Skip to main content
Shelly Deavy

Shelly Deavy

Graduating Year: 2000

Education: BA in English

Career: Assistant Vice President of Development, Northern Kentucky University

"Being an English major and learning from great faculty helps you think about the power of language. In the work that I do, I deal with all kinds of people. My job is to help them see ways that they can impact other people and change lives in ways that are meaningful for them."

What they do: Taking the lead and working with diverse groups of alumni and community members to raise money in support of the mission of Northern Kentucky University.

Necessary job skills: Writing and communication skills; culture awareness and sensitivity; ability to work with a range of people; problem-solving and creativity.

Career path: University development professional.

Josafina Garcia

Josafina Garcia

Graduating Year: 2023

Education: B.A. in Integrative Studies, Focus in Creative Writing

Career: Planning on pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

"Doing a focus in creative writing was one of the best choices I made regarding my degree. The creative writing classes and professors allowed me to find my voice and explore writing in ways I had never thought of. The professors push you to write and create strong work with workshops and discussions that never feel overly critical. The other creative writing students are also fantastic as well! We’re sort of like a community, always excited to see what our peers are writing and always willing to give advice on how to make our work stronger."

Necessary job skills: Writing and communication skills; creative and critical thinking, problem-solving and working in teams.

Charlotte (Charly) Kalfas

Charlotte (Charly) Kalfas

Graduating Year: 2019

Education: BA in English – Literature Track

Career: Paralegal in immigration law at Hammond Neal Moore, LLC and studying at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

“Chase your passions! There are tons of opportunities to do all sorts of things all around the university to do research, write, and just generally be connected with the university and with the field of English. Don't be afraid to reach out to faculty about things you're interested in exploring - you never know what kind of doors it will open or projects it could lead to.”

What they do: Helps newcomers to America navigate immigration law.

Necessary job skills: Critical reading and analysis; writing skills; awareness and sensitivity to cultural diversity.

Career path: Studying to become a lawyer.

Mackenzie Manley

Mackenzie Manley

Graduating Year: 2018

Education: BA in English – Creative Writing Track

"You are more than your job, career and major. Most of us are still trying to figure ourselves post-graduation. It’s important to find sources of happiness and identity outside of your day job. Life is meant to be lived, to connect with others and to care for those in and outside of our community. We are more than our work.  And explore! With writing, you may encounter what feels like an avalanche of rejection emails, but it makes those acceptances even sweeter. It’s also humbling. There is so much room to grow as a writer and person, outside of academia. I would also say to not limit yourself to any one thing. That’s one of the highlights of being an English major!"

What they do: Letting people know about the fun activities at the library and writing stories about cool art events in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Necessary job skills: Writing and communication skills; interest and knowledge about local cultural events; working as part of a team.

Career plan: Professional writer and editor.

Brittany Smart

Brittany Smart

Graduating Year: 2016 and 2019

Education: BA in English – Writing Studies Track; MA in English

Career: PhD candidate and Assistant Director of Creative Writing at the University of Louisville

"Don’t give up! Everything seems overwhelming at first, because you are learning a new language (the language of graduate-level academic theory and research). It doesn’t mean you don’t belong, or you’re behind—you’re just learning along with everyone else. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions! Your professors are there to help mentor and guide you, and you will get so much more out of the program if you let yourself be open and vulnerable with your supportive academic community. Lastly, this is such an excellent time to network and make connections with people—especially if you are interested in publishing or pursuing a Ph.D. Go out of your comfort zone and take risks! It will be so much more rewarding in the long run."

What they do: Earning her doctorate in writing and composition, helping with all of the visiting writer events, and teaching creative writing.

Necessary job skills: Writing and communication skills; research skills; problem-solving and project-based skills.

Career path: College professor.

Maggie Styer

Maggie Styer

Graduating Year: 2023

Education: B.S. in Neuroscience; minors in Cinema Studies and Psychology

Career: Planning on pursuing an MA in the field of Media Studies with a focus on Social Justice

"My experience in the Cinema Studies program was one of the highlights of my time at NKU. I have always had a passion for analyzing films, and this program allowed me to explore that passion and expand my knowledge. I was always excited to come to class because I knew that I would be studying what I love!"

The courses that I took focused on the idea of how movies both influence and are influenced by the culture of when and where they are made. I hope to one day work within the entertainment industry in a consulting position so that I can play a role in contributing to the culture of today and tomorrow.  

Necessary job skills: Writing and communication skills; critical thinking, interpretation, and analysis; understanding of cultural diversity.