Carol Lena Figueiredo

Carol Lena Figueiredo

( She/Her/Hers )
Literature Alumnus


Undergraduate institution: UC Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Graduated from SF State: MA in English Literature, Spring 2013

Other related SF State certificates: Certificate in Teaching of Post-Secondary Reading, February 2013. Certificate in Teaching of Composition, March 2012. I also served as the Graduate Literature Association Co-Chair in 2011-2012, where I designed and organized the graduate Explications Literature Conference; workshops for graduate students; social events; and helped produce the graduate literature journal, Interpretations.

Current employer/position: Lecturer, Writing Program, UC Santa Cruz. Founder and Principal Consultant, Rise Development Consulting.

My Lecturer appointment at UC Santa Cruz allows me to teach composition and literature/humanities courses to a delightful student body, as well as to participate in departmental work, such as assessing and placing incoming freshmen. In my view, the ability to develop and evaluate complex arguments is one of the most valuable tools a college education can offer. I really enjoy fostering intellectual independence and critical awareness in students through open debate in the classroom. Social justice and civic consciousness tend to remain at the center of my courses. It’s so much fun to witness the blossoming of curiosity, critical thinking and writing skills as students engage with issues that matter in their own lives!

I also run a fund-raising consultancy, where the writing, research and organizational skills I learned at SF State really help me to build compelling fund-raising grant proposals and appeals – fast! The SF State English Department’s student-centered approach taught me a lot about how to truly listen and collaborate – transferable skills that serve me well in working with a variety of nonprofits.

I am amazed at how much I learned about teaching, literature and critical thinking during my MA and certificate training at SF State. That knowledge is central to all of the work I do today. I relished my time in the program – the warmth, generosity and brilliance of the English Department faculty made it a joyful experience. I strive to bring the same level of passion, pleasure and perspicacious inquiry to my own professional work.