• Overview
  • Faculty
  • Career Tracks
  • Off-Campus Study
  • Unique Opportunities
  • Alumni Profiles



Ripon College offers a major and minor in English.

At Ripon, we view the study of literature as an extended, varied, continuous conversation among students, faculty, writers and their texts. The study of literature is concerned not only with how you read and write, but also how you feel and believe. Requiring the involvement of the whole person, the study of literature engages you in highly personal ways and asks you to respond fully and honestly to the most complex and complete human experiences.

The English major at Ripon prepares students for successful careers in law, journalism, theatre and teaching at every level. Many graduates go directly into careers in public relations, politics, industry, medical and health professions, library science, and publishing and writing.


Ripon College faculty and professional staff are dedicated to helping you reach your goals, whatever they may be and however often they may change along the way. It’s part of our value statement to you.

As a student at Ripon, you will be assigned a faculty adviser based on your area(s) of interest. You will meet with your faculty adviser throughout your time as a student to discuss your current aspirations, plan your course schedule and plot a future trajectory. Staff in the Office of Constituent Engagement and Career Services help to match your interests to concrete goals and construct a plan for success, offering support through three stages of career development – planning, exploration and search. Student Support Services provides tutoring and additional academic and skill development, as well as tools to help with note-taking, exam preparation, goal-setting and time management. Mentors in the Collaborative Learning Center provide in-depth, one-on-one or group mentoring for students about class projects and college-level writing, and can share problem-solving strategies to overcome academic obstacles.

Advising at Ripon.


Ann Pleiss Morris

Ann Pleiss Morris

Assistant Professor of English, Chair of English Department

[email protected]
Mary Unger

Mary Unger

Associate Professor of English

[email protected]
Megan Gannon

Megan Gannon

Assistant Professor of English

[email protected]
Robin Woods

Robin Woods

Professor of English

[email protected]
Tom Truesdell

Thomas Truesdell

Visiting Professor of English, Coordinator of Collaborative Learning Center

[email protected]

Career Tracks

What can I do with an English major?

The English major at Ripon prepares students for successful careers in law, journalism, theatre and teaching at every level. Many graduates go directly into careers in public relations, politics, industry, medical and health professions, library science, and publishing and writing.

Recent graduates of our program work for:

  • Alliance for Children and Families
  • American Girl
  • CESA 1
  • Central Washington University
  • College Possible
  • Cudahy School District
  • Hammes Company
  • Iowa State University
  • MASTERs Plus Tutoring Program N Publishing
  • National Council on Crime and Delinquency
  • Oasis Educational Foundation N Publishing
  • Peshtigo Elementary Learning Center
  • Ramsey County Parks and Recreation
  • Westfield Middle School

Job titles of recent graduates include:

  • Assistant professor
  • Communications associate
  • Communications specialist
  • Content writer
  • Dane County Parent Council
  • Editor
  • Executive assistant
  • Family outreach worker
  • High School English teacher
  • Owner, writer and editing services
  • Reference librarian
  • Senior coach
  • Special education teacher
  • Teacher

Off-Campus Study

Many Ripon English majors participate in the ACM London-Florence program, in which coursework in art, architecture, literature and history is supplemented by excursions to museums, galleries and theaters in England and Italy. The ACM Chicago Program offers an arts emphasis which exposes students to Chicago’s vital arts scene with introductions to theater, art, music, dance, literature and film.

The ACM Newberry Library program in Chicago allows students to tap into the millions of books in the collection of this leading center of research; during a three-week Liberal Arts in Focus excursion to the Newberry, Ripon students researched behavioral restraints in Kafka’s The Trial, marriage conventions in Pride and Prejudice, rules of behavior in early 20th-century Chicago mobs, and tavern behavior from colonial times through Prohibition.

Among the numerous study-abroad programs offered is an exchange program with a college in the town of Ripon in Yorkshire, England, specifically geared toward students with interests in literature and history.

Whether you choose a program that is international or domestic, it is an experience bound to change your view of the world. Click to learn more about Off- Campus Study and Liberal Arts In Focus at Ripon College

Financial aid continues for students who choose to participate in an approved study-abroad program, minimizing additional expenses.

Alumni Profiles

Our Graduates

Michael Timm ’04 was a double major in English and anthropology. He was heavily involved in the College Days newspaper, first as a writer and then as its editor. Under his leadership, the paper won numerous awards for excellence, but, Timm says, “The greatest reward was the camaraderie forged deadline after deadline.” Between his sophomore and junior years, he traveled to Peru, where he worked with an archaeological field team from UCLA surveying the Lake Titicaca basin.

As a free-lance writer in Milwaukee, Timm has written a book about the history of the Robertson-Ryan Insurance Agency; now he’s writing a book about the history of the Coakley Brothers moving company. He edits an independent newspaper, Bay View Compass. During the summer of 2009, he studied creative writing at the University of Oxford in England. He has written and directed two interactive murder mystery plays, with a third soon to be performed at Milwaukee’s Alchemist Theatre. The next stage in Timm’s multifaceted career path will be pursuing a master’s degree with an emphasis in environmental journalism at UW-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences.

Kristen McCullough ’04, who double majored in English and communication, considers literature to be the most revealing study of life, people and history. She says, “Working with the English faculty at Ripon, I dabbled in creative writing, brought prose to life on film, coauthored an independent study course in Native American literature with Professor Kate Sontag and, most importantly, explored the workings of my own mind.” Outside of class, she was on the editorial board of College Days, and she presented original research at three national conferences, including a paper on the effect Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club had on her audiences.

After Ripon, Kristen spent five years in nonprofit management consulting, helping mission-driven organizations craft compelling messages about the value they bring to constituents and to the world. Finding herself drawn to the individuals she met along the way, she returned to school and pursued a master’s degree in clinical social work, emphasizing the psychological, economic and political forces at play in the lives of individuals. “I am now a therapist in child welfare,” she says, “I work alongside vulnerable children, parents and families to uncover and re-author the story of their lives and the lives of their communities.”