Rachel Zuckerman

I have always loved reading. Ever since I was a little girl I have devoured any reading material set in front of me, from historical fiction to the front page of the newspaper. Being an English major has of course allowed me to continue to explore my love of literature and language, carrying me to new worlds. Sometimes this has taken me in surprising directions, like when I unexpectedly fell in love with Paradise Lost and spent a year studying Milton for my senior thesis.

I feel fortunate to have been in a department that encourages students to link the texts that we read to the world we inhabit. I have learned how literature is deeply embedded in social, political, and historical contexts and how it can provide new perspectives both for understanding societal problems and for proposing solutions to those problems. The flexibility of the English department allowed me to take classes exploring the intersections between English literature and a variety of other disciplines, including creative writing, Holocaust studies, environmental justice, and film.

My studies in English proved relevant in professional endeavors as well. Next year I will be joining a healthcare research and consulting firm in Washington, D.C. In my new job it is critical to be able to write clearly, research deeply, and communicate effectively. I feel grateful to the department for teaching me a skill set that is so immensely valuable, not just in my short term studies but in my long term career.