling.

After graduation, Brian made his way to South Korea, where he taught English in South Korea for two years. “It was a great experience; I met my wife and really learned a lot about myself by being immersed in another culture,” Brian says. “I recommend doing something of this nature to all grads. Asian job markets are strong, the students are eager and you can pay off your loans.”

After South Korea, it was back to New York for Brian and onto the next step in his career path. Brian is currently a student at the Glenn Falls Hospital School of Radiologic Technology, and he will receive his license as a Radiologic Technologist this summer. While he goes to school, Brian works weekends as a tech aid in the CT Department at Glenn Falls Hospital.

How does one go from teaching to medical technology? For Brian, the link goes back to a project he did during his time at Saint Rose.

“As a senior I did an independent study on the works of Thomas Mann,” he says. “I found his novel, The Magic Mountain, fascinating, especially the passages about the early days of diagnostic x-ray.” His background in English not only sparked his specific interests, but also provided both the disposition and the necessary skills to perform his current job. “I think a literature background makes for a better outlook on life in general and the discussion based classes at Saint Rose have helped me to be able to communicate complex information to the patients I see each day.”

After his licensing this summer, Brian hopes to move into a career in MRI or CT in a trauma/critical care setting.

For Brian, travel, teaching, and even Radiology Technology have all branched from his undergraduate work in English at Saint Rose, and his success in such different fields is a result of using the components of his degree to the fullest. He encourages others to have the same flexibility with their English degree: “Don’t let an English degree be a limiting factor—let it be a foundation to move on to other things.”

Because, as Brian jokes, “We can’t all go for MFAs and teach creative writing,” following your particular interests can really let you explore all of the places an English degree can take you.


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