Lyndon Nicholas ’16
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My Story

As a high school student, Lyndon loved to read and write and was passionate about social justice issues. He entered Northeastern thinking he might want to become an educator. He graduated with a BA in English with a minor in history in May 2016.

This is Lyndon’s Northeastern story…

“When I did research on colleges, I thought the co-op program was a really cool initiative and a good way to get experience while in college. So, yeah, that’s what brought me to Northeastern. Also the fact that it was in Boston. At the time, I was looking for a college town, but not a small-town college.”

My Path
Why English?

Lyndon declared an English major so that he could develop his reading, writing, and communication skills while taking literature classes across a variety of historical periods.

“I think it’s important to see people who love what they’re doing. So I really do like writing. I love writing. And I love reading…. I think it’s important to show people that and celebrate that.”

Transformational Coursework

Lyndon enrolled in a wide variety of English Department classes to learn about literatures, cultures, and writing styles across a range of historical periods. He studied the work of John Milton with ProfessorFrank Blessington, James Joyce with Professor Patrick Mullen, and Sandra Cisneros and Sherman Alexie with ProfessorBonnie TuSmith.

  • ENGL 3618 Milton
  • ENGL 4710 Capstone Seminar: Finnegan’s Wake
  • ENGL 2460 Multiethnic Literatures of US

In these classes and others, Lyndon was particularly intrigued by the ways that literary styles evolved over time and across different regions, cultures, and historical moments. These insights taught him to frame his own writing to speak to different audiences in various contexts.

Photo credit: Joanne DeCaro Afornalli

“Being engaged with writing and reading and other writers, and … being in an environment where you can celebrate your passion with people who are passionate about what they’re learning and what they’re doing … helped me develop my own sense of writing style and my own love for writing and knowledge about it.”

Cooperative Education in Digital Games Programming

Lyndon brought many of his new capabilities in writing and critical analysis to his co-op and internship experiences. During his co-op as a digital gaming programming and editorial assistant with Viacom, Lyndon wrote online web content for the Nickelodeon website, managed company social media accounts, and assisted in programming. While writing short web descriptions of videogames targeting a youth audience, Lyndon drew on his studies of rhetoric and literary style to compose narratives that would appeal to this target demographic.

“That was really fun and really out of left field for what I was expecting to do with my English major. And it gave me good experiences, because we were doing a lot of stuff around Search Engine Optimization, and working with online content which is really relevant for an English Major nowadays. I think coming off of that, I have a lot more confidence and a lot more knowledge in terms of working with social media and using sites like WordPress or Twitter or Facebook from an analytics perspective and from a marketing perspective.”

Photo credit: Joanne DeCaro Afornalli
Internship in Marketing

As a marketing intern with Grub Street Writing Workshop, an organization that supports the development of aspiring creative writers, Lyndon worked on the marketing team to develop serialized marketing campaigns and produce digital content. By working on the back end of Grub Street’s webpage, Lyndon learned about search engine optimization while writing content that targeted a far different audience than his work with Nickelodeon.

“Grub Street was looking for an intern who was a Renaissance Man, so in my cover letter, I kind of worked in a whole lot of Renaissance puns. A lot, a lot of Renaissance puns and joking around. I wouldn’t have done that if I hadn’t had confidence in my authorial voice, and that confidence came from working on it and looking at style in class, specifically.”

Civic Engagement in Boston

Lyndon came to Northeastern passionate about social justice issues and hoping to work with surrounding Boston communities. Since beginning his undergraduate studies, Lyndon volunteered as a homework helper at the Yawkey Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury and as an after-school tutor at Mission Hill High School in Hyde Park.

“I took a class, Education in the Community, where I got to do some volunteer work in a homework help center at Yawkey Boys and Girls Club in Roxbury. That was a great experience for me, just getting to work with kids. That really solidified that, not only did I like writing and reading, but I liked teaching.”

 

Revitalizing Student Publications

Lyndon connected his co-op and internship experiences to his interests in activist causes and community engagement when he joined the team of The Onyx Informer, a news outlet for students of color at Northeastern University. The Onyx Informer was a popular print resource on Northeastern’s campus from 1972 through 2010, when it was disbanded. Since taking over as Editor-in-Chief, Lyndon has been an integral part of this publication’s revitalization during its recent transformation into a digital multimedia outlet, and has been working with the editorial staff on reinstating its status as an official organization with Northeastern.

Next Steps

After graduation, Lyndon hoped to pursue a career as a high school English teacher and bring his interests in community engagement and digital media into the classroom. Specifically, Lyndon sought to incorporate progressive educational techniques in secondary education classrooms in underresourced communities, exposing students to digital media and technology and integrating social justice causes into the English curriculum. In Fall 2017, Lyndon became an English teacher at the EBC High School for Public Service in Brooklyn, NY.

As an English major, Lyndon gained a historical perspective on the development of literary forms and styles, and he gained experience thinking about the intersections of social justice and community engagement, digital media, and education that he believes will help empower his students.

“I think one of the things I always had in the back of my mind in terms of career paths was education. I don’t think I always thought of myself as a teacher but I always kind of looked at how my education has shaped who I am…in both positive and negative ways.  And so I feel like one of the things that drew me to an English major was just my own personal experience with the education system and then, from that, having an idea of my own ability to impact other people’s educational experiences.”

Photo credit: Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University
This was Lyndon's path.... Where will yours lead?