"The Department of English at Northern Illinois University offers the rare Goldilocks experience of graduate school: a student-centered environment that nurtures one’s intellectual development in a flexible curriculum, while setting high standards of excellence to encourage one’s most rigorous work. In short, everything is "just right." Core research and theoretical methodologies introduce students to a breadth of historical time periods, texts, and ways to think about them. Yet, supportive mentorship allows students to hone these skills towards specialized topics and projects. The program strives to meet the needs of students with different interests, backgrounds, and professional goals—from secondary educators to professors-in-training—and includes focus areas such as American and British literature, film, linguistics, English education, English as a second language, rhetoric and composition, and creative, professional, and technical writing. Within a diverse graduate student community, one is able to find a cohort of peers in these areas and will quickly feel at home.
After receiving my M.A. in film and literature at NIU, I moved to Indiana University to complete my Ph.D. and I currently teach in the Department of English at Syracuse University as Assistant Professor of Film & Screen Studies. NIU gave me an interdisciplinary foundation in close reading and analytical writing. Thanks to ample opportunities for designing and teaching my own English classes, I learned to approach my scholarship and pedagogy as mutually reinforcing practices, which helped prepare me for a career in academia."
Will Scheibel, Assistant Professor of Film & Screen Studies, Department of English, Syracuse University