I graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2000. I seem to have received my first English Department newsletter in June of 2018. Like many newsletters, it's a PDF, complete with profiles of staff, grad students, and undergrad students. It seems like a very good newsletter, at least by year 2000 standards, but something much more important could be done with UWM (and many other) college department newsletters.
College websites get all kinds of hits. Links from a college website could be very important to current and former students trying to establish themselves as writers. Perhaps a copy of the UW-MILWAUKEE newsletter I received is also on the website somewhere. If not, it should be. But it's much more than just that.
I am sure my university has thousands of English graduates who don’t necessarily want full profiles written in newsletters but could benefit from having links to social media profiles, websites, author profiles, Amazon books, and so on. If I’m somehow on a mailing list for the English Department, I am also in a database, and that database can be used to contact all former students to see which links from their names should exist, even if it’s a link to the Baker’s Square website.
The deal is that most of us graduates don’t really give a rat’s ass about a profile of an undergrad who participated in some kind of writing challenge. The undergrads might say the same about me, but that should not be true. Students who are looking to receive an English degree surely ought to see what jobs await them.
This isn’t just about UW-Milwaukee, of course. UW-Eau Claire, where I got my certification to teach, as well as 15 more English credits, should have a similar system. I sent alumni profiles into each of these two fine institutions without a profile written or even a response, probably because I have never donated any money to help build brand new buildings I’ll never see. In the case of UW-Eau Claire, I just finished paying for my time there (student loan) in 2018, even though I received my teaching certification back in 2002, so I think the school owes me even if I don’t answer any phone calls from the 715.
It’s possible that other departments will want to follow suit, but I assume English, Film, Dance, Art, and other artsy majors should all be required to list all graduates and what they’re doing as part of the graduate’s portfolio. This website could certainly use the links from UWM and UWEC. And I do deserve them for listening to so many self-important lectures over the years, even if only a few of those were in the English Department.
Assuming there was some kind of profile on UW-Milwaukee's site for me, let's see what it might say:
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 2000 graduate with Honors in English from UW-Milwaukee. 2002 teacher certification from UW-Eau Claire. Taught for twelve years at Menomonee Falls High School--contract not renewed for unknown reasons, facilitated by Act 10. Husband to Lisa and father of two children. Currently working as writer, website developer, curriculem designer, and home maintenance engineer.
McNewsy - creative writing
Real Wisconsin News - satire
Amazon Author Page - Brian Jaeger
Passive Ninja - web design for small businesses
Brave New Church - web design for churches
Luthernet - web design for Lutherans
New Jax Witty - local Jacksonville blog
Educabana - educational resources
Sitcom Life Lessons - lessons learned in sitcoms
Epic Folktale - ghosts and monsters
Wild West Allis - every story ever written about West Allis, WI