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Meg Rooney portrait

Meg Rooney

Class of 2022

Major: Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Minors: Honors Interdisciplinary Studies; English

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

High School: Glen Allen High

Highlights: Lived in Shenandoah Hall freshman year as part of the Honors Residential Learning Community; JMU Safe Rides; InterVarsity Christian Fellowship; JMU Club Softball; worked in the JMU Alumni Office

Meg Rooney has changed her JMU major five times.

She’s still graduating in four years.

The changes have helped her firm up what she hopes to do with her future. Next up is Emory University for a prestigious Master of Divinity degree. Eventually, she wants a doctorate and a college professorship.

So how'd you end up choosing your ultimate major?
I have always had a passion and love for writing. And I loved how the Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication program allows for many different routes. You can go with technical communication. You can also go with writing and rhetoric, which focuses more on personal narrative and storytelling—and I love that whatever I did with that, I could use after JMU with whatever profession I ultimately choose to pursue.

You’ve traveled quite an academic path.
I first started Undecided. Then I thought, well, I love politics, I love reading about politics—and chose International Affairs.

What came next?
And then I really got excited about the Justice Studies major after learning about that, and just how the social justice aspect was a huge part of the concentrations that you can choose with that. And eventually, I ended on the WRTC as a minor at first because I just have a passion for writing, I thought it would be useful in that Justice Studies field and possibly going to law school.

And then you switched to English?
I thought I was going to be an English teacher for high school students. And so I thought, well, I need to have English as my major and then secondary education as my minor.

“I have written a personal narrative, a story about my life. I’ve written cultural commentaries and political op-eds. And I’ve also had a content strategies course. WRTC seems to offer a very real-world perspective.”

Eventually, it was the writing that won out.
Writing was always something that I kept. And I asked myself, well, why am I changing my major so often when I'm never changing my minor? Because I love it so much. I love the professors in the WRTC program. They're just wonderful professors that care about you and that want to help you. So after that, I changed my major of English to my minor of English, and my writing as my major. Interestingly maybe, I have always kept my Honors Interdisciplinary Studies minor throughout college.

What’s next after JMU?
I plan on working in the nonprofit ministry field for a few years before I go back to school to pursue my doctorate in rhetoric, language, theology, or the interconnectedness of them. I'm hoping to get my doctorate at Oxford University because it’s a great program. Hopefully, I plan on getting a job at a university or seminary.

Is there more to your major than only writing?
Oh definitely. The curriculum includes a lot of social media and just fun social media management, but technical skills and a lot of hard technical skills that you can learn in those areas as well.

Are there specifics for a master’s degree next?
I'm going to Emory University to pursue my master's in Divinity at the Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Georgia.

JMU's campus in the fall

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