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English Spotlight

Katie Bartlett Pagan: Going Places, Going Home

Katie pagan“A liberal arts program allows you to do so many different things. I got to test the waters of cultural anthropology, take a lifetime fitness course in France, write creatively in Irish castles, and observe at a variety of local schools.”

Katie Bartlett Pagan ’06 traveled the world and found the road led back to Kentucky.

Her time at Transylvania included a May term in France and another in Ireland. Four months after her graduation with a major in English and minors in secondary education and history, she moved to Swansea, Wales, and earned a master’s degree in English (with honors). After that she worked a year as a nanny in the small German village of Osterbach.

Her study abroad while a student paved the way for her post-graduation travels. “That definitely helped me in my decision to move to Wales and Germany,” she said, “and helped me get through some rough times missing family and friends.”

Her intention all along, however, had been to return to her high school to teach whenever the opportunity arose. In April 2008, Pagan “moved back home and began working as the computer lab coordinator at Owensboro Catholic High School.

“I began teaching English at OCHS that following fall and have been there since. I now teach English, theater, and creative writing and am in charge of the theater department.” In addition to those responsibilities, Pagan is also pursuing a master’s degree in school counseling.

She says the decision to come to Transylvania was an easy one.

“There was no question as to where I would go to college,” she said. “Growing up with horses and showing them in Lexington, we would always pass Transylvania on the way to The Red Mile or the Horse Park. I loved the look of the school; I loved the class sizes; I loved that it was in Lexington. I went to visit with my mom and some friends. I walked on Transylvania’s campus and, as corny as it sounds, I felt like I was home.”

Her college experience was all she hoped it would be. “Tay Fizdale and Martha Gehringer were probably the two most influential professors I had as an English major. Everything they said made sense to me. They always treated me with respect and humored me with all of my questions.”

Pagan has some advice for students new to Transylvania.

“Try something once. Travel during May term, if you can. Take that class that sounds interesting even if your friends aren’t in it. It will probably fill a requirement and you may meet an awesome professor or find your minor.”

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