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Hayley Owens is an Alice Lloyd College alumna. She began student teaching during the 2021 fall semester and graduated from ALC in the spring of 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in English Education.

Hayley has recently earned her master’s degree in English Literature, with an emphasis in Gothic Literature, while studying abroad at the University of Sheffield in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. She says her educational experience at Sheffield was “based on personal work and discussion.” Rather than having work throughout the semester, her grades were based on essays she wrote at the end of each semester. In England, Hayley only met with her professors once weekly, which is quite the change from her walk along Purpose Road, where she was able to interact with them much more.

Hayley’s favorite class at Sheffield was Romantic Gothic, in which she studied gothic authors and books like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Monk by Matthew Lewis. Outside of class, Hayley had many enjoyable experiences while in Sheffield. “One of my favorite places to go was the Botanical Gardens which was only a five-minute walk from where I lived and is where I did a lot of my reading for class.”

Hayley is grateful for Alice Lloyd College’s role in preparing her for her time in England. “ALC’s small class sizes helped to ensure that I was prepared to join discussions in a Masters level class. The classes I took there gave me a well-built background in the literature I would later be studying more in-depth. I also believe the work-study program at ALC helped in forming a strong work ethic and made me more comfortable with working in groups of people I didn’t know very well.”

Hayley is a first-generation college student and wasn’t sure what to expect in the college setting. After a visit to ALC, she knew Pippa Passes was the right place for her. “ALC felt like the perfect choice for me. I was able to stay close to home while receiving a college education in a place that felt comfortable and welcoming. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and am thankful for all the wonderful people I have gotten to meet while there as well as all the opportunities I have been given while studying there.”

Hayley is also thankful for the College’s student work program and small classes. “ALC provided me with a unique educational experience. Because it is a work-study college, I was able to graduate completely debt-free. This made the move towards higher education significantly less stressful for me.” She says ALC’s small student to teacher ratio eased her anxiety because she knew she could freely ask questions in her classes if she felt she was falling behind or was struggling with the material.

Hayley appreciates Alice Lloyd College’s support in her journey. “My time in Sheffield would not have been possible without Alice Lloyd College. My experience at ALC, the professors there, and the skills I learned while studying my bachelors prepared me for the unique experience of studying abroad. I want to thank Chancellor Stepp and President Stepp for their support, encouragement, and faith, as well as Arthur and Marlene Francis for their support and interest in my progress. These efforts have made an experience of a lifetime possible. There is nothing I would trade this past year for, and I will forever be grateful for the help I had along the way.”

Now that graduation is over, she is seeking adjunct teaching positions while she waits to begin her PhD in the near future.