Category Archives: Good News

Have you heard the Good News? Here you can read all about the awesome things that English students and faculty are up to. A new post goes up every month, so stay tuned! If you have any good news that you would like to share with the rest of us, please contact Eva Grouling Snider at We’d love to hear from you!

Prof. Scalzo Publishes Book (And other March Good News)!

We’ve got a lot of good news this month, so we’re dividing it into faculty and student/alum accomplishments. Check out all the amazing things your friends and colleagues have done!

Faculty Good News

Prof. Emily Scalzo’s new book The Politics of Division was published on Mar. 27!

The Indiana Writing Project was awarded a $15,000 grant titled “2017-2018 SEED Invitational Leadership Institute to Invest in Developing New Teacher Leaders.” The money from this grant will be used to support summer programming for teachers.

The Indiana Writing Project was also thrilled to send two local teachers to Washington D.C. in March for the National Writing Project’s Spring Meeting. In their time in D.C., teachers Jeri Tarvin and Katrina Gibson met with legislators to increase awareness about the work of NWP/IWP. They shared student writing and examples of professional development happening at our site.

Prof. Carolyn MacKay was awarded an NSF/NEH Documenting Endangered Languages Fellowship for her project:  A Grammar of Pisaflores Tepehua, an endangered language of Mexico.  It is a one year fellowship.

Prof. Susanna Benko and her colleagues Emily Hodge and Serena Salloum have had their work featured in Ed Week on the blog, “Curriculum Matters.”  The blog post highlights major findings from their study that was published in AERA Open.

Prof. Mark Neely has poems out or forthcoming in spring issues of FIELD, Passages North, Birmingham Poetry Review, Southern Indiana Review, and Timber: a Journal of New Writing.

Prof. Mary Lou Vercellotti published “The Development of Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency in Second Language Performance: A Longitudinal Study” in the most recent issue of Applied Linguistics (the flagship journal of her field). It is listed in the top 5 most read articles of the journal. (Also, she will be dancing later this month in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Dance for Kid’s Sake event, so come out and support her!)

Prof. Emily Rutter’s article “‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’: A Contrafactual Reading of Percival Everett’s Suder and Bernard Malamud’s The Natural” was published in the recent issue of Aethlon, the journal of the Sports Literature Association. Her monograph Invisible Ball of Dreams: Literary Representations of Baseball behind the Color Line is also now under contract with University Press of Mississippi.

Prof. Frank Felsenstein spoke at the annual day conference of the Harry Friedman Society at the Jewish Museum, New York, where the title of his talk was “From Shylock to Fagin: Jewish Caricatures in English Prints.” He also lectured on “What Middletown Read: Rediscovering Late Nineteenth-Century American Reading Habits” at Ball State University.

Prof. Cathy Day was just featured on the CitizenLit podcast, which is produced by Aubrie Cox, who got her MA with #bsuenglish in 2013.

Prof. Jennifer Grouling was awarded as a finalist for the Outstanding Graduate Faculty Mentor Award.

Prof. Megumi Hamada’s paper “L2 Word Recognition: Influence of L1 Orthography on Multi-syllabic Word Recognition,” was accepted to the Journal of Psycholinguistics Research.

Prof. Rani Deighe Crowe’s short film script Heather Has Four Moms is an Official Selection for the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival Spring 2017. She is also directing the short film Welfare Check by screenwriting faculty Kathryn Gardiner this April. The film will star Muncie native and Ball State alumna Cynda Williams and Golden Glove Champion William Lee. The cast includes additional members of the Muncie community, and the crew includes many Ball State TCOM students.

Students and Alumni Good News

Daniel Brount (2016 graduate) was just featured on the Dear English Major blog.

Student Amanda Byk is the new Content Manager at the Facing Project.

#bsuenglish grad Rachel Hartley-Smith published her essay “Dumb Blonde” in feminist journal So to Speak.

Rachael Heffner (2014 graduate) was recently featured in the Daily Mail. Currently she’s working at a marketing firm in Indianapolis, Dominion Dealer Solutions, as their Social Media and Reputation Specialist.

#bsuenglish grad Abby Higgs recently published the final installment of her series “My Life with Annie Lennox” on The Rumpus.

Brittany Means has been accepted in the Nonfiction program at the University of Iowa.

Elyse Lowery had three poems (“Blood and Diamonds,” “Crosshatch,” and “Five Cigars”) published in the 3288 Review this month.

#bsuenglish grad Robert Young had his piece “11 Useless Kitchen Appliances: Crock Pots” published in Midwestern Gothic.

Current #bsuenglish students Kathryn Hampshire and Nikole Darnell, as well as recent graduate Lauren Birkey, all received Academic Honors in Writing.

Hannah Partridge was offered a summer internship in acquisitions from Wiley Publishing.

15 English graduate students were recognized at a graduate student recognition ceremony. (Ceremony attendees pictured from left to right: Nuha Alsalem, Hayat Bedaiwi, Andrew Wurdeman, Matthias Raess, Mary Carter.)

Writing Project Grant (and more February Good News)

iwp_primary_logo_colorThe Indiana Writing Project directed by Professor Susanna Benko was recently awarded a $20,000 grant for the College Ready Writers Program, sponsored by the National Writing Project. This program focuses on teaching argument writing in middle and secondary classrooms. The grant money will be used to invest in 12-16 experienced middle and high school Writing Project teacher-leaders. These teachers will engage in extensive professional development studying argument writing through the summer of 2017 and the 2017-2018 school year. Congratulations!

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Professor Mike Donnelly Publishes Book (And More December/January Good News)

Prof. Mike Donnelly‘s book, Freedom of Speech and the Function of Rhetoric in the United States, was released on December Donnelly book15.

Prof. Jill Christman recently had two essays published: “The Alligator and the Baby” in TriQuarterly and “This Story” in Phoebe: A Journal of Literature & Art Since 1971Prof. Christman is also chairing the conference committee for AWP this year and will be delivering a welcome address on the opening night of the conference.

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Profs. Scalzo and Manery Publish Poetry Books (And More November Good News)

Prof. Emily Scalzo had four poems accepted to Scarlet Leaf Review, including “To My Father,” “If the Human Race is the Only Race, Why Does this Shit Still Happen,” “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” and “The Reason I Blocked You on Facebook.” They are due to be published in December. Also, her poetry chapbook, The Politics of Division, was accepted by Five Oaks Press for publication in 2017.

Prof. Rebecca Manery’s book of poems, View from the Hôtel de l’Étoile, is just out from Finishing Line Press. Individual poems from this collection have been published in Rhino, Bennington Review, and The Body Politic. Becca is a new faculty member at Ball State. Learn more about her here

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Two #bsuenglish Faculty Publish their Books (and More October Good News)

October was filled with spooktacular achievements. Keep reading for some scary good news!

Dr. Jackie Grutsch McKinney‘s new book, The Working Lives of of New Writing Center Directors, is officially out.

Professor Patrick Collier had his book Modern Print Artefacts: Textual Materiality and Literary Value, 1890-1930s, published by Edinburgh University Press. A big congrats to you both!

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Rani Crowe's Short Film Featured at Film Festivals (and More September Good News)

The beginning of the semester has been filled with many accomplishments. Read more to learn about the department’s achievements!

Rani Deighe Crowe‘s short film, Texting: A Love Story, played at the Broad Humor Film Festival at the beginning of the month. The film also:Texting: A Love Story

  • Played at the Milwaukee Women’s Film Festival in August, winning the Audience Award for short film
  • Has been accepted to 74 festivals around the world, including screenings in Israel, South Africa, Japan, Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, and the UK

In October, the film will screen at the Indie Hype Film Festival in Sydney, Australia and the Portland Comedy Film Festival in Portland, Oregon.

In other news…

Dr. Darolyn “Lyn” Jones accepted an invitation to serve as a three year term board member for the Indiana Teachers of Writing (ITW). She also:

  • Presented at the conference “#blacklivesmatter: And So Do Authentic Writing Prompts” at the Indiana Teachers of Writing Annual Conference with Michael Baumann, a Ph. D. in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Louisville.
  • Spoke with Dr. Sheron Fraser-Burgess at the Indiana Association of Black School Educators (IABSE) Annual Fall Meeting on the topic of “How and why we should create more clubs like the Alliance of Black and Latino Teachers (ABLT) club.”
  • Released her new book “Memory Workshop” with co-author Barbara Shoup

Dr. Adam Beach‘s essay, “Aubin’s The Noble Slaves, Montagu’s Spanish Lady, and English Feminist Writing about Sexual Slavery in the Ottoman World” was accepted for publication in Eighteenth-Century Fiction.

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Summer Good News

Summer has been a busy time for Ball State faculty, students, and alumni alike! Read more to find out what these Ball State affiliates have been up to.

Prof. Katy Didden earned a fellowship to attend the prestigious Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference in Middlebury, VT. She will be co-facilitating a workshop with poet Alan Shapiro, giving a craft lecture on Marianne Moore and the Great Distance Poem, and giving a reading.

Dr. Paul Ranieri published a chapter titled “Standing the Test of Time: Liberal Education in a Jesuit Tradition” in Traditions of Eloquence: The Jesuits and Modern Rhetorical Studies, edited by Cinthia Gannett and John C. Brereton, published early this summer by Fordham University Press.

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


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
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.



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

Lynne Stallings, EnglishBSU media’s article “Parents learning English benefit from class offered by Ball State, Muncie Schools” is based on a partnership between BSU ESL licensure students in Prof. Lynn Stalling‘s Methods and Practicum courses and the Muncie Community Schools. The ELL (English Language Learner) program has been offered to Muncie students for several years, and is now expanded to caregivers who want to learn supplemental English and need an introduction to the American school system.

Elisabeth Buck and Nikki Litherland Baker successfully defended their dissertations!

Drs. Carolyn MacKay and Frank Trechsel published “Hacia una reconstrución del proto-totonaco-tepehua” in the collection Investigaciones (inter)disciplinarias en lingüística.

Prof. Angela Jackson-Brown was interviewed on The Art of the Matter with Travis DiNicola to discuss her play, ANNA’S WINGS. Her play is a part of the 2016 DivaFest at Indyfringe in Indianapolis, IN. Jackson-Brown also hosted a Sneak Peak Cocktail Party for all of the Divas of Divafest at Indy Reads Books.
In addition, Jackson-Brown presented a workshop  entitled “Why Did They Do That: Learning to Ask the Right Questions of our Characters” at the 2016 Gathering of Writers, sponsored by the Indiana Writers Center.

Undergraduate Lauren Cross has been awarded the Senate’s Gudal Memorial Scholarship. She currently works as a Legislative Intern for State Senators Lonnie Randolph and Greg Taylor.

Dr. Adam Beach presented a paper entitled, “Torture, Trauma, and Slaves Who Love Their Masters” at the annual meeting of the American Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies in Pittsburgh, PA.

Prof. Eva Grouling Snider has been awarded a 2016 Provost Immersive Learning Grant for her project “Holistic Communications for the 21st Century,” also titled Jacket Copy Creative. Students will manage the public communications of Whitely Community Council and the Ball State English Department. Students in the project will work together to produce promotional materials, manage social media, maintain websites, edit blogs, and conduct focus groups. They’ll gain experience in editing/publishing, content marketing, public relations, graphic design, web development, strategic communications, and social media management. For more information, visit our blog post.

Profs. Lynne Stallings, Carolyn Dowling, and Dave Largent were awarded a 2016 Provost Immersive Learning Grant for their project “Developing SED (Science, Education, and Diversity) Modules”. The focus will be to expose students of diverse backgrounds to STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art Math) by developing activity templates and modules for students at a local middle school and after-school program. The modules will incorporate science experiences, while allowing students to effectively communicate about those experiences. It will be offered as an HONR390 colloquium course in the fall.

Dr. Rai Peterson and Prof. Sarojini Jha Johnson have been awarded a joint Virginia Ball Center Fellowship for the 2016-17 school year. Rai, Sarojini, and their students will be working in the cross-disciplinary field of book arts to develop a Book Arts Collaborative in downtown Muncie, Indiana. It will house community programs and a proposed Ball State interdisciplinary minor in book arts that encourages cross-collaboration between students and community members.

BSU alumnus JD Mitchell has been accepted into the University of Louisville College of Business Entrepreneurship MBA program.

Two #bsuenglish students, Luke Bell and Sara Huber, have been selected as recipients of the university-wide Academic Honors in Writing award for the 2015-2016 year.

#bsuenglish senior Darren Sible was nominated for IACTE Outstanding Future Educator award. He is invited to attend a reception later this month with nominees from other universities from across the state. Congratulations!

Dr. Joyce Huff was interviewed by NPR for their broadcast, “‘You Cannot Shame Me’: Two New Books Tear Down ‘Fat Girl’ Stereotypes”.

Dr. Jackie Grutsch Mckinney was a keynote speaker at the 2016 Northeast Writing Center Conference in New Hampshire. She presented “Connecting the Dots of Writing Center Labor Stories” at their largest conference to date.

Dr. Lyn Jones presented “Keeping and Creating Peace: The Alliance of Black Teachers Club” at the Benjamin V. Cohen Peace Conference: Peace in Troubled Times. In addition, her essay “I Want To Write For Regular People” was featured in Permission: The International Interdisciplinary Impact of Laurel Richardson’s Work.

Prof. Emily Scalzo published a poem, “Higher Education Held Hostage” in New Verse News. Her poem “Duplicity, Or Why I Will Not Support Hillary for 2016” is available at Blue Collar Review and will be in the print edition.

Dr. Susanna Benko’s article, “Instruction matters: Secondary English preservice teachers’ implementation of cognitively demanding writing tasks,” will be published in April’s edition of English Education, a journal sponsored by the National Council for Teachers of English.

Along with colleagues Dr. Emily Hodge and Dr. Serena Salloum, Dr. Benko will also present two papers at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Washington DC later this month. Those papers are:

  • “Policy into practice: Investigating state-endorsed writing resources for the Common Core State Standards”
  • “Common Core connections: A social network analysis of state-level instructional resources for English/language art”

Dr. Elisabeth Buck has accepted a tenure track position as Assistant Professor and Director of the Reading and Writing Center at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Congratulations!

Prof. Craig O’Hara‘s short story “The Laundry District” has been published by Foundling Review.

Prof. Beth Dalton was awarded the 2015-2016 C. Warren Vander Hill Award for Distinguished Teaching in Honors Education.

Dr. Molly Ferguson presented at a “Feminist Pedagogies” roundtable at the Northeast MLA conference (NEMLA) on March 19th. Her talk was titled, “Strategies to Foster Collaborative Knowledge-Making in an Interactive Learning Space Classroom.” In addition, the journal Studi Irlandesi accepted her article for a special issue on “Resistance Ireland,” to be published in June 2017.

Prof. Michael Begnal‘s poem “Homage to Séamus Ennis” was published in the Salmon Poetry anthology titled Even the Daybreak: 35 Years of Salmon Poetry. The anthology was launched at the AWP Conference at the end of March.

Dr. Laura Romano presented “A Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Interviewing: Using Ethnography to Teach Disciplinary Skills” at the Moore Symposium on Excellence in Teaching, at IUPUI. Romano also presented “The ‘Microlecture’: Creation and Cultivation of the Student Voice” at the College English Association’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado.


51op7cqjbhl-_sx311_bo1204203200_Profs. Mark Neely and Sean Lovelace are proud editors of Nice Things by James Franco, and yes, we mean the real-life movie star legend James Franco. Mark and Sean were recruited through a publishing connection and the rest, as they say, is history. This chapbook of Franco’s musings has been published through New Michigan Press.

Sean Lovelace also published two flash fictions, “University of W” and “University of B” in the spring issue of Sonora Review.

Elisabeth Buck has accepted a position as an Assistant Professor and Director of the Writing Center at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.

Dr. Jennifer Grouling has been granted research leave for Fall 2016 to work on her project “Adapting VALUES: The Life of a Rubric.” She will be studying the ways that different universities have adapted the VALUES rubric for Written Communication by the Association of American Colleges and Universities for assessment across the curriculum.

Alicia Miller, currently pursuing an MA in TESOL, has been accepted to the PhD program in Curriculum and Instruction at Mercer University. Congratulations!

A review of What Middletown Read by Dr. Frank Felsenstein has been published in the March issue of Choice, a publication for academic libraries.

Prof. Michael Begnal presented on a creative panel at the 44th Annual Louisville Conference on Literature & Culture since 1900, reading a sequence of poems titled, “A Colony of Ticks.”

Several of our fabulous grad students also presented at the Louisville Conference. They rocked it.


  • Olivia Gehrich presented “Change vs. Progress: Analysis of the Gender Outlaw’s Function in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando”
  • Jesse Sopher presented “‘The Manly Love of Comrades’: A Whitmanian Tradition, Edward Prime-Stevenson’s Imre, and the Effects of the Closet on Homosocial Behaviors, Relationships, and Desires”
  • Danita Mason presented “Heteronormativity and Lesbian Invisibility in Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt and the Film Carol
  • Jeremy Flick presented “Be a Good Girl: Power Dynamics in The Price of Salt, Carol, and Lolita

Prof. Emily Scalzo had three senryu accepted by @7×20 in January, and they were published this month on Twitter. Check them out! In addition,

  • her poem “Duplicity, or Why I Will Not Support Hillary for 2016” will be published in the Winter 2016 Blue Collar Review, available in March, and
  • her poem “Stardust” was accepted by Mobius: The Journal of Social Change in late February, and is now available online.

FRONT-where mercy and truth meet_ homeless women of wheeler speak

The public memoir Where Mercy and Truth Meet: Homeless Women of Wheeler Speak, edited by Prof. Lyn Jones, was chosen as the class reader for a required freshman course at Butler titled: Families and Urban Poverty in U.S. History. The anthology was created by the Indiana Writers Center and Wheeler Mission Ministries Center for Women and Children, and was published last September. It centers on the stories of homeless women seeking assistance at Wheeler Mission. Lyn presented her talk “Using Public Memoir as a Way to Make Change for the Homeless” to the class at Butler.

In addition, Lyn published a chapter entitled “I Want to Write for Regular People” in the book Permission: The International Interdisciplinary Impact of Laurel Richardson’s Work. 

Dr. Susanna Benko published “More than social media: Using Twitter with preservice teachers as a means of reflection and engagement in communities of practice” in Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, an interactive online journal. The article was co-authored with Dr. Megan Guise, Casey Earl, and Witny Gill.

The Ball State Speech team was crowned Indiana Forensic Association 2016 State Champions for the fifth year in a row, and the Quality Award for the third year in the row. Four English students on the team carried home other awards and prizes:

  • Lauren Seitz, senior, won the scholarly essay contest with her entry: “‘Funny’ Feminism: An Ideological Criticism of Sarcastic Twitter Account @MeninistTweet.” She was also named Extemporaneous, After Dinner Speaking and Impromptu Speaking Champion.
  • Madison Gillespie, junior, was named Poetry & Prose Interpretation Champion.
  • Sarah Martin, freshman, was named Duo Interpretation Champion and Novice Prose Champion.

Congratulations on the awards!