Great Expectations

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

Recent Rhetoric & Writing Alumni News

Posted by bgsuenglish on October 18, 2009

[This update comes to us courtesy of the Rhetoric & Writing program‘s Spring 2009 Newsletter.]

Last academic year, five people defended their dissertations and became new alumni of the Rhetoric & Writing PhD Program.

Christine Cucciarre, “Audience Matters: Exploring Audience in Undergraduate Creative Writing Pedagogy.” Christine is an assistant professor at the University of Delaware.

Heather Fester, “Rhetoric and the Scholarship of Engagement: Pragmatic, Professional, and Ethical Convergences.” Heather is assistant professor of English and the WAC director at Lincoln University in Jefferson, Missouri.

Elizabeth Fleitz, The Multimodal Kitchen: Cookbooks as Women’s Rhetorical Practice.” Elizabeth is an assistant professor of English at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. An article based on the second chapter of Elizabeth’s dissertation has been accepted by Issues in Writing; “Making Do: Cooking as Remediated Practice” is scheduled to come out in Spring 2010.

Erin Knoche-Laverick, “Feminist and other Intertwining Pedagogies of Writing Instruction in the University of Findlay’s Intensive English Language Program.” Erin is assistant professor of English as an International Language and assistant director of the Intensive English Language Program at the University of Findlay.

Ann-Gee Lee, “Female Fabrications: An Examination of the Public and Private Aspects of Nushu.” Ann-Gee is an assistant professor at St. Cloud State University.

Amie Caroline Wolf, “Preparation of Graduate Assistants Teaching First-Year Writing at Ohio Universities.” Amie is a Senior Lecturer at Ohio State University.

In other news, Jennifer Almjeld (2008) is in her second year as assistant professor in the Rhetoric and Professional Communication program at New Mexico State University. Jen teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in multimedia theory and production. This semester she is teaching Computers and Writing and Empirical Research at the graduate level.

Besides teaching, Jen has also started an English Department Outreach program at NMSU aimed at bringing together faculty and graduate students from various programs within the department to expand their scholarly expertise and research interests by working in the Las Cruces and surrounding community. The interest in this sort of outreach was largely inspired by her work with the Digital Mirror Camp and advisor Kristine Blair while studying at BGSU.

Jen joined some BGSU peers and Kristine Blair to co-present “Reflections on ‘The Digital Mirror’: Technology Camps as Institutional Outreach” as part of a panel at the National Council of Teachers of English held in October 2008 in San Antonio. Jen also attended the Southwest Texas Popular Culture / American Culture Association meeting in Albuquerque, NM in February of 2008 with several graduate students from the NMSU English Department and presented a paper ““Do you Twitter?: Web 2.0 Craze Reveals Desire for Instant, Connected Information and Community.” Jen will also participate in a roundtable presentation with Kristine Blair at the Computers and Writing conference in June as well as being part of a panel with three graduate students from her fall seminar.

Florence Elizabeth Bacabac (2008) moved to St. George, UT last fall 2008 to start a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Professional and Technical Writing position at Dixie State College of Utah. She currently teaches Writing for Interactive Media, Grant and Proposal Writing, and computer-mediated First-Year Writing courses. Florence also presented “Collaborative Online Invention and First-Year Writing: Totus Pro Optimus?” at Computers and Writing 2009, University of California, Davis on June 20th, 2009.

Rebekah Schultz Colby and Richard Colby co-edited a special issue of Computers and Composition Online entitled: “Reading Games: Composition, Literacy, and Video Gaming” in fall 2008. The Colby’s also wrote an article for Computers and Composition: “A Pedagogy of Play: Integrating Videogames into the Writing Classroom.”

Rebekah also wrote a review for Kairos of Viz, a visual rhetoric blog site: “Review of Viz.” Kairos, Fall 2008.

Richard and Rebekah presented at the WPA conference in Denver this July. Their panel was entitled “Revising Rubrics: Rebuilding Assessment in Creative and Rhetorically Effective Ways.” They also presented at the WAC conference in Austin last May: “Bridging Communities Through Collaboration: Synthesizing Multiple Approaches to Studying and Communicating Across the Disciplines”

Christine and David Cremean (Black Hills State University): Christine is now the Department Chair for the Humanities at BHSU. She recently published a coedited book with Carol Winkelmann from Xavier entitled Survivor Rhetoric. Christine also has an article coming out in a book collection about domestic violence and abuse against women in the American West.

BGSU English PhD graduate David is hosting the Western Literature Association Conference in Spearfish this month. Currently the president-elect, David will be president of the Western Literature Association next year. He has been tenured and promoted and his Hemingway essay, “Men Shall Not Live Not by Dry Flies Alone…,” is being republished in a Gale research publication focusing on short story criticism.

Christine Denecker recently presented at the 4Cs in San Francisco–her presentation was entitled “Assessing the Institution: Assessing the Writing Program.” Christine was also granted tenure and promotion at UF; her rank is now associate professor of English.

Christopher Harris accepted a position at California State University, Los Angeles. CSU LA just started their accreditation cycle, so he will be doing much of the same type of work he did at ULM–working with the composition instructor corps to shape a recursive writing assessment program. Additionally, they’ll be developing an MA-level writing emphasis to pair with the graduate degree.

Cynthia Mahaffey recently published her dissertation, “Wearing the Rainbow Triangle: The Effect of Out Lesbian Teachers on Students in the Composition Classroom” with VDM Publishers of Germany.

John Fallon began work with Nancy Boudreau, Director of the Statistical Consulting Center at BGSU, on a research project last fall (2008) intended to evaluate the Ohio Board of Regents Dual Enrollment program, Seniors to Sophomores. Nancy advised John on his dissertation 12 years ago. For their current research, Nancy and John are studying a high school/college Dual Enrollment program in which high school seniors can forego their final year of high school to attend college full-time for free. Forty-nine Ohio high schools successfully applied for Early Adopter status and funding for 2008/09. As the students’ first year is drawing to a close, and Nancy and John are collecting data by: interviewing students and faculty participating in this program; conducting focus groups with students in this program; and finally, distributing a survey to all 374 Ohio high school students participating in this program.

The research is particularly interested in exploring the social and aspritational impact of the program on the students. They are also interested in whether there are predictors of success for participating students.

Barbara Little Liu (1998), Associate Professor of English at Eastern Connecticut State University, is transitioning out of the Coordinator of First-Year Writing position she has held for more than ten years to focus on teaching. Also, her paper, “Changing the Public Face of Christian Politics: The Rhetoric of Sojourners” will be published in the Proceedings of the 13th Biennial Conference of the Rhetoric Society of America, forthcoming from Waveland Press.

Robin Murphy (2007) is an Assistant Professor at East Central University in Oklahoma. She serves on the editorial staff for Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology and Pedagogy and the review staff of both Computers and Composition Online and the Oklahoma English Journal. Robin recently presented at Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s), Computers and Writing, Conference on Composition and Communication, and the SW Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Conference. She is currently co-writing an article with Dr. Gary Heba for The Philosophy of the Western, forthcoming through UPKY and is in negotiations for publication of her dissertation. Robin sponsors the campus Habitat for Humanity Chapter and the Honors Student Association. She continues to share her home with spouse, Kaleb, and her aloof wienerdog, Norman.

Lynnette R Porter’s book, Battlestar Galactica: Finding the Way Home, was published by Sourcebooks in April 2008. A second edition of Lost’s Buried Treasures will be published early in 2009, also by Sourcebooks. During sweeps ratings periods, Lynnette is still interviewed by several TV and radio stations, most notably Tampa’s ABC affiliate, WFTS, for her take on new episodes of Lost. In May, she was interviewed by 46 stations in the U.S. and Canada. She has also written the introduction to a new edition of The Moon Pool, which will be out in January 2009.

In preparation for two conference papers (and likely a book chapter) about the Scottish film, Stone of Destiny, Lynnette visited Glasgow and Edinburgh (for the film festival). She recently attended the film’s North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. She discussed the film and its sociopolitical significance to Scotland and Canada at the Hawaiian International Conference on the Arts and Humanities in Honolulu in January and at the Popular Culture Association conference in New Orleans in April. She is also finishing her “hobbits” book for Tauris, which is due in January, while her chapters about the TV series Quantum Leap and The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. will be published in David Lavery’s Cult TV book (University of Kentucky Press) in 2009.

James Robert Schirmer (2008) is Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan – Flint. For more information on his research interests and pedadgogy, find him at

Ginny Skinner-Linnenberg was recently promoted to full professor (effective this fall). She is still Director of Writing Programs at Nazareth College whose enrollments are still growing–quite a feat in this economy!

Christine Tulley was accepted into a National Endowment for Humanities Summer Institute at University of Michigan in the Classics Department for Summer 2008 and was also awarded a sabbatical for the Spring 2010 semester. During the sabbatical she will be a Visiting Scholar in Digital Media and Composition at The Ohio State University. She was also accepted into the Rhetoric Society of America RSA’s Third Biennial Summer Institute at Penn State 2009, which took place June 22-28.

Joe Wilferth, UC Foundation Associate Professor at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, serves as the associate head in the Department of English at UT-Chattanooga, and in the fall term of 2008 he served as acting head. Whereas his research interests continue to evolve, he is currently studying ecocriticism and its connections to modern rhetorical theory.


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