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SVC English major presents at National Undergraduate Literature Conference

by Public Relations | May 18, 2023

LATROBE, PA – When Dr. Dennis McDaniel, an English professor at Saint Vincent College (SVC), approached Elizabeth Elin, C’23, a then-senior English and theology double major, with an opportunity to read her thesis at the National Undergraduate Literature Conference, she admitted she’d never heard of the conference before. Nevertheless, not one to shirk an opportunity presented to her, she submitted her paper to the conference and found herself virtually presenting it a short while later at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. 

“I was honored that Dr. McDaniel suggested I submit to the conferenceand to be selected to present,” she confessed. “I was excited to participate in a national conference and share my work with English students across the country.” 

Eager to connect works within both of her majors, Elin found interesting connections between the classic novel “Paradise Lost” by John Milton and the Psalter. In taking her original paper to one of her Theology professors, Dr. Catherine Petrany-Briola, she was able to utilize one of Dr. Petrany-Briola’s works to set the foundation for her thesis and speak on the multidirectional originally coined in her work. Expanding said paper from her Honors British Reminiscence Literature course, her senior thesis sought to “[explore] multivocality and multidirectional speech, a pedagogical tool in the Psalter, within Paradise Lost” to “[illuminate] Satan's rhetorical temptation of Eve and further [demarcate] her from Adam.”


Elin said that she has SVC and its professors to thank for helping her reach her place in life and that her engagement with her professors is one reason she loves SVC.

“The support and wisdom of my professorslike Dr. McDanielhas been invaluable in preparing me for experiences like the National Undergraduate Literature Conference, as well as my academic work, and in igniting my career in publishing,” she remarked.

With help from both professors, Elin crafted a thesis to be proud of, one that she’ll carry with her long after she’s graduated. Along with creating a paper she won’t forget, she also gained real-world skills that she can utilize later in life thanks to the conference.  

“Presenting at the NULC helped improve my public speaking skills,” she explained. She continued that her major also granted her the critical thinking, analytical and reading and writing skills that will help her immensely in her career after graduation, attributing her success to both the conference and the College.

When asked about her plans after graduation, she indicated that she would be joining the Liturgical Press as their Production Coordinator. The Liturgical Press is an international press based out of Collegeville, MN, that focuses on printing works in “prayer and spirituality, Scripture, liturgy, theology and [the] monastic life.”

“I'm excited to start my career at a Benedictine institution as renowned as Liturgical Press, drawing upon my studies in both English and theology and my formative experiences at Saint Vincent,” she expressed.

“I'm grateful,” she continued, “to everyone who helped me get to this point, including my professors in each of my majors.” She further explained that without their help, she never would have reached this point in her life.   

Although Elin could never have known where the conference and her thesis would take her, she’s already growing to new heights. We wish Elin luck on her journey after SVC, and we can’t wait to see what other exciting adventures she goes on to enjoy.


-Madison Kozera, English major, of Abingdon, MD