Congratulations to Jessica Lamoureaux! She will be graduating in May with a Bachelor’s degree in English. We took this opportunity to ask her a few questions about her time here at St. Rose and what her plans are for the future.
What made you decide to become an English major?
I’ve always loved reading. Writing was the natural next step – after reading so many stories, I had plenty of my own to tell. When I went to college, though, I was hesitant to declare an English major. I loved analyzing literature in high school, but I knew there was a stigma attached to the major. What would I do with it? To buy myself time, I decided to remain undecided. I actually ended up declaring my major at orientation, when I found out that the Exploratory Program for undecided students mandated some sort of class on time management. I figured, why beat around the bush? It was easily one of the best decisions I made in college. English is definitely where I belong.
Why Saint Rose?
Our department. The English faculty members at Saint Rose are beyond phenomenal. They’re all brilliant, and their passion and knowledge have spurred me on every step of the way.
What was your experience like as a St Rose student? Any particular classes or moments that stand out?
I’ve been pretty busy these past four years. I loved all of my classes, especially Critical Theory, Afrofuturism, and Native American Lit. My senior seminar, Satan in Literature, was awesome – it led to my Summer Research Grant, which allowed me to write my paper that’s being published in the Journal of Undergraduate Research. I was in eight drama productions, two web shows, and a handful of student films. My semester abroad in England was easily the best adventure I’ve ever been on; I studied Shakespeare in London, wandered street markets in Versailles, and stood on the battlefield that marked the last battle between the English and the Highland Scots. I brought home tons of stories (which everyone is tired of hearing!) and a newfound love of travel. This semester, I completed my senior writing project, which consists of three short stories and a novella that play with themes from fairy tales and quest stories. I won the Senior Writing Award and was named my class’s Outstanding Senior in English. I guess I kind of did it all.
Do you have an area of concentration? What are you most interested in, with regard to English studies?
I would say I have concentrations in creative writing and postcolonial literature. I love looking at books as tools of expression and picking apart language to identify the kinds of things that it constructs. Postcolonial theory provides a base from which to explore the systems embedded in our world; it helps us recognize the constructs that have been put in place to regulate society. I’m a total nerd for theory in general.
What’s next for you?
A break! I’m taking a year off before I go to graduate school.
What are your long-term goals for your degree?
I want to either work in publishing or become a college professor. Or both!
Any advice for new or prospective English majors at Saint Rose?
Read widely and wildly. Get involved – check out the drama program or sneak into an English Club meeting. Oh, and use lots of sticky notes!