Browse Stories by Career

Patricia Bottcher  | Senior Publishing Coordinator | Graduated in 2001

I majored in English at SUNY Geneseo because I loved literature and language as a way of connecting people and transcending barriers.

Ashaki Charles  | Major Gifts Officer, Teachers College, Columbia University | Graduated in 2000

My major was undeclared when I arrived as a first year student at Geneseo in 1996 with no concrete decision regarding a career path.  Rather than focusing on my state of indecision, I kept an open mind and took classes that were of interest to me.

Marc DiPaolo  | Assistant Prof. of English & Film, Oklahoma City University | Graduated in 1997

I wanted to write the fourth greatest vampire tale of all time - after Dracula, Carmilla, and I am Legend - so I thought that majoring in English and studying Catholic theology as a Medieval Studies minor at Geneseo would give me the background I needed to pull off this great achievement (as well as help me understand my Italian heritage better). I was partly right.

Jessica Dluginski  | Account Coordinator, Rubenstein Communications | Graduated in 2007

When I graduated from Geneseo in 2007 with a BA in English, I must admit, I didn’t have much of a sense of direction.  But when I met with a recruiter and underwent a skills assessment, I was sent to Rubenstein to interview.  I had never really considered public relations as a career path before beginning to work for Rubenstein, but I immediately loved the work.  I began as

Jennifer Estleford  | Attorney | Graduated in 2010

     I have known since a young age that I wanted to be a lawyer, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to major in for undergraduate school.  When I was in high school someone told me the best thing to major in before law school is something you are good at and enjoy; this turned out to be the best advice!  I had always enjoyed reading, but one of my English teachers se

Carey Gibbons  | Reference Assistant | Graduated in 2002

I struggled at first in declaring a major at SUNY Geneseo. I was drawn to English lit., especially plays, but I had no idea what I was going to do with an English major. My love of Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde won out, and I graduated with a degree in English in 2002.

Margaret Giordano  | Graduate Student | Graduated in 2011

Reading has always been a passion of mine, yet it never occurred to me to pursue English as a degree until I was well into my sophomore year at Geneseo.  I arrived as an undeclared major and explored my options by taking classes in several disciplines before I realized that English was the only class where I truly enjoyed myself.  I was fortunate enough to explore Broadway with Tom Gr

Amanda Gitomer  | Social Worker | Graduated in 2007

I graduated from SUNY Geneseo in May 2007.  I am a proud English major and still have many of my Geneseo English Major shirts that I wear on occasion.  I majored in English and Spanish and minored in Psychology and Sociology when I was a student at Geneseo.  The majority of the classes I took were in the English Department and focused on social justice issues an

Jesse Goldberg  | Ph.D. Student in English at Cornell University | Graduated in 2012

I came to Geneseo declared as an English major with the intention of earning an Adolescent Education certification through the School of Education so I could be a high school English teacher.

April Hirsh  | Research assistant | Graduated in 2006

Honestly, I can't remember why I majored in English - I came to campus as a communications major - but I'm pretty certain I stuck with it because of the professors in the English department and the thought-provoking, challenging classes that they taught.

Wendi Hoffenberg  | Research Specialist | Graduated in 2000

I majored in English because I wanted to teach composition at the high school level. I knew that I'd need a Master's degree for teaching certification, and one of the professors in Geneseo's School of Education suggested that I earn an MLS (Master of Library Science) degree and become a school library media specialist.

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater  | Author and Writing Teacher | Graduated in 1992

As a little girl, I wrote in big letters in a gingham diary and pretended to teach my dog to read.  At forty-three, my life is, happily, much the same.

Patrick Morgan  | Graduate Student | Graduated in 2010

[Chair's note: Pat had a bit more to report than we had room for here. In particular, he wanted to offer some advice to our undergrads. You can read his full text on the department blog at] The hardest thing about connecting the skills I learned as a Geneseo English major with my life after graduation is knowing where to stop.

Ann Nicodemi  | Director, Donald F. Andrews College Writing Center | Graduated in 2008

I always knew that I wanted to major in English. What that meant professionally, though, I hadn’t quite figured out when I started coursework at Geneseo.  Like many of my classmates, I assumed I would eventually become a high school English teacher. One semester, however, I took a course on James Joyce not knowing a thing about him except for the fact that he was an Irish author.

Julie Nociolo  | Law Clerk, NYS Court of Appeals, Central Legal Staff | Graduated in 2009

I graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2009 with a degree in English Literature, a minor in Philosophy, and as a member of the Edgar Fellows Honors Program.

Katie Pearce  | English Teacher at Great Neck Public Schools | Graduated in 2008

When I came to Geneseo, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, but was torn between music and Spanish. After enrolling in one music class, zero Spanish classes, two English classes, Humanities I, and my honors seminar, my focus began to shift. I fell in love. I loved digging into texts. I loved writing and revising, and revising, and revising.

Amanda Scull (Senft)  | Access Services Librarian | Graduated in 2010

I majored in English Literature at Geneseo because my parents encouraged me to choose a major I enjoyed — and I did enjoy every minute I spent in Welles without giving much thought to a career beyond graduation. It wasn't until a visit to Trinity College in Ireland, completing a Major Authors course on W.B.

Jonathan Senchyne  | Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison | Graduated in 2004

I majored in English with the intention of becoming a teacher at the secondary level. Like many other Geneseo students, I combined my major field with a secondary education minor in the School of Education. As an English major, I discovered that my love of reading was deepened by the analytical abilities literature awakened.

Tracy Strauss  | Faculty, New England Conservatory of Music | Graduated in 1996

With a love for writing and literature, I arrived at SUNY Geneseo as a declared freshman English major. I’d been involved with my high school newspaper as both a writer and editor, and thought I might want to pursue a career in journalism, though I was also interested in creative writing.

Ethan Waddell  | Korean Government Scholarship Program Grantee  | Graduated in 2009

I chose English as a major because I enjoyed writing as a creative outlet. After graduating from Geneseo in December of 2009 with a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing I began applying for positions teaching English in South Korea. From July 2010 until August 2012, I taught English full time to students of all ages in Seoul and Incheon.

George Wilkerson  | Technical Writer & Editor (Retired) | Graduated in 1964

Upon completing my doctorate in Community College Education at the University of Texas in Austin, I was hired as the first academic dean of the newly formed Austin Community College and spent four years "deaning" before I realized that was not my calling. After four years as an administrator, I returned to classroom teaching and was settling in when I got a call from an old friend.