Thursday, December 20, 2018

[233] ‘MTSU On the Record’ examines English majors’ value in labor market

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. —The chair of MTSU’s largest department will explode some myths about the people who major in his discipline on the next “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Stephen Severn, who leads the Department of English, will air from 9:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, and from 6 to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and

A study released this year by the Association of Departments of English found that numbers of English majors are at their lowest level in 30 years. Severn disputes the notion that majoring in English in college will result in a direct trip to the unemployment line.

“Survey after survey says that what employers are really looking for … is communication skill, particularly written communication skill,” Severn said. “They’re looking for a strong work ethic, which our majors have, and they’re looking for research and analytical abilities, which is what we really do.”

Severn took over the department in August. The Baltimore, Maryland, native brings a unique background to his academic life. Severn served for five years as an officer in the United States Navy Nuclear Power Program, during which time he completed a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf aboard the U.S.S. Arkansas. He earned his doctorate in English language and literature from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2004.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, go to

For more information about the radio program, contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800. 

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