Planning to Graduate This Spring? Complete the Degree Conferral Form by 3/15

MA students for whom this spring is their final semester must complete the degree conferral form in order to be considered for degree conferral in May. The procedures and form are online here. The form is where you will indicate things like the mailing address to where your diploma should be mailed, contact info, degree info (Master of Arts in English Literature). Be sure to complete the form if you are on-track to complete your degree requirements this semester.

Summer Fellowship (Paid Internship) Opportunity in Professional Publishing

The Association of American Literary Agents (AALA), and their non-profit sister organization Literary Agents of Change (LAOC), are sponsoring fellowships for summer 2022. Mercy College English students, grad or undergrad, with an interest in the field of publishing are strongly encouraged to apply. Those selected will receive a grant of $6,000 each and be paired with one of AALA /LAOC’s 450+ members for a 10 week internship. This flyer provides more info, and this document/contract provides even more specific information (it sets forth expectations for the fellowship/internship program and ensures legal compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act).

The application can be found here: 

The deadline to apply is March 15th.

AALA/LAOC has created this promotional video to give Mercy College English students a bit more information about this opportunity and the role of a literary agent.

If you have any questions please contact:   

How to Get a Student ID Card

If you are an active MA student and you want a student ID card, but live at a distance from the campus, here is what you do:

Using your email account, send a photo of your face along with your full first name, last name, and college ID number (your eight-digit CWID number) to Amanda McKenzie at:

Full photo guidelines are:

  • Submit a color photo of just your face taken in last 6 months
  • Have someone else take your photo – no selfies
  • Submit a high-resolution photo that is not blurry, grainy, or pixelated
  • Use a clear and unedited image of your face; do not use filters such as those commonly used on social media
  • Face the camera directly with full face in view
  • Have a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open
  • Use a plain white or off-white background

Let Amanda know in your email that you are a distance-learning graduate student in the MA English Lit program and that you would like a student ID card. She will explain the process further and get you the ID card.

Student ID cards can be useful for securing discounts at various places, and perhaps more importantly for your graduate studies will get you access to local university and college libraries in your area that would be otherwise inaccessible. Just check with those libraries before venturing to them to make sure they’ll admit graduate students from another college, with a current ID, for purposes of doing research.

Tips for Grad Students: Decorum in Correspondences with Professors

One thing that I hope our graduate students will note is that every professor teaching in the Mercy College MA program holds a doctorate. In order to be qualified to teach in our graduate program at all, the professor must hold a doctorate and therefore be, technically, a Doctor. This is one of the things that makes Mercy’s graduate program special, that all of our faculty have achieved what’s known as the terminal or final degree in the field. In correspondences with any professor in the program, therefore, it’s appropriate to begin with a salutation such as “Hello Dr. [last name],” or “Dear Dr. [last name],” or even simply “Dr. [last name].” It’s also quite normal to instead begin a correspondence with something like “Hello Professor [last name].” But as earning a doctorate and the formal academic title of Doctor takes a great deal of sacrifice, work, risk, time, and cost, many people who have achieved this distinction will be taken aback, especially in an academic setting, if not addressed, at least in early correspondences, in an appropriately professional way. What we’re talking about here is decorum.

As you develop your collegial relationship with various professors over individual classes, and over the whole of your graduate career, and as your degree of familiarity with certain professors increases over time, it will (or might, depending on the professor) make more and more sense to be more casual with one another in correspondences. Some professors might even ask you to refer to them by their first name rather than their title, or in some other way might indicate that it’s okay to be less formal in salutations and correspondences.

But prior to such familiarity, and prior to a professor indicating or inviting any such thing, please be considerate of corresponding with professors with an awareness of decorum. It is not appropriate, for example, to begin a correspondence with a professor in the graduate program by writing something like “Hey you,” or even by not including any salutation at all and just writing as if you were texting a friend, or sending a message to customer service. Please just reflect on and be considerate of such things when you’re engaging with your professors.

It is entirely appropriate, if you’re unsure or have questions or thoughts about such things as this, to ask your various professors directly about them. Communicating about things is how we develop. The faculty are here to help develop our grad students’ expertise in the fields of literature and writing; but we are also here to help develop our grad students’ sense of decorum appropriate to the field of academia, so to help professionalize and prepare our grad students for potentially entering the field. Thank you, everyone.