Name: Gabi Kirilloff
Graduation Year: 2013
What drew you to the University of Rochester’s MA program in English, and what did the program prepare you to do?
I chose the English Literature program at the University of Rochester for several reasons, including the diverse course offerings, small class sizes, and research opportunities. All of these elements not only prepared me for my PhD program, but also helped me to better understand what types of doctoral programs I was interested in. When I finished my undergraduate degree, I already knew that I would like to pursue research in the digital humanities. However, my time at the University of Rochester helped me to further refine and focus my interests.
What particular experience at the U of R would you single out as pivotal?
Working at the William Blake Archive was one of the highlights of my year in the program. Practical research experience is invaluable for any English graduate student, but is especially important for those of us working in the digital humanities. The hands-on experience I gained from working at the Archive fostered my interest in doing textual scholarship and archival work. It helped prepare me for working at the Willa Cather Archive and the Walt Whitman Archive. In addition, I know that it was my background with the Blake Archive that enabled me to enter so quickly – as only a second-year PhD student – the positions I now hold at the University of Nebraska Literary Lab (where I serve as Assistant Manager) and at Novel TM (a multi-university digital-humanities initiative on which I also work).