Leon Chen standing next to a body of water

Leon Chen
B.A. English: Language Concentration

Besides your current classes, what else are you doing or have you done that we should know about? Awards? Special projects? Travel? Service work?
I usually travel and hang out with my friends frequently. I like to try different foods in Fort Collins and I am quite familiar with all the restaurants located in downtown and Horsetooth.

What inspired you to get a degree in English? Why CSU? How did you choose your concentration?
My school in China has special cooperation relationships with CSU and at that time I was an English major student. I came here to continue my English degree because I was wondering what it would look like to study English in an English-speaking country. Originally, I wanted to study English education concentration, however, after consulting with my advisor, I decided to switch to language concentration due to a time limitation.

We are always trying to debunk the myth that the ONLY options for an English major are to become a writer, teacher, or work in publishing. What sort of possibility, potential do you see for yourself as an English major?
I think for Chinese students, we have many choices. We can become interpreters or translators. We can work for education groups in China to develop cooperation relationships with English-speaking countries. We can utilize English as a bridge to other majors since we all know that English major concentrates on people’s writing and communication skills, which are all essential for future development. We can even become Youtubers to spread interesting knowledge of what we see and hear in the US.

Knowing what you do about it, how would you describe the CSU English department to someone?
CSU English major has five concentrations in undergraduate level. They are concentrations of writing, critical writing, language, education and literature. The professors are all excellent in their area of study and they are very friendly and nice to all students. English department is the host of a great writing center, and students can gain better writing skills though it. English department also provides students a chance to study a foreign language, which opens the door of a brand-new world to students. It will obviously contribute to students’ development in the future.

Why do you think the humanities are important?
A man without knowledge of humanities will be extremely boring. He may not be able to attract other interesting people without it. If you read Shakespeare, you will know the interesting stories that can reflect the social events in the time of Shakespeare. If you read Lord Byron, you will be more imaginative. If you study composition class, you will know how to write a better paper or personal statement.

What would you like to tell prospective CSU English Department students?
Be hardworking. Studying abroad is not an easy thing as an international student. I would like to tell all future students who want to come and study English in CSU – wishing you have a hardworking mind in all courses.

What advice do you have for current CSU English Department students?
Preview the texts before the class. Always do your homework ahead of schedule.

What was the last piece of writing you read or wrote? OR, What are you currently reading, writing?
A genre guide for writing flyers. I am currently reading the book called style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, written by Joseph Williams & Joseph Bizup.

What are your hobbies or special interests, what do you enjoy doing with your free time?
I like travelling and cooking food. I enjoy driving my car with my friends to lots of places.

Where will we find you in five years?
Maybe in Denver because I get half scholarships of my tuition in University of Denver. Or maybe in Boston, I am still waiting for the admission decision from Boston University to attend grad school.