Browse Stories by Career

Benjamin Allee  | Assistant United States Attorney | Graduated in 1999

I graduated from Geneseo in ’99 with dual majors in English and Philosophy. When I found out there was no English factory to go work in, I decided to go to law school, with the hope that I might work as a prosecutor or in some other rare job where I could be intellectually challenged and productive and useful to the community all at once. I graduated from Fordham Law in ’03.

Thaddeus Bates  | Rehabilitation Counselor, Psychology Research Assistant | Graduated in 2007

I majored in English to gain insight.  Insight into the world, the people around me, and myself.  I thought reading and discussing literature would be a good means to do so, and I'm glad I did.

Amy Elizabeth Bishop  | Financial Assistant  | Graduated in 2015

I think I always knew I was going to be an English major — even though I deviated for a semester into International Relations. Even beyond my love for reading and writing, studying English gave me the chance to explore worlds and participate in literary conversations linked to larger social commentary.

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.

Sarah Brancatella  | Attorney  | Graduated in 2004

I didn’t start at Geneseo planning to be an English major or a lawyer.

Emily Brown  | Executive Assistant/Social Worker | Graduated in 2008

To be honest, I declared a major in English because I like to read and write, figuring I would probably change majors at some point once I had a more firm career goal. That never happened, in part because I found I immensely enjoyed the English classes I took at Geneseo, and I graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and a minor in Psychology.

Connor Burgevin  | Teacher | Graduated in 2013

I first came to SUNY Geneseo in the fall of 2009.

Jill Capewell  | Entertainment Copy Editor, Huffington Post | Graduated in 2010

The best thing about Geneseo's small size was the relative lack of intimidation I felt going to an information session for the Lamron, the student newspaper.

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

Marissa Fariello  | Financial Services Assistant | Graduated in 2011

Me? Work in finance?

If someone had told me at graduation I would someday work in finance — and like it- — that would have been my response (with some laughter and perturbed facial expressions thrown in).

Lauren R.D. Fox   | Journalist  | Graduated in 2011

In Fall 2007, I entered Geneseo as a History major. Although it was an intriguing discipline, I didn’t feel excited about the classes I had to take.

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.

Kate Harlin  | PhD Student at U of Missouri | Graduated in 2012

After Geneseo, I spent a year back on Long Island working in a small marketing firm, and applying to graduate schools. Marketing was not for me, and I really missed being in a classroom, so despite some gentle advice from some of my beloved Geneseo professors about the miserable job market landscape, I went all-in and applied to MA and PhD programs across the country.

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.

Kara Johnson  | 4th Grade Teacher | Graduated in 2013

As a senior in high school looking for a strong interdisciplinary background in the liberal arts and sciences with a focus on English literature, taught by incredibly diverse faculty, I found Geneseo's English department a natural fit.

Edward Kemnitzer  | Executive Assistant for Technology Integration of Curriculum | Graduated in 2001

As I begin my fifteenth year in education, having served as an English teacher, Dean of Students, Curriculum Associate for English Language Arts, assistant principal, and now Executive Assistant for Technology Integration of Curriculum Support and Development for the Massapequa Public Schools, I often reflect on what has truly contributed to my success.

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.

Patrick Raitt  | Director, Foundation Relations AARP & AARP Foundation | Graduated in 1999

Since I graduated in '99, I have had the honor of working in a variety of positions at leading nonprofits including AARP & AARP Foundation, National Wildlife Federation, and the Ocean Conservancy. As a fundraising professional, I have worked on issues including overfishing, climate change, early childhood literacy, and senior hunger. I have held positions from entry level to management.

Kate Royal  | Playwright | Graduated in 2013

I entered Geneseo in 2009 with the plan to earn an English Literature degree, go on to get my Masters in teaching, and become a high school English teacher. When I graduated in 2013, I had earned a Theatre/English degree and am heading toward a Masters in playwriting and screenwriting.

Ava Russell  | Editorial Assistant | Graduated in 2014

I started at Geneseo knowing I wanted to study English literature, but with little direction as to what sort of career path I wanted to pursue.

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.

Danielle Sicari  | Attorney | Graduated in 1996

I graduated from St. John's University School of Law in 2000, and since then, I have worked with various offices across Long Island.

Shadman Sinha  | Medical Student | Graduated in 2013

My connection to the SUNY Geneseo English department is somewhat unique in that I was a Biochemistry major at Geneseo. However, I was fortunate to take part in a number of classes with Dr.Beth McCoy over my years there, and I wanted to write this in order to show just how powerful a strong English background can be, even for those of us in the sciences.

Alanna Smith  | Assistant Editor at Marvel Comics | Graduated in 2012

At Geneseo, I majored in English (creative writing path) with a minor in studio art. I also worked as a writer, cartoonist, and editor at the Lamron.

I'm a writer in my free time, and since graduating my plays have been produced three times and I also had a short film produced through a Tongal contest. I'm currently working on a YA fantasy novel and another play.

Carly Smyth  | Middle School English Teacher | Graduated in 2010

I crave adventure.  During college, friends scoffed at me when I told them I planned to head west after graduation.  Many of them wanted to stick around and enter the fiercely competitive job market.  Five years later, several of them are still subbing.  More have finally left to take jobs in other states.

Alyssa Stefanese  | Assistant Hall Director for Living-Learning Communities  | Graduated in 2015

I decided to major in English because I have always had a true love of literature, been an avid reader, and wanted to explore these passions in an academically rigorous setting. Intentionally in my undergraduate career, I believed that my English major would prepare me to attend law school in pursuit of a career in educational law.

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.

Mike Varley  | Animation Producer at Avalanche Studios | Graduated in 2006

First off, it turns out writing your English department alumni profile is the most self-conscious act of grammar policing you'll ever experience.  Remember this in ten years when a professor reaches out to you on social media to participate.

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.