No Limits – EC Alumni Spotlight on Kora Burton

“What are you going to do with an English degree?” 

This is a question EC alumna Kora Burton heard frequently when telling others about her college plans.

However, the 2018 graduate quickly found that with an English degree, the world was her oyster. 

“It may not sound like it when you first graduate,” she said. “You may have to think about what education you’re going to get in addition to your English degree, but there are a lot of opportunities.”

At Emmanuel, Kora was a part of the Honors Program, which became a core part of her Emmanuel experience. So much so, that now her career aspiration is to run an honors program at a small college or university and teach.

After her time at Emmanuel, Kora completed a Master of Arts in Linguistics degree at the University of Georgia, where she is currently employed as a Student Affairs Specialist in the Honors College. She has been at the Honors College in some capacity for the last 2.5 years.

For Kora, it feels like things have gone full circle. 

“The Emmanuel Honors Program was a central place for me,” she said. “It kept me excited about school and I was able to continue that passion working at UGA. I hope the experience I’ve gotten here will help me work toward the goal of being a part of an honors program like Emmanuel has.”

If there’s one thing Kora took from her time at Emmanuel, it was confidence in her foundation. This foundation gave her the confidence to go into the unfamiliar territory of Linguistics and prepared her for her future classroom and a profession she never thought she’d enjoy.

“When I was at Emmanuel, I firmly believed that I didn’t want to teach,” she remembered. “While at UGA, I had the opportunity to teach for a year in their English Department, and the Honors 101 and 102 courses I took at Emmanuel were so foundational in how I think fundamentally now. I enjoyed play-testing some of the things I learned for other students.”

Although her degree programs did not necessarily overlap, the support system Kora formed at Emmanuel did. 

“I still talk regularly with the Petrovics and Dr. Pipkin of the English Department,” she said. “Dr. Gilmour performed my wedding ceremony, even. He’s been a big influence and has been a great sounding board for me.  I married Jeremy Burton, who is an EC alumnus as well. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. from UGA. Emmanuel has a big part of my heart.”

If Kora could give a piece of advice to students looking to study English, she’d tell them not to limit themselves.

“As someone with no background in Linguistics, my English degree got me into a program where I was able to learn something new,” she said. “Don’t limit yourself. The world is your oyster.”