Hometown: Bridgewater, Conn.
Major: English, concentration in writing
WCSU Degree: Master of Arts in English - Writing
HONORS AND AWARDS : 4.0 GPA
Rebecca Devine attended Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y., graduating with honors in 1990 with an undergraduate degree in English literature and a minor in philosophy. Her decision to enroll in the master's in English program at WestConn seemed obvious on two fronts: "I love English literature and wanted to improve my writing," she explains. "And, I'm employed by WCSU and am thrilled to have had the opportunity to go back to school here."
As any working professional who chooses to return to academia to pursue a master's degree can attest, it's not a decision made lightly. "It's been a challenge and I am in awe of my peers who have children and still accomplished this," Devine says."Getting my degree meant a great deal more time with my nose in a book and being at my computer for long hours. My partner, Kathryn, has been wonderfully supportive throughout the whole thing, is proud of my accomplishment, and is very excited to have me graduate!".
Devine, who is used to working with the faculty in her capacity as the university's WestConnect debit card program manager, acquired a different point of view as a student. "I've been fortunate to have many great professors over the last two years," she says. "Professor of Writing, Linguistics and Creative Process Dr. James Scrimgeour has been a great help on the development of my writing and he is overseeing my thesis."
Asked what she will remember most about her WestConn experience, Devine says, "I have participated in the annual Banned Books Week over the last two years, taking time to read from JK Rowling to Shakespeare. Standing up there reading from books that have been threatened at one time or another is a reminder of the power of knowledge and the importance of keeping censorship at bay both in and out of schools. How are we ever to learn what we are or can become if we don't understand what we have been and where we come from?”
After graduation, Devine hopes to get a novel published. "I have completed two manuscripts during my masters work at WCSU, both based on Shakespearean tragedies," she says. "I have been searching for an agent for the first novel, which tells the story of Shakespeare's "Hamlet" from the perspective of the women. The second, which is my recently completed thesis submission, is a novel inspired by Shakespeare's "King Lear." From a research perspective, the fascinating thing was to read some of the same or similar source material that inspired Shakespeare hundreds of years ago and contemplate his creative process. As a writer it has been exhilarating to take characters who are dear to me and have them reinvent themselves through my novels. I already have three more projects in various states of completion which are not Shakespeare related."
Devine’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: “Take advantage of all the wonderful things the college experience has to offer.”