Our alumni from all three of our tracks—literature (English MA, PhD), rhetoric and composition (English MA, PhD) and creative writing (MFA)—take many career paths when they leave our department. Some head to other graduate programs as others become tenure-track professors. Some leave academia and enter into corporate/business/NGO environments while others work in freelance positions as they continue to hone their art.

Congratulations to our 2023-2024 graduates!

Summer 2023

Anca Garcia, PhD English Literature

Dissertation: “Reading Suffering Between the Lines: Trauma and Witnessing in Old and Middle English Literature”
Committee: Nicole Discenza (Chair), Maria Cizmic, Maren Clegg Hyer, Emily Jones

Fall 2023

Audrey Blanco, MFA Creative Writing

Thesis: “Songs of Somniloquy”
Committee: Julia Koets (Chair), Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Jarod Rosello

Kayla Kavanagh, MFA Creative Writing

Thesis: “Fruits of the Sea”
Committee: Heather Sellers (Chair), John Fleming, Jake Wolff 

Spring 2024

Spencer Daniels, PhD English Literature

Dissertation: “The Drama of Last Things: Reckoning in Late Medieval and Early Modern English Drama”
Committee: Nicole Discenza (Chair), Emily Jones, Thomas Williams, Patrick Finelli

Hal Dietrich, MFA Creative Writing

Thesis: “Aficionado”
Committee: John Fleming (Chair), Jake Wolff, Emily Jones 

Mark-Elliot Finley, MA English Literature

Portfolio: "'He's a Buffoon': Satan, the Medieval Comic Devil, and False Heroism in Paradise Lost" & "'Happy Birthday, John-I Want a Divorce!': Margaret Atwater Masons' The Binding of the Strong and American Divorce Discourse on John Milton's Tercentenary Celebration"
Committee: Emily Jones (Chair), Cynthia Patterson

Hannah Galloway, MA English Literature

Portfolio: "Infinite Jest: Hamlet as the Fool of Reason" and "Yesterday, Yesterday, Yesterday: The Concept of Time and Early Modernity in the Sound and the Fury"
Committee: Emily Jones (Chair), Phillip Sipiora

Nicholas Guilfoile, MA English Literature

Portfolio: "Mark Twain's Hawaii and Damning the Yankee" & "'File and Forget' The Unhomely in Invisible Man"
Committee: Cynthia Patterson (Chair), Phillip Sipiora

Briget Harley, PhD English Literature

Dissertation: “African Spirituality in Literature Written by Women of African Descent”
Committee: Gary Lemons (Chair), Quynh Nhu Le, Cheryl Rodriguez, John Lennon

Destiny Howell, MFA Creative Writing

Thesis: “A Tale of Two Sisters”
Committee: Jarod Rosello (Chair), John Fleming, Jake Wolff

Jade Jemison, MFA Creative Writing

Thesis: “The Pregnancy Years”
Committee: Julia Koets (Chair), Heather Sellers, John Fleming

Joryn Jones, MA English Literature

Portfolio: "Beowulf" & "Small Island"
Committee: Nicole Discenza (Chair), Susan Mooney

Rachel Knox, MFA Creative Writing

Thesis: “Land of Flowers”
Committee: Julia Koets (Chair), Heather Sellers, Thomas Hallock

Lynette Kuliyeva, PhD English Literature

Dissertation: “Hidden Monstrosities: The Transformation of Medieval Characters and Conventions in Shakespeare's Romances”
Committee: Emily Jones (Chair), Nicole Discenza, Phillip Sipiora, Kristin Bezio

Kyra Lance, MA English Literature

Portfolio: "Publishing a New Black Womanhood in A Hairdresser's Experience in High Life" & "'A Puritan Fear of the Flesh': Modesty and Control in The Handmaid's Tale"
Committee: John Lennon (Chair), Kristin Allukian

Danielle Mercier, PhD English Literature

Dissertation: “Lawful Injustice: Novel Readings of Racialized Temporality and Legal Injustices”
Committee: Quynh Nhu Le (Chair), Gary Lemons, Cynthia Patterson, Aisha Durham

Erin Olds, MFA Creative Writing

Thesis: “An Arcade in the Forest”
Committee: Julia Koets (Chair), Jarod Rosello, Natalie Scenters-Zapico

Thomas Page, MFA Creative Writing

Thesis: “The Decimated: A Hybrid Thesis”
Committee: Jarod Rosello (Chair), Natalie Scenters-Zapico, Jake Wolff

Elizabeth Parker, MFA Creative Writing

Thesis: “Rabbits in the Zone of Peace”
Committee: Jake Wolff (Chair), John Fleming, Kees Boterbloem

Andrea Rinard, MFA Creative Writing

Thesis: “The Key”
Committee: John Fleming (Chair), Jake Wolff, Heather Sellers

Rachel Tanski, PhD English Literature

Dissertation: “’Manne, for thy loue wolde I not lette’: Eucharistic Portrayals of Caritas in Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Drama 1350-1650”
Committee: Nicole Discenza (Chair), Jay Zysk, Sara Deats, Anne Latowsky

Urshela Wiggins McKinney, PhD English Literature

Dissertation: “Making the Invisible Visible: (Re)envisioning the Black Body in Contemporary Adaptations of Nineteenth-Century Fiction”
Committee: Marty Gould (Chair), Regina Hewitt, Cynthia Patterson, Amy Rust

We are extremely proud of our graduates and want to keep in touch! If you were part of our graduate program, please contact our graduate program specialist to discover alumni events and to update your contact information.

Recent alumni interviews

Creative writing


Rhetoric & composition

Below you will find job placement information from our graduates in all three tracks over nine years (2013-2022) as well as spotlights on some of our recent graduates.

MFA 9-year career placement

Pie chart showing 9-year (2013-2022) career tracking of MFA graduates
Current employment, MFA graduates 2013-2022
Tenure-track / full-time permanent positions
  • Ball State University
  • Bethune-Cookman University
  • Warren Wilson College
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of South Florida
  • Full Sail University
Other humanities careers
  • Career advisor, Eckerd College
  • Library assistant, Montgomery-Floyd Regional Library System
  • Page designer/copy editor, The Tampa Tribune
  • Associate director of corporate and foundation relations, Vanderbilt University
  • Scriptwriter, 4:33 Creative Lab (South Korea)
  • Administrator of cognitive skills programs, American College of Surgeons
  • Associate course director, Full Sail University
  • SI coordinator, University of Central Florida
  • Senior proposal manager, WWC Global
  • E-commerce product copywriter, Helly Hanson

MA 9-year career placement

Pie chart showing 9-year (2013-2022) career tracking of MA graduates
Current employment and degree programs, MA graduates 2013-2022
Degree programs (PhD programs in English, unless otherwise noted)
  • University of South Florida
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Mississippi
  • University of West Virginia
  • University of Washington
  • University of Florida
  • University of Houston
Other humanities careers
  • SEO blog strategist, Progressive Dental LLC
  • Operations specialist, Vision Government Solutions, Inc.
  • English teacher, Sunlake High School
  • Assistant librarian, University of South Florida
  • English teacher, Palm Beach Central High School
  • Legislative aide, Florida House of Representatives
  • English instructor, Sarasota High School
  • Instructional design manager, Publix Super Markets
  • English teacher, Spruce Creek High School
  • Senior software test engineer & technical writer, Jacobs Technology
  • Outreach coordinator, Fairfield University
  • Advisor, Florida Institute of Technology

PhD 9-year career placement

Pie chart showing 9-year career tracking (2013-2022) of PhD graduates

Current employment, PhD graduates 2013-2022
Assistant professor positions, tenure-track / full-time permanent
  • University of South Florida
  • Sebelas Maret University (Indonesia)
  • Warner University
  • Hillsborough Community College
  • Wabash College
  • St. Petersburg College
  • Fairfield University
  • Southeastern University
  • Bethune-Cookman University
  • State College of Florida, Bradenton
  • Polk State College
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of California, Davis
  • Seminole State College
  • Eastern Kentucky University
  • University of Tampa
  • Washington State University, Vancouver
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Pasco-Hernando State College
  • Appalachian State University
  • LaGuardia Community College
  • New England Institute of Technology
  • Old Dominion University
  • Louisiana State University, Shreveport
  • Danville Community College
Visiting instructor / FT temporary / adjunct positions
  • University of South Florida
  • Eckerd College
  • University of Tampa
  • Bryn Mawr College
Other humanities careers
  • Senior academic advisor I, University of South Florida
  • Full-time writer, DC Comics
  • Head of adult services, Palm Harbor Library
  • Associate director, Office of Prestigious Fellowships, Fordham University
  • Content product manager, EverFi Education
  • Product content specialist, Qgiv
  • Head of information & research services, Florida International University
  • Writer, Creative Pinellas
  • Freelance author
  • Faculty developer/instructional designer, Valencia College
  • Instructional consultant, University of Michigan