Students of the Division of Language and Literature are prepared to begin advanced study or embark on careers in virtually any vocation. The evidence for the marketability of humanities skills is abundant. Many recruiters are turning directly to humanities majors for their foreign-language and intercultural expertise, their leadership abilities, communication skills and their intellectual flexibility and creativity.
Undergraduate programs are designed to serve those who pursue careers immediately upon graduation as well as to provide a solid foundation for further studies. Our majors are well prepared for graduate/professional schools or careers in writing, publishing, editing, government, law, business, public relations, church-related vocations, and education. Our graduates produce outstanding PRAXIS scores, are in teaching positions locally and abroad, or are furthering their degrees in various graduate schools. One served as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Some are serving in government agencies. Graduates interested in business and journalism are working in related fields, as the director of graphic services, as a newspaper reporter/editor, and as executive assistants in various businesses.
The mission of the Division of Language and Literature is to cultivate students’ personal, intellectual, and spiritual growth and to develop students of faith, intellect, and character. Through the study of literature and languages, students obtain knowledge of human culture and explore the meaning and significance of human existence. Humanities courses provide students with historical perspective, increase cultural awareness, and highlight the great insights and inspirations of the past that have formed the culture of the present. Complex issues and concepts about what it means to be human, the human experience, and the human condition are examined through the lens of a Christian worldview that encourages students to integrate learning into a meaningful framework in harmony with Christian faith and beliefs. The Division ultimately educates students to embody knowledge, hone critical and analytical thinking, possess dynamic oral and written communication skills, embrace creativity, and practice ethical behavior. Such emphases foster rational thought, intellectual growth, scholastic excellence, and personal responsibility. The focus on critical thinking and communication skills, the exposure to great works of literature, and the fundamental understanding of languages and the culture provides the student with the resources and behaviors to pursue service to God and others.
As English majors, students have opportunities to engage both the past and the present, walking alongside the men and women in history or fiction they would never have the opportunity to meaningfully know outside the world of books.
Under the careful guidance of Christian professors, students discover that good writing establishes a meeting point between the writer and the reader that, at its best, offers them glimpses of what it means to be human in a particular place and a particular moment in time.
In acknowledging the relationship between the words they read and the world they inhabit, LC English majors also hone their writing and communication skills, developing a style and voice they will utilize both inside and outside the world of the classroom.
As part of the program, English majors at Louisiana College have the opportunity to receive training in academic, creative, and technical writing, broadening the reach of their communication skills and solidifying their roles as thoughtful communicators in their future communities and job markets.
While some English majors become high school or college teachers, many others have either obtained graduate degrees or pursued careers as
Grant Tinker, former CEO of NBC and television producer, studied English at Dartmouth College.Hank Paulson, the former chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs and former Secretary of the Treasury, earned a degree in English. Former Avon CEO Andrea Jung was an English literature major at Princeton University, and former MTV CEO Judy McGrath received an English degree at Cedar Crest College. Michael Eisner, former Disney CEO, was a double major in English and theatre at Denison University. Two years after earning a B.A. in English and journalism from Marymount College in Maryland, Anne Mulcahy started at Xerox as the company’s field sales representative. She went on to serve as CEO and Chairwoman from 2001 to 2009.
Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and John Paul Stevens earned degrees in English.
Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus was an English major at Amherst College. Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison and best-selling authors like Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer, Dr. Seuss (a.k.a) Theodor Geisel majored in English.
Legendary journalist Bob Woodward received his bachelor's degree in history and English from Yale University. Barbara Walters was an English Major at Sarah Lawrence College.Renowned business and financial editor and columnist at the New York Times, Gretchen Morgenson won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for her coverage of Wall Street. She majored in English at St. Olaf College in Minnesota and started her career at Vogue as an editorial assistant.
Alvin Hansen earned a B.A. in English before studying economics. He later held a chair in Political Economy at Harvard and was president of the American Economics Association.
Television host Conan O'Brien was a double history and English major at Harvard University.Diane Sawyer, anchor of ABC's World News, Andrea Mitchell, NBC news reporter, and Howard Cosell, well-known sports broadcaster, all held degrees in English.
Reese Witherspoon, Katharine Hepburn, Matt Damon, Alan Alda, Sigourney Weaver, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Jodie Foster, Emma Thompson, Paul Newman, and Matt Damon all earned degrees in English.
Mitt Romney, former presidential candidate, governor of Massachuetts, and CEO of Bain Capital, was an English major at Brigham Young University. Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson was an English major at Dartmouth College. A lawyer, environmentalist, and businesswoman, Carol Browner received a B.A. in English and a law degree from the University of Florida years before she served as the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration and the director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011.
Angelo Bartlett Giamatti, former president of Yale University and seventh Commissioner of Major League Baseball, received his English degree from Yale. Hollis Caswell served as president of Columbia University's Teachers College, and John Cavanaugh served as president of the University of Notre Dame.
John Baur served as the curator of the Brooklyn Museum and later the director of the Whitney Museum in New York City, and Daniel Rich was the director of fine arts at the Art Institute of Chicago and later appointed as the director of the Worcester Art Museum.
Singer Sting was an English major at Northern Counties College of Education. Comedians S. J. Perelman, Dave Barry, Chevy Chase, and Joan Rivers also held degrees in English.
Award-winning film directors Steven Spielberg and James Cameron were English majors.
Sally Ride and Harold Varmus prove that English majors do not always have to end up in the humanities. A renowned physicist and astronaut, Sally Ride started off her academic career studying English before receiving her M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University. Harold Varmus, after earning an English degree from Harvard, was eventually appointed the Nobel Laureate in medicine and served as the former director of the NIH.
. . . people working with computers, networking, and IT; managers and human resource personnel; counselors for schools, colleges, financial aid; proofreaders and indexers; people in sales and marketing; policy analysts, political aides, press secretaries; speech writers, publicists, and public relations managers; program managers and event coordinators; fund-raisers and development or outreach coordinators; and on and on.
B. A. Languages 2015
The languages program at LC has really helped in my knowledge of Spanish and French. Everything I know of the two languages, I can attribute to the professors who taught them to me. This is because they took a genuine interest in teaching Spanish and French to me and even in my wellbeing.
Knowing another language in general also helps tremendously in career opportunities and just being able to relate to people of different cultures. Sharing the gospel with these people becomes so much easier when you don't need a translator.
B.A. English 2014
I attended Louisiana College 2010-2014 and graduated in 2014 with a BA in English. Having previously been homeschooled, as an incoming freshman I was enthusiastic (but very nervous!) for my transition to a classroom environment.
I had already taken EN101 my senior year of high school, but I decided to enroll in honors comp instead of EN102 in hopes that it would improve my writing skills and challenge the way I thought about literature. I could not have made a better decision! From that very first day in class, through the rest of my time studying English at LC, my professors taught me to think critically and deeply, not to be afraid to challenge assumptions, and to listen and empathize with other perspectives and life experiences. Being a humanities student at LC means becoming a proficient writer, a critical thinker, and a more compassionate person.
My humanities professors were truly invested in my personal development as well as my academic success. Through their classes, as well as time spent with them outside the classroom, I learned to speak confidently and passionately. They made me realize that my voice mattered, that my opinions were valid. My humanities professors empowered me to pursue (and achieve!) goals I otherwise wouldn't have believed were within my reach.
After graduation I moved to New York City to attend the Summer Publishing Institute at NYU. I almost chickened out and withdrew from the program, but our Division Chair let me cry in her office about it and then convinced me not to pass up the opportunity. Following the program, I received a job offer for a Marketing Coordinator position at Better Homes and Gardens magazine - thanks to a recommendation from that same professor! I've since been promoted within our company. I love working in such a fast-paced environment where I can apply the research, analysis, and writing skills I gained from LC Humanities classes.
I'm incredibly grateful for my time spent at Louisiana College, and for the humanities professors there who so radically impacted my life.
Haley Laird Warren
B.A. in English and Business Administration 2014
I attended Louisiana College from 2010-2014 and graduated in 2014.
I was a double major in English and Business Administration with a concentration in Management and Marketing.
The Division of Humanities and my degree in English has helped me gain skills for my professional career in an unconventional, yet very important way. I don’t write MLA style papers at work every day. However, I do use the communication skills, critical thinking skills, and relational skills that I learned from the Humanities Division every day. I am able to solve problems faster and empathize with the people I work with better because of my experience with the Louisiana College Humanities faculty and the way they taught me to relate to people and literature.
The professors in the Division of Humanities are not merely committed to helping students earn better grades. They are committed to the much more noble task of helping students become better people, grow closer to Christ, hone their practical skills, and succeed in life. Without these people making active efforts not only to teach inside the classroom, but also to pour love and wisdom into my life outside the classroom, I would not have been as successful in college. These people and their dedication to students, to Christ, and to higher education are what make the Louisiana College Humanities Division an extraordinary place to study.
After graduation, I worked in the Division of Humanities as an Administrative Assistant. I have since moved to a new position at Duke University as a Program Assistant. There I help to coordinate academic programs and promotional events for two different certificate programs on campus. I enjoy getting to use the skills I learned in my undergrad to work in an academic setting. I also have plans to pursue a Master’s degree in English in the near future.
Megan Slater Prestridge B.A. English and History 2014
My last semester as a double major was one of the most trying, but one of the most fulfilling semesters of my entire college career. Loaded down with a 21 hour course load, I pushed myself as far as I could go, but thankfully, being an English major, I wasn’t alone. The professors in the Humanities Department were with me through that wearisome season just as they had been from the fall of 2010.
One of my favorite quotes from my beloved mentor is as follows: “Literature is not created in a vacuum.” I will be honest, when I first heard this as a sophomore in my American Literature class, I did not have a real grasp on the meaning of that statement, but through those final years at L.C., and especially now since I have been exposed to the “real world,” I truly understand what she meant. Literature is not created by inserting variables into a formula. Literature is an enthralling, messy dance between humanity and grace; we try to lead, a foot gets stepped on, but grace gently guides us back into the rhythm of our destiny. Literature is life taken down from its lofty concepts and compacted into bite-size pieces we can handle.
Since my time in the Humanities Department, I have learned that life isn’t made in a vacuum either. We are all human beings, created by a great God out of love, and bathed in grace every single day. I learned this first through studying the thousands of characters in stories, the hundreds of themes and images in poetry, and the dozens upon dozens of theories and theorists in Literary Theory. If I had not learned this from the gifts I call professors in the Humanities Department, I know that I would not be as effective in my profession. I work as the department head for a company who cares for adults with developmental disabilities. Where many authors would write horrific stories with grotesque images to express the unfortunate hand dealt by life, I find beautiful, concrete images of God’s amazing love and grace. Because I am a product of the Humanities Division of Louisiana College, I can see past the fatal flaws and extend grace. Every day I am surrounded by people who, just like me, and just like literature, were not created in a vacuum, and that is what makes life so beautiful. I am, and will always be, a Louisiana College English major!
Quinn Sarkies B.A. French 2011
Hi, my name is Quinn Sarkies and I am Louisiana College alumni, class of 2011. I majored in French with a minor in Biblical Studies. My experiences at LC were invaluable! The small, faith-based environment at Louisiana College fosters relationship- building and education in a way that larger schools simply can’t compete with. As a French major, I was able to build strong relationships with fellow French majors and other students, relationships that will last a lifetime. This small atmosphere benefited me in several ways, namely it pushed me to become a better student, and provided me with easy opportunities for help, both academic and personal, when I needed it. Our professor, Mme. Barnhart, is a professor like no other. She saw the potential in each of us and drove us to accomplish our goals. Her superior teaching methods became obvious to me when I was afforded the opportunity to study for a summer semester in Belgium at the University of Liege, along with two others in my class. We were each placed in the advanced French language course as undergrad students who had yet to complete our programs, along with French teachers and grad students. I will never forget the experiences I had in Belgium and I hope that many others are afforded that opportunity!
So you may ask where I am today. After graduating from Louisiana College, I joined the United States Air Force. I am currently an avionics technician stationed in Wichita, KS. While it may not seem like my degree is currently being utilized, the things I learned from majoring in French and studying at Louisiana College benefited me in more ways than I have time to list. My education developed a passion in me to work internationally. It taught me how to think outside the box when approaching difficult situations, a key leadership ability that’s a necessity in today’s workforce. I also learned that I can accomplish just about anything through perseverance and a positive attitude. I’m sure that my degree will continue to benefit me in the future as new and exciting opportunities present themselves!