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Interviews with Our Alumni

In the links below, we caught up with a few of our alumni, who tell us about their paths after their studies in English here at Tennessee. Their stories are among those of thousands of English Vol graduates who have gone on to rewarding careers in various avenues of life.

UTK English Roundtable on Careers in Journalism

Dr. Erin Elizabeth Smith sat down with University of Tennessee English alumni Claire Dodson, Daniel Dassow, and Christopher Moyer for a roundtable discussion on how their English degrees helped them in their future careers in journalism.

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Austin L. Church

Finding Your Own Way: Austin L. Church On a Career in Freelancing

“A freelancing career thus looks like a continuous process of strategic discomfort. You have to be willing to do things you’re not good at because being not good for a while is the only path to getting better.”

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UTK English Roundtable on Careers in Medicine

Dr. Daniel Wallace spoke with two alumni about how studying English impacted their medical careers.

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Rodney Thompson

From English to Video Game Design: Rodney Thompson

Rodney Thompson’s love of storytelling brought him to English and now game rooms everywhere.

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Ashley Barker

English Majors Don’t Have Limits: Ashley Barker and ORNL

Former English Major Flourishes as Section Head for Operations at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility

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David Corts

Catching up with COO and English Major David Corts

How Literary Reading and Expository Writing Helped Corts become a Successful Entrepreneur

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Carolyn Thompson

From English to MD: Carolyn Thompson

The English-student-to-physician pathway is less rare than one might think—medicine, after all, is highly creative.

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Jasmine Johnson

English Major to Corporate Lawyer: Jasmine Johnson’s Career Path

Jasmine Johnson was advised by practicing attorneys to become an English major, and it was perfect for her.

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Monica Brashears

Monica Brashears: From English Major to Novelist

Monica Brashears’ debut novel, House of Cotton, comes out this April.

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Camille Renshaw

English Alum Camille Renshaw’s Path from Literature to Real Estate

A background in English has been a key to this CEO’s competitive edge.

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R.A. Dickey

MLB Player and English Major R.A. Dickey Talks about Why English Was His Choice

Dickey says the ability to communicate well leads to success, and it’s a skill he says he got from his time spent as an English major at The University of Tennessee.

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Claire Dodson

English Major to Teen Vogue: Claire Dodson’s Career Path

“English is making you a better writer and making you a better person in the world that thinks critically about things”

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Leigh Ball

English Major to Sleep Medicine: Dr. Leigh Ball’s Career Path

Dr. Leigh Ball uses her English degree to improve patient care.

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Sarah Rainey

English Major to Business: Sarah Rainey’s Career Path

Sarah Rainey uses skills she learned in her English courses to thrive in different business sectors.

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Keith Taylor

With a Little Help from My Friends

Nowadays, $5 won’t get you much—let alone change someone’s life. But Keith Taylor (’98) and his Modest Needs Foundation beg to differ.

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