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collage of undergraduate portraits

Chelsea Deitelzweig

“I was particularly drawn to this concentration [in Science, Medicine, and Literature] because in medicine, it’s important to understand the physical side of the patient and the science behind caring for someone, which I was gaining through my stem courses. But it is equally as important to understand how to care for the human condition… And I feel like that’s really what’s taught in English classes, understanding people as a whole.”

Camille DiBenedetto

Portrait of Camille DiBenedetto

“I like writing about things that are actually happening in the world that I feel are relevant. Nonfiction can actually be super interesting if you tell the story the right way.”

Latonya Dalton

ECL student Latonya Dalton.

Dr. Jones “felt that my story should be heard in hopes to inspire other non-traditional students not to give up.”

Jennings Dixon

Portrait of Jennings Dixon

“Political science can be very technical; you learn a lot of different theories. English really injects that humanity into it … They compliment each other really well.”

Gwendalyn Flick

“I feel like English is an undervalued double major option because regardless of whatever field you enter post-graduation, you’re going to need to be able to communicate…I feel so lucky that I am able to be a part of two programs that see the value in cross-departmental learning.”

Rachel Sauls

“My experience with literature has been a willingness to sit in the discomfort of someone else’s experience… Reading and literature have helped me to seek out different ways that people contextualize and make meaning from their experiences.”

Alexis Dumain

Alexis Dumain Portrait

Meet Alexis Dumain, Psychology and English and Comparative Literature double major!

Grace Morse

Portrait of Grace Morse

“It was very crucial for me to remember who I was as a writer, who I am as a person, where I want to go, who I’m looking to reach with my work—and I think that was something that I got better at understanding each English class I took.”

Laura Crook

Portrait of Laura Crook

“I’ve honestly loved every single English class I’ve taken at Carolina.”

Brett Harris

Brett Harris Portrait

Meet Brett Harris, senior double major in ECL and European Studies!

Leticia Tuset

Portrait of Leticia Tuset

“The Institute for the Environment really sees my English major as an asset for analyzing interviews from a different perspective.”

Josh Massey

Portrait of Josh Massey

“With a combined major in ECL and American Studies, I have been able to explore many different cultural media, from literature to poetry to film to art. The interdisciplinary nature of American Studies combined with the endless subject matter of interest in ECL has given me the best of both worlds.”

Garland Rieman

“A command of the English language is crucial if you want to make a difference in the world and actually connect people in a time when it seems like all we feel are our differences.”

Keely Hendricks

“The ECL department teaches its students how to read attentively, which I believe makes us not only more empathetic and careful readers, but more empathetic and careful listeners and community members…. To listen to another’s story is to go into their world and expand your imaginative horizons; the literal meaning of empathy, after all, is to go into someone’s feelings with them. The reverse—to tell your own story—is to give a gift only you possess.”

Elliot Melfi

“Working on the Greenlaw Game Room has been a bit of a dream come true. I think a lot of little kids wish that they could play video games in class, but only to avoid studying or paying attention. Through the Game Room Initiative I’ve been able to learn all about how the two aren’t mutually exclusive; video games are an incredibly engaging, exciting, and interactive medium, which makes them even easier to focus on than most other study materials.”

Joi Dunston

“Now [that I’m an ECL major,] when I play video games I’m really looking for deeper meanings… The developers did intend for people to get something out of the game––that’s why they made it. Now I’m more conscious of the actual meaning behind games and why certain things are the way that they are and it makes the whole experience more enjoyable… [English] is very important for society as a whole.”

Sophia Purut

Photograph of Sophia Purut

“I feel like critical thinking and being able to take these larger ideas and break them down into manageable pieces is something that you can really develop [in ECL]…While at Norton, I needed to be able to look at the bigger picture and see what I needed to do right now and how I could break things down so that it works at a manageable time scale.”

Tiffany Tran

Photo of Tiffany Tran, taken by Sarah Boyd

“Being in the ECL program helped me expand my writing and meet a lot of great people. I learned how to be a more efficient communicator and writer in different fields, while also expanding my creativity… Picking up the ECL minor helped me find new enjoyments while also improving skills that I believe are essential!”

Lydia Thompson

“I realized that analyzing literature was what I loved—I missed the close reading, interpreting, and conveying those thoughts with others that the English department offered… The ECL major allowed me to be my long-winded self and delve into intellectually challenging, thrilling, and enlightening literature.”

Chris Combemale

“There is a great flexibility in the English Department, and a great range of course offerings… I was really drawn to the friendly, supportive faculty, and small classes. I find that my ties with the professors and the training I’ve gotten within the Department has been a really great set up, and set me apart from some of my peers.”

Annabel Chung

“While I enjoyed my chemistry courses, I deeply desired a classroom that would allow me more freedom to choose the areas I wanted to expand my knowledge in—English gave me that. I am especially glad that I decided to challenge myself with creative writing courses. They became some of my favorite courses at UNC. Ultimately, studying two fields that rarely intersect greatly expanded my mind in a balanced manner.”

Kendrel Cabarrus

“I decided to major in ECL because I saw the major as an opportunity to challenge my writing and critical thinking skills… In my opinion, developing these skills is paramount because they can be applied to any discipline or profession.”

Andreamarie Efthymiou

“Being the daughter of immigrants, understanding the way that different culture share ideas has always been of interest to me…. I think the only way that we can really understand people is by understanding their cultures and language. In the world that we are living in now, I can’t think of anything more important than fostering discussion and understanding, and Comparative Literature sets the perfect scene for that.”

Isabella St. Onge

“I think at the core of English is communication and transferring ideas to other people and hearing their stories, and that’s something Tiber is really emphasizing a lot in his class… We’re trying not to lose these stories and lose identity. And that’s really important in dress, and I think that’s my favorite part.”

Emily Long

“English teaches you a mindset of questioning. STEM wasn’t asking all of the questions that I was intrigued by—questions of morality and human nature. I wanted at least a fundamental understanding of not just how humans operate in the world in the ways that they do, but why, and to me a true liberal arts education with both science and humanities courses was the way to start pursuing these elusive questions. I definitely haven’t found all the answers yet—I’m not sure anyone has—but I’ve really enjoyed having the space to grapple with them and challenge and change my own mindset.”

Danielle Kruchten

“I think the biggest thing that’s unique about English is the fact that it can be applied pretty much anywhere. The skills I learn in class can be transferred to my other major, it can be transferred to my job that I have right now, it can be transferred to my future career.”

Julia Whitten

“What I like about being an English major in general is just being in the classroom. I love the conversations that happen, being with the professor and all the other students. It’s so cool. It’s kind of like magic! I enjoy reading and I guess it’s fun to do that and I appreciate that on my own, and also when I write essays I feel like I discover a lot, but I there’s something really special that happens in a classroom when you have a bunch of people…it allows for some really cool things to happen”

Undergraduate Honors Thesis Spotlight