From analyzing classic British literature to writing your own thesis on applied linguistics, the English department at Mercyhurst University offers a focus of study for any student who loves to read and write.
English majors have the opportunity to serve as a research assistant for faculty members, work at the university’s Writing Center, and receive hands-on work experience in professional writing. Active student clubs and organizations like Lumen, the campus arts journal; The Theatre Appreciation Club, which helps promote university productions; and Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, can help you tailor your experience as an English major to best fit your personal interests and career goals.
The department has sponsored nationally acclaimed speakers and writers, such as Robert Bly, Sonia Sanchez and Peter Coyote, who come to offer readings, conduct workshops and lead writing master classes. Our dynamic and dedicated faculty establish close working relationships with students – it’s not uncommon to see a gathering of English faculty and students continue their conversations outside the classroom. Our students leave Mercyhurst well prepared with the requisite writing, analysis and presentation skills needed to for graduate programs at high-caliber universities, or to secure employment with this flexible and marketable degree.
Inspired by the renowned reading series at the University of Notre Dame and wanting to build such a tradition here, Dr. Jeffrey Roessner collaborated with Dr. Kenneth Schiff in 2003 to bring the Mercyhurst Literary Festival to life.
The festival brings accomplished writers from a variety of genres to campus each year. Besides offering public readings, these authors interact with creative writing students in small group workshops.
Samuel Hazo was the first featured speaker; later festivals hosted such noted authors as Randall Silvis, Robert Coover, Li-Young Lee, Robert Bly, Grace Paley, Martin Espada, Alicia Suskin Ostriker, Larry Heinemann, Peter Coyote, Francine Prose, Terry Bisson, Joy Harjo and Sonia Sanchez.
The final event of each year’s festival honors work by Mercyhurst students. It includes the unveiling of Lumen, the college’s award-winning creative arts magazine; the announcement of student awards in the P. Barry McAndrew Writing Contest; and an open mic opportunity for students to read their own works.
Mercyhurst College is proud to have a chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, a national honor society formed in 1924 to recognize graduate and undergraduate English majors, minors, or faculty who have achieved high standards of excellence in their chosen linguistic or literary fields. The Beta Upsilon chapter of Sigma Tau Delta was established at Mercyhurst College in February of 1986, and has recently seen an increase in membership. Candidates are selected by the English department and student advisors during the spring term each year. Induction ceremonies are held each fall.
English majors at Mercyhurst can develop their knowledge and skills and make friends who share similar interests through involvement in college-sponsored clubs.
The English department sponsors Lumen, the college's creative arts magazine. Developed by students, its aim is to showcase faculty and student writing, photography and graphic design.
English Department presents Lumen 2013
Science Fiction & Fantasy Guild
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Guild is a student-run social club open to any student interested in science fiction and fantasy literature, film, and culture. The club meets three times each term to watch films and organize events both for club members and for the campus community. This year the SFFG hopes to host a 30th anniversary screening of the original Star Wars for the college, as well as to attend the ErieCon, a science fiction and fantasy convention held every spring in Buffalo.
The Theater Guild
The Theater Guild is a student-run organization that promotes the dramatic arts on campus. The group stages productions of classic and student-written plays, and hosts dramatic readings. Anyone interested in participating should contact Jeffrey Roessner, Ph.D., department chair.
A degree from Mercyhurst prepares you for this exciting and dynamic career.
|Minor(s)||Creative Writing Minor|
|Film Studies Minor|
|Concentration(s)||Creative Writing Concentration|
Ready to begin your journey in english? Apply online today -- it's free and getting your application started takes only a few brief minutes. Interested students may also consult the course catalog for more information. As a liberal arts institution, all undergraduate students complete Mercyhurst's core curriculum.
As members of the Mercyhurst English Department, we are dedicated to the intellectual growth of our students. The courses we offer teach students to think critically and imaginatively about language, culture, and literature and prepare them for graduate work as well as numerous professional careers. As a faculty, we are diverse in our backgrounds, experiences, and intellectual pursuits, but we are united by our desire to produce discerning and creative readers, writers, speakers, and thinkers. With that in mind, we expose our majors and minors at Mercyhurst to a variety of challenging texts from American, British and world literature, as well as classes in creative and professional writing and literary theory. We encourage our students to develop a personalized course of study while exploring the depth and breadth of reading available in our core curriculum, the foundation of a liberal arts education and of the English major. Above all, we are dedicated to helping our students develop the skills they need to excel in their careers and to develop an appreciation of literature and culture, and we are enormously proud of our graduates and their successes.
The Mercyhurst University English department prepares students to be successful in graduate programs at high-caliber universities. Recent English graduates have secured rewarding employment in many fields, including publishing, editing, technical and professional writing, television, newspapers, libraries, high school teaching and college teaching. Our alumni have recently finished graduate programs at Georgetown, Boston College, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern, and the University of Colorado at Boulder among others. Here's a sampling of where recent Mercyhurst University English graduates are studying now:
|Zoey Alderman-Tuttle||College of William and Mary||American Studies|
|Melisa Kirwin||University of Pittsburgh||International Affairs|
|Nick Rex||Rutgers University||Jazz History|
|Eric Dellio||Penn State University||Law|
|Emily Mosco||Penn State University||Law|
|Lindy Joe Smart||Mercyhurst University||MA Applied Intelligence|
|Erin Lewis||Central Michigan University||MA Creative Writing|
|Sarah Arnold||Canisius College||MA English|
|Joe Dipasqua||Carnegie Mellon University||MA English|
|Chrissy Mitalic||John Carroll University||MA English|
|Jamie Mahoney||Marymount||MA English|
|Katie Rissetto||Long Island U./Northwestern U.||MA in Library Science/M.A. English|
|Al Jones||Quinnipiac University||MA English|
|Joe Weidenboerner||St. Bonaventure||MA English|
|Patrick Thomas||Kent State University||MA English and PhD Rhetoric and Composition|
|Bethany Shaffer||University of Texas at Arlington||MA English and PhD Young Adult Lit.|
|John Ladd||Georgetown U./Washington U. St. Louis||MA English|
|Sr. Juliet Nakayiza||Alverno College||MA English Education|
|Vincent Auditori||Univeristy of Pittsburgh||MA English Literature|
|Jason Sepac||Boston College||MA English Literature|
|Lakyn Bianco||Indiana Univeristy of Pennsylvania||MA English Literature|
|Hannah Alberstadt||Gannon University||MA English, Suffolk University-Law|
|Brady Hunter||Northwestern University||MA Journalism|
|Emily Whitaker||Edinboro University||MA Media Studies|
|Ger Power||Boston College||MA Philosophy|
|Richard Sadlier||Duquesne University||MA Rhetoric|
|Chelsea Boothe (Hicks)||Catholic University of America||MA Social Work|
|Ryan Noles||Cleveland State University||MA Urban Planning and Design|
|Sarah Dowden ( Andrews)||Emerson College||MA Writing and Publishing|
|Ray Horton||Case Wetern Reserve||MA/PhD English Literature|
|Kyle King||Penn State University||MA/PhD English Literature|
|Dave Suscheck||Gannon University||MA English|
|Elizabeth Geist||Fordham University||MA English|
Brett JohnsonPh.D. Assistant Professor Office: Preston 221 Phone: 814-824-2663
Brian ReedPh.D. Dean of Faculty, Associate Professor Office: Preston 215 Phone: (814) 824-3347
Christina RiegerPh.D. Associate Professor Office: Preston 217B Phone: (814) 824-2103
Christina Riley-BrownPh.D. Department Chair, Associate Professor Office: Preston 218 Phone: (814) 824-2350
Gregory BrownPh.D. Lecturer, Director of the Writing Center Office: Library 129 Phone: (814) 824-3092
Heidi HoseyPh.D. Professor Office: Preston 210 Phone: (814) 824-2336
Jeffrey RoessnerPh.D. Associate Professor Office: Preston 220 Phone: (814) 824-2136
Joanne McGurkPh.D. Assistant Professor Office: Preston 219 Phone: (814) 824-2544