Student testimonials

Our program has enabled our graduates to pursue work in public relations, archive management, education, and law, among many other endeavours. Graduates of the MA program have been accepted into doctoral programs at York University, Ryerson University, Western University, University of Alberta, University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Stirling, University of Saskatchewan, Dalhousie University, Southern Methodist University, Memorial University, Queen’s University, Trinity College Dublin and McGill University.

“Looking back on my year in Brock’s MA in English, I would say that the experience was challenging but undeniably rewarding. I appreciate that through the course-component of the program I was able to take courses that removed me from my comfort zone, gave me a wider range of literary knowledge, and that I also got to take courses that allowed me to discover new interests. I also liked that the cohort size (10 students) was not too big and not too small, which allowed us to have insightful and comfortable conversations in our seminars. Also, while most of the courses dealt with studies in English literature, we are also given a helpful Professional Development course, where we had practical, productive and creative assignments, from building a curriculum vitae, finding a Call for Papers and writing a proposal for it, and (my personal favourite) creating our own course outline/syllabus. We also learned how to apply for scholarships, how to prepare for conferences, and we received guidance towards our new endeavors in being Graduate Teaching Assistants for first-year English courses. On that note, one of the most enriching aspects of the program, for me, was the opportunity to be a Graduate Teaching Assistant. I enjoyed leading my own seminars with my first-year students and being able to test our different teaching methods. It was a very rewarding experience when I saw my students improving. I got to TA for Dr. Barbara Seeber’s course ENGL 1F91: Tradition and Innovation, and Dr. Seeber was very helpful and genuinely cared about her students and her teaching assistants.

The MA program’s MRP component was enriching, as it encouraged the graduate students to pursue their own interests, regardless of whether the project immediately seemed traditionally “literary” – for example, my MRP, to put it briefly, looked at children and nonhumans in zombie post-apocalypse fiction, and I examined a novel and a television series. The MRP also allows students to work with two professors, a supervisor/first reader and a second reader, who are dedicated to helping your project reach it’s potential. My supervisor, Dr. Andrew Pendakis, was always willing to meet up with me and discuss new ideas and he provided me with a lot of useful feedback during the early drafts of my MRP.

I found that the English department was very friendly and showed a genuine interest in your academic progress and prospects. The encouraging words from the professors helped me gain the confidence to present my first conference talk at WorldCon 2018 in San Jose, California. Also, the department plays a significant part in how I was able to gain enough confidence and knowledge to be able to apply to multiple PhD programs in English and become a PhD candidate in English at York University. Brock’s MA program provided me with the confidence to feel like I will succeed in this future endeavor and to continue pursuing other opportunities for academic development.”

— Monica Sousa, MA 2018

“Brock’s MA in English is challenging and rigorous. It is a full-time academic experience that both cultivates and puts to the test one’s skill in scholarly writing, critical analysis, oral communication, and time management. The program’s passionate and knowledgeable instructors foster an inclusive, supportive learning environment in which students feel comfortable and confident participating. The small cohort size affords a great degree of meaningful, engaging conversation in every seminar; each student’s voice is heard and appreciated in the physical and virtual classroom. As a formally trained teacher, the most rewarding aspect of the program is having had the opportunity, as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, to lead my own seminars with first-year English students. The program’s MRP component allows graduate students to pursue personal interests while working closely with a team of dedicated professors who help to shape and realize their academic endeavours.

The MA program extends beyond the study of English literature, however; through it, I learned how to construct a formal curriculum vitae and academic cover letter, compose strong scholarship applications, and apply for academic and non-academic positions. I have said to my colleagues and friends that the MA has prepared me for anything; the skills and capacities developed as part of the year-long journey are beneficial and, most importantly, transferable to any discipline or workplace. I highly recommend this enriching program for students who are passionate about learning and who possess the strong work ethic and commitment necessary to excel in a program that demands, consistently, one’s best effort.”

— Gianluca Agostinelli, MA 2015

“I had felt stimulated and nurtured academically as an undergraduate student within the department, but this only amplified as I took on my new role as MA student. Through the program, I gained a robust and diverse body of knowledge on a range of fascinating topics, from Steampunk literature to post-Apartheid South African narratives. More importantly, I developed the confidence and theoretical chops to emerge from the program as a budding scholar in my fields of Feminist Theory and YA Fiction. I was even able to publish one of my essays from my coursework in a scholarly journal only a few months after graduating.

The small and intimate nature of the program allowed me to receive plenty of one-on-one support from my professors, supervisor, and Graduate Program Director; I loved being able to walk down the hall of the department, knock on any one of their doors, and chat about my progress, career prospects, course material, or life in general – a rarity in some institutions. Despite never having considered graduate education in the past, I gained so much from my MA experience at Brock that I am now a PhD candidate in the Communication and Culture program at Ryerson University. The MA at Brock provided me with the foundation I needed to succeed in this new endeavor, as I continue to employ aspects of my MA education in everything I do. I hope every graduate student experiences the same balance of support and challenge that I experienced during my time at Brock.”

— Emma Dunn, MA 2015

“Having completed both my undergraduate degree in English Literature and a Master of Arts in Popular Culture at Brock, I went back to my roots in pursuing another Master of Arts in Text/Community/Discourse. This program enabled me to further explore my own research interests in manga adaptations of literary classics in preparation for future doctoral work. Thankfully, I am now doing my PhD at the University of Alberta. The kinds of courses that were offered in the MA ranged in topics from Steampunk, to Studies in Masculinity, to Pataphysics, to Jane Austen, and Lit theory. While some were more challenging than others, I found them all very interesting and insightful.  Some of my memorable experiences as a graduate student include being given the opportunity to lecture a first year English class and serving as the graduate student representative on the hiring committee. The Master of Arts program has a phenomenal professional development course that provides you with a competitive edge and the skills you need to “make it” in the academic world.

With the expert advice and guidance of Dr. Barbara K. Seeber (supervisor) and Dr. Ann Howey (second reader), I was able to complete my major research project entitled “Jane Austen in Translation: An Exploration of Cultural Paradigms of Sisterhood in Mochizuki Reiko’s Sense and Sensibility.” My committee was incredibly supportive of my research and I am very grateful to have been able to work with them. The department has a very friendly and enthusiastic faculty that is invested in the success of their students, and I recommend this program to students who are serious about pursuing an academic career.”

— Mimi Okabe, MA 2013

“Ater completing my PhD studies at the University of Stirling in Scotland, I can’t express enough thanks to Brock University’s English Language and Literature department.  Their MA program challenged me to dig deeper, and the faculty invested in me as a student and a person.  They had high expectations, but their encouragement drove me to reach every target.  Brock’s MA gave me a breadth and depth of knowledge that has enriched my PhD research.

The program refined my skills as a teacher, prepared me for work as a teaching fellow, and taught me to manage competing deadlines in my own research, teaching, grant-proposal writing, and conference attendance.  Faculty also spent one-on-one time with me when preparing PhD applications.

Brock’s MA in English is tough, demanding your full commitment and diligence.  In return it will professionalize you as an academic and give the critical thinking skills needed to succeed at a high level in any career.”

— Katherine Whitehurst, MA 2011

“My English MA from Brock University has helped me obtain various positions at colleges across the country. Upon graduating, I began teaching Communications and English for Academic Purposes at Niagara College. Currently, I am a full-time instructor at SAIT Polytechnic, where I teach Communications and Academic Upgrading English.

I enjoyed doing my MA at Brock for several reasons. For one, the English department and program intake were small, so I got to develop close relationships with my professors and classmates. My peers have gone on to pursue careers in journalism, writing, and teaching, and it’s been incredible being able to support one another in our professional endeavors and get insight into various industries and careers.

Second, one of our MA courses was entirely devoted to our professional development. This course covered practical topics with immediate application, including how to apply for a grant, create an intriguing proposal for a conference, develop a strong curriculum vitae, and write a compelling research paper and thesis.

Lastly, what made studying at Brock so great were the professors. Their passion for their areas of study was palpable and contagious.”

— Sarah Bobko, MA 2010