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By Katherine Stein, Graduate Writer

Photograph By Dr. Sarah Boyd, Teaching Assistant Professor

If you had asked Tiffany Tran in her freshman year if she planned to declare a minor in ECL, she probably would have laughed. “I didn’t consider myself a strong writer going into college. In fact, I thought I was terrible and didn’t have a chance to become better.” This all changed, however, when Tiffany began to take her general education courses. “When I took a few English classes, I found myself actually enjoying writing and expanding different writing styles. I was improving.”

Tiffany’s time in the English department opened her eyes to the breadth that an ECL degree offers. Not only did she note improvements in her writing, but she also relished the variety of opportunities her ECL classes provided. “It used to be that I would only write analysis essays, but being a minor in the ECL department allowed me to write beyond that.” 

From short stories to creative non-fiction, Tiffany has found an outlet in ECL. “Picking up the ECL minor helped me find new enjoyments while also improving skills that I believe are essential!”

In addition to her ECL minor in Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Literacy, Tiffany is also pursuing a major in Psychology and an additional minor in Statistics and Analytics. Speaking to the value of pairing an ECL degree with STEM, Tiffany has found her work in English to be valuable when sharing her quantitative research findings in psychology and beyond. “My ECL minor has not only helped me communicate my data into words, but also [to] understand what other people are trying to say,” she says. “My understanding of analysis and communication skills were strengthened by my ECL minor, and I have been able to apply it in courses beyond psychology.”

Tiffany, who is a senior this year, has particularly valued the relationships she has developed with ECL faculty. And her relationships with faculty have extended far beyond her coursework. “The professors I’ve had were all supportive and helped me figure out what my interests were throughout all the stress that college brings… I always felt comfortable seeking them for advice, and I wouldn’t become the person that I am without my professors.”

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