Shawna Dempsey


Shawna Dempsey
Your name: Shawna Dempsey

Your home town: Fort Payne, AL

Your major(s): Linguistics/Psychology

Are you fluent in any language(s) other than English? Conversational Spanish

What are your career plans?
I am currently exploring all the possibilities that a Linguistics degree creates; however, I have always been interested in teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), which is highly-complemented by a linguistics degree. I am super passionate about teaching and language-learning. Combining these elements in teaching ESL seems to be a great option at the moment.

What is your favorite book or author and why?  A good read I always suggest to friends is the semi-autobiographical book entitled Tuesdays with Morrie, written by Mitch Albom. I read this book right after my grandma had passed away with ASL, and the main character Morrie fights ASL in the book. In his final days, Mitch visits Morrie frequently, and in return the reader gains Morrie’s newfound wisdom as he lives so close to death. The reason I would consider this book a favorite is because it is always the first book that comes to my mind when this question is asked.

What is your favorite word? Quisling

Describe a significant breakthrough in your development as a writer.
As a freshman at Emory, I took an introductory English course in which (amongst other things) I learned the art of metacommentary. The premise of metacommentary is somewhat rudimentary: one who writes also explains what they have written. Even so, it became much easier to practice this concept when given practical tools. Adding phrases like “What I mean by this is” and “to elaborate on this concept” allowed me to write well-developed essays that accurately and thoroughly dictate my thoughts and findings.