Even in an extended recession, the university’s literature and languages department can claim a 100 percent placement ratio for doctoral students. Mary Couzelis, who defended her dissertation this spring, was hired as a tenure-track professor of children’s literature at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.
“In our program, we get exposure and experience. We get to work with a diverse range of students, including many who are non-traditional. We also get to teach both composition and literature courses,” said Couzelis, noting that this is not typical of comparable programs around the country. “One of the big draws for me was the concentration on children’s literature. The focus on ideology was really important in my scholarship and in my teaching.”
Couzelis says that doctoral students are pushed by the faculty to get involved in their fields of research. Those same faculty members also go a long way in making graduate students feel like they are valued as a part of a community. She was able to sit in on presentations of several new faculty candidates and was asked for feedback from the search committees.
“You’re not ‘just a grad student,’” Couzelis said. “You are a colleague.” Though Couzelis has a strong resume, she recognizes how fortunate she was not only to secure a job straight out of her program, but to get one teaching in her specialty. To encapsulate her experience in the program, she said, “Four years can go by fast in a place that you love.”