Abigail Boucher '09

Major: English

Minor: Theater

Graduate degrees: Master's degree, University of Edinburgh; PhD, University of Glasgow

What do you do for a living?

I am a lecturer in English literature at Aston University in Birmingham, England. My role is not only to teach and to conduct research and publish academically, but also to help design and form the brand new English literature department at the university.

How did your experience at Saint Michael's help prepare you for your career?

The school has a good national and international reputation. Beyond this, St. Mike's is very good at teaching students how to think for themselves and how to form their own arguments and opinions within an interdisciplinary context. That the school requires and encourages students to gain broad-spectrum knowledge and to make connections between disciplines has given me a significant boost in my career. 

What is your favorite memory from your time at St. Mike's?

The English literature department at St. Mike's is very strong, so it's hard to pick just one favorite class. The introspection, curiosity, and passion I saw in Will Marquess's and Carey Kaplan's classes in particular helped me decide to follow in their footsteps and become a scholar. Robert Niemi's film class taught me how to close read and analyse like I never had before. And Kerry Shea's class on Tolkien (during which she also taught us how to speak Elvish) was just plain fun.

Any advice for students at St. Mike's?

My advice to incoming students would be to let yourself be surprised--join as many societies as you can, sign up for classes you think you have no interested in, take up new hobbies, etc. College is the time when you really investigate who you are, what you like, and what sort of career you'd be happy doing for the rest of your life. You'll never again be faced with so much variety and so many chances to explore new things, so make the most of it.

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