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|AEB Profile Cover|
Karen Cover AEB Profile
An English major with minor in communication.
Where are you from?
I am from Hubbard, Ohio, which is outside of Youngstown.
Where do you currently live?
I live in Solon, Ohio.
3 words to describe yourself?
Creative, analytical, meticulous.
What is the most interesting thing about you?
I decided to major in English when I was in high school and never considered anything else.
How did you find Hiram?
I filled out the Common Application and was accepted to Hiram, which I hadn’t heard of before. I only learned more about Hiram because I was invited to its scholarship day, and my mom encouraged me to attend.
What clubs were you involved in?
I was in several theatre productions and played intramural volleyball. We were the champions two years in a row!
Your favorite Hiram traditions?
I wouldn’t say these were traditions, but I enjoyed the different meal options that were available over the years. For example, when you didn’t have time to go to the dining hall for lunch, you could do Grab ‘N’ Go by using your meal swipe to get a wrap and chips at the Kennedy Center café. I also enjoyed going to the bottom of the Kennedy Center with friends for a late-night snack, but unfortunately the food service down there closed after my first year.
Every professor in the English Department! They were all accessible, helpful and caring. My advisor was Professor Kirsten Parkinson. I had a grant writing internship the summer after my sophomore year, and later that year Kirsten accepted my help drafting a grant proposal for Hiram’s first Big Read program. It was a great opportunity to apply my new skills and get useful feedback.
What is your favorite location on campus?
Bonney Castle, of course! I visited it during Alumni Weekend, and it hasn’t changed at all.
What is your favorite Hiram memory?
My favorite memory is the first time I hung out with my boyfriend, Jeremy, who was a biology major (Class of 2009). We went to Miller Dining Hall (the spring before it closed) and played pool with mutual friends in the basement of the Kennedy Center. We’ve been together ever since—over 10 years.
What is the most important thing that you learned from Hiram?
I learned to question the world around me and see it in new ways. I remember sitting in Intro to English Literature with Professor Paul Gaffney my first semester and listening to him explain semiotics. As I considered the idea that language has no intrinsic meaning, I stared at the sunlight streaming in through the open doorway and felt my perspective shift. I knew I was in the right place!
Do you feel that Hiram prepared you for your future?
Yes, attending Hiram allowed me to explore my interests and figure out what I enjoy. It also prepared me to face an uncertain future after graduation. I wasn’t sure what career I wanted, and various professors and alumni told me that it was okay to not have all the answers. I could try different jobs after graduation to figure out what I liked, and that’s what I did!
What is your current employment? Retired? What are you doing now?
I am currently the Proposal Coordinator for Sedlak Supply Chain Consultants, where I write, edit and format proposals and other types of professional documentation. I also use the marketing skills I developed at a digital advertising agency in Cleveland, where I started as a copywriting intern during my junior year at Hiram and was hired full-time after graduation. After that, I worked as a social media coordinator for the Automotive Group at UBM plc, an events and publishing company.
What do you enjoy in your spare time?
I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, taking my dog on walks, and attending free events at the library. I especially enjoy events held at Hiram! I’m currently on the Friends of the Solon Library Board of Trustees and a 2018 graduate of the Solon Citizens Police Academy.
What brought you back to Hiram, to join? — How long/ new member?—What do you like the most about your experience in AEB?
I am a new member. I wanted to join because I’ve enjoyed staying involved at Hiram since I graduated. I have served on the Resource Council for the Lindsay-Crane Center for Writing and Literature, and last year I started doing some freelance writing for the Hiram College website. I attended the last Alumni Weekend and look forward to getting more involved in alumni activities.
Anything else you would like to share?
The best thing about attending Hiram was having such excellent professors in the English Department. I specifically want to thank Kirsten Parkinson, Paul Gaffney, Jeff Swenson, Willard Greenwood, Joyce Dyer and Mary Quade. They were all incredible teachers who truly cared about their students. Whenever I talk to other English major alumni, we always reminisce about how great our classes and professors were.
I also want to emphasize how important it is to do internships in college. It’s the best thing you can do to prepare for your job search after Hiram.