Senior Profile: Aaron Riley (’17)


By Ryan Calamia (’19)

It was a busy and chaotic Wednesday afternoon in the Learning Commons, with students running around grabbing food and beverages before their next class. Aaron and I had agreed to meet up in the Learning Commons to prepare this article on his life here at Marywood. Aaron Riley is a senior English major at Marywood University. He chose English because he “likes to read from time to time and likes writing.”

Growing up, Aaron has always been a fan of the fantasy genre, especially books on Arthurian legends. After reading these types of books, he wrote his first book, and this excursion into writing spearheaded his interest in writing by turning it into a hobby. Aaron decided to come to Maywood because he had an interest in writing as well as reading and stated that “Marywood would help me expand on my writing.” One of the hardest things he has to deal with as an English major is “finding evidence to incorporate into my essays that support [his] topic.” Part of the process for college seniors to graduate is to create a senior capstone. Aaron’s capstone topic is familiar as well as brave He is taking King Lear, Richard III, and Macbeth (three of Shakespeare’s plays) and is going to focus on the fate of the characters, how the characters try and change their fate, and what happens to them because they are trying to change their fate. Aaron was guided to also look at the social class of the characters as well as the gender of the characters and connect the three seemingly different characters to each other.

With regard to what he wants to do after college, Aaron said, “I am planning on looking for employment in the Scranton area as a writer for a newspaper to become financially stable before attending graduate school to get a masters in English.” His dream is to write for a newspaper or become a published author. His parting advice to people new to the English major is to “be prepared for a lot of analysis and critical reading. Practice analyzing books so you are able to use what you analyzed in your papers.” Aaron enjoyed all of his classes and teachers; however, he does not have a favorite in his four years here at Marywood.


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