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English Student and Alumni Profiles


Helena Romano (maiden name Lado)

Graduation Year




Current Job

I work as an infant/toddler teacher in a Montessori school in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Other jobs, awards, honors since graduation

I worked in a Montessori school in Maryland for the 2013-2014 school year.

Why did you major in English?

I chose to major in English because I loved literature and writing. In retrospect, I think I was drawn to literature's unique ability to portray and explore the human condition.

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

As an English major, I honed my writing and editing skills. How has that helped me in the real world? At the school where I work, I'm the go-to person for proofreading and editing all of the written content we generate. I am also often the person who drafts mass emails to parents and brainstorms talking points for content that goes out to the local community. In fact, the other week, my boss said that she wished the rest of the staff had the language background that I possess.

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

It's difficult to choose a single class as my favorite; I honestly can't pick one. I can say, however, that any class with Dr. Mack or Dr. Wheatley is guaranteed to be highly informative and hilariously entertaining. And in my opinion, that's a winning combination.

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

Read as much of your assigned texts as you possibly can! Once you graduate, you suddenly discover that all the free time you think you have is gone, and you don't read as fast or as much as you used to. The time that you have in college could very well be the only chance you have to read Alexander Pope and Shakespeare with depth.

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

I wouldn't say it was my favorite text, but Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis marked a pivotal point in my college studies. I read it in English 333 (the genre course focusing on the novel) with Dr. Okuma. To probably everyone else in that class, it was a slow and dull book. But to me, something clicked and I connected with Lucky Jim on a deeper level. It helped me understand how rich and varied the history of literature is. It helped me understand how different forms of literature all strive for the same thing: to express and explore the struggle it is to be human.

What’s next for you?

God willing, I'll be starting my Montessori training this summer and will complete my certification next year.