English, Speech, & Foreign Languages

TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY What’s inside 2016 edition PAGE 4 Annual Awards ceremony hands out scholarships Department of English, Speech, & Foreign La...
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TEXAS WOMAN’S UNIVERSITY What’s inside 2016 edition PAGE 4 Annual Awards ceremony hands out scholarships

Department of

English, Speech, & Foreign Languages

PAGE 6 GTA Natalie Malin receives teaching award PAGE 7 Doctoral student travels to Africa to teach English PAGES 8, 9, 10 Get updates on the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. programs PAGES 12 and 13 See pictures of some recent graduates PAGE 16 Two ESFL faculty participate in TWU’s TedX PAGES 18 Global Connections brings in speakers to talk about poverty PAGES 19 The Write Site continues to expand offerings PAGES 21 Former Students Assocation changing its name PAGES 22 Alumna creates scholarship PAGES 23 Alumna named NCTE VP


On behalf of the department, Dr. Lou Thompson accepts the award for Outstanding Department from Graduate Student Council Chairperson Tawny LeBouef Tullia, doctorial candidate in Rhetoric, at the Pioneering Spirit Awards on April. Photo courtesy of Graduate Student Council.

Graduate Student Council recognizes department The Graduate Student Council’s Pioneering Spirit Awards honored students and faculty as well as the department this spring. The ESFL Department received the award for Outstanding Department and several students were recognized, including Outstanding Doctoral Student recognition for spring graduate Dr. Jamie Jones. Outgoing Council Chairperson Tawny LeBouef Tullia, doctoral candidate in Rhetoric, served as emcee for the April event. The department was recognized for its support of gradu-

ate students. The award criteria includes excellence in teaching, availability of research opportunities for students, TWU community relations, graduate mentoring, outreach and professional development, administration, and staff support. Spring graduate Dr. Jo’el Madore and doctoral candidate Maureen Johnson presented the award to Dr. Lou Thompson, who represented the department at the ceremony. Both Johnson and Madore credited the department for its devotion to helping Please see GSC on Page 11

STUDENT SUCCESSES B.A. in English students Two undergraduate students have essays in the new edition of Sticks & Stones (the official Bedford/St. Martin’s collection of student essays that accompanies the St. Martin’s Guide to Writing). Natasha Farhoodi’s essay, “Mad World Records,” is featured in the Profile category, and Victoria Radford’s essay, “Mayday! Mayday!,” in the Speculating about Causes category. Both essays were written for First Year Composition classes and were chosen in the program’s annual essay contest. Jaclyn Kliman published her Dante’s Inferno-inspired Honors Capstone novella, “Infernal,” on Amazon. com. Janae Seyffer has been selected as a 2016 Summer Awardee of the Experiential Undergraduate Student Scholar Program for her project, ”Disney’s EPCOT World Showcase as Global Community.” As part of the award, Seyffer received a stipend of $1,000. Alexis Sikorski was selected for 2016’s Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, made the Chancellor’s List for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016, was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, was chosen to be the new Sigma

Tau Delta president for next year, and had several poems and a short story published in The Daedalian, the honors program journal Off the Quill, and an online lit zine called Pour Vida.

M.A .in English students Christopher Coan’s paper on Rudalfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima has been accepted on a special panel at the 2016 SCMLA conference in Dallas. The paper’s title is: “‘The Waters are One, Antonio’: Social and Spiritual Life, and the Question of Identity in Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima.” Haley Mowdy was selected as a 20162017 Albert Schweitzer Fellowship recipient for Write Now, a popup community writing center program at the Koan School. Additionally, Mowdy received a grant to represent TWU at the AAUW National Conference for College Women Student Leaders; the North Texas Writing Center Association Mary Nell Kivikko award; and is a TWU Alumni Association English Charter Chapter Scholarship recipient. Mowdy served as the keynote speaker at the North Texas Writing Center Association 2016 spring conference; presented at the African Literature Association conference

Dr. Russell Greer, left, took his Bilbiography and Research Methods class to the Harry Ransom Humanities Center. Pictured are: from left, Dr. Greer, Sarah Conine, Ranae Underwood, Shannon Robinson, Carla Wilson, Tonya Blivens, Haley Mowdy, and Mina Sommerville-Thompson.

in Atlanta; and is scheduled to present at the South Central Modern Language Association conference in Dallas on two panels: a poetry panel and a speculative fiction panel. She published a piece of creative non-fiction in the 2016 Daedalian and an article called “The History and Importance of the Roman Bath” in Ibid. Ranae Underwood presented “Place, Space, and Political Economy in John Williams’ Butcher’s Crossing” at the 2016 Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California.


Ph.D. in Rhetoric students Doctoral student Renae Bruce will present a paper, “God is Your Husband, and Your Father is Your Boyfriend: An Analysis of Purity Balls as Epideictic and Regressive Rhetoric,” at the Southcentral Modern Language Association conference in Dallas this fall. Doctoral candidate Erika Johnson is scheduled to present “Speak to Me Plainly: Attic vs. Asiatic in William Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Please see STUDENT SUCCESSES on Page 3

Student Successes

Continued from Page 2 Lost” at the South Central Modern Language Association (SCMLA) Conference in Dallas in November. She presented “Heteroglossia and Hegemony: The Language of Value in a Basic Writing Syllabus” at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Conference in Austin in January and “The Future of Communication ;-),” as part of TWU Technology’s Fall 2015 Tech Talk Series in October. She also presented “The “Problem” of Pronouns: “I,” “You,” “We” All Argue” at the Council of Basic Writing poster session at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) in Houston in April, where she also chaired a panel, “Better Learning Technologies: Taking Action to Reframe Educational Technology Development for Writers and Writing Teachers.” Additionally, Johnson received the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Love of Learning Award, 2016; the TWU ESFL Sharon Loretta Brocker Endowed Scholarship, 2016-2017; the TWU ESFL Helen Benjamin Endowed Scholarship, 20162017; the TWU ESFL Hook Travel Award, 2015 and 2016; the TWU Student Life Travel Award, 2015 and 2016. Doctoral candidate Maureen Johnson published a collaborative essay, “Embodiment: Embodying Feminist Rhetorics,” in the fall 2015 25th Anniversary issue of Peitho. She also was named as the 2016-2017 doctoral student representative to the TWU Graduate Council. Additionally, she participated in a panel on Graduate Student Writing at the 2016 Modern Language Association Conference in Austin. She presented a paper, “Jane Austen’s Persuasion: in Sickness and in Health,” at the 2016 American Society

for Eighteenth Century-Studies Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For fall 2016, she has been accepted to present at the 2016 Cultural Rhetorics Conference in East Lansing, Michigan, and the Southcentral Modern Language Association Conference in Dallas. Doctoral candidate Tawny LeBouef Tullia received an AAUW Denton chapter scholarship for the 2016-2017 year. She presented “The Rhetoric of the NFL Locker Room: A Cultural Pedagogy that (Re)Cycles Normative Masculinity” and “Community Building Using Open Access Blogging: Bringing Engaged and Post-Oppositional Pedagogy into the Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Classroom” at the 17th Biennial Rhetoric Society of America Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, in May. She also presented “The Rhetoric of the NFL Locker Room and Sideline: A Societal-level Pedagogy that (Re)Cycles Normative Masculinity” at the 24th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference of the American Men’s Studies Association in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in March. Doctoral student Edward “Ted” Royston was named the Graduate Student Representative to the Executive Committee of the Reception Studies Society. Additionally, he presented the following papers: “Reinvigorating Fantasy and Reality: The Quest and the Response to Reality Television” at the Reception Studies Society Biennial Conference 2015; “Permeable Borders and Possible Worlds in William Gibson’s The Peripheral” at the American Literature Association Symposium on Borders 2016; and “Responding to Ken Saro-Wiwa’s ‘Rotten’ English” at the African Literature Association Conference 2016. He also received three scholarships: Allsup Lane, Dr. John L. Dawson Sr., and Autrey Nell Wiley.


Deans’ List and Chancellor’s List Undergraduate students who have achieved at least a 3.5 grade point average for 12 or more graded hours are named to the deans’ list. Those who make a 4.0 are named to the chancellor’s list and are noted with an asterisk (*). Here are the English majors who achieved this honor: Fall 2015: Alexander Ancira, Adrienne Bradshaw, Kaitlin Briggs, Laura Callahan, Laura Casey, Janice Cha*, Amanda Clark*, Merisa Davis*, Nicole Duncan*, Shellie Elliott*, Saffyre Falkenberg*, Mary Heidt*, Catherine Hightower*, Andrea Johnson*, Jacey Kilburn*, Jaclyn Kliman*, Juliana Lorenzo*, Araceli Martinez, Vanessa Mascorro, Valerie Mattli*, Emily Nickles*, Savannah Peer*, Paras Pohler*, Bethany Powell*, Samantha Quade*, Victoria Radford*, Grace Rogers, Renee Ronquillo*, Janae Seyffer*, Alexis Sikorski*, Chelsea Smith, Megan Stacy, Morgan Staskus*, Nadiyah Suleiman*, Madeline Vanzant* Spring 2016: Chelsea Burton*, Laura Callahan, Laura Casey*, Kira Cheek, Amanda Clark*, Merisa Davis*, Hannah Diaz*, Linh Do, Nicole Duncan, Anthony Dvorak, Shellie Elliott, Saffyre Falkenberg*, Mary Heidt*, Kaylea Johnson, Jordan Kiefer*, Jacey Kilburn*, Jaclyn Kliman*, Vanessa Mascorro*, Valerie Mattli, Emily Nickles* Alexis Pereira, Samantha Quade*, Victoria Radford*, Alexis Sikorski*, Chelsea Smith, Christopher Smith, Morgan Staskus, Nadiyah Suleiman*, Carolyn Swen*, Jackie Thompson, Madeline Vanzant*.

Scholarship recipients

The 2016-2017 scholarship recipients pose for a photo with Dr. Dánielle DeVoss.

Thousands in scholarships handed out at ceremony More than $63,000 in scholarships were handed out at the April 13 ESFL Annual Honors and Awards Assembly. The ceremony included a speech titled “Digital Writing Matters” by Dr. Dánielle DeVoss, professor of technical writing and incoming director of rhetoric and writing at Michigan State University. DeVoss said it was honor to meet ESFL faculty and students and to catch up with Michigan State grad Dr. Dundee Lackey, chair of the Scholarship and Awards Committee. She also was excited to be part of an event that recognizes students. “It was an honor in that I had the pleasure of meeting with and presenting to the students who won well-deserved scholarships and awards in the Department of English, Speech, and Foreign Languages,” DeVoss said. DeVoss stressed the importance of digital writing in her speech and how rhetoric and writing offers skills for modern communication. “A quintessential 21st-century skill is the ability to recognize the modes, moves, and other rhetorical variables at play in any

communications context,” she said. “Students who will do well as professionals, workers, citizens, etc., during and after college will be able to navigate different digital spaces and pay particular attention to audience, purpose, and context.” When asked about advice for students, she shared some philosophy from her mentor Dr. Cynthia Selfe, a well-known scholar in digital rhetorics. “Small, potent gestures matter,” DeVoss said. “In a world in which we pay attention to BIG things, BIG events, BIG dollars, etc., it is really the small, potent generosities and actions that make a difference. … So, my advice is: Pay attention to these small, potent gestures -- those that you engage, and those that you receive.” She said she works as a teacher to enact those “small, potent gestures.” DeVoss also offered advice on writing. “Write often. Write every day. Write a lot,” she said. “And write different things — blog posts, status messages, essays, poems, more, more, more! Writing is a lifelong Please see AWARDS on Page 5


Scholarships awarded include: Bruce Family Memorial Endowment Scholarship: Kimberly Allison, Lisette Blanco-Cerda, Anna Genneken, Christopher Coan, Renae Bruce, Darby Dyer, Kellie Matherly. Dr. John L. Dawson, Sr. Endowed Scholarship: Renae Bruce, Edward “Ted” Royston. JoAn Rutledge McDaniel Scholarship: Nicole Duncan, Jacey Kilburn Clarice Mixon Turner Endowed Scholarship: Catherine Hightower, Saffyre Falkenberg Autrey Nell Wiley Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund: Tonya Blevins, Edward “Ted” Royston Lavon B. Fulwiler Endowed Scholarship: Elizabeth Cozby Helen Bass Dailey Endowed Scholarship: Emily Nickles Ada Cade McCurry And Martha Faye McCurry Savage Endowed Scholarship: Alexis Sikorski, Andrea Johnson Edith And Edgar Deen Scholarship: Natalie Malin The LaVerne Harrell Clark Endowment: Nadiya Suleiman Henry H. and Evelyn M. Blagg Endowment Fund: Haley Mowdy Sharon Loretta Brocker Endowed Scholarship: Erika Johnson Dr. Leslie R. Kreps Endowed Scholarship: Tawny LeBouef Tullia English And Speech Endowed Scholarship: Nadiyah Suleiman Joyce Thompson Endowed Memorial Scholarship: Rachel Green, Shannon Robinson Dr. Helen Benjamin Endowed Scholarship: Erika Johnson Sigma Tau Delta Scholarship: Liz Cozby.

First Year Composition Contest honors writers The First Year Composition Program honored 10 students, including four from Dr. Chera Cole’s composition classes, in its annual FSA English Charter Chapter Writing Award. The award recognizes students who write exceptional essays in their first year writing classes. The awards were handed out at ESFL’s annual Award Ceremony. The annual contest often seeks outside funding and support from sales of the program’s ebook reader. This year the program received support from FSA English Charter Chapter for the second year, thanks to donations secured by Dr. Phyllis Bridges and chapter members. The awards were re-named last year to the FSA English Charter Chapter Writing Awards. Students who won the FSA English Charter Chapter Writing Awards received a financial gift. They also will have their essay featured in the First Year Composition Essay Reader, an ebook for


Continued from Page 4 craft and takes a lot of practice. The ceremony was opened by Lackey followed by a presentation of the awards by Dr. Brian Fehler. Lackey, Fehler, and Dr. Lou Thompson served on the scholarship committee. The ceremony also included an award for the Sigma Tau Delta scholarship, presented by Dr. Stephen Souris, and the FSA English Charter Chapter Writing Awards presented by Dr. Graham Scott and Rhonda Ross, Lasso advisor and Former Student Association, English Charter Chapter, representative. For more information, see the story on this page. Also, undergraduate honors

students taking FYC classes. For this year’s contest, teachers submitted 29 essays. Categories for the contest are based on the genres taught in the FYC program: • Introduction to Writing: Remembering an Event • Composition I essays: Writing a Profile, Explaining a Concept, and Finding Common Ground • Composition II essays: Arguing a Position, Proposing a Solution, Speculating About Causes, Justifying an Evaluation. The winners, organized by category and listed with their essay title and the name of the course instructor, include: Remembered Event: Edaly Saldana for an untitled essay for instructor William Thomas; Profile: Hannah L. Diaz for an untitled essay for instructor Elizabeth Cozby; Concept: Eva Martinez, Guadalupe Mora, and Melynda McKearan (team essay) for an essay titled “Leadership” for instructor Dr. Sonia Love; Finding Common Ground: Rachael Jerome for an essay titled “Should

students with a 3.5 or higher GPA were recognized. Those recognized include: Alexander Ancira, Rachel Arnquist, Kaitlin Briggs, Chelsea Burton, Laura Casey, Amanda Clark, Merisa Davis, Hannah Diaz, Nicole Duncan, Angel Ellinghaus, Saffyre Falkenberg, Mary Freeman, Mary Heidt, Catherine Hightower, Sharon Hobbs, Jordan Kiefer, Jacey Kliburn, Jaclyn Kliman, Jamie Lasuzzo-Cook, Vanessa Mascorro, Darmishia Nash, Emily NIckles, Alaina Rose Poethke, Bethany Powell, Samantha Quade, Victoria Radford, Carly Rastandeh, Grace Rogers, Renee Ronquillo, Elaine Rowe, Sydney Santschi, Tiernan Shaw, Alexis Sikorski, Christopher Smith, Kendall Smith, Morgan Staskus, Nadiyah Suleiman, Madeline Vanzant, Michelle White.


Art Be Censored?” for instructor Dr. Chera Cole; Arguing a Position: Iziengbe Ogbomo for an essay titled “Universal Healthcare” for instructor Dr. Chera Cole; Speculating about Causes: Diana Villa for an essay titled “People Are Turning to Self-Help as Our Economy Declines” for instructor Anna Genneken; Proposing a Solution: Morgan Hesse for an essay titled “Promote Adoption, Prevent Abortion” for instructor Dr. Chera Cole; and Justifying an Evaluation: Alisa Quimby for an essay titled “Starbucks: Coff-Yay or Coff-Nay?” for instructor Dr. Chera Cole. An annual committee reads the essays and selects winners. This year’s chair was doctoral candidate Holli Downs. Other committee members include adjunct instructor Marie Carrier; doctoral student Anna Genneken, adjunct instructor Jonathan Hartmann, doctoral candidate Erika Johnson, doctoral candidate Natalie Malin, and adjunct instructor William Thomas.

New scholarship named for Fran Hutcherson Doctoral student Kellie Matherly has been granted renewal of the Fran Hutcherson Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for the upcoming school year. The scholarship was created in 2015 with a $25,000 endowment from friends and family of the late Hutcherson, who completed her M.A. at TWU. Hutcherson was an active member of the Former Students Association, including the English Charter Chapter. She died in April 2015. The scholarship is awarded through the university’s General Scholarship Committee. Dr. Phyllis Bridges credits Jane Erwin, vice chair of the TWU Foundation Board, for helping her work with the family to establish the award. The first award was given to Matherly in fall 2015.

Natalie Malin recognized for teaching work Doctoral candidate Natalie Malin is the 2015-2016 recipient of the J. Dean Bishop Teaching Excellence Award. Malin was chosen from among First Year Composition graduate teaching assistants by the 20152016 First Year Composition Committee, which includes Dr. Graham Scott, former FYC director; Dr. Gretchen Busl, FYC director; Dr. Brian Fehler; and Dr. Ashley Bender. The award recipient is determined by the “submission of a teaching portfolio, classroom observations, and overall ‘citizenship’ in the FYC program,” Busl said. Scott said recipients are chosen based on teaching, service, and research, but teaching remains the main focus. “The award is, after all, called a teaching award,” he said. “But a good teacher who also shares his or her practices with colleagues, mentors colleagues, or engages in service is more likely to have indirect effects on students in other

classes than the good teacher who only teaches.”. Malin was the unanimous choice for “her outstanding teaching portfolio, the quality of her pedagogical research, her service to the FYC program, and her unmatched participation in FYC faculty meetings,” Busl said. Malin says teaching is very rewarding but exhausting work. “Teaching composition can be exhausting, partly because we can’t feed written essays into a Scantron and have to hand grade them,” she said. “If you’re like me and leave comments on students’

essays, that takes even more time and energy, but it’s worth it. Students appreciate our time just like we do when others make time to help us.” That time was one of the reasons Malin was praised for her work. Scott said she offers a combination of rigorous requirements and high teaching evaluations, along with gains shown in assessment. “Natalie gets exceptional teaching evaluations from her students, as well as rich, detailed, thoughtful reflective comments from students, as represented in her teaching portfolio,” he said. “Even students who said they don’t like English voiced appreciation for her class and what they learned in it.” Malin says respect for her students is a major part of her pedagogy. “I respect students and am passionate about what I do,” she said. “I feel for those who don’t know how to use the power of language Please see TEACHING on Page 25

ERGO-RSA expands work to TWU community English Rhetoric Graduate Organization—Rhetoric Society of America expanded in the past year, offering more activities for ESFL graduate students as well as reaching out to the TWU community. Under the leadership of former president Rachael Reynolds, ERGO-RSA offered events such as Commuter Coffee, providing coffee and company for ESFL grad students between afternoon and evening classes, and trivia nights for those who were free to get together at the end of the week. Please see ERGO-RSA on Page 11

Rachael Reynolds, Wylijanna Cole, and Haley Mowdy volunteer to encourage novel writing for an ERGO-RSA actvity.


Omega Rho Alpha honors undergrads

Tonya Blivens shares her self-described “elephant selfie” while on a trip to Africa this summer. Photo courtesy of Blivens.

Doctoral student teaches English in Tanzania Doctoral student Tonya Blivens traveled to Africa this summer, volunteering as a teacher as well as taking in the sites. Blivens spent a week in Nairobi, Kenya, before embarking on a two-week trip to Tanzania, where she taught English at the Korongoni Primary School. The trip started after Blivens attended the Impact Conference. “It brings together students, nonprofit professionals, and educators to strengthen their communities through service, action, and advocacy,” she said. While there, she heard CrossCultural Solutions representative Carlton Rounds speak about potential exploitation in volunteer work. Talking with Rounds led to the Moshi, Tanzania, program. While in Africa, Blivens visited many sites, such as Kenyan’s State house, the Nairobi Animal Orphanage, the University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta’s

ICC Center, the Nairobi National Museum, and the Karan Blixen Museum. “The National Museum tells the story of Kenya through many different artifacts,” Blivens said. “I was able to see the presidential throne, carvings, textiles, letters, and photographs that traced the history of Kenya.” In Tanzania, she visited Chaaga Caves (a living museum), the city of Arusha, and went on safari at Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park, and Lake Manyara National Park. “I’ve only seen animals in cages,” she said. “While on Safari I saw all of Africa’s big five. It was amazing to see these animals in their real environment.” She also got glimpses of sites such as Mount Kilimanjaro and Ngong Hills (which means knuckles in Kiswahelli). Please see AFRICA on Page 17


Omega Rho Alpha, an invitation-only honors society, recognizes first year students and sophomores each year for both memberships and scholarships. The organization invites new members every semester, according to faculty sponsors Dr. Vivian Casper and Dr. Matthew Brown. Each semester, invitations are sent to first year students and sophomores who meet the following criteria: they received an A in first year or sophomore English classes; English majors; those whose work has been published in a student publication; students who are eligible for Honors English. A formal ceremony is held each semester to induct students into the society. While it is an English honorary society, “We are not only for English majors,” Brown said. Casper added, “We have illustrious presidents who go on to graduate school,” including programs in medicine, law, and the sciences as well as English. Once students are members, they are lifetime members, but there are not regular meetings outside of officer meetings. This year’s officers are president Samantha Quade and vice president Jane Onwuegbuchu. Other officers include Emily Mora and Chelsy Mani. Members pay a $10 membership fee, most of which is used to fund scholarships. There are two scholarships in memory of former sponsors of the organization: the Dr. Joyce Palmer $250 scholarship and the Agnes Tramel and Mildred Nelson $500 scholarship. The scholarships are open to members who are first year students or sophomores. This year, the fund allowed for six scholarships, four Palmer scholarships and two Tramel and Nelson scholarships. Casper noted that the six scholarships were an unusual circumstance and generally two are given. For more information, contact Casper at 940-898-2344 or [email protected] or Brown at 940-898-2371 or mbrown39@twu. edu.

Dr. Ashley Bender: New degree options for B.A. This has been an exciting year for the B.A. Program in English. In Fall 2015, we implemented a new degree plan, which offers three tracks: literature, writing and rhetoric, and teacher certification. The new degree plans open up the possibility for students to specialize and better pursue their long-term interests. We also enrolled our first students in the journalism minor, a program created in partnership with the University of North Texas’s Mayborn School of Journalism, the only accredited school of journalism in the state. For the first time, we also taught an important new course for English Majors: ENG 3113 Introduction to Studies in English. After researching trends around the country and examining our assessment results, we felt this course was necessary to help majors be successful — in their courses and beyond. The class provides students with an introduction to the major, career paths for majors, as well as reading, writing, and research skills students need to be successful. Student response this year was overwhelmingly positive, so we feel that this was a smart addition to the curriculum. In addition to our curriculum changes, we also introduced a professional development series for undergraduates to encourage students to think early and often about how they might cultivate and use the skills acquired at TWU in the professional world. Darin Bradley, an author and editor, and Aaron Anderson, a former copywriter and current tutoring program coordinator, both shared their professional knowledge with students. Other professional development sessions, which will be repeated in the coming semesters, included internship and graduate school workshops. Our students have seen many successes this year, including the 20 students who graduated this academic year. Among these students, Bethany Powell has recently been

Students from TWU ESFL participated in the Collin College Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Student Research Conference in April. Students shared multimodal projects and adaptations created for courses like Intro to the Study of World Literature and Shakespeare and Adaptation, and for Honors Capstones. Among the participants were, front row, from left: Jaclyn Kliman, Saffyre Falkenburg, Shellie Elliot, Emily Nickles; back row, from left: Morgan Staskus, Alexis Pereira, and Dr. Ashley Bender, who organized the panel.

offered a job in Denton ISD, and Saffyre Falkenberg begins her M.A. at TCU in the fall. Another graduate, Amanda Clark, who was a Fulbright finalist, received the Chancellor’s Research Scholar Award for her Honors Capstone, “Beyond Our Perception: Why We Must Read, Understand, and Engage with Middle Eastern and Muslim Women.” Janae Seyffer was chosen as an Experiential Student Scholar by QEP for her project, “Disney’s EPCOT World Showcase as Global Community.” Jaclyn Kliman published her Honors Capstone, “Infernal,” an adaptation of Dante’s Inferno on Amazon. Students also presented at the TWU Creative Arts and Research Symposium, the Great Plains Honors Council Conference, and the Collin College Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research Conference. We continue to encourage undergraduates to explore research and presentation venues, which are such vital learning opportunities. Finally, our undergraduate students also spent time learning outside of the classroom. Students in Dr. Casper’s classes attended two plays, Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night and Shake-


speare’s Macbeth. Students in my Shakespeare and Adaptation course had a fun evening watching King Lear at Shakespeare in the Park. Each outing allowed students to see top-quality productions of plays, which are all meant to be seen — not just read. And the TWU Serves Living Learning Community helped build the new playground at Eureka Park. (The fence that surrounds the playground? They built most of it.) Such class-based activities are free for students and cultivate both a love of learning and the idea that we learn (and contribute to our communities) by doing. They also allow students access to faculty outside the classroom, creating strong bonds that last beyond graduation. For more information about the B.A. Program in English, please visit our departmental web page at http://www.twu.edu/englishspeech-foreign-languages/baenglish.asp and see the TWU Undergraduate Catalogue at http:// catalog.twu.edu/undergraduate/ arts-sciences/english-speechforeign-languages/. For additional information, please contact me at [email protected].

Dr. Dundee Lackey: M.A. offers engaged learning Hello! My name is Dundee Lackey, and I am the M.A. Program coordinator for ESFL. This has been an exciting year for our program! We have had wonderful guests join us (including Dr. Dánielle DeVoss, of Michigan State University, who hosted a design workshop and spoke at our annual celebration of scholarships and awards, as well as the numerous Texas poets who visited Dr. Souris’ class.) Students also participated in some exciting offcampus learning experiences (like the annual Bibliography and Research Methods trip to the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, led by Dr. Greer.) These opportunities underscore our program’s commitment to active and engaged learning. We also spent some time this year developing new classes for graduate students, part of our ongoing mission to better serve our students. The most recent addition to our courses is ENG 5103: Intro to Graduate Studies. Required of all new M.A. and Ph.D. students, this course provides an introduction to the field and helps students build the skills that will support them as they embark upon their individual research and professional agendas. Such courses are increasingly common around the country as they support students while they make

Dr. Dánielle DeVoss offered a workshop with students during her visit to campus.

the transition from undergraduate to graduate studies, where the expectations are higher and the demands different. Since our last newsletter, we have had a number of fine folks complete the M.A. program and embark on their next adventures. Chloe Brooke was admitted to the Ph.D. program at Texas Tech University. Elizabeth Brownlow will begin a Ph.D. at Bowling Green University this fall. Elizabeth Cozby is now working on her Ph.D. at Texas Woman’s University. Becca Denney is now working at Connections Academy, an online public school, and working as an adjunct at TCC. Jocelyn Pena Hawkins is newly married,and now teaching at Byron Nelson High School. Jacqui Razo-Haynes also is newly

wed and teaching at Haltom High School. She has also been admitted to the Ph.D. program here at TWU. Brittany Schreurs has accepted an executive position in the insurance business. We are proud of graduates, and know they will represent us well, carrying the Pioneer spirit wherever they go. Keep blazing trails, ladies! More information on our M.A. program is available on our departmental web page at http://www. twu.edu/english-speech-foreignlanguages/ma-english.asp and in the TWU Graduate Catalogue at http://catalog.twu.edu/graduate/ arts-sciences/english-speech-foreign-languages/#admissionstext. For additional information on the application process and assistantships, please contact me at [email protected].

Sigma Tau Delta inducts members, officers Sigma Tau Delta inducted another class of students into the Beta Epsilon chapter of the national English honor society. The November ceremony featured Dr. Ashley Bender, who

gave a speech titled “Education in the Service of Others.” Inductees include Catherine Hightower, Jordan Kiefer, Alexis Sikorski, and Kaylea Johnson. The organization also installed new officers this spring for the


2016-2017 school year. Those officers are president Alexis Sikorski, and our vice president Katie Hightower. Last year’s officers were president Laura Callahan and vice president Erika Johnson.

Dr. Lou Thompson: Ph.D. graduates working As the Ph.D. program coordinator, on behalf of the department I congratulate the following new Ph.D. graduates who completed the doctoral program in rhetoric over the past year. Each graduate has embarked on her own path and is actively employed. Spring 2015: n Elaine Cho serves as coordinator of the Asian-American and Middle Eastern Studies programs at Eastfield College. n Sandra Sook maintains residences in New York City and Flower Mound. She has been doing research in the Rogers and Hammerstein archives for a projected book. She is involved with her family business, NextStar Communications. Dr. Sook is a member of the TWU Foundation Board. Summer 2015: n Esther Houghtaling serves as an adjunct instructor at TWU. Spring 2016: n Elizabeth Hamm serves as an Instructor at Arizona State University n Paula Kent serves as an Instructor at Texas State Technical College, Waco n Jo’el Madore serves as Associate Professor of English at Tarrant County College - Northwest Campus. n Jamie Jones serves as adjunct instructor at TWU In Fall 2016, we warmly welcome the following new cohort of students to our Ph.D. program: n Jacqui Haynes, M.A., TWU n Aida Mehanovic, M.A., TWU n Liz Cosby, M.A., TWU n Justin Cook, M.A., Arkansas State University n Kathleen Irwin, M.A., Northwest Missouri State University The small cohort reflects our commitment to admitting high quality students and limiting the size of our program, so that doctoral students are able to develop strong relationships with faculty outside the

Dr. Brian Fehler, Dr. Jamie Jones, and Doctoral Candidate Tawny LeBouef Tullia pose for a picture during their trip to the Rhetoric Society of America conferenence in Atlanta, Georgia, in May.

classroom. Our graduate students continued to be active at professional conferences, and student travel awards were granted to Erika Johnson, Natalie Malin, and Maureen Johnson in 2015-16. These travel awards are funded competitively and assist students in making professional presentations at top conferences around the country, such as CCCCs, Rhetoric Society of America, and Feminist Rhetorics. Malin also received the Bishop Award for First Year Composition teaching, an award that recognizes outstanding teaching in First Year Composition. Johnson also will serve on the university’s Graduate Council for the 2016-2017 school year, which will provide an important opportunity for her to watch and contribute to the work of a major standing university committee. The department regularly assesses our program requirements in order to best meet the needs of students. During the 2015-16 year, the faculty approved a major change to the curriculum in regards to the Comprehensive Exams. In response to exit surveys, student interest,


and an extensive comparison of other programs, the department has opened the scope of the third portion of the written examination and orals. No longer are students confined to a pre-established literary area. Students may now choose any related area (literary, a more focused area of rhetoric, or a minor). Written justification and request must be submitted to the students’ advisory committee, the Graduate Studies Committee, and approved by the department chair. Students who were admitted prior to Spring 2016 may proceed under the old plan, or may move to the new one. For guidance on which plan is best, students should see their advisors. Additional information on the Ph.D. program in rhetoric can be found on our web page at http:// www.twu.edu/english-speechforeign-languages/phd.asp and in the TWU Graduate Catalogue at http://catalog.twu.edu/graduate/ arts-sciences/english-speech-foreign-languages/#admissionstext. If you have questions about admissions or assistantships, please contact me at [email protected].


who praised Jones for her hard work in both scholarly and service areas. Scott described Jones as “an excellent example of the wellrounded scholar-teacher,” crediting her scholarship, teaching, and extensive service to the department, university, and community. “As a teacher, she challenges students while remaining sympathetic to them, to such an extent that students have dropped by my office unsolicited to tell me how much they appreciated her push-

ing them to do better,” Scott said. “As a scholar, she has been a prolific presenter on her own research agenda while winning a grant with me to pursue a collaborative research question. With regard to service, she has been an excellent FYC program assistant, has been an inaugural member of many new graduate student committees, and has rated more than 1,000 essays in support of FYC assessment, in addition to being an active participant in scholar-activism on LGBTQ issues.” Other ESFL students, faculty, and staff who were recognized at the ceremony include: Allsup-Lane Scholarship recipient Edward Royston, doctoral student in Rhetoric; Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant nominees Rachael Geary, doctoral candidate in Rhetoric, and Reanae McNeal, doctoral candidate in Women’s Studies; Outstanding Master’s Student nominee Haley Mowdy; Outstanding Staff member nominees: Wylijanna Cole, former senior secretary for First Year Composition and The Write Site; and Outstanding Faculty nominees Dr. Gretchen Busl, Dr. Russell Greer, and Dr. Genevieve West.

But ERGO-RSA doesn’t just provide support for the community. It is a place for graduate students to gather and share, Reynolds said. “The best part of being president is seeing all of these academics get together and enjoy being around each other outside of the stress of our normal days,” she said. “The bonding and camaraderie carries over into the GTA offices and our classes, creating a more safe, enjoyable space to grow as academics and professionals.” The officers for the past year include Reynolds, vice president Holli Downs, secretary treasurer Ted Royston, workshops coordinator Judy Donaldson, and past president Erika Johnson. New officers elected in the spring were president Maureen Johnson, vice president

Amanda Oswalt, secretary treasurer Ranae Underwood, workshops chair Shannon Robinson, and past president Reynolds. Reynolds says there are a lot of benefits to membership. “The benefits for joining include being active within the community and growing a network for supportive peers, professional and educational development opportunities, camaraderie among grad student members and the department, and they are joining a creative, supportive group that celebrates victories and commiserates defeats,” she said. ERGO-RSA is always seeking new members. Those interested can contact Johnson at mjohnson51@ twu.edu or Dr. Busl at gbusl@twu. edu.

Continued from Page 1 graduate students in scholarly and professional endeavors. They also praised the department’s supportive environment that allows students to succeed. “With a small, but devoted faculty, ESFL mentors graduate students through its excellent use of resources and devoted professors who work closely with students,” Johnson said. This is the second year for the awards, which are based on nominations. Those nominations are blinded, then the Graduate Council Executive Committee assesses the nominations based on the award criteria. “We did not know we were reading about the English, Speech, and Foreign Languages department until we submitted winning blinded numbers,” LeBouef Tullia said. The awards focus on celebrating graduate students for their work and allow students to recognize the support of faculty and departments, LeBouef Tullia said. Jones received her award from Drs. Gray Scott and Gretchen Busl,


Continued from Page 6 To reach out to the university community, ERGO-RSA vistited the Student Union for a Spooky Story Celebration around Halloween, National Poetry Day, Nanowrimo to encourage writing in the month of November, and Wounded Warrior’s Wellness Event. Members ended the year with an Arts and Jazz celebration picnic. Dr. Gretchen Busl, ERGO-RSA advisor, says her favorite part of the past year was purchasing Christmas gifts for TWU students through the TWU Adopt-A-Family Project. Members also donated items to the TWU Food Pantry, overflowing the donation box at least five times, Reynolds said.

Dr. Gray Scott and Dr. Jamie Jones pose for a photo after the ceremony. Photo courtesy of Graduate Student Council.


Graduation photo time

ABOVE: Drs. Jo’el Madore, left, Paula Kent, Jamie Jones, and Elizabeth Hamm take a graduation day selfie at TWU’s May Commencement Ceremony. LEFT: Dr. Esther Houghtaling smiles at the December Commencement ceremony.


Graduation photo time

M.A. in English graduates Christine Roberts, left, Chloe Brooke, Elizabeth Cozby, and Becca Denney pose for a photo at TWU’s May Commencement.

December M.A. in English graduate Marie Carrier. M.A. in English graduate Raenae McNeal gets ready to walk to stage at the December Commencement.


FACULTY SUCCESSES Dr. Ashley Bender, assistant professor of English and B.A. in English program coordinator, had her article “Rhetorical Bodies in Nahum Tate’s King Lear and Ingratitude of a Common-Wealth” published in the winter 2016 issue of Papers on Language and Literature. She also received a small grant from the Dean’s Comprehensive Research Funds for a research trip to Austin. Dr. Bender also presented at several conferences, including PCA and ACA. She and Dr. Busl submitted an NEH Humanities Initiatives at HispanicServing Institutions grant proposal for a project called “Building Global Perspectives.”  Dr. Phyllis Bridges, professor of English, published a commissioned article in Tales of Texas Cooking, a book by the Texas Folklore Society, published by UNT Press, 2016. She also presented a paper, “Where There Is a Will, There Is Folklore,” at the Folklore section of the national American Culture Society meeting in Seattle, Washington, in March. She also is scheduled to present a paper on Katherine Anne Porter at the South Central Modern Language Association conference in Dallas for November. She has been invited to speak in the Distinguished Lecturers Series sponsored by the University of Texas at Arlington on Oct. 25, and at the Fort Worth Chapter of TWU Alumni Chapter

on Sept. 10. Dr. Matthew Brown, assistant professor of English, presented a paper,”Parliament and Politics in the Middle English Life of St. Edward,” at the South Central Modern Language Association at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, in the fall. He is working on an article version of the paper. Dr. Gretchen Busl, assistant professor of English and Director of First Year Composition, was awarded a nationally competitive scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) to study intensive German at the Goethe Institut in Bremen, Germany. Her co-authored article, “Camping in the Disciplines: Assessing the Effect of Writing Camps on Graduate Student Writers,” was published in Across the Disciplines: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Language, Learning and Academic Writing in August 2015. Her article, “Drag’s Double Inversion: Insufficient Language and Gender Performativity in Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness and Djuna Barnes’ Nightwood,” was accepted for publication by the English Studies journal. She presented two papers at the International Comparative Literature Association conference in Vienna, Austria, in July. Dr. Busl organized a roundtable at the Modern Languages Association Conference in January called Graduate Student

First Year Composition and The Write Site planned a surprise going-away party for former senior secretary Wylijanna Cole, who took an academic advisor position in the College of Nursing in the spring.

Writing Pedagogies. The panel was composed of faculty and graduate students from English and rhetoric/composition programs around the country, including ESFL’s own Maureen Johnson. She organized a panel of TWU graduate students to present at the African Literature Association Conference in April in Atlanta. Ph.D. students Edward Royston and Tonya Blivens, along with Dulce DeCastro, presented papers on “Revisiting Ken


Saro-Wiwa’s Sozaboy” that were written for Dr. Busl’s Multilingual Writers or Global Novels in English courses. She also was awarded the Redbud Leadership Faculty Advisor Award for her work with ERGO-RSA. Dr. Vivian Casper, associate professor of English, published three performance reviews in the past year: Look Homeward, Angel by Ketti Please see FACULTY on Page 15


Continued from Page 14 Frings (at SMU) in the Thomas Wolfe Review 38.2; All My Sons by Arthur Miller (Alley Theatre, Houston) in The Arthur Miller Journal 11.1; and All My Sons by Arthur Miller (WaterTower Theatre, Addison) in The Arthur Miller Journal 11.1. Dr. Brian Fehler, associate professor of English, presented a paper, “The Politics of Providences: The Comets of the 1860s and their Interpretation in Puritan New England,” on a panel with Drs. Ashley Bender and Matthew Brown at SCMLA in Nashville. He also presented a paper, “Archives of Action: Toward Pedagogies of Feminist Rhetorical Historiography,” at the April CCCC conference in Houston and two papers, “When Writing Cultures Collide: Richard M Weaver and Conservative Critiques of Social Science Rhetoric” and “Writing for a Change of P(l)ace: Rhetorical Exigences and Publication of Mary Rowlandson’s Captivity Narrative,” at RSA in Atlanta in May. Dr. Fehler received a revise and resubmit from Rhetoric Review for an archival research project on 19th century immigration letters. He also worked this past summer with a colleague at Presidency University (Kolkata, India) and, through her, another scholar at University of Oldenburg (Getmany) they will attend a seminar this fall in Germany, “Gender and War Crimes.” Dr. Russell Greer, associate professor of English, published a review essay, “Unjustly Neglected: Four Early 20th Century British Texts,” in English Literature in Transition 1880-1920 ELT Press, 2016, Volume 59. Dr. Gray Scott, assistant professor of English and assistant director of academic assessment, published “The 36% Problem” in Interchange (November 2015) as an Open-Access article with financial support of the Texas Woman’s University library fund for open-access publishing. Contributed to the 11th edition of the St. Martin’s Guide to

Professor’s Corner continues Professor’s Corner, a literary discussion group, continued at the Denton Public Library. Organized by Dr. Stephen Souris with its third year of funding from Humanities Texas, several ESFL professors participated this year. Those who particiapted include: n Dr. Geneveive West’s “Marita Bonner: Neglected Harlem Renaissance Writer” on Nov. 11. n Dr. Gray Scott’s “Hamlet: He’s Not Suicidal and He Doesn’t Want His Mother” on Jan. 13. n Dr. Ashley Bender’s “’My Masculine Part the Poet in Me’: Gender in the Poetry of Aphra Behn” on Feb. 10. n Dr. Gretchen Busl’s (pictured) “When Prospero Becomes Prospera: Examining Gender Roles through Shakespeare’s The Tempest,” on June 8. Other presenters include Dr. Carl Smeller, Associate ProfesWriting. Gave a TedX talk, “Can we really teach writing?,” in March at the TedXTWU event. He was appointed assistant director of academic assessment for TWU in May. Dr. Stephen Souris, professor of English, continued to organize the Professor’s Corner literary discussion group at the Denton Public Library. It was funded for a third year from Humanities Texas. Additionally, Dr. Souris completed his tenth interview with distinguished Texas poets as host of the Texas Poets Podcast project, available at www.TexasPoetsPodcast.com.  Dr. Genevieve West, professor of


sor of English and Humanities at Texas Wesleyan University, “Science and Sympathy in Two Stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne” on Dec. 9; Dr. Patrick Bynane, TWU Associate Professor of Drama, “Stoicism on Stage: Seneca’s Octavia” on March 9; and Dr. AnaLouise Keating, TWU Professor of Women’s Studies, TWU “Revisionist Mythmaking in U.S. Poetry” on April 19. English and chair, received the Excellence in Service to Students award from TWU’s chapter of The National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi, and was nominated for the TWU Graduate Student Council’s Outstanding Faculty Member Award. At the 2016 MLA Convention she moderated the Reception Study Society’s session ”Race, Gender and Ideology: The Politics of Reception.” TWU has awarded her Faculty Development Leave for Spring 2017 for her project “Literary Archeology: Recovering American Women Writers from the 1920s-1940s.”

Two ESFL professors participate in TedX Despite the long hours of preparation, two English, Speech, and Foreign Languages faculty who participated in TedX would be willing to give another talk. Dr. Gretchen Busl and Dr. Gray Scott both gave presentations at the “Pioneering the Space Between” TedX at TWU event on March 4. Their presentations became live online in early June. Scott enjoyed the experience and may try to do it again, saying, “I really liked the people I was working with, both the other speakers and the folks backstage.” Busl was excited by the prospect of doing a second talk and eager “to get back on the TEDx stage again — next time without my security-blanket notecards!” Busl’s presentation, “Whoever Controls the Narrative has the Power,” focused on narrative theory as a tool of persuasion. “My TEDx talk focused on illustrating concepts from narrative theory (for example, the narrative paradigm and the idea of master plots) to encourage the public to be more critical of the stories presented to them via mainstream media. The title for my talk really says it all: ‘Whoever controls the narrative has the power.’” Scott’s presentation, “Can We Really Teach Writing?,” discusses the most effective methods for teaching writing, which are often contrary to what some expect. “Education reformers and critics think we need to teach lots of grammar, but all the available evidence says that doesn’t work,” he said. “English teachers prefer methods that are harmless but, still, not terribly effective. I argue that we have plenty of evidence about what works best and that we need to start using it.” Scott decided to participate because of his passion for the subject matter. He also was grateful for the

Dr. Gretchen Busl gives her TedX talk “Whoever Controls the Narrative Has the Power.”

Watch on YouTube Busl’s presentation online at https://youtu.be/rNuzkAosEDw Scott’s presentation at https:// youtu.be/-fInpYL7Aag

Dr. Gray Scott’s presentation was “Can We Really Teach Writing?”

time for rehearsals and all of the support he received in the preparation process. For those who may want to participate in a TedX in the future, he had some advice. “Narrow your talk more than I did. … I found I had tackled a complicated enough subject that any cutting encouraged conclusions I didn’t want to encourage.” Busl was inspired to participate in TedX after her work with the 2015 Public Voices Thought Leadership Fellowship with the national Op-Ed


Project. The TedX talk was just part of the advocacy that she learned through the project. As for her advice for those interested in doing TedX? “I think just about everyone has an idea that matters, so I encourage people who might never imagine themselves to be public speakers to try the TEDx platform,” she said. “To put it simply, if there’s something you really believe in, you can give a TEDx talk. Admittedly, it’s not easy to prepare, practice, and then perform in front of an audience — but it is absolutely worth the effort!” TedX is a local version of TED Talks, which bring influential speakers to discuss topics for 18 minutes. The presentations are made available online for free. For more information on the university’s TedX, go to http://www.twu.edu/tedxtwu/.

Administrative staff enjoys work in ESFL This summer, ESFL added a new senior secretary, Jen Peace, who joins administrative assistant Lisa Grimaldo as support staff for the department. Peace, a TWU graduate, began work in June, replacing Wylijanna Cole as the senior secretary for First Year Composition and The Write Site. Grimaldo has worked as the department’s Administrative Assistant since August 2014. Peace has had a lot of experience with TWU’s campus, as her father worked for 20 years as a mechanic at TWU. “I have fond memories of going to work with my father and playing in the golf carts that sat in the bay waiting for service,” she said. After finishing her B.A. in drama at TWU, she worked in early childhood education, including the North Star Academy in Lantana, where she served as assistant director. Grimaldo has experience inside and outside of academia, including working as receptionist at a program management company in Houston and a CPA office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She also worked a part-time job at a homeschool bookstore in Lewisville. She received her degree from Texas A&M, where she worked in some departments as well as College of Engineering’s Dean’s Office. She also likes to practice what she learned in her degree.


Continued from Page 7 “It was so great to see the places that so many writers have written about,” She also got a little taste of America, when it came to music at least. “I went to a restaurant and they had a country western band,” Blivens said. “I’m in the middle of Nairobi listening to the singer belt

Lisa Grimaldo, left, and Jen Peace pose for a photo outside Stoddard Hall.

“I enjoy practicing Spanish,” she said. “It was my major in college, and I feel the need to keep it up.” Outside of practicing her Spanish, Grimaldo spends a lot of time with her family, including her daughters who go to college locally. She also loves watching birds, squirrels, rabbits, and growing flowering plants. Her favorite book is the Bible followed closely by The Lord of the Rings trilogy. She also used to throw pottery. “I enjoyed making utilitarian bowls and pitchers,” she said. When Peace isn’t working, she is active in the Denton theater community, where she serves as the incoming president for the 20162017 season. “Acting is my passion, and I take part in my passion when my schedule allows,” she said. She also spends her free time watching Scandal, The Blacklist,

Law and Order: SVU or House of Cards or Orange is the New Black with her husband, Kelly, and Gilmore Girls with her daughters, and superhero movies with her son. She is excited to join the ESFL community. “Everyone I have met so far has been incredibly welcoming and made me feel better about leaving a position I loved and families, coworkers, and children that had become a part of my extended family,” she said. “I look forward to cultivating and sustaining those same relationships with the people I meet along the way in this new chapter of my life.” Grimaldo also credits the relationships with the university as one of reasons she enjoys working here. “I enjoy working at TWU because of the friendly and helpful staff and administration here as well as our beautiful campus,” she said.

out Garth Brooks’ ‘I’ve Got Friends in Low Places.’” Also, Blivens learned the sincerity of the Tanzanian greeting. “They really mean ‘How are you?’” she said. “They are really sincere in their greetings and often stop to chat when they greet others. They pause for handshakes and to chat. In their culture there are no quick hi and byes. “ While visiting the sites was fun, the real takeaway was getting to work

with students. “My best memory will be working with the students. They had such a thirst for knowledge and education,” she said. Blivens also appreciated getting to see a different education system up close. “English is not widely spoken in Tanzania and instruction is mainly done in Kiswahili,” she said. “Currently there is a push within education to learn English.”


Global Connections focuses on poverty issues A university program that helps students expand their understanding of global issues brought in two scholars this past year to discuss the issue of poverty. “The Global Connections Initiative, a campus-wide program, brought in Dr. Connie Mick for a fall program and Dr. Rima Abunasser for a spring program. Both scholars gave speeches on their research areas and hosted workshops for graduate students. The program is supported by several campus departments, including ESFL. Mick is the associate director of the Center for Social Concerns and the director of Community Based Learning at the University of Notre Dame. Mick’s presentation focused on the theme of “Eradicating Poverty.” Abunasser specializes in 18th-century British literature, transnational literature, and women and gender studies and teaches courses on contemporary Arabic literature, British literature, and transnational women’s writing at Texas Christian University. Abunasser’s presentation focused on the theme of “Rethinking Gender in the Middle East: Teaching, Research, and Activism.” Drs. Ashley Bender and Gretchen Busl were part of the multi-department organizational committee. Bender said the program was “VERY well attended” by students, with 52 students at Mick’s reading discussion and 81 at Abunasser’s reading discussion. From 48 to 64 students, faculty, staff, and community attended other related events, including lectures and film screenings, Bender said. Mick said she was “incredibly impressed by the faculty and staff at TWU. The students are doing innovative and important research in the intersection of composition, gender, narrative, and global affairs.” She also stressed the importance

Dr. Rima Abunasser, center, poses for a photo with Drs. Ashley Bender, left, and Dr. Gretchen Busl. Photo courtesy of College of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Connie Mick

of the topic of poverty, saying the issue is global with local effects. One example she offered was environmental degradation, which makes it impossible for the impoverished to leave toxic environments. “I want students to see how the choices they make as consumers and voters in the U.S. impact the


most vulnerable people around the world,” Mick said. “And if we can better acknowledge and understand poverty in the U.S., we can do more for people in poverty abroad.” Dr. Abunasser also stressed the importance of a broader understanding of perspectives. “I think it’s always important for all of us — students or otherwise — to familiarize ourselves with as many stories and perspectives as possible,” she said. “I often tell my students that the study of global literature, specifically, or global issues, more broadly, is not a means of erasing or negating one’s own identity. Rather it’s a way to place ourselves within a much larger conversation, to find connections among our beliefs, ideas, etc. and those of others around us. Being aware of the multiplicity of global narratives and perspectives will ideally enrich our lives in many, many different ways.” Please see GLOBAL on Page 19

The Write Site continues to expand offerings The Write Site serves hundreds of students each year as it continues to grow after more than 40 years in operation, according to tutor coordinator Dr. Jennifer PhillipsDenny. The site had more than 4,000 appointments in the school year. The Write Site remains open in the summer. In the past year, the Write Site received increased funding to add more tutors and added a walk-in tutor in the spring. “The walk-in tutor has become very popular!” Phillips-Denny said. “Previously, we were on an appointment-only basis, and students appreciate the flexibility of being able to just walk in and receive help on their writing.” Write Site staff also participated in several campus activities, including New Student Orientation/Write Site Open House, Pioneer Camp. Commuter Services eLounge Lunch Chats, Nontraditional Open House, and Academic Resource Fairs. The Write Site also is active in the North Texas Writing Center Association, where Phillips-Denny is completing her two-year term as president. Lead Write Site graduate assistant Haley Mowdy won the Mary Nell Kivikko Excellence in Scholarship Award from the organization. This upcoming year, the site plans to add more workshops to the Write Site Spotlights, which focus on helping students work on sentencelevel issues in writing.


Continued from Page 18 Bender also stresses the importance of new perspectives and the effect it can have on students. She says that is one of the main successes of Global Connections.

The summer 2016 staff of The Write Site includes Dr. Jennifer Phillips-Denny, center, and student workers, clockwise from bottom, Haley Mowdy, Tessa O’Connor, Christopher Coan, Jessica Williams, Gary Gallien, and Jaclyn Kliman.

Last year, The Write Site marked 40 years in service to the university. Phillips-Denny says the studentdirected service offered by the site has been helpful for students. “Anytime writers ask for help with writing it puts them in a vulnerable position,” Phillips-Denny said. “Because the services we provide

are student-directed, our students know that the help they receive is going to be exactly what they ask for. This makes asking for help less intimidating. “ For more information on The Write Site or to schedule an appointment, go to http://www.twu.edu/writesite/.

“I know it sounds hyberbolic, but the sessions can lead to a lot of ‘aha’ and, dare I say, life-changing moments for students,” Bender said. “I’ve had a number of students who have come up to me after a GCI event and share how their perspectives had changed: they viewed the world differently.”

Bender said this year’s Global Connections will focus on the U.S. election. She also said, “Funding will allow the ‘Building Global Perspectives’ project to increase marketing for GCI events, particularly with the intent of drawing more community members.”


GRADS ON THE GO Elizabeth Brownlow, M.A. graduate, has been accepted to the Bowling Green State University for their American culture studies doctoral program. Marie Carrier, M.A. graduate, has accepted a position as copywriter at Neiman Marcus Group Amanda Clark, 2016 B.A. graduate, received the Chancellor’s Research Scholar Award for her Honors Capstone project, “Beyond Our Perception: Why We Must Read, Understand, and Engage with Middle Eastern and Muslim Women.” She also was selected as an alternate for the U.S. Fulbright English teaching assistantship to Turkey. Wylijanna Cole graduated in August 2015 with a master of education in higher education from Abilene Christian University. She now is an academic advisor for the TWU College of Nursing, working closely with prelicensure undergraduate students and students in the RN-BS/MS program Saffyre Falkenberg, 2016 bachelor’s degree graduate, has been accepted into the program for a M.A. in English and a graduate certificate in women and gender studies at Texas Christian University. Dr. Elizabeth Hamm, 2016 Ph.D. graduate, has accepted a position as an instructor at Arizona

State University. Dr. Jamie Jones, 2016 Ph.D. graduate, received the Graduate Student Council’s Outstanding Doctoral Student Pioneering Spirit Award. She and Dr. Gray Scott received a Council of Writing Program Administrator’s Targeted Research Grant for our stereotype threat study. She received several scholarships, including Allsup-Lane Scholarship, Virginia Dykes Scholarship, and John L. Dawson, Sr. Scholarship. She presented at Feminisms & Rhetorics and at RSA. Additionally, Jones completed several different levels of Toastmasters International, to include the Competent Leader award, Advanced Leader Bronze award, and Advanced Communicator Bronze award.  Dr. Michele Lockhart and Dr. Kathleen Mollick released a new book Hillary Rodham Clinton and the 2016 Election: Her Political and Social Discourse. Lockhart also was named director of programs and accreditation with the academic affairs and Provost Department at The University of Texas at Dallas. Savannah Peer graduated in December as the first Terry Scholar graduate from TWU. Peer was the first transfer student to receive the scholarship at TWU. She works as the digital marketing manager for Good Life

Texas Poet Laureate Karla K. Morton, shown with Weina Dai Randel, visited the TWU campus in October for a reading and book signing.

Family magazine. Weina Dai Randel M.A. graduate, had two book launches this spring. The launch for The Moon in the Palace was March 1 at the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas. The launch for the sequel, The Empress of Bright Moon, was April 5 at the Southlake Barnes & Noble. Judith Church Rosenberg’s thesis, Parallels: The Morality Play “Everyman” and Selected Tales of Nathaniel Hawthorne, was recognized by ProQuest Dissertations & Theses databases as one of the 25 Most-Accessed theses during October 2015. Erin Russell Gibson, B.A. graduate, with Matt Gibson chaired a panel at the Texas Folklore Society’s 100th annual meeting in April. They also gave a presentation “The Hermit: A Study of the Legend Central to Cascade Caverns in


Boerne, Texas” at the Texas State Historical Association Conference in March. She had an article, “From the Farm to the Fryer: Food of the State Fair of Texas” in last year’s Texas Folklore Society’s publication, Tales of Texas Cooking: Stories and Recipes from the Trans Pecos to the Piney Woods and High Plains to the Gulf Prairies.  Dr. Bernice Sanchez, who recently earned tenure at Texas A&M International University, received a two-year, $277,200 grant from the Write for Texas Agency. The grant offers support for secondary education in writing. Dr. Donna Souder received a $2.6 million Developing HispanicServing Institutions Program of the U.S. Department of Education grant to create a Center for Teaching and Learning.at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

TWU Alumni: New name, same camaraderie The English Charter Chapter of the Former Students Association is undergoing a slight name change, but that won’t change the camaraderie of the organization comprised of TWU alumni. The university is changing the Former Students Association to The TWU Alumni Association, which will mean the new name for the English Charter Chapter will be the English Academic Chapter of the TWU Alumni Association, according to Dr. Phyllis Bridges, professor of English and longtime collaborator with the alumni group. The organization will continue to be run by a council headed by co-chairs Georgia Headley and Dr. Helen McCourt. The organization works to keep graduates connected to TWU and to the English, Speech, and Foreign Languages Department, McCourt said. There are about 150 active members, Bridges said. They are always open to new members. The English Chapter hosts several events throughout the year, including visiting a Folklore exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth to a group attending the TWU Drama department’s production The Triumph of Love during Homecoming. “We also sponsored the First Year Writing Awards — scholarships for students who were nominated for writing in their composition courses,” McCourt said. This was our second year to sponsor those awards.” The organization also sponsored two families at Christmas for the TWU Adopt-A-Family Program, Bridges said. The organization also sponsors two graduate scholarship of $750 each. Last year’s recipients were doctoral student Judy Donaldson and one to M.A. student Adam Kullman. Members also can participate in a Book Club, which moved from

Members of the English Academic Chapter of the TWU Alumni Association, including some members of the Executive Council, pose for photo with Don Edwards, first row left, and Patricia Edwards. Others pictured are front row, from let,, Junita Duenez-Lazo, Johnna Headley, Georgia Headley, Delores Zumwalt, Helen McCourt. Back row, from left, Sarah Sprinkle, Dr. Phyllis Bridges, Cheri Edwards, Rhonda Ross, Leanne Lentschke, and Elaine Cho.

Scholarships recipients to be recognized at alumni event Three scholarship recipients will be recognized at the fall reception of the Texas Woman’s University National Alumni Association. M.A. in English students Haley Mowdy and Christopher Coan, and rhetoric doctoral student Anna Genneken will receive recognition for Alumni Association scholarships at the reception. Mowdy was awarded a $750 scholarship from the English Chapter of the Alumni Association. Members of the scholarship committee include Georgia Headley, Helen McCourt, Kristina McGroarty, and Delores Zumwalt, all graduates of TWU and members of the chapter council. Coan and Genneken received Johnnie Lee Feemster scholarships by the awards committee

Please see ALUMNI on Page 23


for the national TWU Alumni Association in the amount of $500 each. The scholarship was endowed through gifts from the late Dr. Esther Broome, professor of textiles at TWU, and through support from the Alumni Association. The members of that scholarship committee are Mary Ann Baker; Emily Mae Stafford, and Nora Sierra. Genneken also received a general Former Students Association award.

Alumna donates funds to start scholarship Dr. Helen Benjamin recently decided to give back to the program that she graduated from more than 25 years ago. Benjamin started a scholarship this year and plans to continue the scholarship next year. Doctoral canddiate Erika Johnson was the first recipient of the scholarship. Benjamin wanted to start this scholarship for a long time and says it is just one of the ways that she likes to give back. “I think service to others is what we all have to do and sharing our personal resources is part of that service,” she said. Benjamin also sponsors a scholarship for the Contra Costa Community College District in California, where she has been chancellor for the past 11 years. As chancellor, Benjamin supervises a system with three colleges and two centers that serves more than 55,000 students. She has worked with the district for 26 years. Benjamin credits her success with the support she received as a student throughout her education career. Benjamin received her bachelor’s in English from the former Bishop College in Dallas and graduate degrees from TWU. She received a master’s in education with a major in supervision in 1977 and a doctorate in English with a rhetoric concentration in 1989. She recalls that there were mostly women, but few African-Americans, as fellow graduate students and

Dr. Helen Benjamin

praises TWU for being supportive of women. “I attribute much of my education to being in environments where I felt very supported,” she said. “My experience at TWU was overall a very good experience.” Benjamin recalls that the program was much different than it is now. After receiving her master’s degree, she worked at her alma mater Bishop College. She was told she would need her doctorate to become department chair, so she returned to TWU for her Ph.D. in English. Because her master’s degree was not in English, former chair Lavon Fulwiler told her she would have to take all of the courses for the master’s

degree as well as the courses for doctorate. She started taking courses in 1981 and finished in 1983. Benjamin recalled that she had to take comprehensive exams in five areas over an entire week covering rhetoric as well as choosing from seven historical periods of literature. She finished all of the requirements for her degree in 1989. Because she worked full time and had a family, she appreciated the support she received from faculty and fellow students. “I had young children, financial issues and transportation issues, and they understood that and did not penalize me in any way,” Benjamin said. “I think being educator is about understanding the barriers for my students and helping them succeed no matter those barriers.” She also credits literature with giving her a better outlook on life. In fact, she does a presentation nationally about how literature builds leadership skills. Additionally, the experience of receiving a Ph.D. contributed to her understanding about endurance and hard work. And for Benjamin, the key to that success comes back to education. “Throughout my life, my professional models have been educators,” Benjamin said. ”Those are the people who helped me most. I feel a responsibility to help others the way that so many educators have helped me.“

Your funds can assist with ESFL programs The English, Speech & Foreign Languages Department has been successful throughout the years thanks to support from alumni and friends. The department has grown over the years thanks to that support, which helps fund scholarships and other efforts by the depart-

ment. We welcome contributions in the form of gifts for scholarships in the name of the donor, etc. We work with the TWU’s Office of University Advancement to arrange and process donations. Visit https://portalmisc.twu.edu/ OnlineGivingWeb/frmWelcome.


aspx to make donations. If you have questions about how to arrange for your gift, please contact department chair Dr. Genevieve West by phone at 940.898.2341, by email at [email protected], or by mail at P.O. Box 425829, Denton, TX 76204.

Alumna named vice president for NCTE TWU alumna Dr. Jocelyn A. Chadwick has been teaching for more than 30 years, including stints at Harvard, and now serves as the vice president of National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Chadwick graduated with an M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in English, with a concentration in classical and modern rhetoric from TWU. She also has a bachelor’s degree in English and drama from Houston Baptist University. She has been teaching English for more than 30 years, including at Irving High School, Collin County Community College, University of North Texas, and Harvard Graduate School of Education. She took a brief break from Harvard in 2005 to deal with a family crisis, but returned to Cambridge in 2012. She remains busy, working in many areas, including her work with NCTE, where she will eventually serve as president of the organization. “At present, I guest lecture at Harvard and conduct a seminar; I consult (teachers and students around the country, NBC News Education, Mark Twain House with an NEH grant, working with a charter school in Hartford); I write books and articles,” she said.


Continued from Page 21 Goodreads to Facebook this year. The summer book was Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. The fall book will be The Train to Estelline by Jane Roberts Wood The book club is just one example of the benefits of joining, according to Bridges. “It helps our graduates keep in touch with TWU,” she said. “They enjoy being together and joining activities. McCourt said the coming year will

Her publications include her recent book, Teaching Literature in the Context of Literacy Instruction, which was published by Heinemann in October 2015. Chadwick was inspired by professors at Texas Woman’s University, crediting the experiences with changing her perspective on English. “More importantly, TWU’s instruction continues to inform my teaching and research and perspective to this moment: the singularly unique combination of literature, history, rhetoric and humanities places the understanding ... and breadth of literature into the context of lifelong, global literacy,” she said.

Part of that experience included a residency in London while a student at TWU. These experiences helped her see the integration of rhetoric and American and British literature. As for advice for students, Chadwick says TWU’s rigorous program is an asset going into the complications of the modern world. “Much is expected of each citizen, and a solid education necessarily allows one to adapt and adjust with critical thinking, critical reading, speaking, listening, etc.,” she said. She also encouraged students to really think about their goals for the next 10 to 15 years. She credits TWU professors with creating that type of “reality-basing.” “I have always lamented that I have been unable to thank those at TWU for such an amazing life, a life which, along with my parents and hard work, the Professors at TWU most assuredly put into my hands and mindset,” she said.

include more events, including at least one fundraiser. “The funds we raise are always used in support of students, through scholarships, awards, and contributions to the TWU Christmas for Kids collection (which helps purchase Christmas gifts for children of TWU students),” McCourt said. The chapter was dormant for a while and was restored four years ago. When asked about her fondest memories from the organization, McCourt said it was a fundraiser, which included an auction with items gathered by Bridges and

the Executive Council. “We had a huge attendance at the event, where we had refreshments and time for visiting and reconnecting while viewing the auction items,” she said. “In a matter of a couple of hours, we were able to collect over $2,000 for our scholarship funds.” As for Bridges, it comes back to her connection with the university. “I am the only faculty member at TWU who has been named an honorary alumna,” the Texas Tech alumna said. “It is a major honor for me.”

Dr. Jocelyn Chadwick


Travel Abroad

Students, faculty, alumni, and families traveled to Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria as part of a travel abroad program. In fall, the students studied Alpine literature and then traveled to the region in January. The class was taught by Drs. Gretchen Busl and Matthew Brown. In the top photo, the group visits Lucerne, Switzerland. In the center left and bottom left photo, students visit Schronbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. In the photo on the right, Dr. Alfred

Litton and Hugh Burns visit one of the many Goethe statues in Germany.



Continued from Page 6 (for whatever reasons) and feel like it’s my calling (as corny as that sounds) to help those struggling learn to better express themselves to be understood.” Building on past classroom experiences, both as a student and a teacher, is one of the ways that Malin improves her pedagogy. Her diverse life experiences also are part of that inspiration. A longtime reporter, Malin start teaching while getting her master’s in mass communications/journalism at Texas Tech. She started as a substitute teacher in high schools and then kept teaching. For a while she remained a reporter and a substitute teacher at the same time, but eventually shifted interest into community college teaching. “I was hired on the spot and couldn’t believe how excited I was to teach college-level courses,” she said. “I never saw that coming, even though my family had often mentioned that I should be a teacher. When I was younger I planned on being an archeologist.” One of Malin’s strengths as a teacher is her ability to care about her students. “If students can see that you truly care — and you can’t fake this — most will respond by trying harder for you,” she said. “Try to meet them where they are. It’s okay to be vulnerable and admit your mistakes; heck, I’m far from perfect.” Scott also sees vulnerability as a strength. “Students need to know how to do these things, but it’s difficult to do it without a role model, and most faculty try hard to appear infallible,” he said. “In modeling how being human and fallible can make us better teachers, Natalie is a role model the rest of us in education.”

Students visit Collins College

Students from TWU ESFL participated in the Collin College Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Student Research Conference. Students shared multimodal projects and adaptations created for courses like Intro to the Study of World Literature and Shakespeare and Adaptation, and for Honors Capstones in April 2016, Among those who participated were, from left: Bethany Powell, Dr. Gretchen Busl, Kira Cheek, Elizabeth Headrick, Nadiyah Suleiman, Megan Stacy.

ESFL Thanksgiving The First Year Composition Program and The Write Site organized a Thanksgiving celebration in November. Students, faculty, and staff brought in dishes to share to go with the department provided Turkey. Camraderie and eating tookplace in the first floor offices and The Write Site offices. Pictured, upper left: Drs Jamie Jones and Brian Fehler talk alongside the food. Pictured bottom left: Adjuncts Nathan King and Marie Carrier share some laughs in CFO127.


Letter from the Chair Dear Students, Faculty and Alumni, It seems appropriate this year to end our annual newsletter with this photo. I am holding the plaque awarded by the Graduate Student Council for the Pioneering Spring Award for Best Department outside our home, the Classroom and Faculty Office Building. I am both humbled and gratified by the recognition for our graduate programs. Please understand that I cannot and do not claim responsibility for it. Rather, any such recognition must grow from a shared departmental culture, a culture that in ESFL puts students first. We were nominated by two of our (then) doctoral students, Ph.D. candidates Maureen Johnson and Joel Madore — now Dr. Joel Madore! The awards ceremony was a wonderful evening of celebration and camaraderie for students, faculty and staff. Both of our nominators appreciate the supportive environment in the department and our encouragement of scholarly work. While much of this type of support comes in one-on-one time with faculty and grows out of courses, the department also voted unanimously to devote funding to support graduate student travel for conference presentations. We have many needs in the de-

partment, but our faculty members recognize that for graduate students to be successful after graduation they must be actively presenting at the top conferences in their areas of specialization. Their active work is documented in our Student Successes section. Dr. Jamie Jones, also a Spring 2016 graduate, who won the Pioneering Spirit Award for Outstanding Graduate Student that night, is a shining example of what is possible when a student devotes herself to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. In addition, Allsup-Lane Scholarship recipient Edward Royston, doctoral student in rhetoric, was recognized at the awards ceremony. He is the latest in a long line of our Allsup-Lane Scholars from ESFL. In addition to these awards, we had a number of nominations from the department: Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant nominees Rachael Geary, doctoral candidate in rhetoric, and Reanae McNeal, doctoral candidate in women’s studies; Outstanding Master’s Student nominee Haley Mowdy; Outstanding Staff member nominee: Wylijanna Cole, former senior secretary for First Year Composition and The Write Site (who won the same award last year); and three Outstanding Faculty nominees: Dr. Gretchen Busl,

Dr. Genevieve West

Dr. Russell Greer, and myself. What I hope to suggest here is that ESFL has developed a supportive, caring culture that also values striving for excellence in teaching, research, and service. We put students first in ESFL — both at the graduate level and at the undergraduate level, but we are more than teachers. We are teacher-scholars, working to balance the demands of meeting needs for students and still contributing to the creation of new knowledge in our varied areas of specialization and to the evolving life of our university. Our contribu-


tions to scholarly and professional endeavors are documented in the Faculty Successes section. And, the Graduates on the Go section indicates that our students are finding success in a range of fields after they graduate. These long-term successes are our reason for being. ESFL exists to help students find their own paths to success, first at the university and then beyond, whether as a teacher, professor, administrator, advisor, editor, writer, or bank analyst. We serve as a launch pad for student success. It’s a great time to be in ESFL!