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Washington and Lee University

Washington and Lee University
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Tracy Richardson '11

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Major: English

Extracurricular Involvement:

  • Editor, Muse (Student Creative Arts Journal)
  • Co-Chair, Student Faculty Hearing Board
  • Vice President, Hillel
  • Kappa Alpha Theta
  • Student Assistant, Tucker Multimedia Center
  • R.E. Lee Research Scholar (Summer 2010)
  • Writing Center Tutor
  • University Scholars

Off-Campus Experiences:

  • Study Abroad in Tours, France: Fall 2009

Post-Graduation Plans: Hopefully getting my feet wet at a major publishing house

Favorite W&L Memory: Living in the srat house

Favorite Class:

  • Fantasies of Untamed Nature with Professor Ed Craun
  • Intro to Women and Gender Studies with Professor Theresa Braunschneider
  • My capstone, Literature of Human Rights with Professor Jasmin Darznik

Favorite Campus or Lexington Landmark: 4th floor of Leyburn Library

As an English major here at Washington and Lee, I have been exposed to great pieces of literature from Beowulf to The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. I have become a more dynamic writer, a more invested reader, and a more skillful poet. Exposed to a variety of perspectives on how to experience literature and how to think critically about writing, I am confident that I will be graduating this May with a solid knowledge base of how to think, write and speak well. I have received an excellent education within the English department, and there is one particular experience that has especially prepared me for life after graduation--my internship at Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review.

Every semester, a few students have the opportunity to intern at Shenandoah under the direction of R.T. Smith, the accomplished short story writer and poet who has served as the journal's editor for the past fourteen years. Under his guidance, each student learns about literary journals and the publishing world in general. Interns get to do a little bit of everything, from reading manuscripts to editing the website. The opportunity to intern at such a well-respected literary journal is amazing, and the experience of working in an office that publishes the work of some of the greatest writers from the past fifty years is truly incredible.

For me, one semester at Shenandoah was not enough. Expanding my internship to a yearlong experience has given me the unique opportunity to function as Assistant Editor at a literary journal as an undergraduate. With new duties in the office, particularly in helping Shenandoah transition from a print to an online journal, I have gained further valuable insight into the ever-evolving world of publishing. This upcoming semester I will be interviewing the notable writer and Washington and Lee alumna Rebecca Makkai for publication in Shenandoah's first online issue. Furthermore, I will get to work with the graphic designer for the new website and learn more about how the publishing world is changing alongside advances in technology. Shenandoah is an incredibly vibrant and engaging journal, and it has been wonderful to work with such an exceptional publication.

Every day I go to the Shenandoah office I get to learn something new and read something refreshing. My experience senior year at Shenandoah has been an ideal way to synthesize all of the valuable knowledge I have gained within the English department. At Shenandoah I am constantly challenged as both an editor and a writer, and these challenges have helped focus my passion for literature. As a student I feel valued and respected every day, and the support of faculty who are eager to teach and motivate is just one of many reasons why W&L is such an exceptional place. I will leave W&L with confidence and enthusiasm, and I can credit this to an institution that has fostered my growth as a scholar and as an individual.