English Department

Welcome to the English Department at Bowling Green State University. One of the largest and most diverse departments on campus, the English Department offers degree paths and minors in Literature, Creative Writing, Rhetoric and Writing, and other areas. Students in English take classes with passionate and committed teachers who have dedicated themselves to the study of language and literature and the creation of original works of scholarship, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Our graduate programs complement our undergraduate programs and provide additional opportunities for professional development. There has never been a better time to develop the skills offered by the study of English. Critical thinking, creative expression, breadth of mind, an aptitude for understanding cultural differences, the capacity to perform research, and the ability to write with clarity and grace, are in demand from employers.

We hope you’ll join us and write here!


English Minor Graduate Accepts Position with AmeriCorp's VISTA Program

Ian Richmond (BA in Spanish, with an English minor, Class of 2023), recently accepted a position with AmeriCorps’s VISTA program at National Louis University’s Thrive Center Food Pantry in Chicago. AmeriCorps is a prestigious, nationally and internationally recognized organization that employs recently graduated students and places them in under-resourced public school districts and community-based projects at college and universities throughout the country. As a member of the AmeriCorps team, Ian will further develop the infrastructure of the Thrive Center Food Pantry to better serve the University’s under-resourced students. His responsibilities will range from training volunteers to publicizing the Thrive Center’s resources and learning how to better respond to the needs of NLU’s students.

As Ian shared with us, the skills he developed through his English classes served him greatly during the interview process. “I think there are so many ways English majors and minors can articulate their experiences that project competency in areas that employers value.”

MFA  Candidate Receives Hank Fellowship

Congratulations to Jane Elizabeth Wageman! Jane Wageman, a rising second-year MFA candidate in Fiction, received one of Loyola University Chicago's prestigious Hank Fellowships in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition. This summer fellowship will allow her to develop her novel, The Mind is a Real Thing. As Wageman writes, "this is a novel that explores questions about knowledge and uncertainty through the story of a large Catholic family in the Midwest. In the novel, the family acts as a natural site to examine how shared belief can diverge radically, as the various family members relate to their faith in distinct ways. The family also serves as a context for the characters to grapple with knowledge: how well they know one another, but also the degree to which they know themselves. A seemingly minor car accident serves as a catalyst for these questions. No one is physically harmed, but it prompts the son who was driving to wonder whether he unconsciously willed the crash, while also precipitating the mental breakdown of his mother. As the narrative depicts the aftermath of the accident and delves into the past, it raises questions about the nature of the mind, the degree to which we control and know our own thoughts, and the tensions between belief and doubt." 

Recent graduate of Masters Online English and Creative Writing Certificate Program has poem published in the Cincinnati Review. 

Read The Article Here!

College Magazine names BFA program 4th ranked program in the country! 

Read The Article Here! 

News and Stories

ENG 3430 Visits Crim Elementary to Share Picture Books

Amanda McGuire Rzicznek was recently interviewed about her English 3430 Picture Book Workshop class. 

Read the Article Here!

Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen, Associate Professor of English at BGSU, spoke at the United Nations on Friday, February 10th.

Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen, Associate Professor of English at BGSU, spoke at the United Nations on Friday, February 10th. Dr. Wells-Jensen’s testimony came as part of the 8th International Day of Women & Girls in Science Assembly. Dr. Wells-Jensen is also currently serving as the Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology, Exploration, and Scientific Innovation at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress. She has also recently worked as a linguistic consultant at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as part of the Clipper Project, flown on zero gravity flights with NASA, and worked as ground support crew for flyers with disabilities aboard other zero-g missions. Congratulations, Sheri, and thank you for your remarkable service!

watch here

Paul Kei Matsuda Visited BGSU to Speak About Language Assessment

The University Writing Program (UWP) and T/ESOL Program collaborated to bring Paul Kei Matsuda, one of the biggest scholars in T/ESOL and Rhetoric and Writing Studies, to BGSU. Paul Kei Matsuda is Professor of English and Director of Second Language Writing at Arizona State University. His research centers around second language writing, a transdisciplinary field of inquiry that integrates theoretical and methodological insights from both language studies and writing studies. 

Read more

English Faculty Win Faculty Senate Faculty Recognition Awards

Congratulations to the following faculty on their Faculty Senate Faculty Recognition Awards!

Dr. Sue Carter Wood: Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey: Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. Jolie Sheffer: Faculty Mentor Award

Ann Westrick: named Professor of Teaching Excellence

Sam Burt

MFA Candidate, Sam Burt, Selected as a 2022 AWP Journals Project Award Winner

Congratulations to Sam Burt, MFA candidate in poetry, for being selected for the AWP Intro Journals Project.

His poem "Hunter's Moon" will be published by the Colorado Review.

Jeevani Sammeta has been selected as the 2022 Outstanding International Teaching Associate

Jeevani is being recognized for her work as a TI in the School of Media and Communication, and specifically, for her positions as the instructor of record in Introduction to Public Speaking (COMM 1020), Organizational Communication (COMM 3070), Visual Editing (JOUR 3150).

In addition to the certificate of acknowledgment, Jeevani also will receive a $750 honorarium to recognize her exceptional achievement.

The goal of the Outstanding International Teaching Assistant/Associate award is to recognize the contributions that international graduate students bring to BGSU, and we are delighted that Jeevani is the second award recipient from the School of Media and Communication. It is an honor to present this award today, especially given the fact that the award was exceptionally competitive, with the number of applicants tripling since the previous, inaugural, year.

The committee members were impressed with Jeevani’s application materials which demonstrated her professional growth, global mindset, and her commitment to teaching. Jeevani’s class materials exemplify her thoughtful process of aligning activities with course learning objectives and reflecting on-action and for-action (Murphy, 2014). Jeevani’s students praise her for the dedication to exposing them to her cultural background by integrating various components of Indian film and language into her classes. For example, one student wrote:

Something that I’ve taken from class with Jeevani is the concept of jugaad: “a flexible approach to problem solving that uses limited resources in an innovative way” (Oxford Languages).

Another student highlighted Jeevani’s responsiveness to student feedback and her commitment to helping students develop their interests:

Ms. Sammeta always balanced her responsibilities of pushing students to complete work that reflected their highest effort, while also showing understanding and compassion to students who may be experiencing a situation that is interfering with their academic performance.


This student also provided an example:


While completing our unit on organizational change, Ms. Sammeta conducted an activity that required each table in the class to develop and share with the rest of the class an instructional activity that would exemplify specified concepts from the chapter. My table was assigned organizational mergers, and I took the lead in planning an activity that helped demonstrate the difficulties of maintaining and negotiating identity during a merger; after class, Ms. Sammeta approached our table to ask who developed the idea’s core concept and later scheduled a Zoom call with me to further develop the idea for presentation as a GIFTS paper…. This is beyond the norm of what might be traditionally expected of Ms. Sammeta as an instructor, especially as a graduate instructor who has her own academic workload to manage.

Join me in congratulating Jeevani on her accomplishment.

Read more about the award!

Sharona Muir wins University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize

Congratulations to Sharona Muir!

The University of New Orleans Press announces that Sharona Muir was the winner of the 7th Annual University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize.  

Read Press Release Here.

The English for Speakers of Other Languages Program is delighted to announce a call for Outstanding ITA Award nominations. The purpose of this award is to honor one graduate International Teaching Associate or Assistant (ITA) at Bowling Green State University each year who has demonstrated excellence in instructional capacities.  

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in English are expected to be able to:

  • Use writing effectively—including current modes and evolving techniques and technologies—to explore subject matter and to communicate;
  • Develop understanding of subject matter in relation to larger historical and/or cultural contexts, including multicultural contexts;
  • Make connections between theory and practice. Students apply theory to understand texts, solve problems, and teach effectively, and/or students generalize from experiences with texts, communication situations and teaching situations;
  • Develop skills of creative and/or critical thinking.

Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The English program went through Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2016-17.

Professional Licensure (If applicable)
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The English program does not lead to professional licensure.

Gainful Employment (If applicable)     
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The English program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.

Updated: 07/03/2024 04:01PM