Meet our Students: Kelly Keener

Kelly Keener


Hometown: Cary, NC

Year: Senior, class of ‘20

Major: English Major with a Concentration in Literature


What are some of your favorite classes?

There are so many to choose from! If I had to name just three, I would have to start with Chaucer (ENG 451), American Romanticism (ENG 468), and Literature and Medicine (ENG 232).

What are some of your interests? Do you participate in any activities or student groups?

I focus on a lot of independent research outside of the classroom, particularly in relation to 19th century American literature and 1830-40s history.

Who in the English Department has made the biggest impact on you?

I owe my utmost gratitude to Drs. Anne Baker, Jennifer Nolan, Margaret Simon, James Knowles, and Lindsey Andrews for making my North Carolina State University experience memorable. I came to State as a transfer student, and these individuals greatly helped to positively shape my experience here and as an English major. These individuals show dedication to their work, and the effort they put towards their students does not go unnoticed. Their courses were a pleasure to take, as their eagerness, passion, kindness, and knowledge were greatly apparent during each lesson. The knowledge I have gained from their courses is something I will take with me as I move forward with my future goals. I also wish to mention Dr. Gene Melton, who has been an exemplary advisor during my past few years at State. His knowledge of the department is outstanding, and his expert guidance has also helped to shape my experience at State into a positive one.

What are your career goals?

I anticipate attending grad school, where I hope to explore either Museum Studies or Library Science.

Why did you decide to pursue a degree in the Humanities and Social Sciences?

I transferred in as an Art History major. Because this option is currently not available at State, and wanting to stay within the same realm, I switched to English: Literature, which I knew would be a perfect fit. The department is friendly and the classes are exciting.

So far, what has been your greatest challenge?

As corny as it sounds, I had to weigh precedence over certain courses each semester as I couldn’t fit all of the ones I wanted to take in my schedule at once. It’s difficult to attend two great classes when they’re being taught at the same time! Also, anticipating courses taught only in the spring or fall was a struggle.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

Be kind to yourself during your college career. Focus on what brings you joy, and work with the knowledge you already have. Don’t be afraid to build or expand upon what you already know, and never hesitate to ask for help from your professors or advisor. Everybody at State is eager to help if you take the initiative to ask. State has so many opportunities, and once you find your niche (I am positive you will) I promise you will feel enriched by the memories and knowledge you take away from what you’ve learned and the people you’ve met.

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