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English Student and Alumni Profiles


Filipa Calado

Graduation Year



B.A. with major in English, minor in Art History

Current Job

Graduate student, teaching assistant

Other jobs, awards, honors since graduation

Writing tutor, paraeducator in MCPS, program coordinator for after-school programs.

Why did you major in English?

My choice to study English was mostly an accident. Originally, I was a politics major, intending to go to law school after graduation. But I never developed my interest in politics, and I was a bad student. In a random English class, which I took as an elective, I felt for the first time a sense of intellectual fulfillment, and I followed that feeling through the rest of college, and now into graduate school.

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

I learned to respect the classics and history, and to recognize their influence in everyday life and contemporary culture. From my current experience in graduate school, this is an ability that many college graduates do not possess.

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

Without a doubt, the best course I took was an Art History course on Impressionism. I got to stare at pretty pictures every day! It was lovely.

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

Try to believe in as few things as possible. That way, it is easier when you are inevitably proved wrong.

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

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, assigned in my Intensive Readings: Narrative class.

What’s next for you?

My Master's degree in English! And then, hopefully, my PhD!