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English Students Shawn Reese and Lauren GriffithEnglish Students Shawn Reese and Lauren Griffith


Work study students Sarah Boger and Ashlea Lovell.The English Department welcomes you to explore our pages and contact us about the many avenues to explore in English Studies.  English is a comprehensive discipline.  Its scope encompasses a study of the evolution of the language itself, the various types of writing, the literature in English (poetry, drama, fiction, and essay) and the comparative study of literature.  As a course of study, English enables people to express themselves clearly and to read their ideas and those of others in an appreciative and critical manner.  The ideas expressed are boundless, the content emotive, as well as rational.  Contact our secretary, Carrie DeFigio, or our chair, Margo Wilson, for more information.  Above:  Student workers (from left) Sarah Boger and Ashlea Lovell greet visitors to the department.

English Department Events, 2014-'15

Poet John Hoppenthaler Visits Cal U

On Feb. 13, 2015, poet John Hoppenthaler visited Cal U.  He is the author of two books of poetry.  A third collection will be released later this year.  Hoppenthaler read from his works in the Chapel at Old Main.

Below:  Top Row, Left:  Poet John Hoppenthaler speaks to the crowd.  Top Row, Right:  The crowd listens to Hoppenthaler recite some of his work.  Middle Row:  (left to right) Interim President Geraldine Jones, Provost Bruce Barnhart, and Dean Mohamed Yamba attend the poetry reading.

Poet John Hoppenthaler speaks to the crowd.The crowd listens to Hoppenthaler recite some of his work.

Interim President Geraldine Jones, Provost Bruce Barnhart, and Dean Mohamed Yamba attend the poetry reading.

Several English professors also attended the event.

Below:  (from left) Dr. Brent House, Dr. Kim Vanderlaan, and Dr. Christina Fisanick.

Dr. Brent House attened the event.Dr. Kim Vanderlaan attended the event.Dr. Christina Fisanick attened the event.

EAPSU Conference Held at Cal U

On Oct. 3-4, 2014, Cal U hosted the Fall 2014 conference for the English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities (EAPSU).  Professors and students from the fourteen universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) came together to discuss the topic "Creativity in 21st Century English Studies."  The conference was held in the South Wing of Cal U's convocation center.

Below:  Students who were in attendance included (left to right):  Katelin Delano (East Stroudsburg University), Andrea Cobb (Clarion University), Courtney Wark (Mansfield University), Abbie Lahmers (Slippery Rock University), Anissa Freeman (Shippensburg University), Courtney Dunn (Bloomsburg University), and Shawn Reese (Cal U).

Students who participated in the conference.

Many individuals from Cal U and the community attended and participated in the event.

Below:  Top Row, Left: Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Mohamed Yamba, welcomes the crowd during lunch.  Top Row, Right:  Dr. Brent House introduces speakers during the plenary session.  Second Row:  The crowd listens to Tawni O'Dell's keynote speech.  Third Row, Left:  Dr. Anthony Carlisle gives his presentation "Gettin' Jiggy With It:  Hip Hop and English Studies."  Third Row, Center:  Keynote speaker Tawni O'Dell (left) stands with her mother after addressing the crowd.  Third Row, Right:  Dr. Keat Murray gives his presentation "Error and Emendations in the Fiction of James Fenimore Cooper:  Rethinking Creative Authorship through Scholarly Editions."  Fourth Row:  (left to right) Provost Bruce Barnhart, Interim President Geraldine Jones, and Dean Mohamed Yamba attend the conference lunch.

Liberal Arts Dean Mohamed Yamba welcomes the crowd during lunch.Dr. Brent House introduces speakers during the pleanary session.

 The crowd listens to Tawni O'Dell's keynote speech.

Dr. Anthony Carlisle gives his presentation.Keynote speaker Tawni O'Dell stands with her mother after addressing the crowd.Dr. Keat Murray gives his presentation.

(Left to Right) Provost Bruce Barnhart, Interim President Geraldine Jones, and Dean Mohamed Yamba attend lunch at the conference.

The conference also featured entertainment by several groups and individuals.

Below:  Top Row:  The Vulcanize choir entertains the crowd during lunch.  Second Row:  Civil War-style band Acoustic Shadows of Blue and Gray play for the crowd before dinner.

The Vulcanize choir group entertain the crowd during lunch.

Acoustic Shadows of Blue and Gray entertain the crowd before dinner.

New Student Orientation

On Aug. 26, 2014, the English Department held an orientation for new English majors.

Below:  Back row (from left):  Jerron Corley and Amanda James.  Front row (from left):  Branda White and Kennedy Figas.

New English majors attend the department orientation on Aug 26.

English Department Faculty Achievements and Student/Faculty Projects

2012-'13, 2011-'12


English Department Events, 2012-'13

Below, Top Row: President Gerri Jones greets visiting poet Kofi Anyidoho. Below, Middle Row:  North Carolina poet laureate and former Cal U student Joseph Bathanti discusses his work. Below, Bottom Row, Left: The audience is intrigued by the poetry of visiting instructor Michael Levan, at Right

  President and Kofi

Bathanti speaking to students and staff

 Poetry Reading AudienceMichael Levan

Dr. Christina Fisanick Coordinated the Celebration of Student Writing

Below: Dr. Christina Fisanick organized the department's annual Celebration of Student Writing, an event that recognizes the efforts of Cal writing students. The Celebration was held in Natali Student Center on May 2.

Professors Participated at Graduation

Below, left: Dr. Sarah Downey and Below, right: Dr. Anthony (Todd) Carlisle attended the Spring 2013 graduation ceremony.
sarah downeytodd carlisle

Farewell to 2013 Retiree Dr. Bill Hendricks

Below: Dr. Bill Hendricks at right, was honored at a spring luncheon. He retired after 23 years at Cal U. Dr Anthony (Todd) Carlisle, at left, was among the well-wishers.


 The Sporadic Encyclical
The Spore

Check out The Spore to find out what the English Department faculty have been up to.

Dr. Sarah Downey Takes the Cake

Some of Dr. Sarah Downey's students baked a "wug" cake to make the fictitious linguistics creature a little more real -- and tasty!

Dr. Sarah Downey with students and a  The wug cake

Other Recent Retirees

Below, Top Row: Dr. Madeline Smith retired from the English Department in Spring 2012, after serving as English Department chair for nine years. Bottom Row, Left: Betsy Natali joined her husband, Alan, at Right, at a luncheon celebrating his retirement in Spring 2012.

Madeline Smith  









  Betsy and Alan Natali 

Dr. Kurt Kearcher Takes Students to Peer Tutoring Conference

Read more in the Spore, above, about Dr. Kurt Kearcher’s trip to Miami with four Writing Center students. They presented at the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing. Kearcher is a member of the group’s steering committee. In the photo, from left, are: Kearcher, Leann Rerko Orris, Theresa Bush, Adam Kavulic, and Nate Folkemer.

Dr. Kurt Keacher, Leann Orris, Theresa Bush, Adam Kavulic, and Nate Folkemer








Dr. Mark Aune's Shakespeare Class Stages Performances

The Spore
Romeo and Julietfirst photo below, from left
second photoAs You Like It
Students Perform Romeo and JulietStudents Perform As You Like It

English Department Student Projects

Creative Writing Projects

Journalism Projects

Multimedia Journalism, Spring 2015

Cal Multimedia Journalism


Cal Corner, Spring 2013, Individualized Instruction
Cal Corner Spring 2013, Individualized Instruction

Cal Corner, Spring 2010

A screen shot of a Cal U Journalism blog homepage

Other Class Projects

Reporting, Fall 2011

Reporting, Fall 2011
Feature Writing, Spring 2011

 A screen shot of a Cal U Journalism blog homepage

Individualized Instruction, Journalism 3, Spring 2012

Cal Corner, Spring 2012

 Individualized Instruction, Journalism 3, Fall 2011

Cal Corner, Fall 2011

 Individualized Instruction, Journalism 3, Spring 2011

 Thumbnail shot of the Independent Studies, Journalism 3 class project

Secondary Education English Student Teacher Showcase

Secondary Education English Students demonstrated what they've learned and been doing in their classrooms. From Left, Top Row: Lauren Caumo, Lora Davis, and Leann Rerko-Orris; From Left, Bottom Row: Theresa Bush, Tim Strother and Maghan Amodei.
Lauren Caumo
Lora DavisLeann Rerko-Orris                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Theresa Bush   Tim Strother    Maghan Amodei                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Celebration of Student Writing Spring 2012

Thanks to:

Celebration of Student Writing Coordinator Dr. Krystia Nora

And to:

  • Dr. Todd Carlisle
  • Dr. Sarah Downey
  • Dr. Christina Fisanick
  • Dr. Lisa Schwerdt
  • Professor Margo Wilson 

And to the approximately 200 students who participated.

Student Choice Best in Show Award Winners

Clarissa Hollows, Mackenzie Gregor and Erin Donnely in Dr. Kurt Kearcher’s class

Student Choice Most Creative Award

Emily Lorence in Dr. Krystia Nora’s class

Faculty Choice Award Winner

Carol Mannix for projects in Dr. Lisa Schwerdt’s class and Dr. Sarah Downey’s class 

And thank you to the College of Liberal Arts and to California University of Pennsylvania for supporting the Celebration of Student Writing 2012

Dr. Bill Hendricks' World Literature Class, Spring '12

Dr. Krystia Nora's Composition Class

Kristen McKenzie Raps for Intro to Poetry Class

Contact Us

College of Liberal Arts
Department of English
Azorsky Hall
250 University Ave.
California, PA 15419
FAX 724-938-1515

Department Chair: Margo Wilson

Department Secretary: Carrie DeFigio

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A Celebration of Student Writing, Spring 2013

National Poetry Month

galleryView the National Poetry Month Photo Slideshow