Chair and Professor of English
A Seton Hall education provides students with a close one-to-one interaction with faculty. “At Seton Hall, we will know who you are because we really care,” Balkun says. “I still have lunch every semester with a group of students I taught during their freshman year. This isn’t just me; I know lots of faculty who are very involved. They help their students find jobs and work with them and continue to meet with them regularly, long after they’ve finished their classes. This just doesn’t happen at lots of institutions, and it is one of the things that make Seton Hall so special.”
Seton Hall strives to prepare students for the world beyond graduation. The Department of English hosts a colloquium every spring titled “What You Can Do with An English Major,” with SHU English major alumni serving as presenters. “Our graduates have gone on to work in the fields of publishing, corporate communication, law and finance at places like Marvel Comics, MTV, Simon & Schuster, and major PR firms and law offices. Many have had articles and creative work published in journals and magazines; one of our graduates had an essay reprinted in The Atlantic,” Balkun notes.
“We also have students studying internationally in Japan, China and Ireland among other places. One student who studied for a year in Ireland went on to receive a Fulbright award to study and teach in Taiwan,” Balkun notes. “Study abroad can be a wonderful way to study the literature of another culture in the very setting in which it was produced.
Balkun is also a strong believer in internships and encourages her students to regularly visit The Career Center on campus so they are aware of all their career options. “While we say you can do anything with an English major, students don’t always understand how true that is until they see the wide variety of career options open to them, and an internship—or several—can be a way to open doors and find a career one might never have imagined otherwise.”