Archive for May, 2012

English University Scholars

0 Commentsby   |  05.06.12  |  Advising Information

Left to right: Jordan Havens, Elizabeth Berhardt, Claire Hardin share their award with Dr. Bennett

On Friday, April 20, four English seniors were among those honored by the Faculty Senate as Univeristy Scholars: Allison Oden, Claire Hardin,  Elizabeth Bernhardt, and Jordan Havens

Each year this award is bestowed on no more than 50 ACU students who have:

  • achieved a GPA of at least 3.5
  • earned at least 90 hours by the end of the fall semester preceding presentation of the honor
  • been identified by their departments as demonstrating scholarship in their chosen field

Congratulations to Jordan, Allison, Claire and Elizabeth!

Dr. Dave Merrell Honored Upon Retirement

0 Commentsby   |  05.05.12  |  Advising Information

On Friday, May 4th a group of faculty, staff and friends filled the Brown Library atrium to honor the English Department’s Dave Merrell.

After forty-six years of teaching and service Dave is retiring. He leaves quite a legacy.

“One of the things I fought against was being another small Bible college that thought of itself in a provincial way,” Dave recollected.

By doing things like starting the Honors program, introducing courses including World Literature and Business and Professional Writing, initiating the freshman English exit exam,  and going out and raising the funding for the Culp Professorship, Dave was instrumental in leading ACU in new directions and making it more competitive with other institutions.

The stuff of legend is Dave’s grasp of every detail of the university, especially in matters of the curriculum.

One person said Dave’s memory for what courses are required for what major and how they came to be was like accessing a “human hard drive.” Another said, “I never asked Dave a question and heard him answer ‘I don’t know.'”

The many positions he held over four decades testify to the breadth of his influence:

  • Professor of English
  • Chair of the Department of EnglishDean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts
  • Director of Curriculum
  • Registrar
  • Director of Freshman Composition
  • NCAA Compliance Liaison
  • Golf Coach


After the cutting of the retirement cake and dipping into the punch bowl, a variety of individuals stepped forward to offer accolades. These included former ACU provost Dwain Hart; current English Chair Cole Bennett; former English Chairs Bill Walton and Nancy Shankle; Dr. Chris Willerton; and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Charles Mattis.

ACU legal counsel Slade Sullivan honored Dave for being a charter member of the NBA–the Noon Basketball Association, a group of young and old faculty and staff who for decades have been driving to the hoop in Moody in a friendly competition.

A special "NBA" gift for Dave--The Book of Basketball.

When his time at the microphone came Dave observed, “Well, now I don’t need a funeral!”

What’s next for Dave? First off, he says he’s promised he’ll take his grandkids to Florida. After that he anticipates doing some part-time work for ACU. We also suspect he’ll be doing a bit of reading with the new Kindle the department gifted him with. We wish him well!


FLFR 440 FALL 2012

0 Commentsby   |  05.04.12  |  Language Tools

FLFR 440 Advanced French composition and conversation will be offered in the Fall of 2o12 TR 1:30pm – 2:50pm

New French Minor Fall 2012

0 Commentsby   |  05.04.12  |  Language Tools

New French Minor

The Department of Language and Literature  is now offering a French minor.
The French minor requires 12 additional hours of French beyond Intermediate level.
The first advanced French course, FLFR 440, will be offered this fall and will focus on
composition and conversation. It is open to students who have completed FLFR 222 or the equivalent
through testing.

Given the importance of French in the world and on the internet (French is spoken worldwide
by over two hundred and fifty million people and is the second internet language in the world),
this minor is most welcomed. English majors will be interested in this minor as well as foreign language,
art, international business, missions and political science majors. Nursing students wishing to work
in Africa will also find this minor relevant to their career plans.

The instructor for French is Yann Opsitch, a native Frenchman who has lived
most of his life in France and is presently teaching at ACU.  For additional information
or to talk with professor Opsitch write to

More Grads Set to Go…

0 Commentsby   |  05.04.12  |  Advising Information

They’re taking finals next week, but already their eyes are set on packing their suitcases.

Two of our English seniors are anticipating exciting graduate school adventures.

Juliana Kocsis, after considering an offer from Oregon State with full funding, decided upon North Carolina State in Durham where she will study Comp/Rhet (fully funded).

She’ll see a familiar face among the saturated green landscape when she walks onto the NCS campus. English Department alum Bethany Bradshaw began her graduate lit studies there this year.

Claire Hardin will soon perhaps be singing the praises of the Trailblazers and Stumptown coffee. She is headed to Portland State, where she will study Technical Writing.  Like Juliana, she received other offers, but chose Portland State.


Rhetorical Future at ACU

0 Commentsby   |  05.04.12  |  Student Spotlight

Meet Gregory Jeffers, one of English’s graduating seniors. Set to graduate with university honors this month, Greg has prepared himself well for the future. This fall, he will begin the English master’s program at ACU with a concentration in Composition and Rhetoric.

Four Years Well Spent

Greg has taken particular care to develop his conference skills, representing ACU at the regional Honors conference, presenting a paper on oppression and rebellion in American novels. He also participated in this year’s Undergraduate Research Festival and presented on the Study Abroad experience for the Office of Multicultural Education.

Volunteering is important to Greg. With over 120 hours of volunteer service logged with the Office of Service Learning, his efforts have included cooking Thanksgiving dinner for refugees, visiting the Ronald McDonald house, and working with children’s activities at church and ACU.

Greg’s employment history while at ACU includes two years of working for the Honors College, during which time he has been a Peer Leader for the Honors Freshman Cornerstone class. Last summer, he worked in Sugar Land, Texas with First Colony Church of Christ as a children’s ministry intern.