September 2011 Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight



Jill Hallgren Havlat


Hometown: Medina, OH
Program of study: MA Program in English (Literature Track)


Why did you choose Creighton? Deciding to earn my M.S. at Creighton was easy. I was really impressed by the scholarship of the professors in the department; and I wanted a degree from a widely respected program that was rigorous and known for holding its students to high standards. I knew that if I went to a school of Creighton's caliber, I'd be working alongside really bright and successful students that would be teaching me along with my professors.

What made you decide to pursue education in this program? The ability to write effectively is invaluable in so many fields, perhaps partly because it's been underappreciated for so long. If you have the chance to develop that precious skill, you have to take it. Besides that, I wasn't quite satisfied by my four years of study in English as an undergraduate. I wanted to delve deeper into literature in a way I couldn't accomplish by reading and writing independently. I was not ready to give up learning from experts as well as my peers in the classroom, because that kind of experience is unmatchable. I felt as if I was indulging myself by enrolling in Creighton's M.S. program; and indeed I was right, because I've been enjoying my work here immensely.

What are your interests outside of graduate school? I'm happiest spending time with my family. I also love to ski, hate to run by try to do it anyway, and I am learning to cook (slowly and with more than a few failed dishes).

What experiences at Creighton have best prepared you for life after college? The fellowship program has rendered me well-prepared for professional writing in any kind of communications-related position. I've been working closely with Dr. Bridget Keegan as her research assistant and have assisted her in researching, editing, and writing for her varied scholarly endeavors. I'm also glad to be a part of the Humanities Research Group, which is a small bu mighty group of students and professors who discuss topics related to our discipline. We also review one another's work. Working in close proximity with Creighton's excellent professors has granted me the opportunity to observe and imitate how they work, thereby helping me to develop successful work practices in English Studies.

What is your most memorable experience at Creighton? I love teaching at the Writing Center, and there are several students I've worked with who I'll never forget, particularly the ones who have been coming regularly since I started there. I get so excited by their progress, sometimes more so than they! I enjoy the mutual learning experience between student and consultant in the Writing Center.

What is one thing that you have accomplished that makes you proud? I really felt I turned a corner after delivering my first conference paper at the University of Notre Dame last spring. It was thrilling to finally share my research and writing with colleagues outside of the loving environment of the classroom. What's more, I believe it was an important part of the professionalization process that is cultivated by our graduate program.

What have you most enjoyed about your experience at Creighton? Studying alongside my peers has undoubtedly been the most enjoyable part of my Creighton experience. We are both colleagues and friends. I believe we get as much joy from one another's successes as we do from our own, and I take great delight in that camaraderie and generosity of spirit. I'll miss my classmates terribly when we graduate and go our separate ways.

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