Meet Our Alumni
Megan Comerford graduated from PC in 2006 with a BA in English Literature. After spending the summer excavating in Greece, she joined the editorial department of Marshall Cavendish, a small publishing company specializing in non-fiction books for grades K-12. During this time Megan also pursued a Master’s in English Literature from Fordham University, working full time and going to class at night.
In the fall of 2010, she accepted a job at Development Dimensions International, an international organizational development and talent management consulting firm. Though Megan had no formal education in OD or I/O psychology, it was her critical thinking, attention to detail, and ability to work on multiple projects with different timelines that enabled her to excel in her role.
Megan is currently a Consulting Associate in DDI’s Midtown Manhattan office, where she manages client projects and continues broadening her knowledge about the business. She also serves on an innovation and culture change task force.
In her spare time Megan enjoys being active, reading, and trying new things. She recently backpacked the Grand Canyon, went caving in Howe Caverns, and ran the Tough Mudder.
"When I graduated with a BA in English Literature, the question I most often got was, “Oh…so you’re going to teach?” I prefer to think of the major as a ticket to anywhere – the destination is yours to make. While the degree is in English Lit, the education covers so much more: strong writing ability, critical thinking, how to challenge perspectives and think for yourself. These are all skills that can transfer into a slew of different fields – it’s up to you to figure out where you’re headed and what career you’ll find satisfying. Being able to engage a client with a penchant for Elizabethan dramas with your knowledge of Shakespeare? Well, it doesn’t hurt."
John O'Mara (B.A. 2000) turned an internship at Sotheby's into a distinguished career in the rare and antiquarian book business. After an apprenticeship in Boston and master classes at the Beinecke Library, Yale, John moved to London to work for Bernard Quaritch, LTD, before settling at Maggs Bros. LTD, where he has worked since 2005. John is a leading expert in 16th-century English books, as well as European Britannica, and books and manuscripts related to the abolition of the slave trade. At PC he ran track and cross-country, an avocation he still pursues in countries around the world.
"The English department's flexible curriculum and supportive faculty allowed me to explore my burgeoning interest in rare books and manuscripts. In fact it was a tutorial in bibliography, or the study of the production of printed books and the application of these findings to literary and historical studies, that led to my first job as an antiquarian bookseller. In short, PC provided me with the tools and the mindset to successfully pursue my ambition to work with rare books."
You can contact John at email@example.com.
Alison Espach (B. A. 2007) earned her Masters in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in McSweeney's, Five Chapters, Glamour, Salon, The Daily Beast, and Writer's Digest. The Adults, her first novel, was a New York Times Editor's Choice, a Wall Street Journal Top 10 Novel of the Year, and a "Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers" pick for Spring 2011. The audio version was a Booklist Editor's Choice, and a Kirkus Top Ten of the Year. Her short story "Someone's Uncle" is now available as an e-book.
"The English Department at Providence College is a rare gem. The professors here are extraordinarily wise, passionate about teaching, and confident in the dreams of their students."
Emily A. Benfer (B.A. 1999) received her J.D. from Indiana University and her LLM from Georgetown University. She is a clinical professor of law and the director of the Loyola University Chicago School of Law Health Justice Project, an interdisciplinary live client clinic that addresses the social and systemic causes of health disparities through legal intervention. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer and an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. Professor Benfer has received multiple awards for dedication to serving the public interest, including the Indiana University Early Career Achievement Award, the American Bar Association Judy M. Weightman Memorial Public Interest Award, and the Equal Justice Works Martindale Hubbell Exemplary Public Service Award.
"As an English Major and Writing Minor at Providence College, I was regularly challenged to think critically and to cater my writing to multiple audiences. The classes exposed me to the many facets of literature and, in turn, humanity, and the faculty heightened my curiosity and encouraged my development. The Department of English provided me with an unshakeable foundation in persuasive communication, thorough analysis and creative thinking. These skills are essential to my ability to practice law, develop innovative solutions to systemic problems and mentor the next generation. I am extremely fortunate to be a graduate of the Department of English."
You can contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kaitlyn Pratt, B. A. 2000, is a news reporter for Fox 5 Atlanta. In 2008, she received an Edwin R. Murrow Award for her coverage of the Troy Davis capital punishment case; she also received a Best General Reporting award from the Associated Press.
"My name is Kaitlyn Pratt. I'm a reporter for Fox 5 News in Atlanta, and a 2000 graduate of the Providence College Liberal Arts Honors Program.
Every work day I write multiple pieces for TV news. Each is about one minute thirty seconds in length. But I know I can write a 20-plus page paper. As an English major and Political Science minor, I was encouraged to make my point, and back it up - in 5000 words.
My education helped me hone my writing and public speaking capabilities. My degree makes me a more informed journalist. I'm prepared for most topics I'm covering on the general assignment beat, with a background that both enables me to think and encourages questions."
Joel Pace (B. A. 1994), holds a doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University, and is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire. He has edited two scholarly books, and written numerous articles on the literary relations between Britain and America in the nineteenth century. He is also a professional musician, the lead singer, trumpet-player and songwriter for Irie Sol, a Twin Cities-based reggae band. He lives in St. Paul in the old Commodore Hotel, where Al Capone, John Dillinger, and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald once hung out. Garrison Keillor lives down the block.
“ The small classes at Providence College provide the opportunity for professors to become mentors and students to sound the depths of academic disciplines. Bruce Graver’s classes in Romanticism continue to inspire my lifelong interest in this field. The program in English links the scholarly and the creative: Peter Johnson’s creative writing class and Graver’s literary theory course helped me connect my love of literature and music by emphasizing the qualities of imagination at work in both.
I’m grateful for my experience at PC, and I’m still seeking out and crossing the many interdisciplinary bridges that connect literature and song, quotes and notes.”
You can contact Joel at email@example.com.