Photo of Leggos reanacting Shakespeare scene

English MA Nikki Cox and Creative Writing Alumni Megan Oteri Featured on WNCT

Nikki Cox, Technical and Professional Communication MA student in the Department of English, teaches high school in Havelock and is currently completing a professional communication and public relations internship with Brick Scholars. The company is led by ECU Creative Writing alumni Megan Oteri. Megan visited Nikki’s high school class recently to run a workshop.

Visit WNCT to learn more about Megan and Nikki’s workshop featuring Legos to recreate Shakespeare scenes:

Celeste McMaster Profile Picture

Alumni and former NCLR Editorial Assistant Celeste McMaster wins a South Carolina Academy of Authors prize!

Already-decorated alumni and former NCLR Editorial Assistant Celeste McMaster wins a South Carolina Academy of Authors prize! Congratulations!!!

“Celeste McMaster’s short story “Shimmy” won the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Fellowship in Short Fiction, a $1,500 award accompanied by publication in “Fall Lines” from Muddy Ford Press. McMaster is an associate professor of English at Charleston Southern University. She has published fiction and poetry in various literary reviews and was the 2016 winner of The Saturday Evening Post’s Great American Fiction Contest.”

For more information, please visit: South Carolina Academy of Authors Facebook Page.

Kevin Dublin Photo

ECU MA grad Kevin Dublin has published his first collection of poetry, How to Fall in Love in San Diego

How To Fall in Love in San Diego Book Cover PhotoEnglish MA Graduate Kevin Dublin has published his first collection of poetry How to Fall in Love in San Diego (Finishing Line Press, May 2017).

How to Fall in Love in San Diego is a chapbook of 26 love & anti-love poems. The poems are set inside, around, and far outside the bounds of San Diego, CA. They’re a collective attempt to encapsulate the city’s energy and people, as well as the universal, sometimes heart-wrenching, 21st century search for love or something similar. For more information about how to pre-order, please visit:

Woman at table with White House official logo framed by American flags

Skills to Succeed: English alumni put degrees to good use

A story about the wide range of careers for English majors has just been posted on the ECU homepage. The feature profiles English alumni Bridget Todd (who works for tech/social media company Medium), Dan Neil (who writes about cars for the Wall Street Journal), and Megan Oteri (owner of Brick Scholars, which helps kids learn using Legos). Read on for more!
Dec. 8, 2016

By Jules Norwood
ECU News Services

Traditional liberal arts degrees are sometimes overlooked with the current focus on science, technology, engineering and math fields, but students continue to find that degrees like English help build important skills that are sought after by employers.

“Four of the top five traits employers are looking for are teamwork, clear writing, problem-solving aptitude and strong oral communications,” said John Stowe, career development counselor for East Carolina University’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. “These are skills acquired in a traditional liberal-arts education. Companies are hiring humanities and social science degree holders for long-term employment due to the skill set they have developed through their liberal arts programs.”

It often makes more sense, Stowe said, to hire employees who can write well and then teach them the specific skills they need, rather than hiring specialists in the hopes that they can become strong writers.

Read the full story here:

D'Andre Johnson

D’Andre Johnson, Amanda Tilley featured in Cornerstone magazine

English has made a good showing in the latest issue of Cornerstone magazine!
D’Andre Johnson, who is getting a BA in English and a BFA in animation, is featured on p. 10 of the new issue of Cornerstone magazine in a story on internships. D’Andre, who is especially interested in creative writing, currently interns at the Greenville Office of Economic Development as a student in ENGL 4890, our internship course (supervised by Brent Henze). Dr. Henze and Dr. Marianne Montgomery are quoted talking about internships on p.9.
MA alumna Amanda Tilley is featured on p.6 as the newest member of the college’s Advancement Council.
Our English Professional Seminar for undergrads and Jobs Group for PhD students (both led by Erin Frost) are featured in a story on professional seminars on pp.7-8. Career-building teaching and assistantship opportunities for graduate students are also mentioned.
Cornerstone is the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences alumni magazine and it is now available to download from the college’s website. To download and read the full issue, visit and click on the banner headline, or find the link under “More News.”

Darien Smith Named Communications Outreach Coordinator for ENC Stop Human Trafficking

Congratulations to Darien Smith, who recently earned her BA in English from ECU and has been named Communications Outreach Coordinator for Eastern North Carolina Stop Human Trafficking Now!

Smith graduated in May from East Carolina University with a bachelor’s degree in English, specializing in 19th-century poetry and professional writing, with a minor in foundations of education. She had served an internship with the organization while at ECU.

Read the full article from The Daily Reflector here:

PhD alum earns early promotion

Congratulations to Dr. Trisha Capansky (ECU 2011, PhD in Technical and Professional Discourse), who recently received early promotion to Associate Professor in the Department of  English and Modern Foreign Languages at the University of Tennessee at Martin. She will go up for tenure in 2017.

Dr. Capansky earned the English department’s PhD in Technical and Professional Discourse. She completed her dissertation in 2011; her dissertation committee included Tom Shields (chair), Brent Henze, Sherry Southard, and Carl Swanson (History). When she began her dissertation, her committee was chaired by Jan Tovey, who passed away in 2010.

Dr. Capansky teaches technical communication and composition, co-advises the UT-Martin chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and researches the impacts of media technology and infrastructure on South Sudanese independence and other topics related to nationhood, political discourse, and technology. This research ties to the work she did in her dissertation, The Declaration of Independence: A New Genre in Political Discourse or Mixed Genres and an Unlikely Medium? Her dissertation examined the genres and discourse that helped to create the first modern democracy in 1776, and her recent work examines how communication technologies and strategies shaped the birth of the world’s newest nation, South Sudan.


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.

Alumnus Update: Lucas Berrini

Lucas Berrini, a 2013 graduate with an MA in English Studies, is currently the holds, recalls and missing items manager at Joyner Library. He is also an adjunct instructor in composition and literature at Craven Community College. In addition, he is working on his second MA at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he is studying in the Library Science program with an emphasis on manuscripts and archives.

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