Updates from the English Department Office of Undergraduate Studies
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A note from the director...

Dear Students:

Happy midsemester! We hope you're managing your papers, midterms and classes at this busy—and beautiful—time of the year!

The election is right around the corner. Have you registered to vote? If not, click this link for more information Register to Vote. Make your voice hear this election!

Thanks to UIC alums Jumana Abdelrahman ('19) and Jennifer Hernandez ('20), special guests at our Wednesday, September 23 Graduate School Workshop. Our speakers had a lot of good advice and our participants asked great questions. If you weren't able to attend, email english@uic.edu and we will send you a link to the video.

Next month on November 9th, the Office of Undergraduate Studies will host a career workshop for graduating seniors. Keep reading below for more information. 

In other news, it's still not to late to take advantage of the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar on the theme of Chicago: City of Art, Industry, and Labor 1890-1960 for Spring 2021. There's more information below on this team-taught interdisciplinary course open to undergraduates from DePaul, Loyola, Roosevelt and UIC. The deadline is next week, so apply now!

Also next week is the deadline for applying to the new Verso Books Fellowship Program. This highly competitive fellowship could be a great fit for a Professional Writing minor. Even if you are not going to apply this year, take a look at the announcement. You'll get an idea of the sorts of opportunities out there for new graduates and the documentation required to apply for these.

If you are interested in writing - or reading - about international issues and geopolitical affairs, you won't want to miss UIC's OneWorld journal's call for submissions. Also keep reading to learn more about becoming a writinger for UIC's Women's Health Initiative. 

Scroll down for more exciting news, including why you should love Keanu Reeves, as well as:

  • Career Workshop for Graduating Seniors
  • Writing for the Women's Health Initiative
  • New Funding and Internship Opportunities with the Freshwater Lab
  • Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar
  • Verso Books Fellowship Program
  • OneWorld call for submissions
  • Student Spotlight: Sharmaine Mempin 
  • Virtual Office hours for the week of October 12–16

Keep reading, stay safe, and be in touch!


Prof. Robin Reames, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Career Workshop! November 9th

So you're getting ready to graduate, and you're probably feeling that sense of panic and dread. What will you do next? The good news is that English majors fare quite well on the job market! 

Come hear from Jaime Velasquez, from UIC's Career Services. "Employers want English majors specifically," Velasquez says. "They need people who can write, and English majors can write!"

At the workshop on November 9th at 4pm, we'll focus on various aspects of finding a job after graduation. Learn how to navigate the virtual job market, how to prepare your interview materials, and how to translate "close reading of poetry" into a marketable job skill!

Jaime Velasquez is a proud UIC alumnus as well as the Director of Employee Relations. He organizes numerous job fairs every year, and is excited to begin working with English majors. Don't miss this important opportunity. 

Interested to attend? RSVP now!

The Women's Health Initiative at UIC Needs Writers! Apply Now

The Women's Health Initiative at UIC is looking for writers, editors, journalists, and content creators for the upcoming website. The WHI Blog seeks to elevate the voices of marginalized populations in healthcare through student narratives, interviews with professionals and community members, and research-based articles. 

Students of all majors and backgrounds are welcome to apply for these positions. If you are interested in applying or would like to submit an article, please fill out the WHI UIC Website Interest Form. 

Questions? Contact Madeline Zuzevich.

The Freshwater Lab Gets New Funding! Exciting Internship Opportunities for Students!
There is good news for the Freshwater Lab 2021 Internship Program. In addition to funding from the Mott Foundation, the KBIH Foundation has extended a supporting grant.
The 2021 Freshwater Lab Internship Program will cover the major and ever shifting issues of water governance, law, and Climate Change; invite professionals like journalist Tony Briscoe of ProPublica and Marcella Bondie Keenan of the Center for Neighborhood Technology into the classroom to work with students; and place every motivated student in an internship. Internships will begin in March 2021 and can extend into the summer. The Freshwater Lab will provide summer internship stipends to upward of ten students. Students can be paid for transformative work on water and environmental issues.
English majors have much to contribute to the Freshwater Lab. This is a Humanities endeavor that focuses on storytelling, narrative, representation, and analysis of water in an era of floods and droughts.
For more information, please visit the Freshwater Lab website.
For descriptions of the Freshwater Lab Internship by students, please see our 2020 interns page.
Interested to hear more? Contact Professor Rachel Havrelock
Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar

Chicago: City of Art, Industry, and Labor 1890-1960

The Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar is a team-taught interdisciplinary course open to undergraduates from DePaul, Loyola, UIC, and Roosevelt.

Students to take part in an intensive classroom experience that culminates in an independent research project. The spring 2021 seminar is Chicago: City of Art, Industry, and Labor 1890-1960 and will be taught by Professors Elizabeth Shermer (History) and Melissa Bradshaw (English) of Loyola University. For more information or to request application materials, please click on this link: Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar.  

 The seminar will meet from 2:00-5:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the spring semester of 2022 (January 19 through May 6). It will carry six hours of credit toward LAS credit requirements, or perhaps a major. Any junior or senior at UIC is eligible to apply; admission is not restricted by major. Students who seek credit for their major should make arrangements with their director of undergraduate studies. Each student who is accepted into the course will receive a $1250.00 scholarship from LAS to cover expenses related to research and transportation.

If you are interested in taking this seminar, please complete the application and forward it and all related materials electronically to Professor Ellen McClure (ellenmc@uic.edu) by October 16, 2020. Successful candidates will be notified by November 6. Admission is competitive, so it is important that you complete this application form completely and with care. 

Verso Books Fellowship Program
The Verso Fellowship program is a year-long work placement, designed to be open to candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds, that will provide a comprehensive introduction to book publishing. The Verso Fellowship program is intended to help the publishing industry to become more diverse and we are looking for candidates who have recently completed a degree and/or have worked for at least two years, and want to explore a career in publishing.

The full-time Verso Fellowship will be based in Verso’s Brooklyn office, The 2021 Fellowship program will run from January to December 2021, and will be paid $37,500 per year with full benefits.

The Verso Fellowship will be structured around a weekly training program with every department for the first three months. Candidates will learn the entire publishing workflow, and become familiar with all of the relevant software. During the second quarter, candidates will work with senior colleagues to develop suitable longer-term projects. Throughout the year, candidates will participate in regular meetups and networking events with colleagues at other publishing houses. 

Applications will close on Oct 15, remote interviews with the shortlist will take place in October, and placements will be confirmed by Nov 16.
Questions? Read to submit a cover letter and resume: verso@versobooks.com
Write for UIC's OneWorld Journal
OneWorld Journal is a UIC student publication centered around articles addressing intricate international issues and geopolitical affairs. Through annual publications, OneWorld strives to heighten the visibility of important global issues in order to promote a more expansive worldview and instill an appreciation for the diverse cultures represented on our campus. 
The article submission period for the 2021 issue has now opened! OneWorld accepts submissions in the following categories: World News & Affairs, Opinion, and Study Abroad/Travel Experiences. Students of any major can write for OneWorld by submitting an article to the following form: https://forms.gle/ntxg1TDKVPbyMAwEA. The deadline for submitting an article is October 31, 2020 at 11:59pm. 
More information about submission guidelines and the publication process can be found on the form or  https://sites.google.com/view/uiconeworld/home. However, if you have any additional questions, please email OneWorld at oneworld.uic@gmail.com
Student Spotlight: Sharmaine Mempin
What has been your favorite English course and why? 
One of my favorite courses so far was ENGL 302: The Moving Image, where we studied horror films. One of our finals was a photography project where we created our own collection of classic horror shots. My project was titled Drunken Death where a young woman is executed by an evil entity. The whole process was incredibly fun since I got to play around with props, set design, FX makeup, etc. Visual projects like these, where I have full creative control, are the ones I am always eager to do. I also got to scare my mom a little during the shoot which is always amusing.
Why is Keanu Reeves so amazing? 
Aside from playing two of the most iconic rebels in cinema, Neo and John Wick, Keanu Reeves is absolutely amazing for being notably kind and down to earth. He founded his own private charity that aids children's hospitals and cancer research. He believes that art is meant to help us find good in humanity and make the world a more compassionate place. Keanu Reeves is just Hollywood's wholesome bean, and we must protect our Canadian wonder at all costs. I encourage people to hang up a picture of him in your home like I have. It's a great conversation starter, especially if you have it in your zoom meeting backgrounds.
What are you reading for pleasure these days? 
I just started reading Carlos Bulosan's America is in the Heart because I wanted to continue exploring multi-ethnic literatures. Being a first generation Filipino-American, it's important for me to find my own representation in literature and arts.
Other Upcoming UGS Events

The Office of Undergraduate Studies is also hosting the following event: 

  • Independent Study/Senior Thesis Presentations: Friday, December 4, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Perhaps you're interested in what your fellow English majors' work. Perhaps you're considering taking an independent study. Join us as this semester's ENGL 398/399 students present their work.

We'll have more details in future newsletters.

Would you like to see the Office of Undergraduate Studies host a specific event? If so, let us know. It is our mission to provide programming that meets the needs of our students.

Office of Undergraduate Studies Fall 2020 Drop-in Hours

Have a question? Stop by the Office of Undergraduate Studies Drop-in Hours and ask us! While we are terrible at chemistry, we would be delighted to advise on classes, help plan for an independent study or chat about what we are binge watching and what we'll do once COVID-19 is gone.

The Office is open:

Monday 12:00 - 1:00 pm


Thursday 11:00 - 12:00 pm


If these hours don't suit, just email english@uic.edu to make an appointment.