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Walking the talk

Faculty members' published work sets an example for students

Their work spans literary criticism, fiction, rhetorical studies, literary theory, nonfiction and Spanish translation. Six faculty in the Department of Languages, Literature and Mass Communication (LLMC) had their books published last year or have books debuting this year.

“Books take different forms. Some colleagues craft poems and stories; others produce scholarly monographs within their expertise. I took the textbook path,” said LLMC Department Head and Professor of English Barry Laga, PhD. “All of these projects grow out of our intellectual and creative passions, but they have a ripple effect.”

His book Using Key Passages to Understand Literature, Theory and Criticism was published this past October.

Five of the recently published faculty are from the English program and one professor is from the Spanish program. Their topics, processes and journeys were each different.

Instructor of English Colin Carman, PhD, spent his summer and winter breaks writing and revising his book The Radical Ecology of the Shelleys: Eros and Environment. Professor of English William Wright, PhD, chose to write about rhetoric and baseball in Baseball and the Rhetoric of Disappointment: Nostalgia and Complaint in Public Discourse on the Game because he is a fan of each. Professor of Spanish Mayela Vallejos-Ramirez, PhD, translated The Dossier by Linda Berron and wrote Globalización, Literatura y Frontera: Una Visión a Las Travesías Mundiales as her expertise includes women’s literature and Latin American literature.

One common thread between the authors was the value they placed on students learning from and seeing their published works.

"As a teacher of creative writing, I believe it is vitally important that I write and publish lyrical essays, poems, short stories and other creative work,” said Instructor of English John Nizalowski, whose fifth published book Chronicles of the Forbidden: Essays of Shadow and Light debuted this month. “This gives me an understanding of craft that I can hopefully instill in my students so they will attain their creative and publishing potential.”

Many students were able to be a part of the publishing process whether by editing chapters or writing transmittal letters.

Associate Professor of English TJ Gerlach, PhD, echoed Nizalowski’s sentiments, “One of our primary functions is to serve as role models for students. Being able to point to professional accomplishments beyond the classroom is an important component of that.”

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Written by Katlin Birdsall