English and Modern Languages

English & Modern Languages

The Department of English and Modern Languages offers baccalaureate degrees and a master’s degree program. B.A. programs are offered in English and in Modern Languages. A Bachelor of Science in Education and a master’s program are also offered in English. The department offers minors in English, English Teaching, Creative Writing, French, Professional Writing, and Spanish.

  • Undergraduate Programs
  • Graduate Programs
  • Scholarships
  • Student Employment Opportunities in the Department

Whether you want to be a teacher, a writer, a public relations specialist, or the owner of your own business, the Department of English and Modern Languages is for you! With a great selection of majors and minors, your possibilities are endless.

Learn More About the Program, Degree and Career Options

The Department of English and Modern Languages offers a Master of Arts degree with emphases in:

  • Creative Writing
  • Literature
  • Professional Writing

Learn More about the Master of Arts Emphases

 

Annually, the English Department has approximately $15,000 of scholarship money available to assist English majors with the cost of attending Pittsburg State University. Unless otherwise specified below, all scholarship awards are automatically applied to a student's tuition. Also unless otherwise specified, Bachelor of Arts and English Education majors are equally eligible for all awards.

To be eligible for first  consideration, all applications for English Department scholarships for the following academic year must be received no later than March 1.

Some scholarships require that students qualify for financial need.  All students are urged to go to http://fafsa.ed.gov to complete the online application for determination of financial need eligibility.

Students must maintain their English major and continue to meet all other scholarship requirements to remain eligible to receive their awards.

To apply for scholarships online, interested students may go to the PSU Scholarships Home page.

 


Below is a list of English Department scholarships with their qualifications

 

Inez Cunningham - Junior transfer English majors from Kansas community colleges on the basis of scholarship, leadership, and potential. Tuition, books, dormitory lodging, food.

Winifred Sue Curfman - English majors planning to teach.

English Alumni - New freshmen, transfer, or continuing English majors on the basis of merit.

Charles and Dorothy Guardia - New freshmen, transfer, or continuing Bachelor of Arts in English majors on the basis of merit.

Thelma B. Hays - Continuing full-time English majors, minimum GPA of 2.5, and potential for leadership and service demonstrated while at Pittsburg State.

Thomas Hemmens-H. G. Roberts Foundation - Continuing senior English Education majors with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Check written to student.

Marjorie McFarland - Continuing English majors on the basis of merit. Alternate years.

Faye H. Meriwether - New freshmen, transfers, or continuing English majors, preferably graduates of Columbus (KS) High School, on the basis of merit.

Rebecca Patterson-Emily Dickinson - English majors doing meritorious work on the poems of Emily Dickinson. Tuition, and/or research expenses.

John Reed-H. G. Roberts Foundation - Continuing senior Bachelor of Arts in English majors, minimum GPA of 3.0. Check written to student.

Lowell & Rosalia Ross - Continuing English Education majors on the basis of merit, preference to students from Southeast Kansas, minimum GPA of 3.0.

George & Mary Schuiltz - Continuing English majors, minimum GPA of 2.75, preferably from Southeast Kansas, showing financial need.

Walter Shear - Junior or Senior English majors, minimum GPA of 3.0.

Jess and Joe Skubitz - Continuing English majors from the 5th Congressional District (as of 1978), minimum GPA of 2.5, showing financial need.

Thomas & Audrey White - New freshmen, transfers, or continuing English major, minimum GPA of 2.5.

Dr. Jennings Blackmon - English majors with a GPA of 3.5.


For more information on the Department of English Scholarships, go to https://go.pittstate.edu/scholarship/dept/ENGL

To check on current availability of the positions below, please contact the Student Employment Office or the Department of English office.

Student Secretary. Position # ENGL 771.
10-20 hours per week as scheduled by the English Department Secretary.  Answers the telephone and directs telephone traffic appropriately. Sorts departmental mail, files and updates records on students and alumni. Processes bulk mailings. Assists with department activities including the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series and the Emmett Memorial Lecture. Must be a dependable full-time PSU student capable of doing accurate work. Must be familiar with PC computers and MS Word 7.0 for Windows, and other MS Office software. English Department Secretary: Shannon Spear.

Computer Lab Technician. Position # ENGL 4148 and 4199.
15-20 hours per week as scheduled by the Computer Lab Coordinator. Assists teachers and students in composition classes on PC computers using MS Word, Internet Explorer and other software. Must be a dependable full-time PSU student with GPA of 3.0 and a grade of B or better in ENGL 101. Knowledge of other MS Office software applications, such as Excel and Powerpoint, desirable as well as an understanding of hardware, such as scanners, projectors, and printers.  Grubbs Hall 101 Computer Lab Coordinator: Dr. Paul “Skip” Morris.

Writing Center Consultant. Position # ENGL 3783.
Five-fifteen hours per week as scheduled by the Writing Center Director.  Supports student writing by working one-on-one with undergraduate and graduate student writers from any major at any stage of the writing process.  Also participates in on-going staff development activities, maintains and assists in developing Writing Center resources, keeps administrative records, and performs other duties as assigned by the Writing Center Directors.  Must be enrolled in at least six credit hours at PSU, have a 3.0 GPA or higher, and demonstrate strong writing and oral communication skills.  Writing Center Directors: Dr. Janet Zepernick and Dr. Donald Judd.

Student Assistant for Writing Across the Curriculum. Position # ENGL 2920.
10 hours a week, flexible times. Provides office support for the Writing Across the Curriculum and Discipline-Based Assessment programs.  Prepares materials for meetings; photocopies, sorts, and organizes documents; communicates with faculty through memos and email; keeps records and maintains program files; organizes, maintains, and searches program data; engages in problem-solving and develops plans for carrying out work assignments; stays on schedule and anticipates future workload based on tasks assigned.  Must be organized and detail-oriented.  Strong computer skills (MS Word and Excel) and good communication skills required.  WAC Directors: Dr. Don Judd and Dr. Janet Zepernick.

  • Welcome to the English and Modern Languages Department
  • Connect with Us
  • Writing Programs and Services Offered
  • Make a Gift to English and Modern Languages

We have eighteen full-time faculty members with diverse areas of study, several part-time faculty and a dedicated office staff. Our degree programs launch well-rounded readers and writers into their professional lives. Our facilities encourage students to work one-on-one with peer tutors and professors. Our program activities contribute to the friendly atmosphere we value.

Locate the English Program in Grubbs Hall using Google Maps or the PSU Map (PDF) showing Grubbs Hall and University Police and Parking Services building highlighted.

Mission Statement

The mission of the English Program is

  • To foster students' reading skills through extensive study of literary texts.
  • To develop students' logical, creative, and critical thinking skills through application of methods of analysis to the interpretation of literary texts.
  • To enhance students' writing skills through instruction and practice in analytical, practical, and creative approaches to writing.
  • To increase students' knowledge of the structure and history of the English language.
  • To increase students' awareness and appreciation of the aesthetic aspects of language and of literary genres and forms.
  • To enhance students' exploration of individual, gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity through study of literature and language.

To carry out these aims, the Program provides quality bachelors and masters degree programs in literature, language, and writing, for English majors and minors, including middle–and secondary school teacher education students and masters students in the community college teaching emphasis.

The Program also offers academic support courses in technical writing and general education, including composition and literature for non–majors, and has the responsibility of staffing and/or supporting the following:

  • Distinguished Visiting Writers Series
  • Grubbs Hall Computer Classroom
  • Writing–across–the–Curriculum Program
  • Writing Center
  • campus student literary magazine
  • student organizations (Sigma Tau Delta English Honorary Society).

To insure the health and continuity of its programs, the Program supports the efforts of its faculty in their pursuit of excellence in

  • teaching
  • research, writing (scholarly, critical, technical, creative), presentation, and publication
  • service to the university, the profession, and to society at large.

To allow the faculty and students involved in English Program to achieve their potentials, the Program is committed to principles which provide optimum opportunities for freedom of expression, personal and professional fulfillment, intellectual development, and aesthetic, ethical, emotional, and social growth.

English Program      

Modern Languages Program    

The Writing Center helps students with their writing concerns and collaborates with the Writing to Learn Program, including special programs for students in several departments from the sciences, business, and technology.

The PSU Conversation Partners Program matches students with native speakers to practice for half an hour a week to better their confidence in pronunciation and accuracy.

The Writing Across the Curriculum program is to encourage and support faculty in the incorporation of writing and writing assignments in their courses at all levels and across all disciplines. Writing to Learn courses, in addition to teaching course content, are designed to enhance students’ ability to formulate and articulate complex ideas and to convey those ideas in writing to a professional and/or academic audience.

The Department of English and Modern Languages would like to thank all those who have been so generous with their contributions. Your contributions help us to provide quality education, educational opportunities, and financial assistance to those seeking an education through English and Modern Languages.

Areas of need include English and Modern Languages Scholarships, English and Modern Languages equipment, and the English and Modern Languages General Fund for areas of greatest need. You may also contribute to other English and Modern Languages areas of your choosing.

Make a Gift

The Programs


English Program picture

The English Program consists of the following.

Visit the English Program site to learn more about the program and what it has to offer.

Languages Program picture

The Modern Languages Program offers a thorough program of study oriented to the individual. Active and interested faculty members work closely with students to focus on areas of interest in French and Spanish. Faculty members have studied, done research or resided in countries where those languages are spoken.

Students enjoy opportunities to learn through the most modern and effective methods and techniques. Our mediated classrooms allow them to view DVDs and videos with picture and audio that rival a movie theatre experience. Instructors can visit target language websites projected on the big screen to conduct, for example, a virtual tour of an art museum. Language clubs and native speakers who act as conversation partners give students further opportunities for success.

Native Speakers

Native speakers are encouraged to take courses in French or Spanish.  Students who graduated from high school in a French- or Spanish-speaking country may fulfill coursework for a major in Modern Languages by completing 15 hours of upper-division courses in the native language, French or Spanish.  Native speakers of any language taught in the department are not allowed to enroll in lower-division courses in that language.  Consult with the chairperson of the department or the Modern Languages Program coordinator.

Guidelines for a Major for Native Speakers of French or Spanish

The Modern Languages Program consists of the following

  • A Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages in Language and Culture in French or Spanish
  • Teacher Certification in French or Spanish
  • A French or Spanish Minor
  • Study Abroad Trips and the PSU Conversation Partners Program
  • The Retro-credits Program benefits students with significant prior language experience by rewarding those who have spent years learning languages in high school and encourages them to seek university-level courses to complete a Minor.  Download the Retro-credits Information.
Learn More
Film-and-Media-Studies

Film and Media Studies Minor

The interdisciplinary Minor in Film and Media Studies allows students to develop visual literacy through a focus on the history and criticism of film and media. A strong curriculum centers on critical analysis of cultural artifacts (traditionally, within the realm of print media – poetry, short stories, novels, plays, speeches, essays, etc.). Succeeding personally and professionally in the 21st century will be a challenge for any young person who has not developed visual literacy skills in order to "read" and interpret a wide variety of media resources. Students take courses in multiple disciplines, making the minor complementary to many majors.  

For more information, please contact Casie Hermansson in the English Program or the English Program Office at 620-235-4689.

The Minor requires completion of a core set of classes as well as a series of electives that students can tailor to their interests.

Learn More

Student Activities


Sigma Tau Delta-color

Sigma Tau Delta is an English honor society established in 1924 to confer distinction for high achievement in English language, literature, and writing. Our chapter is distinguished as the Sigma Alpha Chapter. Registered members must meet the requirements established by the National Sigma Tau Delta English Honors Society.

The English club allows all students to work jointly with the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. The members of both organizations attend the same meetings and participate in the same activities. Sigma Tau Delta and the English Club host receptions for the initiation of new members, events on Shakespeare's birthday, student/faculty dinners, sponsorship of scholarly speakers, and annual trips to Sigma Tau Delta conferences. For more information about Sigma Tau Delta and the English Club, please contact faculty advisor Dr. James Greene.

To join the Sigma Alpha Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, read more about our application process. 

Find out more about our current news and events on our Facebook Page.

The Cow Creek Review cover

Cow Creek Review is our student literary and arts magazine. Published every spring semester, Cow Creek features poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, and visual art by students. Student editors and staff work throughout the year to review submissions, select work to publish, determine layout and design, and prepare the magazine for printing. The student volunteer staff also helps with publicity, fundraising, and planning for a publication party that takes place each spring. All students may submit work to be considered for publication in Cow Creek. Copies of the magazine are available for free at select locations in Grubbs Hall, Overman Student Center, Whitesitt Hall, and Porter Hall. For more information about Cow Creek, please contact faculty advisors Lori Martin and Dr. Chase Dearinger.

Guidelines and submission forms are available in the English Department on the 4th floor of Grubbs Hall. 

Find out more about our current news and events on our Facebook Page.

The Blank Page image

The Blank Page is our university’s student writers club. All students may join to help improve their writing. Students review one another’s work in a friendly environment so that they can submit for publication in the student literary magazine, Cow Creek Review. For more information about The Blank Page, please contact faculty advisor Lori Martin.

Find out more about our current news and events on our Facebook Page.

conversation-partner

The Conversation Partners program matches students with native speakers to practice for half an hour a week to better their confidence in pronunciation and accuracy. When learning a new language, it is crucial that students have a native speaking companion to practice the language with and to apply what they learned in class.  Native speakers help catch students' mistakes and tell them how to fix them, improving their confidence in the classroom and becoming more comfortable speaking the language.

Conversation Partners are students themselves who have been selected and trained by Modern Languages faculty to make the most of practice sessions. Every student who has the opportunity to have a conversation partner should take it, because it helps their language skills and creates relationships with the student and their conversation partner that can continue later on.  Currently the program is available in Spanish and French and open to all students who are enrolled in third-semester courses and beyond.

From the 2011 Kanza article about the Conversation Program.

 “I think my grade in class reflects my work when I meet with my conversation partner.  She corrects when we talk.  I like it.  It helps out a lot.” Channing Solon, sophomore in Spanish
 “The first meeting we had it was nearly impossible to speak French.  I wouldn’t say she learned French in two months but she learned a lot during our talks.”  Antoine Bailly, graduate student in business administration and native French conversation partner
“Their confidence in the classroom does certainly improve and they become more comfortable speaking the language.  I think the students here at PSU are very fortunate to have the opportunity to talk with a native speaker.”  Myriam Krepps, associate French professor
“Having a conversation partner for my French class gives me a way to apply what I learned in class that usually isn’t seen in other classes,  The more often you can meet, the better.” Micah Black, junior in French and political science
French Club image

The French Club officers for the 2016-17 academic year:

  • President: Emily Gallup
  • Vice-President: Katia Arians
  • Secretary: Quiyon Tooley
  • Treasurer: Dillon Thompson 

The French Club has monthly meetings, and celebrates National French Week in November.  They like to meet to promote and share French culture by attending a French-style dinner at a local restaurant, participate in the PSU Homecoming parade, playing games with the Pittsburg High School French Club, participating in fundraising events, and sponsoring the weekly French Table.  Members are regularly invited by the PHS French Club and Christine Colyer, French teacher, to celebrate Mardi Gras with PHS.  Every spring ends with a picnic, Dîner sur l'herbe, where new officers are elected for the next academic year.

The faculty adviser of the French Club is Dr. Brian Moots.

Productions 

Spanish Club image

Spanish Club Council

Spanish Club Videos

Tango 2012

Cha-cha-chá video 2012

PITT-Pal-logo

Every semester at Pittsburg State University, an American student is paired up with an international student to help make their transition easier! Becoming a PITT Pal gives the American student valuable cross cultural experiences while at the same time providing the international student with somebody to help make their transition smoother into our culture. This is just one of many excellent programs the depart of International Services provides to students both nationally and internationally! 

Lecture Series, Visiting Writers, and Events


The department annually hosts and acknowledges writers across the country.  The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series brings prominent writers to our campus for readings, class discussions, and conversation.  Each year the winner of the Victor J. Emmett Memorial Prize is invited to campus to receive the prize and present a scholarly lecture.

 

Distinguished Visiting Writer Series
  • Fall 2017 - Spring 2018
  • Fall 2016 - Spring 2017
  • Fall 2015 - Spring 2016
  • Fall 2013 - Spring 2014
  • Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

Patrick RyanPatrick Ryan, October 2017

Fiction writer Patrick Ryan is giving a reading at 8 p.m., October 26, 2017 in the Governor’s Room of the Overman Student Center; a reception will follow in the Heritage Room.

 

Cornelius EadyCornelius Eady, November 2017

Poet Cornelius Eady, with the Cornelius Eady Trio for music and poetry, will be performing 8 p.m., Nov. 9, 2017 at the Miller Theater, Bicknell Center for the Arts; a lobby reception will follow. 

Co-Sponsored by the Tilford Group.

 

Kevin RabasKevin Rabas, February 2018

Kansas Poet Laureate Kevin Rabas is giving a reading at 8 p.m., February 22, 2018 in the Governor’s Room of the Overman Student Center; a reception will follow in the Heritage Room.

 

Amy Parkinson, March 2018

Fiction writer Amy Parkinson is giving a reading at 8 pm., March 29, 2018 in the Governor’s Room of the Overman Student Center; a reception will follow in the Heritage Room. Co-sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies Council for Women’s History Month.

Pam HoustonPam Houston, April 2017

Pam Houston will be giving a reading in Grubbs Hall room 109 on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. A reception will follow the reading, the event is sponsored by the Distinguised Visiting Writers Series and the Student Fee Council.

 

Francine ProseFrancine Prose, March 2017

Writer Francine Prose will be reading from her own work at 8 pm, ON Thursday, March 9, 2017, in the Miller Theater in PSU’S Bicknell Center. The event is free, and is sponsored by the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series, the Student Fee Council, and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. A reception will follow. Press release: PDF | PSU News

 

Dennis EtzelDennis Etzel, Jr., February 2017

Poet Dennis Etzel, Jr. will be reading from his own work at 8 p.m, Thursday, February 9, 2017, in the Dotty and Bill Miller Theater in the Bicknell Center. The event is free, and is sponsored by the Distinguished Visiting Writers series and the Student Fee Council. A reception will follow. Press release: PDF | PSU News

 

Chase DearingerChase Dearinger, November 2016

Fiction writer and Pittsburg State University Assistant Professor of English Chase Dearinger will read from his own work at 8 p.m., Thursday, on November 10, 2016, in Miller Theater at PSU’s Bicknell Center for the Arts. The event is free and is sponsored by the Distinguished Visiting Writers’ series and the Student Fee Council. A reception will follow. Press release: PDF | PSU News

 

Stephen MeatsStephen Meats, October 2016

Poet Stephen Meats will be reading from his own work at 8 pm, Thursday, October 20, 2016, in the Governors Room in the Overman Student Center. The event is free, and is sponsored by The Midwest Quarterly, the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series, and the Student Fee Council. A reception will follow. Press release: PDF | PSU News

 

Amy ParkerAmy Parker, September 2016

Fiction writer Amy Parker will be reading from her own work at 8 p.m, Thursday, September 22, 2016, in the Governors Room at the Overman Student Center. The event is free, and is sponsored by the Distinguished Visiting Writers series and the Student Fee Council. A reception will follow. Press release: PDF | PSU News

Kathleen DegraveSkip MorrisKathleen DeGrave and Skip Morris, April 2016

English professors Kathleen DeGrave and Skip Morris will be reading from their own work at 8 p.m., on Thursday, April 14, 2016, in the Governors Room of Overman Student Center. The event is free and is sponsored by the Distinguished Visiting Writers' series and the Student Fee Council. A reception will follow. Both longtime PSU professors, DeGrave and Morris will be retiring in May.

DeGrave has taught in the English department at PSU for over twenty-five years. She's published two novels, The Hour of Lead, which is speculative literary fiction, and Company Women, a working-class novel. She's also the author of a scholarly book, Swindler, Spy, Rebel: The Confidence Woman in 19th century America.

Paul "Skip" Morris II, will be reading from his creative non-fiction just after DeGrave. DeGrave describes Morris"s writing as, "refreshingly honest. He writes about difficult personal subjects and his prose recreates on the page the seductiveness of the illusions he had as a young man and the hard experience that pulled him back to the real." Morris says he doesn't write for the money. "Creative writing, really, all writing is such hard work, but it's such a good feeling when I actually put something together that works. And if I'm honest with myself, I love when the people I respect read my work and compliment me, tell me I'm a good writer." Read full press release

 

Rilla AskewRilla Askew, March 2016

Novelist Rilla Askew will be reading from her own work at 8 p.m., Thursday, on March 24, 2016, in Miller Theater at Pittsburg State University's Bicknell Family Center for the Arts. The event is free and is sponsored by the Distinguished Visiting Writers' series, the Women's and Gender Studies Council, and the Student Fee Council. A reception will follow. This event is part of Women's History Month.

Rilla Askew's work, "will take your breath away," says Diane Posthelwaite of The Washington Post, the work of a "master composer." But what will most impress readers, Posthelwaite adds, is Askew's "warm heart." Askew, who was born in Oklahoma, explained that her birthplace has a particular power on her writing. She explained that she's been working on a book set in England, but the Oklahoma stories keep interrupting: "I'd say the place I come from is an inexhaustible well, not one that I have to go dip into to draw water, but one more like the artesian well on my dad's land where the water relentlessly rises to the surface." Read full press release

 

Laureate McHenryEric McHenry, February 2016

Kansas Poet Laureate Eric McHenry will be reading from his own work at 8 p.m., Thursday, on February 11, 2016, in the Crimson and Gold Room of Pittsburg State University's Overman Student Center. The event is free and is sponsored by the Distinguished Visiting Writers series and Student Fee Council. A reception will follow.

Eric McHenry's work is unique, "like no other poet working in America today," poet Linda Gregerson says. McHenry, who was named poet laureate of Kansas in April 2015, says the job brings its unique challenges. "I think if you're a poet and from Kansas, you spend a lot of time trying to justify poetry to Kansans or trying to justify Kansans to poets. Both poetry and Kansas are things that people are sometimes a little skeptical about. People don't know enough about them, so they jump to quick conclusions." McHenry knows a great deal about Kansas, given that his family has lived here since the mid-1800s. He is a fifth generation native of Topeka. Read full press release

 

Jo McDougallJo McDougall, October 2015

Former Pittsburg State University Professor Jo McDougall will be reading from her own work at 8 p.m., Thursday, October 29, 2015, in the Governors Room of Pittsburg State University's Overman Student Center. The event is free and is sponsored by the Distinguished Visiting Writers series and Student Fees Council. A reception will follow.

Jo McDougall said her poetry is inspired by small things: "The world and the people in it; traveling out of my familiar world; the surprise of small things, such as the glint of a button on a dress; overheard conversations; reading poets whose writing style and subjects are very different from mine." These small things have led to big things for McDougall. The North American Review calls McDougall "the reigning virtuoso of the small lyric in English, able to capture deep emotion and knowledge in very few words." Poet Kelly Cherry says McDougall's poetry is "something like a miracle." Read full press release

 

Lori Baker MartinLori Baker Martin, September 2015

Lori Baker Martin will be reading an excerpt from her novel, Bitter Water, at 8 p.m., Thursday, September 3, 2015, in the Governor's Room of Pittsburg State University's Overman Student Center. Martin's reading is the first of the year in the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series. The event is sponsored by Distinguished Visiting Writers series and Student Fees Council and is free of charge. A reception will follow.

Martin describes her novel-in-progress as, "set in pre-Civil War Missouri, and the plot hinges on a missing woman and involves passion, greed, murder, a forest fire, Ozarks witchcraft, ghosts, a mule that serves as a Greek chorus of one, and general mayhem." Read full press release

Amy Sage WebbAmy Sage Webb, March 2014

The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series presents Amy Sage Webb reading from her fiction on Thursday, March 6, 2014, at 8:00 p.m. in the Balkans Room of the Overman Student Center on the Pittsburg State University campus. Webb, whose short story collection Save Your Own Life was published in 2012, teaches creative writing, literature, and literary editing at Emporia State University, where she was named Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor. She shares co-directorship of the Creative Writing program in the Department of English and Modern Languages, and Journalism.

She has edited several literary journals, including Kansas Quarterly, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Flint Hills Review. She served as managing editor for Bluestem Press, and she continues to serve on the editorial boards of several presses, and as a reviewer for numerous publications, contests, and arts commissions. Webb also serves as a consulting pedagogy specialist for Antioch University, Los Angeles, and has directed the pedagogy forums for the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. Her poetry and fiction appear in numerous literary journals, and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives with her husband in the Kansas Flint Hills.

 

Whitney TerrellWhitney Terrell, November 2013

Distinguished Visiting Writers Series Whitney Terrell will read from his fiction on Thursday, November 21, 2013, at 8 p.m. in the Governors Room of the Overman Student Center on the Pittsburg State University campus. Whitney Terrell is the author of The Huntsman, a New York Times notable book, and The King of Kings County, which was selected as a best book of 2005 by The Christian Science Monitor. He was the Hodder Fellow in fiction at Princeton University for 2008-2009. He was named one of 20 "writers to watch" under 40 by members of the National Book Critics Circle. He has written about the war in Iraq for The Washington Post, Slate and National Public Radio and his nonfiction has additionally appeared in The New York Times and Harper’s. He teaches creative writing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he is the New Letters Distinguished Writer in Residence. His third novel, The Good Lieutenant, is under contract at Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

More information can be found at his website, www.whitneyterrell.com.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, November 2012

On Thursday, November 15, 2012, at 8:00 p.m., fiction writer Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg will give a reading in the Governor’s Room at the Student Center. Mirriam-Goldberg is the final speaker in the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series for the fall semester. A reception with plenty of good food will follow in the Heritage Room. The reading and reception are free and open to the public.

Mirriam-Goldberg is Kansas poet laureate (2009-2012) and is the author of "The Sky Begins at Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community, and Coming Home to the Body." Her first novel, "Divorce Girl" tells the story of an imaginative, energetic teenager who has to deal with the divorce of her parents. The novel has won high praise. As one critic says, "Divorce Girl" is “wickedly, subversively funny . . . in its open-minded view of Jewish culture and knowledge of how children ultimately discover the stealth of their parents.”

Kevin Brockmeier, October 2012

On Thursday, October 11, 2012, at 8:00 p.m., in the Governors Room of the Overman Student Center, the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series welcomes novelist and short story writer Kevin Brockmeier to Pittsburg State University on Thursday, October 11. Brockmeier will read from his work at 8 p.m. in the Governors Room of the Overman Student Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Brockmeier is the author of eight books, including the novels The Truth About Celia and The Brief History of the Dead, and the story collection Things That Fall from the Sky. He has been awarded the Nelson Algren Award for Short Fiction, three O. Henry Awards, and a fiction fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Following the reading, there will be a reception in the Heritage Room of the student center, where Brockmeier’s books will be available for purchase. 

Allison Joseph Allison Joseph, September 2012

On Tuesday, September 25, at 8:00 p.m., in the Balkans Room of the Overman Student Center, The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series welcomes poet Allison Joseph to Pittsburg State University. Joseph will read from her work at 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Joseph is the author of six collections of poetry, including What Keeps Us Here and My Father’s Kites. She is also poetry editor of the Crab Orchard Review, and Director of the MFA Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. In 2012 she was awarded the George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

Following the reading, there will be a reception in the Heritage Room of the student center, where Joseph’s books will be available for purchase.

The Distinguished Visiting Writers Series is sponsored by the PSU English Program and the Student Fee Council.

Victor J. Emmett, Jr., Memorial Lectures
  • 2017 - 2018 Ethan K. Smilie and Kipton D. Smilie
  • 2016 - 2017 Jennifer A Swartz-Levine
  • 2015 - 2016 Jeffrey Utzinger
  • 2013 - 2014 Ron McFarland
  • 2012 - 2013 Amy Fuqua
  • 2011 - 2012 Janice Law Trecker

Ethan and KiptonThe English Department and The Midwest Quarterly at Pittsburg State University are happy to announce that Ethan K. Smilie, Associate Professor at College of the Ozarks, and Kipton D. Smilie, Assistant Professor of Education at Missouri Western State University, will co-deliver the Twenty-Fourth Annual Victor J. Emmett Memorial Lecture on Thursday, September 28, at 8 p.m., in the Special Collections Room of the Leonard H. Axe Library on the Pittsburg State University campus. In their lecture, Professors Ethan Smilie and Kipton Smilie will discuss "Model Students: Beowulf, Chaucer, and Laura Ingalls Wilder." The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the lobby of Axe Library.

Professors Smilie and Smilie were invited to deliver the Emmett Memorial Lecture as the co-winners of the Victor J. Emmett, Jr., Memorial Award which is given each year to the author of the best essay on a literary topic published in The Midwest Quarterly. The Smilies’ essay, “Pedagogical Perseverance Past and Present: Chaucer Grades Grit,” appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of The Midwest Quarterly.

Professor Ethan K. Smilie holds a Ph.D. in Literature from the Institute of Philosophic Studies at the University of Dallas and is an alumnus of Pittsburg State University (B.A. English). He is an Associate Professor at College of the Ozarks, where he teaches English and humanities courses. Curiosity is his main research interest, and he has published papers on Chaucer, Milton, Austen, and G.K. Chesterton. Currently, with his brother, Kipton, he is researching depictions of social capital in the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder. He is a proud member of the Four States G. K. Chesterton Society, which meets in Frontenac, Kansas. He lives in Branson, Missouri, with his wife, Amanda, and his children, Helena, Benedict, Cecilia, Gerard, and Joanna.

Professor Kipton D. Smilie earned his Ph.D. in the Historical, Philosophical, and Social Foundations of Education and his M.A. in English Literature both at the University of Kansas and is an alumnus of Pittsburg State University (B.S.Ed. English Education). After serving as a high school English teacher, he is currently an Assistant Professor of Education at Missouri Western State University. He has published on John Dewey, Plato, the humanist curriculum, and leisure’s place in education. Currently, with his brother, Ethan, he is researching depictions of social capital in the works of Laura Ingalls Wilder. He lives in St. Joseph, Missouri, with his wife, Madeline, and their daughter, Lena.

Jennifer Swartz-LevineThe English Department and The Midwestern Quarterly at Pittsburg State University are happy to announce that Jennifer A Swartz-Levine, Associate Professor of English at Lake Erie College, will deliver the Twenty-Third Annual Victor J. Emmett Memorial Lecture on Thursday, September 8, at 8 p.m., in the Special Collections Room of the Leonard H. Axe Library on the Pittsburg State University campus. In her lecture, Professor Swartz-Levine will discuss "The Golden Lasso of Truthiness: A Complicated History of Women in/and Comics." The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the lobby of Axe Library. 

Professor Swartz-Levine was invited to deliver the Emmett Memorial Lecture as the winner of the Victory J. Emmett, Jr., Memorial Award which is given each year to the author of the best essay on a literary topic published in The Midwest Quarterly. Swartz-Levine’s essay, “Staking Salvation: The Reclamation of the Monstrous Female in Dracula,” appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of The Midwest Quarterly.

Professor Swartz-Levine is the Interim Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, an Associate Professor of English, and the Director of the Writing Center at Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio. Swartz-Levine's recent publications, in addition to her winning essay in The Midwestern Quarterly, include "She-Hulk Crash!: The Evolution of Jen Walters, or How Marvel Comics Learned to Stop Worrying about Feminism and Love the Gamma Bomb," in The Ages of the Incredible Hulk (2015), and "The Doctor's Wife: Criminal/Justice" in The Victorian (2.3, 2014). She is the faculty leader for Lake Erie College's Arts, Culture and Humanities Learning Community, which focuses on the cultural implications of Superman. She also serves as an Executive Board member of the College English Association of Ohio.

Jeffrey UtzingerThe English and Modern Languages Department and The Midwest Quarterly at Pittsburg State University are happy to announce that Jeffrey Utzinger, Assistant Professor of English at Concordia University in Austin, Texas will deliver the 22nd Annual Victor J. Emmett Memorial Lecture on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 8 p.m., in the Governors Room of the Overman Student Center on the Pittsburg State University campus. Professor Utzinger’s lecture is titled “ Beagles, Blueberries, and Consumerism in Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.” The lecture is free and open to the public.

Professor Utzinger was invited to deliver the Emmett Memorial Lecture as the winner of the Victor J. Emmett, Jr., Memorial Award, which is given each year to the author of the best essay on a literary topic published in The Midwest Quarterly. Utzinger’s essay, “Henry David Thoreau’s Slumbering Capability: Envisioning John Brown as Carlylean Hero,” appeared in the Winter 2015 issue of The Midwest Quarterly.

Professor Utzinger earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing Fiction from Texas State University and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in American Literature at Texas A&M University. At Concordia, he teaches literature courses as well as academic and creative writing. His creative works have appeared in Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, The Cream City Review, High Plains Literary Review, Beloit Fiction Journal, Tampa Review, The Journal, The Chattahoochee Review, and others. He lives in Lockhart, Texas where, occasionally, he also keeps bees.

Ron McFarlandThe English Program and The Midwest Quarterly at Pittsburg State University are happy to announce that Ron McFarland, Professor of English at the University of Idaho, will deliver the 20th Annual Victor J. Emmett Memorial Lecture on Thursday, September 26, 2013, at 8 pm, in the Balkans Room of the Overman Student Center on the Pittsburg State University campus.  In his lecture, Professor McFarland will pose the question, “Was Ernest Hemingway a Narcissist?”  The lecture is free and open to the public.  A reception will follow in the Heritage Room.

Professor McFarland was invited to deliver the Emmett Memorial Lecture as the winner of the Victory J. Emmett, Jr., Memorial Award which is given each year to the author of the best essay on a literary topic published in The Midwest Quarterly.  McFarland’s essay, “The World’s Most Interesting Man,” appeared in the Summer 2013 issue of The Midwest Quarterly.   

Professor McFarland teaches a broad array of literature and creative writing courses at the University of Idaho.  He served as Idaho State Writer-in-Residence (1984-85) and has received a number of other awards, including the University of Idaho Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Achievement (2002).  His scholarly/critical articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Studies in English Literature, Journal of Popular Culture, Victorian Poetry, American Indian Quarterly, and College English.  Among his several scholarly/critical books, his Understanding James Welch(2002) was selected by the AAUP as “Best of the Best from University Presses.”  He is currently at work on a book about Ernest Hemingway.  Also a widely published poet, his poems have appeared in such magazines as Shenandoah, Christian Science Monitor, Poetry Northwest, New York Quarterly, Spoon River Quarterly, Poetry East, and many others.  He has also published half a dozen poetry chapbooks, and Pecan Grove Press recently published his fourth full-length collection of poems, Subtle Thieves, in early 2012.  McFarland also publishes short fiction and non-fiction.

Contact information for Professor McFarland, ronmcf@uidaho.edu.

Amy FuquaOn Thursday, September 27, at 8:00 p.m., in the Governors Room of the Overman Student Center, Dr. Amy Fuqua, Professor of English at Black Hills State University, will deliver the Nineteenth Annual Emmett Memorial Lecture.  

Dr. Fuqua’s topic will be "Reading Fiction and the Future of Democracy: Jane Austen and Toni Morrison.”

The lecture is free and open to all interested persons.  A reception will follow in the Heritage Room.

The honor of delivering the Victor J. Emmett, Jr., Memorial Lecture goes to the winner of the Emmett Memorial Award, which is given each year to the author of the best essay on a literary topic published in The Midwest Quarterly, PSU’s scholarly journal.

The Emmett Memorial Award and Lecture are sponsored by the Emmett family, The Midwest Quarterly, and the English Program of Pittsburg State.  The award is given in memory of the late Dr. Victor J. Emmett, Jr., who, before his death in 1990, was for twenty-three years a Professor of English at Pittsburg State, where he served at various times as Chairperson of the English Program, Acting Dean of Graduate Studies, and Editor-in-Chief of The Midwest Quarterly.

For further information on the Victor J. Emmett, Jr., Memorial Lecture, please contact Dr. Stephen Meats, 620-235-4935 or smeats@pittstate.edu.

Janice Law TreckerThe English Program and The Midwest Quarterly at Pittsburg State University are happy to announce that Janice Law Trecker, mystery writer and recently retired lecturer in English at the University of Connecticut, will deliver the 18th Annual Victor J. Emmett Memorial Lecture on September 29, 2011, at 8 pm, in 409 Russ Hall on the Pittsburg State University campus.  The subject of her lecture will be 19th century mad scientists and the monsters they created and will deal with Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Dracula, and other novels.  The lecture is free and open to the public

Ms. Trecker was invited to deliver the Emmett Memorial Lecture as the winner of the Victor J. Emmett, Jr., Memorial Award which is given each year to the author of the best essay on a literary topic published in The Midwest Quarterly.  Her essay, "The Ecstatic Epistemology of Song of Myself," will appear in the Autumn 2011 issue of The Midwest Quarterly.

Additional information about Ms. Trecker, particularly about the mystery novels and stories she has published, can be found at her web site, www.janicelaw.com.

Department Events and News
  • Fall 2017 - Spring 2018
  • Fall 2016 - Spring 2017
  • Fall 2015 - Spring 2016
  • Fall 2013 - Spring 2014
  • Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

Kansas Time and Place Poetry ReadingKansas time and place poetry reading

Join us in the Governor's Room of the Overman Student Center on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. for a poetry reading.

Featuring Pitt State faculty and alumni, and other local artists!

 

Kansas Voices Writing Contest2018 Kansas Voices Writing contest

Annual Writing Contest for PSU Students
Deadline: March 10, 2018
Over $1,000 in prizes available!!!

Students can submit poems and short stories for prizes. 

Call (620)221-2161 or email winfieldarts@gmail.com for more information. 

 

Pittsburg Artwalk Poetry Reading2017 Artwalk poster

Student poetry reading on August 25, 2017, 6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at TJ Leland's.

Lineup:

Brenda Hogsett-Sanchez - 6:00 p.m. 
Bartholomew Klick - 6:10 p.m.
Lori Baker Martin - 6:20 p.m.
Chris Bonine - 6:30 p.m.
Elizabeth Banks - 6:40 p.m.
Allison Blevins - 6:50 p.m.
*Break 7:00 -7:10 p.m.*
Katelyn Roth - 7:10 p.m.
Morgan McCune - 7:20 p.m.
Antjea Wolff - 7:30 p.m.
Kayla McCollough - 7:40 p.m.
Jess Macy - 7:50 p.m.
Laura Lee Washburn - 8:00 p.m.

New Interdisciplinary Minor in Film and Media Studies

The new interdisciplinary Minor in Film and Media Studies allows students to develop visual literacy through a focus on the history and criticism of film and media. Students take courses in multiple disciplines, making the minor complementary to many majors.

You can add the Minor through GUS. For more information, please contact Casie Hermansson in the English Program or the English Program Office at 235-4689. 

Cow Creek Review Reading and Publication Party

Cow Creek publication party

Publication party and reading for Cow Creek Review, PSU's literary magazing. The party will be held Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 6:00 PM in the Crimson and Gold Ballroom C in the Overman Student Center. The event includes distribution of awards, reading, refreshments, and unveiling of this year's magazine!

Poetry Slam Against Violence 

Poetry Slam poster

Students for Violence Prevention is hosting their 3rd Annual Poetry Slam Against Violence on April 19, 2016 at 7:00 PM in the University Club in the Overman Student Center. This event is in honor of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and National Poetry Month.

A Night of Fear and Trembling:  Phobias in Poetry and Music

Barelos and AndersonDr. Stacey Barelos, Assistant Professor of Music at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) and Dr. Christopher Anderson, Assistant Professor of English at Pittsburg State University (PSU), will present an event titled “A Night of Fear and Trembling: Phobias in Poetry and Music.” The event will be presented twice and free of charge at MSSU in Joplin, MO, on Thursday, October 25th, 2012, 7:30 p.m. in Corley Auditorium, and at PSU in Pittsburg, KS, on Tuesday, October 30th, 7:30 p.m. in McCray Hall. Featured will be music by Dr. Barelos, poetry by Dr. Anderson, and music and poetry by students from MSSU and PSU. Also featured will be Dr. Karen Kostan, Assistant Professor of Psychology at MSSU, who will give an introduction.

Dr. Barelos and Dr. Anderson met in 2011 after discovering through a mutual acquaintance that they both were working on projects inspired by various unusual phobias. They are both interested in collaborations that move across the usual boundaries between art forms, and they look forward to performing together as, just in time for Halloween they share their artistic impressions of fear. Barelos’s compositions for solo piano include “Syngenesophobia” (the fear of relatives) and “Lilapsophobia” (the fear of tornadoes), while Anderson will read poems such as “Hydrosiphobia, The Fear of Sweat” and “Haphephobia, The Fear of Being Touched.” Anderson says that, “In the phobia poems, I’m not necessarily trying to describe the phobia or depict a frightening event; instead, I try to use language and images that create an impression of the phobia and that ponder the nature of fear.” Barelos states, “Although dealing with a personal phobia can be a frightening experience, I also find a fair amount of humor in the multitude of documented phobias in the world. In these pieces I’m trying to have it both ways by representing both the serious and humorous sides of phobias.”

Christopher Anderson is Assistant Professor of English at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, where he teaches American literature and creative writing. His interests include environmental literature and depictions of science and technology in literature and film, and he has published articles on images of garbage in contemporary American poetry and in the film WALL-E. His poetry has most recently appeared in the literary journalsTar River Poetry and River Styx.

Stacey Barelos is Assistant Professor of Music and Head of Piano Studies at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, MO. As a pianist, she specializes in the music of the 20th and 21st centuries, particularly the music of living composers. Regarding her first solo release, The Midwest American Piano Project, the American Record Guide said,” Stacey Barelos…plays with authority and poetic nuance, her beautiful tone captured vividly in this warm recording…” As a composer, Dr. Barelos’s works have been performed across the U.S. and in Europe and Australia.

Stephen Meats Presents Prose and Poetry

Dr. Stephen Meats, Professor of English at Pittsburg State University, will read selections from his new book Dark Dove Descending and Other Parables, a collection of prose and poetry.  The reading will take place on Thursday, September 5, 2013, at 8 p.m. in the Governors Room in the Overman Student Center on PSU's campus.  A reception will follow the reading.

For more information, contact Laura Lee Washburn, Director of Creative Writing.


 

Technical / Professional Writing Students Use New Media Skills to Develop Promotional Public Service Announcements

Students in Jamie McDaniel's fall ENGL 501:  Document Design class used iPads provided by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology to create promotional public service announcements for the Southeast Kansas Community Action Program (SEK-CAP) and the PSU Writing Center.  The service learning project arose out of a course redesign that integrated instruction in New Media and Web 2.0 applications into the class.

Writing for the Profession Students Write Proposals for Grant Funds as Service Learning Project

Members of Jamie McDaniel's Writing for the Profession class recently spoke with Becky Gray, PSU English Alumnus and Director of Research, Planning, and Grants Development for Southeast Kansas Community Action Agency (SEK-CAP), about grant and proposal writing.

As part of a service-learning component of the course, the students are completing a grant proposal in response to a SEK-CAP request for proposals. If SEK-CAP selects to fund their proposal, then the English Program will use the funds to purchase Adobe software that students will use for service learning projects. For example, students could create or revise documents for SEK-CAP in order to help the organization in their mission to fight poverty.

McDaniel says, "Whether students study literature, creative writing, rhetoric / composition, or technical / professional writing, the art of grant writing is an important skill. The students can now write proposals to fund a research proposal, to finance the writing of a novel, or to pay for further graduate study."

Pictured from left to right are Jean Lozano-Pittsley, Becky Gray, Leslie Bowman, Carla Chadd, Robin Pettibon, Michelle Gorges, Taylor Longnecker, and Kylie Klenke.

English Student Readings

Come and see what's brewing in the creative writing program at Pittsburg State University. Graduate students Daniele Cunningham, Sarah Lookadoo, Kris Stephens and Rachel White will present their creative writing to the public in two thesis defense sessions this week. The first defense will be held in Grubbs' Lecture Hall Room 109 April 19th at 3:30 p.m. where fiction students Sarah Lookadoo and Kris Stephens will read from their works and answer questions about their creative process and their thesis work. The second defense will be held in the Special Collections room of Axe Library on Thursday, April 21st at 4:15 p.m. where poetry students Daniele Cunningham and Rachel White will read their poetry and answer questions. Both events are open to the public.

"We're really excited to get a chance to showcase these students. They've all worked hard to write stories, poems, or personal essays. These are going to be truly entertaining events," Laura Lee Washburn, Professor of English, poet, and Creative Writing Director said.
Sarah Lookadoo is the first in the PSU Creative Writing program to write a novella as her thesis and will read a selection from it. Previous fiction theses have been collected short stories.

"I started writing fiction when I was nine. The first thing I ever wrote was a novel. I wrote the novella, Ships in the Desert, instead of a short story collection because the complexities of my plot and character development really needed length. I'm very lucky to be in this program because the faculty encourages you to write at your best," Lookadoo says.

Kris Stephens will be reading "Where Will You Be When the Spring Comes," one of her two short stories from the collection Build or Go Home, and Other Short Stories. "Where Will You Be When The Spring Comes" features Roy, a young widower who has moved to Wichita during the late 1800s who becomes addicted to visiting brothels. He uses his experiences there to recreate the life he had while his wife was still alive.

Daniele Cunningham will be reading a selection of poems from her thesis Walking the Flint Hills. These are Kansas poems populated by deer, possum, turkey vultures, and patchwork roads that serve as ways to move people along the paths of life, barriers between people and the nature they're a part of, and methods of considering time or place.

"Poetry interests me because it gives me a vehicle to understand what I think about things. Metaphor and image put faces and personalities to those things that don't really have something people can touch. I can have a relationship between I-70 and camels tell me what it means to have an urban existence," Cunningham said.

"I look forward to reading with Daniele Cunningham, whose writing is layered, smart, and really fun to hear," says fellow reader Rachel White.
Rachel White will read both poetry and essays from her multi-genre thesis Plucked.

"Swine, morbidity, and the human body are common themes in my writing," says White, "and I come by these themes almost fatefully, sharing a common ancestor with E.B. White, the author of Charlotte's Web, the famed children's story about a pig." The ancestor of note, Josiah White, was a traitor during the American Revolution, and according to historical records of Monmouth, NJ, he drowned while rowing a boat full of stolen hams to British ships. "It's true," Rachel says, as she points to the book, "between too heavy a load and a rough surf, he went to the bottom with his boat." After Josiah White drowned, his son was tarred and feathered. "Miraculously, he survived. But guess where he moved to recover? Hogpond Neck. It's fate," she says, "so of course my dad had to raise pigs, and I had to write about them. My thesis isn't only about pigs, but they're in it, as inescapable as the smell of actual hogs. Early on, my committee members ruled out any possibility having my work be a scratch-n-sniff affair. And I didn't push the issue. My thesis chair, Laura Lee Washburn and my program committee member, Dr. Chris Anderson, really put of with a lot of grief from me, and I'm so grateful to them. Without their guidance, my thesis would be a wreck. They helped me turn my mess of work into a thesis I'm proud of."

Sarah Lookadoo's work Ships in the Desert, takes place on the fringe of the Australian Outback in 1951 and focuses on the story of Caroline Hunter, a 15 year-old who struggles to come to terms with her father marrying again six years after the death of his first wife. Lookadoo utilized her dual Bachelor's of Arts degree in English and History for researching the aspects of life on a sheep station and the Post World War II climate in Australia.

Lookadoo's thesis was directed and mentored under Assistant Professor, Karen Stolz, the award winning author of World of Pies and Fanny and Sue. 
"Sarah's novella explores a family's reconfiguration in ways that are rich and revealing. She writes with humor and empathy for our failings and our efforts to care for each other," said Stolz.

Lookadoo has won several academic achievement awards, graduated with honors, and is published twice in Cow Creek Review literary magazine, both times as an award winner. She expects to graduate with her Master's degree in Creative Writing in December 2011.
A graduate from Pittsburg State University, Stephens used her dual Bachelor's of Arts degree in History and English to research the historical elements in both of her short stories. She has earned several program scholarships and right now works as a Graduate Assistant in the English Program.

"I began writing short stories when I was in middle school when my friends and I had an excess of imagination, and decided we were aliens. I remember thinking 'hey, that would make a pretty cool book.' Since then, my writing has evolved into something a bit more professional. I really enjoyed working on this project here. Some parts were a lot more difficult, and took a lot of revision, but in the end it came out the way I wanted it. Working with all of the talented professors here has really helped me to improve," Stephens said.

She was mentored by Dr. Kathy DeGrave, the author of Swindler, Rebel and Spy, and Company Woman, as well as many other works of fiction and rhetoric.

"Kris has a unique view of the world and creates characters who are lively and fresh. She is especially interested in exploring the complexities of love relationships that are not typical but are true. Part of the power of her work is the humor that underlies the honesty and makes us nod our heads and laugh as we see hidden parts of ourselves played out on the page," DeGrave said. Stephens plans to graduate with her Master's degree in May, 2011.

Cunningham has won several awards for her poetry and short fiction. She's been most recently published in Cow Creek Review and Symphony at Sunset program. She has earned several scholarships and she is a member of academic honors societies in English, Math, and Sociology. She has earned both a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Bachelor of Arts in English. "Sociology has taught me how to think about things; English has taught me how to say those things," she says. "One is full of theory, or the abstract, one is full of the concrete, and the two blend together." This blending is reflected in her poetry: "A house slips through time/to the ground, where it melts into dirt/and grass-shrouded deer bed." 
She is currently a graduate teaching assistant with the English department, and she expects to graduate in July of 2011 with a Master of Arts in English.

Rachel White is originally from Galesburg, KS, and currently teaches for Labette Community College. After receiving her B.A. in English from the University of Kansas, she worked in the IT industry for several years before moving to Pittsburg to attend PSU and pursue her M.A. in English, with an emphasis on Creative Writing and Poetry.

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English and Modern Languages Department
434 Grubbs Hall
Pittsburg State University
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Pittsburg, KS 66762

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