On the evening of November 27th, five Marymount Graduate Program alumni came back for a visit, and each shared their thoughts about balancing careers with their creative needs, showing that there is life after a humanities degree!
Nileah Bell is an analyst for the Department of Justice. She works in a writing group with her co-panelists Julie Allen and Mary Nyingi. Her collaborative projects The Hair Chronicles and Passing have been staged at the D.C. Fringe Festival. Their current project is a screenplay about the life of Zora Neale Hurston. Nileah says, “If it weren’t for this MU community, I would not have accomplished some of my big writing projects to date. I also think that graduate school helped with my writing and the classes I took gave me a strong appreciation for something other than my ‘day job.’”
Mary Nyingi is a partnership specialist for the Global Partnership for Education at the World Bank. She feels her education has allowed her an opportunity to be part of a great organization that has a goal to educate the most disadvantaged children. She works in a writing group with her co-panelists Julie Allen and Mary Nyingi and her collaborative projects The Hair Chronicles and Passing have been staged at the D.C. Fringe Festival. Their current project is a screenplay about the life of Zora Neale Hurston. She says she needs to work on projects that she is passionate about: “Passion is what drives me to stay up late at night to write or write during the weekends, or even when I am tired.”
Julie Allen is a project manager of multimedia and online learning at the American Counseling Association. Julie says that studying great works of literature through various theoretical lenses has offered her well-rounded insight to life, and advanced study makes us more open-minded and teaches us to consider ideas and beliefs we may never have looked at before. As a video producer and educator, she finds these skills to be invaluable both at home and at work. At work, her role as the sole media producer means she must take content developed by media-people and translate it into engaging material for a broader audience. She works in a writing group with her co-panelists Julie Allen and Mary Nyingi, whose work has been staged at D.C. Fringe Festival. Their current project is a screenplay about Zora Neale Hurston.
Jessica Mansilla is a business development manager for Best Value Technology, Inc. She says her company relies on her research and communication skills, and she’s a firm believer that her education in linguistics and how language works has made her a better communicator and team player. Her key projects are federal contract competitions that require her team to develop and describe solutions to potential customers. Her most recent project is motherhood, which she’s discovered is a massive project requiring great creativity!
Dr. Jon Harvey is an associate professor of English at Northern Virginia Community College-Manassas and the associate editor of the Northern Virginia Review, a literary journal for the mid-Atlantic region. He completed his PhD from West Virginia University in 2010, and has taught at universities including Harford Community College and University of Maryland Baltimore County. He uses his literary knowledge every day in the class room, and as an editor when he reviews poetry submissions every Fall to select the best for publication in the Review, which is published every March.