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English Student and Alumni Profiles

Name

Lieren Stuivenvolt Allen

Graduation Year

2012

Education

B.A. Media Studies / B.A. English

Current Job

Production Secretary (Feature Films) - 'The Nice Guys'

Other jobs, awards, honors since graduation

Assignment Desk Editor - ABC4 News Utah

Production Assistant - 'The Pitch' (Reality TV)

Production Assistant (Feature Films) - 'Captain America 2 : The Winter Soldier', 'The Kitchen Sink,' 'Terminator : Genisys'

Production Secretary (Feature Films): 'Ant-Man'

Why did you major in English?

I chose English because analytical reading is my guilty pleasure - how geeky is that? I love nothing more than getting into a story and picking it apart, and then workshopping the ideas with other people. It's amazing how many different ways a group will read the same poem or novel, only to find that the author's meaning is probably some combination of everything. It's invigorating for me in a very nerdy way, and I found a community to support my addiction in the CUA English department.

Tell us about a skill you learned/developed as an English major that has helped you out in the "real world"

Those breakdowns and discussions that made me want to major in English are the very things I apply to my everyday life. Understanding the different approaches people have to their work and being able to communicate with them on their level is an invaluable skill, and I developed a knack for it in circle discussions with my peers and professors, learning to comprehend and digest their arguments by first learning their thought processes and how they articulate opinions.

What was the best English class you took at CUA and why?

That's a brutal question! I loved every single one of them, truly, and not in a kiss-ass way. It goes without saying that Dr. Wright's Chaucer course is life changing, he's one of the kindest, most emotional professors I've ever had the joy of studying under. Our department is built on teachers like him, which is an exceptional thing - I had some of the most inspiring conversations under Dr. Okuma's supervision, Dr. Suarez's senior seminar in Marist was like walking in and out of a daydream of musically infused Faulkner, and I'll forever cherish my basement scansion course with Dr. Gibbons...and if you know what scansion is, that just seems insane. If I had to pick a defining moment in a course, it would be a grading I got from Dr. Lidh on one of my weekly Shakespeare essays - he tore me to pieces, and rightfully so, and his general remark was something to the (more eloquently stated) effect of 'This is Shakespeare we're reading, have some respect!' What an incredible note. It changed my whole outlook on the course! Every professor expected the best from us, and it made for a unique, intense learning experience.

If you could give one piece of advice to current students, what would it be?

Take every single English class you can. I decided late in the game that I wanted to double major, and I missed out on some phenomenal English electives. And, whatever it takes, study abroad. If you love studying the English language as much as I do, do yourself a favor and apply for the Oxford program. I could talk for hours about that, and I will! Look me up and we'll chat.

Which text was your favorite to read while you were a student at CUA? In which class did you read it?

The Canterbury Tales. I've never had such a transformative experience with a book - when I first picked it up, it may as well have been written in Greek! By the end of the semester, Dr. Wright had us all reading, understanding, analyzing, and even crying while reading the stories. It was very powerful.

What’s next for you?

I'm working my way up the ladder of film production. It's an undefined path, and it's already taken me to Los Angeles, Atlanta, and back again - no real telling where I'll end up next!