winners with award plaques

Department announces annual award winners

The English department is proud to announce the winners of this years research/creative activity, service, teaching, and Treasured Pirate Awards, which were given at last week’s department convocation. Please congratulation the following members of the faculty:

  • Dr. Nicole Sidhu and Stephanie West-Puckett received the Bertie E. Fearing Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Dr. Nicole Sidhu and Dr. Liza Wieland received Research/Creative Activity awards
  • Grace Horne and Dr. Jessica Bardill received the department’s Service Award
  • Ashley Taylor and Dr. Nikki Caswell received University Treasured Pirate Awards
Liza-Wieland-story-page-profile

Wieland Awarded 2016 Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor

ECU’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences inducted Dr. Liza Wieland as Distinguished Professor at the college’s annual convocation on August 19.

Wieland, professor of English and THCAS Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Development, is the 18th member of the faculty to be honored with the title of THCAS Distinguished Professor.

“I’m thrilled to have been chosen to join the ranks of this excellent group of teachers, scholars, mentors and servants to the College,” said Wieland. “From the very beginning of my time here, the University has been unwaveringly supportive of my work with grants and release time, and now this award, all of which serve to acknowledge that the arts matter at ECU.”

To read the full article, visit https://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/THCAS-2016-Distinguished-Professor.cfm.

MargaretBauer

Bauer featured in News & Observer and on NC Bookwatch

Congratulations to Dr. Margaret Bauer, who this week was featured by the News & Observer as the paper’s Tarheel of the Week: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article91477907.html! The episode of NC Bookwatch featuring Margaret also aired this weekend. See it here: http://video.unctv.org/video/2365760086/. The 25th anniversary issue of NCLR was just published and will be celebrated at a birthday party on October 22 at 2pm. Go English!

Hoppenthaler wins Brockman-Campbell Award

John Hoppenthaler has won the 2016 Brockman-Campbell Award for the best book of poetry by a North Carolinian in 2015 for his volume Domestic Garden (Carnegie Mellon UP). In this, his third collection of poetry, Hoppenthaler surveils the remnants of an American Dream. What devotion might mean and look like in our time is at the book’s heart. The poems, written in a variety of styles, offer testimony and uncover, row by row, what remains viable in a garden they hope to resurrect.

Montgomery

Montgomery named department chair

Congratulations to Dr. Marianne Montgomery, who was just announced as the English department’s new permanent chair, beginning in August. Dr. Montgomery has been serving as interim chair since May.

“I’m excited by the opportunity to lead a vibrant, vital department whose work is central to ECU’s mission of student success, public service and regional transformation,” Montgomery said. “English is a big department, so this is a big new job. I am fortunate to have supportive and experienced colleagues in the department and in the college to help me to learn this new role.”

Read the full story on new chairs in Harriot College here: https://www.ecu.edu/cs-cas/THCAS-Announces-Three-New-Department-Chairs.cfm

Kitta

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Andrea Kitta

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Dr. Andrea Kitta is an associate professor of Multicultural and Transnational Literatures in the Department of English at East Carolina University. She holds a B.A. in History (Honors) from Slippery Rock University, an M.A. in Folk Studies from Western Kentucky University, and a Ph.D. in Folklore from Memorial University, St. John’s, Newfoundland.

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Where are you from?

Originally Western Pennsylvania, but I also consider St. John’s, Newfoundland to be one of my “homes.”

What brought you to ECU?

I was between here and a post-doc in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I ended up choosing ECU because I wanted to teach and I really wanted to teach students that were the first people in their families to attend college.

What is your field and how did you first become interested in it?

I first heard about the field of folklore from a GA in Anthropology while I was taking some post-bac classes. I was trying to figure out where I wanted to go to grad school and when I told him about all the things I was interested in (history, stories, culture, medicine, the supernatural) he said “Why don’t you become a folklorist?” I had no idea what he was talking about, so I went home and started looking into. I immediately knew it was exactly what I wanted to do, so I started applying for my MA in Folklore that night.

What other life experience prepared you for your role here at ECU?

I did two years of service with AmeriCorps, the first was part-time (900 hours) while I was getting my BA, the second was full time (1600 hours) right after I graduated. I can’t express how much I learned in my time at AmeriCorps – every time I came up with an idea, I was given the go-ahead to try it. That was a fantastic experience and really helped me to see that I wanted to pursue my PhD and be a professor.

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

I’m really proud of all of my achievements, but I think the ones that stand out the most for me were the ones when I broke a boundary and helped people to see things in a different way. I’m very proud that I was the first person from the Folklore Department to get an Applied Health fellowship when I was working on my PhD. I was the first folklorist to get the Duval prize at the Canadian Immunization Conference. I was also really proud to represent the American Folklore Society in the US/China exchange program.

What is your favorite part of your job?

That’s difficult, I love being in the classroom and working with students, but I also love my research. And I love going to conferences. I basically love every part of my job except grading and meetings.

Describe one of the most rewarding courses you’ve taught in your time at ECU?

Just one? I absolutely love teaching the Supernatural class because my students are so interesting and unique – they always give me something to think about and remind me of how much there is to learn. I also loved team-teaching the Disability and Literature class and I’m really enjoying my honors class this semester on experiencing illness and alternative medicine. And the American Folklore class is where I get to see my students fall in love with folklore, so that’s really rewarding as well.

Kain

Kain wins national service award

Congratulations to Donna Kain, who has recently been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC)’s Distinguished Service Award.  This national-level award is given to only one person per year, and it is awarded based upon an individual’s national reputation relating to aspects of curriculum design and program development in technical, professional, and scientific communication. Donna will be presented with the award during CPTSC’s annual conference, which will take place in Savannah, GA on 6-8 Oct.

Bosse

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Solveig Bosse

 

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Dr. Solveig Bosse is an assistant professor of Linguistics and TESOL in the Department of English at East Carolina University.

MA English/Economics (Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany)

MA Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)

Ph.D. Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)

 

 

Where are you from?

I grew up in Verden (Aller), Germany.

What brought you to ECU?

There are very few jobs for graduates with doctorate degrees in Linguistics available, especially on the more permanent tenure-track. ECU offering me a tenure-track position was a great opportunity, so I accepted and came here.

What is your field and how did you first become interested in it?

Officially, I am a theoretical linguist. Most of my research is in theoretical syntax with an added interest in formal semantics. In simpler terms, I analyze the sentence structures of sentences in different languages and try to explain why the sentences have the structure they do and why the sentences mean what they mean.

Unofficially, I am also a psycholinguist – and that is how I first became interested in linguistics. Back in Germany, I took a graduate seminar on first language acquisition. The professor, Prof. Dr. Hamann, decided to offer me a position as a graduate research assistant. I learned a lot about research and academia from her, and when the time came, she encouraged me to apply to Ph.D. programs in linguistics in the USA. I was accepted to the University of Delaware, and there my emphasis slowly shifted from psycholinguistics to theoretical linguistics. While I volunteered in a psycholinguistic lab throughout graduate school, I began to work on my syntactic and semantic research. Eventually, I enjoyed the theoretical work a tad bit more and decided to write my dissertation on a theoretical topic. To this day, I enjoy both theoretical linguistics and psycholinguistics, resulting in me discussing collaborative psycholinguistic work with Dr. Curtindale, the Director of ECU’s Infant and Child Cognition Lab, this semester. (Hopefully, the actual collaboration will start next semester.)

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them?

MA English/Economics (Carl-von-Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany)MA Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)Ph.D. Linguistics (University of Delaware, USA)

What other life experience prepared you for your role here at ECU?

I have lived in four different US states, in Germany, and briefly in China. In these places, I met a variety of people with diverse life stories and saw how different people handle big and small issues differently. These experiences have probably had the biggest impact on my role here as they allow me to connect with the diverse people in Pirate Nation – the students, my colleagues and others in and around Greenville.

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

I consider my Ph.D. degree my biggest achievement. My Ph.D. program at UD was very tough and demanding at times, and despite considering giving up many times, I never did.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I enjoy learning from and discussing linguistics (and some other topics) with others. So my most enjoyable moments are when I am challenged in class by questions from students about concepts and ideas of linguistics, or when I discuss my research or that of my colleagues. These moments allow me to rethink my assumptions, to strengthen my arguments and to think about a problem from a different point of view.

Describe one of the most rewarding courses you’ve taught in your time at ECU?

One of the most rewarding courses I taught has been LING3730/ENGL6526. This course was, and usually is, taught as a mixed graduate-undergraduate course. We investigate the sounds and word formation processes present in English. I have had terrific discussions with students about the different sounds that English employs, how the sounds are made, and how dialects of English differ in their sound inventories. I have seen students grow from being completely unaware of the sounds of their language to taking a huge interest in how they themselves speak, what features in their speech mark their background, region and identity, and how they can use the information I taught them to their own benefit.

Banks

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Will Banks

Banks

Dr. Will Banks is an associate professor of rhetoric and composition in the Department of English at East Carolina University. He holds a B.A. in Literary Studies from Georgia Southern University, an M.A. Literary Studies from Georgia Southern University, and a Ph.D. in English Studies from Illinois State University.

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Where are you from?

I am from Louisville, GA.

What brought you to ECU?

I chose ECU because of the type of students we have here. ECU students are often the first generation in their families to attend college, as well as coming from a working class background. Those are students that I prefer to work with because the academy has worked so hard to keep them out.

What is your field and how did you first become interested in it?

My field of research is in Rhetoric and Composition, specifically queer rhetorics. I was interested in Rhet-Comp because of my previous experience teaching for several years. I’ve had the chance to work with many students – teaching literature, language, and writing — but I realized that I enjoy working with struggling student writers more than struggling student readers. I enjoy helping students to see why writing is important and all the options that careful, rhetorically sophisticated prose provides to the writer. While I was teaching at Georgia Southern University, I had the chance to participate in an Invitational Summer Institute of the National Writing Project, which also influenced my research interests and further solidified my commitment to working with writers and helping them develop voice and agency.

What life experience prepared you for your role at ECU?

I am one of those students from a working class and rural background that research suggests tend not to go on to higher education, or to be successful once there. Higher education is filled with invisible rules and tacit values that work very hard to exclude working class students and students of color. I am the type of person that wants to help students with access because many students of a working class background (like myself) may miss out on great opportunities, so I want to pull back the curtain and make some of those invisible blockades visible. When they’re visible, we can work together to tear them down.

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

One of my biggest accomplishments here at ECU has been raising combined internal/external funding of over 2.5 million dollars to support ECU students and eastern NC teachers. That level of grant funding is nearly unheard of in an English department and the humanities generally. While that took away from my book-writing time, it has meant that ECU finally has a real writing center, which helps over 3,000 students per year with their writing, and it means that area K-12 teachers have had free or low-cost access to graduate education focused on writing, which is usually absent or under-developed in their undergraduate education. Over 1 million of those dollars has gone to professionalize K-12 teachers in our area and help them become teacher-researchers in their own classrooms who present their research at national conferences.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Working with students. Period.

Describe one of the most rewarding courses you’ve taught in your time at ECU.

Summer Study Abroad in London! Taking ECU students, many of whom have never flown on a plane, to experience a new culture where they see themselves and their culture differently has been amazing. Students are able to study writing, literature, theatre, and culture in a new context, and also explore new places, where people of many cultures think differently from the ways we do in the United States. Also, being able to collaborate with Dr. Rick Taylor is always exciting! He has been the single most important professional mentor in my career, and his commitment to this program – and to keeping it affordable so that study abroad isn’t just for the rich kids – is so important.

Dr. Marianne Montgomery

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Marianne Montgomery

Dr. Marianne Montgomery

Dr. Marianne Montgomery is an associate professor of literature (specializing in Shakespeare and Renaissance drama) in the Department of English at East Carolina University.

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Where are you from?

I grew up in Cheverly, Maryland, in the suburbs of Washington, DC. I also lived for four years near Boston and eight years in Charlottesville, Virginia, so I also consider those places home.

What brought you to ECU?

When I was close to finishing my PhD, I “went on the job market,” which meant that I applied for about 70 jobs, all over the country, in my field of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. It’s incredibly hard to find a tenure-track job with a literature PhD, and I feel incredibly lucky that I was hired at ECU! In addition to a good location relatively close to my family in Maryland and my husband’s family in Florida, I like teaching at a regional state university and working with a diverse body of students. I was also attracted to ECU by its balance of teaching and research; I really like both and wouldn’t want to put all my energy towards one or the other.

What is your field and how did you first become interested in it?

My field is Shakespeare studies, which really means that I study Shakespeare and the early modern dramatists who wrote at roughly the same time that he did, like Ben Jonson, Christopher Marlowe, Thomas Middleton, Thomas Dekker, and many others. Shakespeare was part of a vibrant commercial theater scene, and only was elevated above his contemporaries by critics in subsequent centuries. While I was initially attracted to the field by my love of Shakespeare, I now am fascinated by how he fits into this bigger picture and how his plays belong to their time both formally and thematically. My research focuses especially on early modern drama, trade, travel, and cultural exchange.

What degrees do you hold and where did you earn them?

I have a BA from Wellesley College, a women’s college in Massachusetts. After Wellesley, I went to the University of Virginia, where I earned an MA and a PhD.

What life experience prepared you for your role at ECU?

I have very little work experience outside academia, something I wish I could go back and change. I think working for a few years before pursuing a PhD is invaluable in exposing one to other options and other perspectives. That said, I gained considerable teaching experience in my graduate program that prepared me for teaching at ECU. I had very good pedagogical mentors, especially for teaching writing.

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

I am really proud that I wrote a book! It’s called Europe’s Languages on England’s Stages and was published in 2013. A book feels like a significant scholarly accomplishment, and it makes writing a second book less daunting. I’m also proud that I was awarded ECU’s Centennial Award for Service in 2015. It was nice to have my efforts on various university committees and in departmental service recognized.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is seeing students improve and succeed. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with a student over the course of a semester and see major progress in his or her reading and writing.

Describe one of the most rewarding courses you’ve taught in your time at ECU.

My favorite courses to teach are the three Shakespeare genre courses: Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Shakespeare’s play reward rereading, and I find new things in them every time I teach them. I feel extremely lucky to be able to teach regularly in my area of specialization. I received a teaching grant last summer to develop materials for using film in these classes, so I’ve been using more film clips in class. Shakespeare is meant to be performed, not read, so film helps bring performance into the ECU classroom. My students also memorize and recite speeches from the plays or perform scenes in groups.

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