Graduation Year: 2017
Major: Double Major in English / Russian Language & Literature
How did you decide on your major?
I came to Rutgers intending on minoring in Russian and majoring in English, but my habit of signing up for at least one Russian literature course every semester quickly got out of hand, and I decided it would be worth it just to switch to a double major. Reading Crime and Punishment in high school sparked an interest in Russian literature, language, and culture that has been unquenchable ever since.
What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?
The smaller size of the Russian department means you’re able to receive more personal instruction from your professors, and it’s also less intimidating to speak up in class. Aside from that, there’s a distinctly soul-rending, philosophical (and, yes, depressing) quality to Russian literature that I find extremely fascinating. Learning the language has also been a challenging yet rewarding experience.
Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?
All the courses I’ve taken in the department have been fantastic (really!), but I’ve particularly loved the three I’ve taken with Professor Brooks (Nabokov, Dostoevsky, and The Brothers Karamazov). His class discussions are always unfailingly engaging and thought-provoking, and he can certainly teach you a thing or two about Russian literature and culture. Professor Van Buskirk’s 20th-century survey course was also an immense pleasure to be in – the readings were all well-chosen, and you could hardly ask for a better overview of Russia during and after the revolution!
What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?
Rutgers has a great History department, so I’ve enjoyed taking some history classes during my time here, but I confess that both of my great academic passions lie within my two majors.
What are your other Rutgers activities?
I participate in a wonderful, close-knit comedy theater group called the College Avenue Players (CAP for short… not to be confused with the university’s psychological counseling service, CAPS. We came first, so we really should have rights to that name).
What are your plans following graduation?
I recently got a job working for a textbook-publishing company in New York City, so I’ll be switching over to full-time there as soon as I graduate. No rest for the wicked.