“At Franciscan, it’s possible to explore every side of a work of literature in a way other universities can’t — in the light of truth, in the full context of the author’s intent, with no fear of that exploration,” says Julia Keena. “To scholars serious about literature, that is priceless.”Julia earned her BA in Western and World Literature with a minor in writing. “The faculty here is extraordinarily helpful. They were as excited about learning as I was,” she recalls. She describes the department as being very involved in students as individuals and committed to the pure exploration of art. “It’s an intimate learning process where teachers give unique guidance,” she explains.“The big works are important to me, like Crime and Punishment. Dostoyevsky always has a special place for me. We explored all the crevices of his work,” says Julia. She also loves short stories by Nikolai Gogol, has a “soft spot” for Romantic literature, and wrote her thesis on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
“If you love something and you’re good at it, it could be easy,” says Julia. “But Franciscan challenged me in a way I wouldn’t have expected. It opened me to new things in the best possible way.”
Julia laughs as she says that every liberal arts major has a “mini heart attack” at graduation time. “But in the environment at Franciscan, I realized the study is good in itself and I would see what God wanted me to do.” It was not long before Julia found her path toward a professional career. With degree in hand, she quickly landed a position in patient education with Pinnacle Health in Marlborough, Massachusetts. She coordinates with physicians, explains health care programs to patients, and designs marketing and informational materials.
“Every job requires good communication,” Julia reflects. “Filling your head with excellent literature makes you a better communicator.” Her degree has been helpful not only professionally but in her sharpened ability to read well and process new information and experiences. “I’m only one year out, but it’s not scary anymore,” she says. “I have many more places to go in my life.”