What Alumni Say

Students in our program praise the personal attention that they receive from faculty in class, during independent studies, and while working on their master's essay. Below are just a few examples of what recent alumni have to say about their mentors.


Andrea Stewart‌ '18

Mentor: Dr. Alexis Easley

Looking back on my time in the Graduate English program at St. Thomas, I can honestly say that it has been a life-changing experience for me - especially due to the guidance and mentorship I received from Dr. Alexis Easley thoughout my graduate school career. Working with her as my editing supervisor, in-class professor, and mentor during my Master's Essay has not only given me numerous tools to develop my work as a scholar, but also invaluable opportunities to grow as a person. During our meetings, Dr. Easley always gave me both positive and constructive feedback on the work I had already completed while at the same time challenging me to continually push myself and my writing to the next level, and always making me feel that she genuinely believed in my ability to do just that. Her support and encouragement over the past four years has made my time in the program so meaningful and rewarding, and I cannot thank her enough.


Maria Capecchi '18

Mentor: Dr. Kanishka Chowdhury

Dr. Chowdhury was the perfect blend of challenging and supportive. His courses emphasized theory that was grounded in the everyday realities of politics, economics, and ethics, allowing me to both improve in my understanding of theoretical concepts as well as how my intellectual pursuits impact our society. As a mentor, I could count on his depth of knowledge, encouragement, and high expectations to help me become the best scholar I could be. His help will be invaluable in my PhD work and future academic career.


John VanOverbeke‌ '17

Mentor: Dr. Laura Zebuhr

Working with Laura, and have that one-on-one connection with a professor that you wouldn't get at a bigger school was one of my favorite things. She completely changed my perspective. Those kinds of experiences that aren't prepackaged, that happen naturally, those connections and relationships, is what I'll remember and miss.


Marie Hanson '16

Mentor: Dr. Todd Lawrence

Dr. Lawrence always pushed me to question my analysis of and preconceptions about African American literature. The texts we read in classes, my independent study, and for my master's essay not only challenged me as a graduate student, but most importantly as an American citizen. I am also incredibly grateful for his careful readings and critiques of my essays, as I am a much more confident writer after working with him.


Scott Carpenter '16‌

Mentor: Dr. Emily James

Dr. James was my advisor for nearly a year: she served as my independent study advisor the semester before serving as my advisor for the Master's Essay. Every time we got together to check-in, her positive attitude and creative outlook would rub off on me. I cannot thank Dr. James enough for her unwavering encouragement and willingness to help with countless revisions. I couldn't have done it without her.


Matthew Cavellier '15

Mentor: Dr. Todd Lawrence

I worked with Dr. Lawrence on two directed readings and he was my master's essay advisor. What our conversations did was provide me the tools to pull strands of thought that initially appeared only tangentially related into a cohesive argument. More importantly, though, they were a chance to talk about literature, and music, and culture (and baseball) in a way that demanded an acknowledgement of relevance - that moved academia from theory to immediacy - and this shift had a profound impact on my essay.