Nancy Jordan's Archive

Undergraduate Research Festival, Call for Proposals

0 Commentsby   |  02.04.10  |  Announcements

What: Call for proposals for the 2nd Annual ACU Undergraduate Research Festival

Submission Deadline: February 15

When and Where:

Posters on April 7, 8 and 9 in the Learning Commons

Papers on April 12 from 8 am to 4 pm in the Hunter Welcome Center (student presenters excused from classes for the day)

Banquet on the evening of April 12 in the Welcome Center featuring special guest speaker Dr. Kevin Gardner, researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas


Showcase ACU undergraduate research efforts in all disciplines

Encourage more students to get involved in research at ACU

Learn about the latest advances in several different fields

Cash prizes for top poster and paper presentations

Free lunch and dinner for student presenters and faculty mentors on April 12

What is Undergraduate Research?

An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline


Honors College and Office of Undergraduate Research, along with the Adams Center, the McNair Scholars Program and the Library. The McNair office plans to print posters for students at no cost to the presenters.

On the Web: See link at

Contact Person: Dr. Greg Powell,

Ryan Alford

0 Commentsby   |  01.31.10  |  Alumni Spotlight, Announcements

ryanalfordIn December of 1999, I graduated from ACU with a degree in English.  Happily married and comfortably ignorant, my only plans at the time involved finding a job in my home state of Colorado.  I also had aspirations to attend the University of Denver’s Publishing Institute.  Soon after graduating, my wife Emily and I moved to Denver.  I then inadvertently pushed the fast-forward button on my life:

2000: Worked as a freelance writer and editor (trying to build my publishing portfolio) and successfully graduated from the Denver Publishing Institute:

2001: Landed a job as the Assistant Editor for a company called Media Business Corp

2003: My son, Hayden Thomas, was born (Sept. 16)

2003: Created Snowshoe Magazine – a publication devoted to the sport of snowshoeing:

2005: Bought a house

2005: Lost my job with Media Business Corp and found a new job with OpenTV as the Technical Writer

2005: My daughter, Lola Love, was born (Oct. 22)

2006: Decided to leave OpenTV for a job with Quiznos as the Corporate Communications Manager

2009: Lost my job with Quiznos and decided to move to Texas for a job with ColorTyme as the Public Relations and Communications Specialist

2010: Moved back to Colorado for a job with as the Internet Marketing Manager

2010: Trying to get some sleep

I’m glad to be back in Colorado – as you can see in the photo.  This brief timeline of my personal and professional life should illustrate one thing: Anything can happen.   I believe that my ACU education helped me build a nice foundation for my future, the unexpected and all.

Today, I’m employed by a software company as its social media and digital marketing expert.  Way unexpected!  But it shouldn’t be.  Writers and editors are becoming successful marketers – it’s a natural fit.  And Snowshoe Magazine is booming!  That was expected.  Earning my English degree at ACU was the best decision I ever made.  The rest was gravy.


Chris Willerton

0 Commentsby   |  01.31.10  |  Announcements, Faculty Spotlight

WillertonEdinb09Dr. Chris Willerton came to ACU in 1970, fresh from his BA at TCU and his MA at the University of North Carolina. He went back to UNC in 1973 for doctoral work, returned to ACU in 1976, and hasn’t budged. In 1985 he became founding director of the ACU Honors Program. Having overseen its transition to Honors College, he phased out of administration in spring 2010 and continues as professor of English and Honors Studies.

His publications range over computer hypertext, honors education, Stone-Campbell heritage, and Texas writers. His conference papers and panels have dealt with honors education and with intersections of Christianity and literature. He has directed a creative writing circuit and served as president of the Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature and the Great Plains Honors Council. He has been subject to fits of performance poetry, presenting his work with photography, computer animation, and martial arts.

Lately Dr. Willerton has moved into popular culture, studying detective fiction and theology. His special-topics course “Saints and Detectives” (spring 2009) led students through Chesterton, Christie, Greene, Sayers, Eliot, and others and required students to write their own radio mysteries. His spring 2010 sabbatical focuses on Dorothy L. Sayers’ mystery novels and theological writings. After delivering a Sayers paper in New York City, he will study Sayers material at the Wade Center at Wheaton College.

Word in English Classroom

A good summary of his advice on teaching appears in The Word in the English Classroom: Best Practices of Faith Integration (ed. Dessart and Gambill). “All politics is local, said Tip O’Neill. So is teaching. The challenge of integrating faith and learning is always embodied in particular students in a particular place.” He goes on to show how his courses are “shaped by the clientele and the culture at Abilene Christian University.” His courses “Literature and Belief,” “Irish Genius,” and “Saints and Detectives” have alarmed some and pleased many by confronting modern literary works.

Dr. Willerton and his wife Sharon, a family nurse practitioner, love to travel in the UK and to visit their three grown children and one grandchild. They attend the University Church of Christ.

Hear Dr. Willerton read his poetry on Poet’s Corner


ACU Students Win Creative Writing Contests in 2009

0 Commentsby   |  01.27.10  |  Announcements, Shinnery Review, Student Spotlight

Three students from Abilene Christian University won awards in The Conference on Christianity and Literature’s 2009 student creative writing contest. One student won an award in College Language Association creative writing contest.

Brent DillBrent Dill has been awarded first place in fiction for his short story, “Community Theatre.” Nicole Mazzarella, author of This Heavy Silence and this year’s final judge in fiction, made this comment about Dill’s work: “In the tradition of ‘Miss Brill,’ ‘Community Theater’ reveals the desires of Elaine through her close observations of setting and other characters.  The writer demonstrates mastery of setting as it adds to the narrative tension and expands our understanding of Elaine.   This writer takes great care with all of the minor characters; they are believable, unique, and significant.”

Jessica GeorgeJessica George has been awarded third place in fiction for her short story “Popsicles and Cigarettes.” Mazzarella made this comment on George’s short story: “The retrospective narrator of “Popsicles & Cigarettes” avoids intrusion and nostalgia instead we enter the complexities of young adolescence. The complications created by the father’s unemployment rightfully become the back drop for the young boy’s concerns about friendship, zip lines, and cigarettes. Yet the family’s tensions clearly influence the young man’s choices and his feelings of responsibility toward his family at the end.  I was drawn into this coming of age story and admired the writer’s portrayal of youthful friendships.” Hear Jessica George read her poetry on KACU’s Poet’s Corner.

Danielle BeschDanielle Besch was awarded second place in poetry for her poems entitled “Matthew 27:46,” “First Night,” and “Summer Sweet Corn.” Susanna Childress, Director of CCL’s 2009 Creative Writing Contest, said: “Please congratulate the winners, who are being sent notification today, and spread this good news to your department. It speaks highly of your creative writers and creative writing faculty to have two winners among the many fine entries!”  Hear Danielle Besch read her poetry on Poet’s Corner on KACU.

Tifanee JacksonTifanee Jackson earned second place for her poems in College Language Association creative writing contest. Dr. Rhonda Collier nominated Tifanee Jackson for the contest. Tifanee began writing poetry in Professor Haley’s creative writing class in fall 2008.  Prof. Haley says: “Tifanee’s poems are amazing–they’re both lyrical and compellingly gritty. From the beginning she had a strong poetic voice and something unique to say.”

Graduate Student Announcements 1/25/2010

0 Commentsby   |  01.25.10  |  Announcements, Graduate

February 3, 2010: GSA Pizza Luncheon

As the Graduate Students Association, we feel that we must help our graduate students during their time here, one of our favorite ways to do this is to provide pizza for all graduate students who want to come and eat. We will resume the tradition of the GSA pizza luncheon in the Rotunda of the Bible building. Please join us at 11:30am, and enjoy the food and fellowship. We hope to see you there!

February 8, 2010: Travel Reimbursement Requests Due

Travel Reimbursement Requests for graduate students going/presenting at conferences are due by Feb. 8, 2010. Like last semester, the GSA will cover 50% of the costs. You can submit your online request at

Graduate Chapel meets every Wednesday  at 11:00 a.m. in the Chapel on the Hill. Join us for this special time of worship and reflection.

The Shinnery Review — NOW accepting submissions

0 Commentsby   |  01.25.10  |  Announcements, Shinnery Review

Shinnery Submission Time is Here!

If you have any art, photography, poetry, fiction, or nonfiction you would like to submit for possible publication in the 2010 edition of The Shinnery Review, email it to We are also accepting audio submissions for the first time, like spoken word or musical pieces!

The deadline for submissions is February 15, so send in your stuff soon!

English Scholarships

0 Commentsby   |  01.25.10  |  Announcements, Scholarship


The English Department at ACU offers the scholarships listed below to English and English-Education majors on a competitive basis.  To be eligible, students must be juniors, seniors, or graduate students when applying and must plan to return to ACU in the fall after the scholarship award is announced in the spring.  Previous recipients of scholarships are invited to reapply. The amount of the awards varies from $1000 to $1500 per semester.

The Watson Scholarship
  • Awarded for character, scholarship, and need
The Garrett-Watson Scholarship
  • Awarded to an English major with at least a 3.0 GPA
The Ellis Scholarship
  • Awarded to students with unusual potential in the profession of English whether in writing, teaching, editing, or other areas
The Mima Williams Scholarship
  • Awarded to excellent students of language and literature with creative and social competence who plan to teach and who are good all-around students
  • Recipients should plan to teach in either college, middle school, or high school; have a record of compliance with university rules; have an outstanding moral and spiritual reputation; excel academically but also be well-rounded, not strictly an English scholar; and show unusual potential as a teacher.  Need is not a factor.
The Jack Welch Scholarship
  • Award based on character, academic ability, and financial need

How to Apply

  1. Prepare a one-page letter of application outlining your eligibility for an English scholarship.  Be sure to describe your career goals, your financial need (if applicable), activities that indicate your good character, and your academic performance while enrolled at ACU.  Also, please detail any scholarly work you have done or scholarly activities you have been involved in (e.g., original research, paper presented or published, awards or publication for creative writing, participation in a conference).
  2. Prepare a one-page résumé outlining your academic work, your extracurricular activities, and your employment history.
  3. Submit the resume and letter of application to Dr. Shankle, ACU Box 28252 or Chambers 308.

Deadline:  February 26

Nancy Shankle

0 Commentsby   |  01.22.10  |  Faculty Spotlight

Nancy 09aDr. Nancy Shankle, professor of English, is in her 20th year at Abilene Christian University, having served 5 years as Director of Composition, 2 years as Scholar-in-Residence, and 18 years as Director of Writing Across the Curriculum.  She is in her 10th year as Chair of the English Department.

Dr. Shankle began her university teaching career as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M University—Commerce.  She also served as lecturer, Assistant Director in the Writing Center, and graduate assistant at Texas A&M University, College Station.

Transforming WordDr. Shankle completed her doctoral studies at Texas A&M University, studying early American literature, rhetoric and composition, and linguistics.  For her dissertation, she edited 3 sermons by colonial preacher George Whitefield and completed a bibliography of his extant sermons.  Dr. Shankle has also published in linguistics and grammar anxiety and co-edited The Transforming Word: A One-Volume Commentary on the Bible.

Married for more than 36 years, Dr. Shankle is now widowed.  She and her late husband John have two grown children and a granddaughter, Natalie.

Dr. Shankle worships at Hillcrest Church of Christ.  When Dr. Shankle is not working or caring for her family, she enjoys personal fitness, reading, and playing Words with Friends.


2 Job Opportunities, 1-22-2010

0 Commentsby   |  01.22.10  |  Announcements, Job & Volunteer Opportunities

Picture 1There are 2 recent job posting positions for English majors.  Both positions are listed in CareerLink.

BookPros, LLC in Austin has need of an Editor (Full-time or Part-time) in Austin; apply by Feb 11

Ramar Communications (FOX 34 News and Good Day Lubbock, KJTV Lubbock) is looking for a creative and energetic off-line editor; apply by Feb 12

For more information, contact

Daniel Orozco
Associate Director – Career Center
Abilene Christian University
230 Hunter Welcome Center
ACU Box 27914
Abilene, TX 79699-7914
325-674-6909 Direct Office
325-674-2473 Main Office

English Chapel on Jan. 26

0 Commentsby   |  01.11.10  |  Announcements, Department Chapel

Laura Carroll_3Dr. Laura Carroll will speak on “Ears to Hear” at English Chapel on Tuesday, January 26, in BSB 130.