Sunday, August 23, 2015

Off to a New Year!

New Colleagues

The Department of English and Modern Languages is pleased to welcome new and visiting faculty this fall.

 Dr. Elizabeth Canon hails from the Atlanta area. She completed her PhD. in linguistics at the University of Georgia, where her dissertation involved a corpus-based, computer-assisted analysis of verbal patterns in the polemical works of the first translator of a printed English Bible. She is a recognized expert on the Tyndale Corpus.  She also conducts research on the use of dialects of American English to characterize the individuals who speak them, with particular attention to language-based discrimination.  In her teaching, Dr. Canon asks students to conduct their own research on dialect prejudice.  Additional interests: analyzing electronic corpora to examine images in the work of English Reformation authors, innovative word formation in Early Modern English, and analysis of lexical innovations in the writings of medieval German and English mystics.

Dr. Gaywyn Moore completed her PhD. at KU and has returned to the Midwest after teaching in Minnesota. A specialist in British literature before 1800 and Shakespeare, Gaywyn’s dissertation, “Exhuming Henry VIII’s Court: The Tudor Household on the Jacobean Stage,” takes up Henry VIII’s historical significance when England’s government was again undergoing the transition from Elizabeth to James. Her research engages with the fissures in Henry’s household as part of a larger conversation about the queen’s role in the commonwealth and spiritual health of England.  Additional interests are Renaissance literature, drama from ancient Greece to today, and Utopian literature. Dr. Moore values the impact of study abroad, having led students to England and Scotland. Her teaching emphasizes viewing the text within its historical moment, such that students can grasp the connections between historical and contemporary performance of textual theme and description.

Joining us from China, Liu Yiming brings expertise in the relevance of culture in translation. She is currently an instructor of English at the School of Foreign Languages at Xidian University. She is also a researcher with a focus on literary translation. Liu received her M.A. from Northwest University in 2010. Her dissertation was entitled “On Translation of Culture-loaded Words in the Relevance-theoretic Account --- A Case Study of Mo Yan’s novel ‘Big Breasts and Wide Hips.’” . She is fond of teaching and has high expectations for students; she tries to make her classes lively and interesting. In 2012, she ranked second in the SFLEP National Foreign Language Teaching Contest (Shaanxi Division).

Paul Dijkzeul will teach German as a Fulbright scholar this year.  Born and raised in Hamburg, Germany, he has spent the last five years studying in the central German town of Göttingen, which is roughly the size of St. Joseph and also features the lower Saxony State University, where he completed his degrees in Mathematics and English last year. For the last two years, he has been teaching semantics to undergraduate students, which led to teaching English as well. He has come to the US hoping to improve his teaching skills as well as share some of his German culture.  In his free time, he enjoys dancing in a wide variety of styles, from European ballroom dances to Latin American classics. He also serves as chairman of a self-organized student café, where he spends most of his breaks during the day. Besides that, he loves travelling, especially to neighboring European countries.

Summer Celebration

Dr. Marianne Kunkel and husband Dave anticipate the arrival of a bundle of joy later this fall. Colleagues and friends joined in the baby shower hosted by Brooksie Kluge. It is said that delicious food and lovely gifts were enjoyed.

Publications and presentations                            in splendid settings

Kaye Adkins participated in the Rocky Mountain Writers Retreat held July 24-27 at Grand Lake, Colorado. The Retreat brings researchers together in a supportive environment to develop, write, and share projects in professional writing.

Claudine Evans attended the annual convention of the American Association of Teachers of French in Saguenay, Quebec. She moderated a session and presented  "La réforme territoriale en France: enjeux, réactions et activités pédagogiques / French Territorial Reform: issues, reactions, and pedagogical activities."

Susie Hennessy’s book, Consumption, Domesticity, and the Female Body in Emile Zola’s Fiction, was published by the Edwin Mellen Press.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

News from China

A Much Needed Boost of Energy from St. Joe
(Short Blog Entry for a Short Visit)

            Yes, I have (mostly) loved it here on my own—living, learning, being—as Xi’an has gone on without a worry or concern for this American. And, yes, I have immersed myself into a routine during the ten months; building a connection with my students, taking in the culture, haggling over a head of broccoli at the local open-air market, perfecting my stir-fried veggies while still clinging to an early morning cup o’ joe from Starbucks; taking in a museum here, a pagoda there, a subway ride to a distant art village, but… BUT, I must say that after a while, well, homesickness has occasionally crept in and I have had to resort to a little bit of Thich Nhat Hanh to affirm that I am, indeed, still breathing in order to keep it at bay.  And then, happily, there was a visit from my dear bff, Rosie Lammoglia. The ten days we had, exploring, visiting sites, and simply hanging out to watch some DVDs of American TV shows (namely, The Newsroom—take that Michael Charlton!) brought me a second-wind for the months leading up to my inevitable departure from behind the Great Chinese Firewall.
            Our first stop was the famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum. Now, I know Kay and Z have also visited the site, and scrolling back through previous blogs will reveal her (different) review of it. The place is impressive. It’s fascinating. It is something I have wanted to see. We had a driver for the day (¥200, about $35) because it’s an hour’s drive northeast of Xi’an and difficult to get to via subway and bus. We also had a tour guide for ¥150 (about $25). 

The guide told us the history of the site, of farmers who were digging a well some forty years ago and how one of the farmers sent buckets of dirt up to his friends while he toiled down in the hole. He hit a few pieces of what he thought was pottery. He had the sense to know what he found was possibly important, so his friends pulled him out of the hole and he insisted they alert authorities. It turned out that his find was huge—an army protecting the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, in his afterlife. Now the farmer, who is still alive, receives ¥1000 per year ($160) as a stipend. (A measly hundred and sixty bucks a year for one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in China. Meanwhile… ah, well, I won’t.) The photos show the enormity of pit number one and how a hole for a well turned into rows and rows of warriors and horses and carriages and weapons (and hundreds of millions of tourist RMBs). Pits numbered two and three are less dramatic, with only a few rows of excavation having been completed. For some reason, along the walkways of pit two, there is an enclosed glass case that holds the only undamaged warrior of all the thousands of warriors they have uncovered. It’s actually very cool.
            Yet, simple photos don’t quite capture everything about it. I mean, until recently, former President Clinton was the only foreigner allowed down in the pits, other than archaeologists. But they don’t call me lucky for nothing. Yeah, Rosie and I had a good time.

            During other days, we shopped and ate and saw fireworks and strolled amongst huge lanterns atop the city wall during the spring festival and New Year. One of the best places to visit in Xi’an is the Muslim Quarter, which is close to the Bell Tower. The Quarter is a few narrow streets of some shops offering knock-off designer labeled purses, wallets, and watches, while other shops sell cheap knick-knacks made in China (like selfie stick extensions for cell phone cameras, tiny plastic toys, and small silk purses). Other vendors cooked up “stick food” (wooden skewers) with squid or quail eggs or mutton.  The streets are always crowded and moving along takes time. However, Rosie and I continued to walk until the crowds disappeared and the streets widened just a bit. We came across a restaurant with about six tables inside where three women sat while making dumplings for a steamer. A young cook came in and grabbed bamboo trays full of the dumplings and went back out front to steam them up. Rosie had the mutton and I had the veggie. Delicious! The restaurant was a great find. Most of the time at the Quarter, though, was spent strolling through the crowds, haggling over satin robes or chopsticks or anything else that looked interesting to us. Fun, really.

          And then, unfortunately, Rosie had to leave. It was a sad day, but I will be forever grateful that my dear friend took the time and spent the money to travel halfway around the world. It was a great visit for both of us.
            Recently, I got back from my visit to Lhasa, Tibet. It was incredible and whatever I write about the experience, well, whatever I write just won’t cover how amazing it is. But…I’ll save that for now and send along another blog entry about it in a few weeks (when I’m making my way back to the States). Until then, see you all sometime in August.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring News

Cynthia Bartels attended the Popular Culture Association meeting in New Orleans to present "Who is George Harrison? Educating Our Youth."

Both Ana Bausset-Page and F. Eduardo Castilla attended the XLI International Symposium of Hispanic Literature, hosted by California State University Dominguez Hill. Dr. Bausset-Page moderated a session and presented "Literature and Cinematography; revelations of two worlds: J. Luis Borges and his Pierre Menard, author of Don Quijote."

Dr. Castilla-Ortiz presentedNo se trata si Cervantes o Quijote fueron queer, sino si este último es una identidad quijotesca/ It is not whether Cervantes and Don Quixote were queer, but if the latter is a quixotic identity.

Kara Bollinger’s editorial was published in the Kansas City Star, in the “As I See It” section. Bollinger wrote about Rosedale Ridge, a low income apartment complex in Kansas City, Kansas, where she volunteers. Read here:  

On April 1 and April 15, several PLWP Teacher Consultants were invited guests on Teacher Teaching Teachers, a weekly webcast on the Ed Tech Talk channel of the WorldBridges network, for a two-part show on rural education.  Hosted by the New York City Writing Project’s Technology Liaison, Paul Allison, the show featured commentary from TCs Linda Gaines, Jody Yuille, and Robin Rozell-Estenbaum (Breckenridge), Terrance Sanders (Braymer), Mary Lee Meyer (Jefferson, retired), Tom Pankiewicz (MWSU, retired), and Susan Martens (MWSU). 

The PLWP Open Writing Marathon, hosted by PLWP Director Susan Martens on April 11, drew five area teachers and writers for a day of exploring, writing, and sharing in diverse locations such as the St. Joseph Visitors Center, Pronto Café, The Albrecht Kemper Museum, Ashland Cemetery, and Boudreaux’s. 

Our spring graduates
Master's students and graduate faculty

Sarah Verduzco and Dr. Rivera

Dr. Charlton and Wenfei Zhao

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April Accolades

Slam poet Taylor Mali came to Western on April 20th and packed Kemper Recital Hall for an evening of verse that both moved and entertained the audience. Kudos to Marianne Kunkel for organizing and hosting this successful event.

The department celebrated outstanding graduates on April 21st:  Betsy Lee, BSE English, Joey Tucker, BA English and Becca Miller, BA Spanish.  In addition, the following students earned the Scholastic Key received pins for their academic achievement: Erica Cook, Krystal Hicok, Betsy Lee, Morgan Rathmann, Nicole Bradley, Cami Pendleton, Cameron Pike, Brent Rosenauer, Garrett Skrbina, Joey Tucker and Gage Williams.

Dr. Martens with Betsy Lee

Joey Tucker with Dr. Bensyl

Becca Miller, flanked by Betsy Lee
and Dr. Castilla-Ortiz

Scholastic Key recipients Krystal Hicok,
Erica Cook, Cami Pendleton, Joey Tucker

May graduates in Spanish, Jordan Bleu and Alexa Adams, 
presented their senior thesis to Modern Languages faculty.
Jordan Bleu, Dr. Hennessy, Alexa Adams,
and Dr. Bausset-Page

Bravo to Donovan Jones and Kaitlin Christian, students in French, who wowed their audience in a special performance of La Tragédie de Carmenen français!

Monday, April 13, 2015

So much to celebrate in April!

The EML department is proud to congratulate our students 
who completed their Master's degrees in spring 2015.

Sofia Pierson successfully defended her capstone portfolio on technical communication tools and collaboration.  She will be going on the job market 
with her new MAA in technical communication.

Lauren Johnson successfully defended her MAS thesis on scripted reading programs in the K12 Classroom.  Ms. Johnson is a third grade teacher at East Buchanan and also a past participant in MWSU's Prairie Lands Writing Project.

Siyi Zhang and Huan Huang both completed their MAA work after returning to Xidian University in Xi'an, China.  Ms. Huang's thesis was on teaching English language learners in Chinese high schools. Ms. Zhang's thesis was a linguistic analysis of scientific communication in translation.

Clipping from the museum's newsletter

Applied learning and outreach

Students in Kaye Adkin's Technical Documentation class are engaged in a project for La Plata County Historical Society and the Animas Museum in Durango, Colorado. The project managers (including Sarah Hatten who is the project lead) are the graduate students in ETC 520 Publications Management.  The museum's gratitude for the work of Dr. Adkin's students is noted in the spring newsletter, stating that they have been "rescued by Griffons" in their efforts to catalog the artifacts of the Animas Museum.

Discovering the Student, Discovering the Self:ENG 100 Reading and Reception

Vicki Brushwood, Susan Kirsch, instructor Kara Bollinger, Sarah Bertram

On Wednesday, April 8, Dawn Terrick, Director of Developmental Writing, hosted 75 people at the annual reception for the ENG 100 student publication Discovering the Student, Discovering the Self.  Dr. Vartabedian kicked off the reception. Students received certificates and awards and read their original work. They were joined by family and friends as well as MWSU faculty, staff and administration and all enjoyed an afternoon of celebration. 

This is the ninth edition of Discovering the Student, Discovering the Self.  The essays in this publication were selected by the English 100 Committee from submissions from English 100 students.  These essays reflect the struggle and the joy, the hard work and the rewards that these students have experienced both in their lives and in the classroom.  Furthermore, these essays reflect the diversity of our English 100 students and the uniqueness of this course.  Our students are entering college straight out of high school and are returning to the classroom after years of work and family, come from urban and rural areas, and represent different races and cultures.  And this work is truly their work -- the committee has not made any revisions or corrections to the essays.  We invite you to read these essays on our web site and hope that you will discover the same things that the students have discovered:  during their first semester in college, they are discovering themselves, realizing that they are part of many communities and defining themselves as individuals, students, scholars and citizens.

Modern Language Day 2015:  Languages: They Nourish the Brain!

The annual Modern Language Day took place on April 9, when we welcomed high school students from the region and asked them to show what they know in French and Spanish.  Students recited poetry, did their own poetry slams, competed in quiz bowls, lip sync and spelling bees.  Kudos to language faculty and their students for their efforts in making the day a success. 

The event even made the news: News clip featuring Modern Language Day.
You can view the winning lip sync by Maur Hill Mount Academy here.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Over 250 students in grades 9-12 from 15 different schools attended PLWP's High School Writing Day on March 5.  The event was coordinated by PLWP Co-Director Amy Miller (MWSU) and emceed by Teacher Consultant Terrance Sanders (Braymer), with help from Teacher Consultant Janet Jelavich (Maryville, retired), PLWP Director Susan Martens, and several MWSU pre-service English teachers, including Hanna Long, Adina Ogle, Wayne Griffin, Garrett Durbin, Jessica Helm, Jessie Walters, Sarah Chellew, Kayli Silket, Alayna Mazzeffe, Ashleigh Merrigan, and Brittany Assel.  Workshops were presented by several EML Department faculty, including Michael Charlton, Bill Church, Marianne Kunkel, Mary Stone, Meredith Katchen, and Brooksie Kluge, as well as Bob Bergland (Communication and Journalism), Tom Pankiewicz (MWSU, retired), and PLWP Teacher Consultants from the Saint Joseph School District Kyla Ward, Misty Burright, and Vicky Meyer. 

The PLWP also hosted its first-ever Middle School Writing Night on March 23, coordinated by MAA students who are also PLWP Teacher Consultants and Bode Middle school teachers, Josie Clark and Elisabeth Alkier, with help from PLWP Teacher Consultant and SJSD Gate Instructor Deb Ballin. Parents and friends came to hear 18 area students in grades 6-8 reading original writing composed in their after school and GATE writing clubs.  It was the culminating event for PLWP's 2014-2015 Community Literacy Initiative, funded by a U.S. Department of Education SEED (Supporting Effective Educator Development) Teacher Leadership grant sponsored by the National Writing Project. 

Dr. Kaye Adkins presented a paper, "Army Flash! Narrating a Civil Defense Procedure" at the conference of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing in Tampa, Florida. The paper is based on research that Dr. Adkins conducted while on sabbatical in fall of 2014. While in Tampa, Dr. Adkins also attended the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Marianne Kunkel's poem "I Guess," which appeared in the Summer 2014 issue of Rattle, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also, four panels that she proposed for North American Review's Bicentennial Creative Writing and Literature Conference were approved, including two with Mary Stone and two others with MWSU undergraduate students Crystal Crawford, Lindsey Lucas, and Chris Pankiewicz.

Michael Charlton presented a paper on international program collaborations at the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Mary Dockery had two poems published in the Issue 5 of The Atlas Review, "Long Distance" and "I Don't Know How to Live Here."  She also had a chapbook released in March: Honey and Bandages, by Folded Word Press, written with Katie Longofono.

Jeanie Crain has received another four-year appointment to the Peer Corps of the Higher Learning Commission, effective until August 31, 2018. She also received thanks from the Commission for her service since 2003.

Susan Martens has recently published two essays in the current issue of Louisiana Literature as part of a collection called "Finding Your Muse in New Orleans."

Kay Siebler presented her paper "An American Freirista in China: Critical Pedagogy in Post-Moa Communism" at the College Composition and Communication Conference in Tampa, Florida on March 21, 2015. Here is a photo of how she is spending her sabbatical. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

February Faculty and Student Accolades

February Faculty and Student Accolades

Prairie Lands Writing Project hosted the Teaching Argument Writing Cadre Meeting at Missouri Western, facilitated by Teacher Consultants Amy Miller (MWSU), Tom Pankiewicz (MWSU, retired), Jane Frick (MWSU, retired),  Susan Martens (MWSU), Kathy Miller (Weston), Janet Jelavich (Maryville, retired), and Terri McAvoy (SJSD, retired).   The event welcomed teachers from the three school districts involved in our i3 College Ready Writers Program (Braymer, Breckenridge, and Hamilton) to rate student papers, blog about effective classroom practice, and assess students' ability to effectively incorporate and cite sources in argumentative writing. 

Tom Pankiewicz, Amy Miller, and Kathy Miller were also joined by Terrance Sanders (Braymer) and Linda Gaines (Breckenridge) in representing PLWP at the National Writing Project's i3 CRWP Midyear Partnership Meeting in Memphis.

Abigail Cannon, who graduated with her B.S.E. in English in December 2014, has been named MWSU's recipient of the Robert J. Greef Award, given by the Missouri Association of Teachers of English to one outstanding graduate in secondary English education from each college or university in Missouri.  Abigail received her award at the Write to Learn Conference on Feb. 27 in Osage Beach. She was accompanied by her parents, Fred and Becky Cannon, and by her former professor, Susan Martens. 

Marianne Kunkel has received a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council. The grant will help make possible an event titled "The Mochila Review Presents: In the Shadow of Taylor Mali," which will bring the 2015 judge of Mochila's writers' contest, poet Taylor Mali, to campus.  
TheMochilaReview recently launched its website on Facebook.  

Claudine Evans and Susie Hennessy participated in a full-day immersion workshop for French educators, organized by the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French

Susan Martens' essay, "Finding My Nonfiction Pedagogy Muse at the New Orleans Writing Marathon Retreat" was published in the Spring 2015 issue of Assay: a Journal of Nonfiction Studies.