Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Alumni News (And A Little Bit Of Electioneering)

Once again, the mail's arrived at Colson Hall, with some very good news and a little bit of politics thrown in.

Marisa Klages (Ph.D. '08) writes to say that she's been granted early tenure at LaGuardia Community College (part of the CUNY system), where she's Director of Outcomes Assessment and, now, an Associate Professor. The Tenants heartily congratulate her.

On the political side, Anthony Zias (Ph.D. '08 and now an Assistant Professor at Coppin State in Maryland) wrote to say that he is on the ballot for the MLA Delegate Assembly for the Mid-Atlantic region and would like your vote. Anthony very helpfully added that our own Professor Ballentine is running in a different contest in the same region so that you can actually vote for both of them. He did not mention whether the two of them constitute a party or, if so, what their platform might be.

ENGL 491A Poster Presentations

Congrats to the ENGL 491A - Professional Writing & Editing Capstone undergraduates on their internship poster presentations on Tuesday.
  • Winner of the exhibit's Best Poster Competition, Alexandra Ries demonstrated how "green" writing can be repurposed for various media and audiences.
  • Kelsey Gaus shared interviewing techniques practiced at WV Living Magazine with interviewees including WVU men's basketball coach Bob Huggins.
  • Chris Kees discussed the challenges of consolidating 100-page reports on technical topics (such as isoelectric solubilization) into concise abstracts for online indexing.
  • Alyssa Thompson showed the importance of clear organization and good design for a service directory used by paralegals in a law firm.
  • Wendy Spaw acquainted exhibit visitors with the issues involved in working with an oversees author to edit a manuscript originally written in Portuguese.
  • Barbara Hall demonstrated the complementary nature of graphics and text in a small business' pricing sheets, business cards, and direct mail.
Thanks to everyone who walked through the exhibit to support these young writers!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

CFP: Undergraduate Literature Symposium


Twentieth Annual Literature West Virginia Literature Symposium for Undergraduate Students
Fairmont State University, Fairmont, WV
Saturday, 18 February, 2012

Sponsored by the School of Language and Literature, College of Liberal Arts, Fairmont State University

Analytical, theoretical, or interpretative studies of literary works, films, or culture are invited for this annual literary symposium. Presentations must be in English, though the works studied may be in any language. The top three papers will receive cash prizes. Completed papers should be appropriate for a 15-minute presentation and, therefore, should not exceed 8-10 double-spaced, typed pages (the selection committee will not read any submission beyond the tenth page). One submission per person, please. Only papers written during the 2011 calendar year are eligible. Electronic submissions are preferred. Note: Papers must be formatted either in Word or .rtf.

Attach completed paper along with your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address, AV requirements (i.e., computer projection, DVD player and TV, etc.) and send to Dr. Angela Schwer (

Papers must be submitted no later than midnight, Friday, December 16, 2011. Students will be notified of their status by Friday, January 27, 2012. For more information, e-mail

Friday, November 25, 2011

As Finals Approach....

This Thanksgiving, about the time that the pumpkin pie was passed around in the old oak dining room of Colson Hall, the Tenants had come to a general agreement that, as Finals Week draws near, students might well take Evil Scientist Heinz Doofensmirtz as a role model, viz.:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Upcoming Capstone Events

Students in English 491A, the Professional Writing and Editing Capstone, will showcase the work from their internships at a poster presentation on Tuesday, November 29, in 130 Colson. The posters will be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then from 4-5 p.m. the students will be on hand to discuss their work.

Students in English 418, the Creative Writing Capstone, will read from their work on Thursday, December 8, at 10 a.m. in 130 Colson. Chase Fraicola, Abby Hohn, Hannah McPherson, and Chris Milam will read creative nonfiction; Josh Cooper, Maggie Matsko, Kim Nold, Brittney Polen, and Kayla Shane will read fiction; and Sarah Keller and Caitlin Walker will read poetry. The students' MFA mentors will do the introductions.

Hope to see you at both of these events.

Monday, November 14, 2011

CFP: Drama, Theatre, and Performance Regional Conference

CALL FOR PAPERS: “Drama, Theatre, and Performance Regional Conference”

The Drama, Theatre, and Performance Consortium at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University announces its next biannual conference for Saturday, March 31, 2012 at Pitt.  We seek papers and presentations from regional scholars (grad students and faculty members) on a range of topics in the wide field of drama, theatre, and performance.  Possible areas for papers include: the necessary relations among evolution, nature, and performance, American drama abroad, the formation and institutionalization of performance cultures, theatre for working-class audiences, performance and cognition, theatre as autoethnography, and relations among performances and literary production in post-colonial societies.  Please send 150-word abstracts of your 20-minute paper proposal to Bruce McConachie ( or Susan H. Smith (  Deadline: January 30, 2012. The Consortium will notify all applicants by February 27.       

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grants for Travel to the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke

The John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American
History and Culture, part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book &
Manuscript Library at Duke University, announces the availability of
travel grants for research travel to our collections.

The John Hope Franklin Research Center seeks to collect, preserve, and
promote the use of printed and manuscript materials bearing on the
history of Africa and people of African descent.

Research grants are available to any faculty member, graduate or
undergraduate student, or independent scholar with a research project
requiring the use of materials held by the Franklin Research Center.
Grant money may be used for travel, photocopying, and living expenses
while pursuing research at the Rubenstein Library. Applicants must live
outside of a 100-mile radius from Durham, NC. The maximum award per
applicant is $1,000.

The deadline for application is January 31, 2012 by 5:00 PM EST.
Recipients will be announced in March 2012. Grants must be used between
April 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.

For more information and to download a copy of the application form,
please visit:

Applicants are encouraged to contact Jennifer Thompson, the Franklin
Research Center's research services librarian, before submitting their
application. Past applications have demonstrated that those who spoke
with a staff member about their projects produced stronger applications.
Contact information is listed below:

Jennifer Thompson
John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American
History and Culture
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Duke University, Box 90185
Durham, NC  27708-0185
Phone: 919-660-5922

Monday, November 7, 2011

English Club Trip to See Much Ado About Nothing

"Speak low if you speak love."
William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

     Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Washington DC
       Saturday, December 3rd at 2:00 PM

All WVU Students Welcome.

Students are carpooling and departing at 7:00am. $10 covers the cost of tickets and gas. Overnight accommodation and meals not provided.
Contact Abra Sitler at for more information by Friday, November 18, 2011.

Consultant Positions for Spring in Business and Economics

If you're an English graduate student and need some extra money (possibly so that you can attend the benefit Jazz Concert for the Appalachian Prison Book Project, see below), we've just received the following call for consultants in the College of Business and Economics for next semester......       

"The College of Business and Economics seeks to hire additional graduate level students for consultant positions in the Business Communications Center (BCC) for the spring 2012 semester.  The positions are part-time, approximately10 hours per week, and the compensation is $10 per hour.            

Consultants will work with business students to improve written and oral communication skills, not by proofreading or editing, but by coaching students about strategies for editing their own work. We want students to be able to assess their own overall communication skills and identify their weaknesses rather than provide a temporary 'fix.' 

Some of the qualifications necessary to be a consultant include being able to respectfully communicate with the student and set priorities so that the student understands that ownership of the task belongs to him or her."       
Students interested in applying for one of these positions would need to send a letter and resume via email to Elizabeth Tomlinson, Business Communications Center Director:



This Friday: Benefit Concert for the Appalachian Prison Book Project

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Spring Semester Courses and Workshops from the Office of Graduate Education

Spring Workshops:

RefWorks 2.0 - Join librarians Noel Kopriva and Penny Pugh for a hands-on workshop covering the basic features of RefWorks, an online service for managing references. In RefWorks, you can organize and store citations, create bibliographies and in-text citations, attach documents, and share references with other scholars.

November 8, 4-5:30 PM at Downtown Campus Library, Room 136.

November 10, 4-5:30 PM, Evansdale Library Classroom.

Writing Effective Conference Proposals- Learn how to craft an effective conference proposal to present your work at an academic conference.

December 5, 5:00-6:30, Oglebay Hall 107

Spring courses:

1. Preparing Future Faculty Seminar, GRAD 694

Preparing Future Faculty is a 2-credit seminar that will enlighten you on the transition from graduate student to faculty member. Participants will be expected to complete weekly readings and foster discussion on course topics, including the following:

· How to apply for academic jobs

· Teaching, research, and service responsibilities of an assistant professor

· Preparing for tenure and promotion review

· Current issues in the academic job market and higher education

· Considering non-academic jobs

2 credits, Pass/Fail

Tuesdays, 3:00-4:30

Dr. Jonathan Cumming, Dr. Jenny Douglas

2. Scholarly Teaching, GRAD 710

This course provides a foundation for teaching at the college level based on educational research. Students will learn best practices for employing active learning, fostering higher order thinking skills, and creating courses with meaningful, measurable learning goals.

3 credits

Time: Tuesdays, 2:00-5:00

Instructor: Dr. Michelle Withers, Assistant Professor of Biology

3. Teaching Capstone, GRAD 693

This course is intended as the capstone requirement for the Certificate in University Teaching. For more information about the Certificate, please contact Dr. Jenny Douglas at