Monday, December 28, 2009

Vazquez publishes article

Dr. Karina Vazquez has published "Eva vive en otra parte: cambio de signo e identidad en Eva Perón, de Copi"in Delaware Review of Latin American Studies, Vol. 10 No. 2 (December 2009). (Link:

Congratulations, Karina!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Foreign Language Newsletter

Linked at the bottom of our EFLJ website is our first Foreign Language Newsletter. Thanks to our FL faculty, Drs. Vazquez, Hennessy, Castilla-Ortiz, and Youngkeit as well as Dr. Michael Charlton's Desktop Publishing students, Kait Newhart and Sarah Puett, for their work.

Please note the information at the bottom of the newsletter for your opportunity to help sponsor a student's study abroad experience.

Friday, December 4, 2009

More Faculty Achievements

Dawn Terrick, Director of Developmental Writing, and Bill Church, Director of Learning Communities, hosted a session, "Student Engagement for Social Change," at the 14th Annual National Learning Communities Conference in Marietta, GA.

Nine area teachers represented Prairie Lands Writing Project by giving presentations at the annual meeting of the National Writing Project, held in Philadelphia, PA, November 19-21. EFLJ's Jane Frick, Trish Donaher, and Tom Pankiewicz accompanied Valorie Stokes and Heidi Mick (Platt County High School), Jen Vermillion (Lathrop High School), Terri McAvoy (St. Joseph School District instructional coach), and Amy Fowler (Central High School).

Karina Vazquez, Jason Youngkeit, and Eduardo Castilla-Ortiz each delivered a paper at the Mid-America Conference on Hispanic Literature (MACHL), hosted by the University of Kansas, November 5-7.

Hot words on a cold night

On December 2nd, MWSU students, faculty, and alumni joined community members in packing Foster's Martini Bar for the final New Lit Out Loud open-mic reading of the fall semester. We had the widest range of readers ever, ranging from a twelve-year-old poet sharing her first love poem to spoken word artists chanting their poetic calls-to-arms and then all the way to the seemingly immortal Don Sollars, who recited his poems from memory.

The most common comment by everyone was that it was our riches and most diverse reading to date. But, hey, a new year is upon us. Watch for the spring schedule, coming in January. Lit lives!
--Bill Church

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Student and Faculty October Accomplishments


Dr. Kay Siebler presented a paper to the Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) conference in East Lansing, Michigan. The title of her multi-media presentation was "Getting Beyond Breast Binding: The Rhetoric of the Body inFemale Transqueers in Film and T.V."

Dr. Elizabeth Latosi-Sawin made a presentation entitled “Composing Yourself” on October 29 to the Area Health Education Centers Program. Dr. Sawin’s talk was heard by undergraduates from Missouri Western State and Northwest Missouri State University at Heartland Hospital in Saint Joseph and by fourteen other undergraduates through live videoconference in Kansas City, Springfield and Rolla.

Dr. Jeanie Crain completed an AQIP Quality Checkup Visit at Montcalm Community College (MI) Oct. 13-19; Dr. Crain has completed reviews of 10 AQIP Action Projects.
Dr. Bob Bergland gave a workshop presentation, "Investigative Reporting for College Journalists" at the National College Media Convention Oct. 31 in Austin, Texas. Bergland also gave a refereed presentation, "Convergence on Canadian Daily Newspaper Websites: A Content Analysis" at the Convergence and Society conference in Reno, Nevada, on Nov. 5.

On Oct 8-10, Mr. Tom Pankiewicz, English instructor, served on a National Writing Project Site Visit Team, consulting with the directors of the Georgia Southern Writing Project at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia.

The 2009 Griffon Yearbook took 4th place in the Best of Show competition at the 88th National College Media Convention in the Yearbook Under 300-pages Category. The convention was held Oct. 28 - Nov. 1 in Austin, Texas. Amy Chastain and Raphaelle Drew were co-editors of the 2009 Griffon. Dr. Ann Thorne and Dr. Ken Rosenauer served as advisers.

Dr. Ann Thorne made two presentations at the 88th National College Media Convention in Austin, Texas, Oct. 30th. Her presentations were entitled, "Be a Successful Yearbook Leader," and "Capture Your Readers With Feature Writing."

Student/Community Involvement/Successes

Prairie Lands Writing Project celebrated The National Day on Writing by hosting a local ( and national ( Gallery of Writing where area students, teachers, and community members can post their original writings through October 2010. English faculty members Dr. Patricia Donaher, Mr. Meredith Katchen, Ms. Patricia Brost, Dr. Cynthia Bartels, and Mr. Joseph Marmaud, and MWSU pre-service teacher Ms. Josie Clark established and are monitoring the web-based galleries. They also awarded prizes to writers for innovative pieces which were posted to the Galleries by November 1.

Twenty area teachers from Savannah, St. Joseph, North Nodaway, and Platte County School Districts participated in two Super Saturday Technology sessions held at Missouri Western in October. The workshops, "Creating Digital Classroom Compositions in Photo Story 3," and "Shoot and Write Marathon/Fun with Flickr Workshop," were supported by National Writing Project Technology Initiative grants awarded to Prairie Lands Writing Project. Mr. Tyler Carlson, Savannah High School English teacher, and Ms. Mary Lee Meyer, Prairie Lands Writing Project technology liaison, facilitated the workshops.

Prairie Lands Writing Project and the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Journalism sponsored the second annual "Poetry, Prose, Plays and Pizza!" workshop series at Western, October 29 - November 12, to assist students and their teachers in preparing contest entries for this year's National Scholastic Writing Awards Contest. Western English/creative writing faculty members Ms. Meg Thompson, Dr. Bill Church, and Mr. Dana Andrews conducted the poetry, prose, and plays workshops, respectively; over 125 area teenagers and their teachers participated in one or more of the workshops. Debbie Schwebach, Lathrop High School English teacher and curriculum coordinator, and Erin Walker, MWSU graduate student, coordinated the workshop series. Prairie Lands Writing Project is the major sponsor for the Missouri Writing Region for the Scholastic contest.


Dr. Jeanie Crain has been been appointed an Appraisal team member for Central Community College (NE). I continue to serve on the AQIP Admissions Panel and on the AQIP Advisory Council.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Five to Study Abroad in Spring

Five adventurous students take off to foreign lands for the spring 2010 semester. French majors Amanda Burris and Michele Thevenot will spend the semester studying at the Université d'Angers in France. They will enroll full time at the university in the department of language and literature, earning credits toward their degree and living the life of French university students.

Spanish majors Joshua Kalin, Laura Bilecki, and Matthew Starr will head south to enroll at the Universidad Regiomontana in Monterrey, Mexico. They too will study language, culture and civilization alongside Mexican university students. Each will benefit from living with a host family.

All of these students are taking advantage of exchange agreements between Missouri Western and the host universities. The cost is the same as it would be to live and study on campus for a semester. In turn, we are hosting exchange students at Western this year: a student from France, three from Germany, and two from Mexico. For more information on these affordable exchange opportunities, just follow this link:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Outdoor Semester Heads West

Dr. Elizabeth Latosi-Sawin, Director of Outdoor Semester, returned on October 8 with seven MWSU students , three faculty and one community member from a 13-day field trip out West . The theme of this year’s Outdoor Semester is “Energy and Life.” Students are taking courses in environmental literature, sustainable energy, research writing, psychology, and fitness and wellness.

Students and faculty investigated the costs and benefits of wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric power, fossil fuels and nuclear energy, traveling to the Land Institute in Kansas, the National Renewable Energy Lab in Boulder, Colorado; Rocky Mountain Wood Pellet Company in Walden, Wyoming; Oahe Hydroelectric Plant in South Dakota, and Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station in Nebraska.

“Developing alternative forms of energy requires a fundamental shift in the way human beings consider their position in the natural world,” according to Sawin. “That’s why literature is such an important part of the solution to the environmental problems besetting our planet and that’s why we also spent time in the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone National Park, the Big Horn Mountains and the Black Hills of South Dakota.”

“On our way we had rare opportunities to see big horn sheep in the Wind River Canyon, hear and see bugling elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, be passed by a herd of close to one hundred bison in Slough Valley, see and hear wolves from the Agate, Cottonwood, and Druid Peak packs in Yellowstone, and see a moose and her calf in Shoshone National forest.”

“Our stay in Yellowstone was cut short by one day because of snow,” Sawin said, “but we managed to stay just ahead of the snowstorms. We went from t-shirts at Bear Lake, to parkas at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, to boots in the Black Hills.”

The Outdoor Semester students were Leah Voltmer, Josh Swindler, Lindsay O’Neal, Ryan Persinger, Ericka Kelly, Samantha Hunt-Viehland, and Kurtis Morrison. The community member was Frank Stanley. The faculty were Dr. Sawin, Dr. Ken Dagel, Mr. Dana Andrews, and Mr. Jim Grechus. Dr. Sawin hopes you enjoy her photos.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Words Hurled About Foster's

"New Lit Out Loud" celebrated Halloween early with a fantastic reading at Foster's Martini Bar on October 28. Nearly twenty readers and performers offered a range of original works from spoken word to dramatic interpretation for a packed house.

Readers included a blend of current and future students, alumni, and community members. Four writers, two of them area high school students, joined the writing community by reading publicly for the first time.

Spoken word artists Phil Smith and Grant Williams recited their works entirely from memory, as did community regular, octogenerian Don Sollars. Faculty sponsors Meg Thompson, Dana Andrews, and Bill Church shared new works as well. The final "New Lit Out Loud" of the semester is planned for Wednesday, December 2.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Open Mic Tonight at Foster's

See Bill and Meg enjoying themselves at Foster's? They are listening to poesy and prose, fiction and non-fiction, by students, faculty, and community members. This could be you.

Open Mic at Foster's Martini Bar (726 Felix; 364-4400) Tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 28, Fosters, 7-9.
Read or be read to. It's a win-win situation.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Norma Bagnall Celebrates 80th Birthday

Dr. Norma Bagnall, Professor Emerita of English, celebrates her 80th birthday today, October 27.

This past weekend Norma celebrated with former colleagues and students as well as family and friends at an open house at the Pony Express Museum in downtown St. Joseph.

Norma taught children's and adolescent literature at Missouri Western for fifteen years. Norma was also President of the International Children's Literature Association from 1989-1991, a Fulbright Scholar, and President of the MWSC faculty senate. Norma retired from MWSC in 1996. In her retirement, Norma has been active with the Literacy Coalition, the Friends of the Library, and other service.

Happy Birthday, Norma!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

When Writing Teachers Write

The Prairie Lands Writing Project National Day on Writing Celebrations on October 20 included the annual "When Writing Teachers Write" forum at Western showcasing teachers reading their original works.

Caption: Missouri’s poet laureate Walter Bargen (center, wearing tie) and our 2009 When Writing Teachers Write Readers: Jill Emerson, Maryville High School; Tom Pankiewicz, MWSU; Amanda Moyers, Central High School; Joyce Stohr, Robidoux Middle School; Vickey Meyer, Central High School; Brandon Haskey, Central High School; Tina Janc, Robidoux Middle School; and Bill Church, Missouri Western. Not pictured: Dawn Terrick, Missouri Western.

Next Open Mic Reading Set

Please come to our next open mic reading at Foster's Martini Bar (726 Felix; 364-4400)

Wednesday, Oct. 28, Fosters, 7-9.

See and hear you there!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

EFLJ Wins Big at Homecoming

We're vaguely aware that the Griffs played a game this Saturday; we're just giddy about royalty. Luke Akers, a BA major, was elected Homecoming King. Kayla Kelder, the 2009 Homecoming Queen, works the EFLJ reception desk. Kayla has promised to work this week in her tiara (sash optional).

We suspect Luke might wear his crown to class. "Oh, this? I hadn't realized I still had it on. I'm Homecoming King, you know, Dr. Fulton. Is there extra credit for such an honor? No? Okay."
Congratulations, Luke and Kayla! EFLJ is, quite simply, the home of MWSU royalty.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Youngkeit Family Now Set for Mixed Doubles Match

Jason and Andrea Youngkeit announce the birth of daughter Kayla Lee.

Miss Youngkeit made her debut on Saturday, October 5. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces.

Congratulations, Jason and Andrea!

Banned Books Reading Avoids Bust

Some otherwise upstanding citizens met Thursday, October 1 in the Student Union to read books previously challenged or banned in U.S. schools and libraries.

Readers and Texts:

Dr. James Okapal, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, MWSU
• The Glass Bead Game. Hermann Hesse
Mr. Frank Tracy, MWSU Student
• Waco: The Davidian Massacre. Carol Moore
Mr. Brandon Haskey, Fellow of the Prairie Lands Writing Project and English teacher, Central High School
• Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. David Sedaris
Dr. Robert Bergland, Professor of Journalism & The Griffon News Advisor
• Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Hunter S. Thompson
Dr. Gordon Mapley, Dean of Western Institute, MWSU
• The Holy Bible
Ms. Carline St. Victor, MWSU Student
• I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Maya Angelou
Ms. Jennifer Wildhagen, Children’s Librarian, St. Joseph Public Library
• The Devil’s Storybook. Natalie Babbitt
Ms. Josie Clark, President of the Student Chapter of the National Council of Teachers of English (SNCTE)
• Speak. Laurie Halse Anderson

This was our thirtheenth straight year of celebrating American Library Association's National Banned Books Week. If we don't gather for the fourteenth, you'll know that we finally caught someone's attention. We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

St. Joseph Teacher of the Year Speaks at Fall English Dinner

Dawn Smith, Central High School's English Department Chairperson and St. Joseph Teacher of the Year, spoke at the annual Fall English Dinner on Wednesday, September 23. In attendance were MWSU administrators, teachers, and St. Joseph language arts teachers, many of whom are EFLJ alumni.

In her talk, "Teaching for Excellence," Ms. Smith pushed the audience to challenge themselves as teachers to challenge their own assumptions about what we do, why, and whether it works. It was an evening of food, discussion, and the chance to catch up with colleagues across the city.

Thanks to Tom Pankiewicz and Jane Frick for planning the event!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Dr. Betty Sawin, Director of Honors and Professor of English, has been appointed to two committees of the National Collegiate Honors Council. According to its official website, NCHC "is the professional association of undergraduate Honors programs and colleges; Honors directors and deans; and Honors faculty, staff, and students. NCHC provides support for institutions and individuals developing, implementing, and expanding Honors education through curriculum development, program assessment, teaching innovation, national and international study opportunities, internships, service and leadership development, and mentored research."

Dr. Sawin will serve on the Partners in the Parks Standing Committee and the Teaching & Learning Standing Committee. Her appointment will continue through the 2012 annual conference.

Congratulations to Betty for being chosen for this professional service. For more information about NCHC, see

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Banned Books Reading Time Set

The Thirteenth Annual Reading of Challenged and Banned Books in recognition of the American Library Association’s Banned Book Week.

Date: Thursday, October 1, 2009.
Time: 7 pm - 8 pm.
Location: 218 Blum Union (Hoff Conference Room), Missouri Western State University
Sponsors: The Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Journalism; The Department of Education; The Missouri Western State University Library; Prairie Lands Writing Project, SNCTE.

MWSU students, faculty as well as members of the St. Joseph community will hold a reading of books that have been either banned or challenged in U.S. schools in recent years. Refreshments will be served following the readings. This event is free and open to the public. In other words, it's a good, cheap date.

Contacts: Dr. Michael Cadden, EFLJ (271-4576); Dr. Michael Smith, Education (271-4514); Ms. Julia Schneider, Library Director (271-4369).

What are ye? Scared?

New Lit Out Loud

"New Lit Out Loud" kicks off the 2009-10 open-mic series on Wednesday, September 30, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. at Foster's Martini Bar (726 Felix Street; 364-4400).

Creative writers are invited to test their latest works on a live audience of fellow writers and local listeners in a relaxed, smoke-free setting. To include more voices, we ask that writers limit their selections to ten minutes, which is about four pages of double-spaced text.

This event is organized by the staffs of the MWSU literary magazines, The Mochila Review and Canvas, in coordination with the campus creative writing group, Writers' Circle.

Admission is free. Everyone is invited to come enjoy original new works.
For more information, contact the following persons:
Dana Andrews 271-5814
Bill Church 271-5966
Meg Thompson 271-4316

Hennessy Named Journal Editor

Dr. Susan Hennessy, EFLJ's Foreign Language Coordinator and Professor of French, has been named Assistant Editor of The French Review, the journal of The American Association of Teachers of French. Dr. Hennessy will be responsible for all submissions related to nineteenth-century literature.

To learn more about the journal, visit

Congratulations, Susie!

Alumni Update: Bart German

Bart German (English-Technical Communication, class of 2001) reports that he is still at Cerner Corporation but now based out of their "Innovations Campus"at the Grandview Triangle in south Kansas City. He's been a Team Lead with the Release Documentation team there for a little over two years now.

Bart's son, who was born in his last year at MWSC, is now 8 and in
the third grade. His daughter was born just this past February. Bart and his wife are taking care of her best friend's 3-year-old daughter through the end of this year while she's deployed with the Army in Iraq.

"I'm going on my second year now of being in charge of the Missouri/Kansas sub-group of the organization Rebel Legion, which is the Lucasfilm-preferred costuming group that specializes in 'good guy' costumes from the Star Wars 'universe'. It's a great way to have fun and give a lot of time to help out various charities in the process."

If you would also like to share some news with us, please click on the "alumni update" link on the right. We'd love to know what you're doing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

EFLJ Chews the Fat at Department Picnic

The full-time EFLJ faculty, staff, and families met on Lovers Lane to share food and complain about (fill in the blank).

Although there were relatively few deserts brought and perhaps too many vegetables, the picnic was a fun time a few weeks into a busy fall term.
The department has been holding on-campus potlucks the first Friday of each month (in the EFLJ Library), so if you're an alum in town for a short time and it happens to be a First Friday, or a grad who lives in town but hasn't come by in while, come on in for lunch, some stories (a few tall tales), and a chance for us to hear about your exploits.

Vince Thomson Inducted into Western Athletics Hall of Fame

Ken Rosenauer and Jane Frick congratulate their former student Vince Thomson as the 2009 Western Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony, held in the Fulkerson Center on September 19. Thomson, a 1986 BA English/Writing graduate, started on the Griffon football team's defensive line. The Kansas City Chiefs selected him in the seventh round of the 1985 NFL draft before he later went on to play in the Canadian Football League for two years. He has an MA in Advertising from Northwestern University and is currently the co-owner of Ideastream Consumer Products ( in Cleveland, OH, where he lives with his wife and two sons.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fall Foreign Film Series

Foreign Film Series
Fall 2009

All sessions start at 6:30 PM

Friday, September 18th
Goodbye Lenin
(Germany, 2003)
Dir: Wolfgang Becker
Leslie Gustaffson, presenter
Hearnes 102 (Library, downstairs)

Friday, September 25th
La Celestina
(Spain, 1997)
Dir.: Gerardo Vera
Eduardo Castilla Ortíz, presenter
Hearnes 102 (Library)

Thursday, October 1st
After Life
(Japan, 1998)
Dir.: Koreeda Hirokazu
Stacia Bensyl, presenter
Hearnes 102 (Library)

Friday, October 9th
Seducing Dr. Lewis
(France, 2003)
Dir.: Jean-François Pouliot
Nadege saint-Maxent, presenter
Hearnes 102 (Library)

Wednesday, October 21st
El Norte
(England/US, 1983)
Dir.: Gregory Nava
Dr. Ali Kamali, presenter
Hearnes 102 (Library)

Thursday, October 29th
The Mirror
(Iran, 1997)
Dir.: Jafar Panahi
Dr. Ali Kamali, presenter
Hearnes 102 (Library)

Wednesday, November 4th
"Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran"
(France, 2003)
Dir.: François Dupeyron
Susan Hennessy, presenter
Hearnes 102 (Library)

Friday, November 20th
El abrazo partido
(Argentina, 2004)
Dir.: Daniel Burman
Jason Youngkeit, presenter
Hearnes 102 (Library)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Recent Faculty Accomplishments


Dr. Susie Hennessy contributed a chapter to Aimer et Mourir: Love, Death, and Women's Lives in Texts of French Expression, which has been published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


Dr. Ann Thorne was elected Vice-Head & Research Chair of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication History Division at the national convention held August 8- 11 in Boston, MA.

Dr. Jane Frick has been appointed to the national Affiliate Advisory Council for the Alliance for Young Arts & Writers, Inc., sponsors of the annual Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards contests for youth, grades 7-12.

Dr. Frick also coordinates the Missouri Writing Regional Affiliate, which is sponsored by Prairie Lands Writing Project at Missouri Western. Nearly 20,000 students nationwide submitted art and writing entries in the 2009 contest, including students from over 100 schools in Missouri and the greater Kansas City area.

Grants Awarded:

Prairie Lands Writing Project has received a $5000 grant, "Through the Looking Glass: Looking at Literacy Through Content area Lenses," from the Carnegie Corporation and the National Writing Project to support in-service programs related to reading and writing across the curriculum. The grant will support teams of content area teachers from St. Joseph Central, Lathrop, and Platte County high schools who will participate in a professional learning community/classroom research cohort related to improving reading and writing instruction in the content areas. PLWP Teacher Consultants directing the project are Valorie Stokes, Platte County high school media coordinator, team leader; Amy Fowler, St. Joseph Central high school math teacher; Jen Vermillion, Lathrop high school Spanish/French teacher; and Michelle Thomas, Platte County high school assistant principal.

Prairie Lands Writing Project has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the National Writing Project (NWP) to provide year two literacy-based in-services for the instructional staff at Excelsior Springs Middle School, as a part of the NWP's multi-year National Evaluation Study. To launch the second year of the project, Prairie Lands' Teacher Consultants Heidi Mick and Kathy Miller, facilitated a week-long Writing Academy in early August for Excelsior's communication arts staff.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Good News from Sue Ferguson

Sue writes to inform us that she has completed treatment for breast cancer and is officially in remission. She sends thanks to everyone who sent prayers and good thoughts her way. She writes, "you have made it possible for me to seal that chapter of my life and move ahead to more enjoyable and exciting activities."

Good luck, Sue!
You can contact Sue at

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Karina Vazquez Publishes Book

Dr. Karina Vazquez, Assistant Professor of Spanish, has had her book, Fogwill: realismo y mala conciencia, published this August by Ediciones Circeto.
The book is a study of the return of the realist aesthetic to the Argentine narrative in Rodolfo Fogwill's novels Vivir afuera (1998), La experiencia sensible (2001), and En otro orden de cosas (2001). The main purpose of this work is to explore and explain a key transformation that ocurred at the end of the nineties: the move from an aesthetic of allusion, inaugurated by Ricardo Piglia's novel Respiracion artificial (translated as "Artificial Respiration" - 1980), to a "realist" aesthetic proposal. The book presents a reflection on literary autonomy and the complex relationship between fiction and reality.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jeff McMillian Promoted

Jeff McMillian, an EFLJ alumnus, has been promoted at Northwest Pipe Company from HR Manager to HR Director, Tubular Products Division. His work is now focused on strategic leadership development and building high-performance teams in the organization. Northwest Pipe Company is the leading supplier of Water Transmission pipeline in the U.S. Jeff also holds an MFA from Bowling Green University.

Congratulations, Jeff!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sue Ferguson Has New Teaching Job

Susan Ferguson (B.A. English-Writing, 1985, MWSC; M.A. English-Creative Writing, 2008, Northern Arizona University) has been hired as a member of the English faculty at South Texas College in McAllen, Texas. She will be teaching English composition and literature this fall at STC's Starr County Campus in Rio Grande City.

Good luck, Susan!

Jeanie Crain Returns to EFLJ

One day in the fall of 2000, President Jim Scanlon called Dr. Jeanie Crain in her office. "Come on over. I want to talk to you about something." Nine years later, she's back, like the character in many fairy stories who is lured into the fairy mound only to emerge years later, disoriented but not aged more than a few days. So it is with Jeanie. So if she asks for people long retired or asks you "who the heck are you?" please understand.

So, after nine years working as the Special Assistant to the President doing important work on our gaining university status, AQIP accreditation, and other, covert operations, she's again Professor of English and eager to work again in composition, literature, and technical communication.

Welcome back, Jeanie! The coffee is still lousy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Prairie Lands Writing Project Holds Graduation

Western hosted the Prairie Lands Writing Project (PLWP) camp graduation for 117 campers from 26 area elementary and middle schools in ceremonies on June 25.

The “Writers Under Construction” elementary school campers and the “Cyberwriters: Publishing Our Generation” middle school campers conducted readings for parents and friends and held closing celebrations in Kemper Recital Hall and Eder Hall, room 210, respectively.
Beginning June 2, the campers met at Western as a part of PLWP’s ongoing partnership with the St. Joseph School District. The students were nominated by their teachers for their outstanding writing and reading skills and had to submit a letter of application describing their literacy practices before being accepted for the camps. During the four-week camp, the students participated in literature circles, completed daily journal writings and workshopped several longer pieces that were published in camp anthologies, along with other student writings. This year the elementary campers participated in a writing marathon at the Mt. Mora cemetery in St. Joseph, and the middle school campers completed a number of digital projects, merging images and sound with their creative writings.
The 2009 camp directors and teachers include Jerri Fischer of Lindberg Elementary; Ann Dotson, Shannon Harris, Betty Stacey and Christie Hofmeister of Skaith Elementary; Jill Steinmetz of Maryville High; Tyler Carlson of Savannah High: Tia Frahm of Neeley Elementary; and Stacia Studer of Bode Middle.

(This text and these photos are from the June 29 edition of Tower Topics:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two Recent Grads Hired

Two 2009 EFLJ graduates in technical communication will be working together in Kansas City starting this summer. Ashley Rainsbarger and Katy Strasser will be employed by Cerner, the leading U.S. supplier of healthcare information technology (HIT) solutions. Ashley tells us that she'll be employed as a Documentation Developer, as which she'll edit healthcare software documentation to make it more user friendly.

Congratulations to Ashley and Katy on thumbing their respective noses at a down economy!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Jenéy is Promoted

The MWSU Board of Governors approved the promotion of Dr. C.J. Jenéy to Associate Professor of English and granted her tenure. Congratulations to Dr. Jenéy on this great accomplishment!