Sharon Rosenblatt is Director of Communications at Accessibility Partners

Sharon Rosenblatt graduated from the University with a degree in English Language and Literature in 2010 and has since gone on to become the Director of Communications for Accessibility Partners, a Washington, D.C. technology start-up that focuses on making technology accessible for people with disabilities.

Initially entering the University as a Jewish Studies major as a freshman, Sharon realized that her coursework and electives gravitated towards literature and she switched to English as her major and Jewish Studies as her minor. As a student in the Department, Sharon learned to value audience in her writing.

“I could tailor my writing to anyone as long as I could empathize with them,” says Sharon. “Easier said than done, of course,” she adds.

The alumna credits ENGL 391 and 392 for teaching her the power of audience. She also fondly remembers Professor John Auchard’s ENGL 440, “The Novel in America to 1914,” which she describes as an “English boot camp.” In this course, students were required to research a word in an early American novel and explain the etymology of the word in relation to the novel.

“My incompetence showed,” says Sharon.

“Professor Auchard is fair man and explained why I didn’t do so well.  I took that grade in stride and learned that word choice is a meticulous struggle for writers, even Herman Melville. I didn’t identify that at first, but now, I hear Professor Auchard in my head when I select words for my business writing.”

After graduation, Sharon used Quickbooks from the Career Center and eventually met her current boss, Dana Marlowe. Dana thought Sharon’s email asking for a job was well-written and Sharon interned for the company writing press releases and articles before she was eventually hired full time in September of 2010. She now serves as the Director of Communications.

Sharon wants to abolish the notion that STEM fields are limited to those students who fall under the acronym. She believes that working in technology should not require a specific degree, but a passion and desire to change society. In her current position, Sharon works alongside developers, engineers, and designers.

“The only thing that stood in my way was society’s view that an English major had no place working alongside a coder,” says Sharon in an article she wrote titled, “Coders Need Not Apply: Why Technology Needs English Majors.”

Today, Sharon still uses the lessons and skills she learned in the Department in her technological career at Accessibility Partners.

In her current position, Sharon uses the power of rhetoric on a daily basis. She writes proposals and publishes in press outlets about technology and disability, which proves her company’s ethos. On the phone and in training documents, Sharon uses pathos to help her clients improve their posture and empathize with people with disabilities. Lastly, Sharon says she uses logos in word choice and language style, and says logos is the best way to structure her writing, whether press release, tweet, blog, or grant nomination.

“That rhetoric pyramid is tattooed in my brain. Never forget English 101!” Sharon says.

In addition to her career and her background as an English major, Sharon is passionate about running and has run quite a few road races with her boss, Dana.

Sharon Rosenblatt's Advice to Students:

"First of all, you will get a job if you’re a hard worker. Don’t feel pushed to another major because some article said that’s where the high earners are. It’s okay to get a job outside of your field, and don’t worry if the job posting doesn’t call out English majors. That being said, keep yourself grounded. When I graduated, I encountered many recent grads who assumed a job was something they were entitled to receive. We were all entry level at this point, but they treat some job tasks as menial, or below them. I find this appalling--while I don't want to be a Pollyanna figure, I find that everything I've done at work has given me a chance to grow. I never knew that picking up copies of brochures would get to mean I'd be able to present a session for my company at a major conference one day."