Peek Into PUC’s English Department with Catherine Tetz

PUC’s English Department is an extraordinary place where students dive into the world of literature, language, and writing. English professor, Catherine Tetz, has the honor of witnessing students’ imagination come to life and challenge them to be better students every day. Catherine finished her third year teaching English at PUC and has enjoyed being a part of this tight-knit community. 

She kindly answered some questions for us to get a peek into PUC’s English Department. 

What is your favorite thing about teaching in your department? 

My favorite thing about teaching in the English department is our students. In addition to having majors and minors who are thoughtful, compassionate, intelligent readers and writers, we get to teach courses that are offered across the college. It’s fantastic to see how students in other fields approach writing, research, and critical reading.

What makes your department unique compared to other departments at PUC?

The English Department at PUC is great because it has a little bit of everything. You might think that English majors do nothing but read books, and we certainly do a lot of reading in our department! But we also have creative writing classes in multiple genres, we spend a lot of time talking about history and philosophy in our literary theory classes, and we look at texts through the lens of gender, race, and the environment, among other pressing contemporary social questions. There’s really something for everyone. 

What makes your department at PUC unique compared to the same program at other colleges and universities?

The really great thing about the English department here at PUC is that each student gets a lot of individual attention on their work and interests. Especially for upper-division courses, which are based in lots of writing and research, it’s great to be able to spend time one on one with students to discuss their research and the work they’re doing.

Can you share a few examples of exciting things alumni from your department are doing?

Many of our alumni continue on to graduate programs, getting Masters degrees or PhDs in literature or rhetoric. Many of our graduates also become high school and middle school English teachers. We just found out that two of our most recent graduates, Katie Williams and Hannah Beachboard, are teaching at the same school this year, so we’re very excited about that! But an English degree opens up a lot of avenues for job opportunities – the world always needs good writers. 

What’s something your department is well known for? Why do you think that is?

On the whole, English classes are often known for helping to develop that all-important skill of critical thinking. This might be because an English degree gives you so many ways to approach a problem, whether writing an essay or analyzing a difficult text. There’s always multiple ways to understand and interpret an issue within literary studies, and writing studies is incredibly concerned with understanding the social, cultural, and historical histories of any rhetorical situation. So being able to think critically and complexly about any given problem is necessary for an English degree. 

What’s something a new student can look forward to about joining your department?

If you have a love of words, of stories, of language, of bad puns, or of the Oxford comma, you will find fellow nerds here at Stauffer Hall. We take our work seriously, but we also take a lot of joy in the love of great novels and beautiful poetry, and no one loves words more than a PUC English major. 

To learn more about PUC’s English Department, visit our website. Our admissions counselors can assist you with any questions you have about the English program. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2, or email to connect with an admissions counselor. 

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