Oh, the places you can go: Meet Alisha Emrich, ’09 (Alumni Interview)
We’ve started a blog, and we want to kick it off with an alumni interview. We’d like you to meet Alisha Emrich, a 2009 graduate of Armstrong Atlantic State University.*
Prior to our interview, when asked how her program of study prepared her for her current success, Alisha remarked, “It made me develop a lifelong passion for literature and academic study.”
*Georgia Southern University and Armstrong Atlantic State University consolidated in 2018 and are now part of Georgia Southern University–“3 campuses, one heartbeat.”
Alisha, you mentioned that you’ve developed “a lifelong passion for literature and academic study,” so tell us what you’re up to now.
Currently, I am working on my third Master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University, an MFA in creative writing with a focus on genre writing. I never lost my enthusiasm for literature after graduating from Armstrong Atlantic University; in fact, if anything I gained a greater appreciation for it.
When I decided to go back to school in 2013 for a Master’s in English, it was more so to fulfill a personal goal. After completing that degree, I went back to get another degree, this time in Creative Writing.
We know you majored in English; can you share how your English education shaped you?
I loved English in high school, so it seemed a natural choice. I feel that my English education shaped me as far as helping me to cultivate an appreciation for literature while honing my writing skills in the process. In that respect, I enjoy both the academic as well as the creative aspects of an English education, and how the stories we love, even if we’ve read them more times than we can count, always have something new to show us.
What advice would you give to current English students or students considering English as a major or minor?
I would say that students considering majoring in English, find out what you are passionate about and pursue that. I’ve found that when I’m researching a subject or literary period in which I’m interested in, it doesn’t feel like work at all, but rather like a discovery.
Also, never underestimate the power of a beautifully crafted sentence.
Can you tell us what’s on your bookshelf? Or, if you’d like, tell us about a book you read–recently or not-so-recently–that you would call a “favorite.
My favorite novel would be Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. It’s difficult to put into words exactly what it is that makes it my favorite—there are so many aspects, from the setting to the characters, to the dark humor—but most of all, I love Brontë’s originality.
As far as what’s on my bookshelf, there are too many to name. I’m currently reading Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera and Mark Dery’s biography on Edward Gorey, Born to be Posthumous.
As we finished up our interview, we gained a tiny bit of insight as to why Alisha may love Emily Brontë…
I have a particular interest in all things Victorian—literature, dress, mannerisms—and especially about Black people who lived in Great Britain. during the Victorian period.
We think all of this is neat, and we’re so grateful to Alisha for sharing with us. Want to keep up with her? Follow her on Instagram or Twitter at blerdsmith which, she proudly shares, “is a mashup of blerd (black nerd) and wordsmith.”
Are you an alum with an English degree? Would you like to be featured on our blog? Email us! firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
Posted in Department of Literature Blog