August 24, 2023


Thursday, August 24, 2023

Dear Colleagues,

I hope your first week of classes is going well.  It has been gratifying to see so many people in the department this week and to feel the enthusiasm for the new academic year from faculty, students, and staff.  

Undergraduate Director Clayton Tarr hosted a successful event yesterday for new English majors. Gina Karp, Tiffany Morin, and Alan Rauch discussed advising, the English Learning Community, and Sigma Tau Delta. Monica Burke, Angie Williams, and Gina Karp did a great job setting up for the event, which also included drinks and plentiful snacks. I’m sure the students appreciated the warm welcome they were given.

I would also like to remind everyone that Interim Dean John Smail will attend tomorrow’s department meeting (8/25/23) at 11:00 to discuss the upcoming chair search.  Please make every effort to attend. 


JuliAnna Ávila co-authored an article titled “Critical Digital Literacies in the middle years classroom: Where we started and what might yet be,” which was published in the Australian journal Literacy Learning: The Middle Years.

Bryn Chancellor published a short story titled “Radio Sky” in Ecotone.

Paula Connolly published an essay titled “Wondrous Water” in RISE: A Children’s Literacy Journal. 

 Aaron Gywn published three essays in The Spectatorincluding “Oppenheimer’s Passenger,” “Blood Meridian is Cormac McCarthy’s Masterpiece,” and “Cormac McCarthy Is Gone—But His Works Remain Brilliantly Alive.”

Janaka Lewis (with Vaugh Schmutz of Sociology and other faculty in the College and the School of Architecture) received Ignite Center funding for the Center for Community-engaged Arts and Design Research (CADRe). The Center aims to promote and conduct research on the role of the arts and design in: socioeconomic mobility; diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; and community health and revitalization. The proposed Center will provide the foundation for large-scale research projects involving the university and various partners in interdisciplinary and community-engaged research with local relevance and scholarly application. 

Malin Pereira is the lead author of “From the Top Down: Implications of Honors College Deans’ Race and Gender” in Honors Colleges in the 21st Century, edited by Richard Badenhausen and published by National Collegiate Honors Council.

Alan Rauch gave a presentation to the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association (NCSA) Graduate Caucus Professional Development Scholars in Progress (SiP) session on maintaining a productive research schedule following a busy academic year.

Mark West has edited another issue of RISE: A Children’s Literacy Journal.  The issue includes an article by Paula Connolly with other articles and book reviews by current and past graduate students, including Theresa “Tree” Martus, Jessica Carmargo, Abby Moore, Jessica Berrios, and Sam Martin.  He also published an article titled “On Summer Holiday in the Lake District with Arthur Ransome” in The Early Children’s Literature and Culture Chronicle  and gave a presentation, “The Winnie-the-Pooh Toys and Their Immigration to America,” at the 9th International Toy Research Association World Conference in Rochester, New York.

Best wishes for the fall semester!