Administrative Staff

Click here to meet the English Department's Administrative Staff!

Department Leadership

Phone:
(810) 762-3285
Email:
jschirm@umich.edu
Writing

James Schirmer, Associate Professor

Department Chair

Education: Ph.D., Bowling Green State University (2008)

Academic interests: digital rhetoric, the English major/minor, first-year writing, the history of rhetoric, technical writing.

Personal interests: audiobooks, cats, craft beer, pencils, running/walking.

Website: https://betajames.posthaven.com/

Dr. Schirmer began teaching at the University of Michigan-Flint in 2008.

Pronouns: he/him/his

Phone:
(810) 762-3429
Email:
smroach@umich.edu
Writing

Stephanie Roach, Associate Professor

Director of Writing Programs, Associate English Chair, and Director of the General Education Program

Education: Ph.D., English, University of Connecticut (2003)

Academic Interests: first-year writing, the specialization in writing major in English or our writing minors (including Professional Writing and Creative Writing), the teaching of writing and writing assignment design, plagiarism, writing program administration, general education learning outcomes, advising and retention, signature assignments and integrative learning.

Dr. Roach began teaching at the University of Michigan-Flint in 2003.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Faculty

Phone:
(810) 762-3477
Email:
cakers@umich.edu
Writing

Cathy Akers-Jordan, Lecturer IV

Education: Master of Liberal Studies, American Culture, University of Michigan-Flint (1998)

Academic Interests: technical writing, detective fiction, RMS Titanic, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.

Personal Interests: wild eagle cams, dog training, Egyptology, Greek and Roman mythology, counted cross-stitch, and knitting.

Website:  http://homepages.umflint.edu/~cakers/

Phone:
(810) 762-0751
Email:
satkinso@umich.edu
Writing

Scott Atkinson, Lecturer

Phone:
(810) 766-6878
Email:
rbarnett@umich.edu
Writing

Robert Barnett, Professor

Dean of the School of Education and Human Services

Education: Ph.D., University of Nevada

Download Dr. Barnett's Presentation: How to Write a Winning Resume

Email:
sberns@umich.edu
Literature

Stephen Bernstein, Professor

Education: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin (1990)

Academic interests: British Literature, literary theory, Alice Munro, comics

Personal interests: travel, music, cooking, reading, crossword puzzles, his cat

Dr. Bernstein began teaching at UM-Flint in 1990.

Phone:
(810) 424-5387
Email:
blumner@umich.edu
Writing

Jacob Blumner, Professor

Director of the Marian E. Wright Writing Center

Education: Ph.D., University of Nevada, Reno (1996)

Academic Interests: writing centers, writing across the curriculum, writing assessment, composition pedagogy

Personal Interests: tree hugging, woodworking, cycling, jiu jitsu, fishing, collecting hobbies.

Dr. Blumner began teaching at UM-Flint in 2005.

Phone:
(810) 762-3483
Email:
erbritt@umich.edu
Linguistics

Erica Britt, Associate Professor

Education: Ph.D, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011)

Phone:
(810) 767-6664
Email:
jtclark@umich.edu
Writing

Jay Clark, Lecturer

Education

  • M.Ed., Cambridge College
  • M.A., American and English Literature, University of Toledo
Email:
mehrlich@umich.edu
Writing and Literature

Monika Ehrlich, Lecturer

Phone:
(810) 762-3474
Email:
patemen@umich.edu
Literature

Patricia Emenyonu, Lecturer

Phone:
(810) 762-3183
Email:
feuerher@umich.edu
Linguistics

Emily Feuerherm, Associate Professor

Director of the Bridge Program

Education: Ph.D., Linguistics, University of California, Davis (2013)

Academic Interests: teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), immigrant and refugee studies, swearing and taboo language, health literacy, community-based participatory action research

Personal Interests: cooking (and eating!), running, learning languages

Website: https://emfeuerherm.wixsite.com/feuerherm

Dr. Feuerherm began teaching at the University of Michigan-Flint in 2013. 

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Phone:
(810) 762-3463
Email:
jfurman@umich.edu
Literature

Jan Furman, Professor

Director of MA in Liberal Studies (MALS) Program

Education: Ph.D., Florida State University

Email:
stepgeld@umich.edu
Writing

Stephanie Vidaillet Gelderloos, Lecturer

Education: M.A., English Linguistics, Eastern Michigan University (2004)

Email:
lhine@umich.edu
Writing

Lisa Hine, Lecturer

Phone:
(810) 762-3478
Email:
kazukoh@umich.edu
Linguistics

Kazuko Hiramatsu, Associate Professor

Education: Ph.D. in Linguistics (2000)

Academic Interests: general linguistics, the English major (specialization in linguistics), the linguistics minor, scholarship of teaching and learning (service learning/civic engagement, signature assignments and integrative learning, reflection), language acquisition

Dr. Hiramatsu started teaching at the University of Michigan-Flint in 2000.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Phone:
(248) 622-0794
Email:
irwinsj@umich.edu
Writing

Stephanie Irwin Booms, Lecturer

Email:
aakent@umich.edu
Literature

Alicia Kent, Associate Professor (on Leave)

Education: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000)

Phone:
(810) 762-3465
Email:
mkietzma@umich.edu
Literature

Mary Jo Kietzman (Gifford), Associate Professor

Education: Ph.D., Boston College (1993)

Phone:
(810) 762-0145
Email:
suknight@umich.edu
English Education

Suzanne Knight, Associate Professor

Phone:
(810) 424-5247
Email:
dalarsen@umich.edu
Writing

Dave Larsen, Collegiate Lecturer IV

Director of Writing Placement Exam (WPX), Qua Faculty Advisor

Education: M.A. Northern Michigan University

Academic Interests: First year writing, Creative Writing (fiction and non-fiction)

Mr. Larsen began teaching at the University of Michigan-Flint in January 1997.

Phone:
(810) 424-5656
Email:
vlarsen@umich.edu
Literature

Vickie Larsen, Associate Professor

Director of the Masters in English Language and Literature program

Education: Ph.D., University of Iowa

Academic Interests: pre-modern literature, language and culture; multi-ethnic American literature; history and future of text technologies; decolonizing methodologies; community-archives and preservation; public engagement; digital humanities

Dr. Larsen began teaching at the University of Michigan-Flint in 2008.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Email:
dlinden@umich.edu
Writing

Dave Linden, Lecturer

Education: M.A., University of Michigan-Flint

Phone:
(810) 237-6641
Email:
jpendell@umich.edu
Linguistics / Honors

John Pendell, Lecturer

Email:
fsvoboda@umich.edu
Literature

Frederic Svoboda, Professor

Education

  • Ph.D., English, Michigan State University (1978)
  • Graduate, Radcliffe Course in Publishing Procedures, Harvard University (Summer, 1975)
Email:
mthum@umich.edu
Honors

Maureen Thum, Lecturer IV

Director of Honors Scholar Program

Education: Ph.D., Michigan State University

Email:
djtrela@umich.edu
Literature / Honors

D. J. Trela, Professor

Interim Chair for Department of Foreign Languages

Phone:
(810) 762-3497
Email:
washd@umich.edu
Writing

Diane Washington, Lecturer

Phone:
(810) 762-3443
Email:
jwiess@umich.edu
Writing

Janelle Wiess, Lecturer

Education: M.A., Literary and Textual Studies, Bowling Green State University (2006)

Academic Interests: First-year writing, online writing instruction, syllabi design, career-preparation instruction, professional writing, memoir/creative nonfiction, first-year experience instruction.

Personal Interests: Running, blogging, historical fiction, and camping

Ms. Wiess started teaching at the University of Michigan-Flint in 2006.
Email:
swilhelm@umich.edu
Writing

Stephanie Wilhelm, Lecturer

Education

  • Master’s, Library Science and Information, Wayne State University (May 2012)
  • M.A., English, Wayne State University (August 2006)
Email:
zawimelo@umich.edu
Writing

Melojeane Zawilinski, Lecturer

Education: M.A., Teaching, Saginaw Valley State University

Emeritus Faculty

Dr. Anita Barry, Professor Emerita
Anita Barry, Ph.D., professor of linguistics, retired from active faculty status on June 30, 2003, after an exemplary 28 years of service at the University of Michigan-Flint.  She joined the University of Michigan-Flint in 1975 as an assistant professor and the English Department’s sole linguist.  She was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 1978, and professor in 1987.  Professor Barry led the way in moving from a purely literary approach to English to a more comprehensive program by developing a full range of undergraduate and graduate linguistic courses as well as the linguistic minor. 

Dr. Jan Bernsten, Associate Professor Emerita
Janice G. Bernsten, Ph.D., associate professor of Linguistics, retired from active faculty status on June 30, 2008.  She joined the University of Michigan – Flint faculty in 1990 as a visiting assistant professor, was appointed assistant professor in 1991, and was promoted to associate professor in 1997. 

Professor Bernsten’s research focused on sociolinguistics, or language and society, and she became internationally known for her work.  Her work on African languages appeared in some of the top journals in the field, including the International Journal of the Sociology of Language and World Englishes.  More recently she examined factory gender and discourse issues at auto plants in the mid-Michigan region and in California; the resultant work was part of a collection published by the Oxford University Press.

Dr. Thomas Foster, Professor Emeritus
Thomas C. Foster, professor of English, retired from active faculty status on December 31, 2014.  He joined the University of Michigan – Flint faculty as an assistant professor in 1987, and was promoted to associate professor in 1992, and professor in 2001.

Professor Foster is a leading scholar or twentieth-century English, Irish, and American literature; contemporary Irish poetry; modernism and postmodernism; literary analysis for general readers; and critical theory.  His teaching and research critically examined the works of Flann O'Brien, Henry Green, Seamus Heaney, and James Joyce.  He authored numerous books including Form and Society in Modern Literature (1988), How to Read Literature Like a Professor (2003),  and Twenty-five Books that Shaped America  (2011).  Professor Foster taught a wide array of popular courses that ranged from introductory courses in classical literature and literary genres to graduate classes on modern and contemporary British literature.  He played an instrumental role in the establishment of the English Department's Master of English Language and Literature Program.  He served as the program's first director from 2005-12.  Professor Foster was a frequent invited speaker at high schools across the state of Michigan where he shared his enthusiasm for great literature and inspired a generation.

Dr. Judith Kollmann, Professor Emerita
Judith J. Kollmann, Ph.D., professor of English, retired from active faculty status on June 1, 2006.  She joined the University of Michigan – Flint faculty in 1968 as a lecturer, was appointed assistant professor in 1972, was promoted to associate professor in 1976 and to professor in 1984.  From 1997-2005  she also served as the Director of the Comparative Literature Program.

Professor Kollmann’s research focused in equal part on both medieval studies and on the work of the twentieth-century writers C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and J. R. R. Tolkein.  She is co-editor (with Dr. E. Talbot Donaldson) of the volume Chaucerian Shakespeare: Adaptation and Transformation (1983), has published articles in journals such as CSL, The Journal of English Teaching Techniques, Mythlore, and Extrapolation, and contributed chapters to several scholarly essay collections.  She also presented numerous conference papers at a variety of regional, national, and international conferences.  Through her membership in professional associations such as the Medieval Academy of America, the International Arthurian Society, and the New Chaucer Society she performed valuable service for her profession.

Dr. William Lockwood, Professor Emeritus
Dr. Lockwood was hired by the English Department in 1969 as Assistant Professor.  (He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1974 and to Professor in 1985.) 

While hired for his expertise in British literature of the Renaissance, over the years Dr. Lockwood considerably widened his areas of teaching and research in response to department needs and to his evolving intellectual interests.  He consistently taught two of the department’s key courses for majors and minors: Elements of Literary Analysis, the introductory course in English literary study, and The Tradition of English Literature, 1500-1750.  More specialized courses covered parts of this long period, but he also moved into study of more recent British and American literature, building upon his interests in poetics and in the relationship between landscape and literature.  These led to courses in British Classics and British Landscapes and in Western American Literary Landscapes.

Dr. Lockwood established and, for many years, ran the UM-Flint Visiting Writers series, bringing to campus leading figures in American and British poetry.

Dr. Consuela Provost (Sybil Kein), Professor Emerita
Dr. Consuela Provost (Sybil Kein) joined the faculty of the University of Michigan-Flint in 1972 as assistant professor of English and Theatre.  She received her B.S. degree in music from Xavier University in 1958, her M.A. in Theatre Arts and Communication from Louisiana State University in 1972, and her D.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1975 with a comparative study of American ethnic literatures.  She was promoted to associate professor in 1979 and to professor in 1988.

A multitalented dramatist, musician, poet, teacher and scholar of Louisiana Creole art and culture, Dr. Kein largely created the field of Creole Studies through her early publications and presentations.  Her activities would make at least three careers.  She was the author of nine produced plays (including a "Historical Revue with Music" covering the history of Flint) and explored the uses of drama to teach basic subjects in the public schools. She developed a number of courses in Theatre and English, including Theatre's playwriting workshop as well as the surveys and more advanced courses covering African-American and Ethnic American Literatures that continue as staples in the English curriculum.

Dr. Wesley Rae, Professor Emeritus
Wesley Rae, emeritus professor of English, retired in 1996. He served the U-M-Flint for 37 years, received the Faculty Achievement Award from students for his teaching excellence as well as two distinguished professor awards, the Special Merit for Teaching Award and recognition from the Michigan Association of Governing Boards' Distinguished Faculty Member award. He taught British, Greek, and Roman literature.  Dr. Rae's administrative appointments included service as acting dean and then dean of academic affairs (1974-75), dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1975-79), acting dean of the School of Management (1975-76), and three terms as chair of the Department of English.

Dr. Jacqueline Zeff, Professor Emerita
Dr. Jacqueline Zeff, professor of English, retired from active faculty status June 30, 2015.  Professor Zeff Joined the University of Michigan-Flint faculty as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of English in 1991.

Professor Zeff is a leading scholar of women's literature, American immigrant literature, and U.S. Latina literature, with special expertise in the works of Willa Cather, John Keats, Edith Wharton, and August Wilson.  She authored a number of notable papers and was a frequent invited speaker at national conferences.  Professor Zeff provided exemplary leadership of the College of Arts and Sciences during her service as dean from 1991-95.  A gifted teacher, Professor Zeff created dynamic learning environments that encouraged the development of solid writing skills, formidable analytical prowess, and an enduring appreciation of the great works of literature.  She taught a broad range of courses including Introduction to Prose Fiction, Women and Literature, Elements of Literary Analysis, Topics in Women's Literature, and Major Novelists.  Professor Zeff served as director of the Masters of Liberal Studies program, shared her insights with numerous department and university-wide committees, and was actively involved in the intellectual life of the campus.  She received the University of Michigan-Flint's Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2000.

Retired Faculty & Staff

Mr. James Anderson, Lecturer

Catherine O'Connor, Lecturer

Mr. Danny Rendleman, Lecturer
Danny Rendelman, M.F.A., retired from active faculty status on April 30, 2005.  He began his employment at UM-Flint in 1975 as an instructional associate supervising the University’s Writing and Reading Labs and a part-time instructor in the English Department.  He held the supervisor post until 1986, when he became a full-time lecturer in English, the post he held until his retirement.

For twenty years Mr. Rendleman taught composition and creative writing to roughly 200 students a year, receiving consistently high student and departmental evaluations for his excellent work.  A widely published poet, he was especially important to the University as a teacher of creative writing.  His six books of poetry (and over 300 poems published in periodicals), his involvement in bringing creative writers to campus, and his work for a variety of poetry journals (Artifact, Brix) gave strength to creative writing offerings.  He guided several students to coveted Hopwood Awards in writing from the Ann Arbor campus and worked for many years as advisor to the UM-Flint student literary magazine Kwasind.  Mr. Rendleman was also visible in a number of community projects over the years.  He was a participant in the Poetry Arts Project sponsored by the Michigan Council for the Arts and Humanities, he judged numerous poetry competitions, and he served on the boards of Flint’s Buckham Alley Theatre, the Buckham Gallery, the Genesee Literary Foundation, and the Friends of Modern Art at the Flint Institute of Arts.

Jan Worth-Nelson, Lecturer
Jan is widely published and continues to write poems, personal essays, and short stories.

In Memoriam

Ellen Bommarito, Lecturer
Well-respected lecturer and community member, Ellen Bommarito, passed away on January 24, 1998.  Ellen Bommarito contributed significantly to the writing program over a span of two decades, beginning in the late 1970s as a peer-tutor in the Writing Center and continuing in the 1990s as a Lecturer in English who taught composition, technical writing and business communication. Ellen was instrumental in the creation of the English Department's technical writing major and minor. She was also an energetic and innovative director of the English Placement Examination. Beyond her duties in the English Department, Ellen served the University of Michigan-Flint and its students as the founding director of the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Center, and as a faculty advisor in the Academic Advising Center. To all of her work, and especially to her teaching, Ellen Bommarito brought a rare combination of intellectual rigor, common sense, kindness and compassion.

Fran Frazier, Secretary
Fran Frazier began working for the University of Michigan-Flint, initially as a secretary in the Theatre and Political Science Departments. She then served as the English Department secretary for the last 22 years of her life. She was much admired and valued by the faculty and students. Fran loved long distance biking, playing scrabble, and knitting. She was an eclectic reader and an avid Gilbert and Sullivan fan. Having grown up in a city that offered little in the way of intellectual stimulation or exposure to the arts, Fran understood that education could open many doors for people.

Margo LaGatutta, Lecturer
Long-time lecturer in the English department, Margo LaGattuta, died after a brief struggle with cancer on Monday, August 22, 2011.  LaGattuta had been with the University of Michigan–Flint since fall of 1997. She was also an instructor at Oakland Community College and Baker College. She authored four books and edited numerous anthologies. According to colleagues, she won the Midwest Poetry Award twice and a National Federation of State Poetry Societies Founders Award. She was nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize. In May 2005, she received the Mark Twain Award for her body of work from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature at Michigan State University.  She was widely known for her poetry, and she had her own radio show, Art in the Air on an Oakland County station.  She also wrote a column for her local paper, Community Lifestyles, A Word in Edgewise.

Mary Ellen Raleigh, Lecturer
Mary Ellen Raleigh, lecturer of English and Business Communications at UM-Flint from 1975 to 1995, passed away on January 29, 2012.  She was a nationally ranked Scrabble Player, an enthusiastic fan of Curling, the NFL, and U of M Football, and a writer for East Village Magazine, lormerly known as the Village Stroller.