November Good News: Prof. Grutsch McKinney’s Awards and More!

In between Halloween and Thanksgiving, check out how much good news we have to share!

Prof. Jackie Grutsch McKinney won the 2017 International Writing Centers Association Outstanding Book Award for two of her books: Strategies for Writing Center Research and The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors (co-authored with Becky Jackson and Nikki Caswell). Nikki earned her MA from Ball State in Rhetoric and Composition in 2008. To be considered for this award, one’s work must show the qualities of compelling and meaningful writing, sensitivity towards situations where writing centers exist, and strong research and representation on writing centers. Congratulations!

Faculty News

Prof. Adrienne Bliss presented the results of a research project conducted at Indiana Women’s Prison at the national conference of the American Society of Criminologists 73rd Annual Meeting in Philadelphia on Nov 18th. The project is entitled “Reading in a Women’s Prison: Education, Entertainment, and Reentry.”

Prof. Jill Christman’s longform True Story,“Spinning: Against the Rules of Angels,” was released last month in print & on Kindle—and even has a groovy companion Spotify list. The editors of Creative Nonfiction nominated “Spinning” for a Pushcart Prize & The Humble Essayist himself featured “Spinning” on his blog. Another new essay, “Slaughterhouse Island,” will be coming out in editor Roxane Gay’s Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture on May 1, 2018, and the book now has a cover. Finally, Professor Christman has completed her five-year service on the board of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) and will be attending AWP’s spring conference in Tampa, Florida as a civilian writer, presenting on a panel (“Framing Life: Notes on Structuring the Book-Length Memoir”) and giving a reading (“What I Found in Florida: Essays from the Sunshine State”).

Retired faculty member Prof. Frank Felsenstein’s book (co-authored with Prof. James J. Connolly) continues to garner praise. Here’s a recent review of What Middletown Read: Print Culture in an American Small City published by Humanities and Social Sciences Online.

Prof. Emily Rutter presented  “‘this is not an elegy’: Resisting Consolation in the Black Lives Matter Era” at the MMLA Conference in Cincinnati. This paper was part of a series of panels on contemporary elegies that Dr. Rutter co-chaired with the poet and critic Tiffany Austin.

Prof. Debbie Mix presented a paper at the MMLA conference: “‘A diagnosis is an ending’: Pathology and Presence in Bettina Judd’s Patient.”

Prof. Susanna Benko and Katrina Gibson (Teacher Consultant with the Indiana Writing Project) presented at the National Writing Project Annual Meeting. Their presentation, “If we build it, will they come?” focused on recruiting and retaining teacher leaders in writing project sites.

Prof. Sreyoshi Sarkar was awarded a $3,000 ASPIRE New Faculty Start-Up grant. This will go towards supporting her current research project “Interlinking Social and Ecological Justice in Postcolonial Literatures and Films.” Also, her review of Paul Smethurst’s The Bicycle: A Global History (2014) was published on the International Association for the History of Transport, Traffic, and Mobility’s online blog T2M on 6 November 2017.

Prof. Darolyn “Lyn” Jones and a student officer from the Alliance of Black and Latinx Teachers (ABLT) club participated in the Indiana Latino Educators Conference, recruiting and talking with high school students about the Ball State English programs. Prof. Jones was awarded an Immersive Grant that will run Summer 2017 through the Spring of 2018, teaching a special topics course: “Disability Representation in Children’s and Young Adult Literature.” Jones will continue to publish content for the Rethinking Children’s & YA Lit: Read for Change Magazine through the department.

Student News

Cecelia Westbrook received a scholarship to attend the Inspired Words Conference in Lafayette, Indiana. She had the opportunity to work with writers Kaveh Akbar, Sarah Layden, and Barbara Shoup.

Five students were selected to represent Ball State as a team in CUPSI 2018 (College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational), put on by the Association of College Unions International, at Temple University in April. The team consists of Tasha Chopra, Keeley Malone, Maya Montague, Ciara Smith, and Robert Weatherington.

Eileen Porzuczek was featured recently in the Fishers Current as an alum of Hamilton Southestern High School. She’s a creative writing major with a minor in professional writing. Read her interview where she talks about her great experiences working with Prof. Lyn Jones.

Alumni News

Robbie Maakestad is now an Assistant Features Editor for The Rumpus, received his MFA in Creative Nonfiction at George Mason University, and is writing a biography of place about Jerusalem’s City of David Archaeological Park. He has been published or has forthcoming work in Essay Daily, Bad Pony, The MacGuffin, Free State Review, and Bethesda Magazine, among others.

Brittany Ulman, a 2016 graduate, is the new Communications Coordinator at the Miami County Board of Developmental Disabilities in Troy, Ohio. Their mission is to empower children and adults with developmental disabilities to live, work, and play as full members of the community.

Janet Holloway, who earned her BA in English in 1951 and her MA in 1955, published her first novel, The Ebony Elephant: A Tale of a Trinket.

Kelsey Englert’s short story “Take Me” was published in the 95th issue of the Jersey Devil Press. Also, Barely South Review has accepted her essay “Thrift” for publication in their Spring 2018 issue. This is her first creative nonfiction publication.

Elisabeth Buck’s fifth chapter of her book is now published with open-access. She is a big advocator for writing centers and their impacts on and off campus. Check out her chapter.

Alysia Sawchyn was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Southeast Review. Check out the Twitter feed here.

Ball State 2017 graduate Morgan Dean has accepted a job as a Faculty Support Specialist at the Harvard Business School. Dr. Robert Habich was a mentor and reference for Morgan.

George Hickman, an MA Creative Writing graduate in 2017, was awarded a fellowship at Harrison Middleton University. With this fellowship, he will be writing on his proposed idea of “Architecture, Dialogue, and Characterization” in the fall, and attending the Great Books Conference in Chicago in the spring.

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