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Graduate Alumni

James (M.A. 1949) and Madeleine Chandler continue to enjoy the rich cultural life of the Saint Louis area; symphony music, graphic arts and theatre both amateur and professional, and so on. But Jim has slipped into a somewhat unusual linkage with the KU English Department: the sonnet! In writing invocations to Rotary and Senior Citizens Club meetings and doing domestically produced birthday and anniversary cards, all in rhyming and scanning 4-4-4-2 sonnets, he is just a few short of a century! Since he was 85, rising 86 (British speak) on May 27, he might reach that goal in his lifetime!


1950s

Lynn Miller (A.B., English, 1959) reports that her novel, Crossing the Line, is a tale of gay lives in Philadelphia today that are shaped by long-hidden family secrets from the 19th century. When Owen Gilroy sets out to help his adolescent grandson come to terms with his sexuality, he is forced to examine his own life by exploring that of their ancestor, Hiram Milhouse, a leading 19th-century scientist. Many lines are crossed as the mystery unfolds and the past impacts the present. Lynn is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Temple University. Lynn adds: “While Crossing the Line is my first novel, I’m the author or co-author of six non-fiction books, whose subjects range from international politics and world order to the influence of the French in Philadelphia. My play, “The Eye of a Bird,” has been produced in Philadelphia and New York. Crossing the Line, (2010) is available from AuthorHouse or from booksellers everywhere.”

Bob SwiftBill Sollner (M.A. 1954) writes “Since last I spun off an update, I've taken to Chinese...the language, that is. One thing leads to another, so I'm soon off to the Far East and a visit with friends in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Singapore... returning to Earth via Hawaii where my son and his family are virtual Kama'aina.  Here in Greater Arma, I'm editing a short documentary on the annual V-J Day and Homecoming. It's been running for 65 years, and Arma claims to be the only town in the country still celebrating V-J Day. Tentative title "Dying on the Vine?" (note the question mark), approximated running time 30 minutes. At the moment, I'm deep in a black-walnut harvest and stained accordingly. I mourn the passing of A.C. Edwards, my thesis advisor and friend.Aloha, all!”

George Worth notes that the University of Arkansas English Department recently published and distributed a commemorative issue of its Arkansas English devoted to Leo Van Scyoc (Ph.D. 1957). Though Van Scyoc, affectionately known on campus as “Mr. English,” ostensibly retired in 1994, he has, according to English Chair Joseph Candido, “spent the last thirteen years in his office doing what he has always done, scheduling classes, advising students, and shielding his colleagues uncomplainingly from a whole range of administrative problems - all for the sheer love of doing it.” The issue, comprised almost exclusively of reminiscences, celebrates Van Scyoc’s fifty years of service to the department.


1960s

John I. Blair (M.A.1966) and Clara are now both retired, though John still does some contract work editing and writing industrial sales copy. They still live (with their three cats) at 1206 Britt Drive, Arlington, TX 76013 (e-mail blairbards@sbcglobal.net). He adds, “Our son with his wife and two children live close by so we get to see our two beautiful granddaughters, Caitlyn and Leanne, frequently. My poetry still appears regularly on a couple of Internet e-zines and can be tracked down with a Google search for “John I. Blair” (ignore the 19th-century railroad magnate by the same name). Church, gardening, and grandchildren occupy most of our time. We love to hear from old friends.”

B.H. Fairchild (BA, 1964; MA, 1968) teaches a poetry workshop each spring semester at Claremont Graduate University.  His most recent book of poems, Usher (W.W. Norton, 2009), was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of their Top 25 Favorite Books of 2009 in poetry and fiction.  One of the poems in the book received a 2009 Pushcart Prize, and another was selected for Best American Poetry of 2010.  Forthcoming essays include: "Logophilia" in New Letters and "Poetry and Basketball" in the KU Alumni Magazine.

Kay Ewert Graber (B.S.1958; M.A. 1965) retired from her job as Communications Supervisor for Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Cedar Rapids, IA, seven years ago, but hasn’t retired from keeping busy. Graber has been appointed by the Governor to the Iowa Advisory Council on Brain Injuries for the past eight years, serves on the Indian Creek Nature Center Board and as chair of the Marketing Committee, and has been one of the leaders for a $1.3 million campaign and renovation of the Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Harlan Graber (KU Ph.D. 1964) will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this summer.

After spending time with the Hopi, the ethnography collection at the London Library, and the Santa Fe Railroad Museum, David Leon Higdon (Ph.D. 1968) returned to his manuscript on the sources of Brave New World for necessary additions and revisions. He has now spent two years writing about a book that took Huxley four months to complete, but that is the penalty of scholarship. He and his partner, Bill, stay busy with New Mexico Equity and with the bustling New Mexico film industry.

Bill Holm (M.A. 1967) retired from Southwest Minnesota State University in December 2007. 42 years on the assembly line . . . enough. His most recent book, The Windows of Brimnes, appeared in November 2007 from Milkweed Editions. It concerns the view from his house in north Iceland. He has just learned of his selection as the McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist. Previous honorees include Robert Bly and Emilie Buchwald. The award includes a $50,000 stipend. Who said poetry doesn’t pay off? Holm co-edited an anthology of literature generated in S.W. Minnesota: Farming Words. It’s a rich collection: Stafford, Bly, Manfred, etc., and includes work by three old KU veterans: John Resmerski, Mark Vinz, and Holm. It’s available by contacting the S.W. Minnesota State Foundation, Marshall, MN 56258.

Charles Linck (Ph.D. 1962), dissertation on Evelyn Waugh, advised by Harold Orel and Frank Nelick, is still active in the International Waugh Society and attended the Second Waugh Conference at the University of Texas, Austin, in May 2008. About 50 Waugh scholars from several foreign nations attended. He currently is sending out a DVD of an interview about his WW II South Pacific Area U. S. Navy experiences as his 85th birthday present to any address-able tribal cousins. The TAMU-Commerce Digital Library is collecting these “historical” interviews from local WW II vets for the Library of Congress Archives. We now 80s+ remnants are rapidly evaporating . . . .

Mary Duhamel Kramer (Ph.D.1969) has taught at UMASS since 1969, where she has also been heavily involved with the Honors Program. She has done considerable reviewing, freelance writing and lecturing. She volunteers with local libraries and schools.

B. Eugene McCarthy (Ph.D. 1965) has been retired from Holy Cross for some years now. In 2007, his edition (with Thomas L. Doughton) of eight slave narratives from ex-slaves who lived in Worcester, MA, From Bondage to Belonging: The Worcester Slave Narratives, was published by University of Massachusetts Press. The book consists of an introduction with historical and literary contexts, and headnotes to each of the eight narratives that amplify the biographical details and literary aspects of each narrator.

Sherry Anne Mowrer Newell (M.A.1964) continues to serve on the Board of Directors of several area organizations, as Faculty Co-sponsor of Cameron University’s classic film series (now in its 27th year), as an active member of several academic honor societies (English, Foreign Language, and Interdisciplinary), and as a chorister in several choirs (parish, community, and university).

Virginia Schneider (M.A. 1964; Ph.D. 1970) is retired from college teaching, still living at Lake of the Forest in Bonner Springs in a house she designed and built in 1972, and continuing to enjoy it. She feels fortunate that her good health has remained much the same, though her agility has certainly lessened. Travel has been curtailed somewhat, largely due to hassles of air travel, but she still looks forward to seeing new, old, exciting, beautiful places. She has taken several trips sponsored by KU Alumni. Nice.


1970s

Thomas Fox Averill (M.A. 1974) continues as Writer-in-Residence and Professor of English at Washburn University of Topeka. Recent stories have appeared in New Letters, descant, and North American Review, and are forthcoming from Coal City Review and Flint Hills Review. He continues to write commentaries for Kansas Public Radio in the voice of Wm. Jennings Bryan Oleander, and last year won first place for them from the Kansas Broadcaster’s Association.

Dean Bevan (B.A. 1960, Ph.D. 1971) delivered a eulogy for the beloved and incomparable Carroll Edwards at his April 14 memorial service in Lawrence. Former students of Professor Edwards who would like the text of this can email Dean at bevan@ku.edu. Dean continues his unplanned theater “career” in retirement, appearing in his 20th show since 2002 this June as Bela Zangler in the Gershwin musical Crazy for You. Dean and Judy, who will celebrate 50 years of marriage next year (OMG!), continue to enjoy travel, sailing, skiing, and hanging out at home in Lawrence, where they invite old friends to drop in.

For Phyllis Bixler (Ph.D. 1976), Professor of English Emeritus, Missouri State University, seven years of retirement have passed in a flash. Thanks especially to reading, writing, and other kinds of creativity well outside the constraints of academic specialties, forms, and audiences. Thanks also to good health. And to family and friends, some of them dogs.

James Bogan (M.A. 1968, M.Phil., 1972, Ph.D. 1979) had his title, but not his role, changed to Curators’ Teaching Professor of Art and Film at the Missouri University of Science & Technology, formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla, formerly the Missouri School of Mines. In addition to running the Film Series this year, he did a blitz tour in Brazil screening The Adventures of the Amazon Queen. He also took the film on tour in Wyoming and Colorado, including a stint at South Park. He finished a ½ hour documentary called NAKED BRONZE: Louis Smart Sculptor in the Ozarks. Realization of this era: “Kids, films, and poems are a lot alike: A blast to make but harder than hell to get out into the world.”

Diane E. Carson (M.A. 1970) is Professor Emeritus, St. Louis Community College at Meremac, and an adjunct professor at Webster University. She is President-elect of the University Film and Video Association (will serve a two-year term as President starting in September 2008). She recently received the 2008 Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS) Pedagogy Award. Her “Transgressing Boundaries: From Sexual Abuse to Eating Disorders in 301/302” appeared in Seoul Searching: Culture and Identity in Contemporary Korean Cinema, ed. Frances Gateward (SUNY Press, 2007). She is also co-editor (with Heidi Kenaga) of Sayles Talk: New Perspectives on Independent Filmmaker John Sayles (Wayne State UP, 2007). In the past year, she has served as a juror for four scriptwriting or filmmaking competitions.

Marsha Durham (M.A. 1972) retired in 2005 from the University of Western Sydney (Australia) after a 20-year career as a teacher and researcher in technical communication, head of department, Dean of Students, Chair of Academic Senate, and Assistant Vice Chancellor. She now lives in the Blue Mountains, a beautiful World Heritage-listed region close to Sydney. Marsha now oversees writing and library resources at Varuna Writers’ House, a national writers’ residence. She enjoys writing short stories, plus blogging about writing issues. Pastimes include bushwalking and camping in remote areas, travel, gardening, leading a reading group, and trying to learn Spanish.

David R. Eastwood (M.Phil., 1969; Ph.D. 1971) is retired after teaching college English for 37 years at Emporia State University and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He continues working on a Neo-Aristotelian taxonomy of the forms of fiction, writes short stories of various kinds, cultivates his gardens beside a Long Island tidal marsh, and cares for half a dozen semi-feral cats.

Frank Kelly (Ph.D. 1978, Theater and Drama) retired from Farmingdale (NY) State College in 2007 after 33 years. He resides in Mineola, on Long Island, where he writes, paints, reads without underlining, and frequents New York City. www.myspace.com/bockharn

Jerry Krajnak (M.A. 1973) once again promises to try to get around to doing something about his thirty-five-year-old incompletes in Modern Poetry and Chaucer one of these days, and maybe think about finishing his Ph.D. He religiously attends pre-retirement meetings after thirty-three years of public school teaching in Kansas and North Carolina, but he can’t seem to bring himself to stop having so much fun. He lives in the woods outside Chapel Hill, North Carolina with assorted stray cats and dogs and a pond full of catfish, turtles, and snakes. And, when he’s lucky, with his incredibly talented grandchildren who live in the area. Interests these days center around working and performing with local middle school kids on musicals (most recently as “cast papa,” wino, and voice of God in “Little Shop of Horrors”) and helping train another generation of public school teachers in cooperation with NC State in Raleigh. He wore his Jayhawk cap proudly around all his Virginia Tech and UNC Tarheel friends this past year. He sends fond greetings to Lawrence (in particular to Don Warders) and mourns the loss of Lindley Annex in the Jayhawk landscape.

Kevin Lollar (M.A. 1977) is the senior environmental/science writer for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida. The best part about his job is that he goes out into the environment to do it. In the past year, he swam with and took underwater photographs of 12- to 40-foot whale sharks off Holbox, Mexico, and a 12-foot hammerhead off Sarasota, Fla., took underwater photographs of coral spawning in the Keys, and helped scientists capture a Florida panther in Big Cypress National Preserve. Lollar lives in Bokeelia, an unincorporated settlement on a mangrove-fringed island in the Charlotte Harbor estuary system (motto: “A quaint drinking village with a fishing problem”). Off the clock, he fishes, boats, dives, and windsurfs.

Jan Moore (M.A. 1977, MBA 1983, MSW 1996 ) works as a health services researcher at KU. After leaving English literature (a move necessitated by the job market), she overcame math phobia and actually came to enjoy working with numbers, earning an MBA and completing advanced courses in statistics. In the ‘90s she returned to school to earn a social work degree, feeding a pre-existing interest in health policy and learning how to collect, manage and analyze research data. For the past several years she has overseen a federally funded study on disability prevention at KU, a job she dearly loves. In addition to managing recruitment, data collection and analysis, she puts her writing skills to work co-authoring papers and articles. Though the paucity of jobs may have led her away from a career in English literature, she maintains a passionate love for the field and is very grateful for her years in the KU English department.

John Neibling (M.A.1974), continues to serve as President of Clovis Community College in New Mexico. He was recently elected president of the Mountain States Association of Community Colleges.

John Pilkey (Ph.D. 1974) retired from The Masters College in 2003. In 2008 he has published a new book, Kingship at Its Source, updating a study he published in 1985 under the title Origin of the Nations. The contents of the new book are briefly outlined at www.kingshipatitssource.com.

Helen Popovich (Ph.D. 1965) has remained active in education after retiring as president of Ferris State University. Currently, she is a higher education consultant who specializes in offering leadership development training and in assisting universities with grant proposal preparation and compliance reviews. She is also a member-at-large on the international Administrative Board of The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, a professional honor society of key women educators. In the corporate sector, Helen serves as the secretary-treasurer of the Board of Directors of Amerikam, a company that designs and manufactures precision component parts for the medical, plumbing, and defense industries.

Troy Dale Reeves (Ph.D., 1970), an avid Jayhawks fan and professor emeritus of English at Angelo State University (now part of the Texas Tech University system) lives in Nixa, Missouri with his wife, Susie (B.F.A. 1965) and son, Isaac. Troy and Susie swim in Tablerock Lake throughout the summer and go for long walks in Busiek State Forest, now officially a “black bear habitat,” in the spring and fall. Troy recently had a poem accepted for publication in the Anglican Theological Review. While at KU in the 1960’s, he enjoyed studying under all of his professors, but particularly Dennis Quinn, Frank Nelick, John R. Willingham, Beverly Boyd, George Worth, William Paden, and Charlton Hinman.

Elizabeth (Beth) Scalet (B.A. 1970, M.A. 1971) is still in Kansas City where she is spending her retirement on disability writing songs and poetry. In March 2008 she was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. She continues to record CDs and recently signed a publishing deal for several songs. Now that it’s spring, she entertains herself watching the returning Mallard ducks on the watergardens.

Gerald Shapiro (M.A. 1973) is completing his 21st year of teaching at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he’s the Cather Professor of English and Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program. He and his wife Judith Slater (also a professor of English at UNL) will be on leave in the fall of 2008. His long story, “Mandelbaum, the Criminal” appears in the Spring 2008 issue of Ploughshares.

Jon-Christian (Chris) Suggs (Ph.D. 1978, but left Lawrence in 1973 for the Big Apple) retired February 1, 2008, after 35 years at the City University of New York. Chris plans to teach one course a year as professor emeritus in the doctoral program in English for a while, at least. The rest of the time he will spend writing. In the works is a book on the career and fate of Hannah Elias, the “Black Cleopatra” of 1904 New York, a study of the life of Walter White, prototypical “New Negro” of the Harlem Renaissance, and a novel of black activism in the closing months of the Civil War. Most immediately, however, looms a three-week trip to China in late May, 2008. At CUNY Chris taught at John Jay College and at the Graduate School. He was an academic administrator at various levels, including chairing two departments. He last chaired the English Department at John Jay just before retirement, where he oversaw the writing of a literature and law-based major and the hiring of over 20 new faculty in three years as well as the revamping of the college composition program. Chris and his wife, Nan Bauer-Maglin, live in Manhattan just half a block from the Strand Bookstore.

Thomas L. Warren (Ph.D. 1974) continues as Professor of English at Oklahoma State University and Director of the Technical Writing Program. This past year he taught graduate courses in information design, project management, and research methods. He continues to write a technical writing textbook that takes a non-conventional approach to writing reports, and has completed anthology chapters on cross-cultural communication in ISO standards development, historical trends in technical editing, and (as co-author) an annotated bibliography chapter on technical editing. He once again was a Guest Professor during the summer term at the University of Paderborn (Germany) teaching German students in computer science and engineering how to communicate technical information in reports and at professional conferences.

Carol Shiner Wilson (M.A. 1977) is in her twelfth year as Dean of the College for Academic Life at Muhlenberg College, PA. She oversees academic services, including the library, and has developed a program to support student research across the disciplines.


1980s

Tim Bascom (M.A. 1987), who now lives in Des Moines, has taught for a year at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, but he will be leaving that position to work on a book project in the coming year, a second memoir about living in Ethiopia during the Marxist Revolution. He has had several pieces published recently, including an essay nominated for a Pushcart (“Community College” Witness Journal, Volume XXI). He is also at work on a collection of short stories about travelers in Africa. This summer he will teach two workshops at the Summer Writing Festival of the University of Iowa. He reports that his wife Cathy (B.A. 1984) is Provost of St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, and his two sons, avid rock and rollers, are doing structural damage to their house with amplified guitar riffs.

McGill-Queens University Press continues to send the occasional small royalty check or copy of an unsolicited review of In War and Famine to Erleeen J. Christensen (Ph.D. 1985). However, the volume has moved to the markdown page of McGill’s latest catalog, without being snapped up by the movies. (It has, evidently, made it onto the shelves of a number of prestigious and far-flung universities—though not the University of Kansas.)

Beth Impson (Ph.D. 1988) continues teaching at Bryan College in Dayton, TN. She has given over the Writing Center to a younger and more energetic colleague and is rejoicing in the consequent extra time to read for simple pleasure. In 2006 she was honored with the Outstanding Teacher Award by her colleagues. Being back in touch with former Wescoe basement office-mate Joe Croker has been a special pleasure this past year, and she would enjoy hearing from other former colleagues and friends at alaiyo_beth@yahoo.com. On a personal note, she has been blessed with 4 children-in-law and 14 grandchildren, and her youngest will (finally!) begin college this fall.

Shawn Arthur Kelly (M.A.1989) saw his book, Writing With Families, Strengthening the Home to School Connection, published in 2007. The book both documents his work as a family literacy leader and serves as a how-to model for others who want to create family-centered writing communities. In 2001, Kelly founded the Family Writing Project (www.familywritingprojects.com) as a way to create a sense of community among families of his students in urban Las Vegas. The project has since gone nationwide, with Family Writing Projects in both urban and rural settings from coast to coast.

Gordon McMullan (M.A. 1985) is Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Literature in the Department of English, King’s College London. He would like to pay tribute to his former teachers at KU, who include Max Sutton, Janet Sharistanian, William Scott, G. Douglas Atkins, and, most notably, David Bergeron. He runs the MA in Shakespearean Studies: Text and Playhouse, taught jointly by King’s College London and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and would be happy to receive applications from KU students with an interest in Shakespeare. He has written The Politics of Unease in the Plays of John Fletcher (Massachusetts, 1994), edited Henry VIII for the Arden Shakespeare series (2000), and published four collections of essays, the most recent of which, Reading the Medieval in Early Modern England, co-edited with David Matthews, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007. His monograph, Shakespeare and the Idea of Late Writing: Authorship in the Proximity of Death, was also published by Cambridge in 2007. He is a general editor of Arden Early Modern Drama.

David Morse (M.A. 1989) is a professor of English at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California, where he has taught since 1998. He served for six years as Department Chair of English and for two years as Academic Senate President. He is currently on sabbatical for the 2008 calendar year.


1990s

Kaye Adkins (M.A. 1985, Ph.D. 1998) had a busy year. In May 2007, Prentice Hall asked Kaye to assume authorship of Technical Communication: A Practical Approach from its current author, William S. Pfieffer. The 7th edition (Completely Revised! Completely Updated!) should be published in January 2009. In addition, Kaye has been leading the development of a new graduate program for Missouri Western State University. The Master of Applied Arts in Written Communication (with concentrations in Writing Studies and Technical Communication) will begin accepting students in January 2009. To top off the busy year, in April, Kaye was awarded a 2008 Jesse Lee Myers Excellence in Teaching Award by Missouri Western. In fall 2008, Kaye will be taking a sabbatical to research her book on policy and procedure writing. On the home front, Kaye and her husband Perry are preparing to become empty nesters, as her older son Ian graduates from Valparaiso University and her younger son Evan graduates from Lawrence Free State High School. Kaye and Perry will be moving closer to Saint Joseph, thus ending Kaye’s 150- mile round trip commute.

Ted Blake (M.A. 1994) writes: “I was recently hired as full-time faculty at Mt. San Jacinto College in Southern California. I am in the English department and am also the Learning Resource Center Coordinator. I not only oversee the writing center but all tutoring (even in Math and the Sciences). We are in the midst of a major statewide initiative targeting Basic Skills, which helps us to fund new programs through the center. Needless to say, I’m having lots of fun.”

Brad S. Born (Ph.D. 1993) has completed his second full year as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bethel College (KS). By choice he has maintained limited teaching duties, including a Literary London travel course last year and a War Literature course during this year’s January term. He still tries to read and write about real books. His most recent published essay is about a little-known 1930s protest novelist who left his western Oklahoma home for New York City, where his wife joined Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie and the Almanac Singers for a year, and where the couple then published for decades the topical music magazine Broadside, now in the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina. The article, “Writing Out From the Mennonite Family Farm: Gordon Friesen’s Homegrown Grapes of Wrath,” appears in the January 2008 issue of Mennonite Quarterly Review.

Virginia (Ginger) Brackett (Ph.D. 1998) continues teaching in the Park University, Parkville, MO, English Department and Honors Program. She moved from Assistant Director to Director of the Honors Program in spring of 2008. Her twelfth book, The Facts on File Companion to 17th and 18th-Century British Poetry was published in May, 2008, and she continues work on a University grant-supported creative nonfiction book about her father who was killed during military service in Korea. Her article, “Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray as Secular Scripture” appeared in the January, 2008 edition of The Wildean. Her book, How-to-Write-About-the-Brontës (Facts on File) will be published this fall. She will keep busy next year directing the second year of a two-year Missouri Arts Council Grant supporting the Park University Ethnic Poetry Reading Series. Ginger lives in Kansas City with her husband Edmund who works as Director of Sponsored Programs for Park.

Mark Browning (Ph.D. 1996) remains at Johnson County Community College, where he is researching the effects and efficacy of alternative learning approaches, including distance education and home schooling. This summer he will attend the NEH-CCHA Concord seminar on the Transcendentalists.

Cynthia (Smith) Daly (M.A. 1991), husband Jim (Dean of Students at the Bosque School), son Colin (born in Colorado, 10), daughter MeiLing (adopted from China, 5) have a small alpaca ranch east of Albuquerque, NM. They also raise dairy and angora goats, make soaps and spin yarn when they get a break from shoveling manure. The East Mountain wind often takes Cynthia back to life on the hill. See what we’re doing and say hi: www.milagromoonranch.com.

Marlon Fick (Ph.D. 1992) continues teaching at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS. The University of Maine Press’s Café Review recently published a series of his poems.

Allan T. Grohe Jr. (M.A. 1996) is a senior knowledge engineer/senior user experience architect in the Customer Service eSupport team at Juniper Networks, where he has worked since 2000. Allan and his wife Heather have two sons—Ethan (4 years old) and Henry (2 months old), and live in Wichita, KS.

Chris Haven (M.A. 1993) received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor of Writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His sabbatical project is a novel based on a family story that took place in Oklahoma in 1955. He will also be spending time planning a conference and the launch of a journal that focuses on the arts and culture of the Great Lakes.

Mike K. Johnson (PhD, 1997) has nearly completed (alas) his sabbatical, but he is pleased with the progress he has made on his biography of Harlem Renaissance-era spirituals singer Taylor Gordon. He has also started a blog about the project, which is located at http://taylorandrosegordonproject.wordpress.com/. He continues to maintain a personal blog about life in Maine, through which he chronicles snowfall totals, number of black fly bites received, lobsters boiled, and moose spotted, located at http://keatsfan.wordpress.com/. He also recently contributed a chapter on teaching the novel Paradise to The Fiction of Toni Morrison and has published an article on The Pawnbroker in Literature / Film Quarterly, so he hasn’t completely given up print for the internet.

Amy S. Lerman (Ph.D. 1997) is residential faculty and Coordinator of Developmental English at Mesa Community College. This past year, she had two publications—an article on Scott Heim in Kansas English and another on Catherine Barkley in Teaching Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (Kent State Press)—and she continued to serve as Area Chair for Chick Lit. at the Southwest/Texas American and Popular Culture Associations Conference in Albuquerque. She and her husband, Mike Mader, who is Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at ASU-Polytechnic, have been in Phoenix eight years, but they remain diehard Jayhawk fans. Email address is alerman@mail.mc.maricopa.edu.

Jeanette Lugo (M.A 1996) is a Lecturer in English at Valdosta State University.

Kimberly Meyer (B.A. 1992, M.A. 1994) just completed her Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. Her essays have appeared in a number of literary magazines, including this summer’s Oxford American “Best of the South” issue. She’s currently at work on a book on medieval pilgrimage and the pilgrimages she and her husband and three daughters have been making to a number of American sacred and secular shrines.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (Ph.D. 1992) has had three songs she co-wrote with rhythm and blues singer Kelley Hunt recorded on Hunt’s new CD, Mercy (88 Records), and poetry in various publications, including First Intensity. She also served as artist-in-residence at the Writers Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs, AR. Caryn coordinates the Power of Words conference, to be held Sept. 12-15, 2008 at Goddard College, which will feature Walter Mosley, Bread and Puppet, and other writers and musicians. She continues to teach at Goddard College, and to offer writing workshops at Turning Point of Kansas City for people living with serious illness, and through her business with Kelley Hunt, Brave Voice. www.writewhereyouare.org.

Heather Swartz (B.A. 1991, M.A. 1992) completed her PharmD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006 and currently is a senior medical writer in the pharmaceutical industry. More interestingly, she recently got back into creative writing after a long hiatus and is a member of an advanced fiction writing workshop in Evanston, IL. Her short story “What You’re Looking At” is included in the critically acclaimed anthology Further Persons Imperfect (2007, iUniverse). The same story won the Leo Love Merit Scholarship at the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference, which Heather will be attending in July. She and her fiancé, fellow Evanston writer Paul McComas (Planet of the Dates), are planning a September wedding in the South Dakota Badlands.

Tim Weaver (M.A. 1997) left the KU Athletic Department in 2006 after five years as the director of the Kansas Relays. That same year he co-founded LANE4 Property Group, a commercial real estate company based in Kansas City, Mo. Current projects include a 467-acre redevelopment of the former Bannister Mall in Kansas City, Mo and the renewal of the Metcalf Shopping Center in Overland Park, KS. Tim remains active in international track and field and will travel to Beijing this summer as a manager for the US Olympic team.


2000s

John Bruni received his Ph.D. in English in 2004. This year, as an Assistant Professor of English at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, he published an article, “Teach the Conflict: Using Critical Thinking to Evaluate Anthony Swofford’s Jarhead” in Teaching the Novel across the Curriculum, ed. Colin Irvine, Westport, CT.: Greenwood Press, 157-68. In addition he presented a paper, “’Constitutional Restlessness:’ The Ambiguity of Race in Edith Wharton’s The Custom of the Country,” at the Conference of the Modern Languages Association, Chicago, IL, December 2007.

Erika Jacobson Dvorske (M.A. 2000) became the President/CEO of United Way of Douglas County in January of 2008. Along with husband (John), son (Nicholas), and daughter (Renee), she is happy to be back in Lawrence after almost seven years in Kansas City, Kansas.

Steve Evans (Ph.D. 2000) recently was appointed to a second three-year term as one of the KU English Department’s full-time lecturers. This summer he will bring Shakespeare into the electronic 21st Century as he authors the new English 332: Shakespeare for KU Continuing Education. He looks forward to this challenge with both enthusiasm and trepidation, as the present course is that originally designed and written in 1978 by former Chair Gerhard Zuther, later revised by Priscilla McKinney. Among the innovations that Steve is planning is the online use of the seven-hour CD-ROM adaptation of James Shapiro’s award-winning A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599.

Steven Faulkner (Ph.D. 2001) is an Assistant Professor teaching Creative Writing at Longwood University in Southern Virginia. His first book, Waterwalk: A Passage of Ghosts, has just been published by RDR Books. The book is an account of a thousand-mile canoe trip he took with his son tracing the exploratory route of Joliet and Marquette in 1673. He has recently published personal essays in The Southern Humanities Review, The Dos Passos Review, and North American Review.

William C. Ferleman (B.A. 2002, M.A. 2006) is a doctoral student at Oklahoma State University. He published a book review in The Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance (2007); he likewise published an essay on Fletcher and Shakespeare’s The Two Noble Kinsmen as a book chapter in Postmodern Essays on Love, Sex, and Marriage in Shakespeare (2008) and as an article in Genre 28 (2008). In March, he presented a paper on Milton’s use of gender in his political prose at The South-Central Renaissance Conference in Kansas City. He published concert reviews of Modest Mouse, Marilyn Manson, Linkin Park, and Rush in PopMatters.

Karen Hellekson (Ph.D. 2000) is a founding editor of the new online open-access media studies journal, Transformative Works and Cultures. She has continued her longtime interest in the Science Fiction Research Association: in addition to chairing the academic programming committee for its 2008 meeting in Lawrence, Kansas, she is also returning as coeditor of the SFRA Review. She lives in Jay, Me., where she makes her living as a freelance copyeditor in the scientific, technical, and medical market.

Rachel Hile (B.A. 1993, M.A. 1995, Ph.D. 2004) is assistant professor in the Department of English and Linguistics at Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne. She lives in Fort Wayne with her children Joey and Helen.

Adam Klinker (M.A. 2005) is working on his Ph.D and teaching at the University of Mississippi, hoping to complete coursework in the fall. He recently received a Jim and Nancy Hinkle Travel Grant from the Ernest Hemingway Society and Foundation and took part in the 13th Biennial International Hemingway Conference in Kansas City in June.

Alan Newton and Rebecca KuhnAlan Newton (Ph.D. 2003) and wife Rebecca Kuhn (MS Sociology 2004) are both teaching at a private high school in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Alan would like to share this story about working as the stage manager for the English Alternative Theatre production of A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry during the spring of 2000: “As with any production, we had our share of obstacles. For example, during most of our rehearsal process, our ‘Mama,’ who lived in Kansas City, had no car, so director Paul Lim burned many miles transporting her back and forth. The performances were rolling right along until the final Sunday matinee when…ten minutes before curtain, we discovered that one of our actors was missing in action. Our George Murchison, Beneatha Younger’s shallow fraternity brother boyfriend, was nowhere to be found. As the stage manager, I should have noticed this omission earlier, but, in my defense, we spent the time before each performance making sure ‘Mama,’ who had since acquired an unreliable car, had arrived and was ready. But the show must go on. Paul and I found a copy of the script and hastily made cuts, eliminating George’s role and certain references to him, while maintaining as much of those scenes in which he appeared as possible. We knew we had to make the changes and then instruct the cast about them before George was to appear onstage. The cast responded wonderfully. Fortunately for us, his role is minor and only those audience members who know the play well could tell he was missing. Those few minutes were nerve-wracking but, in retrospect, they were some of the most exciting moments I experienced in the theatre. As a footnote, when Paul tracked down the missing actor, the young man claimed that his younger brother had been in a car accident, and that he had spent all night with him at the hospital. Interestingly, Paul subsequently learned that the actor and his girlfriend had been partying all night at a fraternity/sorority function being held in one of the midtown hotels in Kansas City. Apparently he had taken the role of George Murchison to heart.”

Kevin Rabas (Ph.D. 2007) co-directs the creative writing program at Emporia State University. He edits Flint Hills Review. Bird’s Horn & Other Poems, his first book, was published last year.

Doug Steward (Ph.D. 2000) is Associate Director of MLA Programs and the Association of Departments of English at the Modern Language Association in New York City where he studies trends in the profession of language and literature, gathers and analyzes data about it, works with MLA and ADE committees, and organizes summer seminars for chairs and directors of graduate study of English departments. His current research interests center on the concept of academic freedom. He has published in journals such as Profession, ADE Bulletin, ADFL Bulletin, Academe, Callaloo, African American Review, and Literature and Psychology. Doug lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Thomas Veale (M.A. 2002; Ph.D. 2007) is a US Army public affairs officer serving in a NORAD assignment at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. He edited NORAD’s fiftieth anniversary commemorative book (published in May 2008). Tom is also an adjunct faculty member for Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Undergraduate Alumni

Kay Ewert Graber (B.S.1958; M.A. 1965) retired from her job as Communications Supervisor for Grant Wood Area Education Agency in Cedar Rapids, IA, seven years ago, but hasn’t retired from keeping busy. Graber has been appointed by the Governor to the Iowa Advisory Council on Brain Injuries for the past eight years, serves on the Indian Creek Nature Center Board and as chair of the Marketing Committee, and has been one of the leaders for a $1.3 million campaign and renovation of the Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church. She and her husband, Harlan Graber (KU Ph.D. 1964) will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this summer.


1960s

Dean Bevan (B.A. 1960, Ph.D. 1971) delivered a eulogy for the beloved and incomparable Carroll Edwards at his April 14 memorial service in Lawrence. Former students of Professor Edwards who would like the text of this can email Dean at bevan@ku.edu. Dean continues his unplanned theater “career” in retirement, appearing in his 20th show since 2002 this June as Bela Zangler in the Gershwin musical Crazy for You. Dean and Judy, who will celebrate 50 years of marriage next year (OMG!), continue to enjoy travel, sailing, skiing, and hanging out at home in Lawrence, where they invite old friends to drop in.

Jon King (B.A. 1969) writes: “Thank you, English Dept, for staying in touch. My resume is almost written. It includes writing resumes for almost 40 years. Sound familiar?...Here are a couple of my fond academic memories-- be-ins and English professors at Potter’s Lake; a tipsy encounter, returning to my seat at a downtown Lawrence movie house, with my professor who had recommended seeing Hamlet (I think it was) to our class; and as they say in The Music Man (if not, they should) great benefit from learning ‘Shakespeare, Milton and The Bible.’ Still loving jazz and trying to plug in as much as possible with regard for three great offspring, one awesome grandson and my ‘month of May’ Suzanne….Back in Kansas now by way of Denver and Wyoming, ‘The Jazz Fan’ series, jking101@cox.net.


1970s

Bob SwiftDoug Hill (1977) reports that he is a free lance writer based in Norman, Oklahoma. He has published regularly in Oklahoma City's Oklahoma Gazette and the Norman Transcript daily newspaper. He writes restaurant reviews, a classic automobile column and music related articles. He appears in the attached photo with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, the Queen of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson after an interview with her in October, 2009.

Richard J Mundis, MD (BA 1970) writes: “Thank you for reaching back in time to embrace your former disciples.  I’m now 62 and for the past 30 years have been practicing medicine in the fields of oncology and hematology.  I have very warm memories of my studies in the English department at KU and am so grateful for the wonderfully rounded education I received there.  While not majoring in biology or chemistry caused some early hardships for me in medical school, majoring in English has enhanced both my practice and my life so much that I have never regretted my decision. I hope undergraduates considering careers in medicine or any other science-oriented field will look at my experience and realize that a major in English provides a marvelous platform from which to spring in any direction.  Thanks to all who devote their time and talent to this department.”Michael O'Neal

Michael R. O’Neal (B.A. 1973, Law 1976) writes: “I have fond memories of living in the ‘Shelter’at 1111 W. 11th as a Delt and making midnight runs for hot, fresh, Joe’s Bakery glazed donuts. I’m glad to see that the Delts have retaken the Shelter and are on campus once more. We look forward to tailgating next to the house in Lot #50 on game days this fall, when KU wins the North, plays for the Big 12 Championship and then a third straight bowl victory! I practice law with Gilliland & Hayes, P.A. in Hutchinson (we also have a Lawrence office at 9th & Mass.). For the past 25 years I’ve served in the Kansas House of Representatives and was elected as Speaker of the House in January. I’m married to Cindy and we have two at KU. Haley will graduate in May with a degree in Athletic Training and Austin will be a Junior in Applied Behavioral Science. Rock Chalk!”

Elizabeth (Beth) Scalet (B.A. 1970, M.A. 1971) is still in Kansas City where she is spending her retirement on disability writing songs and poetry. In March 2008 she was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. She continues to record CDs and recently signed a publishing deal for several songs. Now that it’s spring, she entertains herself watching the returning Mallard ducks on the watergardens.

Bob SwiftRobert J. Swift, Jr. (B.A. 1973) writes: “After leaving KU in 73, I graduated from law school in Illinois; my legal career included Marine JAG, private practice, government, and trust banking for the last 20 years. We have been in Denver for 2 years and enjoy the great weather. My wife Elizabeth Foard (KU, 74) has taught kindergarten for 35 years. Our daughter, Leigh Swift Nelson, teaches kindergarten at Prairie School in Prairie Village.”



1990s

The Teenage Tarzan, by Stanley A. Galloway (Ph.D. 1993), was released in January 2010.  Its subtitle – A Literary Analysis of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Jungle Tales of Tarzan – explains more fully that this is not a fiction book or a YA romp.  It’s literary criticism with small asides into popular culture.  The foreword to the book was written by James Gunn.  Stan continues to teach at Bridgewater College in Virginia.

Kimberly Meyer (B.A. 1992, M.A. 1994) just completed her Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. Her essays have appeared in a number of literary magazines, including this summer’s Oxford American “Best of the South” issue. She’s currently at work on a book on medieval pilgrimage and the pilgrimages she and her husband and three daughters have been making to a number of American sacred and secular shrines.

Bob SwiftJonathan Morgan (BA 1992) is Vice President, Business Banking, of Commerce Bank in St. Louis as a commercial banking officer. He is married with four children. He returns to KU for a football and basketball game every year, and he says that “the campus has never looked better.” As a hobby, he submits op/ed pieces to area newspapers and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which has published a number of his submissions over the past few years. He writes that his “best English memory was a 19th-century American literature class taught by Stuart Levine, and there were only 5 of us in the class, and we sat in a circle and talked about books—like it was a club. Very fun.” He adds:  “I still love to read, and although I'm not an avid mystery/suspense reader, I highly recommend Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane which I just finished last week.”

Heather Swartz (B.A. 1991, M.A. 1992) completed her PharmD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006 and currently is a senior medical writer in the pharmaceutical industry. More interestingly, she recently got back into creative writing after a long hiatus and is a member of an advanced fiction writing workshop in Evanston, IL. Her short story “What You’re Looking At” is included in the critically acclaimed anthology Further Persons Imperfect (2007, iUniverse). The same story won the Leo Love Merit Scholarship at the Taos Summer Writers’ Conference, which Heather will be attending in July. She and her fiancé, fellow Evanston writer Paul McComas (Planet of the Dates), are planning a September wedding in the South Dakota Badlands.


2000s

Zacory Boatright Zacory Boatright (B.A. 2005) writes: "In early May of 2004, I was approached by Prof. Paul Lim to participate in a playwriting workshop he was conducting with inmates at the Douglas County Jail. A group of KU students were going to the jail to present a handful of original scripts to the inmates as part of the workshop. Something I had written in Play Writing II was among the selections that were to be performed. My play, "The Rutting Season," is about redemption and forgiveness. When the reading had finished a few of the inmates were crying. It was a touching and meaningful moment for me, seeing how my words affected those men.

Today, I enjoy telling people that my first production experience took place in a County Jail and, thanks to Prof. Lim, I am the Johnny Cash of Playwriting."

William C. Ferleman (B.A. 2002, M.A. 2006) is a doctoral student at Oklahoma State University. He published a book review in The Baylor Journal of Theatre and Performance (2007); he likewise published an essay on Fletcher and Shakespeare’s The Two Noble Kinsmen as a book chapter in Postmodern Essays on Love, Sex, and Marriage in Shakespeare (2008) and as an article in Genre 28 (2008). In March, he presented a paper on Milton’s use of gender in his political prose at The South-Central Renaissance Conference in Kansas City. He published concert reviews of Modest Mouse, Marilyn Manson, Linkin Park, and Rush in PopMatters.

Ryan Good (BA 2006) is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at the University of Florida.  He lives in Gainesville, Florida, with his two goldfish Jake and Elwood.

Rachel Hile (B.A. 1993, M.A. 1995, Ph.D. 2004) is assistant professor in the Department of English and Linguistics at Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne. She lives in Fort Wayne with her children Joey and Helen.

Nick MedvedNick Medved (B.A. 2009) writes: “When I first came to KU, I had no idea how much of an impact this school would have on me. I didn’t expect to learn, through my fellow students, so many different ways of interpreting and understanding the things that I read. And I couldn’t imagine how supportive my professors would be—exposing me to new ideas while challenging my own; believing in me when, academically, I didn’t believe in myself, and supporting my creative works in the long journey from their infancy through completion. I entered college a goofy teenager with a love for books and a desire to write plays, and graduated with that love fed, and the opportunity to see that desire guided from spiral-bound rough sketches to fully-staged theatrical productions by English Alternative Theatre. And I have this school, this department, and the people who work here to thank for it all.”

Smith HallBrett Runyon (B.A. 2008) remembers English 102: “It’s awful to find out you’re wrong and that, in being so, made a jackass out of yourself. But, in the Spring semester of 2005, I was enrolled in English 102 with a GTA as the instructor. After several weeks, she asked me if I had declared a major yet. When I replied ‘No,’ she suggested that I should become an ‘English Major.’ To which I replied jocularly, ‘You have a better chance of getting a fart out of Jesse Jackson’s ass.’ But two semesters later, I became an English Major. I feel guilty thinking she endures without the knowledge that her instincts bested my wit, and illuminated my short sight. But the strangest and most embarrassing aspect of the whole episode is, I don’t even recall what other possible major I was snubbing my now cherished discipline for. Of course, if I ever do see her again, to perform whatever penance might be necessary, I bet she won’t remember me at all. That would be another lesson in itself.”

Thelma Simons writes that “as a non-traditional student working on my Bachelor’s degree in English, I was fortunate to be able to travel on study abroad trips to England (1995) and Ireland (1997). Traveling abroad while being immersed in the study of English and Irish literature, art and architecture opened a whole new world for me. Seeing sites like the Lake District landscape that inspired Wordsworth, Shakespeare’s house, Bath where Jane Austen’s characters engaged in polite but pointed discourse, and the Thoor Ballylee tower where Yeats lived, gave me a new perspective on the stories they wrote. I encourage all current English students to partake in this marvelous experience.



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