Current Students


Anna Worm, a M.A. in English student graduating in April 2014, has been accepted into a doctoral program at Florida State University. The program, an English Ph.D. with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition, has offered Anna a teaching assistantship. Anna successfully defended her master's thesis, "God Made Me Thisaway': Mary Wilkins Freeman, Flannery O'Connor, and Religiosity as Challenge to Heteronormativity" with distinction in March 2014.






Rachel Leigh Curtis (2014), MA English, was awarded a Presidential Research Grant. She was able to study the archival materials of Jewish American author, Tillie Olson, at the Stanford University Libraries as she conducts her thesis research. Grant awards of up to $1,000 are available to support research tied to the completion of an aspect of the applicant's graduate degree, generally the completion of a thesis, dissertation, or final scholarly project. 





April D. Best. MA English, will compete with graduate students across the 
region in the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools' 2014 Distinguished Master's Thesis Awards (MAGS).  April's thesis, "Geographical, Linguistic, Social, and Experiential Demarcation: the River in Edwidge Danticat's The Farming of Bones. April's thesis was selected from six submitted to the Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, and English graduate programs for consideration. Her work makes a substantial contribution to the understanding of post-colonial literature, dealing with contemporary issues with broad appeal.




Noelle Kasa (2013).  Noelle serves as adjunct faculty at Davenport Univeristy. She writes that "the fieldtrip to Chicago worked as a team building activity . . . It was one of the most rewarding elements of my whole MA experience. . . . Overall, my MA experience was one of the happiest of my life."


Simon Powers-SchaubGVSU M.A. in English graduate, , published an article in SPRING: The Journal of the E.E Cummings Society: "His Dream, Her Reality: Two Principles of Mental Functioning in E. E. Cummings' Him." Spring: The Journal of the E. E. Cummings Society 19 (2012): 17-26.


Jennifer Furner (2012).  Jenny currently teaches at Baker College in Muskegon as adjunct faculty and works full time with Girls Scouts of Michigan. chaired a panel at the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture in February 2013. The panel, "Identity and Sacrifice in the Works of Ralph Ellison," included three papers by GVSU M.A. in English students: Jennifer Furner ("The Human Scapegoat in the fiction of Shirley Jackson and Ralph Ellison"), Brittany Winters ("Keep This Nigger-Boy Running": Misdirection and the White Trickster in Invisible Man"), and Ben Redes (2013) ("Self-lynching: The Symbols of Dehumanization in 'A Party Down at the Square'"). Jenny currently works for Girls Scouts of Michigan and teaches a class at Baker College of Muskegon.


Todd Soule (2012). Todd is an adjunct "super-hero" at Muskegon Community College and Davenport University where he teaches composition. About his experience in the program, Todd writes: "I loved the English lit MA program and still maintain many friendships with fellow students and professors. I miss the interaction and academic discussions in the program.  It was my 'book club,' but so much more."


Rebecca Black (2011). Rebecca teaches English and theatre at Wayland Union High School. She calls her experience "both employment and adventure!" She feels that her M.A. in English Literature helps her to be an expert in the Shakespeare that she teaches. While at GVSU she appreciated the Shakespeare festival, including the conference which continues to be of real value.


Ann Hayward (2010).  Ann serves as an Acquisitions Associate at the GVSU Mary Idema Pew Library. Her assessment of the program included: "GVSU’s graduate seminars challenged me to go beyond just 'ingesting' literary works: I had to formulate and express my interpretation of what I read, in conversation as well as in scholarly writing.  Every seminar – without exception – revealed to me a new part of myself; I credit Grand Valley’s amazing English faculty in large part for this phenomenon." While in the program, Ann presented a paper on John Donne at the 2008 Conference of the Sixteenth Century Society. When approached and complimented by a scholar in attendance who suggested that she dig even deeper, Ann expanded her ideas into a Master's Thesis. Later, in response to an assignment by Professor Jim Persoon, Ph.D., she wrote two essays that were later included in Dr. Persoon's book (co-authored with Dr. Robert Watson), The Facts on File Companion to British Poetry, 1900 to the Present.



Meg Lockard (2009). Meg will begin a Ph.D. program in Curriculum and Instruction at New Mexico State University with a focus in Educational Technologies this summer (2014). Meg is currently an adjunct instructor in the GVSU writing department, the GRCC English Department, and teaches remotely for Ashford University and Corinthian Colleges. Meg, her husband, Lucas, and their young sons, Graham and Whittaker, live in Troy MI. while Luke completes a Ph.D. in Philosophy. 




David Settle (2007). David is a planner/buyer at Knape and Vogt as well as an adjunct English teacher at Grand Rapids Community College. "I loved the English lit MA program and still maintain many friendships with fellow students and professors. . . . I miss the interaction and academic discussions in the program.  It was my 'book club,' but so much more."


Elizabeth Shelley (2007). Elizabeth is an adjunct professor of Theological Research and Writing at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and an also teaches general education at Kendall College. While at GVSU, Elizabeth presented at a writing center conference and says that her two years at the writing center were "perhaps the most valuable of my graduate career." She shared: "I had a great experience at GVSU - top notch professors!  My M.A. thesis, under [Dr.] Ben Lockerd's amazing direction, was published in 2008." 

Page last modified August 18, 2014