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Alumni Spotlight: Breanne LeJeune

Alumni Spotlight: Breanne LeJeune

Current job title 
Communications Specialist for The Ohio State University Department of English, the Center for the Study of Teaching and Writing, and the Center for Folklore Studies.


Describe your current position 
My job primarily consists of conducting research and creating and executing campaign strategies; brand development and graphic design; writing poster copy, web content and feature stories; website design, content development, and management; social media content development and management; undergraduate recruitment strategy development and execution; alumni and donor communication; event planning, coordination, and promotion; and collaborating with the college and university marketing teams. I also supervise a student communications team of four English majors who help fulfill the day-to-day communications needs of the department.


To what extent does writing relate to your current position? / What type of writing/design do you do for work? 
In some form or another, I write and design every single day, often simultaneously, which is my preference. I pursued training in graphic design, photography, and book arts throughout my undergraduate and graduate education, and working in marketing allows me to maximize these interests. I am responsible for writing and designing for web, social media, e-communication, college- and university-level communication; and print marketing. I design posters, flyers, postcards, books, newsletters, etc., which requires me to think carefully about the relationship between text and image to most effectively capture my audience's attention and communicate information clearly, creatively, quickly, and persuasively.

I write short copy for posters and college announcements; develop messaging strategy and style, write content for social media (Twitter and Facebook), write copy for email campaigns, and write feature stories for e-newsletters and print magazines. I also perform a lot of proofreading and editing of my student team's work. Often, I have to translate the same message across five or six different platforms. This requires a strong understanding of rhetoric--the key to the universe!--a concept I first became acquainted with through my work in the GVSU Writing Center.


Please briefly describe your path from graduation at GVSU to your current position. 
After graduating from GVSU, I attended the University of Alabama, where I earned an MFA in creative writing (poetry & nonfiction) in 2011. From 2011 to 2015, I worked as an early childhood educator in Columbus, Ohio, and then in Kalamazoo, Michigan. From 2015-16, I worked at the Western Michigan University Writing Center and in the Department of Geology, where I managed graduate admissions, taught graduate-level writing workshops, helped design a new writing curriculum, consulted on writing pedagogy, guest taught, and fulfilled all of the department's marketing needs. In late 2016, I began work at Ohio State in the position I hold now.


What parts of the writing major had the strongest impact on you as a professional? 
I had an overwhelmingly positive experience as a writing major at GVSU. I chose to attend GVSU because it was a writing program and not an English program with a writing emphasis. In this way, I benefited from an in-depth education in two different creative writing genres (poetry and nonfiction) and from working with enthusiastic and supportive professors. I also worked in the Writing Center for several years, which was absolutely invaluable. I got to know other ambitious writers from across the university, learned how to teach and articulate writing to a wide variety of learners, and, through leading workshops in classrooms, I got to observe and learn from the teaching styles of countless writing faculty. This experience helped to increase my awareness of my own writing, writing process, and teaching approach--all of which gave me leg up in graduate school where I also worked in a writing center before teaching composition, research and argumentation, literature, and creative writing classes. Lastly, I also took advantage of the opportunity to work on the editorial staff of fishladder, and I coordinated the Student Reading Series, both of which gave me valuable administrative experience.


What advice would you offer to current/future writing majors at Grand Valley? 
1) Begin your major classes early, and get to know the writing faculty (visit office hours!).

2) Take advantage of the extracurricular opportunities the department has to offer: Join the staff of a literary magazine (or two or three!); attend readings, give readings, and help coordinate readings; and work at the Writing Center.

3) Cultivate interests in non-writing-related subjects. Take your GE classes seriously: research all of your options and take classes that sound interesting or that you might not otherwise ever consider. Having the freedom to explore new subjects and ideas is what a liberal arts education is all about, and it is particularly important for writers. One of the most important classes I ever took at GVSU was a GE course about the scientific revolution.


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Page last modified February 20, 2018