Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts
Dr. Lynn Alexander
Chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages
Professor Jenna Wright
Writing Center Coordinators
Anna Clark and Jenna Wright
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 been writing and teaching 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 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.
Misty Dunlap received a B.A. in English writing and a M. Ed. in interdiscliplinary education with a concentration in English from UT Martin. As a student, Misty held a variety of student tutoring positions on campus, such as supplemental instructor, study hall monitor, and student assistant in the Writing Center. After graduating with her bachelor's, she was a consultant for the Writing Center in the spring semester of 2011 and returned in the spring of 2014. Also, she was co-editor of BeanSwitch from spring 2012 to spring 2013. Her essays and poetry have won several awards at UT Martin in the past, and one of her pieces was published in the spring 2012 issue of Mixitini Matrix. In addition to writing, she enjoys spending her time cooking, thrift store hopping, and deciding what to watch on Netflix with her long-time boyfriend, Andrew. The books she highly recommends are Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife and Dorothy Baker's Cassandra at the Wedding. Two of her favorite poems are Vladimir Mayakovsky's "Cloud in Trousers" and Jeanne Verlee's "Unsolicited Advice to Adolescent Girls with Crooked Teeth and Pink Hair."
Steve Flowers majored in English with a minor in history at UT Martin. He taught English, history, and communications classes for over thirty years in the Humbolt City School System. He continues to be active in The Tennessee Retired Teachers Association. Steve is married to Patty Flowers, a senior research associate in UT Martin's Office of Research, Grants, and Contracts. Their daughter Stephanie, an English major, graduated from UT Martin in 2004. Their son Will received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2009. Steve says that Elements of Style by Strunk and White has long been a favorite resource while The Lie That Tells a Truth by John Dufresne is a new favorite.
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, and 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 fourth edition in the Writing Center, but then you will want your own copy, available cheaply at bookstores everywhere."
Brianna Foss is a senior Chemistry major and English minor from Paris, Tennessee. She plans to pursue a career in the medical field after graduation. Though she does not yet know what specialized field she wishes to pursue, she does know that she also dreams of becoming a published author. In addition to working in the Writing Center on campus, she is a member of the Student Members of American Chemical Society, the American Chemical Society, the Pre-Med Scholars Program, Phi Eta Sigma, and Phi Kappa Phi. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and gaming. She has a passion for words and language. Her creative writing holds no specific form. The books she would recommend other students read include J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, which also includes The Hobbit, Jonathan Stroud's The Bartimaeus Trilogy, J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Series, Gaston Leroux's Phantom of the Opera, and any play by Shakespeare.
Cody Jarman is a sophomore 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.
Mary Lou McCaslin is a senior English major with a minor in Theatre Arts. In the future, Mary Lou hopes to become an editor for a newspaper where she can exercise her love for grammar and the English language. Though now she lives in the small town of Dyer, Tennessee, with her husband and two children, Mary Lou once lived in Washington, DC; Hughesville, PA; and Oxford, England. The diversity of the world and helping others understand English delight her. Mary Lou's favorite book to kickstart the creative process is Arthur Plotnick's Spunk and Bite, followed by the grammar champion it parodies, Strunk & White's The Elements of Style. These two books alone are helpful for writers looking to strengthen and diversify their skills, but in tandem they deliver phenomenal results. In Mary Lou’s free time, she enjoys choreographing her local high school's yearly musical, running, and playing the piano.
Samantha Mobley is a local to Martin. She is a sophomore pursuing her degree in English with a concentration in writing and a minor in graphic design. After graduation she plans to return to UTM for her 2nd degree in graphic design and work as an art director of a publishing company. This is Samantha’s first year working in the Writing Center. She is a staff member of the literary, art, and photography student magazine BeanSwitch. She also attends a weekly poetry group comprised of other English majors. Her hobbies include reading, painting, video games, watching movies, and photography. Her favorite literary genre is dystopian, and her suggested books to read include The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, and V for Vendetta by Alan Moore.
Madilyn Peay is a junior 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.
Riley Rich is a junior English major with a minor in history. She comes from Nashville, Tennessee, and hopes to teach high school English and perhaps eventually become a college professor. After a recent vacation to Italy, she has also decided to pursue teaching English as a second language there, either to Italian youths or on an American military base. In addition to working in the Writing Center, she is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and also of the University Scholars program, where she serves as senior editor for its publication, The Scholar. In her free time, she loves reading historical fiction, doing yoga, complaining about the appalling popularity of terrible music, and discussing films.
Writing Center Coordinators
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 co-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, co-coordinator of the Hortense Parrish Writing Center, teaches advanced grammar, fiction workshop, and creative nonfiction workshop at UT Martin. She has a B.A. in English from UTM, an M.S. in Education from UTM, and an MFA from Murray State University. She has received numerous teaching awards and honors including the following: 2009 Smith Professorship; 2007 Reagan Leave Recipient; 2004 UT Martin Coffey Outstanding Teacher Award; 2002 University of Tennessee National Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award; 2005 and 2002 University of Tennessee at Martin Outstanding Educator Award; 2003 Alpha Omicron Pi Teacher of the Year Award; 2002 Kappa Alpha Outstanding Faculty Member Award; 2003 First Annual Apple Award for Motivating Teachers, Phi Delta Kappa; 1999 Excellence in Education Award from the UT Martin Student Government Association; 1998 UT-Martin PACE Program Outstanding Teacher Award; 1992 The Pacer UT Martin Outstanding Teacher Award; and recognition in Who's Who Among America's Teachers for 2006, 2004, 1998, and 1996. She serves as UT Martin's representative on the University of Tennessee Faculty Council (2011-2014) and has served as President of the UT Martin Faculty Senate, President of Phi Kappa Phi, and Secretary of the Southeastern Writing Center Association. Her writings have been featured in several publications, including Tennessee English Journal, Kentucky English Bulletin, Southern Discourse, Poetry Analysis: Understanding and Critiquing Poetry, and Calliope. Wright is chair of the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages.
Sentence Sense: Fragments, Comma Splices, and Run-ons
Sentence Sense: Fragments, Comma Splices, and Run-ons
Developing Thesis Statements
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