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English Alumni Spotlight: Timothy Fitts

TAMPA, Fla. -- University of South Florida English alumnus and author of "The Soju Club," Timothy Fitts, recently published a book titled "Hypothermia." After graduating from USF in 1994 with his Bachelors in English, Creative Writing – Fiction, Fitts earned a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from the University of Maryland, and he currently teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

Fitts credits the skills he learned at USF along with the relationships he made that gave him the structure and knowledge he needed for graduate school. He says without the connections he made with his professors and the help they provided him, it would have taken him much longer to end up where he is now.

Cost was the primary reason Fitts says he chose USF – it was an affordable school that was close enough to commute to. He said he wanted to go to college but did not want to end up with a lot of debt, and USF seemed to be a perfect fit.

"Doing good work is more important than getting a good grade," is a tip Fitts would give students. He says he also advises students to establish relationships with professors who recognize their potential and continue with them after graduation.

Professor Susan Wolf Thompson had an impact on Fitts' success in writing. He created a relationship with her during his undergraduate years that continues today. She was the professor he would go to when he had questions or needed advice. She was trusted to edit his papers, and still does. She was the one that brought out his writing skills and helped him hone them in order to create wonderful works of literature.

Fitts says when he was in school there were fewer options for students to take classes or join clubs that were not specific to writing in general. Professor Paul Reller inspired him to channel some of his creativity into music. Instead of participating in internships or clubs at USF, Fitts spent a lot of his time with peers in the music studio. To him, the studio brought a sense of unity through the sharing and creation of art.

The world is slowly losing touch with printed literature and it is up to us to keep it alive and relevant. "Buy books, and give them as gifts," Fitts suggests. He says when you give someone a book as a gift it tells them they are smart.

Filed under:Arts and Sciences English    
Author:Taelor Hughes, Intern