Sarah Marcus, a 2007 Miami honors alumna, went to press with her new collection of narrative poetry in May this year. Her chapbook, BACKCOUNTRY, integrates her love of lyric language with her interest in the wilderness. Getting published just a year after she finished her Masters of Fine Arts from George Mason University is pretty impressive, but Sarah has not slowed in the slightest since then.
When she was a student at Miami, Sarah studied Creative Writing, which she supplemented with a Middle East Islamic minor. As a transfer student to Miami, she was eager to join the Honors Program due to the academic rigor, and, looking back, she says, “I don’t think I would’ve made it through college without the Honors Program; it was the highlight of my experience at Miami.” Her honors thesis project allowed her to explore her interests in advocating for sexual assault survivors without tying the work to a specific major or minor. Sarah attributes this freedom to explore her interests and many of the professional relationships that she forged during her undergraduate career at Miami to her continued successes these days.
Immediately following her graduation from Miami, she packed her bags for Washington D.C. and began her work in public relations and strategic communications for nonprofit organizations. After a while, once she began her Masters program, Sarah discovered a passion for teaching and affecting change in students’ lives. Sarah has since become an adjunct faculty member, teaching introductory poetry and creative writing courses as well as courses in advanced composition at Cleveland State University, Cuyahoga Community College, and Notre Dame College.
Looking ahead, Sarah has her sights set on a younger audience. In her introductory courses she has observed some deficiencies in incoming students for college level composition and writing, and she is excited to help students get started on the right track. This fall, she will begin a career in high school education helping to establish a strong literary foundation for students aspiring to college.
Always looking for a forum to reach out and inspire students, Sarah believes that college, honors, and life are all what one makes of them, and she encourages young persons to look for and take advantage of the many opportunities that exist in each. Sarah notes that students who are just beginning their college journeys are poised to pursue activities that matter, “not just as resume builders,” she says. “All the experiences I had at Miami, especially those in the Honors Program, helped shape the kind of person I’ve become, the career paths I’ve taken, and the people I’ve interacted with after college.”