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Department Chair

  • Erich Hertz
    Associate Professor of English
    Kiernan Hall 214
    (518) 782-6896
    ehertz@siena.edu

English Major Profiles

Mark Martinez (2016)

  • Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
  • Why did you choose Siena College? I chose to come to Siena because I really appreciated the strong sense of community here.
  • Why English? I decided to be an English Major because I've always had a passion for literature as a whole, and I've enjoyed the versatility that comes with the English degree at Siena.  I couldn't imagine majoring in anything else.
  • What has been your most meaningful experience at Siena?  Going through the summer RA training program.  I learned a lot about working with others and met so many fantastic people.
  • What's the best book you've recently read? Gardens of the Moon, by Steven Erikson.
  • What are your plans for the future? I plan to study abroad in Argentina and then pursue a graduate degree in Comparative Literature.

Paige Allen (2013)

  • Hometown: Castleton, NY
  • Why did you choose Siena College? The emphasis on service and advocacy aligned well with the way I wanted my college experience to prepare me for whatever comes next.
  • Why English? I have a lot of opinions and I really like to talk about them. My English major helps me best articulate my arguments, communicate ideas and debate effectively.
  • What has been your most meaningful experience at Siena?  Working at the Women's Center on the Global Action committee allows me to advocate for the kind of change I want to see, and gives me a lot of opportunities to practice important skills like talking to people about things that are often sensitive subjects.
  • What's the best book you've recently read? Solar Storms by Linda Hogan
  • What are your plans for the future? To be the mouthpiece for an organization working in social justice.

Michelle Campbell (2013)

  • Hometown: Hillsdale, NJ
  • Why did you choose Siena College? The "family" feel on campus.  I felt connected with everyone I met at Siena.
  • Why English? I geek out over the writing and editing process.  I've always wanted to get into publishing and knew that majoring in English would help me achieve that career ambition.
  • What has been your most meaningful experience at Siena?  The chance to serve as the Head Student Consultant for the Writing Center.  The position has allowed me to hone my own writing skills and research strategies.  I'm especially excited to present at the Northeast Writing Center Association Conference in April.
  • What's the best book you've recently read? Survivor, by Chuck Palahniuk
  • What are your plans for the future? Writing bad poetry and putting in long hours for a publishing house in New York City.

Stephen Kingsley (2013)

  • Hometown: Cortlandt Mannor, NY
  • Why did you choose Siena College? I felt right at home on campus and enjoyed the personable atmosphere of the Siena community.
  • Why English? I have always been a lover and student of literature and wanted to nurture this passion in my college years.  My love of the subject has inspired me to work toward becoming a teacher in the field.
  • What has been your most meaningful experience at Siena?  My experiences in both the English and English Education courses I have taken here at Siena have changed the way I look at the world and have instilled in me the motivation to make a difference in the lives of those around me.  Living in the residence halls has also been a very meaningful educational experience!
  • What's the best book you've recently read? Enduring Love, by Ian McEwan
  • What are your plans for the future? Practice for my career in teaching by taking education courses in graduate school, participating in the Urban Scholars Program here at Siena, and yelling at kids in Summer Camp.

Olivia Phetteplace (2013)

  • Hometown: Ledyard, CT
  • Why did you choose Siena College? I really like the size of Siena and the very community-oriented feel of the school.  I love how invested all the professors are in the students. I really think the Siena community is just like a big family.
  • Why English? In high school I took an AP English course that was the best course I had ever taken.  My teacher was truly wonderful at what she did and the material we read was fascinating.  I had always loved reading, but that class made me love the analysis aspect of studying literature.
  • What has been your most meaningful experience at Siena?  Studying abroad in London was one of the most amazing experiences.  Siena's abroad program gave me so many wonderful opportunities where I was able to work in the House of Parliament and travel my heart out. Not to mention I was able to take a Shakespeare course in the city where he actually wrote his plays!
  • What's the best book you've recently read? Atonement, by Ian McEwan
  • What are your plans for the future? I'll be taking a year off after graduation to study and apply to law schools.  Hopefully in the following year I will be attending law school and living my dream -- fingers crossed!