Alumni

Alumni from the Department of English pursue a wide variety of careers ranging from law and graduate study through public relations, film-making, and creative writing. The department hosts an annual Family Reunion during Homecoming featuring alumni who return to talk about their studies and accomplishments.

Graduates teach at universtities and colleges

  • Department graduates such as Karen Keaton Jackson and Qiana Robinson Whitted are professors in the state university systems of South and North Carolina respectively and have published in the fields of African-American literature and rhetoric. Whitted’s book, “A God of Justice?" The Problem of Evil in 20th Century Black Literature, is a 2009 University of Virginia Press publication.
  • Graduate LaRose Davis earned her doctorate and has taught at Emory University and Spelman College, and has most recently published an essay in the Cambridge collection of essays on African-American literature.

Among the many lawyers who began their education with the degree in English are:

  • Erin Walsh Brooks, with a law degree from Yale University
  • Angel Harris, who completed her work at Georgetown University.

The program also nurtures creative writers and film makers.

  • Nicole Bailey-Williams is a nationally recognized author of adolescent fiction, and DuEwa Frazier is an award-winning poet.
  • Timothy (Tim) Lee is the editor of Youth and Teen Resources for Urban Ministries Inc (UMI).The department’s new initiative in film studies has already sent two undergraduates to the Cannes Film Festival and has placed graduates at the American Film Institute. Undergraduates have also interned with Spike Lee’s production company and Universal Studios.
  • Dr. Valerie Sweeney-Prince is an author and filmmaker; her book Burning Down the House was published by Columbia University Press, and her short documentary film chronicled the work of New Orleans artist John Scott. Denice Dublin taught English as a Second Language for the Peace Corps and has worked for NASA as a writer.

Two alumni are prominent in the nonprofit sector.

  • Cidra Sebastien, who works for The Brotherhood/SisterSol in New York City
  • Nadege Clitandre, Ph.D., who both teaches in the University of California system and serves as the executive director of Haiti Soleil, an organization committed to social change in that sorely troubled country.

English majors often go on to work in government.

  • Alumna Jamesa Moone, for example, is the Human Capital Director in the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama White House.
  • Daniel Rutherford Wilson is the Executive Director of Policy and Program Development for the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, (NCBA) Inc.

Within the public school system, our students work as teachers and administrators.

  • Adria Faison Merritt, for example, serves as the president of the Virginia Association of Teachers.
  • Amanda Corbin-Staton serves as principal at Lee Hall Elementary School, Newport News, VA.
  • Kimberly Garvin Richardson as principal of Forrest Elementary School, Hampton, VA.
  • Barbara Carter Donaldson as Assistant Principal of Hugh Mercer Elementary School, Fredericksburg, VA.
  • Guerschmide Saint-Ange is finishing a graduate degree in education at Harvard University.
  • Kimberly Oliver received the national Teacher of the Year Award for her work in Montgomery County, Maryland.