On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, alumnus Kileen Gilroy returned to Eastern Connecticut State University for a poetry reading followed by a Q&A session. Gilroy graduated from Eastern in 2010 with a Bachelors in English and Secondary Education, including a minor in writing. She currently teaches English at Lincoln High School in Rhode Island while writing poems and working on mixed-media projects. While at Eastern, she was the vice-president of the English Club as the Eastern Exposure’s editor-in-chief, helping to create the literary magazine’s foundations.
During the Q&A session, Gilroy discussed how the English department inspired her to keep writing. She insists that students take advantage of the services the English Department offers and establish a relationship with their professors. She discussed how students need to be self-motivated, as these classes and people matter even after graduation.
“You’re not a number here. You’re a person,” Gilroy said.
On writing, she told students to find their mentor; whether it is a professor, a close friend, or otherwise. These people will help to acknowledge the passions and inspirations that motivate students to write or major in English. After they graduate, Gilroy emphasizes that the bills and jobs that make up reality will never replace her experience at Eastern.
Through establishing relationships with professors like Donaghy and Mama, Gilroy continues to write and submit poetry. Her published works and achievements reflect their encouragement and inspiration from the English Department. Gilroy hopes for students to strive for the same experience to achieve their own goals when they graduate.