Letters of Recommendation

  1. Arrange to meet with the faculty member / prospective letter writer in person, explaining in an email, by phone, or face-to-face that you would like to get together to discuss your plans in "x" and the possibility of a letter of recommendation. Remind the individual how you know him/her (faculty teach many, many students each semester, so a little memory jog doesn't hurt), how he/she helped you in ways that are related to your future plans, why you feel he/she might be able to speak on your regard, etc.
  2. Indicate what you will bring with you to the meeting. Suggested materials include the following: a resume or cv, a personal statement/statement of intent/short paragraph explaining why you want to apply, a list of relevant courses or other activities not included on your resume, unofficial transcripts, sample papers/projects from relevant courses, pamphlets or prints outs on the programs you are applying to, etc. Of course, exactly what you bring and what the letter writer might find useful depends on the position/opportunity for which you are applying. It's not a bad idea to ask directly what might be helpful to the letter writer.
  3. Take notes during the meeting and come prepared to ask what suggestions he/she might have. Whether it is graduate school, an internship, study abroad, or a job, the position for which you are applying is, ostensibly, related to the person's field. In other words, he/she knows something about that field and the application process.
  4. Follow up with an email indicating the deadlines and other requirements for each application (for example, many graduate schools require online submissions).
  5. Thank the person. Once all is said and done, a brief email or note is always a good idea.

What is Humanistic Studies?

Humanistic Studies, or HUST as it is often called, is an exciting, interdisciplinary department that invites you to think across traditional departmental boundaries. We recognize and embrace the fact that humanities disciplines like history, literature, art, philosophy, and religion do not exist in a vacuum but, rather, influence and affect one another in rich and complex ways.

In my introductory HUST course (“Lives and Times”), literature will serve as a diving board into greater conversations about history, art, culture and the human experience from the 19th century to today. Other HUST elective courses such as HUST 197 (Myth, Legend, and History), HUST 205 (History of Famous Women), and HUST 212 (Greek and Roman Culture), use history as the primary lens of inquiry. Major-level courses at the 300- and 400-level are taught in tandem (one in history, one in literature) to make the connections between areas of study all the more concrete. In other words, at the introductory-level or on the major track, all Humanistic Studies classes provide you with the opportunity to integrate the study of literature with history, religion, art, philosophy, and music into a dynamic whole. In other words, in HUST, you get to do it all!

For more information on how you might pursue a major or minor in Humanistic Studies (and what you can do with it...hint: anything!), contact me using the information here.