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FAU's Department of English

The English Experience


The Department of English offers a variety of interesting classes that range from the traditional to the contemporary, like U.S. Latino/a Literature with Dr. Machado, Jewish American Literature with Dr. Furman, and American Literature: 20th Century Movements with Dr. Youngberg. There are also unique courses that focus on particular time periods or authors, such as 20th Century British Literature with Dr. Berlatsky, and a class on Toni Morrison with Dr. Dagbovie. The department's advisor is Shantelle Maxwell, who is always available to answer questions and keeps students informed of interesting new classes and events that focus on possible career options after graduation. In essence, the courses in the English department challenge students to become critical thinkers and better writers, which are important career skills. But most importantly, by introducing students to literature from different time periods and cultures, the entire faculty at Florida Atlantic University allows students to be aware of the different views and opinions they will experience in their lives.

Jonathan Hernandez
Alumni, Summer 2011


When I first transferred to FAU, I had no idea what I wanted to study. I was not interested in any of the material I was learning and I felt very detached and disconnected from learning and from school in general. It wasn't until my first writing class my sophomore year that I was reminded of my long-time love for literature and writing. Up to that point, I had never considered studying what I love! Once I began my English courses, I fell in love with what I was doing. I found myself talking a lot about school to my friends and family, and I became very motivated. That motivation inside the classroom also reflected my attitude outside of the classroom. I have made many friends in the Department of English and became more involved with campus-life.

FAU'S English classes are kept small, which has allowed the classroom to become an intimate setting of learning, discussing and critical thinking. In every class, my professor has known me on a first-name basis and I have gotten to know most of my peers. Now that I am about to graduate, I feel that my life has been extraordinarily enriched by this department. The English Major weaves art, language, history, philosophy, and critical thinking together to create a very well-rounded education. I have grown so much as a person with my major. After reading so many wonderful novels, I have become so in-tuned with the human condition. I have really come to understand the art of the "thesis" when writing a paper, which has reflected the way that I speak to people and the way that I express myself.

Most importantly, the way that I think and see the world has changed drastically for the better; the English Major takes critical thinking to a whole new level which has made me more independent and confident in my own opinions. Without question, the English Major has provided me with a well-rounded education that has allowed me to grow and harness my own perceptions of the world we live in today and showed me how I put those views into action as I try to find my place in the real world. I am eternally grateful for the knowledge and experiences I have been given at FAU from the Department of English. 

Lauren Wiles
Alumni, Spring 2012


I became an English major at FAU because I love to read and write. It was the best decision I could have made. The classes are excellent and varied- I've been required to read everything from Moby Dick to lesser-known stories like, "The Hungarian Adventurer." I've yet to take a course I didn't enjoy. All of the professors I have had have been extremely helpful and most importantly, they love to read and write too.

Donovan Ortega
Alumni, Spring 2012

When I first came to FAU, I chose English as my major because it seemed versatile and I wasn't sure what career I wanted to pursue. I could not have picked a better major! My classes in the Department of English have ranged from pre-1800s Chaucer courses to courses on American Indian and Holocaust literature. Studying in this department has allowed me to learn not just reading and writing skills, but has greatly expanded my cultural and historical knowledge as well. Small class sizes, personable professors, and knowledgeable advising have all helped make my experience better. The faculty goes above and beyond the call of duty, and if I ever encounter a problem, personal or academic, I know that I can seek the advice and mentorship of one of my professors.

As I begin to apply to law school, I am certain that my undergraduate experience with FAU's Department of English has fostered the confidence and knowledge in me to embark on and succeed in the next chapter of my life.

Jordan Holmes
Alumni, Spring 2012 


My favorite aspect of the English Experience is the exposure to different points of view that broaden my own perspective of the world. Text observations by experienced professors and the fresh analytical skills of fellow classmates help train and teach me every day to look at the world in different ways. This open-mind training has shaped me into a better student and person. Ultimately, I believe these lessons will be crucial in preparing me for a successful professional life.

Catalina Pire-Schmidt
Alumni, Summer 2012


Since my first semester, I enjoyed every English class I have taken. I have noticed that each professor is passionate about what they teach and so my experience in each class has been pleasant and rewarding. One of the best professors I have had is Professor Bradford. He has been a mountain of help throughout my time here at FAU. I have learned a lot in his classes and have become a better essay writer as well. One of the things I appreciate is the thesis writing exercise we had in our Literature of Adolescence class. It has helped me to construct a better thesis and thus, better papers. I cannot forget my mentor, Professor Stockard, who has been helpful in regards to my future endeavors. If ever I was to become an English professor, I would choose to specialize in Renaissance or Medieval Literature. Taking "Renaissance Literature" with Professor Stockard, and "Chaucer" with Professor Jasin, created in me a new found love for literary works from the Renaissance and Medieval periods. I, however, have not forgotten the other professors who have helped me along the way and I can absolutely say that FAU has some of the best English professors I have ever had. I regret leaving FAU so soon, but I will never regret or forget the level of education and the support I have received from this Institution, as well as and the people who work here.

Dunja Fairclough
Alumni, Fall 2011

The English Department is very hands-on with their students. I attended two other universities before transferring to FAU, and I couldn't be more proud of where I graduated from and the degree that I earned. I had an amazing experience with the English Department. As a student, I was able to start the department's first English Club. I also took part in the English Internship Program, and was hired by my internship agency prior to graduating. During my last semester, the department gave me the opportunity to watch President Obama speak on campus. The best part of being an English major was having Shantelle Maxwell as my mentor and advisor. She always went above and beyond for me and challenged me to grow. She’s very down-to-earth and has a real concern for students. All of these factors contributed to my unforgettable experience with FAU's English Department. Go Owls!

Nicole Wieder
Alumni, Fall 2012



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