The English department faculty, staff, and students are always busy. While current news is featured on the department home page, past events, articles, and announcements can be found here. Be sure to check back frequently to keep up with English department events!

Recent News and Events

Interview with Andrew Hogle, ‘23

1.  Tell us a little about yourself (fun facts, background, experiences, etc.).

Hello! My name is Andrew Hogle! I am a 23’ Alumnus of BGSU where I studied World Language Education, with an emphasis in Spanish, and minored in TESOL & Applied Linguistics. I am originally from the Greater Toledo area and still live and work here. I love to cook, travel, read and of course learn! A fun fact about me is I studied abroad through the BGSU in Spain program in Alcalá de Henares.

2.  How would you describe your educational and professional journey? How and why did you end up where you are now?

I have always known I wanted to be a teacher ever since I took my first Spanish class in 8th grade, so I constantly took opportunities to improve my language abilities and to prepare myself to be a strong educator that can instill a passion for language in others. I decided to continue my education at BGSU in the World Language Education program so I could achieve my dream of becoming a Spanish teacher. This opened up so many opportunities for me professionally and personally. I was able to study abroad and teach English in Spain, partake in numerous internships, and it led me to the current Spanish teaching position I have. But, most importantly, I was able to pursue a minor in TESOL and Applied Linguistics, which has truly changed my projected educational and professional career.

3. What made you initially decide to pursue TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor?

I stumbled on the TESOL & Applied Linguistics minor by accident! I was put on a waitlist for one of my Spanish classes, so I wanted to fill it with a class that would be beneficial to my major. A friend of mine took Linguistics for English Teachers [in the new minor curriculum this course is called LING 2900: Introduction to Linguistics] and recommended that I take it, so I enrolled and I am so glad that I did! In the course, I truly learned so much and discovered the fascinating field that is Linguistics. After taking one course, I knew for a fact that I wanted to pursue the TESOL & Applied Linguistics minor because the professors were so insightful and had such a passion for it!

4.  During your time pursuing TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor, did you have a favorite course? What made it so special?

I honestly can’t decide if I had a favorite course while pursuing the minor. Every class truly was so informative and engaging, I can’t choose a favorite! Each one was special for its own reason, whether it was choosing a language and conducting research on its phonology in Applied Phonology [in the new minor curriculum this course is called LING 3140: Teaching Listening, Speaking, and Pronunciation], or giving a lesson based on a certain TESOL methodology in TESOL Methods. They’re all my favorite!

5.  What were the most impactful experiences for you in working toward the TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor at BGSU?

The most impactful experience for me working toward the TESOL & Applied Linguistics minor was definitely learning from our experienced professors, but also those who were taking the courses with me. I was able to make so many meaningful connections with the professors and other students who were also pursuing the minor. These connections helped me become more involved at BGSU as well as helped me determine that I wanted to pursue higher education in the Linguistics field.

6.  How has obtaining TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor impacted/supported your current work, if at all? How do you think you’ll be able to use the knowledge gained through TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor in the future (or how you use it now)?

Currently as a Spanish Teacher, I have a couple of Spanish-students who are English language learners. These students are already familiar with a lot of the concepts that I am teaching in class, so while others are working on their Spanish language acquisition, I can help my native speakers with their English language acquisition. The ability to do this was most definitely supported by obtaining my TESOL & Applied Linguistics minor.

7.  What is your educational and/or professional goal at the moment?

My dream all throughout my highschool and undergraduate career was to become a high school Spanish teacher. Teaching Spanish this year was truly an amazing experience, but because of this passion for Linguistics that has been instilled in me because of the minor, I will actually be returning to school in fall 2024. I will be continuing my academic career at Georgetown University where I will obtain my MA in Language and Communication, which is a Sociolinguistics based program. My current goal now is to eventually earn my PhD in Linguistics and become a linguistics professor at a University!

8.  Finally, do you have any suggestions for students who are considering working toward TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor?

If you have any interest in taking a TESOL or Applied Linguistics course, do it! Working toward this minor changed my entire career path, and it might just do the same for you!

Andrew Hogle 

Casey Oates

Interview with Casey Oates, ‘23

1.      Tell us a little about yourself (fun facts, background, experiences, etc.). I just graduated with a Spanish major and TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor and am now applying to grad school to be an Early Child Intervention Specialist. I studied in Spain for one semester through BGSU study abroad and while I was there I volunteered at the immigration center as an English teacher.

2.      How would you describe your educational and professional journey? How and why did you end up where you are now? My educational journey was not very direct. I first studied engineering at the University of Cincinnati and realized the hyper competitive field was not for me and I wanted to work in something collaborative. I chose Spanish and TESOL & Applied Linguistics because I had enjoyed studying Spanish in high school and wanted to have the opportunity to teach abroad. At BGSU I had the opportunity to study and volunteer in Spain and from this experience I learned that I really do want to be a teacher.

3.      What made you initially decide to pursue TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor? I had decided to switch majors to Spanish with a minor in TESOL & Applied Linguistics because after disliking the competitive nature of my previous minor I wanted to study and eventually work in a collaborative field. After taking a few classes I realized I found the material really interesting and useful in my volunteer work.

4.      During your time pursuing TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor, did you have a favorite course? What made it so special? I had two favorite courses: Applied Syntax [in the new minor curriculum it is replaced with ENG 3810: Grammar and Writing] and Methods for TESOL. I really enjoyed the small class sizes for our discussions. It was great to have the chance to hear everyone's thoughts on each topic.

5.      What were the most impactful experiences for you in working toward the TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor at BGSU? Learning how to create a lesson plan has been one of the most impactful things, because it was a necessary skill when I taught in Spain.

6.      How has obtaining TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor impacted/supported your current work, if at all? How do you think you’ll be able to use the knowledge gained through TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor in the future (or how you use it now)? I am currently working in sign production, but TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor has impacted my plan for study. After taking education and linguistics courses I learned that I found the material really interesting and that I liked that my work would be impactful on people’s learning journeys.

7.      What is your educational and/or professional goal at the moment? My current goal is to get into grad school for an Early Child Intervention Specialist program and then become a teacher. With my combination of TESOL education and education for students with disabilities, I hope that I can support students with diverse backgrounds and skills sets succeed in school.

8.      Finally, do you have any suggestions for students who are considering working toward TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor? Go for it. The classes are fun and engaging. The material is applicable in real life so the concepts feel less abstract. The courses I took for this minor were some of my favorites I took in college.

Ryan Photo 

Tell us a little about yourself (fun facts, background, experiences, etc.).

I am from Dearborn Heights, Michigan, and graduated from BGSU in December 2022 with a B.A. in Spanish and a minor in TESOL & Applied Linguistics. I spent my last semester studying abroad in Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain with BGSU’s study abroad program! In the summer, you can find me kayaking on the Great Lakes’ shores and in the winter, skiing down Mt. Holly in Michigan.

How would you describe your educational and professional journey? How and why did you end up where you are now?

My brief professional journey has led me to a diverse range of students! While at BGSU, I volunteered with La Conexión to teach English to immigrants of all ages from countries such as Ecuador, Syria, and Uzbekistan. at the First Presbyterian Church in Bowling Green. While abroad in Spain, I taught two different English classes- one at a primary school with students between ages 7-10 and another at a local labor union with adults between ages 40-65.

I loved studying in Spain so much that I had to go back- so I decided to apply for the North American Language and Culture Assistants Program (NALCAP) to teach English in Spain as a language assistant. Currently, I am at a secondary school in Aranjuez, home to one of the many royal palaces across the Madrid area, and teach students from 7th to 10th grade.

What made you initially decide to pursue TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor?

After declaring my major as Spanish, I needed to declare a minor. To be honest, I did not know anything about linguistics besides that it was related to language in some way, so I chose TESOL & Applied Linguistics to complement my major. While enrolled in LING 3800 Linguistics for English Teachers [in the new minor curriculum it is LING 2900: Introduction to Linguistics] with Anastasiia Kryzhanivska, I quickly became fascinated with the material and by the end of the course, I was confident the TESOL & Applied Linguistics program was for me. I would recommend the TESOL & Applied Linguistics program for any student interested in language, education, or communication sciences & disorders.

During your time pursuing TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor, did you have a favorite course? What made it so special?

Yes! My favorite course was LING 4170 Applied Syntax [in the new minor curriculum it is replaced with ENG 3810: Grammar and Writing] with Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen. This was the course in the TESOL & Applied Linguistics minor that challenged me the most, especially since I had little prior knowledge of syntax. Oftentimes, we would examine ESL student sentences with grammatical errors and have to explain why they’re making that error- almost like solving a puzzle. We also got to analyze the syntaxes of languages around the globe and learn how different languages order their words. I truly learned a lot from this course!

What were the most impactful experiences for you in working toward the TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor at BGSU?

The most impactful experience I had was observing real ESL classes with Dr. Fernanda Capraro. As part of LING 4100 Methods of TESOL, all students were asked to attend an ESL class and reflect upon the teaching strategies used in class. While in Dr. Capraro’s class, I was able to witness how she engages each student to not only speak, but speak with confidence and clarity. This inspired and encouraged me to pursue the program further.

How has obtaining TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor impacted/supported your current work, if at all? How do you think you’ll be able to use the knowledge gained through TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor in the future (or how you use it now)?

I use the knowledge from the TESOL & Applied Linguistics program everyday at school. For example, some of my 9th grade students do a Model UN program and must debate and write proposals to solve global issues. For this program, I have had to teach English for specific purposes- in this case, formal debate language and the technical vocabulary required for whatever the topic is. My school also offers science classes in English, so I assist with some biology and anatomy classes, so I use English for specific purposes there as well.

As a language assistant, I mostly focus on conversation and speaking with my students. For my English classes, having a solid understanding of phonology and syntax is immensely useful for not just being able to identify errors, but to help the student speak more naturally and fluently.

What is your educational and/or professional goal at the moment?

I will be renewing my contract for the 2024-2025 school year but once I finish the NALCAP program, I would like to obtain my CELTA certification and continue teaching English abroad. The TESOL & Applied Linguistics program has definitely prepared me to pursue the next step in my professional life. Despite having already graduated, I know the TESOL & Applied Linguistics faculty will continue to support me and answer any questions or inquiries I might have.

Finally, do you have any suggestions for students who are considering working toward TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor?

Yes! If you are interested in the TESOL & Applied Linguistics program, I would recommend that you look into the introductory classes LING 2900 Introduction to Linguistics. Depending on your degree as well, this course may count as a multidisciplinary component so even if you do not enjoy it in the end, you will still be making progress towards your degree- and if you do enjoy it, you have found a great program!

Congratulations to our Undergraduate Award Winners!

Abby Maggi - Tom Wymer Thesis Award

Samuel Garcia - The English Major Award and The Paul D. Emery Book Award

Vanessa Grant - The Lowell P. Leland Book Award

UGRD Awards 2

Jada Thomas 

Tell us a little about yourself (fun facts, background, experiences, etc.).

I am 22 years old, born and raised in Ohio alongside my older brother and twin sister, and I have two French bulldogs and a cat. Some of my favorite hobbies are reading, writing, learning new languages (mainly studying Mandarin Chinese and Spanish), traveling, and listening to music. Due to circumstances, I have yet to travel outside of the States, but it is something I hope to do in the very near future!

How would you describe your educational and professional journey? How and why did you end up where you are now?

My educational and professional journey certainly was not without its trials and errors. There were many times that I found myself stuck at a crossroads, unsure of what direction to take. However, I kept my main goals in the forefront and after transferring to BGSU, I finally graduated with my bachelor’s in English Literature and a minor in TESOL & Applied Linguistics. I worked various part-time jobs, joined multiple clubs, and tried to expose myself to as much experience and new ideas as possible. Although I unfortunately missed out on studying abroad, it is something that I can always pursue in the future, and I am grateful for all the wonderful friends and acquaintances I made in my two years at BGSU. It took a lot of hard work to get where I am now, and I wouldn’t be the person I am without all the people supporting me.

What made you initially decide to pursue TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor?

I have always been deeply interested in other cultures and languages! Teaching also runs in my family, so it just made sense to combine all of those aspects and pursue the TESOL minor.

During your time pursuing TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor, did you have a favorite course? What made it so special?

All of the core TESOL courses I took were amazing, and I don’t say that lightly. This is due to the fact that the program has two incredibly intelligent and awesome instructors, Dr. Anastasiia Kryzhanivska and Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen! While I loved every class I took with them, in particular I really enjoyed Dr. Ana’s LING 3800: Linguistics for English Teachers and Dr. Sheri’s LING 5170: Applied Syntax. Dr. Ana and Dr. Sheri’s classes were always so much fun, engaging, and challenging in the best way possible.

What were the most impactful experiences for you in working toward the TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor at BGSU?

One of the best experiences that I had was joining the CCCC (Cross-Cultural Conversation Connection) program and I would probably have never even known about this opportunity if I hadn’t been a part of the TESOL minor. I am so grateful that I got to be a group leader within this club and make so many new friends!

I also loved so many of the different projects I got to work on, especially in Dr. Ana’s courses. I feel like I have gained so much knowledge and I loved collaborating with my classmates. The TESOL courses tend to have smaller class sizes, so it was super easy to become friends with my classmates!

How has obtaining TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor impacted/supported your current work, if at all? How do you think you’ll be able to use the knowledge gained through TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor in the future?

As a recent graduate of BGSU, I am continuing to work as a package handler at FedEx which is the job that I had while I was still in school. While TESOL doesn’t necessarily apply to my current job, I am only working this job temporarily while still searching for other careers in my free time. I am still unsure of exactly what career path I want to take but I know that I want to have as many experiences as possible and keep all my options open. The TESOL minor has allowed me to gain more connections and open my eyes to a much larger world. While I am still uncertain about my career path, I know that I can always further pursue teaching and TESOL one day because it is one of my passions and impacted me greatly.

What is your educational and/or professional goal at the moment?

While I am still uncertain about my educational/professional path, I do know that I am considering going back to school one day to pursue my master’s degree. As I got my bachelor’s in English Literature, I do intend to focus on getting a job in that field (perhaps in proofreading, editing, or writing). However, I do not see TESOL as strictly separate from English literature, and the two actually have much in common. For instance, in Dr. Sheri’s LING 2900: Language Study course, we discussed creating languages for books and novels, which would prove quite useful if I pursue writing, especially since I like adventure and fantasy literature.

Finally, do you have any suggestions for students who are considering working toward TESOL & Applied Linguistics Minor?

I’d say go for it! It is better to try something that you have an interest in rather than regretting never even giving it a chance. While TESOL may not be for everyone and it certainly has its challenging aspects, it is definitely a minor worth pursuing and you get out of it what you put into it. I’m so glad that I decided to go for a minor in TESOL and I hope more people can gain lots of knowledge and joy like I did.

Congratulations to the following winners of the CCCC Logo Contest!

  • 1st prize: Stefano Guidese
  • 2nd prize: Suman Astani
  • 3rd prize: Isela Reyes

See the winning logos!

Congratulations to PhD Candidate Krys Ingman! Krys won a GSS Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Award!

Read more about the award!

Mahdi Tahamtan has been selected as the 2021 Outstanding International Teaching Assistant.

Mahdi is being recognized for his work as a TA and TI for Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders (CDIS 1230).

Read more about Mahdi and the award!

Congratulations to Danielle Burkin!

Danielle was awarded the Classified Staff Council's Spirit of BG Award for April!

This award recognizes classified staff members' professionalism and work ethic.

Danielle's support of and care for the English Department's graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty is amazing and very much appreciated!

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

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

Congratulations to the following faculty members on their 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

Jessica Zinz-Cheresnick was recently interviewed about her new role as the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and the new Word+Image Minor for students. Read the interview below!

Tell us about the program!

The creative writing program at BGSU is one of the oldest established programs in the country. While "old" often takes on a negative connotation, we resist that. In this case, old means classic and prominent and so much better than brand new and untested. We're like a wine or cheese - the aged cheddar or the classic car. We emphasize the studio fine arts and offer courses for beginning creative writers but hope to show our students the community and value of workshop-style classes in our advanced creative writing courses. We have both a BFA and MFA program. As I am now Director of Undergraduate Studies, I will emphasize our new undergraduate minor - Word+Image. Please see the link here for more information, but I would love for you to join our Word+Images classes, especially our ENG 3150 Graphic Novel Workshop course. I am also very excited about our Capstone ENG 4960 Word and Image Studio for those finishing up the minor.

Read about the minor!

What is your vision for this role?

In this role as Director of Undergraduate Studies in Creative Writing, I hope to grow our program, support our undergraduate students, mentor all of our creative writing students, and foster excitement about the creative writing field. I want to connect with our undergraduate students in order to support their art, support their career goals, and offer all I know in the field. I hope to encourage more students to see creative writing as a valuable art, outlet, and writing genre. We can say so much more with words than their dictionary definitions suggest. As one of my favorite poets, Adrienne Rich, once said, "...where poetry is liberative language, connecting the fragments within us, connecting us to others like and unlike ourselves, replenishing our desire. . . . In poetry words can say more than they mean and mean more than they say."
I also hope to remind students of all the ways creative writing branches into other fields of education, career choices, and life. I want to connect with the students and grow our program in ways that benefits them and our faculty.

What do you want students to know?

As Director of Undergraduate Studies in Creative Writing, I want students to know that creative writing is an art. It is the art of writing, communication, connection, and expression. There are far more benefits to a creative writing degree, including how students get to share their ideas. I want students to know that their ideas matter. They are important parts of our society and the knowledge we gain. Creative Writing degrees are a way to gain confidence, explore techniques of writing, and keep our brains active. For me, creative writing, specifically writing poetry and making comics, is necessary. It is my sanity, my expression, my exhale and release. It helps me pay attention, especially to things I think need attention brought to them. I want our creative writing students to work to bring attention to things they think need that spot-light. Make us notice!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I hope that, in this position, I can motivate and support our creative writing students. I want them to feel supported in our circle of writers. I hope our faculty and students can feel motivated and inspired. I remember my creative writing cohort in both my undergraduate and graduate degree. To this day, they are some of the most important people in my life. I hope to encourage that among our creative writing students. We are a community of artists, writers, and thinkers. We need to bring light to the ways in which creative writing and the arts can convey ideas, messages, and information that is otherwise maybe too difficult to share. Creative writing genres have an ability to share those difficult subjects. As writers, we have the tools to share it. I hope to give more of those tools to students who seek to be the sharers in an attempt to understand one another.


Jessica Zinz-Cheresnick grew up in Meadville, PA. She holds a B.A. from Allegheny College and an M.F.A from Bowling Green State University. She teaches Creative Writing and WRIT courses at BGSU. She has published art, poetry, and hybrid poetry, most recently in RHINO MagazineHarpy Hybrid Review, and The Art Students League of New York. With a background in mixed media arts and creative writing, she practices and is interested in hybrid creative writing forms and visual poetry. Word and image collage, found poetry and arts, and comic-style hybrid work have been more recent focuses of her work. As an Associate Teaching Professor at BGSU, Jessica is an affiliate faculty member of the Creative Writing Program and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Creative Writing.

To view some of her word+image work, follow on Instagram @jessicadawnzinzart

Check out BGSU’s new undergraduate program in Rhetoric and Writing Studies and hear from Director Kimberly Spallinger

-written by Annie Cigic

Kimberly met virtually with Rhetoric and Writing Studies PhD student Annie Cigic to talk about Kimberly’s new role as the Undergraduate Director for the Rhetoric and Writing Studies Program. Keep reading to learn more about the new program and Kimberly’s vision and ideas!

The Rhetoric and Writing Studies Undergraduate Program is a new 18 credit hour minor for undergraduates. Kimberly further described the minor and how it highlights multimodal work and writing for different audiences. Kimberly talked about how the program also provides a framework for students to discover how their work applies to future careers, connects with different disciplines, and how it is beneficial for personal growth and professional identity.

The program has three core courses, which are ENG 2070: Intermediate Writing, ENG 3030: Writing in Context, and an internship course. Students will also choose three elective courses to take out of seven choices. Some examples include technical editing, literary editing and publishing, and children’s literature. The minor has numerous options for students to explore different types of writing and it offers space for students to share their experiences and participate in diverse writing experiences.

During the first year of this program, Kimberly hopes to learn from colleagues and graduate students and work with people across different majors and minors. Kimberly wants to promote the minor on the website and social media and make various efforts to advertise the program. Along with promotional efforts, Kimberly wants to highlight the work that students are doing. In her new role, Kimberly is asking, “How do we make the work our students do more visual?” when considering the ways that we can highlight student work in the program. She is passionate about helping students and taking a student-centered approach.

Kimberly wants students to know how this minor can be excellent for different disciplines. Kimberly notes that when students enter the writing classroom, they often believe they are not a writer and the writing classroom isn’t relevant to their career paths, but the minor builds off the work students do in their UWP classes and extends UWP’s message that you are a writer. She emphasizes that the minor will help students write effectively and confidently and provide a robust experience to develop meaningful writing that is applicable to numerous disciplines and paths. She is focused on highlighting students’ work and how to best meet the need for students, but she also shared how she wants to support instructors in the minor.

Kimberly recognizes that teaching is hard, so having a safe space for teachers to discuss teaching and their ideas is something she envisions. Kimberly loves learning from teachers and is so excited about the role. She loves that doctoral students are teaching in this minor and wants to work closely with graduate students and colleagues. She notes that everyone is always doing cool and new things in the classroom and it is important to share those ideas. She hopes to collaborate with Dr. Sue Carter Wood and develop coffee hours and a monthly meeting for instructors from the program to see how and what everyone is doing. She hopes to create a peer review system for the instructors and build a community for sharing ideas. Kimberly notes it is a new minor which means there will be new learning experiences and she is excited to be in her new role and collaborate with others. She is so excited about the program and hopes to see growth in the minor.

We welcome Kimberly to her new role and know that she will do amazing!

Congratulations to undergraduate students Lexi A. Schmiesing, Ian Adkins, and Joseph Black for publication of their articles in WRIT: Journal of First-Year Writing!

"2020-2021 were insurmountably challenging, and this issue features two pieces on mental and physical health and one piece on the exploitation of Black athletes. These topics mirror larger issues that affected-- and continue to affect-- all students."

Read the articles on the Journal's website!

"Can Organization and Word Choice Affect You?"
Lexi A. Schmiesing

"Mental Health and the Impact of Friendship"
Ian Adkins

"Stopping the Exploitation of NCAA Athletes"
Joseph Black

WRIT Journal Issue 4 1

2020 News and Events

Amanda McGuire Rzicznek and Elizabeth Loo Zemanski have received the 2020 College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Award. The award was first given in 2012. Learn more about the award.

Welcome to the virtual version of the Literature Program's Senior Thesis Presentations! On the page, you will find a video of Dr. Stephannie Gearhart's opening remarks, followed by videos of student presentations.

Five undergraduate English majors, Olive Bartholomew, Lauren Degener, Karmann Ludwig, Lena Nighswander, and Sarah Webb will have their work featured in volume seven of the International ResearchScape Journal (May 2020/June 2020).  

Learn more about their work.

Sharona Muir has recently published her novella "Animal Truth" in the online literary journal Eclectica. The novella can be read on the journal's website.

Please tell us a bit about yourself!  

So, I’m Christine and I’m a graduate student in the English program with a specialization in English teaching. I currently live in Jinju, South Korea where I work as an EFL teacher at a government-run after school program. I’ve been living in Korea for 17 months now, but I am originally from the Lehigh Valley area in Pennsylvania.

When I’m not teaching or doing homework, I’m usually cooking, reading, or planning my next travel excursion. Along with traveling around Korea, I’ve been to 13 countries with two more trips coming up this year!

Read the rest of the interview with Christine.

Women's History Month Essay Contest

Second in the Spring Semester Inclusion Essay Contests

PROMPT: The fight for voting rights: past, present, and future

Write an essay or compose a multi-modal piece (video, podcast, poetry, collage—the sky's the limit) that addresses the theme: The fight for voting rights: past, present, and future

Your work should be up to 1,000 words long. Feel free to work with a partner or group! Learn more about the contest.

Chloe English, a Criminal Justice major, is the winner of the first Spring Semester Inclusion Essay Contests for her essay on Black History Month. Chloe responded to the prompt "Black History is American History." Please join the Department of English in congratulating Chloe! Read Chloe's essay here.

Dr. Jackson Bliss, assistant professor in the Department of English, recently signed a book contract for a new novel publication with 7.13 Books, an indie publisher based out of Brooklyn, NY. The Amnesia of June Bugs is slated to be published in early 2022. Learn more about the book.

Dr. Jolie Sheffer, associate professor of English and American culture studies and director of the Institute for the Study of Culture and Society, has a new book out. Understanding Karen Tei Yamashita, published by The University of South Carolina Press, explores “one of the most significant, ambitious, and widely taught Asian American writers today.” Learn more about the book.

On Tuesday, December 3, 2019, students in Dr. Khani Begum’s POPC/ENG 6800 course hosted Imagining Palestine, a free community-based learning event at the Wood County Public Library. The students in the course engaged the audience with various panels and displays of Palestinian popular culture, including an academic session, a food session, a presentation of street art, and a poetry reading. Learn more about the event.

Boricua en la Luna, released in December of 2019, was collected, edited, and published by members of the English Department to raise funds for hurricane and earthquake relief in Puerto Rico. Alumni and adjunct faculty member Elena Aponte edited the collection, and faculty member Abigail Cloud edited and set the text. Danielle Jacoby and Elise Triplett, students in the department, assisted with copyediting.

The book features poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and art contributed by Puerto Rican creators. Themes include history, family, and the effects of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. Proceeds from sales of the book, which is available for purchase, go towards hurricane and earthquake relief efforts. Learn more about the book.

Several alumni of the MFA program have received Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards. The awards recognize artists within specific fields, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, criticism, choreography, playwriting, and the composition of music. Awards recognize creators’ work in Ohio and beyond, and support the ongoing growth and work of individual creators. Each award includes $5,000. Learn more about the Ohio Arts Council awards.

Learn more about the winners.

MFA graduate Dr. Eric Schlich is a recipient of the Great Lakes College Association Fiction Prize for his book Quantum Convention. Eric generously agreed to an interview about the book and what he is working on now. Eric graduated in 2012 and earned a PhD in fiction from Florida State in 2018. He is now an assistant professor at the University of Memphis. Read the full interview with Eric.

Liz Breazeale, a 2015 graduate of the Creative Writing MFA program specializing in fiction, recently won a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. The $25,000 grants are offered on a two-year cycle, and are intended to support prose and poetry writers in their writing—including for research, travel, and other opportunities.

Liz generously agreed to a short interview about the fellowship and her current projects. Read the full interview with Liz.

Last fall first-year MFA fiction writer Nick Gardner released his first full-length collection of poetry, So Marvelously Far (Main Street Books, 2019). Nick graciously agreed to an interview about his book, sharing his ideas and insights about his writing process, addiction recovery, and his future creative goals.

Read the full interview with Nick.

Hope Teggart, a 2019 graduate of the Department of English, recently had an article published in the International ResearchScape Journal. Teggart's article, "Frankenstein in Baghdad: A Novel Way of Understanding the Iraq War and Its Aftermath" can be read on the journal's website.

Please join us in congratulating hope!

Further, the journal's call for proposals is now open. See the full CFP.

The English Department announces the 2019/2020 Book Awards and Senior Thesis Award winners.

Please join us in congratulating them!

See winners here.

2019 News

Dr. Rachel Rickard Rebellino, Elizabeth Loo Zemanski, and Amanda McGuire Rzicznek were featured on WBGUTV's show The Journal, along three students who have created children's books as part of a class. The faculty members and students, along with author/illustrator Lindsay Moore and staff from both the Jerome Library and the Wood County District Public Library, discussed Children's Book Week. Learn more and watch the video.

Sharona Muir, a professor in the Creative Writing program, recently had a short story published in About Place Journal. Learn more about the story here.

Cindy Malone, an MA student with a specialization in teaching, recently agreed to a short interview, in which she reflects on her love of teaching, her goals after the MA program, and the importance of self-care and her family to her success. Read the full interview with Cindy!

Students in the ENG 3420 course have an opportunity to spend a semester engaged in experiential learning related to literature for young children. Watch the video, created by Allie Godfrey!

The Department of English 2019 food drive was a success, with a significant amount of canned and boxed goods raised by students and faculty. The food drive was held in support of the Grab-N-Go program, which supports students who are struggling with food insecurity. Learn more about the food drive.

Recent graduate from the MA in Literary and Textual Analysis program Blue Profitt participated in the 3-Minute Thesis Competition. Watch the video of Blue's entry.

Sean Heron, a student in the online MA program with a specialization in English teaching, started a writing center at the high school in West Virginia where he is a teacher. Sean generously agreed to an interview about the writing center. Read the full interview with Sean.  

Dr. Rachel Rickard Rebellino is joining the Department of English in Fall 2019 as an Assistant Teaching Professor. She was kind enough to answer a few questions to introduce herself to the department. Please join us in welcoming Rachel to BGSU! Read the full interview with Rachel.

The English Department Community Writing Hub is partnering with the Wood County District Public Library and Grounds for Thought to promote a community writing initiative. Between September 2 and October 12, stop by either location and look for the 6-word memoir containers! Learn more about the project.

The English Department will be having a food drive the entire month of August to help benefit the Grab-N-Go bags offered on campus. Items can be dropped off in East Hall 212. Learn more about the food drive.

For many graduate students, summer is the time to take a break from coursework and catch up on some much needed relaxation. But for Annie Cigic, a spring graduate of the BGSU MFA program in poetry and soon-to-be first-year doctoral student in the Rhetoric and Writing program, summer between two graduate programs meant an opportunity to pursue a whole new kind of education - a writer’s residency. Learn more about Annie's residency.

Earlier this summer we featured the exciting news that our very own MFA students, Julie Webb (poetry) and Neeru Nagarajan (fiction), have been leading free creative writing workshops for community members each Monday evening at Wood County Library in downtown Bowling Green. As the summer workshop series is coming to a close, with the final fiction workshop set for Monday July 8th, we wanted to share thoughts and reflections on the workshop experience from one of the attendees!

Emma Bohney, daughter of third-year doctoral student in Rhetoric and Writing, Brandie Bohney, attended a June workshop with Neeru to further explore her interest in writing fiction. Learn more about her experiences.  

In May the MA in Literary and Textual Studies program celebrated the graduation of seven remarkable students. Now members of a successful, wide-ranging alumni family, each one is embarking on the next stage of their careers, and we couldn’t be more proud. In our effort to continue celebrating this achievement, we checked in with some of the recent graduates about what’s next, now that school is out.  

Department of English Instructor Anastasiia Kryzhanivska recently presented at the English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) Conference in Hong Kong, which was hosted by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, May 27-28, 2019. The conference attracted approximately 130 professionals in the Language Teaching field from more than 16 countries. The conference theme was “Alternative Approaches to English Language Learning and Teaching (ELLT).” Learn more about the event and Anastasiia's experiences in Hong Kong.

BGSU may be on summer break, but for graduate students Neeru Nagarajan (MFA ‘20, fiction) and Julie Webb (MFA ‘20, poetry) time out of the classroom leaves further time to engage with the Bowling Green community. Through a collaboration with the Wood County Library, Neeru and Julie will be offering creative writing workshops each Monday from June 6 - July 8 rotating between fiction and poetry, and inviting writers of all ages and experience levels to explore their own literary craft. Learn more about the workshops and student hosts.

The Department of English is thrilled to congratulate Senior Secretary Kelly Jennings for receiving the 2019 Classified Staff Outstanding Service Award. Learn more about Kelly's award.

It is with great sadness that the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English announce the passing of Wendell Mayo. Beloved by students and colleagues alike, Wendell taught at BGSU from 1996 until his retirement last year, and his contributions to the Creative Writing program were incalculable. Learn more about Wendell's legacy.

Dr. Neil Baird, Associate Professor in the Department of English, will assume the role of Director of the University Writing Program beginning on June 3. Learn more about Dr. Baird.

The 2019 winner of the Tom Wymer Thesis Award is Andrea Avers, for her project: “We don’t torture the women enough”: The Hitchcock Blonde as the Homo Sacer in The Birds, Vertigo, and Rear Window. Learn more about the award and Avers' project.

On Friday, May 3, Dr. Lee Nickoson was promoted to Full Professor at the Board of Trustees meeting, in recognition of her research, teaching, and service to the university. Learn more about Dr. Nickoson.

Amanda McGuire Rzicznek and Elizabeth Zemanski have been named co-recipients of the 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Instructor/Lecturer Award in recognition of their innovative collaboration, their multiple pedagogical approaches, the community engagement portion of their course ENG 3420: Literature for Young Children. Learn more about the award.

Beginning in fall 2018, a partnership between the Creative Writing program and the Toledo School for the Arts (TSA) has developed. TSA is a public charter school that opened in 1999, and is sponsored by BGSU. Program Director Frank Daniel Rzicznek and several MFA students have visited middle and high school classes at TSA, working with younger students on reading and writing poetry. The goal is to expand the lessons to include fiction as well, and to introduce the Writing in the Schools program to additional schools.

Dan, along with MFA students Sherrel McLafferty and Evan Blake, shared their experiences with the Writing in the Schools partnership and the future of the relationship.

Literacy in the Park will be held at the Perry Field House on Saturday, May 4 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and this year features children’s book author and illustrator Lindsay Ward. This event is being hosted by Elizabeth Zemanski and Amanda Rziczneck's ENG 3420 classes, The Center for Community and Civic Engagement, Literacy in the Park, the Department of English, and the Arts Village. In addition to the events with Lindsay Ward, the ENG 3420 students will host a showcase of their own children’s book creations.

Students from past semesters of 3420 shared some of their experiences with the Department of English. Learn more about the event and see student work.

Dr. Khani Begum, associate professor in the Department of English, received a Faculty Senate Distinguished Service Award on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. The award is given to a faculty member each year to recognize outstanding service and to highlight the importance of dedicated faculty to the well-being of the University. Read more about Dr. Begum's award and work.

Jackson Bliss will be joining the English Department in Fall 2019 as a member of the Creative Writing faculty. He was kind enough to answer some questions to introduce himself to the department. Learn more about Jackson.  

The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program is partnering with the Learning Commons in Jerome Library to provide a Presentation and Pronunciation Lab for international students. Founder of the Presentation and Pronunciation Lab and Instructor in the Department of English, Anastasiia Kryzhanivska, shared some information about the lab and her goals for its ongoing development. Learn more about the lab.  

The Department of English is thrilled to announce that Dr. Jolie Sheffer, Associate Professor, English and American Culture Studies and
Director, Institute for the Study of Culture and Society (ICS), is a 2019 recipient of the David Hoch Memorial Award for Service in Excellence. Learn more about Dr. Sheffer's work.

Numerous members of the English Department presented at the College English Association of Ohio (CEAO) conference on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Learn more about the conference.  

Dr. Nickoson, Dr. Julia M. Matuga (Vice Provost, Institutional Effectiveness), and Dr. Jessica M. Turos (Associate Director, Academic Assessment) presented their work at the Reinvention Collaborative conference. Their poster and paper, "Integrated and Intentional Institutional Infrastructures to Support the Assessment of Undergraduate Writing: How Data Fuel This Process" can be viewed on the RC20/20 website. Learn more about Dr. Nickoson's collaborative work.  

ESOL faculty from the Department of English presented at TESOL 2019 International Convention and English Language Expo in Atlanta, Georgia. Learn more about the event and our faculty members' presentations.

Amanda Rzicznek and Elizabeth Zemanski have been working with staff at the Jerome Library and with children's illustrator Lindsay Ward. They, along with Lindsay Ward and two students were featured on WBGU TV. Watch the full interview here.

The fall 2019 course guide for undergraduate courses is now available. You can access the course guide from this link.  

The 2019-2020 academic year undergraduate scholarship winners have been announced. Learn more about who was awarded.

On Friday, March 29, 2019 at 10:30 a.m., a group of faculty and students will present in the "Threshold Concepts and College Writing Instruction" Faculty Spotlight event. Please join us in East Hall 206. Learn more about the presentations.

Each year, MFA students specializing in poetry and fiction submit their work for consideration under the Devine Fellowship. Learn more about the award and this year's winners.  

Dr. Stephannie Gearhart was named the 2018-19 Distinguished Faculty for the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Gearhart is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, and the Director of the Literature Program.

On Wednesday, March 13 at 4 p.m. in 206 Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Dr. Gearhart will deliver the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Faculty Lecture. Learn more about the lecture.

Join us for a Faculty Spotlight presentation. Blind Rage, Blind Copies and Blind Dates: A Cross-Linguistic Analysis of Ableist Collocations will be held on March 8, 2019. Learn more about the March Faculty Spotlight event.

We invite you to join our ENG 3420 students in celebrating Children’s Literature and its role in cultivating and strengthening literacy, life-long love of learning and reading, and creativity in our communities. Learn more about the Monday, March 11 events.

Dr. Sheri Wells-Jensen will be presenting at TEDx this March. Her talk is called "Exploring the gap between ourselves and extraterrestrial civilizations." Learn more about the event.

Five members of the ESOL faculty will be speaking at the TESOL conference, which will be held from March 12-15 in Atlanta, GA. Learn more about the faculty members' presentations.  

Students in Dr. Cynthia Mahaffey's 1120 sections have recently donated 150 pounds of food to the Brown Bag Food Project of Wood County. Learn more about Cynthia's class donations and projects.

Justin Longacrevisited the Department of English on Friday, February 15, 2019 to conduct professional development and classroom observations to support his teaching practice at the Toledo School for the Arts. Learn more about his visit.  

This spring, a workshop series for multilingual students will be facilitated by the ESOL department. The first event in the series is Friday, February 22, and focuses on presentation planning. Learn more about the workshops.

The English Department is thrilled to announce some changes! During 2019, General Studies Writing (GSW) is undergoing changes to its name and curriculum. GSW is being renamed the University Writing Program (UWP). Learn more about the change.

Join the English department Thursday, February 14 at 7:30 in the Prout Chapel for a reading from Spring 2019's Distinguished Visiting Writer, Rebecca Morgan Frank.

English Department Associate Chair and Undergraduate Coordinator Brad Felver won two prestigious awards for his writing in 2018. Learn more about Felver's writing and awards.

Sarah Blake, an undergraduate student double majoring in English and forensic chemistry, studied in New Zealand during winter session.

2018 News

The fall 2018 GSW Writing Showcase was held on Friday, November 30. Read more about the event and winners.

Are you a graduate student working on a thesis or dissertation project? Consider entering the three-minute thesis competition! The competition challenges graduate students to explain their research to a non-expert audience in three minutes—and cash prizes are available. Learn more about the event and register for a chance to compete.

Amanda McGuire Rzicznek, Elizabeth Loo Zemanski, and ENG 3420: Literature for Young Children students hosted a picture book showcase. Read more about the picture book showcase.

Kathryn Dobbs has received the 2018 Donna Nelson-Beene Award. She is pictured in the center; to her left is Dr. Donna Nelson-Beene and to her right is her instructor, Dr. Ethan Jordan. The Donna Nelson-Beene Excellence in Research Writing Award is presented in recognition of the best research essay written by a student who has taken GSW 1120: Academic Writing.

Congratulations to Kathryn for being this year's winner!

The English department welcomed author and illustrator Lindsay Ward to campus on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. Lindsay presented her work and her processes for writing and illustrating children's picture books. Students, faculty, staff, and community members had the opportunity to talk with Lindsay at the author meet and greet, and signed books were available for purchase. The event was hosted by Elizabeth Zemanski and Amanda Rzicznek's ENG 3240 classes, the English Department, University Libraries, and the Arts Village.

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove was the 2018 Edwin H. Simmons Creative Minds Series speaker. She presented a public talk on September 20, 2018, and had two Q&A students with English department students during the day. Rita Dove, recipient of the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in poetry and former U.S. Poet Laureate, is the author of nine books of poetry, including the tour de force Sonata Mulattica, a poetic treatise on the life of 19th century violinist George Bridgetower, and most recently, Collected Poems 1974-2004 (2017 NAACP Image Award). Read more about Rita Dove's visit.

Amanda McGuire Rzicznek, Elizabeth Loo Zemanski, & their English 3420 class toured the Mazza Museum in Findlay, Ohio. Their tour inspired new ways of thinking about how to create their capstone project: to write & illustrate their own original picture books. Please join Amanda & Loo for their students’ Picture Book Showcase on Thursday, April 26 from 5:30-7:00pm in the Jerome Library’s CRC! Read more about their trip.

Dr. Lee Nickoson, Director of General Studies Writing and Rhetoric and Writing faculty member, received the Faculty Mentor Recognition Award. The award recognizes a faculty member for outstanding professional support of his/her colleagues and focuses upon the importance of faculty efforts toward the development of teaching, research, and service initiatives among colleagues. Congratulations Dr. Nickoson! Read more about Dr. Nickoson's work and the Faculty Mentor Recognition Award.

The English Department is pleased to share this year's scholarship winners. Congratulations to each of the recipients! See the list of winners.  

According to the Wall Street Journal’s “Hunting for Soft Skills, Companies Scoop up English Majors,” English majors go on to success in many different fields including publishing, advertising, public relations, teaching, the public sector and marketing. A degree in English can also prepare you for graduate study in law, business, and other fields. Read More at the Wall Street Journal

2017 News

Dr. Sue Carter Wood, Rhetoric/Writing faculty member and Director of the Rhetoric and Writing Doctoral program was honored as the recipient of the President’s Award for Collaborative Research and Creative Work. Read more about Dr. Carter Wood's award and work.

Multiple students from the Rhetoric & Writing PhD program won awards. Read more about the students' accomplishments.

Dr. Sheffer's book The Romance of Race received a favorable mention in Toni Morrison's 2017 book The Origin of Others. Read more about Dr. Sheffer's book.

Nearly 180 works and papers of Wendell Mayo's have been catalogued in the Center for Archival Collections at the Jerome Library. Read more about the collection.

Updated: 05/08/2024 11:58AM