PhD alum Janine Butler

PhD alum Janine Butler published in Rhetoric Review

ECU English’s PhD alum Janine Butler (2017) has published an article, “Integral Captions and Subtitles: Designing a Space for Embodied Rhetorics and Visual Access,” in the journal Rhetoric Review.

Read her work here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07350198.2018.1463500?journalCode=hrhr20.

Janine’s work at ECU focused on accessibility and multimodality. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, a college of Rochester Institute of Technology. Go English!

Lindsay Saunders

Alumna Spotlight! Lindsay K. Saunders

Linday Saunders

Lindsay Saunders

Lindsay K. Saunders Spotlight

A graduate of ECU, earning her Master’s degree in Technical and Professional Communication, Lindsay has used her education and talents to pursue an extremely interesting career in international work.  Through hard work, she has achieved her dream job of working at the American Embassy in Lusaka Zambia for the United States Government.  Lindsay agreed to be a Spotlight for the English department and through her interview, tells of her education, journey, and advice she wants to give to potential students, interested in following their passions.  Thank you, Lindsay, for your time and wonderful answers, we are proud to call you an ECU Pirate!!

 

Where are you from?

Originally, I’m from Kill Devil Hills, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I spent most of my life there before moving around a bit during undergrad and following graduation. Then I settled in Raleigh, NC for nearly a decade before recently relocating to Zambia, in Southern Africa. NC will always be home.

 

What brought you to ECU?

I actually didn’t want to go to ECU because both of my parents went there and I wanted to do my own thing, but ECU has top notch education and English programs, plus it’s very affordable and close to home so it made sense. Later on, it also ended up on the shortlist for graduate school because of the quality, affordability, and accessibility of the programs. Thank Dr. Richard Taylor for encouraging me to reconnect with Dr. Brent Henze for advice on graduate studies.

 

What did you study while you were here, and how did your interest in this area begin?

I’m an Alum three times over between my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education with a concentration in English, 2006; Professional Communications Graduate Certificate, 2013; and Master’s Degree in English concentrated in Technical and Professional Communications, 2014. My interest for these stemmed from a love of learning, stories, and creative digital projects.

 

What have you been up to since your graduation?

My life has been far from dull. Following undergrad, I moved across the country to teach for two years in Alaska. Upon return to NC, I transitioned to working as a paralegal. With the 2008 downturn of the economy and teacher job fair cancellations, I needed to adapt. Working in law gave me an avenue to help people by listening to client stories and support the long-term, detail-oriented, meticulous law process that might resolve  issues. Once I determined becoming a lawyer wasn’t the right move for me I chose to seek work in communications and programs that would still educate people, while also supporting long-term change and innovation.

Google, Unicef, and United Nations were the brands and organizations I set before me as my goal because of their work and ideals. When I finished grad school, it was still hard to get a job in government or nonprofits, even though that was where I longed to be. I decided to hone my creative skills at marketing agencies and then become more tech savvy by taking contracts at tech companies, like Lenovo and Red Hat. Meanwhile, outside of work I was a volunteer-holic building up my repertoire serving nonprofits such as the Society for Technical Communications Carolina Chapter, RESULTS, and UN Women Carolina Chapter, and helping with meetups. This led to communications projects, event planning, and public speaking, as well as national, and international travel, while I continued to push hard towards my professional goals. Eventually, I ended up working for a great team at the NC Department of Information Technology and now I work for the federal government, serving as a Development, Outreach, and Communications (DOC) Specialist for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) / Zambia Mission at the American Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia. USAID is the United States’ largest and oldest foreign aid agency, incorporates public-private partnerships, and works to end poverty. It’s basically my dream job since I get to do communications, events, photography, social media, promote programs serving communities, travel, and collaborate with numerous government agencies and nonprofits.

 

What recognitions/achievements are you most proud of and why?

I’ve pushed myself hard for my achievements. It’s still hard to believe that I finished my graduate degree with a 4.0 while working to support myself through grad school.

I’ve done public speaking in my home state of NC, nationally in Washington, D.C., and internationally. I speak about how we frame messages, public policy, advocacy, and the importance of storytelling for change. Becoming an activist, working on projects both as an advocate and professional to make change in communities is something I could not live without. That is ultimately what I’m most proud of — being a part of long-term change for so many. I’ve devoted the past four years of my life to speaking out, writing, facilitating meetings, and trainings to fight U.S. and global poverty. I strongly believe we have a duty to speak out about the injustices in the world and use our skills to the greatest extent in order to do so. I hope that when I leave this earth I can say I did everything I could to change it for the better and also took advantage of every opportunity, no matter how large or small, that came my way.

Quite possibly the biggest thing I’ve ever done was to give up everything in my life and make the international move, all on my own, to serve my country and our dear beautiful host country Zambia. In order to take this job at USAID, I left a job with a good team with the NC Dept of IT, signed the house I owned over to some tenants, and had to say goodbye to organizations and friends I really loved, while resetting everything I’ve ever known. I’ve learned a new job, a new country, new languages, new food, and new cultural norms. I knew I’d learn so much and this would be an invaluable experience. I’ve learned so much about myself, the United States, and the world.

 

What elements of your education in the Department of English have been most instrumental to your success?

One thing that’s pretty incredible about the ECU Department of English is that it has many facets so you can kind of carve out your own path. I intentionally selected courses for my graduate degree to be really dynamic because I knew I wanted to do work that required a range of skills and perspectives. Critical thinking through analysis and research. Design of communications from layout expectations, styles, and traditional hard copy or print and digital online. How to target your audience and be aware of user experience. Detailed editing to enhance content. Be in tune with overall project needs. Framing different styles of writing — I learned editorial, grant, public policy, and technical writing! During my graduate work with the Department of English, I learned that I would need to anticipate content needs before the audience might even need to know. Determining that through content strategy is imperative to reach your target demographics and find the most success in your messaging.

 

What was most rewarding/exciting about your time in the Department of English?

That would be the relationships I developed with other colleague students and my professors. I actually studied abroad with the Department of English for 3 weeks as an undergrad in 2005 and then again as a grad student in 2013. Those trips were really powerful. It was especially memorable because both Dr. Richard Taylor and Dr. Brent Henze were on each trip. I know that I can run into them and no matter how long it’s been we can connect again and have a great conversation. The professors in the Department really care. I also studied under Dr. Michael Albers, Dr. Matt Cox, Dr. Guiseppe Getto, and Dr. Kirk St. Amant, who has moved on to another university, but we’re still in touch. But I even enjoyed engaging with Dr. Michelle Eble, Dr. Donna Kain, and Dr. Erin Frost, even though I never took classes with them.

 

What would you say to someone considering coming to ECU to study English?

If you’re considering coming to ECU study English, assess the program strengths and what your objectives are. I wanted a program that would provide me with more technical background, but equip me with a diverse set in terms of professional communication for both print and the digital. Communication and outreach was my long-term interest and my interests are a little more “creative” than the typical person going to study technical communication. Thankfully, ECU really does allow you to customize your educational journey. What you get out of it is up to you. Even though my Master’s Degree was through a distance education program, I developed friendships and real relationships. My academics, both as an undergrad and graduate student, came first and foremost. I still enjoyed myself, but my academics were my priority because I knew if I got the most out of it then I’d be more armed to be effective in my career and support the organizations and people around me best.

 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Put in the time and effort to build relationships. They will serve you well in the long run. Contribute in ways that out of the ordinary — volunteer work and nonprofits are just as valuable as your day job, will enhance your resume, and also produce more references. Don’t be afraid to take risks whether academically, professionally, or personally. It’s okay to question yourself — that’s normal, but push yourself beyond your comfort zone. We change and learn more when we’re uncomfortable. I would know — I’m living that now while living and working serving two interests — the U.S. and Zambia’s — in Southern Africa! I have never feared a challenge even if it overwhelmed me in the interim. Because of that I’m stronger as a person and more well-rounded educationally.

 

Author Bio

Lindsay K. Saunders, originally from North Carolina, is enjoying the lessons of life abroad in Zambia and privilege to serve as a Development, Outreach, and Communications Specialist for USAID. She has a weekly email newsletter and shares her journey on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. You may reach her by email via lindsayksaunders@gmail.com, visit her website at www.lindsayksaunders.com, or follow her on social media @LindsayKelleyS.

ECU English faculty, graduate students, and alumni present at 11th Biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference

Twelve members from the Department of English at ECU presented their research, shared their expertise, and participated in collaborative/interactive workshops at the 11th Biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference held October 4-8, at the University of Dayton. The conference theme, “Rhetorics, Rights, (R)evolutions,” asked participants to “bridge feminist rhetorics with feminist activism and advocacy to bring about social change.” The conference was sponsored by the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition (CFSHRC).

Photo of Wendy Sharer

Sharer was featured as the first of twenty profiles in honor of the 20th anniversary of FemRhet!

Dr. Wendy Sharer facilitated a collaborative/interactive session, “Opening the Scholarly Conversation: Feminist Publishing Practices,” and presented “We Have Always Been Stronger Together: Rethinking Anthologizing Practices in the History of Rhetoric.” She participated on a panel “Creating a Safer C’s: Developing Action Plans for the CCCC 2018 Task Force.” Dr. Sharer also serves as Member-at-Large of the CFSHRC Executive Board. Drs. Erin Frost and Michelle Eble served as Small Group Facilitators at the Seminar, “Feminist Rhetorical Science Studies: Politicizing Posthumanisms, Rhetoricizing New Materialisms.”

Image of Cox, McKoy, Shelton, & Gardner

Cox, McKoy, Shelton, & Gardner presenting at FemRhet 2017.

Friday afternoon’s ECU panel, “Intersectional (Black, Political, and Professional) Bodies: Feminism, Rhetoric, and Social Justice in the 21st Century,” featured English alumnus and teaching instructor, Joshua Gardner‘s, “Reading the Woman: Power, Gender, and Embodiment in the 2016 Presidential Election;” third-year PhD students, Cecilia Shelton’s “Why Should I Believe You?: #BlackLivesMatter Building Ethos as a Movement on the Margins” and Temptaous McKoy’s “Black Thighs Matter; Rhetorical Concepts of Taste and Black Bodies;” and Dr. Matthew Cox’s “Intersectional Bodies: Workplaces as Queered, Feminist, & Rhetorical.” Several in attendance remarked that this was one of the finest panels of the conference.

Other sessions featured Carleigh (DeAngelis) Davis, fourth-year PhD student, who presented “Dialogic Collaboration in Coded Interactions: Cultivating Feminist Values and Practices in Digital Spaces” and third-year PhD student, Ruby Nancy, who presented “Be Like Alice: Multi-Genre Writing as an Intersectional Feminist Rhetorical Strategy for Amplifying Activism,” who also served as one of the social media curators for the conference.

Image of Carleigh Davis

Davis presenting at FemRhet 2017.

Image of Ruby Nancy

Nancy presenting at FemRhet 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Saturday, Dr. Michelle Eble facilitated a Mentoring Feminist Scholars’ session on “Publishing an Edited Collection: A Feminist, Process Approach.”

Image of Rhetorica

Rhetorica, the ECU University Writing Center’s mascot, on a slide in Dr. Caswell’s presentation.

Drs. Will Banks, Nicole Caswell, and Stephanie West-Puckett (ECU PhD alumna and faculty at University of Rhode Island) delivered the second ECU panel “Failing Sideways: Toward a Queer Methodology for Writing Assessment.”

 

 

 

Image of Erin Frost

Frost presenting at FemRhet 2017.

 

 

One of the final collaborative/interactive sessions of the conference featured Dr. Erin Frost, who presented “Using Feminist Methodologies to Build Healthcare Partnerships.”

All of the sessions generated questions and discussions and often continued after the sessions were over. ECU faculty, students, and alums clearly made a lasting impression on the conference as several conference attendees remarked at the important work related to social justice being done in the Department of English at ECU. Congratulations to all!

Lindsay Saunders at Lobby Day NC, Group Photo 6-28-16

Join ECU Alumni Lindsay Saunders and her fundraising campaign Speak Up

Check out and take advantage of this opportunity to help ECU alumna Lindsay Saunders!!

Saunders is a grassroots advocate with “RESULTS-a movement of passionate, committed everyday people. Together, we use our voices to influence political decisions that will bring an end to poverty.”

Saunders is “participating in Speak Up, a fundraising campaign to support RESULTS and the work that [she does] as an advocate with RESULTS Raleigh, a local chapter which [she] started nearly 2 years ago. Saunders’ goal is to raise $250 by May 26.”

Saunders says, “Giving to my Speak Up Campaign supports my work, and the work of volunteer advocates across the country, to influence political decisions through meeting with members of Congress, writing op-eds, and mobilizing our communities. Will you please contribute and support my advocacy work with RESULTS and advocates like me across the country?

CONTRIBUTE HERE: https://results.salsalabs.org/…/lindsaysspeakupf…/index.html

Read more about Linday and her advocacy work here: ECU alum Lindsay Saunders recently published in the News & Observer

Lindsay Saunders at Lobby Day NC, Group Photo 6-28-16

Full Panel from Beyond Your Degree

English Alumni Bridget Todd and Christina Mayr Joined Us for Beyond Your Degree Event on 2/23

Department of English alumnae Bridget Todd and Christina Mayr were prominently featured at the Beyond Your Degree event Thursday, Feb. 23. The event was co-sponsored by Career Services and the Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences.
Todd is an educator, organizer, and writer living in Washington DC. She worked to amplify the writing of political activists as an outreach manager at Medium.com. She has worked on the digital team at MSNBC and taught writing at Howard University. Her work organizing digital trainings for progressive organizers for the New Organizing Institute was covered by the Washington Post. Her writing has been published by the Atlantic, Boston Review, and BuzzFeed. She has been featured on the Daily Show and she questioned former President Obama on MTV. Todd’s website is here: https://www.clippings.me/users/bridgetmarie
Mayr is a technical writer and editor in the Raleigh-Durham area and is the current president of the Society for Technical Communication, Carolina Chapter. She has worked in pharmaceuticals, engineering, government, manufacturing, and information technology industries. She currently is the Lead Technical Editor at Extreme Networks and is a teacher fight the Duke Technical Communications Certificate program. She also runs Resume Renovations, a resume writing and career counseling service. Christina was previously featured in an Alumni Spotlight for the English department: http://blog.ecu.edu/sites/englishnews/alumni-spotlights-christina-eftekhar-mayr/
In addition to Todd and Mayr, the alumni panel also featured Tremayne Smith (2011, Bachelors of Music Education & Political Science), Diana Ray (2006, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Social Work), and Mandee Lancaster (Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Economic Development).
Full Panel from Beyond Your Degree Panel from Beyond Your Degree Panel from Beyond Your Degree
Photo of Leggos reanacting Shakespeare scene

English MA Nikki Cox and Creative Writing Alumni Megan Oteri Featured on WNCT

Nikki Cox, Technical and Professional Communication MA student in the Department of English, teaches high school in Havelock and is currently completing a professional communication and public relations internship with Brick Scholars. The company is led by ECU Creative Writing alumni Megan Oteri. Megan visited Nikki’s high school class recently to run a workshop.

Visit WNCT to learn more about Megan and Nikki’s workshop featuring Legos to recreate Shakespeare scenes: http://wnct.com/2017/02/13/havelock-students-use-legos-to-recreate-shakespeare-scenes/

Celeste McMaster Profile Picture

Alumni and former NCLR Editorial Assistant Celeste McMaster wins a South Carolina Academy of Authors prize!

Already-decorated alumni and former NCLR Editorial Assistant Celeste McMaster wins a South Carolina Academy of Authors prize! Congratulations!!!

“Celeste McMaster’s short story “Shimmy” won the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Fellowship in Short Fiction, a $1,500 award accompanied by publication in “Fall Lines” from Muddy Ford Press. McMaster is an associate professor of English at Charleston Southern University. She has published fiction and poetry in various literary reviews and was the 2016 winner of The Saturday Evening Post’s Great American Fiction Contest.”

For more information, please visit: South Carolina Academy of Authors Facebook Page.

Kevin Dublin Photo

ECU MA grad Kevin Dublin has published his first collection of poetry, How to Fall in Love in San Diego

How To Fall in Love in San Diego Book Cover PhotoEnglish MA Graduate Kevin Dublin has published his first collection of poetry How to Fall in Love in San Diego (Finishing Line Press, May 2017).

How to Fall in Love in San Diego is a chapbook of 26 love & anti-love poems. The poems are set inside, around, and far outside the bounds of San Diego, CA. They’re a collective attempt to encapsulate the city’s energy and people, as well as the universal, sometimes heart-wrenching, 21st century search for love or something similar. For more information about how to pre-order, please visit: http://kevindublin.com/how-to-fall/.

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