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 http://www.c-s-p.org/flyers/Barbarians-at-the-Gate--Studies-in-Language-Attitudes1-4438-1703-1.htm

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:


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!