Archive for ‘Student Spotlight’

Congratulations to our May 2010 MA graduates

0 Commentsby   |  04.27.10  |  Announcements, Student Spotlight

Katie Condra
Todd Womble
Perry Harrison
Brittany Whitstone

Congratulations Class of 2010

0 Commentsby   |  04.27.10  |  Announcements, Student Spotlight

Twenty-four English majors will graduate in May 2010.

Grant Boston

Erin Bracken

Brent Dill

Kasey Dobbs

Ty Elrod

Tara Elzey

Cameron Enlow

Megan Faver Hartline

Megan Hale

Erin Halstead

Mary Hardegree

Jamalin Harp

Jenna Henderson

JaneAnn Kenney

Kimberly Lewis

Thomas Madrid

Angela Maimon

Lydia Melby

Grant Perkins

Nicole Songstad

Tiffany Turner

Brittany Anderson

Kristofer Heiderich

ACU Undergraduate Research Festival 2010

0 Commentsby   |  04.26.10  |  Announcements, Student Spotlight

Congratulations to six English majors who presented papers at ACU’s Undergraduate Research Festival.

Allison Fowler, “Instances of Anger: The Tool of Anger in Little Women.”  Faculty Mentor: Dr. Dana McMichael

Erin Halstead, “The Authoritarian Voice in the Speech of College-Aged Women.”  Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nancy Shankle.  Erin received a commendation for Outstanding Oral Presentation in Arts and Humanities at the awards ceremony.

Joel Dallas, “Return of the Thought Police: 1984 or 2010?” Faculty Mentor: Dr. Laura Carroll

Joshua Alkire, “‘Literally’ Speaking: Reason, Metaphor, and Exaggeration in Conflict.” Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bill Carroll

Megan Faver Hartline, “I Am Girl, Hear Me Squeak.” Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bill Carroll

Katherine Sinclair, “The Monster Within: The Role of roman Catholic Concepts of Sin in The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Faculty Mentor: Dr. Bill Carroll

Congratulations University Scholars, 2010

0 Commentsby   |  04.26.10  |  Announcements, Student Spotlight

The Faculty Senate selects 50 of the top academic students from across the campus and recognizes them in an award ceremony in April.  This year, the Faculty Senate selected 4 English majors for this prestigious award.

Joshua Alkire

Josh AlkireJosh is a double major in English and Biblical text with an outstanding record of scholarship that is evidenced by his 4.0 GPA asw ell as a remarkable record of research and conference presentations.  In the Spring semester of 2010, Joshua represented ACU at two separate conferences, both of which have rigorous selection criteria.  One of his papers was accepted for the national conference of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Majors’ Honor Society.

Erin Halstead

Erin is active in the honors program and has completed two honors contracts: her first work was entitled “Gender Discourse in the ACU classroom” and the second “The Longer We Learn English, the More English We Forget: Demotivation in the ESL Classroom.”  She is now conducting research among college-aged women for her honors capstone project called “The Authoritarian Voice in the Talk of College-aged Women.”

Megan Faver Hartline

ENG1 223Megan’s Honors Capstone project explores the shift in the construction of feminine gender in popular children’s literature from the late 19th century to those constructed in contemporary children’s texts.  Her work demonstrates a burden for justice as she discsses how our stories define roles for our girls that often cage rather than free them.  One of her professors says: “I admire Megan’s scholarship.  Its strength distinguishes it from the work of her peers.”

Lydia Melby

Picture 1According to her professors, Lydia Melby is “one of the most academically distinguished of the current English majors; and with her awards and publications she has become the English Department’s most successful creative writing student of the past ten years.”  She won awards for her short story “And We Were Gone,” at the Christianity and Literature Contest and at the Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers Contest.  She was accepted into the prestigious CCCU program, Best Semester, and studied in Oxford.

Todd Womble

0 Commentsby   |  04.09.10  |  Student Spotlight

Picture 4

Todd Womble

Major: English

Minor: History

Hometown: Abilene

Career Goal: Professor

1. What do you appreciate the most about the ACU English curriculum? I really enjoyed all of the upper-level English classes because of the books that we read and mainly because of my professors. The English professors are all great and they definitely are the reason that I enjoyed my time in the department.

2. Why did you become an English major? After spending two years being undecided, I realized that what I really liked to do was read and write. It just seemed right to be an English major, I didn’t want to be in business or anything else.

3. What advice would you give to future English majors? Take advantage of the professors and also the Literature classes. Don’t be afraid to speak up in class and share your opinions, however different you might think they are from everybody else’s. Even though it is at a small Christian university, the English department is very open and encouraging to new ideas and thoughts.

4. How has studying English prepared you for your career goals? My time in the English department has greatly increased my love for Literature and also for writing about books and stories that I have read, which is a great basis on which I can work to get my Master’s and PhD and hopefully go on to be a professor at a university someday. I believe that there is no greater way to learn than by reading, and no better way to display your knowledge than by writing. Studying English extensively has given me a firm academic foundation.

Students Present at Honors Conference

0 Commentsby   |  04.01.10  |  Announcements, Student Spotlight

Three ACU English majors who are also Honors College students presented papers at the Great Plains Honors Council’s 2010 Conference, held March 26-27 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Great Plains Honors Council, an associate of the National Collegiate Honors Council, is the regional organization which serves Honors programs at universities in a six-state region. The annual conference was attended by over 250 students, faculty, and staff from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska. Students and faculty from any discipline are welcome to submit papers and panel presentations.

Josh Alkire

Joshua Alkire

Joshua Alkire, senior English and family ministries major from Abilene, received a Boe award for his paper, entitled “The Face of the Man: Fumie and Christian Art in Shusaku Endo’s Silence.” The Boe award recognizes “outstanding scholarly work” among undergraduate papers presented at the conference, according to Alkire examined portraits of Christ through the eyes of a fictional Portuguese Jesuit, Sebastião Rodrigues, the lead character in Shusaku Endo’s Silence. Alkire said Rodrigues’ perception of Christ changes as he observes persecuted Japanese Christians, who were being pressured to renounce their faith by stepping on a picture of Christ.

Alkire said he understood the novel more deeply once he researched the Japanese images of Christ, called fumie, for himself. “It’s a small piece of blackened wood, dirtied from so many people stepping on it,” Alkire said. “The face of Christ in Japanese art during the 17th century is this humiliated, worn-down Christ.”

ENG1 223

Megan Faver

Megan Faver Hartline examined the commercialization of weddings in her paper, “The Most Important, and Now Commercialized, Day of Your Life.” Hartline—who was married just last summer—noted how wedding planners, marketing agencies, and a consortium of service providers have “changed the wedding ceremony from a sacrament into an industry.” Her paper pointed out that bridal magazines and salespersons are quick to label practices that date back only a few years as important wedding “traditions.”

Oscar Wilde’s well known novel of corruption was the subject of Katherine Sinclair’s presentation “The Monster Within: The Role of Roman Catholic Concepts of Sin in The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Sinclair, senior English major from Abilene, said she identified with the themes in the novel. “Dorian Gray doesn’t realize the terrible things he’s doing to everyone,” Sinclair said. “That’s just human nature.”


Katherine Sinclair

Sinclair said compiling this scholarly presentation was the first time she felt her writing rose above a simple reiteration of something she had read before. She also appreciated the opportunity to present her paper through powerpoint and a concise oral summary. The ability to be able to think through and present one’s own ideas is essential to any communicator, Sinclair said. “I think presenting papers is something all English majors should do, regardless of what career they enter.”

Alkire also valued the resume-building preparation for graduate school and career that the conference afforded—even more than the $200 check he received as part of the Boe award. “I counted up the hours I spent revising it, and I think I got a little over minimum wage,” Alkire said. Still, he noted, that was “more than you get for most papers.”

The students were accompanied to Tulsa by Dr. Joe Stephenson, interim Dean of the Honors College, and Mrs. Stephanie Smith, Honors College advisor. “We are very happy these students got to present their research at the conference,” said Stephenson, who is also an Assistant Professor of English. The Honors College paid for the registration, hotel, transportation, and meals for the students. “The ACU papers were among the best at the conference,” said Stephenson, who added it was “no surprise that three of the four papers accepted to the conference were from English. The students had obviously been prepared well by their work with English faculty members.” Josh Alkire’s paper had been prepared for a class with Dr. Steven Weathers; Megan Faver Hartline’s paper for a class Dr. Laura Carrol; and Katherine Sinclair’s with Dr. Bill Carrol.

Christianna Lewis of the ACU Optimist helped prepare this press release.

Andrea Lucado

0 Commentsby   |  02.05.10  |  Announcements, Student Spotlight

Major: English

Minor: none

Hometown: San Antonio

Career Goal: graduate school, Editor or English/Creative Writing teacher

1. What do you appreciate the most about the ACU English curriculum? I have read books from every time period, genre and location. The classes have allowed me to understand the world’s prospective on literature instead of just my own. Class discussions, readings and writing assignments have given me a better sense of what I believe and why.

2. Why did you become an English major? Because I had a love for reading an writing and wanted to learn as much about it as I could.

3. What advice would you give to future English majors? Be prepared to read a lot and always have an open mind. You don’t have to agree with an author in order to appreciate his or her work.

4. How has studying English prepared you for your career goals? You have be very self-motivated to be an English major, and I have developed this over the past four years, making me feel ready to enter a self-propelled graduate program.

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.”

Inkwell Poetry Slam

0 Commentsby   |  01.24.10  |  Student Spotlight

Now on iTunes U

Now on iTunes U

Last semester students from Al Haley’s Poetry Workshop performed original pieces in the Inkwell Poetry Slam. If you weren’t able to attend, take a few minutes to enjoy  selections that express deep insight, playful speculation, and gripping honesty. Thanks to all the student participants for sharing their voice with the campus.

Careers in Publishing


0 Commentsby   |  09.04.09  |  Student Spotlight