Picture of Lorraine Arvizo in her classroom

Lorraine Arvizo
English Teacher at Northglenn High School
Graduated from English: English Education, 2012

How did your major prepare you for the job, the life you have now?
Majoring in English helped me gain the content of teaching English. I was taught by experts in literature and writing, which was helpful in understanding what I would teach my students one day.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishments (both personally and professionally)? How did your experience in the English Department help you with these achievements?
I would consider one of my greatest accomplishments is being the first in my family to graduate from high school and from a university. My experience in the English Department helped me with these achievements because I really didn’t know what to expect when I decided to attend a university. The advisors in the English Department guided me in what would be beneficial to me as a professional and personally. They listened to why I wanted to become a teacher and helped me accomplish this dream as well.

What did you like about the English program? Why did you choose to study here?
I really enjoyed the variety of classes that I got to take while I was at CSU. The English department had classes that taught classic literature all the way to Women Prison Writing. There was something fascinating to learn and I was given the opportunity to learn from professors that truly were passionate about each subject. I decided to study at CSU because I really felt like I fit in with what CSU had to offer. The people were friendly and really cared about everyone around them.

Was there a specific class, professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you, helped you, or inspired you when you were at CSU in the English Department? Do you still keep in contact with your classmates or professors?
I was pretty lucky to have many professors and advisors support me throughout my time at CSU. Mary Shaffer was a professor [CSU English, 2008-2010] that helped me understand what a teacher does and she also shared her experiences with me by allowing me to be in her classroom twice a week. She was also my Adolescent Literature professor and she gave us the opportunity to read books that our students would find interesting as well as guided us through activities that we could do with our future students. It always amazed me that she would teach middle schoolers all day, then come and teach us in the evenings for another hour and a half. Mary’s experiences in the classroom showed us different perspectives that were true and genuine. She is a model teacher that I aspire to become. I still keep in touch with professors at CSU. I usually bump into them at annual conferences, but it is also nice to gather some of their wisdom when teaching gets difficult. I also keep in touch with classmates and I even teach with one of my classmates. It is pretty amazing to see how the connections we make at CSU last forever.

What would you like to tell prospective CSU English Department students?
I would tell prospective CSU English Department students to dive in and take advantage of everything the department has to offer. Take advantage of the Writing Center and of the events that are held because that can open up so many different opportunities, no matter what their concentration is.

What advice do you have for current CSU English Department students?
Some advice I have to current CSU English Department students would be to ask the difficult questions and gain multiple perspectives. It is easy to get stuck in our own world of whatever we are trying to accomplish. The multiple perspectives help keep our learning spark alive.

You have an hour to spend in a bookstore. What section do you make a beeline to?
If I have an hour to spend in a bookstore, I would make a beeline to the new Adolescent Literature section. I love to see what my students are interested in reading and it helps me connect to what some of their interests are. I also like to look at the classics and see the newer versions of the cover art. It is interesting to see how those covers change from time to time.

What are your hobbies or special interests, what do you enjoy doing with your free time?
Right now, I am working on my graduate degree in Culture Linguistic Diversity. Going through this schooling process again, I am able to say that I truly enjoy learning. Although this does not leave much free time, I love to spend time with my family and my dog, Willow. It is nice to go on a walk and get some fresh air after being in the classroom all day. I also like to travel and get to see new places. Hopefully I can travel more in the future.