Three recent graduates returned to HPU in 2010 to talk with current English majors about how they are using their degrees. By coincidence, all three started off in majors other than English. Lauren Valle (2006) and Kisha Borja-Quichocho (2008) were in business, while Jovi Ige (2009) began as a psychology major.
Lauren Valle first landed a job in the Hawai‘i State Legislature, where she used her analytical and "people" skills, and explored her interest in law and politics. From there she moved to her current position at a non-profit agency specializing in working with domestic abuse victims—a position for which her HPU courses in feminist theory have come in handy. Lauren’s present ambitions include earning an MSW and a JD so that she can continue to help victims of abuse.
Kisha Borja-Quichocho is in a graduate program in Pacific Island studies at UH-Manoa, working with faculty whose works she read in her courses in Postcolonial Literature, Hawai‘i and the Pacific in Film, and Hawai‘i Writers. Kisha has found that poetry—something she discovered at HPU—is a terrific outlet for writing about issues that affect her as a Pacific Island woman from Guam. Kisha has a graduate assistantship working on the journal The Contemporary Pacific.
Jovi Ige has just obtained a job with a contracting firm interacting with the government on environmental issues. As an Editorial Assistant, Jovi reads reports written by engineers and scientists; her experiences as staff editor for Hawai‘i Pacific Review and Wanderlust helped her to get the job, but the best boost of all came from her work as an English tutor. Because of this she was able to convince those who hired her that she had sufficient editing experience to take the job.
Kia Hayes, Class of 2010, English and International Relations
Kia Hayes is now at the University of Southern California studying for a Master's in Public Diplomacy, and loving it. She writes, "I'm hoping to focus specifically on Cultural Diplomacy, and my classes from the English program have given me what I feel is a really strong background for this focus. I am really grateful for all the amazing classes I had as an undergrad! It feels so great having all of these exciting doors open for me, and I would love to share my experiences!"
David Yogi, Class of 2008, English
Former English major David Yogi has been working for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, part of the Environmental Protection Agency, in Washington, DC since summer 2008. His work involves determining who will be eligible for funds to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous waste. In his spare time, he volunteers in an after-school tutoring program, where he helps with math preparation (no less!) and students’ plans for going to college. He enjoys Washington’s cultural richness, the museums, and movies with new friends he meets through his work. David was an HPU Presidential Scholar and a member of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society and was nominated for valedictory speaker. He plans to go to law school in order to become an environmental lawyer.
Charles “Chas” Olson, Class of 2003, English
Charles “Chas” Olson (May 2003) has been intern at the U. S. Coast Guard JAG, collection representative at IC System, and law clerk at Richard T. Mayo, Esq., as well as a graduate of Golden Gate University School of Law since graduation. He is now judge advocate at the U.S. Marine Corps. Kudos to Charles for all his accomplishments with his double major in Literature (what the English Major used to be called) and Political Science from HPU.
Meagan Clarkeson, Class of 2008, double major: Art History and English
Meagan has been enjoying working as an assistant to a prop stylist in the city. It has been a wonderful opportunity to learn more about photography and design, as well as opened many doors to networking with others in the art scene. Now she is applying to graduate school in New York to attain a Master's in Art History, and aspiring to be a curator.
Heather Mummey, Class of 2009, English
Heather is a research assistant with Starbucks HQ in Seattle. The company was looking for someone who could do the research and could write, and who does that better than English majors? Heather's chemistry minor was a bonus, but they were specifically looking for an English major. She likes her job and loves living in Seattle. She says the city's many used and specialized bookstores make Seattle an English major's dream.