Doctoral Student/Teaching Assistant at the University of Texas at Austin
Bryanna Barerra graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in English. While at Carthage, she received two Mabel Benson Dupriest awards, three Academic All-American awards, and three Women’s Lacrosse Scholar Athlete awards, but she took away much more than that. Ms. Barerra is ever grateful for the liberal arts education she received at Carthage, preparing her for not only success in her major, but for insight into a multitude of other disciplines, giving her a “wonderful amount of background knowledge” in the courses she takes as a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin.
Having such inspirational faculty like Professors Alyson Kiesel, Shannon Brennan, and Maria Carrig helped Ms. Barerra attain the confidence she needed to apply to doctorate programs. Because of their unwavering support, Ms. Barerra is a first-year doctoral student in the English Department at UT-Austin, and she teaches multiple discussion sections of a lower-level English course.
“I never met a Carthage faculty member who did not welcome me into their office to discuss any ideas or concerns I had, and what I have gained from these conversations is invaluable.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I have most enjoyed continuing my role as a student in higher academia while also having the opportunity to teach the content that I am so passionate about. It is a really wonderful relief to oscillate between the role of student and teacher, and this allows me to maintain a wholesome perspective of both positions.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“Being able to take out-of-department classes in abundance is an aspect of my Carthage experience that I think has prepared me very well for my current role as a doctoral student. I was exposed to a lot of different topics that inspired my current research interests, and it especially was helpful in learning time management skills as I found that out-of-department and English Department classes offered different types of homework/workload.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“One of my current courses I am taking is an Ecocritical Theory course, meaning we are reading literature with a prioritization of ideas of the environment. As part of the liberal arts education at Carthage, I was able to take classes outside of my home department, two of those classes concerning environmental science, which have given me a really wonderful amount of background knowledge that has proved to be incredibly insightful in the setting of this course.”