Student Success

Student Success


Student Success and Careers in English

Washburn English Majors are equipped for many futures.  Our former students have gone on to work in the public schools, have been accepted into graduate schools, have moved into journalism and public relations, have become published writers, editors, spokespersons, and grant writers.  Anywhere they go, they are valued as articulate, clear-thinking, and unafraid to write and revise and collaborate. Their ability to think critically, to be creative, to see opportunities—when coupled with optimism and hard work—launches them into successful careers.

Recent graduates from WU's English program have been accepted with full assistantships to the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa, Kansas State University, and other universities.

Featured Alumni

Gary Jackson graduated from Washburn and went to the MFA program in poetry at the University of New Mexico.  His thesis, Missing You, Metropolis, won the Cave Canem Prize and was published by Graywolf Press in 2010.  He now teaches at Central New Mexico University’s Montoya campus.

Carla Walker was a 4.0 English Major who took a job with the Oklahoma Humanities Council.  There she went from writing a newsletter to launching what has become an award-winning magazine, Oklahoma Humanities.

Graduate Leah Sewell is one of the editors at seveneightfive, a Topeka arts magazine.  She continues to write poetry as well.

English major Israel Wasserstein won the Sibberson Award given to Washburn’s top graduate.  After receiving his MFA at the University of New Mexico, he returned to Topeka and took a job as a lecturer at his alma mater, in our own English Department.

Daryl Palmer received his BA in the early 1980s and went on to graduate school at KU, where he became a Shakespeare scholar.  He has taught at Akron University and Regis University (where he spent four years as English Department Chair).  He has authored two books on Shakespeare and was an Alumni Fellow at WU in the Fall of 2011.

Christian Goering, English Education class of 2000, taught high school English in Topeka and then went on to earn his doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Arkansas.

After receiving teaching certification, several other English Education majors have found teaching positions in Topeka and across the country. Some Topekans from our program are Paul Weidenbach, who teaches at Robinson Middle School, and Heather Hooper, who teaches at Highland Park High School, where she is also the yearbook advisor.

Student Success

“I often think back fondly of my time at Washburn and of the truly wonderful professors with whom I interacted … I consider my English training as an Ichabod to be a gift in my life.” -- Christian Goering, class of 2000

Alumni News

Have any alumni news to be passed along and shared? We’d love to hear from you and fellow alumni. Please send any updates, comments, and news of accomplishments to: