English at the Mount: Not all that meets the eye

by · January 28, 2019

Victoria Kuhr ’20 (bottom row, first from left) is also a part of the Dominican Scholars of Hope, a living and learning community at the Mount dedicated to discovering and participating in the Mount’s Dominican heritage.

Despite having a self-proclaimed Type A personality, junior Victoria Kuhr was attracted to becoming an English major because of the very diversity and unstructured nature of the study.

“I was drawn to being an English major because of how diverse the major is and how there is not one direction nor field you can go in,” she explains.

The best advantage Victoria sees to being an English major is the tight knit community  she found in the Division of Arts and Letters.

“My academic division is fairly small, but it is extraordinarily close knit,” she said. “I feel I practically live in the Arts and Letters departments during certain times of the year whether needing help in my work or just to chat to some of my professors.”

Plus, the faculty have encouraged her to think outside of the ordinary when it comes to applying her degree, which also includes a minor in Journalism and concentrations in Writing and Creative Writing. “I am beginning to learn there are many more opportunities for an English major than I initially imagined. My favorite part has been learning how to write in different ways, like a grant and a work place ethnography.”

She particularly enjoyed the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) last summer, where she participated in one-on-one research with a professor on 17th and 18th century cookery and medical recipes in various manuscripts. She began the research as part of an honors-by-contract course through the college’s Honors Program, but then had the opportunity to continue the project through SURE.

“Never did I think doing extra work for my honors class would lead me to doing the SURE program, doing my own individual research, and getting recognition for the blog post I wrote on purging children in 18th century England. The experience made me realize that one choice can lead to many more great and unexpected things to happen.”

For those considering joining her in the pursuit of English, she advises them to keep an open mind to opportunities that may arise.

“English incorporates communicating, writing, and figuring out how to think in different ways,” she explains. “It is also good for those who may not know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. Going into my third year of college, I have ideas of what I want to do, and not all of them are specific to English. English as a major or a minor opens far more doors than people expect it to.”

Want to learn more about the Mount’s English major? Click here!