News and Events

News Archive


September 2013:

On September 16, award-winning poet Natalie Diaz visited Washburn University to read from her work at Mabee Library. Diaz, a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes, is the author of the poetry collection When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press, 2012) and other publications.


August 2013:

Professor Jim Hoogenakker           Professor Virginia Pruitt

On August 28, English Department faculty welcomed new and returning students at a table during Washburn's 2013 Student Activities, Majors & Study Abroad Fair


May 2013:

Professor Mo GodmanProfessor Jim HoogenakkerProfessor Virginia Pruitt

At the end of the Spring 2013 semester, Professors Mo Godman, Jim Hoogenakker (who recently celebrated 50 years of teaching and service at Washburn!), and Virginia Pruitt retired. The English Department will greatly miss the contributions of these three professors and colleagues, who have devoted their careers to teaching and mentoring students here at Washburn. Professors Godman and Hoogenakker were recently awarded emeritus status, and Professor Pruitt will receive this honorary title next year. All three were recently celebrated at a retirement reception on April 25. Thank you to all three for your many years of service to the students, department, and university!


Washburn Chapter 130 of Phi Kappa Phi welcomes junior English major Mali Farwell, who was inducted on May 9, 2013. She joins English majors Elizabeth Evans and Hillary Hall, who were initiated into Phi Kappa Phi in Fall 2012.


Inscape Magazine logo

This year's Inscape release party and reading was held on May 1, 2013, at 7:00 pm at the SouthWind Gallery at 3074 SW 29th Street. For more on Inscape, Washburn's literary magazine, click here.


April 2013:

On April 29, the English Department held its 2013 Scholarship Reception to honor recent award recipients and celebrate the outstanding work of our students. Congratulations to all scholarship recipients and to the three winners in this year's essay prize competitions: Hillary Hall (English literature essay prize), Jason Hanna (world literature essay prize), and Kerry Wright (American literature essay prize).


The following students joined the Phi Rho Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta at the initiation ceremony on April 17: Heather Averill, Stacia Baer, Ryan Braun, Deva Buhrle (Vice-President), Genoveva Callahan, Matt Dixon (Treasurer), Elizabeth Evans, Said Fallaha, Jennifer Hector, Melissa Jeanneret, Allison Kostusik, James Lawson, Jaimie Luse (Historian), Emily McCall, and Lindsey Wichern (Webmaster).  Cal Phoenix will be serving as the 2013-2014 President of the chapter. Welcome, new officers and members of Sigma Tau Delta! 


On April 9, Robert Rebein, a Kansas native now teaching at Purdue University/Indianapolis, visited Washburn to read from his memoir:  Dragging Wyatt Earp: A Personal History of Dodge City.  The reading, hosted by the English Department and the Center for Kansas Studies, took place at the Mabee Library Commons.


Washburn University's English Department was again well represented at the annual National Undergraduate Literature Conference (NULC) at Weber State University. This year, seven of our students had their papers or creative works accepted, and six students (Brandon Blick, Ryan Braun, Cal Phoenix, Brian Rutschmann, Adam Vlach, and Tess Wilson) were able to attend the conference in Ogden, Utah, from April 4-6, 2013, accompanied by Professors Erin Chamberlain and Corey Zwikstra.


December 2012:

 WU Student Readings at Blue Planet Cafe

December 7, 2012: Students participating in the Fall 2012 "Contemporary Forms" course read from their own works at the Blue Planet Cafe in downtown Topeka. 


Grad school workshop flyerNovember 2012:

On November 1, 2012, the department of English conducted a graduate school workshop for English majors in the Vogel Room of the Memorial Union at 3:00 pm. The workshop covered topics ranging from the preparation of application materials to the different types of programs and financial assistance available. Please contact if you missed the workshop or would like to receive more information.

September 2012:


4 p.m., Wed., Sep. 5, 2012 at Mabee Library: Award-winning Jamaican poet Kwame Dawes, editor of top lit mag Prairie Schooner, visited Washburn to read from his work and discuss his current research of playwright August Wilson via the Guggenheim Fellowship. Learn more at  


May 2012:

Leslie Switzer received the Secondary Level Outstanding Student Teacher of the Year awardLeslie Switzer, English Education, received the Secondary Level Outstanding Student Teacher of the Year award. This award is presented to a student who demonstrates excellence in teaching throughout her student teaching assignment. Leslie student taught at Jardine Middle School in Topeka.



Spring 2012 student teachers

The following English Education students successfully completed their student teaching in the Spring of 2012. From left to right: Dr. Terry Rolfs, University Supervisor, Brandi Benson, Stephen Eschmann, Brenda Blackman, Leslie Switzer, and Dr. Danny Wade, Coordinator of English Education. Not pictured are Alison Ketzner, Katie McKee, and Krista Nosker.


Dr. Corey Zwikstra receives the Achieving Excellence AwardCorey Zwikstra, Assistant Professor in the English Department, was presented the Student Life Achieving Excellence Award.  The nominator stated that he "is genuinely interested in student reactions to material, welcomes interruptions that provide insightful information, is willing to provide students additional assistance any time...WU is lucky to have him!" 



April 2012: 

sigma tau delta inductees 2012

Congratulations to the twelve English majors who were inducted into the Phi Rho chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society, on April 25, 2012! 




Dr. Mary SheldonMary Sheldon, Associate Professor of English, was selected to receive the Ned N. Fleming Excellence in Teaching Award at Washburn's Employee Recognition ceremony on April 17. This award is given yearly to a faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching on a consistent basis.



NULC 2012Eight student presenters and four faculty mentors from the WU English Department attended the 2012 National Undergraduate Literature Conference at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Read more ...

March 2012:

Dr. Danny WadeThe Student Life team is pleased to announce that Danny Wade, Associate Chair and Assistant Professor in the English Department, was presented the Achieving Excellence Award for his excellence in working with students.  His nominator stated "I hope that someday I can be half the teacher Dr. Wade is. He is my role model, my inspiration."


Author Sherman Alexie, winner of the National Book Award, visited Washburn University on March 9 and delivered the 2011/2012 Klemmer lecture, co-sponsored by the English Department.


February 2012:

rodeTom Averill’s novel rode was named Outstanding Western Novel of 2011 as part of the Western Heritage Awards given each year in Oklahoma City, home of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. This award has been won in the past by James Michener, Thomas Berger, Larry McMurtry, A.B. Guthrie, Barbara Kingsvolver and Cormac McCarthy.