For Michael Morrison, three paths diverged in the English department at Wilkes University. He took all of them.
Like many English majors, Michael Morrison of Dallas, Pa., has Shakespearean skills, and he crafts clever essays. With his triple concentration in literature, writing and digital humanities, he’s also learning how language and technology intersect in the 21st century. “It’s a focus on the digital age and how it’s affected the humanities, particularly English,” Morrison says.
While English has always been his thing, Morrison wasn’t definite on the major until an “aha moment” at his older brother’s Wilkes graduation. “Don’t waste love,” a quote from President Leahy’s commencement speech, stuck with him. He committed to making the most of time with family and friends, as well as finding a major and work that he loved. “I knew then that English was what I wanted to do and Wilkes University was really where I wanted to be.”
As his advisor, Marcia Farrell, associate professor of English, helps to shape Morrison’s time as an English major. For him, that means taking a variety of courses in different genres, time periods and authors, as well as creative and technical writing. Another student might need a more focused approach. “For me, it’s really about talking to the student individually and finding a plan that fits,” says Farrell. “It’s really about getting to know the student and tailoring how you mentor to that particular student.”
By exploring the department’s offerings, Morrison is gathering knowledge he has already put to good use. He interned on campus writing grants to fund University research projects. Morrison learned all phases of the grant application process, including research, writing and document preparation. The senior also serves as the head copy editor of The Inkwell Quarterly, the English department’s newsletter.
After graduation, Morrison may pursue an MBA at Wilkes. His internship piqued his interest in grant writing as a possible career path. With his triple concentration in English, he has plenty of skills—and opportunities. “I expected to have a fairly straightforward career path. Coming into college, you don’t realize that everything is not that linear. It’s your choice where you want to go.”