Student Testimonials

Student Testimonials

Students who graduate from the Department of English at Bishop’s University go on to exciting positions and post-graduate careers. Here are the testimonials of some of our former students:

Samantha MaliszewskiI decided I wanted to go to Bishop’s when I was in grade nine. It was the only school that I applied to because it was the only one I could imagine myself attending. I knew I wanted to be a part of the English Department as much as possible and really try to contribute to my community. Being from BC, I never really went home during the semesters, so I tried to create a sense of home at school, which usually meant that I spent ridiculous amounts of time in the Morris House Common Room and discussing literature and history with my professors, who were always welcoming and supportive of me throughout my time there. When I was in second year, I wanted to help my peers, so I created a group, PEER, or Productive Environment for English Resources, which allowed students to receive help with their essay writing or to discuss material they were learning about in their classes when it didn’t quite make sense. This, along with my involvement in the Englit club, allowed me to meet new people and become closer to those in my department. Somewhere along the way, I also co-coordinated QUEUC and managed to write an Honour’s Essay, but it is the connections and memories that I made that will stay with me forever. I completed an Honours BA in English Literature with a double minor in History and Fine Arts and won the Shauna Murray Memorial Prize in English for my Honour’s Essay on the epistolary genre in Jane Austen’s novels.

After graduation, I went to UBC for my Bachelor of Education in Secondary Education. I am now a Teacher back at home in BC where I focus on teaching Humanities, English, Social Studies, and Alternate Education focusing on at-risk youth. Going to Bishop’s made me realize what kind of person I wanted to become and solidified my passion for helping others while using the skills I learned in my undergrad everyday.Samantha Maliszewski

GallagherI came to the Bishop’s English Department after spending a long time bouncing around in one of Canada’s biggest universities because nothing ever fit. At Bishop’s I immediately thrived. I worked on campus as an RA for two years, and a bartender at the GAIT for one, a research assistant, a peer tutor, and a note taker. Every opportunity I wanted to pursue was available, and I was fully supported. I also had the chance represent Bishop’s at Conferences, both on campus and traveling with Profs to Montreal. My years in the English Dept. were truly transformative. I thrived in the small classes, fell in love with creative writing, and really learned to take full advantage of how accessible and helpful all the Profs were during office hours. The countless opportunities to interact with your instructors in a one on one environment is one of the many advantages Bishop’s has to offer, and I feel strongly that some of the most significant learning happened for me outside of the classroom.

I am now a postgraduate student at the University of Oxford pursuing a Masters in English Language and Literature, I have deferred a Masters of Creative Writing at Concordia, and have just applied to Law School at McGill. I say with full confidence that all of this is possible because of my time in the English Department. I am forever grateful and cannot stress enough just how meaningful my time at Bishop’s was. It was a heck of a lot of fun too! Sean Gallagher 2015

Denise St. PierreDenise received her B.A. from Bishop’s University in Honours English, concentrating on Film, Cultural, and Media Studies and minoring in Creative Writing and Journalism, and received the Glen Wickens Prize in Film Studies and the Hon. G. Howard Ferguson Cup for her contributions to the life of the university. She served as a departmental representative, volunteered for and presented at QUEUC, wrote for the New Plays festival, and was the editor of the Bishop’s literary journal, The Mitre, in her final year of studies — an experience that inadvertently led her to her current life working in publishing in New York City. “Bishop’s, among so many things, afforded me the invaluable opportunity to helm The Mitre, which let me hone my editorial eye and develop a passion for writing beyond my own. It lit the publishing fire beneath me. Not to mention, had I not been toiling away in the computer lab to make my deadline, I might have missed an innocuous email about an internship program that could place me in a position in the New York City publishing industry. My time in the English Department and the support of my spectacular peers and professors gave me the confidence to run headlong into an internship at a literary agency, which I was able to turn into a professional position. I would never have believed myself capable (or worthy!) of working with books and writers all day had Bishop’s not stimulated my mind, my passion, and my pen.”Denise St. Pierre (B.A., 2013)

Curran JacobsI am nearing the end of my time at Bishop’s University where I have spent the last four years pursuing my undergraduate education in English Literature and Secondary Education. My final step includes a 12 week teaching internship in Mistissini, Quebec, where I teach English Language Arts to Cree students at the secondary level. As a transfer student from a larger university, I found the culture and learning environment of Bishop’s fit my needs immediately. The smaller class size and personal relationships I developed with my professors was like nothing I had experienced in the city. Making these strong connections allowed me to really discover what my interests were and enabled me to take on leadership roles in the undergraduate community. Bishop’s empowered me to start the Indigenous Cultural Alliance with my peers. I was also afforded the opportunity to T.A. at the undergraduate level and travel across our beautiful country for conferences and other extra-curricular activities. More so, developing strong relationships with my professors allowed for a tailored learning experience. All of my questions and concerns could be handled immediately, and my success was guided by the support and attention of each professor. I have really grown as an academic, as a teacher and as the proud Mohawk person that I am. I am looking forward to pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Education and Society at McGill University. I hope to research and explore integrative models of education for First Nation’s students as well as focus on integrating more Indigenous texts into our English classrooms. Moving back to the city will be a nice change of pace for me, even though both Lennoxville and BU have become my second homes. My experience working with the faculty at BU has encouraged me to move forward in helping to build my home community, explore the power of literacy and to become a role model for other First Nations students throughout Quebec. With a little bit of support and determination, you can truly achieve anything.Curran Jacobs

Suyin OlguinSuyin has a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in English Literature from Bishop’s University (2009). It was a class, “Jane Austen and Film,” taught by Dr. Grogan that awakened her desire to pursue the study of Jane Austen at the graduate level. Her MA thesis, “Revisiting the Gentleman: A Study of Hegemonic Masculinity in the Works of Jane Austen,” analyzed Austen’s response to idealizations of English masculine identity in Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion. She completed her Master’s Degree at Université de Montreal in 2014. Suyin is currently a doctoral student at Queen’s University (Kingston, ON). Although her love for Masculinity studies and Jane Austen is ongoing, her current research interests include the study of food consumption in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. She has one article published with Dr. Brooke S. Cameron, “A Very Victorian Feast: Food and the Importance of Consumption in Modern Adaptations of Dracula.” The Journal of Dracula Studies 15 (2013), and another forthcoming in 2015, “Consuming Appetites and the Modern Vampire.” Her dissertation aims to expand her work on Dracula to other Victorian authors to explore hegemonic food discourses in Victorian England and in American contemporary society. Her current projects include completing her Dracula and food series work with Dr. Cameron and extending her study of food to Victorian Children’s Literature. “I am so proud to say that the English department at Bishop’s is outstanding and that it prepared me for graduate school. The small classes and the professor’s experience and teaching techniques, which included seminar presentations, provided me with an advantage that my peers coming from bigger universities did not have. I was used to presenting and engaging in seminar discussions and found the transition to be very rewarding. As a teaching assistant and guest lecturer in the doctoral program, I find myself engaging with my students in the same way that my professors did with me at Bishop’s. Bishop’s continues to be an essential part of my career. I am thankful to all of my BU professors for their guidance and for believing in me and my work.” Revisiting the gentleman : a study of hegemonic masculinity in the works of Jane AustenSuyin Olguin, English Literature Hons (2009)

Taylor PoelmanI am a Liberal Arts and English major (with a Cultural and Media Studies concentration), with minors in psychology, entrepreneurship, and creative writing and journalism. After four exciting years at Bishop’s, I can say with satisfaction that I am ready to graduate. My experience at BU was challenging but immensely rewarding, and I now feel prepared to take all the academic and professional knowledge I have gained onward with me into the “real world.” I have gained many close friends and collected an overwhelming number of happy memories during my four years at Bishop’s. I look forward to continuing those friendships and creating new memories beyond Lennoxville in the years to come. Having gained acceptance to the Master of Journalism program at Ryerson University, I will be furthering my education in the fall. It will definitely be a huge change – Lennoxville to Toronto – but the values and skills I have acquired during my time at Bishop’s University will certainly assist me in my upcoming city adventures! Nevertheless, I will miss Bishop’s and will forever cherish all the times I had here, not just socially but academically as well.Taylor Poelman

Saxon ShawSaxon received her B.A. from Bishop’s University in Honours English in the Film, Media and Cultural Studies concentration and completed the Creative Writing and Journalism Minor. During her time in the English Department, she undertook an internship with the Association of Italian Canadian Writers and wrote an Honours thesis on the hit television series Mad Men. “Although my studies at Bishop’s began in the Business Department, I quickly came to the realization that spreadsheets and calculus were not for me. English had always been my favourite subject growing up, so naturally, I retreated to the safety of my own personal interests. The smallness and precision of the university allowed me to make a change in my degree program and the support that I received within the English department enabled me to begin my journey of learning. Under the guidance of the outstanding English faculty at Bishop’s, I participated in a wide variety of courses, including a number of creative writing workshops, seminar courses and independent studies. Pen and paper in hand, my experience in the English program provided me with knowledge of myself as a thinker, writer and human being. Do things because they delight you. This was my rationale for studying English at Bishop’s.” Harnessing her degree from Bishop’s, Saxon is now embarking on a new journey in the U.K. where she plans to study law at the University of Exeter.Saxon Shaw