English Alumni Profiles

Amy Mallory-Kani

I can’t stress this enough: an English major provides you with the critical thinking and communication skills that are seriously valued in many fields. I have heard from several of my employers that my writing and research skills, creative problem-solving ability, and capacity for observing patterns and connecting those to ‘the bigger picture’ (learned through a lot of close reading in literature classes) made me a stand-out employee.

Amy Mallory-Kani, BA in English, Ph.D. in English, University at Albany (SUNY), Product Communication Manager, Paperpile
Cameron Conaway

Majoring in English allowed me to pursue various opportunities that ultimately wove together the unique skillset I leverage in my current role at Cisco… English classes at Penn State Altoona sharpened my critical thinking and collaboration skills, which are vital for the business world.

Cameron Conaway, BA in English, MFA in Creative Writing (University of Arizona), Executive MBA (University of San Francisco), Leader of growth marketing for Cisco Networking Academy; award-winning poet, business writer, and journalist; adjunct professor of digital marketing
Lauren Everett-Hayes

You use communication, writing, and reading skills every day, and those who become really accomplished at writing become invaluable in today's world.

Lauren Everett-Hayes, BA in English, Minor in Professional Writing, Access and Collections Coordinator, L.A. Beeghly Library, Juniata College
Haldan Jacobson

Being forced to think critically turns into a natural reflex, much like going to the gym… And much like the gym, where you feel your strength increase with every passing month, you can feel your critical thinking skills increase with every new book you read.

Haldan Jacobson, BA in English and Political Science, Educational Aide, Malcolm X Elementary School, Washington, D.C.; Peace Corps Volunteer, The Gambia, West Africa (beginning 2023)
Becca Betty

The ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and with constant awareness of my intended audience and overall goals for a piece—be it a cover letter, grant, or scientific manuscript—has allowed me not only to succeed in my own job but to help my colleagues and employers elevate their works as well.

Becca Betty, BA in English and BS in Biology, Science communication specialist, MA candidate in English Literature
Diana Forry

I’ve developed a better understanding of other cultures, I’ve been able to teach some of the most incredible minds that (really) taught me more in return, and I've pursued my passion of trying to create a better and more equitable world. And this is just the beginning.

Diana Forry, BA in English, Ph.D. candidate in English Literature, Duquesne University
Heather Myers

I wouldn't be a student going towards a Ph.D. in Creative Writing if it weren't for the English program at Penn State Altoona, which taught me how to look at my work critically, how to revise, and how to keep pushing forward.

Heather Myers, BA in English, minor in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, MFA in Poetry, certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies, West Virginia University, Current Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing, University of North Texas
Joseph Miller

In the military, effective communication helped my subordinates to clearly understand my orders; in retail, it helped in difficult situations with customers; and in my current role I am expected to communicate with alumni, donors, and colleagues on a constant basis.

Joseph S. Miller, BA in English, minor in Professional Writing, Donor Relations Specialist, Development Office for the College of Health and Human Development, Penn State University Park
Maria Canela

As an English teacher, I am tasked with helping my students develop their writing and reading skills, so having majored in English has supported my ability to excel in both areas.

Maria Canela, BA in English, M.Ed in Education, Arcadia University, High school English literature teacher
Colin Lennox

As an inventor and a business owner, I find that drafting documents and technical writing are a major portion of my output.

Colin Lennox, BA in English and BS in Environmental Studies, Inventor, Ecologist, CEO