News Archive: Mentoring Program

Spring 2018

Photo of Michelle Williams and Jessica Mattox
From left: Michelle Williams, Jessica Mattox

Graduate Student Award Winners

The English Department would like to congratulate Michelle "Marti" Williams (left) for winning the 2018 Outstanding Graduate Student Award, and Jessica Mattox (right) for winning the 2018 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Fellow Award. We're so proud of Marti and Jessica, and we can't wait to see what the future holds for them!

Graduating GTF's Exciting Employment Opportunity

We are happy to announce that GTF Emily Deacon has accepted a position in Spotsylvania County Public Schools as a Dual Enrollment English Teacher, working with both Courtland High School and Chancellor High School. We're so proud of Emily, and we know that her students will benefit greatly from working with her.


Our Grads Making Us Proud


Our GTAs and GTFs present their work at national and international conferences! Here are some highlights from the spring 2018 semester.

  • Emily Deacon, Jessica Mattox, and Marti Williams will present "A Call for Community: Inspiring Inclusivity Among Students Through Collaboration and Integration of Individual and Cultural Experiences" at the 2018 mid-Atlantic Conference on College Composition and Communication in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Henry Bolte presented "Hegemonic Masculinities, Emphasized Femininity, and Social Scripts in The Great Gatsby" at the 49th Annual College English Association Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida.
  • Racheal Downey presented "The Goods Refuse to Go to Market: Sexual Expectations for Women in The Bell Jar and The House of Mirth" at the CEA Conference.
  • Erika Goad presented "Sexual Trauma and Female Community in The Handmaid's Tale" at the CEA Conference.
  • Gage Pennington presented "Discourse, Trauma, and Healing in E. E. Cummings's The Enormous Room" at the CEA Conference. 
  • Nick McCord presented "Heteropatriarchal Masculinity and Insidious Trauma in Rabe's Sticks and Bones" at the 2018 American Men's Studies Association Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.



Spring 2017

Mentors in the News

Our GTF Program Mentors are active scholars, as well as dedicated teachers. On Friday, April 6, 2018, Nancy Taylor and Dr. David Beach will present "InfoLit Competencies for College Honors Students" at the Student Success in Writing Conference in Savannah, GA. We are excited that Nancy and David are showcasing some of the great work being done at Radford University!

Former GTF Excels in Legal Competition

Katherine LaRosa (B.S. 2010; M.A. 2012) reached the final four for the 2017 ALA National Moot Court Competition's Best Advocate Award. Read more about Katherine's accomplishment in Illinois Tech Today.

Introducing our Second-Year Graduate Teaching Fellows


In addition to teaching Core 101 and 102, our GTFs are taking part in Professional Development Seminars on managing their online presence, crafting resumes and CVs, and interviewing for the workforce or further graduate study.

Welcome, New Graduate Teaching Assistants!


We're so excited to be working with such a wonderful group of GTAs, who will begin their journeys as teachers by assisting with Core 101-Essentials of Written and Oral Communication, and Core 102-Advanced Written and Oral Communication.

Congratulations to the Graduating Teaching Fellows Class of 2017!


We are so proud of each and every one of you!

Graduate Student Publications

  • An essay written by GTA Jessica Mattox (M.A. 2018) has been accepted for publication in the Virginia English Journal! The essay, "Spectacles of Empathy: Shopping at Doctor T. J. Eckleburg's for an English 11-Advanced Placement Unit Plan on The Great Gatsby," will appear this summer.
  • Another of Jessica's essays, “Practical Poetry: A Nonstandard Approach to Meeting Content-Area Standards by Sara Holbrook--A Review,” recently appeared in the Virginia English Journal (Spring/Summer 2016, Vol. 66 Issue 1, pp. 68-73).
  • Former GTF Courtney Simpkins (M.A. 2016) has published a review of Gothic Romantic: An Edinburg Companion, ed. Angela Wright and Dale Townshend. Forthcoming in Studies in Gothic Fiction, Spring 2017.

Conference Presentations

We're also pleased to announce several members' presentations at regional, national, and international conferences this semester.

  • On January 28, 2017, Dr. Michele Ren, Dr. Erin Webster-Garrett, former GTF Jessica Thomasson (M.A. 2015), and Ms. Samantha Blevins convened a roundtable discussion at Association of American Colleges & Universities 2017 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The session, entitled “Leaning into the Counter-Intuitive: Seizing ePortfolio Initiatives as a Means to Forward Liberal Arts Outcomes,” represents one of the 20% of submitted proposals accepted to the ePortfolio forum.
  • On February 2, 2017, former GTF Katherine E. Smith (M.A. 2015) presented a paper entitled “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria: Potential Causes for Maria’s Spinsterhood in Joyce’s Clay” at The X James Joyce Italian Foundation Conference in Rome, Italy.
  • GTF Kelly Nickell (M.A. 2017) presented a paper entitled "The ‘Elsewhere’ of Women’s Writing: Critical Responses to the Discourses of Female Conduct in Plath’s The Bell Jar" at the Humanities Education Research Association's Conference, in San Diego CA, from March 1-4, 2017.
  • GTF Phelan Tinsley (M.A. 2017) presented a paper entitled “How Native Writing Works to Invert Symbolic and Imaginary Texts to Counter Racist Discourse” at the Humanities Education Research Association's conference, in San Diego CA, from March 1-4, 2017. 
  • On March 3, 2017, GTF Caitlyn Parker (M.A. 2017), Dr. Moira Baker, and Dr. Michele Ren will present a co-authored paper titled “Anticipating Intersectionality: The Activist Work of Tar BabyThe Color Purple, and Zami” at the Intersectional Inquiries Conference at the University of Notre Dame, March 2-4, 2017.
  • GTF Kari Lynne Rappold (M.A. 2017), GTA Michelle Williams (M.A. 2018), and GTA Jessica Mattox (M.A. 2018) comprised a panel entitled "The Trifecta of Writing Instruction: Integrating Academic, Creative, and Technical Writing into Your Classroom" at Old Dominion University's 38th Annual Spring Conference on the Teaching of Writing, on March 27-28, 2017.
  • On March 31, 2017, GTF Caitlyn Parker presented her paper, "'A Point of Resistance': Exploring the Damaging Consequences and Powerful Advantages of Discourse in Alison Bechdel's Fun Home" at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies International Conference at the University of Rochester.

August 2016

Welcome, New Graduate Teaching Assistants!

The Mentoring Program would like to welcome Emily Deacon, Andy Geels, Jessica Mattox and Marti Williams. We're so excited to have them on board, and we know that they're going to do great things in their teaching teams.

Summer 2016

We're so proud of the Graduate Teaching Fellows who represented Radford University at professional conferences this summer!

Two GTFs presented at The 1816 Conference: Creativity and Turmoil, at the University of Sheffield, England. Melanie Graham (M.A. '16) presented "'Watch Out, Boys, She'll Chew You Up': Percy Shelly's Ambivalence at Beatrice Cenci," on June 27, and Catelin Turman (M.A. '17) presented  "Partly from Curiosity, and Partly from Idleness: the Monstrosity of Emma Woodhouse and Victor Frankenstein," on June 25.

Caitlyn Parker (M.A. '17) and Kelly Nickell (M.A. '17) participated in Feminist Camp, a week-long workshop in New York City, from June 6-10. Caitlyn and Kelly were two of fourteen people chosen to spend the week with authors Jennifer Baumbardner and Amy Richards. They held internships, volunteered for Sancturary for Families, and held meetings with various non-profit organizations working for women's issues nationally. 

Three of our Graduate Teaching Fellows presented papers at the HERA (Humanities Education and Research Association) conference on March 25th, in New Orleans. Kelly Nickell (M.A. '17) presented "A Woman Without A Movement: The Bell Jar as Proto-Feminist Intervention," Caitlyn Parker (M.A. '17) presented "'A Point of Resistance': Discourse as Constraint and Empowerment in Alison Bechdel's Fun Home," and Phelan Tinsley (M.A. '17) presented "'Queers Aren't Meant to Love': 1950s-1980s Discourses on Homosexuality and the Counter-Discourse of Gay Love in Sherman's Bent and Newman's 'A Letter to Harvey Milk.'"

March 2016

The Mentoring Program congratulates Melanie Graham (M.A. 2016), who has officially accepted service as a University English Instructor and TEFL Volunteer with the Peace Corps in the Ukraine.

In addition to teaching University English, Melanie will promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills to students and teachers in the field. She will work closely with her Ukrainian colleagues to provide teacher training and share, develop, and implement new language teaching methods and materials. We’re so happy for Melanie, and we wish her the best of luck!