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Faculty

Robert G. Barrier, Ph.D. (University of Georgia), Professor of English, has been the director of the Kennesaw University Writing Center since 1988. Over the years at Kennesaw State, he has taught almost all of the undergraduate courses scheduled in composition and literature, but his specialties are nineteenth-century American literature, computer-assisted instruction, and the rhetoric of computer technology. In the graduate program, Professor Barrier concentrates upon the relationships between technology and writing and the history and professional uses of rhetoric. He has presented widely at writing center conferences and national and regional English conferences, and his recent publications include profiles on American literary magazines and interactive software programs for W. W. Norton. Professor Barrier’s current interests include the rhetoric of hypertext, nineteenth-century periodical publishing, the Regent’ test and cultural bias (he has been Regents’ regional coordinator since 1992), and online literary journals (he co-edits The Kennesaw Review). Recently, he has been active in mentoring students for professional presentations and teaching internships.

Laura S. Dabundo, Ph. D. (Temple University), is Professor and Chair of the Department of English. Her Ph. D. is in English Romanticism, her primary field of interest and scholarship, and she has published two books in this field (Encyclopedia of Romanticism: Culture in Britain from the 1780s to the 1830s [Garland, 1992] and Jane Austen and Mary Shelley and Their Sisters: Romantic Women’s Fiction in Context [University Press of America, 2000], as well as articles and presentations. In the Master of Arts in Professional Writing program, she has taught editing based upon her experience as book editor, as managing editor of The Wordsworth Circle while in graduate school at Temple University, and largely as a result of earlier professional work. She was employed as an editor at J. B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, PA, for five years, including a final three-year stint as department manager for the health-science editorial production department (staff of 21, plus many freelance copyeditors and indexers); responsible for the editorial production of 100 books and loose-leaf subscription series annually on a half-a-million-dollar department budget.

Elizabeth J. Giddens, Ph.D. (University of Tennessee), Associate Professor of English, teaches corporate communications, public service writing, and professional and academic editing. In these courses, she focuses on providing students with knowledge of current communications trends and issues as well as the skills they need to work as writers, editors, and communications professionals.

During her graduate school years, Professor Giddens focused on rhetoric and composition and co-authored, with Don Richard Cox, Crafting Prose, a composition text published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. After teaching several years, she shifted into the nonprofit sector where she held positions as an editor and associate director of communications at the Southern Regional Education Board in Atlanta, Georgia, and later as a writer and communications director at RAND in Santa Monica, California. In these positions Professor Giddens performed a broad range of communications tasks, including serving as a press liaison, writing policy summaries of research findings, pulling proposals together, and crafting an organization's message and image in annual reports, case statements, meetings, and web sites.

Since her return to academe, she has been investigating how the context of a policy debate influences the contribution that an individual participant is allowed to make. The focus of her scholarship is the rhetoric of education policy.

Tony Grooms, M. F. A. (George Mason University), Professor of Creative Writing, studied at The College of William and Mary, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Speech. His focus was playwriting, and student theater groups produced several of his plays. Next, he studied at George Mason University, where he developed a professional interest in creative writing and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts, the terminal degree for that field. After graduate school, when he moved to Georgia to teach, he found a subject in the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

Tony GroomsProfessor Grooms is the author of a collection of poems, Ice Poems; a collection of stories, Trouble No More; and a novel, Bombingham. His stories and poems have been published in Callaloo, African American Review, Crab Orchard Review, George Washington Review, and other literary journals. He is a two-time recipient of the Lillian Smith Prize for Fiction (1996 and 2002), the Sokolov Scholarship from the Breadloaf Writing Conference, the Lamar Lectureship from Wesleyan College, and an Arts Administration Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Though the subject matter of his work varies, his most notable work has focused on characters struggling with the uncertainty of the American Civil Rights Movement. His novel, Bombingham, set against the activism for and resistance against civil rights in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963, was published by The Free Press imprint of Simon and Schuster in October 2001 (paperback, Ballantine, 2002). Reviewing the novel for the Washington Post, critic Jabari Asim wrote, "In its insistence that 'the world is a tumultuous place and every soul in it suffers,' this powerful, resonant novel offers no consolations. Professor Grooms offers consolation, however, in allowing us to be present at the emergence of a brave and promising talent, fully equipped to take on the writer's task of confronting chaos and wrestling it into form." In 2002, Bombingham was selected as a fiction finalist in the Hurston-Wright Legacy Awards and also won the Lillian Smith Award for fiction.

Professor Grooms's teaching career has taken him to positions at a variety of universities in Georgia, including the University of Georgia, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, and Morehouse College, and to the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, West Africa. For the past seven years, he has been a Professor of Creative Writing at Kennesaw State University where he teaches a range of writing and literature courses but specializes in creative writing and American literature.

M. Todd Harper, PhD. (University of Louisville 1998), Assistant Professor of English, teaches the course in Teaching Writing in High Schools and College. He assists in the coordination of the composition program, and his research interests include the teaching of writing, writing program administration, history of writing and rhetoric, rhetorical theory, rhetoric of inquiry, and writing in the disciplines. Recently, he had a piece on topology, classroom space, and writing accepted for Classroom Spaces, a forthcoming edited collection from Hampton Press. He is currently working on an article examining disciplinary inquiry and style for a collection of essays on style and invention and an article on theorizing service learning.

Robert W. Hill, Ph.D. (University of Illinois-Urbana), Professor of English, has published poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews. For two years, he wrote a weekly column for the Marietta Daily Journal and, earlier, wrote and hosted Poetry Today for six years on South Carolina Educational Radio. He co-edited South Carolina Review before coming to Kennesaw State and since then co-edits Kennesaw Review, as well as edits and publishes occasional chapbook volumes of Billy Goat.

Professor Hill has published criticism in contemporary poetry, especially on the work of James Dickey and David Bottoms and also on novelists Barry Hannah and Mark Steadman, along with numerous book reviews of contemporary fiction and nonfiction. Hill is currently writing poetry, short fiction, reviews, and essays on poetry and movies about the U.S. suburbs and leads a monthly poetry workshop at Haversack Bookstore. He recently led a workshop at Georgia Poetry Society.

Dr. Susan M. HunterSusan M. Hunter, Ph.D. (University of California-Riverside), Professor of English, teaches composition studies and directs the Master's program in professional writing at Kennesaw State University. In the past decade, she has coedited and coauthored three books in composition studies for Southern Illinois University Press and Heinemann Boynton/Cook. She has written numerous scholarly articles and given presentations at regional and national conferences on teaching writing. She is a founding and current editor of Dialogue: A Journal for Writing Specialists. With Sheryl I. Fontaine, Dr. Hunter has authored an instructional text, Collaborative Writing in Composition Studies (Wadsworth, 2004), the inaugural book in the Wadsworth Series in Composition Studies, for which she and Dr. Fontaine are the developmental editors. In addition, they have written a chapter for a collection of essays, Culture Shock: Training the New Wave in Rhetoric and Composition (Hampton Press, 2004), about this new genre of textbook that they are developing in the Wadsworth Series in Composition Studies www.wadsworth.com/english. In 2001, Dr. Hunter received the KSU Distinguished Scholarship Award.

David Johnson, Ph.D. (Purdue University), Assistant Professor of English, works in the area of applied linguistics. His research interests include second language writing, second language acquisition, world Englishes, and language policy and planning. He has published articles in TESOL Journal and The International Journal of Applied Linguistics as well as reviews in Applied Linguistics and TESOL Quarterly. He teaches graduates courses such as Teaching Writing to Speakers of Other Languages and World Englishes. He is currently working on articles concerning the role of teaching writing as a process in foreign language contexts, the role of literature in second language writing, and the impact of culture in second language acquisition.

Dr. Greg JohnsonGreg Johnson, Ph.D. (Emory University), Professor of English, has written in many genres, predominantly fiction, but also literary criticism, book reviews, poetry, and textbooks. Sample books include the novels Pagan Babies and Sticky Kisses, the story collections Distant Friends and I Am Dangerous, and the biography Invisible Writer: A Biography of Joyce Carol Oates. Johnson teaches fiction writing, both graduate and undergraduate, and American literature. In 2002, Professor Johnson received the Kennesaw State University Distinguished Scholarship Award.

Carole Maugé-Lewis, M.F.A (Howard University), Associate Professor of Art, has been a professional graphic designer and educator in the field for the past fifteen years. Most recently, she has been involved in Web site development and interface design, completing certification in Internet Specialization and Internet Marketing. She completed the BFA in Graphic Design and the Master of Fine Arts in graphic design at Howard University, in Washington, D.C., and began her teaching career there. Professor Maugé-Lewis has also taught at the Art Institute of Atlanta and at the American Intercontinental University, both in Atlanta, Georgia. She teaches “ Document Design and Desktop Publishing” in the Master’s program in professional writing at Kennesaw State.

J. Eric Miller, Ph.D. (University of Denver), Assistant Professor of English, has taught screenwriting for the last three years and is presently developing a screenwriting textbook meant for the university classroom. Professor Miller teaches screenwriting at the introductory as well as advanced level. In the future he would like to offer a collaborative screenwriting class, where all the students work together on one or two scripts to be completed by semester's end. He also intends to develop a class for video game writing.

Past options and/or sales of Miller's scripts include Africa (Nubian Sisters) and Luna Eclipse (co-writer; Valley Productions). Presently, two scripts are under consideration: Manifest Destiny (Zero Gravity) and Paradise Lost (several production companies). In addition, Miller has negotiated the sale of a collection of short stories – Animal Rights and Pornography – with Soft Skull Press to be published in late fall of 2003.

Linda Grant Niemann, Ph.D. (University of California-Berkeley), Assistant Professor of English, teaches creative nonfiction and is the author of two books: On the Rails (previously titled Boomer: Railroad Memoirs) and Railroad Voices. These nonfiction works chronicle her twenty-year career as a railroad freight conductor. In addition, she has published feature essays, reviews, interviews, and anthologized stories. For many years, she has been interested in Mesoamerican culture and has traveled to Central America as a tourist, student, scholar, and teacher. She is currently working on a travel book about Mexico.

Dr. Sarah R. RobbinsSarah R. Robbins, Ph.D. (University of Michigan), Professor of English and English Education, is director of the Keeping and Creating American Communities program, an initiative initially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities to support the development of writing-centered, interdisciplinary approaches for studying community life. She also directs the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, a National Writing Project site. Professor Robbins is winner of the 2002 University System of Georgia award for excellence in the scholarship of teaching. In 1998, she won the American Studies Association's Constance Rourke prize for the best article in the organization's major journal, American Quarterly. She has served on national committees and commissions for the Modern Language Association, the American Studies Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project. Professor Robbins's scholarship focuses on literacy, authorship, social writing practices and teaching in American Culture. Her work has been published in a wide array of academic journals from multiple disciplines, as well as in magazines, books, and newspapers addressing broader public audiences. She has lectured throughout the U.S. and in Europe and serves as a regular reviewer for several university presses, journals, and general interest publishers.

Margaret B. Walters, Ph.D. (Arizona State University), Assistant Professor of English, teaches in the area of applied writing. Most recently she developed and taught a new course in writing for the Web and is currently developing a new course in intercultural communications. She also teaches business and technical editing; context, style, and audience in professional writing; and issues and research in professional writing in the graduate program in professional writing; the undergraduate courses she teaches include careers in writing, professional editing, and technical writing. Her primary research is the scholarship of teaching, and she has published several articles and presented many papers at regional and national conferences in the areas of the history of composition teaching, contemporary composition teaching, and on the use of technology to teach writing. In 1999 she joined a consortium of professors in the University System of Georgia in traveling to China’s Jiangsu province for a six-university lecture tour, where she lectured in the areas of teaching technical writing and government writing. She was awarded the 2001-2002 Incentive Grant for Engaged Teaching, Scholarship, and Service Program, Kennesaw State University Faculty Development and Awards, to develop a “Careers in Writing Network,” for which she developed a Web site: The Careers in Writing Network.

Before she became a full-time college professor, Professor Walters gained valuable experience working as a professional writer in several areas of expertise: (1) Aerospace writing: as a Senior Technical Writer and Editor for several major aerospace companies, where she specialized in writing proposals; and as a Quality Assurance, Safety, and Reliability engineer for ILC-Dover (which developed the extravehicular activity, or EVA, suit used by astronauts during space walks) and for Rockwell International (where she worked at the NASA Johnson Space Center on the development and launch of the first space shuttle, STS-1), where her duties included developing and writing various government documents in support of her SR&QA responsibilities. (2) Medical writing: as lab supervisor of the toxicology lab for the University of Texas Medical Branch (in her hometown of Galveston) and as a clinical laboratory technician at numerous major hospitals in the southeast region of Texas, she researched, developed, and wrote laboratory test procedures and manuals. (3) Freelance writing: Professor Walters had a very active freelance writing business in Phoenix, Arizona—the Writing Force.

Dr. Ralph Tejeda WilsonRalph Tejeda Wilson, Ph. D. (University of Utah), Assistant Professor of English, has taught courses in poetry writing, modern American poetry, and others. He has published poetry, fiction, and reviews in numerous journals, including The Georgia Review, The New England Review, Puerto del Sol, Prairie Schooner, and others. His first book of poems, A Black Bridge, was published by the University of Nevada Press in April 2001. In 2002, he was awarded the Georgia Author of the Year Award in Poetry by the Georgia Writers Association. He is currently at work completing a second book of poetry.