The Catholic University of America

Study Abroad banner 


About English             |             Degree Programs             |             Faculty             |             Student Life

English Student and Alumni Profiles


Lindsay Puvel

Graduation Year



BA in English (CUA)

Current Job

Middle/high school English teacher (American Lit, 7th grade Grammar and Composition, Creative Writing)

Other jobs, awards, honors since graduation

Teaching Assistant at The Center for Talented Youth (Johns Hopkins University)

Why did you major in English?

English forced me to contemplate The Big Questions through multiple lenses--history, politics, logic, the arts, philosophy, theology. In order to understand literature well, and more importantly, what literature is about, one must learn to see the world from multiple perspectives. This gives man a better chance at recognizing truth, and that's really what education is all about.

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

How to write with "clarity and grace!" Sometimes people with a talent for writing let style get in the way of clarity. I think this is an issue for all young writers who start to fall in love with their own strengths. Studying English, especially working with the dedicated professors at CUA, taught me how to trim florid prose and produce writing that highlights argument rather than ornament.

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

This question isn't fair. There are so many on the shortlist! My Senior Seminar on Ishiguro was the pinnacle of my college experience. It was well facilitated, the texts were thought provoking, and the class discussions were insightful and focused. My most inspiring class, however, was The Epic Tradition: from Homer to Walcott. I took this course the fall semester of my freshman year (before I was even an English major!) and it made me realize how powerful the Western tradition really is. I actually think a course like this should be required for all English majors because it sets one up to understand what many future writers are responding to.

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

Actually do your reading and join English Society!

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

Really?? How is an English major supposed to answer this question? Moby Dick (is that a clichéd choice for an English major?). I had the privilege to read this with the wonderful Dr. Ward in British and American Novels in Counterpoint.

What’s next for you?

I'm currently in the process of applying to grad school, so hopefully that will pan out. If not, I will joyfully keep teaching and try again next year.