Lauren Haylett is passionate about what she calls “the vast and timeless nature of literature. Whether I’m studying the classics or more contemporary works, there’s always more to explore,” she said.
Haylett chose to major in English (BA) – Literary Studies because she wants to contribute to the literary community by writing and teaching. Her plans after graduation are to pursue advanced degrees in English and then teach at a college or university.
“My dream is to get a PhD in literature. I want to remain in academia as a professor and a writer, and to foster a community of people who get excited about literature. It’s one of the great arts,” she said.
A junior in Fall 2015, Haylett’s most valuable experiences in the program so far have been learning about different types of criticism and how to read literature from diverse perspectives.
“There are so many different lenses through which you can read and analyze a piece of literature. For instance, imagine reading a work like ‘The Great Gatsby’ through a feminist lens, a Marxist lens or a biographical lens. Each produces vastly different responses in readers,” she said.
“Keeping lenses in mind can also improve your writing by making it more informed, nuanced and creative.”
Haylett said the program supports her academic dreams because the environment is a catalyst for personal growth, academic excellence and creative exploration.
“It’s such an encouraging environment for any and all readers, writers and artists,” she said. “You’re always within arm’s reach of a student or faculty member who is excited to listen to and hear about your work.”