College of Arts and Sciences

Department of English and Journalism


TEDx Videos Highlighting Some of Our Outstanding Faculty

David Banash, "Reconceptualizing the Value of Liberal Arts Education"

Merrill Cole, "Your Humanity, The Real One"

Marjorie Allison, "Buckle Up, Rough Road Ahead"

Christopher Morrow, "The Uncertain Glory of an April Day


Lois C. Bruner Creative Nonfiction Awards

1st Place - Justin Kim&nbsp

2nd Place - Alyson Eagan

3rd Place - Jared Worley

Cordell Larner Award in Fiction

1st Place - Katelin Deushane           

2nd Place - Jocelyn James                  

3rd Place - Jon Naskrent             

Cordell Larner Award in Poetry

1st Place - Jon Naskrent                 

2nd Place - Jocelyn James

3rd Place - Katherine Garon

This year's Magliocco Lecture was Dr. Jimmy Guignard!


English Students Win Undergraduate Research Award

Undergraduate Research Award Winners.

Our students, Tanya Nimz, Molly Cameron, and Brandon Nizzio, have all been named recipients of the College's Norman & Carmelita Teeter Undergraduate Research Award. This award is given to students who have demonstrated excellence in a particular scholarly endeavor. We want to thank our colleagues Magdelyn Helwig, David Banash, and Barbara Ashwood as well for mentoring these students in their work.

Dinner and Conversations with Roberta Di Carmine


On Friday, April 8, 2016, approximately 25 English students and faculty congregated at the Old Bailey House in downtown Macomb to enjoy an English Department tradition, Dinner and Conversations. After chatting among themselves and enjoying the delicious food provided by the faculty members, everyone made their way to the front room for the evening’s discussion. This Dinner and Conversation was hosted by Dr. Roberta Di Carmine, who shared her love of travel with those gathered through personal experiences and lots of stunning photographs. Dr. Di Carmine’s travels include trips to Australia, Argentina, Easter Island, Japan, the Netherlands, Wales, Alaska, and, of course, her home country of Italy. Through her photos and stories, Dr. Di Carmine shared the importance of experiencing other cultures and discovering that though we may live on separate continents, or even hemispheres, humans have far more similarities than differences. An engaging question-and-answer session after the presentation had students and faculty asking for more details on other cultures and sharing their own travel experiences. All attendees left with full stomachs and an appetite for travel.

Respectfully submitted,
Rebecca Gonner, Public Relations Officer
Sigma Tau Delta

Summer 2016 and Fall 2016 Course Descriptions are ready!

Students from WIU’s English department and our local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society win Convention Paper Award and elected Midwestern Student Representative this past weekend in Minneapolis!


Eight students presented their creative and critical work at this year’s Sigma Tau Delta international convention in downtown Minneapolis:

  • Molly Cameron - critical paper - sponsored by David Banash
  • Kirsten Dillender - creative writing - sponsored by Barbara Ashwood
  • Haley Helgesen - critical paper & roundtable presentation - sponsored by Tim Helwig
  • Justin Kim - critical paper - sponsored by David Banash
  • Natasha Morgan - creative writing - sponsored by Magdelyn Helwig
  • Tanya Nimz - creative writing - sponsored by Magdelyn Helwig
  • Brandon Nizzio - creative writing - sponsored by Barbara Ashwood
  • Jared Worley - creative writing & roundtable presentation - sponsored by Barbara Ashwood

Our excellent student, Haley Helgesen, was elected to serve as the Midwestern Student Representative, a one-year position that involves duties at the national and regional levels of the organization. She will serve alongside Tim Helwig, the organization’s Midwestern Regent. This position is a great honor for Haley, and for our department.

At the convention's closing awards ceremony, our amazing student, Jared Worley, won second place ($300) for the Best Convention Paper on Diversity in Creative Writing, and our recent graduate, Natasha Morgan, won third place ($150) for the Best Convention Paper on Diversity in Creative Writing. This is the first time our chapter has won a competitive Convention Paper Award, so this is a great accomplishment for the individual students and for our local chapter and department.

We are thankful to all the English faculty who have sponsored, advised, and worked with our English students over the years. They couldn't have done it without you!

WIU's Phi Delta Chapter Wins International Honor

STD Award

"Our English majors and minors have worked very hard to achieve this international recognition." Helwig, who also serves as the Midwestern Regent for the international organization, added, "With 145 active chapters in the Midwest and 30 chapters in Illinois alone, I know the competition for this award is very high, and winning speaks volumes about our students' talent and hard work." ....Read the whole article HERE

CAS Scholar of the Year!


Marybeth Hornbaker is the CAS Scholar for this year. Picture was taken at the Annual CAS Scholarship Dinner.

WIU Film Minor Wins a Film Festival Award!

One of our film minors, Austin Thompson, has won an award at a film festival in Missouri this past weekend!

Austin Thompson is a senior in General Studies (minor in film, creative writing and theater). His short film 'The Break In" was awarded at the Fault Line Film Festival held at Southeast Missouri State University this past November the 13th. Austin's film won the best mystery/suspense category and he attended the festival this past Friday to receive his award. (Austin is on the right, holding the award). As mentioned by Austin, the project was encouraged by his theater instructor Carolyn Blackinton and his film professor Roberta Di Carmine.



The Myth of the Unemployed Humanities Major

“For the last time: No, earning a degree in English, philosophy, art history, name-your-humanities-discipline will not condemn you to a lifetime of unemployment and poverty….”  Read this blog by Wilson Peden on November 11, 2015


Veteran Poet & Author, Bruce Lack:

Bruce Lack

Bruce Lack, veteran poet and author of the award-winning collection *Service*, speaks to Barbara Harroun's Introduction to Creative Writing class about the art of poetry and his own writing process. During his September 23-24th visit,Lack visited both WIU campuses to give readings, meet with students, and connect with veterans. This visit was sponsored by the English Department,Council on Student Activity Funds,Disability Resource Center, Foundation and Development, Quad Cities campus, University Libraries, and Veterans Resource Center.

Bruce Lack


Dr. Mark Mossman, Dr. Mohammad Siddiqi, Dean Sue Martinelli-Fernandez. Presentation at College of Arts & Sciences retirement party.

Unity was awarded "Outstanding Large Student Organization" at the WIU Leadership Award reception. Paris Hamm, President of Unity, was awarded a Gordon A. Taylor Student Leadership Award. The department is so proud of this amazing group of students!

The Mirror and The Lamp

A publication of the Phi Delta Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta at Western Illinois University

Adventures in Creative Nonfiction: The Stranger than Fiction Reading Series
Alumna Spotlight: Kristi Relaz
2014-15 Awards & Announcements