in this issue


News & Events

T-shirts and Totes


Undergrad Conference


Author Edson to Visit
Alexander Awarded
Toto Pulls Curtain on..
Internships a Plus
Career Services Helps
Eclectic Wins Award

Faculty & Staff News

New Professor Profile


Umminger's COASTING


Alumni News

A Katrina Story

Life After West Georgia


Job Spotlight on Snow

Course Descriptions



Fall 2006


Dr. Umminger's COASTING

Dr. Alison Umminger recently finished a novel tentatively called COASTING, a follow-up to her co-authored Flyover States. Umminger describes the novel saying, “It follows Ronnie and Doris to their respective ‘new lives’ in Los Angeles and Atlanta. Ronnie is tutoring an overprivileged record exec's son, and Doris is teaching poetry. While Ronnie's boyfriend, Earl, has moved out West with her, he has also ‘gone hollywood’—getting a bit too involved in the superficial LA scene for Ronnie's taste. Doris is enjoying living in Atlanta, with her colonically challenged dog, Cicero, but finds herself lonely trying to negotiate a long-distance romance. At the same time, she finds campus politics at her now job tedious, and the right-wing students a real challenge . . . I'd like to think it's a slightly meditative piece on life choices in one's thirties, with a tempered happy ending.”

COASTING is due out in April 2007. Meanwhile, Umminger’s novel, Flyover States, has just been named the 2006-07 ENGL 1101 shared text.

Wit Author Margaret Edson to Visit

On the evening of Thursday, March 30, playwright Margaret Edson comes to campus and will meet with students who have been selected by their instructors to attend the reading. Edson will discuss her Pulitzer Prize winning drama Wit, chosen as the English 1102 shared text for 2005-2006. In an interview Edson described Wit as “a play about love and knowledge.” University professor and Donne scholar Vivian Bearing, the play’s protagonist, suffers from ovarian cancer and discovers that “she has to become a student” once again, become, according to Edson, “someone who learns new things.” Because of Edson’s commitment to her own students—she is an Atlanta kindergarten teacher—she will appear in the evening only, and seating is limited. Her reading, however, will be videotaped, and those tapes will soon be available for viewing.


Toto Pulls the Curtain on Dr. Brickman

The Fifth Semiannual Toto Pulls the Curtain Luncheon was held Friday, January 6th at St. Andrew United Methodist Church.  Guests enjoyed a pizza buffet, catered by Vlamis Pizza and Italian Restaurant.  Dr. Barbara Brickman, the featured speaker, delivered a presentation entitled, “Dr. Brickman or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Film.”

First introduced in January 2004, the luncheon was created so that students can learn about their professors' scholarship and academic projects--things their professors are doing in their academic lives behind the scenes of a classroom.  The curtain is pulled on them, so to speak, á la The Wizard of Oz.

The luncheon is held in January and August of every year.  Look for upcoming announcements for the next installment.  All English majors, minors, and faculty are invited.

Chris Alexander Awarded

English Education major Chris Alexander was honored recently with the Future English Teachers of Color Award given by the Georgia Council of Teachers of English. The honor is awarded annually at the GCTE conference, and Alexander was one of only two students to receive the award statewide. He presented the paper for which he received the award and $250 at the GCTE conference February 16-18 at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain.

“Student and Narrator: A Journey toward Metacognition in The Great Gatsby” was the title of Alexander’s winning entry. “I was nervous because I had never done a conference presentation before, but I was also excited because it shows that I’m capable of free thought outside the classroom,” Alexander said, adding that he especially wants to thank Dr. Jane Hill and Dr. Tom Dvorske. Dr. Hill brought the call for papers to the attention of Dr. Dvorske, who in turn recommended Alexander. “Dr. Dvorske helped map out and pinpoint elements within my paper that strengthened it.”

Dr. Hill was exceedingly pleased. “This is a major triumph for our emerging English Education program for Chris to be a statewide winner. We should be very pleased not only with Chris’s accomplishment but also that this award confirms our department’s commitment to increasing the presence of English Education in our department through the hiring of Dr. Dvorske,” Hill commented.

Alexander will graduate with a B.A. in English with teacher certification in Secondary Education in the fall of 2006.