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Major Spotlight: Amalia Oien

This senior is minoring in Creative Writing and Racial Justice in Urban Schooling
March 3, 2021

Year: Senior
Hometown: Goodhue, MN

Why did you choose to major in English?

Majoring in English was not my original plan. I went into college thinking a History major was the right fit for me but, within a month or so, I realized it was just a subject I enjoyed learning, and I was not interested in pursuing a career in it. Majoring in English had not crossed my mind until my roommate, who was going through the same crisis, asked me a simple question, “What did you enjoy growing up?” Instantly, I felt that English would be the right path for me. I spent a majority of my childhood reading and writing. In addition, my favorite courses were always English, throughout middle and high school. It took me a bit to get here, but I’m glad I changed my path.

"The Racial Justice in Urban
Schooling minor is not only
educating me, but also giving
me in-school experience
working with students."

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

Everyone in the English department is welcoming and knowledgeable. I have gained a great amount of non-English related information from all of my professors and, because of this, I have become a more well-rounded individual.

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

On top of my English major, I am pursuing two minors, Creative Writing and Racial Justice in Urban Schooling. Both minors do a wonderful job complimenting my major. Upon completion of my undergraduate program, I hope to enroll in the M.Ed and Initial Teaching License in English Education. When entering a school, a person should be fully equipped with the proper knowledge to help them serve and advocate for their students. The Racial Justice in Urban Schooling minor is not only educating me, but also giving me in-school experience working with students. When it comes to my Creative Writing minor, I have learned an abundant amount of writing techniques and different ways to approach a piece of writing. Both minors will help me in my future career.

I am a part of FUSE, also known as Fellowship of Undergraduate Students in English. As a future educator, FUSE has taught me how to interact with colleagues and plan for things, such as events, in effective ways. As a whole, FUSE is a wonderful way to meet fellow English majors and be more involved.

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

I would highly recommend taking "Modern American Poetry" with Professor Peter Campion to both English majors and non-majors. I always enjoyed poetry, but Peter’s class made me form a deep appreciation for it. He even introduced me to my current favorite poet (Frank Bidart). Overall, it’s a great environment with a professor who truly loves what he does.

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

Most people I know have a pre-existing notion that majoring in English means you only read every Shakespeare play and all the classics. That is not the case.

Best book or movie you've read/seen recently?

This past summer, I read It by Stephen King, and I would highly recommend it.