Chair’s Welcome by Dr. Margaret Rose Torrell

Welcome to the SUNY College at Old Westbury English Department Website and best wishes for a spectacular Fall 2012 semester.   This academic year brings many opportunities for new and enriching experiences.  We have moved to the New Academic Building with its state-of-the-art technology and design.  The English Department’s new home is room 3036A, on the third floor of the New Academic Building.  Please stop in to see us.  We are also pleased to welcome new full time faculty members to our department, Dr. Jacqueline Emery and Dr. Amara Graf, as well as adjunct Professor Anna Sicari.  They have a great deal of knowledge and good energy to bring to Old Westbury and I’m sure you will enjoy working with them.

This year, we continue to build our MAT/MS graduate programs in English, coordinated by Dr. Linda Camarasana.  Our first cohort of MAT students graduated this past Spring, and we are proud to welcome our third cohort of future educators this semester.

We also plan to add to this site, the English Department webpage, coordinated by Prof. Jessica Williams with technical support from Prof. Daniel Dissinger.  Check back later in the semester for student and faculty blogs, faculty biographies, and information about internships and careers for our majors.

Fall 2012 brings new roles in the Department as well.  Dr. Christopher Hobson, who has chaired our department with meticulous dedication for six years, will become the Coordinator of Writing Programs as I move from that position into the role of English Chair.   He and I have been working closely together to ensure a smooth transition.

And then there are some things that have not changed.  As always, our department remains committed to providing students with in-class and out-of-class experiences that will prepare them for career, graduate study, and engaged citizenship within their local and global communities.  Our curriculum focuses on the study of literary diversity and offers specializations in multicultural literature and world literature.  Our coursework is structured to build confidence and knowledge in areas such as advanced writing, literary analysis, literary theory, and critical thinking.   Faculty use various student-centered teaching styles and activities to create a positive learning environment in our classes.

English majors who today engage in the intense literary analysis and advanced writing of our curriculum will be well on their way to achieving a degree that is in increasing demand by employers and graduate schools.  Our alumni have continued on to graduate study and are successful in fields such as publishing, banking, education, business, library science, counseling, music, and law.

The Department plans to host a variety of co-curricular activities this semester, including poetry readings, writing workshops, a book party for Dr. Christopher Hobson and Dr. Carol Quirke of American Studies, and career information sessions.  Each year, we publish Harmonia, the campus journal of student writing.  Our high achieving majors and concentrators have the opportunity to join our chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society.  Check back to our website for information about upcoming events.

So, as we begin this new academic year, let’s crack open a fresh new notebook, pick up a new pen, and fill our pages with stories of success and achievement.  Wishing you all good things for the Fall 2012 semester—

Margaret Torrell

English Chair, Fall 2012

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