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Greetings Comrades,

Well, that was one helluva year.

Next year is bound to be better. I mean, Sara will be president. So there’s that already in our favor. While this has been a difficult year in oh so many ways, it has been a privilege to represent all of you fine people. I may not believe in the institutions that house us, but I believe in all of you. I hope the changes we made and spaces we opened helped and will continue to help our graduate student body. Because together, we are quite an impressive body.

Serving in this position this year has reinforced for me the power of cooperation. Working with such an outstanding group of people in EGSA --Oliver, Sara, Jake, Josh, Valerie, Kyriana, and Marie -- helped remind me that we are exponentially stronger in cooperation. This profession tries to push us into small, poorly-lit carrels, where we work away in isolation, but it need not be that way. This year, more than others, we have relied on each other and proven that together we can sustain just about anything.

I know that I would not have accomplished anything this year had it not been for the support of my friends (and a few I consider family) in this student body. Whether it was writing groups, drinking groups, or working groups, the support, feedback, encouragement, and redirection I received buoyed me through some rough waters.

Let’s keep that kind of support going and even amp it up now that we can see each other again. So, as I walk out the proverbial door, I will leave with one last piece of advice. Let’s stop treating each other like competition and remember that we are a collective with great power.

Slán agus beannacht,


New Student Spotlight

Matthew Mullin
PhD Early Modern


What is one fun thing that we need to know about you? 

I am obsessed with dynasty fantasy football. Don’t know what that is? Ask me and I’ll talk your ear off about it. I’m currently in 4 very competitive leagues, one of which is called “Bizarro NFL” - it’s a 32-team fantasy league with a structure very similar to the NFL (player contracts, salary cap rules, etc). Ask to see my fantasy football spreadsheets sometimes, if you want to witness the true extent of my football nerdiness. If I wasn’t pursuing an academic career, I’d be a pro football scout.

It’s a gorgeous spring day in Michiana. What are you up to? 

Typing furiously on my computer, down in the basement. It’s finals week, after all. Seriously, though, when free time is once again a reality and not merely a fantasy, you’ll find me outside - playing golf, basketball, fishing, working on creating the backyard of my dreams, building my son a playhouse, and getting my freckles to all connect and agglomerate so it looks like I have a nice tan.

Are you looking forward to the summer? Why?

Oh my gosh, yes. I’m excited to visit my relatives at the Jersey Shore and play 4-5 hours of basketball every day while I’m there. I’ve missed playing basketball more than almost anything during COVID. I’m also excited to get some fishing lines in the ocean and veg out on the beach with a good book. Relaxation, exercise, and time in the sun - three things I’ve missed dearly during this semester, three things I so desperately need out of my summer.

Vice President

As the president of vice for EGSA, I've certainly enjoyed my tenure during this past year. It's been interesting to see how our org has changed since I started two years ago as a green, pre-pandemic GSU rep.

I'll miss putting together these monthly newsletters with updates from my fellow execs and other campus groups, and our periodic get-togethers for mentors and other stuff we've done, like our advising panel earlier in the year. Ditto what Julian said about the carrels. 

¡Que viva Colombia!


Professionalization is a nebulous category. After a year in this role, I’ve come to think of professionalization as a space for sharing the institutional knowledge that is otherwise hidden, unwritten, or assumed. Through panels, collaborative documents, and workshops, we’ve discussed a whole range of professional concerns from teaching to navigating degree milestones and beyond, benefiting from the shared labor of peers and faculty.

Thanks to everyone who offered to share their time and professional wisdom with us this semester: Shinjini Chattopadhyay, Stacy Sivinski, Logan Quigley, Jake McGinnis, Chamara Moore, Kade Ivy, Oliver Ortega, Kristen Carlson, Dr. Susan Harris, Dr. Barbara Green, Dr. Francisco Robles, Dr. James Ford III, Dr. Alex Oxner, and last, but not least, our incoming professionalization chair Jenny Thorup.

Finally, I’ll leave you with my absolute favorite advice this year, applicable at all times and in all situations, professional or no: “don’t be an asshole.”

GSU Reps

Hi ya’ll, Marie and Kyriana here.

No more news to report ‘cept bats and things.

Thank you for having us serve as your GSU reps; it’s been a pleasure. This year has been difficult in more ways than one but we’re confident our successors - Marie (Shelton) and Laura - will do amazing work!

Bonus: here’s a kitty

We want to hear from you!
Do you have any announcements or messages you would like to share with all of us? Send to our incoming President, Sara Judy (, a quick email so we can feature your announcement in our next newsletter in August.  
Also, don't forget to visit our website! Here you will find information about our goals and even a copy of our constitution, keep up-to-date with our events by following our Google Calendar, find incredibly useful links and resources shared by our different chairs, and more!
EGSA Website
Those are all our announcements for now. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to reach out to us any time. Follow us on Facebook too, where we will be posting updates and pictures of our activities. 
We hope to see you in all our events! 

The English Graduate Student Association Board
President: Julian Dean
Vice-President: Oliver Ortega
Treasurer: Joshua Wright
PhD Professionalization Chair: Sara Judy
MFA Professionalization Chair: Valerie Vargas
Quality of Life Chair: Jake McGinnis
GSU Representatives: Marie Burns & Kyriana Lynch
Copyright © 2021 University of Notre Dame, All rights reserved.

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