Undergraduate Alumni Testimonials
Taylor Cunningham, Class of 2016
Double Major: Comparative Literature and Italian
I decided my majors because I wanted to study abroad, learn another language, and have a smaller class size. My favorite thing about UCD and community was how involved the Italian department was in my success. Working at a software company in the Bay Area, going on two years now. Planning to get my MBA in the next few years.
Caitlin Tremblay, Class of 2015
I decided to study Comparative Literature because I found it fascinating. I wanted to learn about different languages and cultures, as well as the conflicts and resolutions around these differences. I wanted to learn to think in another language, and to understand how people in other communities and cultures live. I enjoyed and found meaning in discussing literature and lore, how it both reflects and shapes the world.
After undergrad, I worked on a farm in Davis for a year before moving to upstate New York, where I managed a food service program and coordinated culinary programs for youth. I am now working full time as a Sustainability Coordinator for New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. The subject matter is unrelated to my undergraduate degree; however, I utilize the many skills I learned in the CompLit major, such as critical thinking, professional writing skills, professional speaking skills, intercultural communication, and creative problem-solving. I continue to apply my Arabic language skills as a volunteer for the local refugee center, through which I tutor a Syrian family in English. And of course, I'm still reading :)
Catherine Broderick, Class of 2014
Double Major: Biomedical Engineering and Comparative Literature
I'm working as a manufacturing engineer for a medical device company called Penumbra, Inc. in the East Bay Area. Penumbra, Inc. manufactures medical devices to treat stroke and other vascular diseases. It's my job to oversee manufacturing processes as well as our raw materials, tools and equipment.
Even though I'm working as an engineer, my Comparative Literature background has been incredibly helpful-I'm involved with documentation necessary for FDA regulation and Comp Lit has given me a unique set of problem solving and communication skills that I use every day.
Fran Munton, Class of 2014
When I first began community college, I had never heard of the Comparative Literature major, and so I began to pursue English because I loved to read. After my first semester at Santa Rosa Junior College, I started to look into the various literature-related majors that different UCs offered and learned about Comparative Literature. It immediately struck me with its language requirement and global focus, two differences from English that seemed challenging and fun. After transferring to UC Davis, I finally began to take the Comparative Literature classes my community college didn't offer. Learning Spanish was difficult but fun, and my Comp Lit professors encouraged me to think about all my readings from new, nuanced angles. I was exposed to literatures that I had never considered studying and would not have been possible in other majors. Along with Comparative Literature, I took up a minor in History, with my focus on Latin America. Understanding the historical background to the fiction I read in my literature classes helped provide me a frame of reference for my readings to deepen my analysis of them. In my senior year I completed an honor's thesis with the help of Professor Ana Peluffo on two Latin American novels which was a rewarding and fascinating experience. I'm currently working in the bakery at Whole Foods Market, but my experience doing research for my thesis has led to me consider graduate school in Comparative Literature which I am now investigating.
Rachael Duke, Class of 2014
Double Major: Linguistics and Comparative Literature
I overall enjoyed this major. It exposed me to new types of literature that I never would have taken in English Lit. I had some great professors that helped me think about things in different ways. The only really not so great experience I had was with the theory class I took. The teacher just couldn't keep up with the workload and while I know he is very smart, teaching is not his strong point and trying to learn theory from someone who can't teach it is awful. I decided to pursue Com Lit because it had a language component and since I was learning German, it fit nicely into what I wanted to do. I did double major because even though I love Literature, it's not what I want to do for the rest of my life. My other major, Linguistics, is what I wish to pursue with my career Literature gives me a good back ground for critical thinking and writing. I’m currently going through the PhD program in Linguistics at UC Davis.
Kylie Negin, Class of 2012
Double Major: Comparative Literature and Italian
I decided to double major in Comparative Literature because of the small class sizes, quality of the professors and teaching assistants, and the skills I learned from the courses. The professors and members of the Comparative Literature department are some of the most knowledgeable, caring individuals on the UCD campus. The analysis and discussion skills I learned in the Comparative Literature courses helped me in much of the other coursework I completed as an undergraduate and graduate student. Some of the best advice I received was to pursue an honors thesis my senior year. Completing an honors thesis was a great way to work one-on-one with a professor and study the literature that I found interesting. I am currently an English and Journalism teacher at Vanden High School. I teach 9th and 10th grade English as well as the Journalism elective that writes the school newspaper. Teaching is extremely rewarding and challenging, and I love every minute of it.