English Major Spotlight: Emily Judd

This major just returned from studying Jane Austen and women writers at Oxford University
Head and torso of person standing in snow field with distant trees; hair to chin, earing green coat

Year: Senior
Hometown: Rosemount, MN

Why did you choose to major in English?

It was such a natural decision for me—the opportunities within this major to learn and connect with the world in a new and exciting perspective are boundless. Majoring in English has allowed me the opportunity to grow tremendously as a communicator, as a critical thinker, and as a person in general. I really do love this major immensely.

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

Forming connections with the professors in the department. Offering up your writing and your ideas to be scrutinized can be extremely intimidating, which is why I am so grateful that the professors I’ve had have always treated me, and my work, with honesty and respect. It's that honesty and respect that has allowed me to take greater liberties in my ideas, and has made me a better student and writer.

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

I have a French minor—just this fall I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Paris and test out my language skills (thankfully, most people spoke English). Outside of academics, this past summer I was a publishing intern at Beaver’s Pond Press here in St. Paul, which was such an exciting and enriching experience. If you get a chance, they're opening a bookstore in their store front!

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

Persuasion by Jane Austen. I read it in ENGL 1919 “Jane Austen’s Afterlives” with Professor Elaine Auyoung, and again in ENGL 3151 “Romantic Literature” with Professor Brian Goldberg. It’s genuinely fun to discuss with other students, as Austen hooks readers of all backgrounds in a way not many authors can. Austen creates such a wonderful, stressful, and romantic world in this novel that you can’t help but adore it.

What is your favorite thing about Pillsbury Hall?

I love sitting out on the steps when the weather is nice, especially on those little landings that flank the stairs. Makes you feel like a gargoyle.

If you studied abroad, what did you take away from the experience?

This fall semester I have been studying Jane Austen and women writers at St. Catherine’s College, at Oxford University. Academically, I’ve learned the true value of believing in your own work, as well as the importance of recognizing the ways you could have created a stronger final product—both are necessary to grow. Personally, what I took away from the experience is that travel is one of the most important experiences a young person can have. Flying to the UK was my first time out of the country, and I feel extremely grateful to have seen so many beautiful places, met so many wonderful friends from around the world, and experienced so many new things. I can’t even begin to describe the ways I’ve grown from my time abroad, and I can’t thank everyone who helped me get there enough.

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