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AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Department of English

Department Spotlights

Gus TorreyCurrent Job: Copywriter and Social Media Manager at Spotnana

Why English and Writing: “Writing itself is very applicable to a wide variety of industries. And over my years here at TCU, I’ve developed sort of a passion for business, corporate writing, [and] copywriting. And I’ve been able to apply that experience to startups and specifically marketing teams within those startups. And TCU has really given me the chance to get some footing in that industry and explore my skills.”

Jaya ArmsteadCurrent Job: Freelance Filmmaker

Honors: Interviewed by Voyage LA about her professional creative career and personal inspiration

Why English and Writing: “The writing major definitely helped prepare me to get my internships… [and] complimented my FTDM minor. I aspire to be a screenwriter, …so it was the perfect combination for me. Being in graduate school for screenwriting, it has helped me so much having that huge writing background, as well as the Film minor background understanding how films are composed and then putting it into my writing form.”

Advice for Students: “A common myth about Writing majors is that you can’t find a job. There are plenty of jobs that are looking for Writing majors or anyone with an English background.”

Jack MorgaliaCurrent Job: Getting his Master of Journalism at University of North Texas

Honors: Excellence in Literary Fiction Winner

Why English and Writing: “When I first entered TCU, I was mainly into playwrighting and screenwriting, and then I… got into fiction writing, but it wasn’t until later in college, that I got more into poetry and nonfiction creative writing. So, I feel like it’s good to explore all of those different genres, to not just focus yourself on one thing at the start of your writing journey because you might have a real knack for another genre of writing that you’re not used to writing in, but if you keep exploring it, you never know, what potential you have there.”

Advice for students: “Advice I would give to a current writing major or writing minor is to explore different genres of writing.”

Leilyn MilesCurrent Job: Legal Extern for the NCAA and Corporate Law Clerk for Dutch Bros Coffee

Honors: JD from University of Oregon School of Law

Why English and Writing: “My English major has been extremely useful during my time in law school in terms of affording me the ability to express my thoughts clearly and concisely in both an academic and professional setting. I am very fortunate to feel confident in the words I say and the reach they will have, and that is thanks to my English major. Throughout the program, I was lucky to have professors like Dr. Manning and Dr. Nobles who invested time into me and my studies.”

Advice to Students: “Do what you love... I love reading and writing and all the things in between, and because of that my time at TCU was much more enjoyable. Work hard and cherish all the time you have at TCU. It’s a special place and the memories you make there will be moments you treasure in the future!”

Andreley BjellandCurrent Job: Ph.D. student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and teaching English Composition and Rhetoric

Honors: Druscilla French Graduate Student Excellence Award, 2021

Why English and Writing: “I came in as an elementary education major,… and I just wasn’t totally sure what I wanted to do, and spent the first couple of years sort of switching around, figuring things out. But I realized: I keep going back to the English department. I don’t even have a reason to be there right now because I’m not a major but I just could not stay away from those classes. I absolutely adored all of my professors and had just felt so supported by them always. . . They really continually met me where I was at and worked with me at what I was ready for, and definitely challenged me, but were always just so encouraging.”

Angelica HernandezCurrent Job: Associate Editor at Macmillan Learning

Why English and Writing: “I took a chance with [the writing major]. That led me to different career opportunities, including the one that I’m in now. I do feel prepared to have started and continue in my career, partially because of my Writing major.”

Garrett GomezCurrent Job: Agency Operations Manager for Gabi by Experian

Why English and Writing: “The English department at TCU is awesome. I credit a lot of my critical thinking skills, and of course writing skills, to the professors that taught me. The things you learn while reading, writing, and discussing with others are easily transferable into the workplace—especially when it comes to people management.”

Advice to Students: “My advice to current horned frogs is to do what makes you happy, always chase your gut feeling, and remember that growth happens in the uncomfortable and challenging moments in life.”

Abby LongCurrent Job: Senior Managing Editor and Content Strategies at PMG

Honors: Named to the 2020 AAF Dallas 32 under 32 for her uniquely creative approach in helping brands navigate the disruption and uncertainty of the pandemic through timely leadership and reporting.

Why English and Writing: “My degree in writing has been essential to my career and professional development. I opted for an English/Writing major in college simply because I liked to read, but I had no idea the (truly endless) career possibilities that exist out there for English/Writing majors and really, anyone who earns a degree in the liberal arts. The skills you learn in college are the foundation for your career, and what better skills to develop than the ability to think critically and better understand the world around us?”

Shannon BeldonCurrent Job: Senior Learning Specialist at UNT Health Science Center and Freelance Writer

Why English and Writing: “In every job, I’ve been one of the go-to people for wordsmithing and proofreading. I’ve also helped do research in various areas ---all those English papers gave me strong resource-finding skills! I always credit my ability to understand multiple viewpoints and create productive conversations (helpful in any job!) to my English degree.”

Advice for Students: “It can be hard to find your niche, especially when most places don’t post jobs with ‘English major preferred.’ You may follow a winding path, or you may find your dream job right after graduation. Just know that there’s no one “right” way to use an English degree. Also, your dream job may be one you aren’t even aware of!”

John WoodCurrent job:  Partner at Green, Klein & Wood Law Firm

Honors:  JD from New York University School of Law

Member of American Mensa and sits on the advisory board of non-profit organizations including the H2H Foundation, Econautics Sustainability Institute, American Policyholder Association, and American Adjuster Association.   He is the co-author of an award-winning article on Artificial Intelligence published in the Harvard Business Review as well as two books---Foundations of Sustainable Business: Theory, Function and Strategy and The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and the Future of Enterprise, and multiple articles in law reviews. 

He provides educational and keynote programs on topics including insurance, deepfakes, copyleft, and sustainability for audiences such as the New York State Bar Association, the Attorney General Alliance, and professional and trade societies. His media appearances on Artificial Intelligence strategy include Coast to Coast AM Radio, The innovation Show, A Greek Leader, and the Lux & Tech podcast.

Why English and Writing: “I represent storm victims when claims for property damage are mishandled by their insurance company. Most of my work involves public speaking and persuasive writing. My training in writing emphasis courses at the English department has been tremendously helpful in preparing me for this work.”

Advice for students: “Keep reading and keep writing, especially after you graduate. Read one old book (at least 100 years) for every other new book.”

Alan RoyalCurrent Job: Director of Outreach and Partnerships at Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Why English and Writing: “I owe a great deal of the exposure, practice, feedback, and encouragement that goes into becoming a capable writer to my time as an English major at TCU. Writing well is not just good for drafting emails and online posts---learning how to engage in a thoughtful writing process transformed the way I approach communication and planning. And I gain a better sense of who others are and what they need from their writing styles as well...”

Advice to Students: “You will find that many of the things you do that you will be proud of will be due to the relationships you build, and know that good relationships come through your ability to communicate well with other people. No matter what direction you decide to go in, your major is helping you develop a valuable life skill...”