Alumni Stories: Michele Planamento

Michele Planamento graduated from Saint Rose in May 2008 with a B.A. in English and minors in African American Studies and Writing. She currently attends Eastern Michigan University for a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Mental Illness and Chemical Dependency.

Can you tell me a little about your experience at Saint Rose?

Solid people, solid classes.

Describe a memorable moment, professor, or course from The Saint Rose English Department?

There are many: Pete Monaco’s Modern Poetry wasn’t just about poetry, it was about art, history and music and full of shenanigans. Any class with Nester. When Palecanda invited the entire class, Re-Thinking Africa, to her house for dinner and we talked more about life than our assignment. Writing any assignment for Fulwiler’s Reading /Writing the Autobiography—such a personal writing experience overall. Exploring different styles of poetry with Ungar. Good times, great oldies.

What initially led you to choose English?

My love of books.

Do you have any advice for future English majors?

The lessons you will learn about expanding your creativeness and thinking outside of the box through writing and conversing, simply put, don’t lose it. Create and explore. Explore and create.

What did you do after graduating?

Within the following year of graduating I grew restless in Albany and joined AmeriCorps. I volunteered in Detroit, MI as a residential academic tutor and then stayed on as a residential counselor with a national non-profit, Boys Hope Girls Hope. After that I worked at a few random places (coffee joint, Girl Scout Camp, Recycling Plant). For the past year I’ve been working as a direct care giver for people with mental and physical disabilities. In between all of that, I’ve traveled around in multiple states, picked blueberries, gone urban spelunking, slept in a tree, started cooking a lot and infrequently write music show and album reviews for an online music and photography site called Noize. The coolest thing I’m involved in right now is getting my MSW.

Any other comments about the faculty at Saint Rose or the English Department?

It doesn’t get much better than the English Department. They put in so much energy into teaching their courses and their passion is evident. They push you to learn and create. They are personable, resourceful, insightful, fun… the list goes on.

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