English Department Alumna Pamela Morse Joins Division of Research

January 7, 2014

Pamela R. Morse, an alumna of the English department, joined the division of research in October in a newly created role as director of communications. She has worked at the University of Maryland for seven years. 

Pamela graduated from the University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Women’s Studies. Within the department, she took a class with Linda Kaufman, who Pamela believes greatly influenced her writing.  

“My writing was at a plateau and she took me screaming and kicking to the next level,” said Pamela.

“Her public critiques were brutal, but they prepared me for a career where one needs to depersonalize criticism. Chances are that no one will ever care as much about your writing in the career world as much as your professors will. Take advantage of the opportunities to work with people like Dr. Kaufman who want you to succeed.”  

In addition to her time spent with Linda, Pamela developed invaluable skills in her English literature classes. She notes her ability to write, edit, connect larger themes, perform close readings, understand and recreate the tone and style of documents, and humanize or dehumanize technical writing, among some of the skills she received.  

Pamela advises students to pay no attention to those who ask, “What on earth are you going to do with an English major?” She urges majors to pursue difficult things, surround themselves with great mentors that will push them past their comfort zones, to take risks, make mistakes, and fail miserably.  

As director of communications in the Division of Research, Pamela’s focus is on developing a strategic communications strategy for the division that integrates units from across campus, working closely with college communicators and the Office of University Communications.  

“Faculty on this campus are not only some of the best in the world, but they are passionate about their work—using strategic communications to translate that passion increases our name recognition and research reputation, attracting even more of the best minds to UMD,” said Pamela.  

She believes that research stories are human stories, whether the research is basic or applied. Pamela sees the relation between literary themes and her job on a daily basis, citing the quest for discovery, struggles with nature and other adversities, sacrifice and reward, and chaos and order as a few examples.  

Pamela’s love for English literature stays with her today. Her son’s middle name is Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird and she still reads anything she can get her hands on. Lately, she visits www.longreads.com and McSweeney’s, but is welcome to suggestions at her email address: pmorse@umd.edu.