Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nina Lewis Beaver Reports from Diamond, MO

Nina Beaver (Formerly Nina Lewis--BA-English, 1981; MA-English, University of Missouri, 1983) is alive and well and living in southwest Missouri with her husband of 23 years. The Beavers have four kits, two attending Missouri State University (somehow the "Western" got left out of there) and two in high school.

Nina has taught English at Crowder College (Neosho, MO) for 19 years and has been the Communications Division Chair for the last 5 years.

If you'd like to contact Nina, send her mail at

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Omer Libich to begin Graduate Work at LSU

Omer Libich (BA-Spanish) has been informed that the Hispanic Studies Graduate Admissions Committee as approved his application to its MA program at Louisiana State University. The committee has also recommended him for a Teaching Assistantship (which includes full tuition waver).

Omer received the EFLJ Outstanding Spanish Graduate Award in the spring of 2010.

Congratulations, Omer! We'll be interested to hear reports about Cajun Spanish.

Geaux, Tigers!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mary Stone Dockery teaches and writes in Lawrence, KS

Mary Stone Dockery (BA-Literature, 2009) reports that good things are happening in Lawrence, KS. Mary, a teaching assistant and MFA student at KU, has had her creative work published with regularity.

Last year, Mary's piece "Somewhere Inside" (creative nonfiction) appeared in Touchstone. Her poem "Giving" appeared in FuturCycle poetry, both online and in print. Her poems "After Getting the Mole Removed" and "The Woman Doing Cartwheels in the Living Room" will appear in the Pennsylvania Literary Journal in January 2011. Mary has also served as a reader for the inaugural issue of the Blue Island Review, a journal published out of Lawrence, KS that features poets from the greater Kansas City area; Mary has had her work published in BIR as well. Currently, Mary is serving as a reader for the new literary journal for the creative writing program at KU - Beecher's - scheduled to come out in 2011.

Mary reports that teaching is going well and that her "students strive toward creative and insightful projects, always surprising [her] with how much they know."

Drop Mary a line (or a poem you'd like published) at

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Betty Sawin Appointed to National Committees

Dr. Betty Sawin, MWSU Honors Program Director, has been appointed by Dr. Bonnie Irwin, President of the National Collegiate Honors Council, to two standing, national committees.

Betty will be involved in Partners in the Parks Committee (charged to develop in cooperation with the National Park Service and other sponsoring bodies, academic experiential programs in national parks, and other facilities under the authority of the park service) and Teaching and Learning (charged to make available to the membership in NCHC scholarly essays, monographs, and other print and electronic materials focused on current research and ideas in curriculum design for academically talented students).

Congratulations, Betty!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jacquelyne Webb's Report from Angers

Jacquelyne Webb, double major in French and political science, spent the fall of 2010 in Angers, France studying at the University of Angers. Some highlights:

- I arrived on August 27th in France. I think I was in shock or maybe overwhelmed by everything. Traveling is very exhausting, even though I didn't really do much except cross 7 time zones! I stayed in a hotel across the street from the Saint-Serge campus of the University of Angers. I was maybe 10 minutes by bus from Belle-Beille, my fac or the building where all of my classes are held. (I didn't learn this little piece of information until about 2 weeks later when I finally got my bearings.) I moved into my dorm room the Monday after I arrived. My room sports its own private shower and toilette and window otherwise I live in a 9 square meter rectangle.

- Orientation week, stuff begins to make sense. I toured Angers with the International student body and chose my classes. I ended up with 8 classes all of which only meet once a week. Walking around Angers is fun, the old buildings and streets are great, but I would recommend wearing good walking shoes. I enjoy looking at all of the shops and going through the French and English styled gardens.

- The air has started to get cooler, but it is still really nice, especially by Missouri standards. STRIKES!! disruption to public transport but no canceled classes at Belle-Beille, yet. I got a week of vacation for Toussaint, all saints' day, and I traveled to Finland to see my host family and friends from 2004.

- The weather is definitely colder and there is frost on the cars at least at night and in the morning. It is hard to believe finals are coming so soon and just when I am starting to understand the French being spoken around me, too. The semester is almost finished, and I kind of wish I could stay for the next. Oh well, I can look forward to Christmas shopping in Centre-Ville, the center of town, with little to no car traffic after my tests are finished.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Donaher Edits Essay Collection

Professor Trish Donaher has edited a new collection of essays: Barbarians at the Gate: Studies in Language Attitudes by Cambridge Scholars Press.

The book examines language attitudes through the lens of four convergences: Authority, Affiliation, Authenticity, and Accommodation, while touching on the perceptions people have and express about language. The essays range from studies of the attitudes of teachers and grammarians, regional attitudes that formulate our inner-geography, language attitudes in popular culture—including rap, country music, children's literature, television sitcoms and reality shows, and attitudes towards accommodating speaker diversity. The book, Trish says, "is meant to be both suggestive of the avenues in linguistics that deserve on-going investigation and a call to arms for language variation. I don't mince words in the Introduction when I say that linguists (and really anyone interested in language study) must 'foray out from the ivory tower now and again and become guerillas for language diversity and tolerance.' I hope this book helps lead the way."

Trish's essay "The Linguist's Dilemma: Usage Surveys, Teacher Attitudes, and The Question of Acceptability" also appears in the volume.

Professor Cynthia Jeney's essay "Netspeak and Other 'New' Englishes: Writing Experts' Attitudes toward Online Language" appears in the volume as well.

For more information, please see

Congratulations, Trish and CJ!

Tasting the Cheeses of France

To celebrate National French Week, students gathered for a hands-on seminar on French cheese.

Ten of the over 400 varieties of fromage français were available for tasting.
Culminating a week of events, including presentations on the Peace Corps and study in France, the cheese tasting was sponsored by the Alliance Française.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Cadden Edits Essay Collection

The University of Nebraska Press has just released Telling Children's Stories: Narrative Theory and Children's Literature, edited by Mike Cadden.

The collection, part of the series "Frontiers of Narrative," features fourteen new essays by an international slate of scholars and offers assessment of narrative strategies unique to children’s literature.

The volume is divided into four interrelated sections: “Genre Templates and Transformations,” “Approaches to the Picture Book,” “Narrators and Implied Readers,” and “Narrative Time.”

Find more information at the U. of Nebraska Press site:,674643.aspx

Reading at Whiskey Mansion a success

The New Lit Out Loud open-mic series enjoyed their first event at Whiskey Mansion last Thursday night, November 11.

About twenty people enjoyed the hospitality ("Best roast beef sandwich of my life," chewed Bill Church), the ambiance ("The refurbished tin ceiling in the kitchen was a big hit," opined Meg Thompson), and the strong material offered up by the readers.

Watch for news of future readings at what might be the new home of New Lit Out Loud.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Faculty and Student Achievements for November

Dr. Susie Hennessy, Professor of French, presented her paper “Overindulging with Zola: Le Ventre de Paris” at the annual meeting of the Midwest Modern Language Association in Chicago, IL November 4-7, 2010.

Dr. Ann Thorne, Professor of Journalism, presented two sessions at the 89th ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Louisville, KY, Oct. 30th. The sessions were entitled “Leadership Skills for Yearbook Editors,” and Yearbook Story Ideas: Finding a Fresh Approach.”

Prairie Lands Writing Project (PLWP) at Missouri Western has received a $1000 grant from the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers to work with youth, especially those from low-income families, in preparing writing contest entries for the 2011 Scholastic Writing Awards Contest. As such, PLWP sponsored "Going for the Gold"writing workshops and pizza parties for area teachers and teenagers--held at Missouri Western, Lathrop High School, and Platte County High School on October 26, November 1, and November 8. Over 65 students and teachers from throughout northwest Missouri participated. Western graduates Amanda Moyers (English teacher at St. Joseph Central High School), Debra Schwebach (English teacher at Lathrop High School), and Tyler Carlson (English teacher at Platte County High School), presented at the workshops; MWSU English faculty members Jane Frick and Tom Pankiewicz led small group sessions with the student writers. PLWP at Missouri Western sponsors the Missouri Region for the national Scholastic contest; the deadline for Missouri Writing Region teenagers to submit their 2011 Scholastic Writing Awards contest entries is January 12.

The 2010 Griffon Yearbook took 2nd Place in the Best of Show Competition at the 89th Annual ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in Louisville, KY, in the category of yearbooks under 314 pages. This is one of the country’s largest gatherings of student media.The 2010 Griffon in a student publication, produced entirely by the Griffon Yearbook editors and staff. Raphael’le Drew was Editor-in-Chief and Graphic Design Editor. Jourdan Huffman was Copy Editor. Linda Shireman was Photo Editor in the early fall, and Kelsey Saythany was Photo Editor in the fall and spring semesters. Assistant editors included Erica Stevens, Lauren Dillon and Courtney Slater. Staff included Morgan Breckenridge, David Gordon, Sarah Hatten, Jerrod Huber, Mercedes Lucero, Jessica Anthony, Ellie Green, Lindsay Lujan, Dalto Liu, and Britany Rivers. Additional staff in the spring included Haley Bennett, Caitlyn Carter, Hannah Greenwell, Mark Koncevic, Lindsay Roberts, Amber Winslow, Robin Gann, Heather Heater, Cortney Keller, and Jeff Meyer.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Faculty Achievements for October

Dr. Kaye Adkins, associate professor of English, and Dr. Michael Charlton, assistant professor of English, presented “Multi-Purposing Portfolios: Student and Program Assessments with a Single Instrument” at the conference of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication. Dr. Adkins and Dr. Charlton were joined by Miles Kimball of Texas Tech, who serves as an outside evaluator of the Missouri Western professional writing students' graduation portfolios.

Dr. Kaye Adkins, associate professor of English, has been elected as Treasurer of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication.

Dr. Jeanie Crain, professor of English, completed admissions review for two AQIP institutions applying to AQIP (involving application materials and written recommendation).

Dr. Eduardo Castilla-Ortiz, assistant professor of Spanish, presented “Gay Literature for Children in Spain” at the European Studies Conference in Omaha, Nebraska Saturday, October 9
Dr. Eduardo Castilla-Ortiz, assistant professor of Spanish, presented “Un modelo de ética erótica en novelas de Eduardo Mendicutti” at the XXXVI CONGRESO ANUAL DE LITERATURAS HISPÁNICAS in Indiana , Pennsylvania. Friday, October 22nd

Prairie Lands Writing Project sponsored three professional development sessions at Missouri Western in October: On October 18, Missouri's Poets Laureate David Clewell and Walter Bargen conducted a reading and poetry workshop hosted by MWSU English professor Bill Church.

On October 20, twelve area teachers read their original works at the "When Writing Teachers Write IX" Forum in celebration of the National Day on Writing. MWSU English faculty members who read included Bill Church, Megan Thompson, Tom Pankiewicz, Patsy Brost, and Mike Cadden.

Forty-nine area teachers attend the "Let's Look at Writing: Writing for YOU: Writing for Your Students" Saturday Seminar at Missouri Western on October 23. Presenters included MWSU Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Writing alums Tia Frahm (Spring Garden Middle School language arts teacher) and Jenny Millard (Osborn Elementary grade 5 teacher); leadership team members planning the conference included English instructors, Jane Frick and Tom Pankiewicz.

Dr. Elizabeth Latosi-Sawin, professor of English, presented the paper “Energy and Life: Innovative Honors Education for the 21st Century” at the national meeting of the National Collegiate Honors Council in Kansas City on Oct. 22. She also presented 16 striking posters on environmental issues designed by students in Professor Harris's Graphic Design course.

Dr. Bob Bergland, professor of English, attended the National College Media Convention in Louisville Oct. 28-30 at which he served on the panel "International Teaching/Research Opportunities for Journalism Educators," discussing his 2005 and 2006 Fulbright experiences and the spring 2010 study abroad trip to Greece and Croatia.

Dr. Bob Bergland, professor of English, co-presented two papers with students at the Convergence Conference in Columbia, South Carolina Oct. 11-12: "Convergence and ACEJMC-Accredited Universities: A Program Analysis (with David Hon) and "U.S. Magazines and their Websites: A 2010 Study" (with Emily Gummelt).Two other students who conducted research as part of his spring Global Journalism Research class also gave papers at the conference. Austin Jacobs presented "Multimedia and Interactive Features in Mexican Newspaper Websites," and Todd Fuller presented "U.S. Weekly Newspaper Websites: A 2010 Content Analysis of Multimedia and Functionality."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Thesis Defense in EFLJ

Ross Scholz successfully defended his thesis for the MAA in Written Communication - Technical Communication Option. Committee chair Dr. Michael Charlton and members Dr. Kaye Adkins and Dr. Cynthia Jeney were unanimous in their decision to pass his defense of "Proposal for Studying the Workability of E-books in Public Libraries."

Ross researched his thesis while working at the St. Joseph Public Library and studied the challenges and opportunities of implementing devices like the Kindle in such a setting. Ross is our first student to defend the MAA thesis in Technical Communication and we congratulate him and his family. We would also to acknowledge the cooperation of the St. Joseph Public Library, the library board, and its patrons in this research.

Congratulations, Ross!

Monday, October 25, 2010

New place, new voices, new writing.

The open-mic reading sponsored by EFLJ will take place in a new venue: Whiskey Mansion on the corner of 18th and Francis.

The reading wil take place on Thursday, November 11, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM.

Our hosts will have bottomless cups of coffee and pastries, and will make available a menu for anyone who wants a meal.

Please come by and read, listen, eat, and enjoy.

More information on the Whiskey Mansion:

Faculty defeat Student Government Association

On Wednesday, October 20, The faculty basketball team, 1/3 comprised of EFLJ faculty, defeated the Student Government Association (SGA) 37-35. Bob "Sweet Knees" Bergland and Mike "No-Look-Pass-Oops-Sorry" Cadden represented EFLJ with some dignity if not actual ability.

The game was part of the seventh annual basketball tip-off party in the MWSU Fieldhouse. After the actual SGA staff fell woefully behind to the collective and considerable talent of the MWSU faculty team, the ringers were brought in to close the gap.

Considering that the game featured a continuous 15-minute clock, the faculty were at a clear disadvantage toward the end. Most faculty are not built to run for more than a few minutes at a time. Our strategy of looking ridiculous enough to reduce the opponent to laughter proved effective as they were unable to block our shots while doubled-over on the floor giggling.

The rest of the year will be devoted to resting in preparation for next year's game.

Friday, October 22, 2010

LeAnn Neal Reilly Book Tour Underway

Follow LeAnn on her "Pump Up Your Book" blog tour. Details about her virtual and actual stops are on her web site:

If you've wondered how an author works in self-promotion (or were unaware that creative writers have to do that), this is a good vista into the process.

Good luck, LeAnn!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

National Writing Project Monograph Published

Jane Frick and Tom Pankiewicz have had their description of the Prairie Lands Writing Project 2003 retreat published in a monograph itself published by the National Writing Project and the U. of California, Berkeley. The publishers describe the work:

"This monograph captures how two sites who are at different points in their institutional lives use visioning retreats to take stock of their sites and look forward, to align programs with capacity, to distribute leadership, and to engage teachers beyond the summer institute.

Live Oak Writing Project and Prairie Lands Writing Project use visioning retreats to explore the continuity opportunities that their respective sites need and can support. Through their intentional work at visioning retreats, both sites have expanded their leadership, built site capacity, and supported new learning.

(Re)Visioning Site Work: Extending the Reach and Relevance of NWP Sites includes rich material that other sites might adapt or replicate to plan visioning or other types of retreats. Extensive appendices include documents that are appropriate for immediate use.
Each site has different objectives in engaging in visioning retreats, but both share a reliance on a vehicle (visioning retreat) to bring together key leaders at a site to think collectively about the sustainability of the site. The monograph describes in detail both sites' planning process and subsequent results."

Download " (Re)Visioning Site Work: Extending the Reach and Relevance of NWP Sites"

Congratulations, Jane and Tom, on the publication itself and of raising the profile of the PLWP as a national player in writing instruction.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

When Writing Teachers Write IX

Join us for a reading by writing teachers in celebration of the National Day on Writing

Wednesday, October 20, 2010
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Missouri Western State University – Blum Union Hoff Conference Room 219

Area writing teachers will share their poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. John Minnick from North KC's Staley High School will be your host. The event is sponsored by Prairie Lands Writing Project.

See you there!

Friday, October 8, 2010

September Accomplishments

Dr. Kaye Adkins attended the international meeting of the Council of Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication. She co-presented "Multi-purposing Portfolios: Student and Program Assessment with a Single Instrument." She is also the new treasurer for the organization.

English faculty members Dr. Jane Frick and Mr. Tom Pankiewicz are the co-authors of a monograph, "(Re)Visioning Site Work: Extending the Reach and Relevance of NWP Sites," with Elaine White at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast, which has been published as a part of the National Writing Project's "At Work" series.

Prairie Lands Writing Project has received a $5000 Carnegie Foundation National Reading Initiative extension grant awarded by the National Writing Project to work with content area teachers to improve their reading teaching during 2010-2011. Western's National Writing Project site is using the grant funds to support a "Developing Content Area Literacy with Web 2.0 Tools" Professional Learning Community (PLWP) this fall. Eighteen teachers, grades 7 -12 in all content areas, are participating in the PLC conducted by PLWP Teacher Consultants Valorie Stokes, Platte County High School media coordinator (PLC director); and Jen Vermillion, Mid-Buchanan high school Spanish teacher, and Michelle Irby, Lathrop High School math teacher (PLC facilitators).

Dr. Jeanie Crain completed reaffirmation review and recommendation for Butler County Community College (KS); she completed reviews of ten AQIP Action Projects.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Banned Books 2010

About two thousand people (Okay, maybe only seventy people with large auras) gathered this past Wednesday evening in recognition of American Library Association's Banned Books Week and read from some materials previously considered armed and dangerous.

Readers & Books:
Ms. Sarah Lawson, Anchor and Producer, News-Press 3 Now read from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain;
Mr. John Minnick, Member of the Prairie Lands Writing Project read from And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson;
Dr. Cindy Heider, Associate Provost and Associate Vice President, MWSU read poetry by Shel Silverstein; Mr. Steve Silvius, President of the student chapter of the International Reading Association (IRA) read from Hatchet by Gary Paulsen; Ms. Mary Beth Revels, Director of the St. Joseph Public Library read from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie; Ms. Jessica Wilkinson, President of the student chapter of the National Council of Teachers of English (SNCTE) read from The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger; Dr. Allison Sauls, Chair of the Department of Art, MWSU read "If I Told Him: A Completed Portrait of Picasso” by Gertrude Stein; and Dr. Cynthia Jenéy, Associate Professor of English, MWSU read from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adam
No arrests again this year, though we think that any event that includes lemon bars and iced tea can't be that seditious.

Join us again next year, and bring a date!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Youngkeit has manuscript published

Dr. Jason Youngkeit has had a manuscript published with Editorial Indigo, a press in Rosario, Argentina.

La Literatura y el Cine del Proceso Militar Argentino analyzes the historical period of 1976-1983 in Argentina, perhaps the period darkest in the history of Argentina. The work examines the aesthetic strategies (psychological, ideological, social, physical) used by writers and filmmakers in Argentina as they record that time.

Spanish Club Mixes Up Some Salsa

The MWSU Spanish Club held the "Noche de tango - An Introductory Lesson," from 6:00 to 8:00 at Kemper Recital Hall Monday, September 27.

Dr. Karina Vazquez's father, who has danced tango for more than fifty years, taught students the four first basic tango steps with the help of Judy Clark.

Dr. Vazquez reports that they "had 27 people all learning at Kemper. Everybody enjoyed learning about the tango´s history, and they tried their first steps with enthusiasm. It was a very crowded 'milonga.' And it was very refreshing to see everybody dancing, wanting to learn and feel the tango music and dance. At the end, we had some salsa lessons, that we enjoyed so much. And of course...we wanted to keep dancing."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Misty Draeger is masterful

Misty Draeger (BSE-English, 2006) tells us that she recently graduated from the University of Wisconsin--LaCrosse with a Master's Degree in Education. Misty teaches 10th and 11th grade communications arts in the Sussex, WI.

If you would like to give Misty a congratulatory e-mail, send that to

Congratulations on your professional advancement, Misty!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rosenauer receives book contract

Ken Rosenauer and a colleague of his from Wisconsin, Vince Filak, have been offered a contract from Pearson to publish The Online Editing Handbook. The 360-page book, which will be 7-3/8 x 9-1/8 trimmed and will include full-color art, will be available for the Fall 2012 semester in both print ($55) and electronic versions ($30).

This is Ken's third book. He is currently finishing work on Copycrafting: Editing for the 21st Century, a copy-editing workbook to be published by Oxford University Press for the Fall 2011 market. It will sell for about $30. His first book, a reporting textbook titled Storycrafting: A Process Approach to Writing News, was published by Blackwell (now Wylie) in Fall 2004.
Congratulations, Ken!

The Martin Lads Make News

Guest blogger and EFLJ alumna Lisa Crawford shares a profile on two other alumni:

Two brothers and former Griffons, Rex and Ross Martin have always been supportive of one another when it came to schoolwork and eventually their careers. Now they both work full-time at the St. Joseph News-Press.

Ross (the character on the right), 27, began as a part-time sports clerk in February 2002 and started full-time in February 2005. He became assistant sports editor in 2006 and sports editor in August 2010. A native of Platte City, Mo., he graduated from Platte County High School in 2001. He later attended Western, earning a bachelor's degree in English, with an emphasis in journalism.
Ross earned 14 awards from the Missouri College Media Association while a staff member of The Griffon News at Western.

Rex, 24, earned his bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis in journalism from Western and graduated in 2007. Rex started at the News-Press in the summer of 2008 and was hired in an official capacity in May 2009 on the sports desk. Rex recently moved to become the full-time daytime cops reporter.

Thanks, Lisa (also of the St. Joseph News-Press).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Banned Books Reading, 9/29

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

Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2010.
Time: 7 pm - 8 pm.
Location: 214/216 Spratt Hall (Enright 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.

Readers will include our own C.J. Jeney and Jessica Wilkinson (SNCTE President) as well as Ms. Sarah Lawson, Anchor and Producer, News-Press 3 Now

Refreshments will be served following the readings. This event is free and open to the public.

This has all the makings of a swell date: it's free, there will be refreshments, and people will read racy things out loud. It's really hard for an English Department to do better than that, so come on by!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Lit Out Loud, Episode IV: A New Beginning

Please come by for the first open mic of the 2010-2011 year:

Where: Tap Room, 1702 North Belt Highway (749-4222). (Nonsmoking; drinks and menu available)

When: Thursday, Sept. 23, 6 PM-ish until ...?

Why: Because we can.
Come by to listen, come by to read, come by with something you don't expect to read but just might this time. One of these times you will, you know. You really will.

Let's get a great turnout!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Latest on Sue Ferguson

Susan Ferguson (BA English-Writing, 1985) writes: "I have returned to Sedona, Arizona, to live after an action-packed year in south Texas. I am currently working part-time at Coconino Community College in Flagstaff, Ariz., where I am teaching two sections of English composition, and at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where I am teaching a section of creative writing. I am also preparing to release 'Gaze: A Collection of Stories' on Oct. 1, 2010. The book will be published by Ninth Month Publishing Co. and will be available at and on

I will also be a speaker at the Sedona Book Festival on Oct. 2 at the Yavapai College campus in Sedona. Finally, I learned today from the Office of the Vice President at South Texas College that I am one of 15 recipients of the college's 2010 Distinguished Teaching and Learning Award. The project that caught the college's attention was titled 'Public Writing,' in which more than thirty students enrolled in my composition and literature classes at South Texas College wrote and posted personal essays on the National Council of Teachers of English Gallery of Writing website."

Congratulations, Sue! Give her a hard time for being so busy:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Foreign Film Series for Fall 2010

The foreign film series is free and open to the community, so bring along a date and say that you're paying.

All sessions start at 6:30 PM in Kemper Recital Hall, which is on the first floor of Spratt Hall. The sole exception is the film scheduled for October 28.

Friday, September 17: The Day I Became a Woman (Iran, 2000). Presented by Michael Charlton.

Friday, September 24: The Headless Woman (Argentina, 2008). Presented by Karina Vazquez.

Wednesday, September 29: Celda 211 (Spain-France, 2009). Presented by Eduardo Castilla Ortiz.

Friday, October 8: Roja (India, 1992). Presented by Durai Sundaramoorthi.

Wednesday, October 20: Amelie (France, 2001). Presented by Susan Hennessy

Thursday, October 28: The Stoning of Soraya M. (USA, 2008). Presented by Zulima Lugo-Knapp (This film will be shown in 224 Murphy Hall rather than Kemper Recital Hall)

Friday, November 12: The Match Factory Girl (Finland-Sweden). Presented by Karina Vazquez.

Wednesday, November 17: The Take (Canada, 2004). Presented by Jason Youngkeit.

We hope to see you there!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Swell Things Some Folks Did This Summer

Tom Pankiewicz helped facilitate the 2010 retreat for leaders from thirteen National Writing Project sites. This year’s retreat was held July 31-August 5 in Austin, Texas.

Kay Siebler, Director of Composition, attended and presented at the National Writing Program Administrators conference in Philadelphia, PA. Kay also conducted a week-long training workshop for graduate student teaching assistants, adjuncts, and faculty. The workshops, conducted the week of Aug 23, focused on teaching strategies specific to composition, syllabi construction, attention to department goals and objectives for ENG104 and ENG108, and assignment ideas. In addition to English department graduate students, chemistry graduate students attended two days of the work shops to learn more about general classroom dynamics and course/class management.

Prairie Lands Writing Project held its four-week Invitational Institute here at Missouri Western, June 27-July 21. Sixteen area teachers, grades 3 - 16, completed the institute and will receive their National Writing Project Teacher Consultant certification, following the group's last session at Western in September. MWSU English faculty members Tom Pankiewicz (director), Jane Frick (do-director), and St. Joseph School District instructional coach Christie Leigan (co-director), facilitated the institute, which was funded by a federal grant from the National Writing Project.

Jane Frick, Director of Prairie Lands Writing Project, conducted a workshop "Continuity: State-wide Technology Projects and the Missouri Scholastic Writing Awards 2011" at the Missouri Writing Projects Network Leadership retreat, held at the University of Missouri-Columbia in August.

Prairie Lands Writing Project Teacher Consultants Kathy Miller (adjunct English instructor at MWSU) and Heidi Mick (PLWP Professional Development Director) conducted a "Writing Academy: Year III" institute for the communication arts teachers at Excelsior Springs Middle School in August. The workshop series was part of the in-service offerings Prairie Lands is providing for the instructional staff at Excelsior, which are funded by the National Writing Project for its four-year National Evaluation study of the effectiveness of NWP inservice offerings.

Bob Bergland, professor of journalism, presented "Pedagogical Approaches to Investigative Reporting" at the Association of Educators of Mass Communication and Journalism meeting, Denver Aug. 9, 2010. Bob also led a Study Away trip during Intersession with eight students to Greece, Croatia, Italy and England. Five students presented three papers at the International Mass Media Conference in Athens, Greece, while three students presented papers at the Information Technology and Journalism Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Meg Thompson, an Instructor of English, published her poem "Steam in the Dish Room" in Hayden's Ferry Review, Spring/Summer 2010, issue 46. She also claims to have been married this summer.

Jeanie Crain, professor of English, has been asked by Stephen Spangehl, Director of AQIP, to serve on the Reaffirmation Panel for 2010-2011. Dr. Crain will continue on the Advisory Panel, Admissions Council, as a Systems Appraiser, Quality Checkup Visitor, and Action Project Reviewer.

Ann Thorne was elected Chair of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication History Division at the annual national conference of the in August in Denver, CO. The History Division is comprised of approximately 400 journalism history professors, both national and international. The national conference hosts more than 2,000 journalism faculty from various journalism disciplines each year. As chair, Dr. Thorne will be responsible for facilitating the History Division’s goals for the coming year, will head the executive board, and will plan the Division’s extensive programming for the annual convention next year in St. Louis, MO.

Many of us meant to do something, though some of us just sat around while these hard-working folks made the department look good. We feel both guilt and regret and promise to use our time in a more productive way. Honest.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Griffon in Seoul

Christine Bumgardner (1997 BSE English/Literature graduate) plans to be stateside in the fall of 2011, pursuing a Master's degree in teaching. Christine currently teaches English at a high school in Seoul, S. Korea. Since graduating from Western, she's also taught English in Taiwan and China. To read more about Christine's life and teaching abroad, read her blog posts at .

Current MWSU students interested in teaching abroad in Asia are welcome to contact Christine. She writes, "This [teaching English in Asia] has been an awesome experience for me, but it isn't for everyone. However, I am always happy to help those thinking of the move."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Prairie Lands Writing Project 2010 Graduation

Prairie Lands Writing Project (a chapter of the National Writing Project) held its four-week Invitational Institute here at Missouri Western, June 27-July 21.

Sixteen area teachers, grades 3 - 16, completed the institute and will receive their National Writing Project Teacher Consultant certification, following the group's last session at Western in September.

This year's class included EFLJ departmental graduates Kyla Ward (St. Joseph Central High School communication arts teacher); Mark Henderson (Maryville High School communication arts teacher); and Amy Chastain and Ahmad Safi (MWSU English graduate assistants/MAA in Written Communication students).

Dawn Terrick Publishes on MWSU Developmental Writing

Dawn Terrick, Director of Developmental Writing at MWSU, published the article "Granting Access and Rewarding Success in a Developmental Writing Program" in BWe: Basic Writing, an online journal. Dawn was invited to write the piece after she accepted the 2009 national award for most innovative developmental writing program from the Conference on Basic Writing, which is a special interest group within the national organization Conference on College Composition and Communication.

The journal's table of contents is linked below, on which you can find Dawn's essay. I encourage you to read it for a very good description of the nature and spirit of developmental writing at MWSU. Developmental writing and reading classes at MWSU change students in profound ways, and the experience is crucial for their success at the university.

Congratulations, Dawn and all of those who teach ENG 100!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New School Year Under Way

On Sunday evening the faculty and graduate students in EFLJ met at Dr. Kaye Adkins country estate to share lies about summer (Instructor Meg Thompson claimed to get married, for instance) and mere exaggerations about their plans for fall.

We look forward to the 2010-2011 school year and to hearing from you current and former students about your accomplishments . . . or even really good lies. Be sure to hit the link "Alumni Update" on the right side of this blog and tell us to what you are up. We promise not to fact check. If you'd like a link to your business, group, or organization, just let us know in your update and you can added to "Alumni Links."

Here's to a great new year in which, so far, we're all undefeated!