Category Archives: Career Advice

Graduate Teaching Assistants for Spring 2022 – Now Accepting Applications

This fall semester we were able to employ four graduate English students as Teaching Assistants (TAs) in online undergraduate courses, there to assist the instructor of record in a number of different ways. We are now accepting applications for those interested in securing a TA position for spring 2022. We anticipate being able to employ more TAs than in previous semesters, and so we encourage everyone with an interest (including those who have held TA positions in previous semesters) to apply.

Experience as a TA can be a valuable line-item in a curriculum vitae. And assisting in an online classroom will provide a first-hand look at how an actual college English course unfolds over a semester. TA positions are excellent experiential opportunities for anyone who aspires to teach at any level. For anyone who is already an active or experienced teacher, TA positions offer you a chance to use your expertise to make a significant positive impact on the development of undergraduate students who very much need your help.

Duties of the TA vary from class to class depending on the needs of the instructor. For more information, including qualifications for holding a TA position, consult the TA guidelines linked here. Review as well the TA Netiquette form linked here.

In addition, TAs will be required to attend a live zoom orientation session/discussion near or before the beginning of the spring semester.

TAs this fall semester are working 3 paid hours per week (remotely) and making $15/hour. The semester is 15 weeks long so the pay for the semester is $675. We anticipate that the pay/hours situation will be the same in spring 2022. The pay is therefore minimal. The real value of the TA position is the experience it provides.

To apply for a spring 2022 TA position send an email to cloots@mercy.edu by the end of Sunday November 21, using the subject line ENGLISH TA APPLICATION, and with the following materials attached:

  1. Resume
  2. The name of one MA faculty member who will recommend you (we will check with the faculty member to confirm their recommendation; make sure you establish with that person beforehand if she or he will recommend you).
  3. A short statement of purpose, just a paragraph or two (between 200 and 400 words) expressing why you are interested in being a TA at Mercy College.
  4. A short statement of your philosophy of teaching, just a paragraph or two (between 200 and 400 words).
  5. The completed activity linked here.

If you applied in the past for a TA position but were not offered a position you can resubmit, if you like, the same materials you submitted previously.

As a final note, people interested in being a TA are encouraged (but not required) to take ENGL 510 Theory & Practice of Expository Writing in the spring. Dr. Proszak, who is teaching the 510 course, is also the Composition Coordinator at Mercy College, and is interested in helping graduate TAs be effective in undergraduate composition courses.

Please send any questions to cloots@mercy.edu. Thank you.

Grad-Student Editors Needed for Red Hyacinth, The Mercy College Literary Magazine. [Updated 9/29]


Update: Red Hyacinth Journal editorial positions for the 2022 issue have been filled. The Department thanks everyone for their interest. Please keep an eye out for a “call for submissions” sometime in early-to-mid October.

Very soon there will be a call for creative-writing submissions to the college’s literary magazine, Red Hyacinth. Before that, though, the faculty who manage the journal need to assemble a team of student-editors. In the past this has been comprised mostly of undergraduate majors working in an actual office on campus. However this year, since the collaborative editing work can take place through zoom and other online platforms, the managing faculty are hoping to involve our graduate English Literature students on the student-editing team. If you’re interested in volunteering, here’s what you should know:

About Red Hyacinth

Red Hyacinth Journal is an annually published, perfect-bound literary magazine that showcases the writing and art of Mercy College students and alum. The journal’s first issue was produced in 2018 through the generosity of the family of the late Professor Valerie Lewis, a former instructor in the English program, and the creative writing fund established in her name.  Over the past few issues, Red Hyacinth has featured the creative work of over 200 graduate and undergraduate students from across many majors and disciplines. Student editors from the Departments of Literature and Language and Communication and the Arts collaborate on the editorial decisions, design, and concept. The journal’s student editors receive hands-on experience in the editorial and production processes as they select the work (poetry, drama, nonfiction, fiction, and art) in a blind-review process, prepare the magazine for press, and communicate with the college community regarding its release. The journal’s website can be found at https://redhyacinthjournal.wordpress.com/ 

As we put together a 5th annual issue (2022) we are looking to assemble an all-volunteer staff of Editors. Many literary magazines are produced by not-for-profit entities such as colleges and art collectives, and as such, most rely on an all-volunteer staff. While the positions are not compensated, the Editors’ names appear in the Masthead of the journal and editorial service can be listed on one’s CV and referenced in job interviews. Serving as an editor provides a graduate or undergraduate student with invaluable, relevant hands-on experience in editing, publishing, and arts administration, and allows one to make an important contribution to the Mercy Community, one that will endure for years to come. The journal is a “living” artifact, representing not only the students and editors who collaborate on an issue, but the challenges and aesthetics of the time the journal was produced in.  

We are looking for reliable, dedicated volunteers to fill the following positions for the 2021-22 academic year. The positions start immediately and generally run until June 2022. All positions will currently operate remotely,and applicants must have access to a computer, Zoom, reliable Internet, and the ability to meet once or twice a month to collaborate with other editors; some daytime availability is preferred for meetings. Editors cannot publish their own work in the issue they are serving on. If interested, please send your resume and a brief letter starting your interest to Dr. Kristen Keckler, kkeckler1@mercy.edu.

Below are more details about specific Editor positions. Positions will be filled as soon as possible. Hours vary; it is a significant time commitment, but one that is spread over many months so that it is manageable.

1 Managing Editor 

The Managing Editor position will manage the day-to-day operations of the literary journal for one cycle/issue, with the opportunity for renewal for another issue cycle if the candidate so desires. The Managing Editor will coordinate with the content and design editors to ensure that the team stays on task and that deadlines and benchmarks are met at key junctures in the production schedule. The position requires strong organizational skills and ability to create effective spreadsheets using Google.  

Responsibilities include: 

  • Manage the email and Google drive for the journal 
  • Communicate with students/alum who submit to the journal 
  • Create spreadsheets to track submissions and ensure a blind submission process (submissions will be numbered and all identifying information removed from the submission and tracked in the spreadsheet). 
  • Create and monitor Google doc for Content Editors to mark as they review submissions 
  • Call and manage editorial meetings 
  • Communicate with faculty advisor about progress  
  • Update the journal’s website with relevant deadlines 
  • Ensure names of contributors are correctly reflected in journal and titles of pieces are accurate 

2 to 3 Content Editors 

Content Editors will review submissions in various written genres (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, etc.) and determine the artistic merit/potential of each piece and its suitability for the issue of the journal.  

Content Editors’ responsibilities include: 

  • attending Zoom meetings to discuss the submissions and decide on which content is most suitable for the issue in terms of showcasing a variety of themes, styles, voices, and genres.  
  • collaborating to decide on the order and “arc” of the journal’s creative work, deciding on, for example, which pieces have connections that can be highlighted through juxtaposition and ordering 
  • assisting in light copy editing and review of proofs for errors/omissions 
  • assisting with outreach to classes and potential contributors about the journal 
  • other assistance as needed from faculty advisor and managing editor 

GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTS FOR FALL 2021- NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS

We are now accepting applications for online TA position for fall 2021. We anticipate being able to employ three or four TAs this fall.

Experience as a TA can be a valuable line-item in a curriculum vitae. And assisting in an online classroom will provide a first-hand look at how an actual online college English course unfolds over a semester. TA positions are excellent experiential opportunities for anyone who aspires to teach at any level. For anyone who is already an active or experienced teacher, TA positions offer you a chance to use your expertise to make a significant positive impact on the development of undergraduate students who very much need your help.

Duties of the TA vary from class to class depending on the needs of the instructor. For more information, including qualifications for holding a TA position, consult the TA guidelines linked here. Review as well the TA Netiquette form linked here.

We anticipate that TAs this fall semester will be working 3 paid hours per week (remotely) and making $15/hour. The semester is 15 weeks long so the pay for the semester would be $675. The pay is therefore minimal. The real value of the TA position is the experience it provides.

To apply for a fall 2021 TA position send an email to cloots@mercy.edu by the end of Friday, July 16, using the subject line ENGLISH TA APPLICATION, and with the following materials attached:

  1. Resume
  2. The name of one MA faculty member who will recommend you (just list the name — we will check with the faculty member to confirm their recommendation; make sure you establish with that person beforehand if she or he will recommend you).
  3. A short statement of purpose, just a paragraph or two (between 200 and 400 words) expressing why you are interested in being a TA at Mercy College.
  4. A short statement of your philosophy of teaching, just a paragraph or two (between 200 and 400 words).
  5. The completed activity linked here.

If you applied before for a TA position but were not offered a position you can resubmit, if you like, the same materials you submitted previously. If you worked for us as a TA in the past you can be considered anew for a TA position simply by indicating your interest (you do not need to resubmit the application materials). Please note that our priority with these positions is giving as many students as possible a chance to be a TA, so those who have already worked as TAs will be prioritized after other applicants.

Please send any questions to cloots@mercy.edu. Thank you.

Graduate Teaching Assistants for Spring 2021- Now Accepting Applications

This fall semester we were able to employ three graduate English students as Teaching Assistants (TA) in online undergraduate courses, there to assist the instructor of record in a number of different ways. We are now accepting applications for those interested in securing a TA position for spring 2021. We anticipate being able to employ at least three TAs again in the spring, and possibly more if we can secure funding through the federal CARES act in good time. We are hoping for a strong response to this call for TAs since the stronger the response, the more likely we are to receive more funding for TA positions.

Experience as a TA can be a valuable line-item in a curriculum vitae. And assisting in an online classroom will provide a first-hand look at how an actual college English course unfolds over a semester. TA positions are excellent experiential opportunities for anyone who aspires to teach at any level. For anyone who is already an active or experienced teacher, TA positions offer you a chance to use your expertise to make a significant positive impact on the development of undergraduate students who very much need your help.

Duties of the TA vary from class to class depending on the needs of the instructor. For more information, including qualifications for holding a TA position, consult the TA guidelines linked here. Review as well the TA Netiquette form linked here.

TAs this fall semester are working 3 paid hours per week (remotely) and making $15/hour. The semester is 15 weeks long so the pay for the semester is $675. We anticipate that the situation will be the same in spring 2021. The pay is therefore minimal. The real value of the TA position is the experience it provides.

To apply for a spring 2021 TA position send an email to cloots@mercy.edu by the end of Wednesday November 25, using the subject line ENGLISH TA APPLICATION, and with the following materials attached:

  1. Resume
  2. The name of one MA faculty member who will recommend you (we will check with the faculty member to confirm their recommendation; make sure you establish with that person beforehand if she or he will recommend you).
  3. A short statement of purpose, just a paragraph or two (between 200 and 400 words) expressing why you are interested in being a TA at Mercy College.
  4. A short statement of your philosophy of teaching, just a paragraph or two (between 200 and 400 words).
  5. The completed activity linked here.

If you applied earlier this year for a TA position but were not offered a position you can resubmit, if you like, the same materials you submitted previously. If you are currently working as a TA you can apply again for the spring, but because our priority with these positions is giving as many students as possible a chance to be a TA, current TAs will be prioritized after other applicants. If our funding initiatives work out as we hope, though, we may be able to offer many TA positions, potentially as many as we have applicants. So we encourage everyone who is at all interested in this opportunity to apply.

Please send any questions to cloots@mercy.edu. Thank you.

 

 

Spring 2020 Semester Starts Today 1/22

Welcome back, everyone. I hope you all had a restful winter break from your studies and are looking forward to another semester exploring literature, story, film, and all the rest together. Here are a few things to note here at the start of the spring semester:

  • Everyone taking an ENGL 599 thesis tutorial, just double-check to make sure that you are enrolled and see the 599 tutorial on your schedule. If it’s not there, or if anyone in the program sees a problem with their schedule, let me know (cloots@mercy.edu).
  • In the next week or two we’ll be determining and announcing the date for this year’s Graduate English Symposium. In the past we’ve held it close to commencement, after the semester actually ends, but we might change the date this year, especially if another time earlier during the semester works better for more students. If anyone is hoping to attend and read a paper please share with me what days of the week, and weeks in late April through mid-May, might work best for you. (Note: any paper you’ve written for any of your courses would do, and reading it aloud at an event like this provides you with a line-item for the scholarship section of your curriculum vitae).
  • Starting in fall 2020 we will be instituting a Teaching Assistant (TA) feature that will allow a few MA students to receive a small stipend for performing TA work in online undergraduate English composition courses. We are working with our College administration to figure out the details and will share them once they are settled, but basically anyone who is interested in gaining some TA experience and making a little bit of money for doing so, keep your eyes on the blog for the next announcement about all of this. I should be clear about this: whatever type of financial support we’re going to be able to provide will be small, so this will to large degree be the sort of thing that will be most valuable for those who want TA experience for their resume and to develop some aspects of their teaching skills.

Here’s to a great spring semester, everyone.

Creative Writers Take Note: Our College Literary Journal Still Needs Prose, Re-Opens Submission Window through 12/3.

Mercy College’s literary journal, Red Hyacinth, is re-opening its submission window through Monday December 3rd in hopes of securing more student submissions in the area of prose (fiction and nonfiction). The editors are full-up with poetry submissions but there’s been a dearth of prose submissions, and so the editors are hoping that students (particularly our graduate English students) will rise to this new call for prose and submit something before the end of Monday 12/3. So, if you have a short story, or an excerpt from a longer creative work, or an experimental prose-piece, or any sort of creative non-fiction (really any prose other than scholarship as this is a creative journal and not a scholarly one) well get it together this weekend and send it to the journal editors at:

RedHyacinthJournal@gmail.com.

Further details about the submission requirements can be found by clicking here but basically if you’ve got a piece of short fiction or creative non-fiction the MA program faculty strongly encourage you to send it to the editors and see what happens.

Keep in mind that getting a work published in a collegiate literary journal would provide you with a line-item to list in the publication section of your curriculum vitae.

Call for Papers: NEMLA 2019 Panel

Mary Reading, a colleague of our Dr. Fritz, is chairing a panel at the 2019 NEMLA convention on the topic of: “In, Beyond, Between Bodies: Transgender Identity through Interpersonal Spaces in Visual Media.” The call for papers (CFP) for potential panelists is open until September 30. You can learn more about the CFP, including contact info and submission guidelines, here on the UPENN bulletin board (which if you didn’t know is pretty much where everyone in the profession goes to look for CFPs since the UPENN board collates CFPs from around the country and world.) You can learn more about the 2019 NEMLA convention here. Any Mercy grad students working in this area of inquiry (or interested in working in this area of inquiry) and who can be in Washington DC in March 2019 to attend the convention should put together a paper proposal and submit it before the deadline. Any questions about the panel should be directed to Mary Reading at: m.a.reading@iup.edu.

Your Curriculum Vitae (Not Your Resume):

If and when you apply to a faculty job listing, or when you “cold call” various college’s English programs seeking adjunct (part-time) work, and even sometimes when you apply to PhD programs after earning the MA, you will need to send them your curriculum vitae, or CV for short. A CV and a resume are similar but not the same, and in any academic job setting you will be expected to know the difference and to submit a CV, not a resume, with any job application. Both a CV and a resume have the same role: they present in a single document your work experience, educational experience, and other relevant background information to potential employers. A CV though needs to contain information and organize that information in a way that is relevant to professional academia. I’m going to share with you some basics here about how to organize your CV. For students in ENGL 599, the final course in the path toward the degree, it’s not a bad idea to put together a CV and share it with your 599 mentor, and ask for feedback.

You always want to have your contact information at the top. Make sure you list a phone number at which you can reliably be reached, and an email that you check regularly. Make sure that your email handle reads professionally. If your email is a nickname, or an odd series of letters and numbers, or anything other than simply your real name, you should consider creating a Gmail account that is simply [yourname]@gmail.com. The simple truth is that, as with any job, the hiring consideration begins the moment a person lays eyes upon your CV. Does it have a silly sounding email address? Not good. And on that point, recognize that your CV should be formatted cleanly and crisply, as the format too sends a message to your potential employer. Take ownership of that message.

After your contact info you typically list your education, with your highest degree at the top of the list. Only list your institutions of higher education (do NOT list your high school). If you’ve transferred around to a number of institutions, it’s often appropriate to list only your degree granting institutions. But this is an area of debate, with some thinking you should list every single institution at which you earned credits; so investigate the ethics of it on your own and figure out what seems right to you.

It’s appropriate beneath each degree to include bullet points listing pertinent relevant information. So for example under you MA degree’s mainlisting you should include the title of your master’s thesis (the one you write for 599). You might also include a line listing the literary fields, if any, that you concentrated on during your time in the program. Did you take all of your electives in American literature? Well you’d be justified in noting that you concentrated on American literature here in this part of your CV.

After education you typically want to list your relevant work experience. By relevant we mean teaching experience. The seeming catch-22 of college-level teaching is that you need college-level teaching experience to get a college-level teaching job. But then how is one to gain college-level teaching experience? Adjunct work is usually the answer. Before you get adjuncting work you won’t have much to list here on the CV. If you’ve got experience teaching any K-12 that can be useful and is definitely something to list here. But getting even a course or two of college adjuncting work under your belt is your main goal after securing the MA, if you’re aiming to teach long-term at the college level. See the links in the first sentence of this post for more on how to go about finding work.

Be careful about what else you list in your work experience. Once you get some teaching under your belt you want to list nothing else except that teaching on your CV. A CV that includes your time working at Barnes & Noble, the two years as a contractor, the three years you were a barista, is a CV that risks being tossed into the “no” pile immediately, because it bespeaks someone who doesn’t understand that a CV is not a resume. A resume lists every single job you’ve done; a CV is supposed to list work relevant to professional academia. When you’re just starting out, though, when you need to list something for your work experience, it’s not a bad idea to list significant jobs you’ve held as long as you can frame them in a way where you make it clear how this information is relevant to your potential employer. Use the space on the CV to provide a succinct explanation of your duties, and make sure those duties somehow coincide with things that might relate to teaching and academia. If for example you’re applying to a community college, and have experience working at a community center in the area, that can be relevant work experience to list if you take the time to describe how. You don’t want your CV to turn into a book, but it is okay to give several sentences that narrate how the work experience connects to the job for which you’re applying.

Your next section tends to be scholarship. Whenever you do get something published, you will want to lead with that in this section. Publications are the coin of the realm in English. List any publications first, making sure to employ a documentation style when you do (MLA, Chicago, etc.) and then list any conferences at which you’ve read a paper. This section might be empty for you right now: that just lets you know that you should really try to get out there and read a paper at a conference somewhere to earn an item to list in here.

You might include a section after this on other relevant activities, such as conferences you’ve attended, professional workshops you’ve been a part of, perhaps service you’ve done in the world which doesn’t quite fit under work experience or scholarship. That sort of thing. Make it relevant. People reading these can smell nonsense a mile away. If you’re working on turning your thesis paper into a published paper, or working on a book, or anything like that, you might take a few lines here to describe this. If it shows that you’re actively working toward something relevant and academic, it might be useful.

You want to include a section listing any awards or grants or scholarships you may have received at any time during your college career. For example each year we award one thesis paper with the Thesis of the Year award. That is something you would want to list here, if you were awarded that.

You want to include a section listing whatever professional associations you might be a member of. The Modern language Society is standard one that most professional English academics join, but there are dozens if not hundreds of others out there. Find organizations that are relevant to your area of interest, and join up. It shows potential employers that you’re committed to your field: e.g., if you hope to be an expert on Irish literature, well find and join scholarly societies related to Irish literature, and list them here.

Finally you’ll want to include a list of at least three professional references, which should be professors or other people in the field. Make sure that you’ve asked your references if they would in fact agree to be references, and whenever you apply to any job it’s a good idea to email your references and just let them know that you’ve applied. This way it won’t be a surprise if/when someone calls up asking to provide a reference on your behalf.

So that overall is how a CV tends to be structured. There are variations of course, and over time you often add categories to this, and move these around. But the main lesson here is to recognize that a CV and a resume are not the same thing, and that when you’re applying to any faculty position in higher education, they will expect you to send a CV and not a resume.

Where the Want-Ads Are: Job Listings for College Teaching Positions

All of you are here in the program because of your love for literature and academic study, and for many of you that intellectual enrichment is the point, is the reason why you pursue the MA. Some of you, though, are also here with career hopes. This post is for that latter group. There are a few “industry” job sites which you should know about, and some words of advice I can give you about hunting for jobs in the field. Read on, if interested:

First, be aware that the MA degree qualifies you to apply to most full-time junior college/community college professorships, and to adjunct (i.e. teach part-time) at most senior/4-year colleges. I say “most” because though I’ve never encountered a situation where the MA didn’t qualify you for these things, I’m sure that there are some exceptions somewhere out there in the world. In most cases though you’ll see in want-ads that community colleges require the MA in English for English professorships, same for senior college adjunct pools. To apply to full-time English professorships at senior/4-year colleges, the terminal degree, meaning the PhD, is required; except, upon occasion, for creative writing positions for which the MFA is sometimes considered the terminal degree.  Even that’s changing though.

Side note: the term “adjunct pool” refers to the pool of adjunct professors any particular college keeps on file, and from which it draws teachers each semester to staff many of its courses. Few institutions have enough full-time faculty to staff all their courses, and so most institutions rely (sometimes heavily) on adjunct professors to teach a significant portion of courses each semester. Some people adjunct to gain experience for when applying to full-time positions or PhD programs; some do it to provide a stimulating supplement to some other job they might hold; some do it as a secondary income source for a household; and some actually adjunct “full time” by which I mean they put themselves into multiple institutions’ adjunct pools and so weave together a full-time schedule each year teaching across different colleges.

So, where does one even begin to search for any of these teaching positions? The most popular and common job site is probably the Chronicle of Higher Ed. The Chronicle is the most popular news source for college academia, and maintains a popular job-board which I’ve linked there. Another popular site is Higher Ed Jobs. Both of those sites are free to use, and have a variety of search features which allow you to rarify your search, including by geographical region. A third site is the Job information List of the MLA however be advised that this is a paid subscription site. Those are the big three national job boards.

Additionally, all sorts of less centralized boards exist, and these you just have to discover by searching. For example California maintains the most brilliant example of a dedicated state-specific community college job board, the CCC Registry. And some institutions don’t necessarily post every job opening on the big national boards, but rather just post them on their Human Resources website (see for example Occidental College’s current faculty openings listed only on their HR site). Oftentimes calls for adjuncts will only be posted on a college’s HR site, and no-where else. Other local job boards exist, for example the California State Careers job board which lists all faculty openings in the Cal State system, some but not all of which are cross-listed on the national job boards. My examples are from California since that’s my old state, the one I know best, but the point is you should search the national job boards and also just do detective work and search around your state and local college websites to determine what more local job boards might exist near you. Always look for the Human Resources section of any college’s website; that’s almost always where they either list their job openings, or list a link to relevant job boards for their institution.

Here’s a final way to go about the job search, particularly in terms of adjuncting: the cold call. Many institutions don’t even post want-ads for adjuncts on any board or even on their HR site because it’s relatively common practice for people interested in adjuncting to simply put together the paperwork (a cover letter and a curriculum vitae, which is not the same thing as a resume) and cold-call a department or program head (or whomever does the course staffing, which you’d want to determine beforehand through your detective work). It’s not inappropriate to approach, either in person or through email/phone, the staffing person of a dept./program and simply present yourself for consideration for future adjunct work.

One last thing to explain is the annual hiring cycle. Full-time professorships for 4-year colleges typically post in the fall semester, starting in September. Community college professorships usually post in the spring semester, as early as January or February. Adjunct calls will post year round. Anomalous timing happens so it’s always good to keep an eye on the boards year-round if you’re in the job hunt. For example there’s often a small burst of job ads at the end of spring, early summer, which bespeak unsuccessful earlier searches they’re now trying to fill quickly prior to the start of the fall semester. Faculty positions almost always begin in whatever is the next/upcoming fall semester.

Okay, in a future post I’ll go into the difference between a curriculum vitae, or CV, and resume. For now, that’s your overview of how to search for a college teaching position. Best, -CL

Congratulations on the 2014-15 school year

I just want to congratulate each of you on the completion of another semester of graduate study, and on the completion of the 2014-15 school year here in the Mercy MA program. I hope that over the past year each of you has experienced something profound, read something fascinating and new, discussed something you’d never have discussed had you not been here together. I hope that each of you has experienced moments of awe, wonder, reflection, and epiphany over the course of the semester and school year.

In the next week or two we’ll be announcing the Thesis of the Year award for 2014-15 theses projects, and we’ll soon be starting up the summer session for those of you who have decided to take a summer course or two. Some of your are gearing up for your final semester and your final 599 Thesis Tutorial course. If you’re at all unsure what you’re supposed to be doing for this, or when, check out the blog posts related to the Comp Exam and the Thesis Tutorial, and read up on those sections in the Graduate Student Handbook. As always, if you’ve got any questions just ask me at cloots@mercy.edu.

To Sarah, Josh, and Nicole: it was great to  see you walk the stage at commencement this year. I hope you heard me and the other MA English faculty clapping our little hearts out up on the faculty bandstand as you walked past. Sarah it was wonderful talking to you when you found me before the ceremony. I’ll say to everyone what we talked about then: you are all a part of Mercy College, and you should always know that I and the faculty are here to help and guide you as best as we can, while you’re in the program and after. Don’t hesitate to contact me or other faculty with whom you’ve taken courses for advice or letters or recommendation or anything else of the sort. I hope each of you will take a moment now to congratulate yourself, treat yourself to something nice, here at the end of a year of graduate study and scholarship. I leave you with a shot from before the School of Liberal Arts and School of Social and Behavioral Science Commencement of our president Tim Hall with the keynote speaker JuJu Chang from ABC news. You can see a brief video she uploaded from the stage at the end of the ceremony on her Instagram account (it’s dated May 20, 2015).

JuJu Chang and Tim Hall