Category Archives: Regular Features

Becca Wolfley: Marketer and Freelance Copywriter

Becca Wolfley graduated from Ball State University with a B.S. in Advertising (and a minor in Creative Writing) in 2015. After graduation, she worked as a content writer and manager for tech company Lesson.ly until May of 2016, then became the digital copywriter for The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis a month later. She continues to work as a creative for the museum’s marketing department while moonlighting as a freelance copywriter.

How did your major and minor lead to your current position? What series of steps did you make after college to get there, and what skills did you learn with us that helped you in that transition?

From my experience as an Ad major, many of my peers didn’t know how to tell a single story in various ways. I suppose that’s how I got here—I was one of the few that could. I thank my creative writing classes for that.

Screenwriting, poetry, English literature…the combination of these classes (and then some) taught me to write practically, write concisely, and interpret critically. Between literature courses and rhetorical analysis with Rai Peterson and abstract, post-modern poetry with Pete Davis, I got the hang of how to write for the perception I desired from multiple audiences without compromising creativity.

By the time I finished college, I had a portfolio of various types of work. In cover letters, it didn’t hurt to show the similarities between a commercial script and a screenplay, or how poetics play a big role in commercial scripting.
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Meet Prof. Laila Aghai

Laila Aghai comes to us from San Antonio, Texas. She earned her PhD in
Culture, Literacy, and Language from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She will be teaching graduate and undergraduate linguistics courses–both f2f and online.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I believe that a classroom environment in which respect, collaboration, discussion, and critical thinking are encouraged can be an appropriate place for

learning and teaching. As a teacher, I understand that I learn from my students as much as they learn from me. Therefore, the background knowledge, experience, and expertise that students bring to the classroom should be valued. When students feel comfortable expressing their ideas and concerns, they are more likely to take advantage of the lessons being taught in the classroom. Continue reading

September Good News: Kayla Peterson turns her classroom into Hogwarts (and more!)

In The News

Kayla Peterson (BA in English Ed, 2016) is an English teacher at Penn High School in Mishawaka, IN. She was recently featured on WNDU News for transforming her classroom into Hogwarts.

 

Check out the other awesome things #bsuenglish students and faculty have been up to! 

Faculty News

Kathryn S. Gardiner is a “Second Rounder” in the Austin Film Festival’s annual script competition for 2017. Second Round scripts represent the top 20% of all submissions. In addition, Kathryn submitted two feature-length screenplays to the contest—“The Art of Yielding” and “The Regiment”—and both scripts advanced to the second round. Second Rounders receive access to a variety of exclusive panels and roundtables with industry professionals at the Austin, Texas conference in October. “The Art of Yielding” is also a quarter-finalist in the 2017 Slamdance Screenplay Competition.

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Meet Prof. Brianna Mauk

Brianna Mauk earned her BA in Technical Writing from Eastern Kentucky University. She earned her MA in Rhetoric and Composition at Ohio University in Athens, OH, and she earned her PhD in Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH. Brianna specializes in new media, especially social networking, and researches the intersections between technology, mobility and writing. Brianna will be teaching first-year writing and Document Design. 

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I tailor each of my courses and assignments to tasks and concepts that students can transfer to the rest of their college careers at Ball State.

Scholars leave my class prepared for critical thinking, analysis, different types of writing, visual design and rhetoric, as well as finding reliable sources in a variety of modes.

I truly agree with the title of my ENG 103 text that “Everything is an Argument.”

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Meet Prof. Morgan Leckie

Morgan C. Leckie comes to us from Miami of Ohio’s graduate program in Composition and Writing, by way of California. Her research is on digital feminist rhetorical practices and reproductive justice advocacy. She will be teaching first-year writing and professional writing, including Jacket Copy Creative, our department’s immersive learning class that functions as our in-house PR firm.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching? On learning?

I get really bell hooks about this topic. “Teaching is an act of love.” I can’t help but agree with her on that. I believe learning is change. Education is revolution. For me, my own education quite literally changed my socio-economic identity. But it also made me more compassionate, more easily willing to interrogate my own privilege and perspectives. When I think back along the winding trajectory of my own learning, I am struck by the teachers whose belief in me and whose own willingness to transgress, to love, essentially, shaped the women and teacher I am now. So when I teach and learn with my students, I am always feeling love for them, for my own journey, and for the process of changing us all into better citizens of the world. Deep, I know! 🙂

Who are your biggest role models in life?

Probably Leslie Knope.  And Sojourner Truth.  And my ma and pops.  All people who learned and taught the lesson: It’s what you do with and how you do without.  

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Meet Prof. Sreyoshi Sarkar

Sreyoshi Sarkar comes to us from Baltimore, Maryland. She earned her doctoral degree in Postcolonial literature and media from George Washington University D.C. this past summer. She specializes in South Asian studies, gender, and eco-criticism, and has published works in journals like Commonwealth Essays and StudiesSouth Asian Review, and Green Letters Journal. She will be teaching courses in world literature and film studies here at Ball State.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I love teaching because for me it is an interactive platform where everyone in class is a participant, including the instructor. My part in this collaborative process is to introduce students to the subject of study, its key concepts, and some important scholarship. But beyond that my classes are highly interactive – an eclectic mix of short lectures interwoven with a lot of in-class discussion, group work, and creative presentations.

The same applies to my written assignments. I always emphasize that students focus on their individual experiences of a text when making an argument about it. For me, “the experience of” is crucial. It invites us (and by “us” I mean both the students and me) to critically analyze the art and craft of the text and our own individual contexts that often inform how we receive a text.

In my experience, such deep thinking enables us to be more self-aware and also more patient with and respectful towards each other and our differences. Sometimes, such moments of teaching-learning go a long way in making us better citizens at home and in the world.

Finally, the teachers who made a difference in my life were always humble, sensitive, and truly caring individuals; they were invested in their students’ making the most out of a class. And that is what I strive to do as well. Continue reading

Meet Prof. Kat Greene

Kat Greene earned her BA in graphic design and Master’s degrees in journalism and English here at Ball State University. She’s currently working to complete her PhD in rhetoric and composition. She will be teaching classes in the Writing Program. Check out her website

When are your office hours?

My fall office hours are MWF from 10-11:50 a.m.

What are you reading right now, if anything?

I’m about halfway through Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

Are you working on any projects at the moment? What are they?

For the past year, I have been working on my dissertation. I spent fall 2016 observing three first-year writing instructors who incorporated Ball State’s (final) freshman common reader, The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas by Anand Giridharadas into their courses. My dissertation describes their their teaching practices, successes, and challenges with using the book. Continue reading

Meet Prof. Kathryn Ludwig

Kathryn Ludwig comes to us from Purdue University, where she earned her Ph.D. in English, specializing in twentieth-century American literature and Jewish philosophy. She has published articles on the topic of the postsecular in contemporary literature and is an officer for the American Religion and Literature Society. She will be teaching courses in composition and literature.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

Differentiation is very important to me in the classroom. Every class is made up of people with different backgrounds and learning styles. I seek to bring my own passion for the subject matter into contact with each student’s disposition toward learning in the given context. My responsibility is to teach in ways that will be meaningful to my diverse audience. Thus, my work as an instructor begins with learning. Continue reading

Meet Prof. Ben Bascom

Ben Bascom, a specialist in early and nineteenth-century American literature, comes to the English Department from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he recently finished a dissertation on early U.S. life writings. His research and teaching combine a queer studies approach with material text methodologies to reimagine the relation between archive and canon. His scholarship has appeared in Early American Literature and is forthcoming in Common-Place: The Journal of Early American Life.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I would describe my teaching as messily Socratic. I try to frame class with a series of questions or provocations that encourage students to engage with the reading material at a variety of levels. Since I teach a lot of material that feels remote to most students—from seventeenth-century sermons to nineteenth-century picaresque novels—I first urge students to understand the complex and unfamiliar language before they levy a critique about what they find as the text’s limitations. I discover myself being drawn to think with students about their experiences reading particular texts—beginning, perhaps, with whether something was pleasurable or difficult, easy or frustrating to read—to then prompt them to think about how their expectations, experiences, and interests influence them to consider certain texts as being more intellectually available or compelling than others. Continue reading

Meet Prof. Angela Cox

Angela Cox comes to us from the University of Arkansas, where she received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition. Her research is on definitions of genre and popular fantasy media. She will be teaching English 103 this semester. 

What are some of your hobbies or interests?

I like to dabble in pretty much anything creative that catches my eye. I’ve been sewing and doing other crafts for as long as I can remember; I learned how to spin yarn on a drop spindle when I was two years old. I also like to write fiction, especially fantasy novels, which is where my interest in researching National Novel Writing Month comes from. I’ve been participating (and winning!) every year since 2005, but I’m not sure if it’s for everyone. I also love analyzing video games, but I tend to play older games.

If any students want to come talk about video game analysis techniques or theory during office hours, I’d love to have that conversation and even help them with a project!

But, mostly, I just love cats.

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