School Partnership Program aids Farmville students

Members of the School Partnership Program enjoyed meeting with two teachers from Farmville Central’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program on October 11.  Danielle Buchanan and Ashlee Langston informed us about AVID and the ways that we can help program students who might not have motivation or support to excel.  This program prepares students for college and holds them to high standards.

Our volunteers will go to FCHS to help with writing, reading, source use, grammar, and the college application process.  Two of our members, Tom Herron and Zachary Perkinson, have already conducted classes at the school.  Our efforts expose students to college-type instruction and support the excellent work by the teachers. Thus far, fourteen faculty members have volunteered to teach at least one lesson during the school year.  AVID classes meet 12:00-2:00 each school day.

For more information, please contact Corinee Guy at

Open house a success

The English department hosted an Open House for prospective students on Saturday. Participating department members included Lida Cope, Grace Horne, Timm Hackett, Erin Frost, Guiseppe Getto, Bren Henze, Rick Taylor, Alyssa Coleman, Kalifornia Dolan, Samantha Grzybek, Garrett Yarbrough, Kristen Williams, and Andy Riggs. Those with questions about studying English can contact Dr. Cope at!



Bauer wins R. Hunt Parker Award for Literary Achievement

Congratulations to Dr. Margaret Bauer, who is the 2017 winner of the R. Hunt Parker Award for Literary Achievement from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. Margaret will be recognized at the North Carolina Book Awards in Raleigh next month. Read on for more information about the awards program and presentation.

The strong literary tradition of North Carolina will be showcased again with presentation of the 2017 North Carolina Book Awards, Friday, Nov. 17, in Raleigh.

At their joint meeting, members of the N.C. Literary and Historical Association and the Federation of N.C. Historical Societies will renew their commitment to stimulate the production of literature and to collect and preserve historical material in North Carolina, and to recognize excellence in both areas.

The 1:30 p.m. free, public session will be in the Doubletree by Hilton, 1707 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. The first book award will be presented to Ali Standish of Raleigh, for “The Ethan I Was Before.” The award from the American Association of University Women for young people’s literature goes to a title that tackles death, guilt, loss and forgiveness in a coming-of-age tale.

Book awards also will be presented at a 7 p.m. ticketed dinner program at the Doubletree Inn. It will feature a keynote address, “From Slavery to Civil Rights: An Aural History Tour,” by Mary D. Williams, Duke University Center for Documentary Studies.

The Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry will be presented to Patricia Hooper of Gastonia, for “Separate Flights,” a collection of poems said to “sneak up on the reader and stun,” and that pays “attention to the ways in which angle of vision alters our perspective of the world.”

Danny Johnson of Durham will receive the Sir Walter Award for Fiction for “The Last Road Home,” a book about the trials and tribulations of an orphaned young boy who comes to live with grandparents in North Carolina and befriends the sharecropper children next door. It explores race relations, first love, and coming of age in the 1950s and ’60s.

The Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction will be presented to Leonard Rogoff for “Gertrude Weil: Jewish Progressive in the New South.” It is the first major biography of Weil, who was born in 1879 to a prominent family in Goldsboro and fought passionately for progressive causes of the day. It is a story of sisterhood across religious boundaries, intellectual and political commitments, and wealth used to improve society.

The R.D.W. Connor Award goes to Thomas L. Howard III of Charlottesville, Va., for “The State that Said No: The Fight for Ratification of the Federal Constitution in North Carolina,” as the best article published in the “North Carolina Historical Review” in 2017.

The Hugh T. Lefler Award will be presented to Andrew C. Turner of Greenville, for the best paper by an undergraduate in 2017 on North Carolina History. Prepared for a class at East Carolina University, the paper dealt with the common people during the Fort Macon campaign.

The R. Hunt Parker Award for Literary Achievement will be presented to Margaret Bauer of Greenville, English professor and editor of the “North Carolina Literary Review” for more than 20 years.

EbzB Productions of Apex, represented by Sarah Ebhardt and David zum Brunnen, will receive the Hardee Rives Award for Dramatic Arts.

The Christopher Crittenden Memorial Award for lifetime contributions to North Carolina history will be presented to Harry Watson of Chapel Hill.

The Federation of N.C. Historical Societies Albert Ray Newsome Award recognizes local history preservation efforts. This year’s recipient, the Jones County Historical Society, has been working for more than two decades to make architectural surveys of the county’s historic structures accessible to the public.

Student awards also are presented during the free afternoon program. The Student Publication Awards, High School Division, recipients are: “Portraits in Ink,” Durham School of the Arts, first place; “Stone Soup,” Enloe High School, Raleigh, second place; “Drop Box,” Carolina Day School, Asheville, third place.

Middle School Division Awards recipients are “Illusions,” Martin Middle School, Raleigh, first place; “The Paw Print,” Culbreth Middle School, Chapel Hill, second place; “P@w Printz,” Randleman Middle School, Randleman, third place.

Tickets are available to the evening program. Make $45 checks payable to the N.C. Literary and Historical Association and mail to NCLHA, 4610 MSC, Raleigh, N.C. 27699. To pay by PayPal, visit website  Registration ends Nov. 10.

For additional information on the North Carolina Book Awards, please call (919) 807-7290. The Office of Archives and History is within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and administers the program.



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!

Shelton Green

Jaki Shelton Green to give annual Tag Lecture

This year’s Tag Lecture features North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame poet Jaki Shelton Green. The English Department will host the lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5,in Faulkner Gallery in Joyner Library. This event is free and open to the public. The lecture is supported by an endowment established by Dr. and Mrs. Ella Tag.

Student Spotlight! Shainah Andrews!

ECU English major Shainah Andrews spoke at the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences scholarship luncheon where she told her story about traveling to London and being inspired to study Linguistics and TESOL.  She told fellow students, faculty and donors about her hopes to teach English in South America after graduation. Eloquent, and inspiring, she is being featured as an ECU Student Spotlight!  Below is her interview:


Where are you from?

I am originally from Connecticut but have been living in Windsor, North Carolina for almost four years.

What brought you to ECU?

East Carolina University interested me because it is known to be an institute best for science and English/education, two fields which I juggled wanting to be in for several years until very recently.

What is your area of study? How did your interest in this area begin?

I am an English major with a minor in linguistics. My passion for reading and writing, from my earliest recollection, began when I was in second grade and my love for both have only strengthened over-time; it stems from my parents and grandma reading to me from the womb. Linguistics was intriguing to me well before I even knew what that word meant, as early as elementary or middle school, but my love for it heightened this summer when I studied abroad in London.

What are your goals after graduation?

Post-graduation, I aspire to teach English as a second language in a South American country for at least one year. In addition, I am also considering doing traveling journalism work in various countries, continuing to volunteer to combat homelessness and poverty, and break stereotypes on several platforms regarding dialect prejudice.

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

If I had to narrow my most rewarding/exciting moment in the Department of English down to one, it’d have to be the following: being an English major opened a study-abroad-opportunity door for me which I walked through this past July; I went to London! It has been a dream of mine since elementary school and became reality this summer thanks to my THCAS scholarship donors and parents. While the program was available to non-English majors, I appreciated the experience even more as an English major as I physically saw many things that I’d often only read about and saw in pictures. The study abroad experience also allowed self-expansion for myself and aided me in helping others to flourish.

What recognitions/achievements in your ECU career are you most proud of and why?

Just recently on September 22nd, I delivered my speech at a scholarship recipient luncheon, being the only English major and even woman of the three student speakers, to go before the podium; my particular scholarship made it feasible for me to study English in London summer ‘17, another accomplishment of mine that still feels dream-like. When other students and even faculty/staff members told me how much my speech resonated with them and impacted them, I knew that I represented ECU English in an incredible way.



For the last spring break, I was a student lead in Baltimore, Maryland where poverty and homelessness is prominent; my alternative break experience gave me another lens to see life through and empowered me to want to do more sooner since my want to help those specifically poverty-stricken and homeless began at an early age.

I am also proud to say that I’ve been the English Club’s consumer coordinator since fall semester of my freshman year and I am also the treasurer now! This semester, I became the worship leader for Delight Ministries, a nationwide women’s Christian organization which six lovely ladies and I brought to ECU this semester.

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

Do it! Being an English major extends far beyond the desires to become a teacher, professor, or author. All of those options are great, but often, people do not know of any other avenues and limit themselves. I encourage all considering coming to ECU to study English to do research of their OWN; an English degree is so versatile! It’s alright if you don’t have it all figured out, too. I am a junior and am still finding my way in this world. The best piece of advice in this sense is that doing something productive is better than doing nothing at all.


English majors attend scholarship lunch

ECU English major Shainah Andrews was one of the featured student speakers at Friday’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences scholarship luncheon. She shared her story with the donors, faculty, and fellow scholarship winners in attendance and emphasized how studying abroad in London, supported by the Jim and Pam Mullen THCAS Study Abroad Scholarship, transformed her life and inspired her to declare a Linguistics minor and TESOL certificate. She hopes to teach English in South America after graduation. Shainah’s remarks were eloquent, inspiring, and perfect for the audience; she did ECU English proud. Congratulations to all English majors and scholarship winners who attended the luncheon: Justice Phinx, Paige Vaughan, Kailey Aycock, Garrett Yarbrough, and Samantha Gryzbek.

Alumna Spotlight! Kristy Woodson Harvey

Kristy Woodson Harvey is an alumna of ECU and a national bestselling author who focuses on southern fiction.  After graduating from ECU with her MA in English and a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature, Kristy went on to produce many great works including “Slightly South of Simple” and “Dear Carolina”.  Come and see her speak on March 22, 2018 at the Greenville Hilton!


Where are you from?

I’m originally from Salisbury, NC, but now I live in Beaufort, NC.

What brought you to ECU?

I was graduating from UNC’s school of journalism and had planned to continue with either a master’s in journalism or a law degree. But I was marrying my now husband, who was working in New Bern, and I decided to just take a peek at what ECU had to offer so we could stop our long-distance commute. I read an article about a new concentration in multicultural and transnational literature that was coming to the English master’s program, and I was so intrigued. I decided almost right away that I wanted to do that instead. It was a great choice.

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

I received a master’s in English with a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature. Even though I was a journalism major at UNC, I did a lot of English and creative writing, which I absolutely loved. I think reading is one of the best ways to learn about other people and cultures and to expand our horizons, and after years of writing, I wanted to do more of that.

What have you been up to since your graduation?

I actually went to work for Northwestern Mutual in the financial services industry for a bit after I got my master’s. It was perhaps an odd choice, but it was an opportunity presented to me and a chance to have another, completely different life experience. But now I write novels for Simon & Schuster, which is a dream job to say the least!

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

My latest novel, Slightly South of Simple, was an instant National Bestseller, and that felt huge to me because I have worked so hard to get where I am. Being an author is about writing, of course, but so much of the job is promotion and marketing. I travel all year long speaking and expanding my audience and love meeting my readers. Two of my books are being considered for film and one was a finalist for the Southern Book Prize. So many amazing things have happened along this journey. I think, at the end of the day, simply being published by a “Big 5” New York publishing house was my dream, and I am so proud that I hung in there, fought the hard fight and made it. My fourth novel, The Secret to Southern Charm, will be released April 3, 2018, and actually, my first North Carolina event will be a fundraiser for ECU’s Joyner Library in March. I’m proud to be able to give back to organizations I support and love with my work. It is incredibly rewarding.

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

This may sound odd, but for some reason, reading about all of the different cultures I read about during my time at ECU made me realize how special my southern upbringing and childhood were. I realized that I lived in a very unique place and that I wanted to be able to share that with the world. I think that’s one of the reasons I write southern fiction now.

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

I loved my professors at ECU and felt like they were so committed to giving me the best experience I could have. Their doors were always open. I learned a lot of practical things there that I still use, like grant writing. And, though I haven’t actually taught English, the courses I took in that field gave me a really strong foundation, and I know I would be able to do that if I ever decide to go down that path. But most of all I think learning about other cultures so intensely changed the way I thought about the world and opened my eyes to other people’s struggles. It was an important lesson, especially at that time in my life.

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

Learning to read and think critically are two of the most important skills I know of for being able to be a part of a workplace environment, no matter what that is, and I definitely received that during my time at ECU. In addition, being a strong writer is a critical skill no matter what area you choose to pursue in the future. The English program at ECU is a large university experience with a small college feel. I got to know my classmates and my professors, and I think that is a critical part of any good education. For me, English has always been a passion and, when you follow your passion, amazing things happen. I’m living proof of that. You will get a broad-based education at ECU no matter what your major, so my advice is always to do what you love. It can’t help but make you a better student.


Davis earns digital rhetoric fellowship

Fourth-year PhD student Carleigh Davis has been selected as one of the Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative (DRC) Graduate Fellows for the 2017-2018 year. This Graduate Fellows program “aims to recognize graduate students currently working in digital rhetoric who want practical experience in online publishing and website development. Fellows are selected on a yearly basis by the editors and board of the DRC, and receive an annual stipend of $500 as well as recognition on the DRC website.” —

To read more about Carleigh and her research, check out the following:

UWC “Writes for Change”

Monday’s “Design for Change” event in remembrance of 9/11 was well attended and successful. Congratulations to University Writing Center Director Dr. Nikki Caswell, University Writing Center Assistant Director and English PhD student Ceci Shelton, and the staff of the University Writing Center, who joined the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement to put on the event. At the UWC’s “Write for Change” table, students wrote over 40 letters to local and national government officials. The event was widely covered in area press; links are below for those who’d like to learn more.

Daily Reflector:


East Carolinian:

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