Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts
Dr. Lynn Alexander
Chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages
Dr. David Carithers
Writing Center Coordinators
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, where she serves as assistant coach. 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, assessment coordinator for UT Martin and 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 speech and theatre courses in colleges and universities in Kentucky, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Tennessee. Among courses John has taught are playwriting, script adaptation, copywriting, and screen writing. John has acted and directed in theatre productions of all genres in college, community, and professional companies. While in Los Angeles, John performed in film, television, commercials, voiceovers, and improvisational comedy. He enjoys traveling to Stratford, Ontario, Canada, to attend Shakespearean and other plays at the Stratford Festival. John was a presenter at UTM’s 2015 Young Writer’s Conference, leading a workshop in playwriting. A book John feels invaluable to prospective dramatic writers is Three Uses of The Knife: On The Nature and Purpose of Drama by award-winning American playwright David Mamet. Another book about writing John recommends is Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott.
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.
Spencer Atkins is a Philosophy and English double major at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He is the president of the Philosophy Forum and a Ned Ray McWherter Institute Innovator. He enjoys spontaneous traveling, and he has a deep desire to help those in his community, on his campus, and in his home. Spencer recommends The Outline of Sanity by G.K. Chesterton, Crime and Punishment and The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Unspoken Sermons and Phantastes by George MacDonald, Love and Responsibility by Pope Saint John Paul II, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain and Walden Pond by Henry David Thoreau. For anyone looking for examples of strong, concise writing, Spencer also recommends the works of Wendell Berry.
Kaitlyn Boggs is a junior secondary education major with an English focus. After graduating, she hopes to get a job working in a public high school. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and writing. She serves on leadership at the Baptist Campus Ministry (BCM) and is a member of Phi Eta Sigma. She is also part of the honors program. She suggests Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien for those who are looking for a book with beautiful language and an amazing story line.
Lauren Maddox is a junior English major and French minor. Lauren is the executive editor of BeanSwitch, the literary and arts magazine on campus; vice president of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society; and a two- year member of the Executive Council of University Scholars. This year, Lauren is also beginning to work on her Scholars project. Scholars spend their junior and senior year working on an independent research project of their choice; Lauren has chosen to write a collection of short stories exploring family relationships, and she will use this work as an opportunity to study the short story form and the creative writing process. Because of her project, Lauren has had the opportunity to explore many new books and short story collections, her newest favorites so far being After the Quake by Haruki Murakami and Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman. This year at the Writing Center, Lauren is in responsible for peer mentorship, social media management, keeping track of Writing Center attendance, tutoring as needed, and assisting with workshops. With the little free time she does have, Lauren tries to stay ahead of her reading, so you’ll probably always find her with her nose in a book!
Caitlin Marino is a senior English major and a graphic design minor. She plays the oboe in the UT Martin Wind Ensemble and the clarinet in the Skyhawk Marching Band. She is a member of the Japanese Anime Research Society or J.A.R.S. She also enjoys reading, writing, drawing, crocheting and crafting with polymer clay. In addition, she plays Dungeons and Dragons and Magic with her friends. Some of her book recommendations include the following: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews, The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom, and the Pendragon: Journal of an Adventure Through Time and Space series by D.J. MacHale.
Emma Massey is a junior secondary education English major at The University of Tennessee at Martin. She is also a part of the leadership team at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) at UTM and a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society. She loves to write stories of all varieties and even had a poem of hers published in a young poets collection. She cares deeply about people and enjoys any opportunity to help and serve her community. In her spare time, she loves to paint, watch classic films, and serve at the BCM on campus. She is also a classic literature enthusiast and recommends reading Macbeth or Paradise Lost.
Mallory Spisak is a junior English major and Religious Studies minor. She is a student in the Honors Program and enjoys writing, reading, and coloring. Mallory is a native of East Tennessee and feels a deep kinship with the Appalachian Mountains. After graduation, Mallory hopes to pursue a master’s degree in English so that she can teach college or perhaps go on to work at a newspaper or online journal. Mallory recommends Into the Wild by Jon Krakaeur or The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri for anyone seeking an interesting read that will change the way they think about the world.
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.
David Carithers, has taught at the University of Tennessee at Martin since 2004. David received his M.A. from Western Carolina University in 2000 and a Ph.D. from the University of Carolina Greensboro in 2004. He is director of the West Tennessee Writing Project, has published essays on music and rhetoric, and enjoys making music with friends. David is also the chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages, a position he has had since June 2015. Additionally, David serves as co-coordinator of the Hortense Parrish Writing Center. For writers and those interested in language and ideas, he recommends Essays by Michel de Montaigne. The collection is contained in three books and 107 chapters of varying length, sure to give readers something to think about.
Heidi Huse has been teaching writing and rhetoric courses in the UT Martin Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages for 15 years. She is currently the first-year composition coordinator and a faculty co-advisor of the UT Martin chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honor society. Her own writing centers in reflective and persuasive essays, blogging, and rhetorical analysis. She is currently collaborating on a grant proposal to improve and expand the campus recycling center; as a co-coordinator of UTM Recycles!, Heidi is a peace and animal advocate and a vegan. She supports civic engagement and sustainable living on campus, in the local community, and globally. Two essay collections that inspire her as a writer and as a global citizen are Julia Alvarez’s Something to Declare and Paul Rogat Loeb’s The Impossible Will Take a Little While (New & Revised Edition). In her role as EMFL composition coordinator, Heidi works closely with the Hortense Parrish Writing Center staff.
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.