English Major Spotlight: Brooke Stuermer

Creative writing classes have helped this student become a better collaborator, communicator, editor, and author
Head and shoulders image of person with light brown straight hair past shoulders, light skin, smiling, with blurred green background

Year: Senior

Hometown: Wausau, Wisconsin

Why did you choose to major in English?

I explored a lot of different majors before choosing English. I was really happy to find something that allowed me to transfer skills towards multiple career paths, no matter what I decided to explore. I’m an avid reader and writer, too, and it’s a subject where I’ve always felt at home. 

What has been your favorite part of your experience in the department?

The discussion! I’ve truly had some of the most insightful conversations with my English classmates and professors. The English department creates an atmosphere that feels so safe when discussing harder topics throughout literature. It’s like a semester-long book club! 

Are you pursuing any majors, minors, internships, or interests outside your English major?

I am pursuing a minor in creative writing! Being able to participate in more creative writing workshops has improved my work in a way that I could not have imagined. I am a better collaborator, communicator, editor, and author because of the space these classes have created. I have applied to Master of Fine Arts programs in creative writing, and the application process was far easier with multiple semesters’ worth of workshopped material. I hope to teach as well, and the communication skills I’ve gained from my English courses will be invaluable.

What is a favorite book you read for an English class?

Sara Borjas’ poetry collection Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff. I will be recommending it for the rest of my life! 

What English course would you recommend for majors? For non-majors who want to take an English class?

For English majors, I would recommend taking ENGL 3151: "Romantic Literatures." I learned so much about interpreting literature (especially poetry) in that course, and it has carried over into all my other classes as well. For non-majors who want to take an English class, any creative writing course is a great choice; but I seriously recommend "Intro to Chicana/o Literature" with Professor Vanessa Ramos. Every novel or story we read was equally incredible, and it stimulated some of the best discussions I’ve ever had in my courses. 

What is your favorite thing about Pillsbury Hall?

I love the view from the third floor! You can see the ivy on a lot of the surrounding buildings, people-watch, and sometimes catch the sunset if you’re in there late enough. 

What is something about the English department that most people wouldn’t know?

So many different majors take English courses! Biology, computer science, art, management, you name it.

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