FMU Premieres New Composition Sequence

Leah Power’s Q&A with Dr. Rachel N. Spear,
FMU’s Composition Coordinator

Q: How has the composition program changed?

A: The composition program moved from a three-course sequence, which included English 111, English 112, and English 200, and to a two-semester model with these courses:

  1. English 101 or English 101E (plus English 101L)
  2. English 102

Upon entering FMU, students will self-select into English 101 or 101E, the “extended” version which provides supplemental instruction in a writing studio. Once students successfully complete their first semester, they will progress to English 102.

English 101, English 101E, and English 102 will be capped at 15 students per section, enhancing teacher-student interactions as well as writing communities.

Q: What brought about these changes?

A: When we examined our former program closely, we noticed several things: the need for students to learn analytical and argumentative writing earlier, a stark disparity with similar institutions and within the discipline itself, recent changes in South Carolina’s high school standards, and issues with transfer credit. Based upon internal and external data, the English Department worked collaboratively to imagine a better program for our students while also staying true to our programmatic goals. Continue reading

Writing Center tutors stay busy all summer

Once again this summer, FMU’s Writing Center opened its doors to help Session I and II students brainstorm, draft, and revise compositions of all kinds. A total of 150 students were served in both online and on-campus tutorials.

Two students work in the Writing Center

Additionally, the Writing Center tutors enjoyed time with teacher education students from Thailand working with Education Professor Dr. Polly Haselden. The students came to the Center to work on composing final presentations for their course.

Visiting Students from Thailand

The Writing Center opens for Fall tutoring on August 29th in Founders Hall 114C. Students can sign up online or stop by the Center for more help.

Photos by Christina Xan.

Snow Island Review Releases 26th Issue

By Anna Jackson, SIR editor

The FMU Literary and Art Journal, Snow Island Review, published and released its 26th volume on April 18th in the Lee Nursing Auditorium. Around 40 students, parents, and faculty came out to celebrate the release of the journal. The release party featured readings by the authors of their published works and a display of the artwork that was printed in the journal.

SIR poster

The official cover and poster for the 26th issue

The journal features poetry, short stories, photography, and visual artwork created by the students of Francis Marion University. The work published in the journal is selected for publication by a student panel of staff members and editors. After work is submitted, staff members read the works and then deliberate and vote on what they want to see in the journal. Works that receive majority vote are then accepted for publication.

This year’s issue represents exactly what the journal itself represents. In the preface to the journal, I say that the works contained within it are the unadulterated experiences, thoughts, and feelings of the students at FMU. I, along with many others, find writing as an escape. It is not always about love and heartbreak. It is not always about topics you are comfortable discussing, but it is life. Life does not have a censor; therefore, neither does writing. Snow Island Review allows all voices on all topics the chance to be heard, along with the chance to be a published author or artist. That is the message myself and the staff strived for with this year’s volume.

SIR Contributors

The contributors for the 26th issue gather in front of one of the images featured this year.

As Editor-in-Chief of Snow Island Review, I could not be more pleased with the work that was put into this year’s journal and the quality of work that we had the privilege to publish. The staff, especially my editorial team, came together and put in the extra work that was need for this publication to run smoothly. This year’s editorial staff included myself, Amber Griffith, Mason A. Jones, Corbin E. Witt, Christina Xan, Trey Brown, and Joshua Smith. The other staff members include Claudia Almazan, Amy Benton, Kim Boswell, Lucas Berry, Summer Rae Bradham, Zachary Bullard, Rebekah Davis, Aidan Humphrey, Kendria Mason, Jake Pack, Justin Scott, Nisheeka Simmons, Kyle Stewart, and Taylor Whisnant. Also, Dr. Mica Hilson served as the faculty advisor of the journal. I would like to thank each of these individuals along with the English Department for their continued support to Snow Island Review.

Hilson at podium

Dr. Mica Hilson, faculty adviser, introduces his students.


SIR accepts poetry, short stories, photography, and visual artwork.

We are always looking to expand on staff members; there are no requirements other than showing up and participating. Also, we will begin working on next year’s journal in the fall and will be taking submissions of any kind to consider for the next issue of the journal. For more information or to ask any questions, you can contact the staff at

Editorial Team

The Editorial Team for Issue #26. Join this talented group in the fall by emailing the staff at the address above.

Frosted or Glazed?

On March 22, the English Department’s Pastries with Profs event once again enticed students with coffee, juice, and sugary goodness while promoting Summer and Fall courses. English major Christina Xan grabbed some photos in between bites:

Good food, good people

(Be an English major. We have pastries) Continue reading

Pastries with Professors Is Coming Up!

It’s back! Our biannual “Pastries with the Professors” event.

A special invitation for those interested in majoring or minoring in English or a Modern Language… or for anyone who wants to know more about these programs, classes, and faculty.

Every semester, the English faculty open the doors to the Faculty Lounge and invite students in for some sweet treats, coffee, juice, and conversation.  This semester, faculty from Modern Languages will be part of the fun.

Look at all the sweet treats waiting for you!

This smorgasbord greeted nearly 100 students at the spring Pastries With Professors event.

You’re invited!  Stop by for a snack and learn more about classes that will be offered by the English and Modern Languages Department.  You can find descriptions of classes, recommendations for what to take next, and donuts.


Bring questions! Bring your friends! Bring an appetite!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015
9:00 am – 11:00 am
Founders Hall 105 (Faculty Lounge)

Meet Jason Owens

This fall, Jason Owens became one of three new faculty members to join the English Department.  We asked him to tell us about himself and what he brings to FMU.

Q. Tell us a little about your research. In what areas do you research? What was your dissertation about? Any future plans?

Jason OwensMy research interests include Black social and political thought, the systemic, institutional, and technological forms of violence against youth in the United States, and the impact/influence of privatization/corporatization on operations, curriculum implementation, and values orientations in public schools. My dissertation focuses on social reconstruction theory in education, particularly the work of Theodore Brameld, and the theory’s radical instructive influence on the values, vision, and mission of public education in the United States. In the future, my research plans are to engage social reconstruction philosophy with different areas of youth culture. I plan to offer social reconstruction theory as a force to defend violent capitalistic onslaughts against the youth, as well as offer awareness to the contemporary crises that endanger this most vulnerable and targeted group.

Continue reading