Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

Rhetoric & Writing Alumni News

Posted by bgsuenglish on August 17, 2007

We’re happy to pass along news of Rhetoric & Writing alumni, courtesy of Rhetoric & Writing Notes 15 (Spring 2007).

Brad Barry, Professor of English at Dixie State College, has been named Director of the Composition Program starting Fall 2007. Brad reports that his department has expanded the range of its courses and programs in recent years, and that it now offers a BA with an emphasis in professional and technical writing and a BA with an emphasis in literature.

W. Keith Duffy, an assistant professor of Humanities and Writing at Penn State, recently had his sixth peer-reviewed article accepted for publication later this year in PEER English, an academic journal specializing in literacy and sponsored by University of Leicester, England. The article, titled “Sound Arguments: Composing Words and Music,” follows closely on the publication of Duffy’s related piece “A Pedagogy of Composing: The Rhetoric of Electronic Music in the Writing Class” published by the pedagogy journal Inventio.

Keith reports that he will be submitting his materials for tenure and promotion to associate professor in the fall of 2007.

In the spring of 2006, Keith, who records electronic music under the artist name The Joy Project, had three tracks from his 2005 CD release “Trip to Style City” licensed for use on HBO’s The Sopranos, Oxygen Network’s Tempting Adam, and also the feature film The OH in Ohio, starring Danny Devito, Liza Minelli, Parker Posey, and Paul Rudd.

John Fallon gave a presentation in April at the Annual Convention of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in Tampa, Florida. The session title was “Learning Communities: Impact on Retention and Academic Performance.” John presented four years of research on the impact of Learning Communities on student retention and academic performance at Rhodes State College.

Results from the four years of research (N=199) showed that students participating in Learning Communities re-enrolled the following quarter at a 94% rate, versus a re-enrollment rate of 82% for the control group. After a period of one year, students in linked courses were still retained by the college at a rate of 62%, versus a retention rate of 54% for students who had not participated in a Learning Community. Finally, after two years, 42% of the students from the Learning Community were either still enrolled or graduated, while the general student population had retained or graduated at a rate of 40%. Thus, the data on retention suggested that students participating in a Learning Community re-enrolled the following term at a 12% higher rate than students not in Learning Communities. The retention benefits rapidly deteriorated, such that after two years, the Retention/graduation rate was virtually the same (42% vs. 40%) between the two groups.

One other interesting result from the research was that students participating in Learning Communities scored a “C” or better in their classes 90% of the time while students not in Learning Communities, scored a “C” or better only 78% of the time.

John says that he “learned about research and how much fun it can be” while working on his dissertation, The Impact of In-service Teacher Training on the Writing of High School Juniors in Five West Central Ohio Counties at BGSU. For a copy of the research results, you may contact John at

Last year, Chris Harris won a grant coauthored with Sandra Hill (English) to replace equipment in two SMART classrooms and to purchase equipment for an additional SMART classroom. This year’s grants include one in conjunction with Director of Retention, Barbara Michaeledis, to implement service-learning in Freshman Year Seminar Courses (FRYS 101) and Learning Community-linked English 101 courses. The grant will help fund the summer reading program and involves implementing service learning projects in FRYS courses. In English 101, students will create poster board presentations that showcase research and artistic projects that link their majors to hurricane response and preparation. Students will perform community service in FRYS and research and reflect upon their service in English 101.

Another grant, with eight other faculty and Gene Eller (English) and Paula Thornhill (Continuing Education) as primary investigators, funds interactive multimedia, web 2.0-ish, learning modules that both History and English faculty can use as ancillary material in their courses. Chris’ current unit under production (with Monica Bonty from History) examines rhetorical body postures and principles of good speech in Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Enlightenment rhetorics. The current grant project is a proposal to replace computers in two outdated computer labs and one outdated laptop lab, as well as fund an additional computer lab with attached conference room/lounge.

Chris also has an accepted book chapter, coauthored with Sandra Hill, “Service-eLearning in Professional Writing Classes,” in the forthcoming Service-eLearning: Educating for Citizenship. He is working with the Education department by offering presentations about communication across the curriculum to senior education majors and high school teachers. He has also been the advisor and mentor to the first-year English program and rewrote all of the FY course guidelines so they adhere to the WPA OS.

Robb Jackson, professor of English at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is now working on certification as a Certified Advanced Poetry Facilitator (CAPF) through the National Association for Poetry Therapy (NAPT). He reports that he is facilitating four poetry therapy and journaling groups each week as a volunteer at our local Substance Abuse Treatment Facility (SATF) with non-violent felons.

Carolyn Keefe is now in her tenth year at Lindsey Wilson College. She reports that she was on sabbatical in the spring semester this year, analyzing the results of a survey about grammar instruction she administered to all full-time English teachers at Appalachian College Association colleges and universities. She was recently nominated, for the third consecutive year, for the Methodist College’s Excellence in Teaching Award at Lindsey College.

James Martinleft a tenured associate professor position in English at the University of Guam in 2002, and moved to a position as Associate Professor and Foreign Expert at Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian province, People’s Republic of China. In January, James presented a paper on “The Birth of Postmodern American Poetry” at a conference roughly translated as “International Conference on Contemporary American Literature” in Haikou, Hainan, P.R. China.

Carol O’Shea, Assistant Director of General Studies Writing and Acting Director for 2006-2007, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Council of Developmental Education Associations in October. ACDEA is a consortium of five national professional associations whose members work in developmental education and learning assistance. According to ACDEA, the criteria for fellowship are based on the nominee’s contribution to the field and include scholarship, leadership, and service. Nominees are those individuals who have influenced the national discourse in developmental education or learning assistance, articulated a progressive vision for the discipline’s efforts, served as an executive officer at the national and/or regional level, published in developmental education and learning assistance, and frequently presented at national and regional conferences. As you can imagine, the ACDEA Fellows are a small and select group of highly respected professionals.

In correspondence announcing the induction, ACDEA President Hilda Darrow reported that “Carol earned this honor because of her noteworthy professional career,” and she mentioned some highlights. “Carol served with distinction as NADE President (2001-02) and as the Ohio Association for Developmental Education (OADE) President (1998-99). In 2003, OADE recognized Carol as the Outstanding Developmental Educator in Ohio, which prompted the Ohio Senate to write Senate Resolution 1577 commending her contribution to the education of underprepared young adults in Ohio. In 2002 she was one of only twelve individuals in the nation asked to serve on the original steering committee of the National Bridge Project, a project funded by the Lumina Foundation to improve the curricular transition from high school to college. . . . Carol’s contribution to NADE continues today as she manages NADE’s online presence, serves as a member of NADE’s Emeritus Council, and shares her expertise with developmental educators across the country who regularly approach her with requests for advice.”

Lynette Porter is on sabbatical this year, tackling four book projects. She just turned in the second edition of Unlocking the Meaning of Lost: An Unauthorized Guide, which did really well in the first edition last year. She is also working on another Lost book, which should be out this summer.

She recently presented a paper about Lost at the Hawaiian International Conference on the Arts and Humanities. Lynette has also been interviewed by Catchphrase Entertainment for their Lost documentary, by USA Today’s Bill Keveney about the return of Lost in February and by ABC affiliate KITV to talk about Lost on Honolulu TV. During her stay in Hawaii, Lynette gave a lecture entitled “The Telling of a Tale” about some of the adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings to a class at Honolulu Community College.

Currently, she is at work on two Lord of the Rings-related books in New Zealand, where she will be through March, finishing her stay as a visiting scholar at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.

Brent Royster‘s new book concerning creative writing pedagogy, entitled The Construction of Selves in the Contemporary Creative Writing Workshop, is forthcoming from Edwin Mellen Press. His most recent poems appeared in The Mississippi Review. He is currently at work on a manuscript of linked prose poems.

Inez Schaecterle is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Last May, she won Bowling Green State University’s 2006 Outstanding Dissertation Award. She also co-presented with dissertation advisor Sue Carter Wood at the Rhetoric Society of America meeting in Memphis. A revision of their refereed presentation was selected, after a second review, for publication in Sizing Up Rhetoric, a book growing out of the 2007 RSA meeting.

The University of Findlay recently tenured and promoted Christine Tully, who was in the University of Michigan post-doctoral program from January 2004 to May 2005. Though the program and funding was available for two years, Christine finished in 18 months. Her specialties are in Mexican cinema and melodrama and the title of her final project was “The Cabaretera Film as Utopian Woman’s Film: Constructing the ‘New Woman’ in 1940s Mexico.”


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