Friday Five: Catching up with Alumni – Kristin VanBenschoten


Alumna Kristin VanBenschoten.

Alumna Kristin VanBenschoten.

Which text do you suggest all undergraduates read before they graduate?

Benito Cereno by Herman Melville. It’s an incredibly versatile text and provides many opportunities to practice close reading.

During your time at Stony Brook, who was your favorite professor and why? 

Professor Scheckel was my favorite English professor. I enrolled in every one of her classes that I could take. She always made class enjoyable with her bubbly personality and her genuine love of the topics she taught. I credit her essay assignments with helping me to develop better analytical and writing skills.

Which text was your favorite to read as an undergraduate? In which class did you read it?

Anything by Edgar Allan Poe. In Spring 2012, I took EGL 375: Literature in English in Relation to Other Disciplines with Professor Scheckel when the topic was the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Our class spent the whole semester reading through Poe’s short stories and looking at the different ways Poe’s stories have been depicted, such as graphic novels and movies. I had the time of my life in that class.

Tell me about a skill you learned as an English major that has helped you out in the “real world.” 

I learned how to approach different life experiences by thinking outside of the box. As a volunteer First Responder for the Huntington Community First Aid Squad in Huntington, NY, I apply the skills I gained as an English major to my volunteer work. I’m currently seeking out my EMT-B certification, and have found that my time as an English major trained me to quickly learn and analyze large quantities of information that could be applied in any situation.

If you could give one piece of advice to current undergraduates, what would it be? 

Take advantage of help when it is offered to you. Visit the Writing Center, attend office hours, and talk to your classmates. It was my experience that professors are excited to help and eager to answer whatever questions you may have. My best essays were ones that I discussed with my professors and my classmates.

Source: Stony Brook University, English Department

Friday Five: Catching up with Alumni – Kristin VanBenschoten.


About stonybrookalum

Stony Brook Alumni Association

Posted on March 22, 2013, in Alumni, Profile, Stony Brook, SUNY. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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