Alumni/ae

English Major Claire Kim '16 Profiled on Art History Blog

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Here’s a bit of interdepartmental and cross-disciplinary intertextuality! Over at the #FordhamArtHistory blog, Art Ramblings, there’s a nice profile of Claire Kim, who graduated from Fordham in 2016 “with a major in English and a minor in Art History, and has been building a successful career in the arts ever since. By day, she is the Special Assistant to the President of BRIC, the Brooklyn arts powerhouse that fosters the creativity of Brooklyn arts and media. Outside of BRIC, Claire is hard at work on her independent curatorial practice, creating exhibitions in unexpected and thought-provoking spaces, and focusing on creating an access point into various art forms for a wider audience.”

To read the rest of the profile—written by Julie Hamon, Art History Media Intern, FCLC ’19—go to Art Ramblings.

Associated Press Recognizes Fordham English Alum

Christy Pottroff, PhD 2017, now an Assistant Professor at Merrimack University, is receiving recognition for her work concerning America’s first published poet Anne Bradstreet. Pottroff and her group of fellow professors and students are working to find the exact site where Bradstreet was buried and at the same time attempting to restore her legacy and, according to the Associated Press, “her rightful place in the pantheon of Western literature.”

In an interview with the AP, which ran in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and several other newspapers, Pottroff says, “Even though we don’t know much about her, she was a household name in the 17th century, both here and in England.”

The article simplifies what had been a much more complex conversation. That said, the fact that the project is getting coverage at all is, according to Pottroff, “mind blowing.” In addition to this, Pottroff and her team are putting out a collection of poetry (modern poets responding to Bradstreet's work) and a mobile game app (like, Pokemon Go, Anne Bradstreet edition). And they’ve actually found an archaeologist who is going to do a scan of Bradstreet’s family property to see if we can find the foundation of her home. 

Check out their Finding Bradstreet website here: https://www.findinganne.org

On top of this, Pottroff was one of eight people accepted into the First Book Institute at Penn State, where she’ll be workshopping her book project this summer with a distinguished group of early career Americanists.

Congratulations to Professor Pottroff on all her great work!

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A Fordham English Degree Opens Doors

Kamrun Nesa, Fordham ‘16, has only been out of school a short time, and she’s already making her mark on the publishing world. Kamrun is an associate publicist at Grand Central Publishing and a freelance writer whose work has appeared in USA Today and The Washington Post.

Kamrun Nesa, ‘16.

Kamrun Nesa, ‘16.

When asked about her experience at Fordham, Kamrun says, “Fordham’s English Department was instrumental in launching my career as a book publicist and freelance writer, namely three professors who provided a strong support system during my time at Fordham: Mary Bly, Elizabeth Stone, and Vlasta Vranjes.”

Kamrun took several journalism classes––taught by Elizabeth Stone––for Fordham’s award-winning student newspaper The Observer, which inspired her to take up freelance writing during college.

“I also took Mary Bly's Publishing: Theory and Practice class my junior, which introduced me to the many facets of publishing and also inspired me to pursue creative writing and craft my own stories. I received my first internship through that class, which put me on a trajectory that culminated in a full-time publicity job at a book publishing house after college. 

While the professional courses helped me hone my career (and craft!), the literature courses I took, namely Victorian and 19th-century literature, deepened my appreciation for books. I loved books long before college, but Vlasta Vranjes’ creative approach took that to another level and enhanced my understanding of subtext. This level of deep analysis is something I continue to use in my writing and my full-time job. It’s how I come up with angles for the projects I work on and write press releases.”

Click here see Kamrun’s most recent article in the Washington Post: "Misconceptions about arranged marriage abound. Romance authors are here to help."

Congratulations to Kamrun! We wish her continued success.

Fordham PhD Alum Inspiring Undergrads Through Collaboration

Recent PhD graduate Kate Nash inspires students every day in Boston University’s General Studies Program. Collaborating with computer engineering and psychology undergraduate students on her various projects, Dr. Nash is leading the next generation of thinkers and researchers, while also gleaning new perspectives from students of a wide variety of disciplines.

Nash is currently working on a critical analysis of Muriel Spark’s 1963 novel, The Girls of Slender Means, and she’s employed the help of Psychology/English major Coleen Ilano, to collect research materials for the project.

Kate Nash with Coleen Ilano.

Kate Nash with Coleen Ilano.

Ilano says she loves her classes with Nash—so the project was a perfect fit: “I am able to learn more about the subjects I love while also being able to assist a professor who I greatly admire and respect.” Ilano says that working on this project has taught her “the ways that women in fiction can exercise agency and maintain autonomy over their bodies” even when those acts might also conform to “restrictive social standards.”

Nash is also collaborating with her students on a book she’s writing “on how twentieth-century writers—among them Virginia Woolf, Betty Miller, and Muriel Spark—incorporated wartime food ephemera into their fiction. During the austere years of World War I and World War II, governments aimed to manage food consumption through mass-media campaigns. Nash looks at how women writers incorporate these propaganda materials—from posters to infant feeding manuals to domestic pamphlets—into their writing as they confront how the state regulates femininity and the female body in service of the nation. In the books that Nash studies, young women use chocolate as a form of currency during the hungry years of wartime London, and a restaurant meal becomes a symbol of racial discrimination.”

For more information on Kate Nash and her current projects go here:

https://www.bu.edu/cgs/2018/05/04/a-look-at-undergraduate-research-women-writers-food-and-wartime/

Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the Lauer Scholarship

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In her 42 years of teaching at Fordham, Professor Kristin Lauer fostered the varied aspirations of her legions of devoted students--from dancers to those in law and law enforcement, from social workers to professional writers--by sharing her passionate belief in the great usefulness to life of writing well and studying the examples of great writers.

This scholarship will annually draw attention to a student who has embraced the major with a demonstrated sense of direction and purpose. She might have an internship where her music reviews are already appearing on-line.  He might be volunteering as a tutor of English at a local school and have begun work toward a teaching degree.  She may have written an account of her experience working in a hospital, or a lab, or aan animal preserve on her way to applying for a Fulbright or other prestigious fellowship. In putting a spotlight on examples like these (drawn from actual students), this prize will inspire majors and potential majors to connect their work in the classroom and the library with their ambitions in the world beyond.

Honoring Kris’s inspiring legacy, this scholarship looks to the future by recognizing and supporting students who see the English major as integral to a directed and meaningful life.

 

In honor of Professor Kristin O. Lauer's legacy, an anonymous donor will double all gifts, up to $100,000! For every $1 given, this generous donor will contribute $2 to the campaign! To donate,  please go to https://www.givecampus.com/schools/FordhamUniversity/kristin-o-lauer-scholarship

Alumna Andreas Gives Career Advice to Grad Students

Fordham English alumna Dr. Susan Andreas recently lectured at the University about alt-academic careers. PhD candidate Kevin Stevens reports on the event:

On March 7 in Cunniffe House, Fordham English alumna Dr. Susan Andreas returned to Rose Hill to speak to graduate students about her employment experiences during and after her PhD. As the featured speaker of the Graduate English Association’s “What’s Next?” series, Dr. Andreas discussed completing her PhD while working part-time as a copy editor at the pharmaceutical marketing agency CDMI Connect. She explained how her part-time experiences gradually grew into a full-time position at CDMI, where Dr. Andreas continues to work as a Vice President and Editorial Director.

Dr. Andreas offered practical advice about exploring the alt-ac job market and leveraging the skills one gains within the academy to flourish outside of it. In outlining her career trajectory, Dr. Andreas emphasized the transferability of the skills she gained from her doctoral career to her editorial and managerial positions. Moreover, Dr. Andreas advised current graduate students to explore job opportunities outside of the academy: even a freelance copy-editing position, she explained, helps students network, diversify their resumes, and explore (without committing to) potential new careers.

The Graduate English Association thanks the Graduate Student Association for generously funding this event.