Scholarly and Creative Opportunities

Read about current happenings in the department in our Spring 2023 Newsletter

As an English major you will conduct original research and produce substantial creative work as a part of you work within 300-level courses and the capstone Senior Seminar.

After completing your Senior Seminar project, you will present your scholarly or creative piece during the spring at one of two campus events organized by the English Department, and you have the option to participate in the annual research symposium which showcases student work from across campus. As an English major, you’ll also have the opportunity to present your scholarly and creative work at multiple local and national conferences and to submit your creative work for publication in the two student-run, English Department publications: The Avenue and Chimes.

Our English majors are motivated, engaged, curious researchers and creative writers. If you develop a summer project that you would like to pursue with a faculty mentor, you also have the option to apply for a SISTAR grant that will provide you with the funding needed to make that research a reality.

Featured Student Publications and Presentations

Paige Parker '24, "Poetry and Democracy: Ada Limón and the Role of the Poet Laureate," Midwest MLA's Undergraduate Research Forum (November 2023)

Jaden Daher '23, "Joy Harjo's Healing of Generational Trauma," Sigma Tau Delta Conference in Denver, CO (2023)

Anna Keller '23 "Anonymity" and "Reckless Abandonment," Ariadne (2022)

Anna Noone '22 "The Pity," Honorable Mention, Intro Journals Project, AWP (2022)

Student-Created LibreTexts Introduction to Chimamanda Adichie (2021)

Sierra Zielinski '20 “Redefining Borders and Identity through The Angel of History and Exit West,” LURe: Literary Undergraduate Research 10 (2020): 130-146.

Collaborative Digital Editions: Refugee Narratives: Ten Stories of Cambodian Refugees (2020) and  Agency, Voice, and the Evolution (AVE) of Women at Saint Mary’s, 1920-2023 (2023)


For students who desire to complete an internship while at Saint Mary’s, the English Department provides guidance on how to locate potential internship opportunities and advertises select opportunities to students through social media and annual events. Students have been successful landing positions in a wide range of organizations, including The Smithsonian in Washington, DC, Ave Maria Press, the South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center, the Inn at Saint Mary’s, and more.  Recently, in the summer of 2022, Jaden Daher did a summer internship with the #1 New York Times bestselling author Adrianna Trigiani (SMC '85).

Students interested in creative writing also have the opportunity to serve on the editorial and production staff of The Avenue and Chimes.

Grants and Funding

English majors have recently worked on interdisciplinary grant-funded public humanities projects, including contributing to an oral history project and serving as a research assistant for a museum exhibition. SISTAR grants can also fund a wide-range of diverse research projects, as seen in the work of recent English students and their faculty mentors.

In 2017, Professor Ann Marie Short and Alyssa Santos collaborated to explore modern representations and cultural approaches to motherhood and breastfeeding in the project, “What’s ‘Natural’ in Childbirth and Infant Feeding Options for Mothers?”

In 2016, Professor Christopher Cobb and Jennifer Vosters researched a project, "Exploring the Recent Performance History of Shakespeare’s Roman Plays in the Midwestern Theatre Community,” that took them to many theater archives throughout the adjacent area in their attempt to piece together this regional history.  

Faculty look forward, each semester, to working with students so that their research opens doors for the next steps beyond Saint Mary's. These research opportunities are more than preparation work — they give students like you an edge by providing you with publishable essays, short stories, and poems that can help you stand out when you apply to graduate school or for professional positions.