Alumna Spotlight: Catherine McCabe
Catherine McCabe is the author of A Rose Out of Ashes.
Where are you from and what brought you to ECU?
I am originally from Hyde County so I definitely consider myself ‘a country girl.’ Being a homebody, ECU was a good choice for me because it was close to home and I felt I would get a quality education as well.
What did you study while you were here, and how did your interest in this area begin? ?
My areas of study were English (Writing) and Communications. My interest in these areas grew from a natural love of writing and wanting to make a career out of it. I have been writing since I was twelve, and the high from writing a piece and having your peers enjoy it, there is nothing quite like it!
What have you been up to since your graduation?
I actually had the opportunity to work with a couple of local newspapers, one before I actually graduated from ECU in 1993. The experience was wonderful; I got to travel, meet new people and do what I love; write. Sometimes we don’t make the best choices and life takes you in a different direction then the one you thought you would be on. My current career, and the one that I have been pursuing for several years now, is in the helping field, particularly working with the elderly. I am currently the Program Director with the Creative Living Center, a very rewarding position. Although writing isn’t my career per se, I still enjoy writing my poetry and sharing it as I am able to.
What recognitions/achievements are you most proud of and why? ?
I would have to say becoming a mom was a great achievement for me. My daughter is now 17. My second greatest accomplishment would have to be self publishing my book of poetry, ‘A Rose out of Ashes’ through Bookstand Publishing in 2008. I did a lot of the editing work, etc on my own so it was definitely a rewarding experience.
What elements of your education in the Department of English have been most instrumental to your success?
I think just being able to hone my English writing skills in an atmosphere that allowed and encouraged creativity such as ECU’s English Department would have to be what stands out the most for me. And having instructors who are receptive of your talent in whatever form, and encouraged rather then discouraged you from that talent meant a lot as well.
What was most rewarding/exciting about your time in the Department of English, and what would you say to someone considering coming to ECU to study English?
I think I would have to say my most rewarding experience, not necessarily in the department, but as a student was writing for Expressions, the minority magazine. Getting to work alongside other students, feed off their writing energy and having my work recognized was very rewarding.
I would have to say if English is your passion, ECU is a good place to pursue it. The department was great when I was there and I am sure it has only gotten better in the years since I graduated so I can only imagine the wealth of information waiting for someone there.