by English Department Communications Intern Ashley Alfirevic

Sarah Rossi is a senior majoring in English Education. Full disclosure: she’s also been my roommate for all four years of college. To conduct our interview, we met in neutral territory: our old stomping grounds at the Academic Village. After we turned in our thesis proposals – hers is focusing on community literacy – we sat down outside the building to talk.


A: You changed your major a couple of times before choosing English. What made you pick English Education?

S: My roommate (see above) was an English major and I was always really jealous of her homework, not because it was easy, but because I wanted to read literature and I wanted to write. I’ve always had a love for literature and writing, but more importantly, I have a love for people. I wanted to combine those two, so that’s how I found myself in English Education.

A: What do you spend most of your time doing in Eddy Hall?

S: I’ve had classes there in the past, but this semester I’m interning at the Community Literacy Center. Our office is in Eddy, so I’m there a lot during the week.

A: What are you working on for your internship?

S: The internship focuses on offering the community alternative literacy opportunities through the form of SpeakOut! writing workshops. We’re facilitators and we hold writing workshops with different community sites. You can be working with community corrections or with at-risk youth or at the Larimer County Detention Center. We just really focus on creating a community of writers.

A: Does the writing get published?

S: Every semester, we publish writings from all of the community sites in a journal. This semester we will have a fall journal that features their writing and artwork. We’re also looking to celebrate the 10th year anniversary of SpeakOut! with a special edition of the journal.

A: Who are some of your favorite English professors?

S: Where do I even start?! I really enjoyed learning from Dr. Tobi Jacobi. I had her for my Capstone – Literacy, Resistance, and Change. That’s when I got involved with the internship because I just found that class really interesting. It made me think about the importance of literacy in the community more and more.

For the Education side, I think Dr. Pam Coke is so insightful. I learned a lot of things from her classes that I want to incorporate into my own teaching philosophy.

A: What is your favorite book?

S: My favorite epic poem would be Paradise Lost by John Milton. I had read excerpts before, but I took the Milton Capstone with Dr. Roze Hentschell and I just absolutely fell in love with it. I think it’s an intimidating text, but that made it way more exciting for me to analyze.

A: What is your favorite part of Eddy Hall?

I really like how they added patio furniture outside the building. That’s where I go to read in between classes. It’s a great spot for conversation when you’re catching up with classmates.

I think we’ve always had a great community in Eddy Hall, and now we have a great building to match.