Welcome to the blog for the Villanova English department! Visit often for updates on department events, guest speakers, faculty and student accomplishments, and reviews and musings from professors and undergraduates alike.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

English Faculty in the CAVE

Members of the English department had the opportunity on Feb. 25 to experience Villanova's new CAVE virtual reality facility.

The Villanova CAVE, housed in Falvey Library, features an 18’ by 10’ by 7.5’ high enclosure in which 10-15 viewers can view three-dimensional imagery and immersive data displays. The CAVE is configurable for applications requiring projections onto three walls and the ceiling, or onto three walls and the floor.  “CAVE technology has played a key role in scientific and engineering research since its development in the 1990s, and I believe the time is right to bring its powerful visualization capabilities into more general use,” says Prof. Frank Klassner, professor of Computing Sciences and the director of the CAVE project.  Adds Klassner: “This project will contribute toward establishing a collection of dynamic imagery and video from locations around the world, not only for scientific and cultural research, but for classroom use and public appreciation as well. Placing the CAVE in a very public library setting is the key, as it will make it as easy to ‘check out’ and share locations as it has been to check out or share books.”

English Professors Brooke Hunter, Heather Hicks, and Evan Radcliffe in the CAVE with Prof. Frank Klassner

Friday, February 20, 2015

James Joyce Digital Interpretations

Last semester students in the James Joyce seminar courses, both graduate and undergraduate, worked to create a site for their interpretations of Joyce's works that make use of digital files, including images, texts, photos, maps, music, and and illustrations.  Our goal was to have our interpretive arguments go beyond the classroom and into the digital world of Joyce resources.  We'll continue to update it on the Omeka website in future years—hope you enjoy it!  Click here to visit the site, "James Joyce Digital Interpretations."

Some images from the website follow.
Joyce and Sylvia Beach at Shakespeare and Company in Paris
Joyce in the mid 1930s

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Job Opportunity for English Majors Graduating This Spring

Michael Baker Jr., Inc., a unit of Michael Baker International LLC , is seeking "an energetic and creative writer" to join its marketing team as a Proposal Coordinator in Horsham, Pa.  Baker, founded in 1940, provides professional engineering and consulting services for its clients worldwide. With nearly 3,000 employees in over 100 U.S. offices, Engineering News-Record consistently ranks Baker in the top 8 percent of the 500 largest U.S. engineering design firms and in the top 25 of numerous individual markets.   The firm's primary business areas are architecture, aviation, defense, environmental, geospatial, homeland security, municipal & civil, oil & gas, rail & transit, telecommunications & utilities, transportation, urban development and water.  Baker’s headquarters is located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh.  Baker recently became part of Michael Baker International, LLC, a leading provider of end-to-end engineering, development, intelligence and technology solutions with global reach and mobility.

Click here to read the full job description and to apply.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Internship Opportunity with Allstate

Mary McDermott, an English major who graduated in December, has sent us an announcement of a paid internship with Allstate Insurance in Malvern.  Mary herself was an intern and just became a regional business communication analyst in the corporate relations department.  Allstate, via Mary, is looking for an English major for this semester (part-time), with the possibility of continuing into the summer if mutually agreeable, though you can apply even if you’re only looking for a summer position.  The job functions mainly include media relations and internal relations, but the crucial thing is that they are looking for strong writers.  As you might guess, it’s too late in the term to receive credit for this term, but summer credit would still be a possibility.

The Internship:
Allstate Insurance Company’s Corporate Relations Team is looking for an intern to begin immediately in a paid position at its Northeast Region located in Malvern, PA.  This position can be part time this semester with the possibility of turning full time this summer if it is mutually agreeable.

Background on the Company:
Who We Are: The Allstate Corporation is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. A Fortune 100 company, with $157.5 billion in assets, Allstate sells 13 major lines of insurance, including auto, property, life and commercial. Allstate also offers retirement and investment products and banking services. Allstate is widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan. Allstate was founded in 1931 and became a publicly traded company in 1993.

Our People: The Allstate Corporation encompasses nearly 70,000 professionals. Of our employees, nearly 30 percent are minorities; 59.2 percent are women.

Our Customers: Allstate provides insurance products to more than 17 million households. We insure one out of every nine autos and one out of every eight homes in the U.S., and are one of the country’s leading life insurers.

Corporate Governance: Allstate has always had an exemplary governance program. Our commitment to strong principles and the highest ethical standards is critical to our goal of driving sustained shareholder value.

Our Network: Allstate has operations in 50 states and Canada. Customers can access Allstate products and services through Allstate agencies, Allstate.com, and 1-800-Allstate. In addition, the company’s EncompassSM and Deerbrook® brand insurance products are sold exclusively through independent agents.

History: Allstate was founded in 1931 as part of Sears, Roebuck & Co., and became a publicly traded company in 1993. At the time, the initial public offering of Allstate was the largest in U.S. history. On June 30, 1995, it became a totally independent company after Sears divested its remaining shares to Sears stockholders. On April 17, 20011 Allstate celebrated its 80th Anniversary. Allstate, based in Northbrook, Illinois, is one of the nation's leading insurers in urban areas and has supported auto and highway safety reforms including seat belts, air bags, and teen driver education. The company has won numerous awards over the years for its philanthropic and employee volunteerism efforts.

Background on the Communications Team:
Who We Are: The Allstate Corporate Relations team is a dedicated group of public relations and internal communications experts who are responsible for all company communication, to both internal audiences (employees, agents, vendors, etc.) and external audiences (news media, legislators, regulators, community leaders, etc.).  The team is headed by a Senior Manager who has a background in corporate communication, media relations, internal communication, executive support, journalism, public relations agency leadership, crisis management, and nonprofit board membership.  Other team members are former members of the news media, corporate communicators and former PR agency employees.

What We Do:
Media Relations: The Corporate Relations department handles all media relations activity, including proactive, reactive, and anticipatory.  We also handle all issues management activity.  Specific daily responsibilities include creating and distributing press releases, pitching story ideas, responding to media inquiries, identifying and preparing for potential issues to arise, and creating and fostering meaningful relationships with key reporters, editors, and producers.

Internal Communications:
The Corporate Relations department creates and manages all broad-based communication vehicles for internal audiences.  This includes e-mail communication, web-based communication, print publications, and select face-to-face communication meetings.  In addition, the department creates and implements communication strategies to help grow key business lines for the company.

Allstate Foundation: The Allstate Foundation is an independent, private, non-profit organization funded by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. Since 1952, the Foundation has developed and funded programs in communities across the United States. Today, the Foundation focuses on three areas: safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion and diversity; and economic empowerment. The Foundation also has two signature programs: teen driving and domestic violence.  The Corporate Relations department manages the charitable giving budget for our six states and partners with all charitable giving organizations to ensure strategic, long-term partnerships in the communities where we work and serve our customers.

Outline of Internship Accountabilities:
Help manage the development and implementation of Allstate’s social media strategy including monitoring and maintaining a log of social media (Twitter) content that references Allstate, and help grow positive Allstate mentions across all social media vehicles
Handle the agent press release process, including identification, creation, and dissemination of press releases highlighting local agents in their communities
Pitch local media outlets and conduct follow-up for all Allstate Agent-level news releases
Assist with video production for internal and external campaigns
Lead Allstate’s Teen Driving external outreach efforts, including partnership work with high schools, Allstate Agents, media pitching, press release creation and distribution, and measurement and tracking of results
Manage media measurement process, including Critical Mention, Google News and online news sources for web-based media mentions of Allstate to maintain a comprehensive media log and create media reports
Handle the Agency Hands in the Community grant process for the office from enrollment to press release creation, distribution and reporting
Aid the delivery of communication and public relations training for new agents
Event logistic support and onsite event logistics where possible
Other administrative duties and special projects as assigned

Intern Candidate Expectations:
Excellent writing skills
Intermediate Microsoft Office skills, including Outlook, Power Point, Excel, and Word
Outgoing personality
Ability to work flexible hours
Ability to interact with senior business leaders and members of the news media
Project and goal oriented
Driven to surpass expectations and generate excellent results
Looking to have some fun!

Professional Development Opportunity;
The ability to experience life at a Fortune 100 company
The chance to see how the work of a public relations professional helps to drive business results
Experience how a communication function and a marketing function work together to maximize their impact on business results
Access to top Allstate leaders and sales managers
Real-life development and execution of communication strategies
Opportunities to send out press releases and pitch stories to reporters
The ability to see your thoughts and ideas become printed and electronic communications that go to thousands of recipients
A chance to explore career opportunities at a large, community-minded company

Location of Internship:
Allstate Northeast Regional Office
1200 Atwater Drive
Suite 200
Malvern, PA 19355
Intern Manager: Julia Reusch, Allstate communication manager

To Apply:
Please send your resume, a cover letter and two writing samples to Mary McDermott, communication analyst, at mary.mcdermott@allstate.com.