Alumni and Careers

Many of Bowdoin’s English majors pursue graduate training in professions such as medicine, law, and public administration, while others move directly into education, journalism, publishing, finance, and a variety of careers.
rachael allen 2018

Rachael Allen

Class of: 2018

Major(s): English

After graduation, Rachael Allen moved to Washington, D.C. to work for The Atlantic magazine. As an editorial fellow for the print magazine, Allen edits copy, researches, and writes articles, and says she spends much of her time fact- checking features for upcoming issues.

A journalist's journey:

Allen also continues to write monthly columns for her hometown newspaper, The Canton Citizen, as she has done for the past four years.

At Bowdoin, Allen was a managing editor of The Bowdoin Orient. She studied English and Italian, and spent a semester abroad in Bologna. Her senior year, she wrote a creative nonfiction honors thesis on her grandfather’s immigration from Italy.

 

June Woo 2016

June Woo

Class of: 2016

Major(s): English

An English major with a teaching minor, June Woo says she had wanted to be a teacher since she could remember. But when she started tutoring, she says, she began to realize how truly rewarding it is to teach.

The rewards of teaching:

Woo believes that teaching is one of the most rewarding professions, as teachers help students to develop the skills that they need to think for themselves, to ask questions, and to make informed decisions. And, she says, along with teaching skills and content, teaching provides an avenue for building character and ensuring that knowledge is paired with good citizenship.

During the spring of her senior year at Bowdoin, Woo was a student teacher at King Middle School in Portland, Maine, where she worked with three sections of eighth grade English Language Arts. She says that working with a diverse student body in which 33% of the students are English language learners, she learned to adapt her teaching to support the student’s diverse learning needs. Going forward to teach middle school ESOL in Boston, she says she hopes to continue the reflective practice and reciprocal teacher-student learning she experienced during her practicum.

2015-lane-stephanie

Stevie Lane

Class of: 2015

Major(s): Philosophy

Minor(s): English

Stevie Lane is a radio producer at Gimlet Media, a podcast company based in Brooklyn, NY. She works on a show called Heavyweight, about the moment from people’s pasts when everything changed, hosted by Jonathan Goldstein.

Life in the studio:

One of the stories Lane produced this season aired on This American Life. She's also worked on the shows Everything is Alive and StartUp. She says that when she tells her family what she does, usually the response is: "And wait, what is a podcast again?" 

When she’s not in the recording studio, Lane is lighting blowtorches in the metalworking studio. As she’s come to realize, she spends all of her time in studios. Except, she laments, she doesn't live in a studio apartment.

Lane was a Political Philosophy major and an English minor at Bowdoin, so she says she feels a little like she conned her way onto this webpage. But she’s happy to be here. Lane says it was at Bowdoin where she got her first taste of radio - she and two friends hosted a show on WBOR.  She was also an occasional contributor to The Bowdoin Orient, and recipient of the 2012 English Department Forbes Rickard Poetry Prize and the 2014 Hawthorne Fiction Prize.

evan gershkovich 2014

Evan Gershkovich

Class of: 2014

Major(s): English, Philosophy

Minor(s): Russian

Evan Gershkovich is currently a reporter in Russia for The Moscow Times, an independent English-language news outlet. Along the way, Gershkovich also lived in Bangkok, Thailand through a Princeton in Asia fellowship. He says he got to The Moscow Times by way of a stint as a news assistant at The New York Times, (where he admits he began to wonder if the news business was really for him...and is still wondering).

A reporter abroad:

According to Gershkovich, in a profession that has lost about a quarter of its jobs in the past decade, young journalists have had to get creative. Some seek out stories in the heartland or along the southern border, others head to war zones, and some relocate to a foreign country. Nonetheless, Gershkovich says his decision to become a journalist has far exceeded his expectations. He credits Bowdoin's English Department, which “thanks to its whip-smart professors, taught me to read and write.”

There are, he says, “stories aplenty with the opportunity to report them out, and no news day is ever dull. And as far as living here (in Russia) goes, well, in a country that has never been quite sure whether it is part of the West or the East, where moral clarity is often more gray than it is black and white, where extremes seem to be the norm in all spheres of life, and where train travel is relatively cheap and the destinations varied, it's just as interesting.” Living abroad is, he says, “put simply, the bee's knees."

Elida Heuck

Elida Heuck

Class of: 2013

Major(s): English

After graduation, Elida Heuck moved to East Hampton, New York to work for Ina Garten, author of nine best-selling cookbooks and host of The Barefoot Contessa, an Emmy-winning cooking show on the Food Network.

Social media manager, recipe tester:

Hired as Garten’s assistant and social media manager, Heuck found herself helping to test recipes, advising Garten on sending out social media missives, and traveling to cooking events around the country.

Heuck has also enjoyed some time in the limelight: a nationally aired January 2014 episode of The Barefoot Contessa follows Heuck as she shops around town in preparation for a housewarming party Garten is throwing for her, while Garten cooks up the feast. The episode also features appearances by a number of Bowdoin alumni. 

2013 linda kinstler

Linda Kinstler

Class of: 2013

Major(s): English

Linda Kinstler is currently a freelance writer and Ph.D student in the Department of Rhetoric at University of California, Berkeley. She is a contributing writer at Politico Europe, which she helped launch in Brussels in the spring of 2015.

From Bowdoin into the world:

Prior to entering U.C., Kinstler received a Marshall Scholarship for study in the United Kingdom, where she covered British politics for The Atlantic magazine. 

After graduation from Bowdoin, Kinstler was a reporter-researcher, then a managing editor, for The New Republic, where she covered the the war in Ukraine.  She received the National Press Foundation Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellowship in 2013-2014.  Kinstler has made appearances on CNN, Al Jazeera, MSNBC, and CTV to comment on events in Russia and Ukraine.

At Bowdoin, she was editor-in-chief of The Bowdoin Orient and received a Google Journalism Fellowship in 2013.  She has also been an intern at The New Yorker, New York Daily News, and Boston Review.

Will Cogswell 2011

Will Cogswell

Class of: 2011

Major(s): English

Will Cogswell believes that English incorporates everything—science, social science, history, math, politics, art. His major in English allowed him to go about exploring and understanding the world, he says, and it’s interesting to do this with students of high school age.

From small-town Maine to Salt Lake City:

After teaching English to high school students in the small Maine towns of Topsham and Lisbon for three years, Cogswell moved across the country to start work as an English teacher at a larger school in a much larger city. At West High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, he looked forward to working with a diverse group of students, including Hispanic and East African students.

Cogswell first thought about becoming a teacher after working for Upward Bound at Bowdoin in the summer of 2009, where he helped low-income and first-generation high school students get ready for college. Cogswell’s Fulbright year teaching English in Colombia solidified his decision - when he returned to the US in 2013, he enrolled in Bowdoin’s Teacher Scholars, a program that prepares Bowdoin undergraduates and recent grads for a teaching career.

Cogswell loves the age group he teaches. “High school is this nice middle point [between middle school and college]," he says, "Where you’re helping students develop a sense of self as well as delve into a subject matter you care about.”

2009 Sam Tung

Sam Tung

Class of: 2009

Major(s): English

Sam Tung is a storyboard artist in Los Angeles, California. He has worked on seven feature films and over 40 commercials, including The Jungle Book, The Dark Tower, and the upcoming Netflix series Messiah.

Interest in illustration, animation, and writing leads to a love of storyboarding:

At Bowdoin, Tung’s English degree concentrated on screenwriting and medieval literature. During his senior year he wrote and illustrated a sixty page graphic novel as an independent study.

After graduation, he moved to Los Angeles and worked as a production assistant and coordinator for visual effects house Digital Domain while taking courses at Concept Design Academy.

As a storyboard artist, Tung works closely with the director to create a series of illustrations that serve as blueprints for shooting or animation.  He loves storyboarding, as it is a great synthesis of a variety of liberal arts skills, including writing, drawing, acting, technical planning and problem solving. 

He is currently working on an animated feature film for Netflix and dabbling in tabletop game design, and splits time between Los Angeles and San Diego.

 

Ben Rachlin 2008

Benjamin Rachlin

Class of: 2008

Major(s): English

Ben Rachlin's first book, Ghost of the Innocent Man (Little, Brown & Company 2017) is the true story of a wrongly convicted man who spent 24 years in prison and the lawyers who finally proved him innocent.

The writing life:

After graduating from Bowdoin, Rachlin taught Academy English for four years at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii before leaving to pursue writing.

His feature stories have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The New Republic, TIME, Orion, Pacific Standard, and Virginia Quarterly Review.

Ghost of the Innocent Man was named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice; an Amazon Best Book of the Month; a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, The San Francisco Chronicle, Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness; and was a finalist for the 2018 Dayton Literary Peace Prize.