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professor powersFrom the Chair

When hunting an academic home as an undergraduate, I wanted to pursue a discipline that allowed me to investigate all of life in its varied richness. Now as a professor, I'm convinced I found such a discipline in the Department of English.


Studying literature has, at various times, led me into a deeper understanding of a variety of cultures with their unique histories, religions, and philosophies. I have even learned a great deal more about the seemingly distant fields of science and economics. The discipline of English has allowed me to write and influence others on subjects that I care about fiercely. Even more, it has helped me to understand myself and others more deeply.

But what about the student who chooses to do something other than teach? Can a major in English be of any practical use?

I'm happy to answer that question with a resounding and unequivocal "Yes!" As an English faculty, we teach passionately because we know that the study of English can equip students to be more effective citizens and stewards of their gifts in a needy society. More, our graduates demonstrate that we prepare students to pursue successful careers in a wide variety of fields. Besides the obvious fields of teaching, editing, and publishing, our graduates go on to use skills gained in our major in missions, business, law, and the ministry.

Analyses of our global economy demonstrate an ever greater need for employees who can think creatively and critically, and use language effectively. Other studies show that graduates in humanities disciplines rise in the ranks of their chosen professions more quickly and more regularly than students in other, job-specific disciplines. For these reasons, the faculty in English is pleased to be teaching in a field that allows us to pursue our highest ideals as human beings, while also preparing graduates for the career paths that await them.

The faculty in English consists of professors who are adept at combining scholarly accomplishment with success in teaching. We are proud that four members of our faculty have won college-wide teaching awards at Messiah or other universities. Our faculty publishes regularly in nationally recognized magazines and journals, has won recognition for its scholarship from the College, and holds positions of leadership in the campus community and in other professional organizations. Yet, most importantly, our faculty takes time to assist students on their educational journeys through individual advising, personal encouragement, and genuine friendship.

For these reasons, we would encourage you to consider joining us in the English department at Messiah College. Those students who do so will be prepared for a bright future. More, they will be changed through their engagement with a dynamic faculty and an exciting field of study. We wish you God's best as you make your college choices. We hope to see you at Messiah.
Peter Powers, Chair of the Department of English
 

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