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For Megan Baldree, the study of language is one of many ways-and perhaps one of the best ways-of opening doors between different peoples and cultures. "I think studying linguistics is incredibly beneficial for everyday life. You are constantly interacting with people who are different from you."
Ph.D. in Religion and Literature, Terre Haute, IN
When asked what brought her to graduate school, Bethany Bear's answer is simple: Teaching. "Whether I end up as a professor at a large university or at a small college, that's my grounding priority."
Dr. Jeannette Denton
Associate Professor of English
"I have always been intrigued by sounds of things," Dr. Jeannette Denton says. She has turned that interest into a career as a researcher and professor of linguistics at Baylor, even if the road she took to get there seems a little unorthodox.
Dr. Luke Ferretter
Assistant Professor of English
"I wanted to be somewhere that was intellectually world-class plus distinctively Christian," says Dr. Luke Ferretter, explaining why he joined Baylor's English faculty. At Baylor, he feels free to pursue the directions he wants in his research and his teaching.
English, Pineville, LA
Jenny Howell doesn't underestimate the value of literature or the impact it can have. "I just wrote an essay on The Things They Carried, and the last chapter starts with the words, ‘Stories can save us,'" she says.
Professional Writing, Rogersville, MO
"It's funny," says Claire Jansen when asked how she got interested in writing. "Whenever I was little I used to say that my least favorite job would be to be an author. I thought it sounded so boring because you'd just sit there and write books. And then, you know how sometimes as you develop, your least favorite thing becomes your favorite thing?"
When asked why she thinks people should study literature, senior English major Sarah Kocian has an impassioned and emphatic response. "It's not why they should," she says. "They should be required to study literature!"
Ph.D. in Religion and Literature, Waco
When asked why he decided to come to Baylor to pursue his degree, Reid Makowsky could give several answers. A Waco native, Reid received both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Baylor before returning to pursue his Ph.D. "I'll start with the graduate program," he says, laughing.
Professional Writing, Coppell
"I think people should study English because it's a good way to learn history-it helps you understand a culture in a certain place and a certain time," says Professional Writing major Stacey Walter. "Through literature you can see the world with a different perspective than you would just by learning facts. It puts a face on the facts. It's a study of humanity."
Unlike many Baylor students with English-related majors, linguistics major and Waco native Shelby White didn't come to Baylor with a desire to work with words. Shelby didn't come to Baylor-at first-for linguistics at all. "I initially came to Baylor because they had an equestrian team," she says.