Amber Steiger

Alumna Amber Steiger

“I always felt heard in my English classes. MCC’s humanities division does a wonderful job of creating space for all students to learn, share ideas, and grow.”

Alumni Amber Steiger took several English classes at MCC—Women’s Literature, Girl Talk, Creative Writing, The Bible as Literature, Comp I and II—and loved them all deeply.

“The humanities division overall was a place I felt at home,” said Steiger. “That’s a quality that can be hard to come by; students come in at varying stages of learning, confidence, and need, so when you have a team of people who create an accessible model of education that benefits students in and out of the classroom, you have something truly special.”

During her time at MCC, Steiger even worked with English and Literature instructor Kate Midday to build a class of her own, an independent study that focused on digging deeper into the lives of women experiencing different intersections of identity.

“We dove into a semester filled with new ideas—and a lot of work—that still impacts the work I do today,” Steiger said. “We created a syllabus together, and throughout the semester I independently read and researched 12 different novels/authors and developed a thesis I would then prove at our symposium at the end of the semester. It was a lot of digging, discussing, and figuring out the best ways to highlight the need for a diverse set of educational materials at varying levels of schooling.”

English classes often teach from archives of writing and art on the humanness of experience across an array of identities and places, she continued.

“You can build on skills in your own personal life that have to do with communication, understanding, and independently finding your own credible answers to questions or problems. You can also branch out and encounter a wider range of stories and experiences of others that you maybe wouldn’t have before.”

MCC’s literature and composition classes also prepared Steiger for other classes that entailed any kind of reading, research, or writing.

“Something people don’t often fully realize when choosing MCC is the amount of attention and dedication students receive from faculty who are scholars in their own right and masters in their field. That doesn’t happen as readily at four-year bigger institutions. The accessibility and availability of MCC English professors in helping me build skills and learn how to communicate professionally, clearly, and with my own voice is something I’ll carry into my upcoming thesis work.”  

After graduating from MCC in 2018, Steiger continued on to pursue her bachelor’s degree in English and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She recently accepted a spot to complete a master’s program in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with full funding to complete her degree.

“I am still running toward a future as a professor in the humanities and am excited about this next step,” she said. “I am eternally grateful to MCC for the education I was given, and the support I still continue to receive from peers and former professors.”