Amber Elby

Location: Austin, Texas
Position, Organization: Novelist and Professor at Austin Community College
Major/Graduation: English, 2004

Current Role/Responsibilities: I am currently a professor at Austin Community College. I teach Composition and British Literature. I have also just released my debut novel, Cauldron’s BubbleWhen I’m not teaching or writing, I love to spend time with my two daughters and husband. We love to travel, so we go camping and take a lot of road trips.

Why did you major in English? I chose English because I felt, and still feel, that words have the power to change the world.

How did your degree help with your current success? The professors I had while at MSU were so inspirational and influential. Without them, I would not have been able to pursue writing professionally. They taught me to write and to believe in magic and to believe in myself. They also aided in my grad school application, which ultimately led to my graduate degree and my current success.

Words have the power to change the world.

What should current students take advantage of at MSU? Students need to build relationships with their professors. Come to office hours, even if you just chat about your cute puppy or your favorite movie. Professors have abundant knowledge, and you should partake of their wisdom whenever possible. Maybe they will become your friends, too, and you can turn to them if you need advice later in life.

Your advice to students? Again, build relationships with your professors. If you find an exceptional professor, take additional classes with him/her, even if you are indifferent about the subject. I seldom hear graduates fondly recall the material that they learned in a particular class, but people often reminisce about their favorite professors. College, in many ways, is about people more than pure information, so build relationships with those around you, and maintain those relationships as you move out into the greater world.