Kayla Harr Doucette (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a doctoral candidate in English literature who studies materiality and perception in British and transatlantic literary modernism. Kayla has taught courses at UMD including Literature of Science and Technology, Reading Women Writing, Introduction to Shakespeare, English Literature 1800 to the Present, and Academic Writing. She’s also worked extensively with students ranging from elementary to high school level as a test-prep tutor and instructor.
While earning her Bachelor’s degree at Oregon State University, Kayla was an English major with minors in French and Creative Writing. She also worked as a writer and editor in several capacities at her university: as a newspaper reporter and copyeditor, as communications director for the OSU Open Source Lab, and through internships with University Marketing and Web Communications, the College of Liberal Arts, and the university research magazine. She wrote a senior honor’s thesis on the poetry of T.S. Eliot and graduated cum laude before coming to the University of Maryland to pursue her Ph.D.
Texts that affect me most profoundly: “Preludes” and “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion. Some excellent genre fiction has also been hugely influential: Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game series, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, and Tamora Pierce’s The Immortals and The Song of the Lioness series.
Undergraduate English Advisor
#1 piece of advice for students: Find a way to experience what it’s like to actually do the work you’re studying for. Whether that means working in a lab, volunteering, or finding an internship, hands-on experience is a valuable way to connect the material you’re learning as a student to its real-world applications. Doing so can enrich your understanding, make you a more desirable job candidate, and help you determine whether you’d enjoy pursuing that work on a daily basis in the future.
What I wish I knew as an undergrad: That you don’t have to be locked into one path to be successful, but can explore multiple options and weave different kinds of experiences together to build the education and career you want.
Ask me about: Requirements for the English major, Creative Writing and whether a minor is a good fit for you, what you can do with your English major, and writing across different contexts and careers.