Archive for September, 2011

Cole Bennett’s Book Project!

0 Commentsby   |  09.27.11  |  Faculty Publications

Our beloved interim department chair, Cole Bennett, has been contracted to revise the next edition of Pearson/Longman’s Analyzing English Grammar, the textbook he’s been using for years in his Advanced Grammar courses.

Given recent evidence that using complex grammar contributes to mental health, Cole is giving us all the gift of more effective communication and clear thinking in our old age. Way to be a hero, Cole!

Watch for the 7th edition of the book, coming soon!


Welcoming Returning Faculty!

0 Commentsby   |  09.21.11  |  Faculty Spotlight

Our department welcomed several returning faculty members this semester:

  • Grace Hall and Julie Barcroft both finished their master’s degrees in May 2010 and taught part-time last year; this year, we’re delighted to have them teaching with us full-time.
  • Steve Weathers, who left us last year, has returned to his position, as well, and it feels great to have him back.
  • Finally, Suanna Davis is no stranger to ACU, but she has been away for quite a while! We think she ought to have a proper re-introduction for the many who have yet to discover how great she is!

Dr. Davis spent her undergraduate years at ACU, double majoring in history and English and taking enough hours to qualify for a minor in biology. She went on to earn her master’s from ACU. Shortly after finishing her Ph.D. at Purdue, Suanna came back to spend four years teaching writing at ACU before leaving to pursue other adventures for a while—including raising her two sons (now 20 and 18) and teaching at various colleges around Houston.

Now that she’s back, she’s starting out by teaching composition and British Literature. But she was also incredibly productive over the summer. An abridged run-down of her accomplishments:

Mastering target practice at a Project Appleseed weekend.

  • Attended the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo, MI, where she gave a paper on Beowulf in the 21st Century to a packed room.
  • Presented in Houston at the Johnnie Harris Writers’ Conference on “Who Is a Hero and How Do We Know?” She looked at Beowulf and The Aeneid in light of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth presentation in The Hero With a Thousand Faces.
  • Wrote a chapter on Beowulf and The Aeneid for The Hero’s Quest from EBSCO. Her section is “Epic Quest II.”
  • Wrote a review of Bruce Thomas Boehrer’s Animal Characters: Nonhuman Beings in Early Modern Literature for The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts.
  • Took part in a Project Appleseed weekend, where she learned to shoot her rifle better and discovered that even though she’s a history buff, there’s a lot about the Revolutionary War she didn’t know.
  • Moved herself to Abilene and started remodeling the new house she and her husband are making into home.

Suanna says that when she told her friends about returning to ACU as a professor, many of them responded, “Oh! Your dream has come true.” Apparently, she’s been very vocal about hoping to get back here. And we’re very glad to have her.

Welcome back, everyone. It’s going to be a great year!

The amazing kitchen was the biggest selling point of Dr. Davis's new house--if we're very good, can we come over for dinner?



Master of Arts Program in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy

0 Commentsby   |  09.19.11  |  Announcement, French, International Studies Major, Programs, Spanish Majors, Spanish Minors, Study Abroad

The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Cooperation with Dubrovnik International University

(Berlin and Dubrovnik, October 11th, 2011) 

(www.icd-masterprogram.orgApplication Form>


The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy and Dubrovnik International University (DIU) are pleased to announce the graduate Master of Arts program in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy. Offered by DIU in partnership with the ICD, the program will combine the traditional academic components of international relations with a new focus on the role of soft power and cultural diplomacy in contemporary global affairs.


The Degree
While the study of political science has been a cherished tradition of academia, the developments outlined above demand the identification of entirely new theories and models. An understanding of the challenges faced by the contemporary world requires an interdisciplinary approach; International Relations and Diplomacy should not be understood only as disciplines of Political Science or Political Theory, but also be interpreted from the perspective of art and culture, economics, law, and other social sciences.


Further information about the program curriculum is found under:


The Online Degree

In order to provide access to this MA degree to those applicants who are not able to travel to Berlin and Dubrovnik for the MA degree (such as professionals or diplomats with full time jobs) we have developed  an online version of the MA in International Relations and Cultural Diplomacy. This degree would follow the same structure and curriculum of the on-site Masters Degree offered through the two institutions; however would be completely administered online and offered to those who could not physically come to Berlin or Dubrovnik. This program, like the on-site program, will be facilitated in English. For more information about this online degree, please contact us at:



DIU and the ICD do not consider any one element of an application exclusively. Rather, our admissions panel considers academic achievement as well as personal qualities such as strength of character, motivation and the ability and willingness to take on new academic challenges. Additional factors, such as essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews are also a vital part of the admissions process. Our aim is to attract students from a variety of backgrounds and countries that will foster a unique and diverse learning environment.


Further information is found under:


For further information please contact us under



The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy


The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy is an international, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization with headquarters in Berlin, Germany. The goal of the ICD is to promote global peace and stability by strengthening and supporting intercultural relations at all levels. Over the past decade the ICD has grown to become one of Europe’s largest independent cultural exchange organizations, hosting programs that facilitate interaction among individuals of all cultural, academic, and professional backgrounds, from across the world.


Please address any additional queries to


With warm regards and gratitude,


Mark Donfried

Director & Founder


Institute for Cultural Diplomacy (ICD)

Ku´damm Karree (3rd Floor/Hochhaus)

Kurfürstendamm 207-8 Berlin, Germany-10719

Phone: 00.49.(0)30.2360-7680

Fax: 00.49.(0)30.2360-76811


Shelly Sanders’ Summer 2011

0 Commentsby   |  09.18.11  |  Faculty Publications

Now that the temperatures have plummeted into the 90s for our Texas fall (and despite the irony, we’re grateful!), it seems like a good time to celebrate some of our faculty accomplishments from the summer—starting with Shelly Sanders, assistant professor, specializing in creative writing, young adult literature, and sports literature.

Most of us know that Shelly is getting ready for the arrival of baby Heath Nathan Sanders, due in early October! She’s excited to introduce him to the department, and we’re so looking forward to meeting him.

But even while she’s been preparing for Heath, Shelly’s also been creating in other ways:

With the support of an ACU Summer Stipend, she’s been working on a project to help solidify and increase the sustainability of the Community Writers Workshop (a free, month-long writing workshop for members of the Abilene community). Her project is titled, “Incorporating Service Learning and Undergraduate Workshops at ACU into the Community Writers Workshop.” We’re really impressed with and grateful for all Shelly does to engage creative writing throughout the city.

She’s also had two pieces accepted for publication in Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, so soon we’ll be able to read even more of her great work in print:

1. “Bodies in Accelerated Motion” is a short story about a lonely young woman who attempts to show hospitality to her friend and running partner, only to relive the night when she was left in the dust during a charity 5K and berated further by a drunk imbecile who looks remarkably like Albert Einstein.

Image from a production of "The Cuban Swimmer," taken from the Santa Fe Sentinel at

2. “‘Mi Carne, Mi Sangre, Mis Ilusiones’: The Collision of Words and Worlds in Milcha Sanchez-Scott’s The Cuban Swimmer” is a critical paper centered on Hispanic playwright Sanchez-Scott’s 1985 experimental one-act play The Cuban Swimmer. I explore the way that the teenage swimmer Margarita’s physical body collides with the world of lo real marivolloso (the marvelous real), a term coined by Cuban essayist Alejo Carpentier, and how the miracle at the end of the play helps Margarita escape her father’s obsession with her mental concentration. Ultimately, breaking from the world of the present athletic struggle and into an alternate world of marvelous physicality—of dolphins, fish and her blood-drinking ancestor—resurrects her body in a new form that ripples with the play’s Latin Catholic imagery.

Congratulations on a wonderful summer, Shelly. We’re proud to know you!