Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tiffany Sedberry Reiger

Tiffany graduated from Ball State with a degree in secondary education in 2008, from Purdue with a M.S.Ed. in 2013, and with a PhD from Purdue in 2016. She is currently focusing on writing and raising her newborn, Ezra.

For some people, college is the end of their academic career. For me, finishing my undergraduate degree at Ball State was the first of three degrees I would need to pursue my dream of becoming a professor of education. I enrolled in a master’s program in Literacy and Language Education at Purdue University in fall 2011 and in their doctoral program in fall 2013. I just graduated with my PhD this month, May 2016. While I have since decided not to pursue a job as a professor (mainly due to personal conflicts with my husband’s job and now having a newborn at home), I believe my time as a graduate student taught me very valuable things regarding higher education. A few things for people who are considering it:Sedberyy-Reiger

  • Graduate school will (and I believe should) consume you. Give it your all! Throw yourself in and experience all you can. But experience things that you enjoy or you will be miserable. I taught undergrad courses, researched for professors and collected data, supervised student teachers, made connections with local administrators and teachers, and presented at national conferences. Luckily for me, the majority of my experiences were rewarding.
  • Read and write all that you can. You have ample time to just focus! It’s a great gift. Read and write what you need to, sure. But also, read and write what you enjoy. A lot of people talk about how draining and terrible the dissertation process is. I loved it! I was passionate about my dissertation and loved reading and writing for it.
  • It is not an exaggeration to say that a mentor can make or break you. If any networking was important to success in graduate school, it was relationships cultivated with faculty. If the advisor assigned to you isn’t a good fit, branch out! Meet other professors and work with them or cultivate a mentor/mentee relationship over coffee. You need people in your corner who understand what you’re going through and understand the system.
  • The hardest thing about recommending graduate school is that most programs are preparing you to go back into academia as a professor. If you want to do that, great! But understand that some disciplines have a failing job market and there just are not enough jobs out there. If your program isn’t prepared or doesn’t prioritize preparing you for a job outside the academy, be proactive about it. During my PhD program, when I knew I wasn’t going on the job market, I made sure to acquire job experience that would translate elsewhere. I pursued jobs outside of my discipline and now have skills and experience that I would not have had otherwise. The opportunities exist!

Don’t go to graduate school just for the sake of going to graduate school. Be sure to have a specific goal in mind and a back up, just in case the first doesn’t work out. Also, I believe graduate school should be beneficial in several ways. I mentioned the academic and employment aspects earlier, but graduate school was also financially worthwhile for me. I didn’t pay for my master’s program or my doctoral program. I was paid to work for the university and received tuition remission. Several semesters I actually made what I was making teaching middle school.  Even though my goal changed, graduate school was a rewarding and profitable overall experience for me.

Consider carefully. Be passionate. Surround yourself with good people. Think long-term.

Robert Bell Ball Winners

The Robert Bell Ball was a magical time. We had a great turn out, tasty refreshments, oh, and we gave out more than $13,000 in scholarships! Here you can read about the scholarships awarded as well as our winners.


ELIZABETH MARTIN SCHOLARSHIP

The Elizabeth Martin Scholarship in English is a merit award given annually to those students who display the characteristics of scholarship, character, and leadership, which are essential for success in the field of English.

Valerie Weingart is a junior Creative Writing and Vocal Performance double major from Salem, Ohio. She is also a member of the Honors College and the President of Student Honors Council. In the School of Music, Valerie sings with the Ball State Chamber Choir and has appeared in multiple Ball State Opera Theater productions. This summer, she will be singing in Cancun, Mexico with the Opera Maya Program, then returning to Muncie to attend the Midwest Writers Workshop. Valerie is very excited to join next year’s staff of The Broken Plate and looks forward to next year’s opportunities in both the School of Music and the English Department.

Hannah Partridge is a Sophomore from Brown County, Indiana studying Creative Writing with minors in Professional Writing and French. She enjoys poetry, young adult literature, and creative nonfiction. Along with writing, she is also passionate about music, and currently serves as the Coordinator of The Parallels A Cappella.

Cody DeHaven is an English student majoring in Literature from Kokomo, Indiana. He joined the English department after realizing that studying biology was not near as fun as being an English major. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Cody works at Bracken Library and teaches music at Elwood High school. He would like to thank Dr. Rai Peterson and Dr. Emily Rutter for their continued encouragement and support.

HANSON RHETORIC AND COMPOSITION AWARD

The Hanson Rhetoric and Composition Award is given annually to support graduate research in the field of rhetoric and composition.

Mary McGinnis is a third year Ph.D. student in Rhetoric & Composition. She holds a B.A. in English and a M.A. in English & American Literature, both from Indiana State University. She also holds a M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Mary is interested in the use of transformative pedagogies and multimodal literacy in the composition classroom. Her research usually takes a gender studies/queer theory angle on public rhetoric and pop culture.

LESLIE AND PATRICK BALLARD SCHOLARSHIP

The Leslie and Patrick Ballard Scholarship is awarded annually to future teachers of English who display an exceptional devotion to the field of education.

Joel Summer is a junior English Education major heading into his last year at Ball State University. He is actively engaged in the Ball State Navigators, an on-campus Christian ministry group focused on sharing lives and time in building lasting relationships with others, and in the Learning Center, where he is a Level 3 Master Tutor for Spanish and writing. Joel loves anything and everything to do with Star Wars, he dabbles in a Lego addiction, and he hopes to always be willing to sacrifice himself and his desires for the good of those he is put together with in life (especially since he’ll be getting married this summer and knows he better start shaping up if he wants to stay married long).

Emily Mack is a sophomore English Education major and creative writing minor from West Lafayette, Indiana. She dreams of teaching middle schoolers and improving education for students with disabilities. Emily describes herself as a lover of of books, dogs, coffee, and summer camp.

BARRY WRIGHT MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

The Barry Wright Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually in recognition of artistic excellence in the writing of poetry by undergraduates at Ball State.

Elyse Lowery was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs, South Holland, IL. She grew up with a strong sense of family and family drama, so that appears in her writing a lot. For Elyse, Ball State was quite the (positive) change from her high school experience, which was set in juvenile detention-like facilities and had few writing endeavors to speak of. In light of that, she’s very happy to receive this award and be making it on into her fourth year here at Ball State.

Levi Todd is the Founder and Executive Director of Reacting Out Loud, an independent organization devoted to uplifting poetry and affirming community. He looks forward to serving as Programming Intern at The Poetry Center of Chicago this summer, as well as joining the masthead for The Broken Plate in the fall. One day he hopes to adopt a pug named Garbanzo. Levi is grateful to accept the Matt Jones and Barry Wright scholarships, and looks forward to his continued career within the BSU English department.

MATT JONES CREATIVE WRITING SCHOLARSHIP

The Matt Jones Creative Writing Scholarship is awarded annually by the Department of English to a Ball State University student who exhibits a dedicated interest in creative writing.

Levi Todd is the Founder and Executive Director of Reacting Out Loud, an independent organization devoted to uplifting poetry and affirming community. He looks forward to serving as Programming Intern at The Poetry Center of Chicago this summer, as well as joining the masthead for The Broken Plate in the fall. One day he hopes to adopt a pug named Garbanzo. Levi is grateful to accept the Matt Jones and Barry Wright scholarships, and looks forward to his continued career within the BSU English department.

PATRICIA AND ANTHONY MARTONE SCHOLARSHIP

The Patricia and Anthony Martone Scholarship is awarded annually by the English Department to M.A. Creative Writing students who produce new writings about place and community, in particular about the Muncie, Indiana area, the state of Indiana, and/or the Midwest region.

George Hickman is completing the first year of his M.A. program in creative writing. He has a B.A. in Philosophy from Bucknell University. He will use the Patricia and Anthony Martone award to fund a visit to the southwestern U.S., where he will conduct research and interviews in order to add verisimilitude to an ongoing creative project.

Robert Young was born in Fort Wayne, IN. He has a B.A. in Creative Writing from Ball State, where he primarily studied and wrote poetry. He also loves to experiment with other genres. Robert likes to write about everything from music to video games to outer space to kitchen appliances.

MIDWEST WRITERS WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIP

The Midwest Writers Workshop Scholarship is awarded annually to the student with a dedicated interest in creative writing who best demonstrates in the application essay and writing sample that attending that summer’s Midwest Writers Workshop will benefit the applicant as a writer.

Valerie Weingart is a junior Creative Writing and Vocal Performance double major from Salem, Ohio. She is also a member of the Honors College and the President of Student Honors Council. In the School of Music, Valerie sings with the Ball State Chamber Choir and has appeared in multiple Ball State Opera Theater productions. This summer, she will be singing in Cancun, Mexico with the Opera Maya Program, then returning to Muncie to attend the Midwest Writers Workshop. Valerie is very excited to join next year’s staff of The Broken Plate and looks forward to next year’s opportunities in both the School of Music and the English Department.

DR. JANET ROSS SCHOLARSHIP FOR TEACHERS OF ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

The Dr. Janet Ross Scholarship for Teachers of English as a Second Language is awarded annually by the English Department to students who display characteristics of scholarship, character, and leadership which, in the judgment of the selection committee, are considered essential for success in the field of teaching English as a second language.

Emilie Schiess is a student pursuing an English as a New Language education license. Currently, she works at the Writing Center and the Honors House on campus. In her free time, she runs a blog about languages and education. Emilie is interested in teaching abroad and working in the field of language edutainment. She hopes to use her teaching experiences to develop accessible ESL materials and internet content for a variety of English Language Learners.

Morgan Aprill graduated last year from the English Department with a degree in Literature and is now pursuing a Master’s degree in TESOL/Linguistics at Ball State. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant in the Intensive English Institute and hopes to move abroad to teach once graduating, and then eventually return to the U.S. for her ultimate goal: earning a Ph.D.

Sharon Jackson is a long-time resident of Delaware County. She has raised two daughters here, one of whom graduated from Ball State in 2012. The other will graduate this week! She is an active member of the Compass Church in Selma, where she plays piano and sings on the worship team. She also coordinates the local food pantry there. She earned her B.A. from Michigan State University, and she will finish her M.A. next spring. After she graduates, Sharon hopes to continue pursuing her passion for teaching overseas as a missionary English teacher. She also plans to teach adult ESL classes in a community education setting here at home.

FRANCES MAYHEW RIPPY SCHOLARSHIP

The Frances Mayhew Rippy Scholarship is awarded annually by the English Department to fund research projects in the field of literary studies.

Hayat Bedaiwi is a second-year doctoral student in English Literature at Ball State. Her academic interests include Arab-American and Ethnic literature. She also has a burgeoning passion for cultural studies. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts and a Master’s of Arts in English Language and Literature at King Saud University. Hayat is also an amateur painter, amateur Middle-Eastern cook, and aspiring writer.

Danita Mason is in the second year of her doctoral program in Literature. She will use the Frances Mayhew Rippy award to fund her research in dystopian fiction and, particularly, in the portrayal of women in dystopian works.

DEPARTMENT HONORS IN WRITING

Department Honors in Writing are awarded each year to students with a GPA of at least 3.8 who also demonstrate excellence in writing.

Kristal All, English Education major

Daniel Brount, Creative Writing major

ACADEMIC HONORS IN WRITING

Academic Honors in Writing is a university-wide award granted to those Ball State students who demonstrate noteworthy writing ability.

Luke Bell, Creative Writing major

Sara Huber, Literature major

DR. JOE AND CAROL TRIMMER OUTSTANDING GRADUATING SENIOR AWARD

The Outstanding Senior award is the final award of the ceremony, and is awarded to a senior English student who goes above and beyond both in the classroom and out. Here is what our faculty had to say about the winner:

This person is awesome in the classroom. Talk to the faculty who’ve had this person in their classes, and every single one of them will provide rave accolades. As one of his teachers said, he is “an exceptional student and a wonderful person. He would be a perfect choice for this recognition.” Another professor called him “a tremendous example of an English major, a great thinker and student, and just generally an awesome person.”

But this person’s awesomeness could not be contained within the bounds of the classroom. This person is an incredible department citizen, showing up to and even helping coordinate events left and right. This person took advantage of seemingly all of the professional development opportunities the English Department offers: The Broken Plate, The Digital Literature Review, and even the department internships, where one of our faculty called him “one of the kindest office workers I’ve ever met.”

We have been privileged to experience such awesomeness in our department, but this person’s awesomeness extended far beyond that. He furthered the larger Ball State and Muncie communities through the Ball State Daily News and the Midwest Writers Workshop. He even spread his wings to an entirely different part of the country, participating in the New York Arts Program, where he interned with DAW Books and The Rights Factory.

But this person’s awesomeness will not stop there. He will most certainly be going on to great things, and whatever he does, in the words of one of our faculty, will “make Ball State so proud.” It is our great pleasure to present the Outstanding Senior Award to…

Daniel BrountDaniel Brount!

To learn more about Daniel you can check out his website, his book reviews, and our blog post on his experiences in New York City.

Congratulations to all of our scholarship winners. We are proud of you!

 

April

In the latest installment of the “Good News” series, the Ball State English Department highlights the accomplishments of our faculty and students. 

lyn

Dr. Lyn Jones was awarded the Top Diversity Research and Publication Award for the university faculty for the second year in a row. Diversity Provost Dr. Charlene Alexander and Provost Robert Morris presented her the award.  In addition, Lyn was nominated for the Dr. Robert O’ Foster Faculty Award for her work with the ABLT club and the commitment to raising awareness for LGBTQ.

Graduate student Elizabeth King received a Fulbright award! In August she will be placed in Taitung, Taiwan to work with local English teachers and invest in the local community.

The Alliance of Black and Latino Teachers
Club
was nominated for a Diversity Awareness Program of the Year, but did not win that award.  It is quite an honor to have been nominated for this award.

Dr. Robert Habich presented his research on Ralph Waldo Emerson and international tourism at “Global/Emerson: Transmission, Translation, Transnational” at Cornell University.  

Dr. Molly Ferguson presented a paper titled “The Devil You Don’t: Alcoholism and the Faustian Bargain in Claire Kilroy’s The Devil I Know” at the American Conference for Irish Studies, held this year at Notre Dame University.

Dr. Mary Lou Vercellotti published “Shifting structural complexity: The production of clause types in speeches given by EAP students” with undergraduate research assistant Jessica Parker.

Graduating English Education student Rita Mitchell won the Jessie Nixon Award for her leadership in the Alliance of Black and Latino Teachers Club. The award goes to a graduating senior who has been actively involved and has made a positive impact on the university. Congratulations, Rita!

36_Rai Peterson.jpgDr. Rai Peterson participated in The People’s 500, an art project that photographed 100 ordinary people with personal connections to the Indianapolis Brickyard track, each driving two laps in an Official Pace Car for equalling 500 miles or one race. Rai’s personal connection is her participation in the 2012 Indy Mini Marathon. She completed the 13.1 miles while on crutches, and crossed the finish line in just barely under 3 hours. The exhibit will premier at the Tube Factory artspace on May 6.

Prof. Michael S. Begnal published a review of three recent books by Irish poets — Trevor Joyce, Christodoulos Makris, and Peter O’Neill — in the Spring 2016 issue of Trumpet, Poetry Ireland’s critical review.

Prof. Emily Rutter presented “‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’: A Contrafactual Reading of Percival Everett’s Suder and Bernard Malamud’s The Natural” at The Sultans of Swing Conference: 100 Years of Baseball, Jazz, and Short Fiction at Wright State University.

Prof. Silas Hansen presented at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference in Los Angeles as part of a panel called “The Multimodal Workshop: Digital Pedagogy for Creative Writers.”

Dr. Joyce Huff wrote a blog post entitled “The Subersive Potential of Fat in Sarai Walker’s Dietland for the German Food Studies blog Food, Fatness and Fitness: Critical Perspectives.

Prof. Emily Scalzo had two senryu accepted to the May 2016 edition of Cattails through the United Haiku and Tanka Society.

Dr. Frank Felsenstein and prof. Patrick Collier, along with three colleagues from the History department, are joint editors of Print Culture Histories Beyond the MetropolisPatrick co-wrote the introduction, and Frank contributed a chapter entitled “Print Culture and Cosmopolitan Trends in 1890s Muncie, Indiana”.

Graduate student Jeremy Flick accepted a teaching position at Ivy Tech in Marion, IN. In addition, Jeremy

Graduate student Matthew Balk defended his dissertation on April 28th. He also accepted the Writing Center Director position at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs for the coming fall semester.