Meet our Alumni/ae

Graduate Studies in English at NDSU welcomes news from our alumni/ae. We try to stay in touch with all of our graduates and are always happy to hear from you. Tell us about your experience as a graduate student in our program and read what others have said. Go Bison!

Please contact the Director of Graduate Studies with stories and updates. 


Connect Locally, Nationally, and Internationally
Graduate students in our degree programs might stay local and engage in community outreach and service-learning opportunities:

  • join the Summer Institute of the Red River Valley Writing Project (RRVWP)
  • become active in the English Graduate Organization (EGO)
  • help organize 15th annual Red River Conference in Graduate Studies (RRGSC)
  • complete internships with The Arts Partnership in Fargo, North Dakota
  • participate in Fargo's "Giving+Learning" project and tutor New Americans 
  • attend professional conferences
  • collaborate with technical communication classes across the continent (TAPP)


Our Curriculum
Our flexible curriculum provides a solid core in Rhetoric, Writing, and Cultural Studies to our doctoral students and a the foundations of English Studies to our MA students, while also allowing time for and offering opportunities to individualize and specialize within the prescribed program of study. We encourage our students to: 

  • enroll in field experiences, internships, and graduate teaching mentorship
  • hone your research skills and apply your foreign language skills
  • take advantage of experiential learning opportunities, on and off campus
  • join one of our study abroad programs to Ireland, Scotland, England, or Greece
  • learn from nationally known experts during the Summer Scholars Program
  • translate technical or professional writing for the Trans-Atlantic & Pacific Project (TAPP)
  • pursue interdisciplinarity by collaborating with students and faculty from across the university


2022 Graduates

Matthew Warner
Academic Support Specialist, NDSU Graduate School

2021 Graduates

Syeda Akter (MA)
English Instructor, U of Bangladesh

Ibtissem Belmihoub
Executive Director, New American Consortium for Wellness and Empowerment

Amanda Watts
Instructor of Humanities, Minot State University

2020 Graduates

Anthony Albright
Training Specialist, Infinite Campus, Blaine, MN

Shane Gomes
Assistant Professor, Tennessee State University Department of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy

Deborah Haley
Teacher, Central Cass High School, 10th ,12th, and dual credit English through VCSU

Ashleigh Petts
Assistant Professor of Technical Communication, University of Houston-Downtown

2019 Graduates

Rowshan Chowdhury
Graduate Instructor, UMass Amherst - PhD English program

Dev Roy Shaibal
Graduate Instructor, U Southern CA, PhD English program

Hannah Stevens
Graduate Instructor, PhD Program in English, Utah State University

2018 Graduates

Krista Aldrich
Graduate Instructor, PhD Program in English, Louisiana State University

Taija Noel
Instructor/Professor, Red Lake Nation College

2017 Graduates

Justin Atwell
Instructor, University of Colorado, Boulder

Tatjana Schell
(formerly) Checkpoint Charlie Foundation (Berlin)

2016 Graduates

Erika Dyk
English Teacher, Beulah Public Schools

Neelam Jabeen
Assistant Professor, International Islamic University

Jessica Jorgenson
Associate Professor, Pittsburg State University

2014 Graduates

Steven Hammer (PhD)
Assistant Professor of Communication, St. Joseph’s University of Philadelphia

Alyson Guthrie (MA)
Planned Parenthood, Moorhead, MN

2015 Graduates

Mary Laughlin (PhD)
Assistant Professor of English, Cottey College for Women

Heather Steinmann (PhD)
Assistant Professor of English, Western New Mexico University

Gina Kruschek (MA)
PhD Candidate and Graduate Instructor, Department of English, East Carolina University

2016 Graduates

Neelam Jabeen (PhD)
Teaching/Research Associate, International Islamic University of Islamabad (IIUI), Pakistan

Jessica Jorgensen (PhD)
Assistant Professor of English, Pittsburgh State University

Massimo Verzella (PhD)
Assistant Professor of English Composition, Penn State Behrend

Erika Dyk (MA)
High School English Teacher, Beulah, ND

Jessica Piek (MA)
Instructional Design Specialist, Sioux Falls, SD

Kaylee Jangula Mootz (MA)
PhD Student and Graduate Instructor, Department of English, University of Connecticut

2017 Graduates

Justin Atwell (PhD)
Lecturer, Department of English, University of Colorado, Boulder

Rebecca West (PhD)
Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN

Steven Petherbridge (MA)
Lecturer, Mayvile State University, ND

Emily Ruhland (MA)
PhD Student and Graduate Instructor, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh

Jesse Wagner (MA)
Kindergarten Teacher, West Fargo, ND 

Massimo Verzella (PhD 2016)

Assistant Professor of English and Writing Studies
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Erie, PA USA

“My experience as a graduate student at the NDSU English Department was invaluable for several reasons. The program is very well structured around key disciplinary areas that include literature, cultural studies, writing, and rhetoric. I particularly appreciated the cosmopolitan vision that inspires international collaborative projects such as the TAPP (Trans-Atlantic and Pacific Project), the spirit of innovation that drives the creation and development of courses, and the emphasis on collaborative work. But what makes the program truly exceptional is the availability of the teachers: Office doors are always open at the English department in an effort to build a close knit community around the values of scholarship, learning, and service.”

Neelam Jabeen (PhD 2016)

Assistant Professor of English
International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan

"The PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture program provided me with an opportunity to explore my area of interest from a whole new perspective.

The wide scope of the program enabled me to pursue my interest in literature and explore literary texts from different angles. The program’s emphasis on rhetoric sharpened my analytical skills that eventually led me to the unexplored areas of research in my interest area. 

Besides the excellent academic environment, the things that I appreciate the most are the welcoming and friendly staff and faculty of the department. As an international student, NDSU, especially the English department has been a second home to me."

Steven R. Hammer (PhD 2014)

Assistant Professor of Communication & Digital Media
St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA USA

"In my time at NDSU, I learned to listen to the voices that are seldom heard in our society, reshape my own perspective of the world by acknowledging my own privilege, and stand (and march!) as an ally with those who need our support most.

I was welcomed into a community of learning that crossed borders and reached beyond the walls of the classroom, and profoundly shaped what it means for me to be an engaged citizen wherever I live and work. I learned that my education is never really mine; to keep it I must share it with others."

Alyson Guthrie (MA 2013)

Technical Assistant
Planned Parenthood, Moorhead, MN USA

"I completed my M.A. in English at NDSU in 2013. My experience as a graduate student in the NDSU English Department was valuable in many ways. As a new, and slightly overwhelmed, graduate student in the fall of 2009, I was blown away by the level of support I received as both a student and teaching assistant.

The program is designed in a way, so that one is never thrown into a class or teaching situation unprepared. In fact, the first semester is designed to ease a graduate student into a schedule that allows her to hone teaching and academic skills with intro classes, such as TA Strategies.

Furthermore, the NDSU English Department encourages graduate instructors to tweak their courses with innovative lessons, and to share these experiences at workshops and conferences. As a graduate instructor, I felt supported, encouraged, and inspired.

In addition, I had the opportunity to enroll in a variety of courses. When I enrolled in the program, I wasn't sure which direction I wanted to take, but I was able to study linguistics, grant writing, writing in the sciences, and I was able to participate in a teaching and administrative field experience.

Finally, when it came time to begin my M.A. Paper, I was able to research and write about a social, political, and cultural issue that mattered to me, which led to my current job with Planned Parenthood. While I entered the NDSU English Department nervous and maybe even clueless, I came out of the program with direction, confidence, and skills I carry with me both inside and outside of academia."

Abigail Bakke (MA 2011)

Assistant Professor of Technical Communication
Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN USA

Abigail Bakke completed her PhD in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota. Her teaching and research have focused on internet communication, health and medical communication, research methods, and rhetoric.

"As an MA student at NDSU, I got practice in many of the tasks required of me as a doctoral student and now as a faculty member: research collaborations, teaching, program administration, committee work, and conference planning and presenting. The faculty members were always supportive of me pursuing these opportunities."

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