Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts
Dr. Lynn Alexander
Chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages
Dr. David Carithers
Writing Center Coordinator
Writing Center Consultants
Mary Beard has a B.A. in English and History from Murray State University and an M. Ed with a concentration in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has also had training in teaching English as a second language. Mary has taught English in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, and Korea since 1965. She has taught Intensive English and composition courses at UT Martin. In addition to working in the Writing Center, Mary owns a stained glass business, Glass by Mary. Other activities include First United Methodist Church Chancel choir, the Philharmonic Music Guild, and the UTM Rifle Team. One book that Mary likes to use in teaching is Fawcett and Sandberg's Grassroots because it explains grammar clearly, shows "how to get started," and provides essays that encourage readers to respond to them in writing.
Jisun Collier has an M.A. in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Murray State University. Since 2005, she has taught English to international students in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Korea. She has taught a Korean language and culture class at UT Martin since 2013. She loves working with students and enjoys helping them academically and personally. She believes teaching writing and reading skills is rewarding because it is one of the essential aspects for learning. She thinks keeping students motivated and encouraged is one of the most important jobs of a teacher. Jisun likes reading books, watching movies, and traveling; she says reading carefully is the first step to writing better essays.
Steve Flowers majored in English with a minor in history at UT Martin. He taught English, history, and communications classes for more than 30 years in the Humboldt City School System. Steve is married to Patty Flowers, a senior research associate in UT Martin’s Office of Research, Grants, and Contracts. Their daughter Stephanie, who majored in English and history, graduated from UT Martin in 2004. Their son Will received the MFA in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2009 and is now the coordinator for UT Martin’s Office of Disabilities and Testing Services. Steve enjoys working with students from many different cultures and backgrounds, and he says that students are the reason he continues to work. Steve says that Elements of Style by Strunk and White and The Lie That Tells a Truth: a Guide to Writing Fiction by John Dufresne are two favorite resources.
John Galyean holds B.A. degrees in Theatre and Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Theatre from Bowling Green State University. He has taught theatre courses—including playwriting, script adaptation, copywriting, and screenwriting— in colleges and universities in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Tennessee. A book Dr. Galyean recommends is Three Uses of The Knife: On The Nature and Purpose of Drama by award-winning American playwright David Mamet. This past summer, Dr. Galyean wrote a book for children called Musk Ox, Marmot, and Pika, Too, about three of his favorite North American animals on an adventure. In his spare time, he likes to play guitar, sing, draw cartoons, cook and eat Cincinnati-style chili, and watch episodic TV shows.
Beth Walker has worked in the English Writing Center since 1998 while teaching a variety of writing and literature classes for UT Martin, Dyersburg State, and Jackson State. She graduated from UT Martin with a B.A. in English in 1991, from UT Knoxville with an M.A. in English with a creative writing emphasis in 1994, and from California State University with an M.A. in the Humanities in 2009. She is a published poet whose works have appeared in numerous books and journals. Beth says, "Strunk and White's The Elements of Style is a brief, easy-to-use classic used by generations of college students and professional writers alike. I re-read this handbook every year and feel strongly that our English majors and minors should do the same. Although it's only eighty pages or so, The Elements of Style can explain almost any grammatical rule or usage problem, and I defer to its wisdom often in the Writing Center. Applying the simple advice from this book will certainly improve your writing. You can access the original 1918 text at bartleby.com/141/, or you can browse our new edition in the Writing Center, but then you will want your own copy, available cheaply at bookstores everywhere." Note: In the photo accompanying this biography, Beth Walker concentrates on a student's essay and questions about writing improvement.
Nicholas Wilson received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Tennessee at Martin in May of 2012. He is now pursuing a Master’s of Science degree in Education, with a concentration towards earning his teaching license. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career in teaching at the high school level. He enjoys reading, watching movies, playing sports, and being active at First Baptist Church of Martin. One of his favorite quotes about writing is by C.S. Lewis, who said “[d]on’t use words that are too big for the subject. Don’t say ‘infinitely’ when you mean ‘very’; otherwise, you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.” He recommends The Elements of Style by Strunk and White for those who wish to improve their writing skills, along with C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy series to anyone looking for a good fiction read. He also recommends The Practical Tutor by Meyer and Smith.
Spencer Atkins is a Philosophy and English double major at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He is the Eminent Recorder of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, the vice president of the Philosophy Forum, and a McWherter Innovator. He enjoys spontaneous travelling and has a deep desire to help those in his community, on his campus, and in his home. Spencer recommends Wild at Heart by John Eldridge and Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau, as well as the works of Wendell Berry to anyone looking for examples of strong writing.
Cody Jarman is a senior pursuing a double major in Theatre and English. After he graduates from UT Martin, Cody hopes to find work as an actor or to attend graduate school for an advanced degree in English. He enjoys his work in the Writing Center, and he is also proud of his work with the Vanguard Theatre and the Alpha Psi Omega theatre society. For additional assistance during academic writing, Cody recommends utilizing the information available at the Purdue Online Writing Lab.
Lauren Maddox is a sophomore English major with a French minor. She is also involved with several organizations on campus, including University Scholars and UAC. After Lauren finishes her undergraduate degree at UT Martin, she wants to pursue graduate degrees in English and a career as an editor for a publishing company. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys reading, writing, and binge watching Netflix.
Alexandra Mullins Thompson is a junior English major with a concentration in writing and a minor in communications. She was born and raised in Portland, Tennessee. After graduation, she hopes to obtain a graduate degree in communications. She is also involved in Phi Eta Sigma and the Honors program here on campus. Alexandra’s additional hobbies include reading and writing (mainly young adult fiction), watching YouTube videos, and dancing. Alexandra is in her second semester as a student assistant in the Writing Center as of Fall Semester 2015.
Madilyn Peay is a senior double major in English and Natural Resources Management with concentrations in writing and wildlife biology respectively. She is from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She is secretary of the University Scholars Organization and participated in the UT Martin Leaders in Residence program. She is the co-policy chair of the UTM chapter of The Wildlife Society and is also a member of Sigma Tau Delta, Phi Eta Sigma, and Alpha Delta Pi sorority. She enjoys drinking coffee, playing board games, being outside, and reading. She is unsure of her plans after graduation, but her main ideas are becoming a park ranger who moonlights as a novelist or pursuing a graduate degree in English.
Maya Thornton is a junior English major with a minor in Women's Studies. She comes from Humboldt, Tennessee. After graduation, Maya hopes to either teach overseas or travel. She is also a member of the Women's Association and has served as an officer in another organization. Her hobbies are frequently updating her Tumblr, reading, working out, and discussing sexism and racism in major forms of media but mostly focusing on comics and movies. Maya is also a poet and has written a collection of poetry. She began working in the Writing Center at the beginning of Fall Semester 2014.
Jonathan York is a junior Secondary Education major with a focus in English. He often participates in productions for Vanguard Theatre and Alpha Psi Omega. After he graduates from UT Martin, he hopes to move to Florida to teach. He enjoys reading, writing, and performing in both theatrical and musical events. Outside of school, Jonathan enjoys spending time with his family and friends, volunteering at the local library, and frequenting the Looking Glass Coffee Shop. Jonathan also has aspirations to obtain a doctorate in his field and to teach at the college level.
Writing Center Coordinator
Anna Clark, who views reading, writing, teaching, and travel as creative acts, is a faculty member in the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages at The University of Tennessee at Martin where she also serves as coordinator of the Hortense Parrish Writing Center, a position she has held since 1986. Anna received an M.A. in English from The University of Missouri and has done additional graduate work at The University of Mississippi. She teaches composition, literature, and advanced grammar courses at UT Martin and has led travel-study experiences to Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, France, and New England. Anna has also traveled throughout Europe and in Asia and South America. Intensely involved in the development of the Writing Center at UT Martin, Anna has given presentations about Writing Center issues at the meetings of the Southeastern Writing Centers Association and the International Writing Centers Association. She is a writer and published poet; she has received several teaching awards, including the 2003 University of Tennessee National Alumni Association Outstanding Teaching Award. One book she recommends is Reading Culture, a text for composition classes edited by Diana George and John Trimbur.
Jenna Wright served as co-coordinator of the Hortense Parrish Writing Center from Fall Semester 1986 through Spring Semester 2015. Although Jenna retired on June 30, 2015, the foundation she helped build in the Writing Center undergirds the current program. She will be missed by all associated with the Writing Center, but her philosophy of student support will continue to guide staff members as they help students become better writers and editors.