Dolan Receives UMRB Grant for Second Book Project

Congratulations to Dr. Kathryn (“KC”) Dolan, who has just been awarded a University of Missouri Research Board grant. This grant will enable her to work full-time in Fall 2016 on her second book project: Dinner Stories: Food Animals and the Environment in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature.

The following is a list of UMRB grant recipients, past and present, from our department:

• Ed Malone, 2016, Technical Communication in World War II: The Birth of a Profession
• Anne Cotterill, 2015, Absolute Zero: Demonic Cold in Early Modern England
• Eric Bryan, 2012, The Christianization of Scandinavia
• Kate Drowne, 2011, The Black Flapper: Jazz Age Stories of Modern Black Women
• David Wright, 2008, Communications in Converging Industries: NAIS
• Ed Malone, 2008, Women Technical Communicators before 1960
• Anne Cotterill, 2006, Elizabeth Isham: A Life in the Margins
• Kathy Northcut, 2005, Drawing Meaning: The Power of Scientific Illustration

Department Welcomes Dr. Sarah Hercula

by Taylor Schubert

The Department of English and Technical Communication is pleased to announce the hiring of another professor: Dr. Sarah Hercula will be joining the faculty in Fall 2016.

Dr. Hercula is a recent graduate of Illinois State University (ISU), where she earned a PhD in English Studies with an emphasis in linguistics. Her research focuses on linguistics and TESOL pedagogy.

While at ISU, Dr. Hercula held several positions, including Instructional Assistant Professor in the School of Teaching and Learning, Program Assistant for the Writing Program, and Associate Editor of the Grassroots Writing Research Journal. In Spring 2015, she was honored with an Outstanding University Graduate Student Teaching Award.

Dr. Hercula is eager to assume her position at Missouri S&T and looks forward to working with her new colleagues and students.

A Promotion in the Department

Dr. Ed Malone has successfully navigated Missouri S&T’s tenure and promotion process and been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure. Dr. Malone has worked hard for this recognition, as a scholar, a teacher, and as Director of Technical Communication. If you see Ed, shake his hand and congratulate him.

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.

Kate Drowne: Woman of the Year

Dr. Kate Drowne, Associate Professor of English and Technical Communication, was named Woman of the Year at the annual Woman of the Year luncheon on April 20. This Award is given annually by Missouri University of Science and Technology.

The program from the luncheon says that the “Woman of the Year Award is given to a female faculty member dedicated to student education and committed to diversity. . . . the Woman of the Year exemplifies the abilities and qualities that improve the campus climate for women.”
As chair of the Department of English and Technical Communication, I’m proud of Dr. Drowne and delighted that she has received this well-deserved award. I am also

Dr. Kristine Swenson to be Department Chair

Dr. Kristine Swenson, Associate Professor of English and Technical Communication, has accepted the position of chair of the department. Dr. Swenson’s duties will begin on July 1, 2009. Dr. Swenson’s years of experience at Missouri S&T (UMR when she came here in 1998) make her well-qualified to handle the demanding job of administering the department.

During this academic year (fall 2008 – spring 2009) Dr. Swenson has been on research leave, pursuing her book project on the Kenealy sisters, Arabelle and Annesley. The sisters were trained in medicine, one as a doctor, the other a nurse. They were active feminists and popular writers. I was privileged to hear Dr. Swenson’s presentation on this research at the 2007 Woman of the Year banquet. It’s very promising.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Swenson as department chair.

Retired . . . to a Sports Car

With my own retirement drawing near, I wonder about the situation of retired colleagues, friends who began teaching here when I did and have had the good sense to retire before me. One of these is Michael Patrick, Associate Professor Emeritus of English. Mike retired nearly twenty years ago. When I asked for news for the department newsletter, Mike replied with a generous amount of new, more than would fit into Panoply. For the interest of those who know Mike, perhaps took classes with him, here is a slightly edited version of what he sent.
Currently, he and his wife, Sheena, live in Fairhope, Alabama. Mike has continued scholarly activities focused the book,

Celebrating the Humanities at Missouri S&T

We do have Humanities at Missouri University of Science & Technology.While some may think of the Humanities as an ornament to educating engineers and scientists, the areas in Humanities – English, History, Philosophy, the Arts, Languages – are important areas of research in their own right. Scholars and creators in these areas create knowledge and experiences that benefit society beyond the bounds of the campus.

On March 18, the second event Celebrating Excellence in the Humanities will be held in St Pat’s B in the Havener Center. The event starts at 2:00 and ends about 3:00. The scholars being celebrated are Michael Bruening, History and Political Science, Kate Drowne, English and Technical Communication, Eric Bryan, English and Technical Communication, and Audra Merfeld-Langston, Arts, Languages, and Philosophy.

Each scholar will speak briefly on his or her research, topics as diverse as the Reformation, the flapper in American culture, Old Norse mythology, and responses to globalization in rural France. Publications by other members of each department will be on display.

Members of the public, as well as the campus community, are welcome. See you there!

“And zero at the bone”

The title phrase comes from a poem Emily Dickinson wrote about suddenly encountering a snake while walking in tall grass. It’s always resonated with me because I had the same experience more than once, encountering a variety of snakes, including rattlers, in the grasses of the Kansas Flint Hills.

“Zero at the bone” also seems appropriate to the week ending today. We’ve had some very cold temperatures accompanied by dangerous wind chills. At the same time, this week opened the spring semester here at Missouri S&T. Starting a new semester is somewhat like taking off in a jetliner: there are some jolts and shakes, a bit of nervousness, but also the excitement of beginning a new journey, of meeting new people.

Speaking for myself, the new semester is off to a good start. I’m teaching World Literature I, from the beginnings to the Renaissance. The beginnings go way back to Sumerian and Akkadian syllabary script inscribed on clay tablets, Gilgamesh, in other words. This is one of my favorite courses, so it’s appropriate as the last course I expect to teach at S&T.

My retirement is scheduled for 1 July 2009, so this is not only my last semester to teach but also my last as chair. I hope to post more frequent entries here in these last few months, so come on back!

Weathering the Storm

Surely everyone knows by now that a series of economic catastrophes are shaking up our lives. Everyone I know has more questions than answers, and the answers seem to shift each day–or more often. The University of Missouri system faces serious budget cuts; the amount isn’t known yet.

This post expresses strictly my own views, stating my attitude more than what I know, because what I know isn’t much. The serious budget cuts that the University of Missouri system faces will affect the way each campus, each department, and each faculty member functions. The cuts will affect the educational process of students.
As chair of the Department of English and Technical Communication, my goal is to do all I can, and to support the department’s faculty and staff to do all they can, to ensure that we come through this storm with the least possible damage. The quality of our courses, our degree programs, our research will remain as high as before the crises.