College of Arts and Sciences

Spring 2015 News

  • Awards!
    • Lois C. Bruner Creative Nonfiction Awards: 1st Place - Kirsten Dillender; 2nd Place - Sandra Sepaniak; 3rd Place - Alyson Eagan
    • Cordell Larner Award in Fiction: 1st Place - Emilee Cox-Deboer; 2nd Place - Kimberly Ackers; 3rd Place - Katelin Deushane
    • Cordell Larner Award in Poetry: 1st Place - Kimberly Ackers; 2nd Place - Matthew Medley; 3rd Place - Jon Naskrent
  • Unity was awarded "Outstanding Large Student Organizations
  • Fall 2015 Course Descriptions ready! (pdf)
  • Congratulations Graduates! Congratulations to our December 2014 graduates!  12 English and 5 Journalism majors earned their Bachelor of Arts degrees at the end of this past semester.  They are: English: Lauren Anderson, Chad Blair, Jennifer Brenner, Rebekah Byrnes, Nurie Dervishi, Heather Harper, Noelle Johnson, Megan Kelly, Luke Phillipi, Meghan Psiharis, Angelica Samata and Samantha Tapscott; Journalism: Robert Baron, Kolette Herndon, Karyn Lacey, Nolan Porter and Robert Williams

Spring 2015 Events

Department Governance:

  • April 22 (Wednesday): UPI Safety Meeting.  12pm, Simpkins 14, we will meet to address safety issues in our building as well as open the discussion to safety concerns campus wide.
  • April 23 (Thursday): E & J Annual Awards Ceremony. 6pm, Multicultural Center, We will be awarding our Creative Writing, Leland and Journalism Awards, as well as our annual undergraduate and graduate scholarships.
  • April 29 (Wednesday): EXCO Meeting. 12:00pm, Simpkins 124. We will address Writing Committee membership--with regards to the new by-laws-- and building/office issues.
  • May 6 (Wednesday): UPI Unit B Meeting. 12:00pm-1:30pm, Capitol Room, University Union

Writing Faculty Meetings:

  • February 13 (Friday): 9am-1pm, place TBA, we will meet to assess ENG 280
  • March 11 (Wednesday): 4-5pm, Simpkins 14, we will meet to discuss assessment results and other program matters
  • April 16 (Thursday): 4-5pm, Simpkins 14, Professor Jill Myers from LEJA will speak to us about Distraction and Engagement in the classroom.

Pilot Curriculum Lunch Meetings:

(BYOL) These meetings are not mandatory and are not limited to faculty who are piloting. Everyone is welcome to attend! We will share our experiences as well as assignments and lessons that have proven effective. The lunch meeting dates are listed below:

  • February 4 (Wednesday), 12-1pm, Simpkins 14
  • February 19 (Thursday), 12:30-1:30pm, Simpkins 27
  • March 4 (Wednesday), 12-1pm, Simpkins 14
  • March 26 (Thursday), 12:30-1:30pm, Simpkins 27
  • April 8 (Wednesday), 12-1pm, Simpkins 14
  • May 6 (Wednesday), 12-1pm, Simpkins 14

STD Events

  1. Dinner and Conversations with Christy Wherley. March 27 (Friday);5:00pm-8:00pm, Alumni House. More details forthcoming.
  2. English and Journalism Annual Spring Picnic. April 18 (Saturday), 12:00pm-6:00pm, Everly park in the Evergreen Pavillion . All English and Journalism faculty and majors are welcome.

Film Events:

  1. Film Club Screenings at WIU: Wednesdays in Simpkins Hall Room 220 @7pm

Journalism Events:

  1. Spring 2015 Journalism Day Keynote Speech: ("The First Amendment Is Only for A Free Press in America?; New York Times V. Sullivan's Impact on Ethical Journalism") Dr. Kyu Ho Youm & Jonathan Marshall. March 25 (Wednesday). 11:00am-12:00pm. Sandburg Theater, Student Union.


  1. NCTE Student Organization Game Night Fundraiser.  April 16 (Thursday). 6:00pm-8:00pm, Simpkins Ground Floor. NCTE student organization is working to raise money to attend the NCTE National Conference in Minneapolis this fall. They will have wrist bands for "all you can play" as well as tickets to use to play a few games. They will also be selling pizza and soda. Please think about stopping by for some or part of the evening. It should be fun. Families and kids are welcome to join us.


  1. Pop-Up Poetry Lab. April 17 (Friday), 12:00pm-2:00pm. Malpass Library, 3rd Floor Classroom. NCTE, Western Literary Society and the University Library are joining forces to create a Pop-Up Poetry Lab in honor of Poetry Month. Please come and join us for experiments in poetry. We'll have stations where you can write a variety of different poems. Come for part or the whole event. It should be loads of fun.
  2. Stranger than Fiction: A Flash Nonfiction Reading. May 1 (Friday). 12:00pm-1:00pm. Malpass Library 180.

Visiting Speakers (sponsored by the Dept. of Eng/Jour):

  1. The Fred Case & Lola Austin Case Writer-in-Residence: Ire'ne Silva: February 25 (Wednesday), 7:00pm, Art Gallery. Ire'ne Silva is a poet and experimental writer. Her poetry, short stories, and essays have appeared in more than forty journals and anthologies. Ire'ne Silva is the 2014 Recipient of the final Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Award, the 2013 Fictional Finalist for AROHO's Gift of Freedom, and the 2008 recipient of the Gloria Anzaldua Milagro Award. She is also a 2010 Cantomundo Inaugural Fellow.
  2. The Fred Case & Lola Austin Case Writer-in-ResidenceLev Grossman April 3 (Wednesday), 5:00pm, Sandburg Theater. Lev Grossman is an American novelist and journalist, known for such novels as Warp, Codex, and The Magicians. He has written for The New York Times, Wired, Salon, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, and other major publications. His novel The Magicians has been heralded as "The Catcher in the Rye for devotees of alternative universes"; this novel won the 2010 Alex Award. In 2011, Grossman received the John W. Campbell Award for best New Writer.
  3. Elissa Washuta: Public Reading:  February 4 (Wednesday), 5:00pm, Art Gallery. Elissa Washuta is an emerging memorist and multimedia artist. Washuta, a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, is the author of My Body is a Book of Rules, a memoir published by Red Hen Press. Her work has appeared in Salon, The Chronicle of Higher Eduction, Filter Literary Journal, and Third Coast. She recently received a Potlatch Fund Native Arts Grant, and Artist Trust GAP Award, and a 4Culture Grant. In 2012, she was named an inaugural fellow in the Made at Hugo House program.
  4. Rachel Kushner: Public Reading: April 17 (Friday), 5:00pm, Sherman Hall (3rd floor auditorium). Rachel Kushner is an award winning American writer known for such novels as Telex from Cuba and The Flamethrowers. She has been a finalist twice for the National Book Award and in 2014 her novel The Flamethrowers was on the shortlist for the Folio Prize. This novel was also named a "Top Book" of 2013 by such publications as Time Magazine, The New Yorker, and Vogue. In 2013, Rachel Kushner received an honorary doctorate from Kalamazoo College, and that same year was a Guggenheim Fellow.
  5. Justin St. Germain: Public Reading: May 4 (Monday), 5:00pm, Art Gallery, . Justin St. Germain currently teaches at the University of New Mexico. His memoir, Son of a Gun, was the winner of the 2013 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award in Nonfiction. This work was subsequently named "Best Book" of 2013 by and Library Journal, and was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice for 2013. This book is published by Random House, and, most recently, has been called a work of "austere, luminous beauty" by NPR reviewer Julian Keller.