Tag Archives: Ball State English Department

Elizabeth Palmer: Marketing at Coldwell Banker

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Photo provided by Elizabeth Palmer.

She graduated from Ball State in 2014.

She majored in English Studies, with a minor in digital media.

She worked as one of the English Department’s PR Interns, producing content for this very blog.

Today, Elizabeth Palmer tells us how she used her skills as an English major to secure a position at Coldwell Banker, a real estate company.


1. What I Learned as an English Major

Courses like Editing and Style helped me balance my writing voice with concise, coherent arguments.

I owe a lot of my growth as a writer to Amit Baishya, who, unfortunately, is no longer teaching at Ball State.

Learning to communicate effectively allowed me to showcase my other skills, like design and multimedia storytelling.

Opportunities at Ball State, like the Digital Media minor, helped me utilize my skills in more engaging educational settings. 

My Virginia B. Ball Center seminar (Strengthening Opinions about Animal Responsibility) also gave me an opportunity to thrive in an entirely new learning environment. 

To learn more about the Virginia Ball Center, click here.

 

I knew I wasn’t destined to be an English teacher (even though so many people told me I should be), and branching out into Ball State’s immersive learning projects allowed me to prove that.


2. Finding a job is hard, but not impossible

The last two months before graduation, I spent all my time providing sample work, researching, and interviewing for a job I was so sure I was going to get.

When the time of the interview came, I spent over two hours in the office meeting employees. I even spoke with the HR director and interviewed with the marketing manager.

I left that interview confident I’d secured a future at the company. I was so sure I wasn’t going to be one of those college graduates scrambling to find a job after graduation.

I was wrong. Continue reading

Undergraduate Student Morgan Aprill Discusses Her Writing Fellowship and Her Research Project on Tutoring

MorganAprill

Morgan Aprill is an English literature student at Ball State University with minors in Spanish and professional writing. She is entering her senior year as an undergraduate at the university in the fall. In addition to her work on the “Digital Literature Review,” she currently works as a tutor at the English Department Writing Center. She is conducting a research fellowship with two of her professors about tutoring and composition in second languages, with hopes of publishing the findings in a peer-reviewed research journal. She is a recent recipient of the Carol S Chalk Memorial Scholarship awarded to outstanding tutors in the Writing Center.

I was approached by Dr. Kuriscak, one of my previous Spanish professors, and Dr. Grouling, the Director of the Writing Center, at the end of the 12-13 school year. As a Spanish minor, I took Dr. Kuriscak’s Spanish 202 class at the end of my sophomore year. Both professors knew I worked as a tutor in the Writing Center and that I was also in the Honors College, so they thought I was the perfect candidate for the research they were interested in pursuing concerning alternative tutoring methods. Dr. Grouling had been in conversation with Dr. Kuriscak about ways the Center could aid students who were working on writing for their foreign language classes. The professors came up with the idea of trying out a writing fellow who would work with Dr. Kuriscak’s Spanish composition classes. That’s where I came in.

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Alumna Dr. Jenny Smith on Her Journey Through English at BSU

*Photo provided by Jenny Smith

*Photo provided by Jenny Smith

As an English professor, I am often given to hyperbole. But, it is not an overstatement to say that Ball State’s English department changed my life. Before enrolling in 1999, I was a good student, not a great one. I’d always had a passion for books, but I did not use or cultivate it. I lived with an apathy typical (although not unique) to an eighteen year old.

That changed once I began taking English classes. The faculty engaged with the life of the mind in ways I did not even know existed. The department inspired me to think my life could be whatever I wanted it to be, and that soon involved study abroad, graduate school, and, eventually, a career in teaching.

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English Undergrad Brittany Means: “My First Publication Made Me Feel Like Brad Pitt”

Last year I took Pete Davis’ poetry class, and for my final packet I decided to experiment a little bit. While I was at work, I wrote something that was kind of flow-of-consciousness, played around with the format a little bit, and titled it “Books About.” After I turned it in, I abandoned it in the poetry folder on my laptop and forgot about it.

Over the summer, I attended the Midwest Writers Workshop. There were contests being held for fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Since I had already sent in a fiction piece for something else, I rummaged through my laptop and found “Books About” for the Manny Contest. Knowing that the number of attendees would be in the hundreds, I wasn’t sure about my chances for winning anything, but I went ahead and submitted it. During all of the different events and classes, it sort of slipped my mind that there even was a contest. When they called my name during the award ceremony, I almost had a heart attack. I went up and collected my award and then sat down, feeling pretty darn satisfied with myself. When they called my name again for the overall best manuscript, or R. Karl Largent Writing Award, I was so shocked that it took me a few moments before I could get out of my chair to go get the second award. It was really a shock to me that I could win amidst all of the other wonderful writers attending. There’s a picture of this moment on Cathy Day’s blog, and it looks like I just heard a great joke.

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Interview with Recent Alum Tyler Gobble on Living the Writer’s Life and Winning a Book Award

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Tyler Gobble graduated from Ball State University in May 2011. He is a multi-hat wearer for Magic Helicopter Press and host of the Everything Is Bigger reading series at Malvern Books in Austin, TX. He has plopped out four chapbooks, with two others called Other People’s Poems (Radioactive Moat) and Collected Feelings with Layne Ransom (Forklift INK) forthcoming, and his first full-length will be out from Coconut Books in the fall of 2014. He likes disc golf, tank tops, and bacon, and yes, in that order. Feel free to mosey a message over to gobble.tyler@gmail.com for whatever reasons.

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Get Ready for In Print 2014 by Reading These Interview Excerpts

The 2014 In Print Festival is coming next week in Assembly Hall at the Alumni Center! On Tuesday, March 18 at 7:30 PM, the visiting authors will read from their work.  The authors, along with editor Jodee Stanley, will also participate in a panel discussion on Wednesday, March 19, at 7:30 PM. By attending the Festival, you will be able to reach out to the writing community and gain insight into life as a writer from experienced authors. To get a taste of who will be speaking at the Festival, take a look at these interview excerpts from the In Print panelists.  Full versions of the interviews can be found in the newest edition of The Broken Plate, which is available for free to all who attend In Print.

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Good News, Fall 2013

In the latest installment of our “Good News” series, The Ball State English Department highlights the accomplishments of the department’s graduate students and faculty during the Fall 2013 semester:

Amit Baishya wrote an article titled “The Act of Watching with One’s One Eyes: ‘Strange Recognitions’ in Siddhartha Deb’s An Outline of the Republic,” which is forthcoming in Interventions: International Journal for Postcolonial Studies. Another article by Baishya titled “The ‘secret killings’ of Assam in literature” was published in November in Himal Southasian. He also has an article named “Close Encounters of the Real Kind: the Avatars of Terror in Two Contemporary Assamese Short Stories” that has been accepted for publication in a collected edition of essays titled Frames of Culture. Routledge will publish the collection in November 2014.

Baishya was also invited to deliver a presentation titled “Countryless Countries: the Poetics of No-Man’s Zones in Contemporary Militant Fictions” at the Materialism and the Colony colloquium at Bard College at Simon’s Rock on May 23, 2013. In addition, he is co-organizing a seminar titled “Differential Capital” at the American Comparative Literature Association Conference at New York University in March 2014.

Doctoral student Nicki Litherland Baker’s article “’Get It off My Stack’: Teachers’ Tools for Grading Papers” is in press, to be published in Assessing Writing. The paper was first presented at the national College English Association Conference in Savannah, Georgia last April. Litherland Baker also presented her paper “Students’ Own Engagement with Technology as Their Research Focus” at the Indiana Teachers of Writing conference held in Noblesville, Indiana in September. In addition, at the Indiana College English Association Conference in Evansville, which took place in October, she presented “College Composition and the Five-Paragraph Essay: An Example of Academic Othering.”

Adam R. Beach co-edited (with Srividhya Swaminathan) Invoking Slavery in the Eighteenth-Century British Imagination, and the book was published by Ashgate in July 2013.  Beach’s essay “The Good-Treatment Debate, Comparative Slave Studies, and the ‘Adventures’ of T.S.,” is included in the volume. Beach also published “African Slaves, English Slave Narratives, and Early Modern Morocco” in Eighteenth Century Studies.

Peter Davis’s third book, TINA, came out from Bloof Books in 2013. It has received good reviews in Fanzine and H_ngm_n. A poem from TINA was featured at Versedaily. He has done a fair amount of readings this semester for TINA, most notably at the KGB reading series, The New School, Manchester University, and Illinois State University. He is doing a workshop and reading at Columbia College in Chicago in February. Davis is also featured in a new anthology, The Incredible Sestina Anthology, which was edited by Daniel Nester.

Cathy Day published a short story, “Mr. Jenny Perdido” in Volume 9 of Pank Magazine in 2013. She also received a grant called “Publishing + BSU Students” that provided funds for 20 students to participate in the 40th annual Midwest Writers Workshop from July 25-27 last summer. It is a Discovery Award Grant given by the Discovery Group of Muncie, Indiana in 2013 for $15,398. Click here to read the department’s blog post about her involvement in the event.

Day also wrote a guest post for the Indiana University Press blog called “The Book Behind the Old Washington Street Festival” on August 30, 2013. She wrote it in an effort to publicize her neighborhood’s annual historical festival and the work of Muncie author Emily Kimbrough.

Frank Felsenstein is the joint author (with John Straw, Katharine Leigh, and James Connolly) of “Reading Library Records: Constructing and Using the What Middletown Read Database,” which has appeared as a chapter in Libraries and the Reading Public in Twentieth-Century America, published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2013. The chapter is based on a team presentation at the 2010 conference, “Libraries in the History of Print Culture,” which is sponsored every five years by the American Library Association. Given the rarity of their survival, the editors of the volume describe the discovery of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century circulation records of the Muncie Public Library as “an extraordinary find.” Information about the project and digitized records can be accessed through Ball State’s website. The freely accessible database is now being regularly employed both by researchers and by teachers and students across the United States and abroad.

Robert D. Habich published the chapter “Biography” in Ralph Waldo Emerson in Context with Cambridge University Press, as well as the online research guide “Ralph Waldo Emerson” in Oxford Bibliographies in American Literature with Oxford University Press. His review of The Collected Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, vol. 10, appeared in the New England Quarterly in September, and his review of “Not Altogether Human”: Pantheism and the Dark Nature of the American Renaissance by Richard Hardack was published in the Journal of American History in June. Habich is completing a two-year term as president of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society.

Darolyn Jones was awarded the Outstanding Proposal Submission at the Diversity and Inclusivity Teaching and Research Symposium at Indiana University Southeast on October 13. She was also awarded the university-wide Excellence in Teaching (EXIT) award for her project “Rethinking Children’s Literature: Reading for Change” at Ball State University in 2013.

Jones’s work with the Indiana Writers Center has been featured on the Ball State University website since October. Also, she was featured in an article titled “TTK: Fight for your Writers” in an online publication for the Arts in Indiana called Sky Blue Window on October 12. A memoir collection she edited along with English department faculty member Liz Whiteacre called Monday Coffee and Other Stories of Mothering Children with Special Needs was released in November.

Sean Lovelace released a flash fiction collection published by Bateau Press titled The Frogs are Incredibly Loud Here. It was the winner of the 2013 Keel Prize for short fiction. Two more of Lovelace’s flash fiction pieces titled “I Roll into a Ball and they Throw me at Derek Jeter” and “Separation” were published in Fall 2013 in Quarter After Eight literary magazine. During the summer of 2013, his flash fiction piece titled “Saturday” was published in Juked magazine.

Craig O’Hara’s short story “The Corner,” which recently appeared in the North Dakota Quarterly, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Emily Scalzo had three poems, “The End of Childhood,” “The Process of Grief,” and “Comfort Food,” featured in the online literary magazine Dead Snakes. Also, her short memoir piece, “Degradation,” was published in the online literary magazine Run to the Roundhouse, Nellie.  Scalzo’s poem, “To Adam,” is forthcoming in February at Deep Water Literary Journal, and two poems, “My Reason for College, 2003,” and “Homeless Man, Purdue University,” are forthcoming in April at Eunoia Review.

Trey Strecker reviewed Evan Dara’s Flee for the TLS: Times Literary Supplement (22 Nov. 2013) and Joseph McElroy’s Cannonball for the Quarterly Conversation 34 (Winter 2014).

Mary Lou Vercellotti’s article “Use and Accuracy of Verb Complement in English L2 Speech” was published in October in the Dutch Journal of Applied Linguistics. Also, she had an article published in TESOL Quarterly titled “Examining the Impact of Self-Correction Notes on Grammatical Accuracy in Speaking” in June. In addition, she wrote a chapter called “Language Acquisition and Language Assessment” in the book The Companion to Language Assessment.

Vercellotti also presented twice at the Second Language Research Forum in Utah this November. Her presentations were titled “Not All Clauses are Created Equal: Classifying Grammatical Complexity in ESL Speech” and “Profiles of Noticing in L2 English Learners: Examining Online and Post-production Noticing Moves.”

Maria Windell’s article titled “Moor, Mulata, Mulatta: Sentimentalism, Racialization, and Benevolent Imperialism in Mary Peabody Mann’s Juanita” has been accepted for publication in J19:The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, the journal of C19: The Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists.

Andrea Wolfe completed her Virginia Ball Center seminar entitled “Down to Earth: Small Farm Issues in a Big Farm World” this semester. Take a look at the documentary and other related materials.

New Faculty Profile: Prof. Diane Mooney

This week, the department continues our series of new faculty profiles by featuring Professor Diane Mooney, who joined our department this year. Diane earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Florida International University in 2008, and has taught both traditional and online courses at Florida International and Miami Dade College.  She also taught for two years at Shantou University in China.  Continue reading below for the interview conducted by English Department intern Nakkia Patrick.

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*Photo provided by Diane Mooney

How has teaching abroad helped shape you as an educator?

The mission of Shantou University, where I taught in China, is to bring Western-style education to China. Students were used to listening to a teacher lecture for an hour with no opportunities to ask questions or work with each other on projects. Introducing the concept of the student-centered classroom was a challenge, but it reinforced my belief in Marshall Gregory’s notion of befriending, which “entails creating an atmosphere of classroom trust that can help students who are willing to take the risk of real engagement, the risk of failure and the commitment to practice that constitutes the grounds of learning.” To encourage student engagement, I developed and taught a food-writing class where students wrote memoirs, shared family recipes, and reviewed restaurants. Food and family are central in Chinese culture, and the students were very excited to share their culture with me. This experience also reinforced my belief that teachers need to be flexible to meet the needs of their students.

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Tyler Fields: How Enhancing My Degree Paved the Road to New York City

In this post, Tyler Fields, the winner of our 2013 Outstanding Senior Award, describes how his experiences and his English degree at Ball State helped prepare him for the New York Arts Program and the three internships that he currently holds at D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., at MAGGY Poetry Magazine, and at the Lauren Cerand publicity agency.

The memory is vague. My honors advisor is asking me what I think I’d like my major to be. “What are your interests?” she asks. This question seems a bit cavalier. After all, my answer could very realistically determine my future career or livelihood. I said, “books.” And with a click of her mouse, my advisor set into motion a series of events, called the Creative Writing Major, which would lead me to a number of opportunities and eventually several internships in New York City. For the next four years, many would ask the infamous question all humanities majors come to know so well: “What are you going to do with that major?” My answers would change over the years from, “I’d like to write,” to, “Maybe I’ll teach,” to, “I have no clue.” Now, as I am working at several internships in New York City and participating in the New York Arts Program, I realize that my Creative Writing degree from Ball State University is exactly what I needed to begin realizing my original desire to surround myself with books. It is because of the opportunities afforded by Ball State’s English Department that I now have a clear and confident reply to anyone who asks, “What are you going to do with that?”

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Recent Alum Layne Ransom On Her Job as a Migrant School Aide

In May, I graduated from Ball State with a creative writing degree and this plan in mind:  I’d take a year off from school to work, then start grad school to work toward an MFA in creative writing, specifically poetry.  Bam.

Now I’d just have to find a job.  Continue reading