Mary Boothe has had an impressive undergraduate career here at WKU. Her commitment to sustainability, her research, her service, and her international experience combined to make her a deserving recipient of her most recent honor—becoming a PCAL inductee into the Society of Distinguished Graduates.
Mary is heading to law school at William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA in a few months, where she plans to concentrate on copyright and intellectual property right, so I took the opportunity to interview her before she hits the road to start the next chapter in her life.
But first, see what Drs. Hale and Jones had to say about Mary’s achievements:
Dr. Hale, our Department Head, had this to say about Mary:
“Mary Boothe exemplifies the positive ways English majors can merge the academic skills they acquire in our professional writing program with the social causes they believe in. People often ask me what you can do with an English major, and I’ll be telling Mary Boothe’s story for years to come. We couldn’t be prouder of her accomplishment.”
– Dr. Rob Hale, Head of the English Department
Dr. Jones, Mary’s teacher for three Professional Writing courses, contributed this statement:
“In the 2.5 years I have known Mary, I have been consistently impressed with her work ethic and her eagerness to apply what she learns in her classes to a variety of environments. Whether designing a collaboratively created newsletter for the Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society or individually developing a new website for WKU’s Office of Sustainability, Mary sees opportunities and then applies her talents to meet organizations’ needs. In these ways, she accomplishes WKU’s mission to ‘prepare…students of all backgrounds to be productive, engaged, and socially responsible citizen-leaders of a global society.’”
– Dr. Angela Jones, Associate Professor of English
Mary was involved in so many extra-curricular activities during her time here at WKU, we could write a whole blog post about just that, but we want to get to the interview so you can hear what Mary has to say!
Q & A with Mary Boothe:
Ann Reagan: As one of the first English majors to become the PCAL inductee for the Society of Distinguished Graduates Award, how do you feel about this honor?
Mary Boothe: I am very honored to have won this prestigious award from the Student Government Association with the recommendation from Dr. Angela Jones. I am grateful to the excellent professional writing program established by the WKU English Department, which provided me with the strong academic foundation I needed to confidently pursue both a second major and leadership in multiple extra-curricular activities. This confidence and ability allowed me to make the most of my undergraduate experience, which ultimately lead me to be eligible for this award.
AR: How do you think you represent WKU, and especially the English department, as the PCAL inductee?
MB: I represent WKU and the English Department by recognizing that both entities have contributed to my success so far and both will continue to contribute to my future academic successes at William and Mary Law School.
As an alumna, I am very proud of my university and my major programs. Being a representative of both means not only finding my own success, but also helping others find their success. For this reason, when given the opportunity, I share my WKU and English Department experiences with others. I will continue to share my experiences and to contribute back to my alma mater in any way possible.
AR: How has your experience as an English major in the Professional Writing track prepared/helped you to achieve so many things throughout your college career?
MB: The WKU English Department, especially the professional writing track, focuses on professional oral and written communication. These are foundational skills that can be largely applied to any profession or activity. Developing this core knowledge was 99% the other 1% was simply finding activities I was interested in and people that I enjoyed being around.
English majors are blessed with an amazing faculty that encourages their students to pursue opportunities within the department, such as going abroad and acting as a teaching assistant. I took advantage of both of these opportunities by traveling to Switzerland with Dr. Davies and being a teaching assistant for Dr. Hollyfield’s English 299 class.
Success breeds success. Once you demonstrate your interests by applying your knowledge within the department, either in class or through departmental activities or both, more opportunities open up in the department and the larger community.
AR: Is there anyone you’d like to recognize for helping you along the way?
MB: I would like to thank the English Department faculty for believing in me and supporting me throughout these past few years, especially my primary professors within the professional writing track, Dr. Jones and Dr. Rice who have both written me multiple letters of recommendation on different occasions. Also I would like to thank Dr. Hovet for encouraging me to pursue a teaching assistantship and Dr. Davies for writing my Spirit Master recommendation.
AR: Do you have any advice for future English majors?
MB: I would tell future majors to actively pursue their passions and communicate their interests to their professors. Be positive, get involved, and when opportunity comes knocking take it to its fullest.
Thank you, Mary, for the interview; we’re all very proud of you, and wish you the best in your future endeavors. Please don’t become a stranger to Cherry Hall!