Major Spotlight: Ann Petersen

Minoring in Chemistry, this major works with teens at the Minneapolis Central Library
Photo of English major Ann Petersen

Year: Senior
Hometown: La Crosse, WI

Why did you choose to major in English?

I switched to the English major during my junior year of college because I realized it was the best fit for me. I love to read, and I love to think critically and creatively and to be around the like-minded. I struggled with questions of the practicality of an English degree and eventually realized that the stigma of impracticality was false. Being an English major, you have almost too many career options to choose from. My career and personal goals lead me to aspire to be a teacher.  

"Being an English major, you
have almost too many career
options to choose from."

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

I am also pursuing a minor in chemistry. Outside of the university, I volunteer with Hennepin County for their youth teen center at the Minneapolis Central Library and the homeless population at high-risk for Covid-19. I find this meets my desire to think critically and help others.

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

My favorite part of my English major experience is meeting and learning from my classmates and professors. With smaller class sizes it was easy to get to know those in the room and make life-long connections.

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

I would recommend taking any classes with Professors Qadri Ismail, Andrew Scheil, Kathryn Nuernberger, Julie Schumacher, Senior Lecturer Ann Tandy-Treiber, and Instructor Zoe Rodine. Their class subjects include American literature, British literature, textual analysis, creative fiction writing, Shakespeare, and misbehaving dead bodies in 19th-century literature. I believe a great teacher makes any class better, so thank you to those who taught me!

Best book you've read recently?

Temporary by Hilary Leichter.

Civic Readiness
Undergraduate Students
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