Conference Opportunity for FMU English Majors

Calling All English Majors!

Apply for a full-funded trip to the Dickens Universe Conference at the University of California, Santa Cruz from August 2-9, 2014. 

Email letters of interest to Dr. England by April 24th! More information on the application process and the Dickens Universe can be found below and on this flyer.


The Dickens Universe

The Dickens Universe is a unique week-long conference that focuses on one work by the Victorian writer Charles Dickens each year. This format allows its participants to fully prepare for an in-depth, scholarly experience that will include lectures by outstanding professionals in the field, discussions groups, and even Victorian-themed activities (yes, there will be lots of tea and even a ball).

For FMU English majors interested in increasing their knowledge of English Studies and who have experience reading nineteenth-century literature, this is an incomparable opportunity to learn from leading scholars while also experiencing the Pacific Ocean views, redwood forests, and California culture of Santa Cruz.

For more information, visit the Dickens Universe website or watch “The Dickens Project Mini Documentary” on YouTube.

Dr. England, Trip Coordinator

Dr. England (a three-time veteran of the Universe) will be accompanying selected students and preparing them for this year’s conference on Our Mutual Friend through reading and writing activities.

Application Process

To apply, send a short email to c e n g l a n d [at] f m a r i o n [dot] e d u by April 24th. Your email should briefly describe your career goals and past experience with British nineteenth-century literature. Strong candidates will be asked for an interview. All majors (including graduating seniors) are strongly encouraged to apply. 

Apply today! The application deadline is April 24th.

Students Learn About Upcoming Courses During Biannual “Pastries With the Professors”


Every semester before registration, the English and Modern Languages faculty host “Pastries With the Professors.” The event offers English majors and minors and prospective majors and minors the opportunity to speak with their professors, look into future course offerings, and partake in delicious breakfast treats.

During this semester’s “Pastries With the Professors,” organized by Dr. Nancy Zaice and other faculty members, thirty-six students rubbed elbows with thirty-four faculty, chowed down on an assortment of doughnuts, doughnut holes, and pastries, and sipped on coffee, juice, milk, or chocolate milk.

As you can tell from the pictures, everyone had a great time. Hope to see you there next semester!




–Post and photographs courtesy of English Department Instructor Ms. Margaret McGill Floyd

2014 English Awards and Sigma Tau Delta Induction

On April 10, members of the FMU university community convened to honor the recipients of the 2014 English Awards, including those students whose work was selected for next year’s edition of Final Draft. Inductees to the FMU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society, also were honored.

Student Recipients of the 2014 English Awards

Excellence in Coursework

J. P. BROCKBANK AWARD, Melody Pritchard
ENGLISH AWARD, Melody Pritchard & Cristin Richards

Excellence in Composition Courses

Cameron Poole, “EA Games Has Begun a Slippery Slope”

Kaylee Jarrett, “Beverly”

Stacey King, “Wanna Play?”

Connor Wessel, “During Normal Growth, Inflation Negates the Effects of Minimum Wage on Low-Wage Employment”

Exemplary Essayists Selected for Publication in Final Draft

Jasmine Thomas, “Preparing for College”
Kristen Pianks, “America and Unhealthy Foods”
Sherry Chichester, “The Taboo of Sex”
Mary Mulholland, “Copyright Reform for the Music Industry”
Marc Phillips, “WikiLeaks: The Evolution of Espionage?”

2014 Sigma Tau Delta Inductees

London Barnhill
Benton Boyd
Summer Bradham
Chandler Bundy
Anna Chinnes
Ann Cook
Anna Marie Cox
Jazmyne Eggleston
Brantley Farmer
Shanae Giles
Megan Hooks
Colleen Kennedy
Deanna Lowery
Triece Meyers
Katrina Powell
Deloris Samuel
Casey Sanders
Grant Toth
Chicara Williams

Congratulations on honors well-deserved!

Faculty Research: Dr. Michelle Veenstra Discusses “Mindful Learning”

Dr. Michelle Veenstra, Assistant Director of the Writing Program, recently gave a talk to FMU faculty about the interplay among mindfulness, learning, and teaching. 

She presented her talk, “Mindful Learning in the Age of Distraction: How Students and Professors Can Become More Present in the Twenty-First Century,” as part of FMU’s Humanities and Social Sciences Symposium. The Symposium is held monthly and features works-in-progress by FMU faculty members.

Dr. Veenstra advises professors and students begin class together with three minutes of meditation in which one:

  • Focuses on the breath or breathing in and out
  • Lets thoughts come and go so as to remain in the present moment

Mindfulness, as Dr. Veenstra suggests in her talk, may improve attention, critical thinking skills, and even capacity for innovation and creativity.

Watch Dr. Veenstra’s talk in its entirety below to learn more about the research behind mindful learning. Dr. Veenstra also discusses how she used meditation in her English 200 classroom during the Spring 2013 semester.

Dr. Edwins Wins Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship

Dr. Jo Angela Edwins, who teaches creative writing courses in poetry, is the winner of the 2014 Carrie McCray Nickens Poetry Fellowship. Dr. Edwins will be honored in April at the annual induction ceremony for the South Carolina Academy of Authors. She also will be awarded a cash prize.

CC-licensed photo by flickr user the learnedfoot_

CC-licensed photo by flickr user the learnedfoot_

According to the South Carolina Academy of Authors website, the fellowship  ”was established in 2009 to support South Carolina poets whose work employs skilled verse composition and reflects a heightened awareness of the human condition.” The competition is held annually, and submissions are accepted each fall.

Writer and professor Lavonne Adams, who judged this year’s competition, praised Dr. Edwins’ winning poetry collection as

hav[ing] a coherence of voice—poems that speak to one another, that echo… The author exhibits mastery of form—a gracious breaking of line and stanza—which enhances the language, the imagery, and the sound devices, all delightfully tactile. [1]

Congratulations, Dr. Edwins, on this fine accomplishment!


FMU’s Writing Center Opens for Tutorials on Jan. 14

Conveniently located in Founders Hall, the FMU Writing Center offers free, one-to-one writing help. FMU students can receive assistance during any stage of the writing process–from brainstorming, to crafting thesis statements, to revising, to understanding citation and grammar rules.



The Writing Center (FH 114C) will open for Spring 2014 tutorials on Tuesday, January 14. Their hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  They also offer online tutorials on weekday and Sunday evenings. For drop-in assistance (no appointment needed), a Writing Center Consultant will be available in the Tutoring Center (LSF L107) Monday through Thursday evenings from 5:00-8:00 p.m. 

The Writing Center launched an online scheduling system last fall: Students can schedule a face-to-face or online appointments through the Writing Center’s website: Students will need to register on the site the first time they book an appointment. Faculty will receive notification via email about students’ completed tutorials for projects in their classes.


Workshops and workouts are interactive group sessions. In workshops, students address common writing situations, such as avoiding plagiarism. No reservation is required. All workshops are held in Lowrimore Auditorium (CEMC 114).

Workouts are small-group interactive sessions that combine the fun of a game show with the rigor of a boot camp to help students strengthen their writing skills. No reservation is required, though participation is limited to fifteen attendees. Each workshop will meet in FH 114B.

The first Writing Center workshop of the semester will be “Avoiding Plagiarism” on Thursday, January 16, at 2:30 p.m. in CEMC 114. The full workshop/workout schedule is  available online. The Writing Center will email professors notification forms to inform them of students’ attendance at these events. 


Dr. Kunka, Director of the Writing Center, and Dr. Reynolds, Assistant Director of the Writing Center, invite faculty to bring their classes to Founders Hall for a tour of the Center. During the tour, they will offer a brief introduction of their services (10 to 15 minutes). Faculty who are interested in this orientation activity can contact Dr. Kunka by email at j k u n k a [at] f m a r i o n [dot] e d u to make arrangements. Tours will be conducted from January 13-27.

Snow Island Review Announces Meeting, Issues Call for Submissions

Once again, FMU’s Snow Island Review is now accepting student submissions of original writing, including short fiction, plays, creative non-fiction, poetry, and songs. Submissions of original artwork, like photographs, sculpture, drawing, and mixed-media pieces, also are being accepted for publication consideration.

The Snow Island Review is FMU’s own literary and arts journal and is published annually in both bound and electronic forms. Previous issues of the journal can be accessed by visiting the Snow Island Review‘s official website.

Students interested in serving on the staff of the Snow Island Review should attend the interest meeting on January 17. The meeting takes place in FH 114B (next to the Writing Center) and will begin at 3pm. See the flyer below for more information.

The deadline for submitting creative works for submission consideration is March 3. Pieces must be no longer than 8,000 words. For additional information regarding submission requirements, please consult the full guidelines below.