Friends of
Rutgers English Fall/Winter 2004
A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends of the Department of English

Inside This Issue
Traveling Teachers
From the Chair
Writers at Rutgers:
Michael Cunningham
Marilyn Hacker
Graduate Program News
In Memoriam:
Thomas Edwards
Pat Tobin
The Dalai Lama Visits
New Faculty:
Ann Jurecic
Evie Shockley
A History of English: Part 5
The English Tech Team
Opening Lecture a Success
Faculty Book Fair
Announcements for Alumni
In Memoriam:
Dr. Jaroslav Burian
Thanks to Our Interns
Support Rutgers English
Thanks to Our Friends

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Archive of Previous Issues
Department of English Home
Four Announcements for Alumni

1. New Writing Courses for Grads

Rutgers English is happy to announce a new roster of Writing Program Extension (“WPx”) courses, open to the public. Dan Spink, Manager of the WPx Program, says he wants the courses to have “real world” relevance for all participants.

“Rutgers graduates often want to go back to school to learn specific useful skills,” says Mr. Spink, “and that’s exactly what we plan to give them.” WPx instructors are drawn from business and professional fields. Classes are small and customized to the needs of participants, whether they are beginning memoirists or advanced business writers.

Creative writing courses include Memoir, Creative Nonfiction Essays, Fiction Writing, Poetry Workshop, and a new offering called “How to Sell Your Creative Writing.” Some of the professional writing courses already in development are Business Plan Writing, Professional Grant Writing, Advertising and Public Relations Writing, Technical Writing, Public Speaking, and Research Report Writing.  If you want more emphasis on general writing skills, consider Correct Writing for Business or Introduction to Professional Writing. No matter which course you take, you’ll get extensive feedback on your writing.

Courses can be as short as four weeks and begin at various times during a semester, so it’s never too late to sign up. If you’re thinking about learning some new writing skills (or fine-tuning your old ones), WPx classes may be just right for you. For more information, contact Dan Spink at, or 732-932-8919.

Related Links

The WPx website


2. Retirement Celebrations for Alicia Ostriker

     and George Levine

Rutgers English is planning two retirement celebrations to celebrate the careers of Alicia Ostriker and George Levine.

A one-day poetry conference will honor the work of poet and professor Alicia Suskin Ostriker, bringing together former students, Rutgers faculty, and many of the poets Professor Ostriker has admired and championed over the years. Scheduled guests include Toi Derricotte, Daisy Fried, Marilyn Hacker, Maxine Kumin, and Eleanor Wilner. After a lively day of discussions and poetry readings, Professor Ostriker herself will deliver the keynote address. See our Events Calendar for more details.

The CCA (Center for Cultural Analysis) and Rutgers English are planning a retirement party for Professor Levine in May. If you'd like to participate in the celebration, let us know. We'd particularly welcome written remembrances from former students that we can present to Professor Levine. Contact us at 732-932-7612 or for more information.


3. Back to School – The Senior Auditor Program

Do you wish you could take a refresher course on Shakespeare? Ready to get back into reading poetry? Curious to see what Film Studies is like? There’s no better place to turn than the award-winning faculty of Rutgers English.

Since 1974, Rutgers University has run the little-known New Jersey Senior Auditor Program as a service to citizens of the Garden State. If you’re age 62 or older, you’re eligible to audit Rutgers courses at no cost. Here’s how the Program works: auditors choose classes from the student course catalogue, then ask the professor for permission to sit in. If there is space in the class and the professor welcomes guests, you simply fill out a form and ask the professor to sign it. One great advantage is that by registering to audit courses, you qualify for a temporary Rutgers parking permit and library card.

The Program asks that auditors merely observe and not disturb the class, though many professors welcome comments from auditors as part of discussion. There is no required homework, and you will not receive a grade or college credit. Auditors may register for several courses each semester, so you can take that Art History class and that American Studies both.

Of course, we think some of the best courses are right here in Rutgers English, and we want to prove it to you. Supporting members of Friends of Rutgers English are invited to call us to consult about which professors and which courses you might enjoy most. We’ll help you choose courses, set up your schedule, and fill out the forms. Call us at 732-932-7612 to discuss the possibilities. Or, you can call the New Jersey Senior Auditor Program directly at the Rutgers Community Affairs Office, 732-932-7823.


4. Career Advisors Needed

As spring approaches, many graduating English majors begin to wonder what to do in the “real world” after they finish school. Rutgers English alumni end up in all sorts of careers, but sometimes it feels like that first step is the hardest. Recent graduates need advice and information to help them get started.

You can help. Rutgers Career Services maintains an extensive database of volunteer career advisors, alumni who are willing to share their knowledge and their experience with others. Dozens of English majors have signed up already, but we’d like to see many more.

Call us at 732-932-7612, or come to our Career Advisor website for more information. You never know what little bit of guidance will help set someone’s life on a successful path.



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