Announcements, Publications, Presentations, and Other Notables 2013-2014


Jenny Maddox Abbott (B.A. 2004) Technical Services Project Coordinator, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

 Chelsea McDougall (B. A. 2006) Reporter at the Northwest HeraldCrystal Lake

Ayana Contreras (B. A. 2006) works at Chicago Public Media. She is the host and producer of Reclaimed Soul  and Executive Producer of Barbershop Shop Show and Practically Speaking on Chicago’s 90.7 FM.

Ryan Budds (B.A. 2007): Associate Producer, Ridiculousness, MTV, Los Angeles.

Flannery Scott (M. A. 2008) is an acquisitions editor for Taylor Trade Publishing, Denver.

Annette Glotfelty (B. A. 2008) Digital Media Manager, STARZ, New York City

Jacob Davis (B. A. 2008) Social media manager, Southport Grocery & Cafe, Chicago

Bridgette Walker (M. A. 2008) Production Scheduler, Kraft Foods Group, Quad Cities

Kristen Aguirre (B. A. 2009) KHQA This Morning Co-Anchor

Leonard Vance (B. A. 2009) Content Producer at Noggin Labs & Associate Editor at Curbside Splendor, Chicago

Adam Sacasa (B. A. 2009) Reporter, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel

Jamie Mitchell (B. A. 2009) graduated from Southern Methodist Law School and is now Junior Development Partner at United Commercial Development in Houston Texas.

Christina Holt (B. A. 2010) is the managing editor of the medical journal Pulmonary Circulation in Chicago.

Lauren Finkler (B. A. 2010) Editor at The Homer Horizon at 22nd Century Media LLC, Chicago.

Ed Komenda (July 2011) Reporter, Las Vegas Sun.

Francie North (BA 2011): MWR Library Manager, Naval Base Guam

Travis Moran (M. A. 2011) is currently an English as a Second Language Instructor in Bejing, China.

Lacey Skorpea (B. A. 2011) graduated with an M. A. in folklore from Louisiana State University and is now in the Cultural Studies Ph.D. Program at Wayne State University.

Kelsey (Wolfe) Head (B. A. 2012) Public Relations at Yetter Manufacturing

Kasey Gallagher  (2012). Reading Teaching Assistant at William Fremd High School in Palatine, IL.

Johnathan Pontarelli (B. A. 2012) returned to campus  to speak with English Education Students. He is currently teaching at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, IL.

Ashley Hurley (December 2012). English Teacher at Warsaw High School in Warsaw, IL.

Aaron Graf (B. A. 2012) Dealer Systems Analyst for John Deere Information Systems

John DeGregorio (M.A. 2013) was accepted to the Ph.D. in English at The University of Iowa.

Thomas Boyd (B. A. 2013) Circulation Clerk, Bloomingdale Public Library

Brandon L. Scates (B. A. 2013) is the Student Engagement Coordinator at Kelly Miller Middle School in Washington D. C.

Allison Janacek Instructional Assistant at Jewel Middle School in North Aurora, IL.

Michael Davenport  . English Teacher at El Capitan High School in Merced, CA.

James Black (2013). 8th Grade English Language Arts Teacher at Cary Junior High in Cary, IL.

Caitlin Christmas Computer Concepts teacher at Illini West High School and West Prairie High School in Carthage and West Prairie, IL.
Teli Fedeli. Substitute teaching in Monmouth-Roseville and Quad Cities area schools.

Neil Friberg . Substitute teaching in Quad Cities area schools.
Jennifer Mitchell 6th and 8th Grade English Language Arts Teacher at Abingdon-Avon Middle School in Abingdon, IL.
Annie Supalla 6th Grade English Language Arts Teacher at Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park, IL.

Undergraduate Students

Xitong Chong, certificated Chinese teacher since by IMCPI, became a member of National Society of Collegiate Scholars this semester and traveled to Juarez, Mexico as a volunteer to help construct housing for the homeless. Chong is also the president of Chinese Students Association.

Victoria Drews was accepted to the Masters of Library Science programs (M. L. S.) at the University of Illinois, Washington University, and Drexel University. She will begin in the Fall of 2014.

Elizabth Gieb presented her paper “What Happens to Student’s Knowledge When the Session Ends? on the panel “Talk about Transfer in the Center: Negotiating the Complexities of Writing Transfer” at the Midwest Writing Center Association Conference. The presentation for MWCA was done under the direction of Dr. Neil Baird the fall spring of 2013. She also presented “Wait you’re Not a Grad Student?” Age and Gender in Writing center Consulting” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication as part of the panel “Broadening Access: Reviewer Response, Gender Revision, and Drop-In Writing Centers.”

Julianna Goodman has been accepted to the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing at Purdue University.

Kylee Palmer will start teaching English at VIT High School in Table Grove, IL in the fall 0f 2014.

Di Ann Duffey Vulich took 2nd place for the  Lois C Bruner Creative Nonfiction Award and she has been accepted to The Graduate Program in English at Western.

Graduate Students

Jessica Masson McFadden presented “Woolf’s Alternative Medicine: Queer Cognition, Narrative Defiance, and the Undoing of Diagnosis” at the 24th Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf; “Open Access to Desire: Queering Classrooms to Build Connections” at Open Source(s), Access, Futures: 2014 Conference on College Composition and Communication  Annual Convention; “Open Access to Desire: Queering Classrooms to Build Connections”  at Western Illinois University First Annual Graduate Research Conference; “Gender Incarnations and Incantations: Rhetorical Reinventions of the Canon and Collective Acts of Identity-Villainy in Macbeth” at Courtliness and Convention: The 37th Annual Ohio Valley Shakespeare Conference; and “Diagnosing The Hours: An Ambivalent and Disjointed Fictional Anti-Clinical Case Study and Feminist Analysis of Fictional Woolf and her Struggle within the Fragmenting Machine of Heteronormativity” at Being Undisciplined: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. She won the Gloria Anzaldúa Rhetorician Award at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, the Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Award from the School of Graduate Studies, Western Illinois University, October, and the Graduate Student Research and Professional Development Award from the School of Graduate Studies, Western Illinois University. Her article “Open Access to Desire: Queering Classrooms to Build Connections” is forthcoming in Palaver, 2014. She also has creative work appearing in The Feminist Wire, Sinister Wisdom, Wilde Magazine, A Queer Jar of Feelings,Gender Focus, Lambda Literary, and Gender Focus.

Ruby Nancy did a graduate internship as Coordinator of Supplemental Instruction in the Student Success Center at Black Hawk College this spring. She was also a panelist on  “Barriers to Writing Transfer at the ‘2+2’ University: Preliminary Findings from CWPA-Supported Research,” with faculty members Dr. Neil Baird and Dr. Bradley Dilger at the Conference of Writing Program Administrators( CWPA) in Savannah, Georgia. She also won travel grants from the Research and Professional Development Fund, The School of Graduate Studies, and the College of Arts and Sciences to attend “Theoretically Prepared: Boot Camp for Graduate Students” at CWPA in  Savannah, Georgia.

Gina Wilkerson presented a paper entitled “Returning Adult Learners in the Writing Center: It’s Not Just for Kids Anymore” at the Midwest Writing Center Asssociation conference This spring, she interned with Professor Galen Leonhardy at Black Hawk College in his English 101 (and 102) courses and was asked to join Phi Kappa Phi honors society.


Barbara Ashwood published “Rural Residents For Responsible Agriculture: Hog CAFOs and Democratic Action in Illinois” in The Journal of Rural Social Sciences 28.3 (2013): 76–88. Her essay “Rural Residents for Responsible Agriculture: Hog CAFOs and Democratic Action in Illinois” was published in the Journal of Rural Social Sciences. She presented with Magdelyn Helwig, Nicole Hagstrom-Schmidt, Bill Knox, and Bill Thompson at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and read creative nonfiction work at the Boiler Room series, presented at the English Graduate Organization, and wrote a narrative that was featured in the University Art Gallery’s exhibit “Perceptions: Exploring Sense of Self and Place through Art.”

Neil Baird published “NextGen Students and Undergraduate Ethnography: The Challenges of Studying Communities Born Digital” in The New Digital Scholar: Exploring and Enriching the Research and Writing Practices of NextGen Students, eds. Randall McClure and James Purdy. 2013. 273-292. He presented “Barriers to Writing Transfer at the ‘2+2’ University: Preliminary Findings from CWPA-Supported Research.” Council of Writing Program Administrators in Savannah, Georgia.

David Banash published his monograph Collage Culture: Readymades, Meaning, and the Age of Consumption  (Rodopi) and the edited collection Collecting and Collections: Objects, Practices, and the Fate of Things (Scarecrow). His essay “In the Cut: The Art of Linder Sterling” appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Dan Barclay presented “Christmas Trees in the Capitol: Turning Nature into a Rhetoric of Power” at the Association for the Study of Literature & Environment (ASLE).

Rebekah Buchanan published “Rhetoric of Riot: Creating Alternative Feminist Sites of Resistance” in Feminist Challenges, Feminist Rhetorics: Locations, Scholarship, and Discourse. She also presented “Punk and Zines” and “So and In Flight”at the Popular Culture Association-American Culture Association Annual Conference. She also presented “Telling Digital Stories in the Preservice Classroom” at the Conference on English Education (CEE) and was a participant in the NEH Summer Institute, “Finding Mississippi in the National Civil Rights Narrative: Struggle, Institution Building, and Power at the Local Level.”

Merrill Cole was the featured poet in poeticdiversity with his poems “The Mystery of Statistics” and “Pirate.” He presented “The Dada App” and “No Ditto in Dada” at The Modernist Studies Association Conference. In the past academic year, Merrill Cole published poems in Bellevue Literary Review, Poeticdiversity: A Litzine of Los Angeles, and Creative Resistance.

Bradley C. Dilger published “West Palm” in the edited collection, Florida and “Feeling the Unseen Weight of Class” in College Composition and Communication 65.3 (Feb 2014). He was a oo-presentater (with Neil Baird) for “Writing Transfer and First-Generation College Students” at the Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference.

Jose Fernandez presented “The Budding of Modernism in Richard Wright’s Black Boy and 12 Million Black Voices” at the 55th Annual Convention of the Midwest Modern Language Association and “The Legacy of Radical Social Protest in Amiri Baraka’s The Slave and Luis Valdez’s Bandido!” at the American Literature Association Symposium on “War and American Literature.”

Everett Hamner presented “Climate Change Fiction, Technology, and the Sacred” at the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts.

Jerry Hansen was inducted into the Mendel Catholic High School Hall of Fame in Chicago and wrote and registered a screenplay with the Screenwriters Guild of America.

Barb Harroun, published “Reading and Writing My Way” in Friends Journal November 2013:6-9. Her flash fiction, “Trapeze,” appears in Prairie Gold: An Anthology of the American Heartland. Iowa, Ice Cube Press,
2014.  Forthcoming. She presented “Geode” at the PCA/ACA National Conference.

Magdelyn Helwig published “‘Uttering Tongues’: Verbal-Visual Collaboration as Memory- and Meaning-Making” in War Memoranda: The Civil War, Walt Whitman, and Renewal (forthcoming 2015) from the Library of Congress. She presentated “Acknowledging (and Harnessing) the Differing Learning Dispositions of New TAs” at the Council of Writing Program Administrators Conference and “Opening Curriculum, Creating Openings: Transforming a Writing Program after a CWPA Program Evaluation” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Timothy Helwig published “Melville’s Liminal Bachelor and the Making of Middle-Class Manhood in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine” in American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, and Bibliography 24:1 (Spring 2014): 1-20. He was elected to serve a four-year term as the Midwestern Regent of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.

Bill Knox published “Sustainable Local Food: Turning the Soil, Turning the Tide” in  Local Food Networks and Activism in the Heartland, for which he was also a co-editor, (Common Ground Press). He also published Writing Fast/Writing Well (Kendall Hunt). He was a co-presenter on “Opening Curriculum, Creating Openings: Transforming a Writing Program after a CWPA Program Evaluation” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and presented “After Honors: Staying in the Game”  Upper Midwest Regional Honors Council Conference.

Daniel Malachuk published “Democracy” in Emerson in Context (Cambridge
University Press) and “Green Exaltadas: Fuller, Transcendentalism, and Antebellum Women’s Nature Writing” in Toward a Female Genealogy of Transcendentalism (University of Georgia Press). He has many forthcoming essays, including: “Disinterestedness and the Liberal Subject” in Victorian Debates (Routledge); “Liberalism” in The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Victorian Literature (Blackwell Publishing); “Repair to the Lamps and Rake the Language” in Democracy and Education, 21.1 (2013). He presented “Farming with the Transcendentalists: A ‘Higher Use’ Alternative to Becoming Postnatural” at Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts and “James Baldwin’s Privacy” at James Baldwin: Transatlantic Commuter. He was invited to speak at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Université Paris Diderot, and University of Münster, Germany.  During the 2013-14 academic year he was Fulbright Senior Lecturer in American Literature, Ruprecht Karls Universität and  Residential Fellow, Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study.

Chris Morrow published “Acknowledgment, Adaptation and Shakespeare in Ron Rash’s Serena,” in South Central Review,  30.2 (2013): 136-161. He presented “Kill Shakespeare: Teaching and Researching Comic Book Adaptations”  as a roundtable
participant at 41st annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America. He was also Senior Instructor of Book History, Book History Workshop, Cushing Memorial
Library & Archives, Texas A&M University.

Shazia Rahman published “Cosmopolitanism, internationalization and orientalism: Bharati Mukherjee’ speritexts” in Journal of Postcolonial Writing 49.4 (September 2013): 405-418. In the spring of 2014, she presented “Atonement and Reparations: Pakistan’s 1971 War in Sorayya Khan’s Noor.” Debt and Indebtedness. 2014 MLA Convention.

John Schulze published “Saudade” Two Hawks Quarterly [fiction]; “Fifteen Miles From Early” A River and Sound Review [fiction]; “Blitzkrieg” Rolling Thunder Press, 2013 [fiction]; “Finale” Union Station Magazine [Fiction]; “Rendezvous” Front Porch Review [fiction]; “Good Intentions” Hippocampus Magazine [non-fiction]; “Neighborly” Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, [non-fiction]; Review of Jose Saramago’s The Lives of Things, Prairie Schooner; “Lawn Care” Poetry Quarterly [poem].  He presented “A Sense of Place: A Sense of Self: The Value of Place Consciousness in the Composition Classroom” at the 21st Annual Gulf Coast Association of Creative Writing Teachers Conference.

Mohammad Siddiqi presented “Media code of ethics: A comparative analysis and an Islamic perspective” and “Muslim media in the United States and their role in helping Muslims become part of the American public square” at the Third International Conference of Islamic Media. He was interviewed on KHQA Television, Quincy, IL on the  “A for Arab” exhibit and by WIUM FM 91.3 for the “A for Arab” Exhibits. He was inducted into the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars, Morehouse College and elected, for a two year term to the executive board of the International Islamic Organization of Media.

Bonnie Sonnek presented with Western English Department Alum Kristin Dragos, “Redesigning Teacher Education Courses: What Graduates Contribute” at the 103rd National Council of Teachers of English Convention
Yong Tang published “Journalistic right in the ‘first rough draft of history’: A comparative study of news copyright in the United States and the People’s Republic of China in the Chinese Journal of Communication, 6 (1), 24-44. He presented “Journalistic role in Chinese freedom of information”  at the Communication Law and Policy Division of the 2013 International Communication Association (ICA) Annual Conference and “Journalistic internal reference: Exemption from China’s freedom of information law” and “’Feeling for rocks while crossing the river’: Analysis of statutory language of China’s first freedom of information law”at the Law and Policy Division of the 2013 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).

Alicia White presented “Artistic Frames: Using Arts Based Research Methods to Explore Teachers’ Experiences”  at the Tenth International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

Jacque Wilson-Jordan published “Losing June” in  Gravel Literary Journal [fiction]
and “Verne and Nellie’s Table” in  The Blue Bear Review. She presented “Verne and Nellie’s Table” at the English Graduate Conference and participated in the “NIU Ph.D. Graduates Panel Discussion” at the Northern Illinois University Conference on Language, Literature and Media.

Erika Wurth published her first novel, Crazyhorse’s Girlfriend (Curbside Splendor). She also published “Beautiful, Terrible Thing” Sententia, [fiction]; “Kes Woodi,” Contrary, [fiction]; “Candy Francois” Split Lip Magazine [fiction]; “Freightrain” Southern California Review [fiction]; “On North Beach” Toe Good Poetry [poem]; “Faces Toward the light” and “Change Form Behind Me” Mas Tequila Review [poems];“He Brought Me Down” and “Fists Clenched, Holding” As, Us [poem]; “Dusty Redemption” Yellow Medicine Review, [poem]; “Receding Like the Wilderness in the Night” and “Smoke Billowing,” Cimmaron Review, [poems];

Pat Young presented “Miss Ida B.  Wells:  Kicking Ass Badly” at the National Council on Black Studies Conference, 4 March 2014,  Miami, and she also chaired the panel “Performance in the African Diaspora” at The College Language Association Conference in New Orleans, LA. She is currently at work on a new book manuscript.