Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

My Community College

- Virginia Hromulak, Ph.D., GSAS '10
professor of English, Nassau Community College

From my own perspective as an English professor, I see the community college as a critical gateway to postsecondary education for students who would otherwise be precluded from attending college, specifically students who are underprepared in the development of math, reading and writing skills. The open admissions policy of the community college enables these students, many of whom are international students, ESL students and adult learners, to receive the instruction and attention they require in order to advance their educational goals. 

As a student at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, I studied with major 19th-century British literary scholars—Sarah Zimmerman, Ph.D., Eva Badowska, Ph.D., and Connie Hassett, Ph.D., —who shaped my research on 19th-century British poetesses and prepared me for a career in front of the classroom. I now bring poetess poetry into my English classes to demonstrate how the power of language connects these distant writers to my students in this century, conveying the complexities of the human condition. I also incorporate linguistic theory into my freshman composition and literature courses, which gives students a critical tool with which to decode text. This works well with freshmen, who often find themselves “outside” the texts and need ways to get “inside.” I couldn’t have done this without Fordham.

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