Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Mimi Okabe, MA 2013
“Having completed both my undergraduate degree in English Literature and a Master of Arts in Popular Culture at Brock, I went back to my roots in pursuing another Master of Arts in Text/Community/Discourse. This program enabled me to further explore my own research interests in manga adaptations of literary classics in preparation for future doctoral work. Thankfully, I am now doing my PhD at the University of Alberta. The kinds of courses that were offered in the MA ranged in topics from Steampunk, to Studies in Masculinity, to Pataphysics, to Jane Austen, and Lit theory. While some were more challenging than others, I found them all very interesting and insightful. Some of my memorable experiences as a graduate student include being given the opportunity to lecture a first year English class and serving as the graduate student representative on the hiring committee. The Master of Arts program has a phenomenal professional development course that provides you with a competitive edge and the skills you need to “make it” in the academic world. With the expert advice and guidance of Dr. Barbara K. Seeber (supervisor) and Dr. Ann Howey (second reader), I was able to complete my major research project entitled “Jane Austen in Translation: An Exploration of Cultural Paradigms of Sisterhood in Mochizuki Reiko’s Sense and Sensibility.” My committee was incredibly supportive of my research and I am very grateful to have been able to work with them. The department has a very friendly and enthusiastic faculty that is invested in the success of their students, and I recommend this program to students who are serious about pursuing an academic career.”
Sarah Bobko, MA 2010
"My English MA from Brock University has helped me obtain various positions at colleges across the country. Upon graduating, I began teaching Communications and English for Academic Purposes at Niagara College. Currently, I am a full-time instructor at SAIT Polytechnic, where I teach Communications and Academic Upgrading English.
I enjoyed doing my MA at Brock for several reasons. For one, the English department and program intake were small, so I got to develop close relationships with my professors and classmates. My peers have gone on to pursue careers in journalism, writing, and teaching, and it's been incredible being able to support one another in our professional endeavors and get insight into various industries and careers.
Second, one of our MA courses was entirely devoted to our professional development. This course covered practical topics with immediate application, including how to apply for a grant, create an intriguing proposal for a conference, develop a strong curriculum vitae, and write a compelling research paper and thesis.
Lastly, what made studying at Brock so great were the professors. Their passion for their areas of study was palpable and contagious."
Susan Hroncek, 2009
"My experience with the MA in English at Brock provided the perfect transition between undergraduate classes and the more rigorous levels of research and writing demanded by the academic profession. The program offers a considerable range in courses, from studies of canonical British texts like Marlowe and Dickens to post-Apartheid South Afircan literature and adaptations of Beckett's plays. In each case, we explored the texts from a variety of theoretical schools; this breadth was further enhanced by the vigorous course in literary theory. The broad scope of the program gave me an excellent opportunity to write my Major Research Paper on motherhood and heroism in the Harry Potter series under the supervision of Dr. Howey and Dr. Allard.
The most impressive aspect of the program is the supportive community of professors. They challenge students to think critically while fostering original research and high professional standards. They inspired me to continue my studies at the doctoral level, and I am happy to recommend the program to any student interested in pursuing an MA in English."
Julie Morris, MA 2009
"My MA year at Brock was pivotal in my transition from school into a career in higher education. Brock's faculty prepared me academically and professionally and never accepted anything less than excellence in either area of development. The dedication of the professors in the English department helped me to ensure that I was equipped to begin teaching English at Sheridan College upon completion of my MA. Six years later, I remain at Sheridan College, now as a full-time professor and the coordinator of the English program. While Brock's English MA program is not for the faint of heart, it certainly delivers on its promise of a well-rounded and solid education for its graduates."
Carmelo Tropiano, MA 2009
"The MA in English Language and Literature at Brock has proved to be the most meaningful learning experience of my university career. As a graduate student, I had the opportunity to engage talented scholars from diverse academic fields. Victorian, Modernist, and Structuralist foci propelled my own research objectives, the theological-aesthetical 'grounds' of Gerard Manley Hopkins's poetics. The practical benefits of my studies include a new approach to my college teaching practice, the publication of my first journal article, and the presentation of a paper at an aesthetics conference. Brock's MA in English was conducive to my overall development as a teacher, student, and person, allowing me to expand my literary interests and achieve scholarly goals."
Lauren Mead, MA 2008
"The best part of obtaining my MA in English Language and Literature at Brock University were the Professors who were an excellent source of knowledge and support during my time there. I was especially excited about the wide range of course materials that seminars at Brock offered me; as a student entering for the first time into the world of professional academia it was beneficial to experience the viewpoints of so many professionals in our small group of Master's students. My major research paper, entitled National Myths and Identities: American Nationalism and the Arthurian Legend, explored the underlying contexts of Arthurian retellings in children's picture books through text and image. Although I continue to be fascinated by the retellings of myth and legend in our modern day children's literature, I am currently pursuing my interests in New Zealand as a prospective teacher."
Christopher Stampone, MA 2008
"I came to Brock hoping to be challenged; Brock met and exceeded all of my expectations. The professors were knowledgeable and helpful. The classes - which covered an array of interests and fields of study that ranged from Arthurian metanarratives and the Austen canon to graduate student professionalization and literary theory - were extremely demanding but equally rewarding. With the superlative help of Dr. James Allard and Dr. Martin Danahay, I wrote a major research paper on Wordsworth, transcendentalism, and the ever-present moment of infinite possibility. Because of my time at Brock, I am prepared for Ph.D. studies and, more importantly, I know that I belong"
Cynthia Gagne, MA 2008
"It was difficult to return to university to pursue a Master of Arts degree as a mature part‑time student while contending with a full‑time teaching career at Niagara College; however, Brock University's MA (English) part‑time program is tailored in such a way as to make achievement of this goal possible within two to three years. Moreover, prospective students should not feel daunted by MA requirements, as the faculty is deeply committed to student success. This graduate program provides a closely supervised course of study which directs and cultivates critical thought and research skills, shapes and develops academic and professional standards, and provides students with an opportunity to work with accomplished mentors who have achieved expertise in their chosen areas of study. I only hope that I can make a contribution worthy of what was so admirably provided by the many memorable professors who enhanced my academic and professional life through graduate studies in Brock's English Department."
Joe Lasko, MA 2008
"I graduated from Brock with an MA in English Language and Literature in 2008, writing my Major Research Paper on Hunter S. Thompson, the outlaw, and the mainstream press, and I cannot say enough about the strengths of the program. Particularly worth noting is the quality of instruction and mentorship I received during my time here. I have attended a number of academic institutions and can say that Brock has the brightest, most energetic, fun and involved faculty with whom I have had the pleasure of studying. Perhaps what I enjoyed most about the Brock MA is the emphasis that is placed on professionalization and the overwhelming willingness throughout the department to take on those mentoring roles which are crucial for our development as students, academics and professionals. I have plans to pursue my Ph.D. in the near future. I would recommend this program to anyone genuinely interested in pursuing a career in academia."
Meagan DeBray, MA 2008
"When I reflect on my experience as a student working to complete the one year MA English program at Brock, I view the experience as very challenging, yet extremely rewarding and satisfying. The program offers a diverse choice of courses, and although these courses did not necessarily always represent my own area of interest and research, every area of study that I encountered enriched my own research in ways I did not think possible at first. Aside from the diverse choice of subjects, which I now perceive as one of the strengths of the program, the Professors who were either directly or indirectly involved with teaching these courses, are certainly the foundation for my success in the program. Each Professor always seemed to go above and beyond their duties, not only as supervisors, but as the voices that offered encouragement and help the entire step of the way. My experiences learning a variety of subjects from these encouraging mentors, meeting new students, and making life-long friendships made the year especially enjoyable. The culmination of the program was the writing of my major research paper titled, De-Romanticizing the Spectacle: Writing the Heart into the Horror in Zakes Mda's Ways of Dying and Sindiwe Magona's Mother to Mother. I am currently working as a Teaching Assistant at Brock. My future academic pursuits might lead towards a Doctorate program; however, I am currently exploring other career options at Brock--it is difficult leaving an institution that holds such wonderful memories."
Jesse Hutchinson, MA 2007
"My experience in Brock's English MA program was challenging and rewarding. The structure of the program, the course work, and the close interaction with professors significantly advances critical thinking skills; the professional development program is particularly crucial in showing how Literary Studies works as a profession and in developing your field of study. My Major Research Paper examined the literary conventions of the contemporary American drug autobiography. I am hoping to pursue either a Professor position in Quebec's college system, or a Ph.D. program."
Barbara Buetter, MA 2007
"Having completed my undergraduate degree at Brock, I knew that I'd enjoy doing my MA work there as well. The faculty create an inspiring, challenging, and supportive atmosphere that draws out our best work. The program's course work gave me a solid groundwork in research and helped me strengthen my writing skills. It also helped me focus my interests for my major research project on the work of Susan Orlean, who questions patriarchal social structures within the framework of popular literary journalism. Completing this project with input from two faculty experts was an exciting collaborative process and great fun. I'm currently an English Professor at Niagara College."
Laird Barrett, MA 2006
"Looking back, I'm very pleased that attention was paid to professional development. I'm also very impressed by the attentiveness of the faculty while I was there. It may have been because it was a small class and a small faculty in the inaugural year of the program, but I knew all of the professors in the department and felt supported by them all. And I'm pleased with the rigor and thoroughness of the program. My best work was always expected of me and I was never allowed to cut corners. Frustrating at times, but something I enormously appreciate in retrospect. I'm working as the Advertising Executive at the London Review of Books now. It's a wonderful environment. Our offices are in Bloomsbury. The British Museum is just around the corner."
Mark Stoiko, MA 2006
"The MA experience was quite challenging, and successfully completing it provides a strong sense of accomplishment. The most immediate benefits I derived from the experience are research and writing skills, and an ability to synthesize large quantities of material into a cogent and cohesive argument. These skills have likewise assisted me with both critiquing and synthesizing legal concepts I have learned about this year at Queen's Law School. The TA experience is also valuable because it allows you to develop your ability to constructively scrutinize your students' work, and simultaneously develop your own analytical reading and writing skills."