Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Students of French enjoy a six-course dinner

30 students in French and their guests enjoyed a traditional French meal on the evening of November 16 in the President's Dining Room. This yearly event provides a wonderful opportunity for current and prospective students of French to mingle and share a wonderful culinary experience.
The six-course menu included cake aux olives, gougères (the real cheese puffs made from scratch with gruyère cheese), foie gras (goose liver pâté), grated carrot salad with a lemon and garlic vinaigrette, coq au vin (chicken stew), salade verte with a vinaigrette, assortment of fromages français with bread, followed by desserts, including clafoutis (cherries baked in batter), mousse au chocolat and rochers à la noix de coco (coconut macaroons). 
The dinner party included a poetry reading between courses. 
Merci to all those who prepared food and entertained!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

20th Annual Reading of Banned and Challenged Books

Last night we celebrated our 20th annual reading of banned and challenged books on Missouri Western's campus. Readers included EML and Prarie Lands alums Stacia Studer and Elisabeth Alkier as well as assistant professor Elizabeth Canon.

Dr. Canon
Readers & Books
Ms. Julie Perez, MWSU Education student
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Dr. Elizabeth Canon, Assistant Professor of English, MWSU
I Corinthians, chapter 13 from the Tyndale Bible
Ms. Sally Gibson, Director, MWSU Library
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Ms. Chris Danford, School Board Member, SJSD. 
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Mr. Ken Newton, Columnist, St. Joseph News-Press  
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ms. Elisabeth Alkier, Prairie Lands Writing Project, MWSU 
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury  
Ms. Alkier
Dr. Ben Caldwell, Dean of Graduate Studies, MWSU
The Da Vinci Code  by Dan Brown

Ms. Stacia Studer, St. Joseph School District Teacher of the Year 2015-16
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Ms. Studer

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Eight successfully defend in Modern Languages

The spring of 2016 semester saw an impressive number of students defending a thesis. A total of eight students presented their thesis in Modern Languages, seven in Spanish and one in French. With topics ranging from the challenges of democracy in contemporary Honduras, to absurdism in Albert Camus’ work, to critical gender theory applied to a Spanish novel, these students demonstrated their language skills, as well as their knowledge of the target cultures. We wish the new graduates the best of luck in their future endeavors, wherever it may take them. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Polished Portfolios

This semester, three technical communication majors completed a Senior Portfolio. All three of them scored "Polished," the highest possible rating, on their portfolios. Two of the students received perfect scores from one of the evaluators.  Congratulations go to:  Dante Lammoglia, Garrett Skribina and Tinsley Underwood.  We are EML proud!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Honoring outstanding students

On April 19th, we celebrated the accomplishments of students in English and Modern Languages.  Students earning academic honors were presented with an academic key. The outstanding graduates were introduced by faculty and received a commemorative plaque.  Words cannot express how much we appreciate the contributions of these students or how proud we are, but the pictures below can. You will find the names of these outstanding graduates on plaques in the department display case:        

BA English, Garrett Skrbina
 BSE English, Krystal Hicok

BA Spanish, Connie  Devault
  BA French, Elizabeth Young

MAA, Roxanne Chase
Academic key awardees: Connie DeVault, Cydney Puckett,
Cami Pendleton, Mariam Riddle, Krystal Hicok, Garrett Skrbina.
Not pictured: Nicole Bradley, Sara Brown, Erica Cook,
Morgan Rathmann, Taylor McGrath, Gage Williams.

Celebrated author Ellen Hopkins visits Missouri Western

On April 18th, the well-known young adult author Ellen Hopkins visited Missouri Western in conjunction with the Mochila Review’s MoRe prize, for which Hopkins was judge.  The popular writer’s meeting with high school students was followed by an evening reading in which Hopkins shared selections from poetry and the novel Crank. Marianne Kunkel coordinated the events.

Monday, April 18, 2016

More Great News!

Successful defense
Roxanne Chase successfully defended her MAA in Written Communication, “Meeting of the Minds: Encouraging a Critical Thinking Community through Group-Work in English Composition,” April 7, 2016.  Roxanne’s thesis explores the many ways group work creates community in the classroom and in the larger community. Her research investigates the influence of previous experiences of and attitudes toward group work for new teaching assistant’s use of group work in the first year college composition classroom. Roxanne’s thesis committee included Dr. Gaywyn Moore (chair), Dr. Susan Martens, and Dr. Kay Siebler. Join us in congratulating Roxanne on her articulate and engaging defense!

Faculty Presentations
Kaye Adkins presented her paper "I'm Proud of You Folks Too! Narrative and Community Building in World War II" at the conference of the College English Association on April 2 in Denver, Colorado.

Gaywyn Moore presented at the 44th annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America Conference (March 23-26, 2016) in New Orleans. Her presentation was entitled, “English Women, Romance, and Global Travel in Thomas Heywood’s The Fair Maid of the West, Part 1.”

Celebrating students
The 10th annual reception for the English 100 publication, Celebrating the Student, Celebrating the Self, drew a record-breaking crowd of students and proud family and friends. Dawn Terrick, Director of English 100, introduced the award-winning students, many of whom read from their published essays.


Festival of Letters

The inaugural event attracted researchers, writers, and performers, showcasing the talents of students and faculty alike. Participants had the chance to present in an informal atmosphere punctuated by readings on a range of topics, creative writing as well as academic texts. Thanks go to organizers from the League of Extraordinary Events! 


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Faculty Achievements

Popular Culture presentations
Kay Siebler presented her research on African American feminist television characters at the Popular Culture Association conference in Seattle.
 Cynthia Bartels also presented at the Popular Culture Association conference: "Some things aren't true even if they did happen: one youth's journey to Altamont."

Susan Martens also presented at the Popular Culture Association conference: "Fat and Ash, Real and Imagined: All on a Mardi Gras Day in Treme.

Marianne Kunkel attended the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Los Angeles. Accompanying her was MWSU student Chris Pankiewicz.
She and Chris staffed an informational table about The Mochila Review, the university's national creative writing magazine, at the conference book fair.

Dawn Terrick presented at the 47th Annual CEA (College English Association) Conference in Denver.  Her presentation was entitled "From Marginal to Mainstream Voices:  Re-Creating the Purpose of a Student Publication."  

Miguel Rivera published a review on the book Creativity and Science in Contemporary Argentine Literature, by Joanna Page. It appears in the journal Dissidences.

Mary Stone published three poems from her "Last Woman on Earth" series at MoonsickShe published [Jennifer Requests an Open Casket] in Decomp.  In addition, her poem "A Man Tells You What is Good" was accepted by Cider Press Review. 

Grant Award
The Prairie Lands Writing Project has been awarded $20,000 of federal funds for the site’s 2016-2017 SEED Advanced Institute to Scale Up the NWP College-Ready Writers Program Grant proposal. Amy Miller, Tom Pankiewicz, and Jane Frick were co-authors of the grant. Miller and Pankiewicz attended the program's launch meeting in Washington D.C.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

News from France

Erica Cook is studying at the Université d’Angers for the spring semester. Here is her news:

It has been exactly two months since I have been here in France, in the beautiful city of Angers. Thinking back to my first day, that first week, even that whole first month – it all seems like ages ago, so long ago that I feel like I was different person back then. I was nervous. I was skittish. I was self-conscious. I was, in a sense, scared of everything around me. The culture was intimidating and unwelcoming, the language was hard, and the classes were impossible to understand. The first month was the most difficult obstacle I have had to overcome, but also the most liberating experience.
The minute I got off the train in Angers with my two large suitcases and my backpack, I wanted to turn around and go straight back home. France was terrifying at that moment – looking at nothing familiar and hearing not one word of English chilled me to my bones. Now, I look forward to going to new places and talking with the natives about their way of life. France has given me the confidence that I don’t think I would have ever achieved back home. I am no way, by any means, fluent in the French language. I still make silly grammatical mistakes and constantly struggle holding a long conversation in French, but now, I have the confidence to not care about the mistakes I am making and to just try.
I have learned to become an independent, traveling learner. I have mastered the Paris metro, the Angers city bus system, and asking for help (mostly directions) from random natives on the sidewalks. In two weeks, I am about to take my two week vacances, and travel alone through the south of France, visiting 5 cities (Biarritz, Toulouse, Marseille, Nice, and Lyon) and eventually circling back ‘home’ to Angers.
I have met some other incredible international students – American, English, Greek, Scottish, and Irish. They have been my support system here and also the ones who have given me a push to come out of my comfort zone. We are all learning together and pushing each other to do our best. We lean on one another through the homesickness and the difficulties that some classes bring, but we also create memories such as spontaneous weekend trips to visit castles in the Loire Valley. Most of the best moments here have been with these new friends and I know these friendships and memories will last forever – this is the time in all of our lives that we will never forget.  
I have two more months here in France and I know when the time comes, I will be sad to leave, for this université, this city, and this country – they have all given me such a great gift. This experience has made me become comfortable with not being comfortable – it has made me not be afraid to be in new places, learn and listen to different languages, and not to plan and be in control of every detail of my life. Doris Day has become my role model and I listen to “Que Sera Sera” on a weekly basis. Study abroad gives you the comfort and the ease of mind of not knowing everything and how that can be the start to a great adventure.

From Angers to MWSU,
À bientôt !

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

March Magnificence

Faculty achievements
Elizabeth Canon was a panel speaker at the International Student Services event, "A Day With An Accent."

Marianne Kunkel has had two poems accepted for publication in bosque. The poems, "Scraps" and "Sariah Complains over Lunch," are from her new manuscript-in-progress.

Mary Stone recently had three poems published at the Barrelhouse Blog for their "Weird Love" series, including: “Jennifer Gets Over her Ex.” Read them here:
She also has poems forthcoming is these magazines: Moonsick Magazine, Decomp, Cahoodaloodaling, I-70 Review, and Tinderbox. 

Claudine Evans participated in the Immersion Day for French Teachers held at Rockhurst University, in Kansas City. She made a presentation on the French Territorial Reform. The event was organized by the Greater Kansas City Area Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF). 

Kay Siebler's article, "The Politics of Birth Control and Abortion in China" has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed, scholarly Journal of Modern Education Review

PLWP Teacher Consultants Present at Write to Learn Conference
Several PLWP Teacher Consultants also gave presentations at the Write to Learn Conference held at Osage Beach, Mo., Feb. 25-27. 
Elisabeth Alkier (SJSD) and Susan Martens (MWSU): “Passion Blogs and Partnerships: Real Writing for Real Audiences”
Misty Burright and Jerri Fischer (SJSD): “Writing Creatively across the Common Core.”
Tori Grable and Christine Diehl (Smithville): “Using Technology Tools to Support the Reading Process”
Vickey Meyer (SJSD): “We’re All Covered in Skin, and That’s Worth Knowing: An Exploration of Beauty and Radical Self-Acceptance”

On March 8th English and Modern Languages and the MAA in Written Communication hosted Speak!  Faculty and students presented their favorite speeches, which included selections ranging from the poetry of Elizabeth I and Baudelaire to movies including A Time to Kill, Network, and Halloween to three generations of feminists to courtroom arguments to Harry Potter.  Thank you to student participants Roxanne Chase, Samantha Fidler-Newby, Brandon Herring, Sarah Hatten Weaver, and Tracy Whorton and to faculty participants Kaye Adkins, Dana Andrews, Stacia Bensyl, Michael Charlton, Susie Hennessy, Marianne Kunkel, and Gaywyn Moore.   

Krystal Hicok wins Greef Award for Outstanding English Education Students
BSE major Krystal Hicok was awarded the Robert J. Greef Award for Outstanding English Education Students by the Missouri Council of Teachers of English at the Write to Learn Conference held at Osage Beach on Feb. 26.  

Krystal is an active member of the MWSU campus community as a leader in Alpha Omega—a Christian sorority—and in the honors organization Kappa Delta Pi.  She was also an outstanding workshop leader in MWSU’s developmental writing program, has been on the Dean's List and  President's Honor Roll, and was a volunteer guide at this year’s Tunnel of Oppression sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Education.  The daughter of Karla and Floyd Stansberry and the late Burt Hicok, Krystal was born and raised in DeWitt, Nebraska, where she first developed a passion for small schools and tight-knit communities.  

Krystal is currently student teaching at Mid-Buchanan High School and will graduate in May.  She hopes to teach in a rural school where her passion can ignite a love for English in her students.  In her philosophy of teaching statement, Krystal writes, “Literature stretches the mind by planting seeds of critical thinking. When a person looks at literature—at art—they see life. Then, with gentle prodding and steadfast instruction, critical thinkers become critical writers.”

Community outreach--High School Writing Day
The Prairie Lands Writing Project hosted High School Writing Day on March 3, drawing approximately 200 high school students and their teachers from 14 areas schools to MWSU for a day of writing and sharing.  PLWP Co-Director Amy Miller (MWSU) coordinated this event emceed by PLWP Teacher Consultant Terrance Sanders (Frontier STEM High School in KC).  Students attended an opening session, two different workshops, a lunch session, and an Open Mic. 

Many thanks to PLWP Graduate Assistant and TC Roxanne Chase and to undergraduate English education students Garrett Durbin, Taylor Allen, Lauren Bacon, Ali Chesney, Stephaney Ferguson, Jaylynn Hoffman, Maddie Marx, Kirsten Melkowski, Clarissa Peterson, Morgan Rathmann, Kelly Rhodes, Alex Steilen, and Taylor Summers for assisting with the event.

A special thanks goes out to MWSU faculty members and PLWP TCs who led student workshops:  Meredith Katchen, Bill Church, Misty Burright, Vickey Meyer, Brooksie Kluge, Mary Stone, Marianne Kunkel, Dana  Andrews, Michael Charlton, Bob Bergland, Susan Martens.

Check out these videos documenting the day, created by students in Bob Bergland's Convergent Journalism workshop:

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Congratulations to Lindsey Lucas!

Lindsey Lucas, who graduated in December 2015 with a bachelor's degree in English and a concentration in creative writing and publishing, has been accepted in the Master's of Fine Arts program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her acceptance into the program includes paid tuition and a teaching assistantship. Lindsey was an incredible asset to our EML department and to The Mochila Review and Canvas specifically; there, for four semesters, she served as the journals' web editor and as a co-host for Mochila's new podcast, Mochila Chat (listen here: 
Lindsey was also the treasurer of the university's Creative Writing Club and a valued participant in many fiction- and poetry-writing courses. We wish her the very best and can't wait to read what she writes next!