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English and Creative Writing

Katharine Pflaum-Mershon ’06

Class Year



Story Quarterly Literary Magazine

Graduate Study

Religion and Literature in the Divinity School at The University of Chicago

Current Job

PhD Candidate at The University of Chicago

On the value of an English degree from Lake Forest College:

“My English literature degree from Lake Forest College has been invaluable both personally and professionally. The experience reading a diverse number of texts ranging from William Shakespeare to Toni Morrison deepened my perspective on the human condition by exposing me to worlds unlike my own. They forced me to interrogate fundamental concepts I had previously taken for granted, such as the categories of nationality, religion, gender, and race.”

About the English professors:

“I cannot say enough positive things about my English professors at Lake Forest College! From connecting me to an internship at a literary magazine to assisting me with my graduate school applications after I finished my B.A., my professors in the English department were (and are) always there as sources of guidance and support.”

On the overall Lake Forest experience:

“As a PhD student in Religion and Literature in the Divinity School at the University of Chicago, I can say with complete certainty that my experiences at Lake Forest College directly contributed to where I am today. From encouraging my interest in religion and literature in my early college years to discussing my career options as graduation drew nearer, my professors in the English department took an active interest in my future. When I decided that I wanted to pursue a graduate degree, they advised me through the entire application process. They were there to discuss academia in general, to read over my personal statements, and to help me determine which program would be the best fit.”