Missouri State University
Department of English Blog

COAL faculty honored during recognition reception

The Dean of the College of Arts and Letters (COAL) is proud to list the following faculty honored at Missouri State’s All-Faculty Recognition Reception held April 21, 2014:

Faculty Recognition Awards

Stephanie Norander, CommunicationProvost Fellow for Faculty Development — Writing

Stephanie Norander, Communication


Steve Willis, Art and Design

Provost Fellow for Diversity

Steve Willis, Art and Design


Provost Fellows is a program designed to recognize outstanding faculty who have a special area of interest that is related to the mission, priorities and goals of the Office of the Provost. The position provides faculty with the opportunity and support to become engaged in an administrative, research or outreach activity. The term of the appointment varies with the type of assignment.


Excellence in Study Away Programming

Gwen Walstrand, Art and DesignGwen Walstrand, Art and Design

In 2014 the Study Away Advisory Committee created the Excellence in Study Away Programming award to recognize Missouri State faculty members who demonstrate excellence in developing and leading short-term study away programs. The recipient will receive $1,500 in professional development funds and an award.



Honors College Awards for Teaching, Research and Service

Larry George, Modern and Classical LanguagesMarcia Morriset Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education

Larry George, Modern and Classical Languages

The Marcia Morriset Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education recognizes the exceptional service, mentoring and advising accomplishments of MSU’s Honors College faculty and affiliated staff. The award was created in recognition of Marcia Morriset’s many years of service to the Honors College. The award is presented to a faculty or staff member who had contributed broadly to the advancement of Honors education at Missouri State University and has excelled at undergraduate mentorship and advising of Honors College students.



Citizenship and Service-Learning (CASL) Faculty Awards

Emanuelle Wessels, Media, Journalism and Film2013-2014 Research Stipend Award

Emanuelle Wessels, Media, Journalism and Film

The Research Stipend Awards recognizes faculty who have been awarded CASL Research Stipend Funds for direct service to the community, including community-based research involving students. Faculty selected for the CASL Research Stipend Award will present their findings at the FCTL Showcase in August.



Additional Recognitions

Margaret Weaver, EnglishA 2014 Mentoring, Support and Partnerships Program Mentor

Margaret Weaver, English

The University-based Mentoring, Support and Partnerships Program was created to increase the recruitment and retention rates of junior faculty/staff. Overall objectives of the program are for exceptional mentors to provide on-going support for outstanding faculty/staff from historically underrepresented groups to advance their success in the trilogy of scholarship, heighten their professional development and help them establish a sound identity and amiable sense of well-being at Missouri State University and in the Springfield community. Dr. Sabrina Brinson is the program coordinator and Dr. Julie Masterson is the program administrator.


Faculty Service Awards

10 Years of Service

Andrew Cline, Media, Journalism and Film
Marcus Howell, Art and Design
Timothy White, Media, Journalism and Film

15 Years of Service

Tracy Dalton, English
David Hays, Music
Michael Stowe, English
Steve Willis, Art and Design

20 Years of Service

Randy Dillon, Communication
Mary Harges, Modern and Classical Languages
Sarah Perkins, Art and Design
Margaret Weaver, English

25 Years of Service

James Baumlin, English
Mary Baumlin, English
Joel Chaston, English
Randy Hamm, Music
Jane Hoogestraat, English
Vonda Yarberry, Art and Design

35 Years of Service

Kristene Sutliff, English

40 Years of Service

Jerry Hatch, Art and Design

Service Awards honor faculty members who have reached a five-year longevity milestone in their years of service to Missouri State University. To qualify for a service award, employees must have worked full-time at Missouri State and reached a five-year milestone (10, 15, 20, etc.) within the 2013-2014 academic year to be honored at the April 2014 reception.


- Information courtesy Missouri State University’s 2014 All-Faculty Recognition Reception program

Additional faculty/staff/student accomplishments are featured throughout the year in COAL and departmental blogs.

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Author Phong Nguyen shares from his new book on March 28

Phong Nguyen Reading flyerAuthor Phong Nguyen will be reading from his recent book, “Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History,” at 7 p.m. March 28 in the PSU Theater. Nguyen’s reading is part of the MSU Missouri Author Series, and is free and open to the public.

Nguyen will host a Q&A session from 3 to 4 p.m. in Siceluff 411 as well.

About Nguyen

Nguyen is the author of two collections of short stories: “Memory Sickness,” winner of the 2010 Elixir Press Fiction Award, and “Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History,” released in January 2014 by Queen’s Ferry Press. His stories have appeared in journals such as “AGNI,” “The Iowa Review,” “North American Review,” “New Letters,”  “Mississippi Review” and “The Kenyon Review.”

Nguyen lives in Warrensburg, Mo., with his wife and three sons. He is an associate professor at the University of Central Missouri, where he serves as co-editor of “Pleiades” and Pleiades Press.

What the experts say

“Phong Nguyen’s Pages from the Textbook of Alternate History is an astonishing and audacious book—alternately poetic and spooky, heartbreaking and hilarious, a profound examination of the way the past has shaped us.” —Dan Chaon, author of “Await Your Reply” and “Stay Awake”

View the Phong Nguyen event flyer.

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Author George Saunders speaks during public affairs

George SaundersIn this interview, best-selling author, columnist and MacArthur Foundation Fellow George Saunders will offer thoughtful insight on the conference theme.

He was recognized as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world in 2013 by Time Magazine. His books include “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline,” “Pastoralia,” “The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip,” “The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil,” “In Persuasion Nation,” and a series of essays in Braindead Megaphone.

His most recent collection of short stories, “Tenth of December,” was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award.

George Saunders will hold his interview during the Public Affairs Conference, on April 10 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the PSU Theater. This event is free and open to the public.

In addition, Saunders will be reading from his works of fiction April 9 at 7pm in the PSU theater.



george saunders rea
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STC Annual Student Conference 2014

stc_mod3The 12th annual STC Student Conference will be held on Saturday, March 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the Plaster Student Union, Room 313.

The event is $15 which includes a continental breakfast and networking lunch. The event costs $20 at the door.

To register for the event visit the English Department in Siceluff Hall 215. Or contact Kris Sutliff for more information.

8:30 – 9:00
Check-in & Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:45
The Technical Communicator and the Importance of Working with Emotional Intelligence Sandi Harner, Senior Professor, Cedar University, Cedarville, Ohio

10:00 – 10:45
Polish Your Interview Skills and Online Presence…Please!
Jim Gomes, Senior Manager, Soucing & Procurement, The Walt Disney Company, Burbank, Calif. and Jennifer Payne Gomes, Organizational Effectiveness & Executive Coaching, JPG & Associates, Pasadena, Calif.

11:00 – 11:45
Audience Analysis for Healthcare: Tools and TipsKris Engdahl, Senior Manager of Usability, Athenahealth, Watertown, Mass.

11:45 – 1:15
Networking Lunch & Poster Session at the Union Club, PSU 400

1:30 – 2:15
Consulting or Corporate? 10 Considerations Before You Apply
Jim Gomes, Senior Manager, Soucing & Procurement, The Walt Disney Company, Burbank, Calif. and Jennifer Payne Gomes, Organizational Effectiveness & Executive Coaching, JPG & Associates, Pasadena, Calif.

2:30 – 3:15
Presentation Title, TBA
Chris Whitley, Public Affairs Specialist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7 (IA, KS, MO, NE), Kansas City, Missouri

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New Offering: Accelerated Master’s in Professional Writing

The Department of English is proud to offer a new way for students to jump-start their MA in Writing: Professional/Technical Track. If you are a Professional Writing major, during your junior or senior year you may apply for early admission to the Master of Arts Degree in Writing, Technical & Professional Writing track. This allows you to take 500-level courses for credit at both the undergraduate and graduate levels,expediting the process of the MA in Writing.

Admission Requirements:

  • an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher
  • a minimum GPA of 3.25 in all Professional Writing courses
  • at least 9 hours completed in Professional Writing courses
  • no grade below B in any Professional Writing course.

If you meet these requirements, you could be on the fast track to earning an MA in Writing from Missouri State. For more information, visit the Accelerated Master’s website for Professional Writing.


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The art of the book through the centuries

Celebrate the art of the book at the Library Station on Saturday, March 15 at 2535 N. Kansas Expressway. Library Station

On display at the Library Station is a stellar collection of illuminated manuscripts, books and book illustrations from the Mercantile Library in St. Louis, the oldest library west of the Mississippi.

Build your own book! A “Book Arts” workshop for middle school children and their parents

10 a.m.- noon in the story hour room for grades 6-8

Judith Fowler, professor of art and design, and her team will lead children in composing, illustrating, decorating and binding books of their own making. They will be joined by MSU Library Science Professor David Richards, who will show samples of writing from ancient civilizations, and Distinguished Professor Joel Chaston, who is a specialist in children’s writing.

The Art of the Book: A pubic lecture by John Hoover

1- 2:30 p.m. in the story hour room for all ages

John Hoover, executive director of the Mercantile Library, will discuss the art of the book using examples from the Mercantile Library’s extensive rare book collection. Hoover is past president of the Bibliographical Society of America and former vice president of the Missouri Center for the Book. He is on the history faculty of the University of Missouri-St. Louis and teaches in the museum studies graduate program.

Funding for Hoover’s lecture is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association.
For more  information, contact Jim Baumlin.
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RESCHEDULE: Business faculty member to read from new novel

The Department of English is proud to present a reading slated at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at the Midtown Library. Nancy Allen, a member of the College of Business, will be reading from her first novel, Code of the Hills.Event poster

A native of the Missouri Ozarks, Nancy Allen, an attorney, is a Senior Instructor on the law faculty in the College of Business at Missouri State University. After receiving her undergraduate degree in English from Missouri State University, she entered law school, and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law. Nancy practiced for fifteen years, serving as Assistant Missouri Attorney General and as Assistant Prosecutor in her native Ozarks.

When Nancy began her term as prosecutor in Greene County, Missouri, she was the sole female on the staff of attorneys; moreover, she was the second woman in all of Southwest Missouri to serve in that capacity. Upon taking her position, she was assigned an unprecedented number of sex cases, including offenses perpetrated against children, and became the leading sex crimes lawyer in the office. In her years in prosecution, she tried over thirty jury trials, including murder, rape, and incest. During that time, she served on the Rape Crisis Board and the Child Protection Team of the Child Advocacy Council.

Nancy continues to demonstrate her commitment to victims of sexual crime. She was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Victim Center, an agency which provides free counseling, crisis intervention, and advocacy services for children and adults who are victims of violent and sexual crime in Southwest Missouri. She served multiple terms as Board member for the Ozarks Counseling Center, another organization seeking to aid those in crisis.

Nancy lives in Southwest Missouri with her husband and two children. She is a contributor to the Real Estate Law Journal and co-author of a book for incoming college freshmen: Now You Tell Me! 12 College Students Share the Best Advice They Never Got.  Code of the Hills, to be released by HarperCollins Publishing on April 15, 2014, is her first novel.


[This event will be streamed online at http://new.livestream.com/msu-coal/nancyallen.]

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English alum finds musical success

Originally attending MSU on a scholarship, Sam Tahhan never planned on becoming an English major, writing a screenplay or producing a musical comedy. He especially didn’t expect to record and sell an original song.

Tahhan joined forces with three other marching band members his freshman year at Missouri State to form a rock band. This March the group will be playing a concert in Nashville to debut their song “You Know the Kind,” which will be the background for the Touchstone Energy International Relief Fund.

Touchstone Energy provides relief services in the form of linemen and emergency funds during disasters. The song will be available on iTunes in March for purchase.

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Maroon Minute recognizes Dr. Etta Madden’s research

Raising the profile of forgotten female authors is a passion for Dr. Etta Madden, professor of English at Missouri State University.

Her research on one such author — Anne Hampton Brewster — was recognized with two prestigious research fellowships:

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities’ Summer Seminar on Italy in the Age of the Risorgimento
  • The Mellon Foundation’s fellowship to study at the Library Company of Philadelphia

Maroon Minutes highlight Missouri State University’s points of pride: the accomplishments of our faculty, staff, students and supporters. Each Maroon Minute first airs during a home football or basketball game.

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