Career Paths for English Majors: A Three-Part Panel Series

Panel One: The Current State of the Publishing Industry: Realities and Opportunities
1:00-3:00pm on February 27, 2021

What are the career opportunities for English majors in today’s publishing industry? A panel of four experienced publishing professionals will discuss the state of the industry today, the availability of jobs, what skills and expertise are required to be competitive, what a book producer does, and overlooked avenues into the publishing world.


Ron Epstein, Publisher & President, Epstein Custom Media/LA Parent

The Publisher of L.A. Parent magazine and president of Epstein Custom Media, Ron has spent his entire career in the publishing and media industries -- and it all started at the Daily Sundial.

Dan López (Counterpoint; Editorial Assistant

Dan López is the author of The Show House and an editorial assistant at Counterpoint Press.

Kate Marshall – Editor, UC Press

Kate Marshall joined UC Press in 2008 and is the acquisitions editor for scholarly and general interest books in the fields of anthropology, food studies, and Latin American studies.

Dan Ruth - Senior Acquisitions Editor, Sage Publications

Prior to Sage, Dan worked at WB Saunders (Elsevier) in text and reference books, editorial production, marketing, sales, and acquisitions.

Moderator: Rachelle Yousuf

A CSUN alum, Rachelle Yousuf has worked and volunteered in the literary world for the last 8 years. She works as a literary event producer in Los Angeles and was the Head of Membership at PEN Center USA, a literary arts nonprofit.


You may watch a recording of this panel here: Panel One.

Panel Two: Thinking Outside the Publishing Box: Careers for English Majors
1:00-3:00pm on March 27, 2021

Many English majors focus on careers in publishing and education, but a wide range of professions require stellar writing and communication skills; fields with good salaries and career ladders. Four CSUN English alumni will discuss their professional journeys, how they use their English degrees in their daily work, what skills and expertise students need to compete in today’s workforce, and what they wished they’d done in college to prepare for their careers.


Wafa Azeem (English Literature 2015 ) - Strategic SEO Manager, Scorpion

As an SEO manager for over 60 strategic clients, Wafa is responsible for driving in organic leads and traffic to the site by getting the clients’ keywords to rank on page one of Google

Michael Berns (Rhetoric and Composition 2016) - Senior Marketing Manager, Wingman Marketing

Whether it’s helping clients with branding, positioning, or storytelling online, Michael not only helps his clients create a unique online persona but also manage their paid advertising and mixed media campaigns.

Shelly Thompson (English Literature 1990, Educational Administration 2010) - Director, Office of Undergraduate Studies, CSUN

System administrator for the campus e-Advising technology, Shelly responds to student inquiries and serves as a liaison for academic advising and degree requirements to the campus community.

Rachelle Yousuf (English Literature 2015) - Membership and Engagement Coordinator, CSUN Alumni

Rachelle Yousuf is the Membership and Engagement Coordinator for CSUN Alumni, overseeing programs and services that strengthen alumni engagement and increase volunteer opportunities.

Moderator: Kathy Leslie

Kathy is a CSUN English alum (BA 1989; MA 2005) and former English department faculty member who has had extensive career experience in education and business and knows how valuable the skills developed as an English major can be in building career success.

You may watch a recording of this panel here: Panel Two 

Panel Three: Hitting the Ground Running: How to Successfully Transition from College to Career
1:00-3:00pm on April 17, 2021

Making the transition from college to career requires strategy and planning. Join us for an in-depth chat, job-seeking tips, and more with one of CSUN’s most successful alums.

Craig Leener (Radio/TV/Film 1977)

Craig Leener’s professional career has traveled numerous roads, including film operations at Warner Bros. and Disney, as well as human resources management at Technicolor, Ascent Media and My Eye Media. Later in his career, Craig worked as a sports journalist at The Signal in Santa Clarita. He is the author of the Zeke Archer young-adult basketball trilogy. Craig sits on the board of directors of CSUN’s Journalism Alumni Association, where he serves as the director of scholarships.

*This panel will not be recorded.

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