Dr. Bruce L. Edwards

In 1977, Bruce L. Edwards received his BA in English from the English Department here at Missouri S&T. (We were the University of Missouri – Rolla at the time.) He went on to an MA from Kansas State University and then a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981. From there, Dr. Edwards went to Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he has been ever since.

Currently, Dr. Edwards is Professor of English and Africana Studies at BGSU, where he also is Associate Vice-Provost for Academic Technology.

His scholarly interests include C. S. Lewis and Kenneth Pike, both of which, I like to think, were encouraged here. Dr. Edwards’ Web site provides much information and many links for you to browse.

Department Picnic

I’ve just returned from the Department of English and Technical Communication’s annual picnic. At the end of every spring semester, we gather to socialize, announce scholarship awards, give Academic Scholar’s List certificates — and eat.

Despite the afternoon’s being chilly, windy, and rainy, over 50 people, students, faculty, spouses, children, parents, came to Lion’s Club Park here in Rolla. It’s especially nice to see young children at department picnics and also nice to meet the parents of some of our students.

Perhaps you will be able to join us next May.

How To Make a Difference

“I’m an engineer, not a poet. How can English classes be important to me?” Terry Bollinger, Computer Science major at Missouri University of Science & Technology, answers clearly, “If you want to make a difference in the broader scheme of things, you
have to be able to communicate your thoughts clearly and convincingly.”

Back in the 1970s, the English Department of Missouri S&T (then UMR), began offering a writing minor. One of the first students to take a minor was Terry Bollinger, then a B.S. Student in Computer Science. Terry received his B.S. in 1977 and an M.S. in Computer Science in 1980,both from S&T. The title of this post comes from Terry’s statement quoted above.

Terry was on the S&T campus on April 23 and 24 as a member of the Computer Science Department’s Advisory Board. The Department of English and Technical Communication was fortunate to have Terry meet with an English/Tech Com 260 class. Terry carried on a lively informal conversation with the class, centering on a project the class has been working on.

Currently, Terry works for DeVenCI as their main technology assessor of emerging IT and hard science products. DeVenCI works together with the Department of Defense. Writing is a major component of Terry’s career. If you visit Terry’s personal Web site, you can find many examples of his reports and his advocacy of open source software and of Linux.

It was a real pleasure for me to talk with Terry and sit in on his conversation with the class. He was one of my students here and one of the best I’ve had in 42 years.

A Tech Com Grad at Work

Elizabeth Richardson (“Libby”) received her M.S. in Technical Communication in 2007. She has been working in the Republic of Korea, first teaching English as a Second Language, and now as a technical writer for Samsung. In a recent email, Libby brought us up-to-date:

“I’m in Suwon City, South Korea at the R&D complex, working with B2B products (Business 2 Business). Our marketing team is going to be launching the B2B web portal soon from our worldwide website.
“I’ve been editing all of the manuals for applications coming out of my division it seems. They are even having me write some pop-up messages for the applications. Right now I’m helping write a Java API (javadoc) for a major release we have coming up. It’s a challenge, but it’ll be worth it. I’m working with an engineer that’s in India to document the code. I also edit other stuff, too. I think within a few months I’ll probably be editng every piece of writing coming out of Samsung’s Digital Printing Division. Oh, I’m also working on getting a style guide up and going for our division. That’s in my ‘spare time’ though.
“Tell the current students to hang in there! The future isn’t completely bleak!”.

What Happens after Graduation? Ask Amy Edwards . . .

An English student
with minors in business and marketing, Amy Edwards, English 2007, stayed active at
the Missouri University of Science and Technology through KMNR, Blue Key,
International Friends and Southwinds Literary Journal. In addition, she served
as a writer at the Missouri S&T Department of Public Relations and
Communications, where she reported to Mary Helen Stoltz, English 1990. “Mary Helen
was an excellent mentor,” Amy said, adding that this writing and new media
experience paved the way for later positions.


Currently a graduate student at
Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., Amy spent the last year serving as a
new media specialist and marketing intern for Chicago-based companies Aptium
Global and Azul Partners. She remains a regular contributor to company blogs
MetalMiner (http://www.agmetalminer.com) and Spend
Matters (http://www.spendmatters.com). “We cover a
range of topics,” Amy explained to me. “I’ve written about everything from the
price of steel and the metals technology behind samurai swords to the metal
content in Olympic medals. I try to find topics that are fresh and
exciting, with a focus on the role of metals in global


Amy has firsthand experience with
“global society.” Taking advantage of Missouri S&T’s study abroad programs,
Amy’s semester in Lund, Sweden, spurred a life-long interest in comparative
literature. With
research interests that include postmodernism and feminist rhetorical theories,
Amy cites professors Anne Cotterill and Irina Ivliyeva as major influencers and
role models during her academic career at Missouri S&T.
Now that Amy
has completed the coursework for her master’s degree, she moved to Wisconsin
this fall, where she continues to work on her thesis. She serves as adjunct
faculty in writing and communications at Moraine Park Technical College.

What Happens after Graduation? Game Nite!

Sean Cordes, who received a BA in English from S&T (then UMR) in May 2000, currently is instructional services coordinator at the University Libraries Western Illinois University at Macomb. Recently, Sean brought the idea of Game Nite to WIU; he also was instrumental in organizing Game Nites at the the WIU library.
The accompanying newspaper story and video clip give more information about Game Nite and about Sean, whose commitment to learning through alternative media is strong. We’d like to think that commitment began when Sean was an undergraduate here in the late 1990s.

Promotion for Rebecca Frisbee

Frisbee_Rebecca.jpgA primary question of prospective students is, "What can I do with a degree in English?" Here is one example of sort of thing graduates of our programs do when they graduate.
Rebecca Frisbee joined the University of Missouri – Rolla’s Publications Relations Office in 1992 after graduating with a BA in English in 1990. Rebecca has been with Publications Relations for 15 years. In 1995, Rebecca became manager of the department, and art and production editor for the MSM-UMR Magazine. In 2005, she led the redesign efforts of the alumni magazine when we changed its name to UMR Magazine.
Rebecca will begin her new duties as manager of marketing for the School of Extended Learning on Oct. 1. It covers Distance and Continuing Education, International Affairs, and the Engineering Education Center in St. Louis. On behalf of the Department of English and Technical Communication — Congratulations, Rebecca!