English Ph.D. Alumni Spotlight: Jake McGinnis ('22)

Author: Blake Holman

Jake Mcginnis
Jake McGinnis is Assistant Professor of Humanities at Graceland University, where he teaches courses in English, Environmental Humanities, and Writing. His work supports interdisciplinary majors in Sustainability Studies and Social Change.  After obtaining his degree, Jake transitioned directly into this this tenure-track role. 

When asked about the value of the English program in his life and career,  Jake writes:

More than anything else, the PhD program gave me the time and space to think. Those years were crucial in developing my skills as a teacher and a scholar, but more importantly, they allowed me to build a foundation that I'll continue working on in years to come.

He encourages current and prosective Ph.D. students to view their course of study as a gift—an incredible privilege to study literature, pursue your own projects, teach classes, and be mentored by exceptional faculty. "Don't take that for granted." 
The Ph.D. program seemingly ends with the disseration, but Jake's case makes clear that it is more truly a beginning for ongoing work as a researcher, teacher, or writer. He is currently working on a book that explores nineteenth-century US travel writing and the roots of US environmental thinking.