Our interdisciplinary Professional Writing program prepares students to write accurate, clear, non-academic prose for a variety of audiences and situations. Through a minor or a concentration, students can develop research and analytical skills beyond those taught in a traditional English program. Because today’s world requires not only effective writing but also the technological savvy to disseminate information, students use a range of publishing, writing and social media platforms and applications.
Beyond the Classroom
Our students learn how to exercise their communication skills in a professional environment, which makes them strong candidates for communication-based internships across a variety of industries. Our students have interned at Duncan & Miller Steel Glass Museum, Main Street Farmer’s Market, Brandt Street Press, and the Washington County Historical Society, among other organizations.
In W&J’s classroom, professors show their students out-of-the-box ways to apply professional writing skills across a variety of fields. Professor Kay McEvoy, Ph.D., has led students through the process of researching, writing, and recording their own podcasts on the folklore topics of their choice, from leprechauns to tricksters to the origins of Dracula, and even the legend of Pittsburgh’s own 13 Bends Road.
A background in professional writing provides a strong foundation for careers in technical writing, copywriting, editing, research, and social media management. Alumni of the program are employed as journalists, editors for scientific publications, and marketing and advertising professionals.
Rhiannon Wineland ’20 is one of those alumni. Her role as social media manager for Appalachian Botanical Co., a lavender farm with a mission to provide employment opportunities while reclaiming coal mine land and rebuilding sustainable industry in West Virginia, is allowing her the opportunity to combine her career goals with a passion for sustainability.