Contact: Lisa Sollie
Kathryn Livingston grew up with her nose stuck in a book.
The 22-year-old, who will graduate from MSU-Meridian in May, recalls hiding accelerated reading books in between the pages of her math book so she could read every chance she got.
Then around the 4th grade she began to write books.
“My poor parents, I feel sorry for them,” she chuckled. “They had to read all of them, and some were quite awful!”
By ninth grade, Livingston knew that she either wanted to teach English or be a writer.
“I decided it was much more practical to start out as an English teacher, as I could always write on the side, if only for myself,” she noted.
“I wanted to be that teacher that didn’t just make kids read Charles Dickens, but I wanted to teach them all about language because I find it fascinating. And I really wanted to study literature, which wasn’t emphasized very much in my high school.”
When MSU-Meridian began offering a new English degree in the fall of 2011, it seemed like a natural fit for Livingston.
“For years, students at MSU-Meridian traditionally earned a B.S. degree in secondary education with a concentration in English,” said Dr. Dennis Mitchell, associate dean of the division of Arts and Sciences.
“The new B.A. degree we have now,” he added, “will provide good training for careers in law, government, business, publishing, as well as teaching and writing.”
Livingston’s goal is to teach English as a second language in Japan someday.
“Majoring in English is a good choice for Kathryn,” noted Dr. James Kelley, associate professor of English at MSU-Meridian. “Her openness to experience, coupled with course work in linguistics and Teaching English as a Second Language, will make her a strong candidate for teaching positions all over the world,” he added.
“She is also very insightful and witty, but what I’ve found most delightful about Kathryn,” said Kelley, “is her active intellect. She is constantly thinking about her world, and she has demonstrated again and again that she is able to think critically about the full range of texts that she encounters in her studies and in her life.”
Livingston realizes it may take a while before she realizes her dream, so in the meantime she will head back to school.
“I plan to apply to graduate schools to study Linguistics,” said Livingston. “I've already been stalking graduate school websites and I'm just going to hope I can get in!"
As she walks across the stage of MSU Riley Center on Friday, May 11, she will be one step closer to achieving her goal.
Last Updated: 5/17/12