Senior Profile: Shannon McClellan

What is your preferred name and major(s) and minor(s)?

Shannon McClellan. English major with minors in Writing and Spanish

What are some of the jobs you held at McDaniel?

Writing Center Tutor, Student Ambassador, Swim Instructor and Lifeguard

What organizations were you part of at McDaniel?

Honors Program, Women’s Swim Team, Trumpeter’s, Contrast Editorial Board, Sigma Tau Delta

How much did you enjoy your time at McDaniel?

Most of my favorite memories come from the relationships and connections I made in the English department and through swimming. The classes I took in the English department were always the highlight of my semester and enriched me both academically and personally. I also enjoyed being able to come back to swimming after a four year hiatus, which allowed me to challenge myself physically as well, while making lifelong friendships with my teammates.

Who do you think is/was your best mentor(s)?

My coach, Jeff Hiestand, and my advisor, Dr. Kate Dobson, were by far my most influential and meaningful mentors throughout my time at McDaniel. Jeff supported all of my endeavors outside of the pool, but made sure to push me beyond what I thought possible for myself in swim practice and competition. As Kate and I worked more together, she became an inspiration for my academic goals, a cheerleader for my life plans, and a compassionate listening ear.

What were some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overome them?

One of my most daunting challenges was my senior seminar paper. I had never really been afraid of writing long papers (instead, I embraced them), but the intellectual risks I took with my research and work really challenged me to grow up, so to speak, into the serious rhetorician and academic that I had always hoped I could become. Long conversations and emails to Kate helped me to keep focused when I could have gone the easier route when things got tough or senioritis hit a little too hard.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I plan to work for a year while studying for the GRE and applying to graduate schools for a Rhetoric, Writing, and Discourse studies program. I plan to continue my senior seminar work to hopefully bridge some multidisciplinary gaps within the realm of multilingual writing and teaching. I also plan to join a master’s swimming team to continue competing and swimming. Hopefully, I’ll get a puppy sometime in the near future with my boyfriend, Bradley Brooks.

What is your best memory at McDaniel? What is your worst memory at McDaniel?

My favorite memory at McDaniel? Ok, I need to break that up into categories. My personal-academic favorite memory was presenting my senior seminar work to both the English dept and my Senior Honors Colloquium class. Never before had I felt so confident in my abilities as someone who could keep asking questions and think of creative ways to learn more about or solve those problems. My personal-social memory was probably my study abroad experience in Madrid, Spain. While this did not count for academic credit as I was working as a live-in au pair for a Spanish family, I grew and learned so much about myself, relationships, my family, and the world during my ten weeks abroad. My worst memory? Probably my first B+ in a literature class.

What advice can you give to those not graduating?

To those of you who still get to be at McDaniel after I graduate: I want you to enjoy it. Please do things that make you happy and spend time with those people who give you joy. Sometimes I didn’t do things with my friends or things that I wanted to do because I was too concerned with homework. While I don’t regret those decisions because I am proud of what I have accomplished academically, I have spent my past few weeks as a senior at McDaniel hanging out with my friends and exploring Westminster and just being happy and silly. That has shown me how important it is to remember to live even though we have school responsibilities. It’ll all get done, but don’t sacrifice yourself to get it accomplished. Enjoy it :]