Faculty Accomplishments

Follow the link below for a list of selected accomplishments by Washburn English faculty.

Faculty Accomplishments

Faculty and Staff


The faculty and staff of the English Department are dedicated to serving Washburn University’s students and larger community through excellence in teaching, innovative scholarship and creative work, and by providing students from diverse backgrounds with critical reading and writing skills for their personal and professional futures.  

English Department Office



Dr. Danny Wade, Chair                           


Morgan Hall, Room 258

(785) 670-1441  



Karen Simpson, Administrative Specialist 


Morgan Hall, Room 258

(785) 670-1441  



Full-Time Faculty


tom-averillThomas Fox Averill, Writer-in-residence and Professor 


Morgan Hall, Room 300

MFA, Fiction, University of Iowa; M.A., University of Kansas; B.A., University of Kansas.

Specialties: Fiction, essay, poetry on various topics; food studies, garden literature, Scotland and Scottish culture, Kansas. View faculty profile

Karen Barron

Karen L. Barron, Lecturer


Morgan Hall, Room 151

MFA, Fiction, Bennington College; B.A., Kansas State University.

Specialties: Fiction, belles lettres, women's literature, creative non-fiction, poetry. View faculty profile


Benjamin Beier, Assistant Professor


Morgan Hall, Room 153

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.A., University of Dallas; B.G.S., University of Kansas.

Specialties: The Classical Tradition, Religion and Literature, The English Renaissance, Classical Rhetoric and its afterlife, Shakespeare, Thomas More, Ethics, Classical and Medieval Philosophy, the History and Philosophy of Education, and Epistemology. View faculty profile

burdick-melanieMelanie Burdick, Assistant Professor


Morgan Hall, Room 150

Ph.D., University of Kansas; M.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City

Specialties: Teaching of writing in high school and college; relationship and overlap of creative and academic forms of writing; preparation of secondary English teachers; composition and rhetoric; service learning. View faculty profile


Erin Chamberlain, Assistant Professor


Morgan Hall, Room 255

Ph.D., Purdue University; M.A., Ohio University; B.A., Hanover College

Specialties: Romantic and Victorian literature, especially the fiction of Charles Dickens, the Brontë sisters and George Eliot; portrayals of servants, women, class, space, and working class literacy in 19th-century British literature. View faculty profile

Liz DerringtonLiz Derrington, Lecturer


Morgan Hall, Room 252

M.F.A., University of New Mexico; B.A., Boston University.

Specialties: Creative writing (fiction and nonfiction), composition, women’s literature, Queer literature, and popular culture. View faculty profile

dennis-etzel-jrDennis Etzel, Jr., Lecturer


Morgan Hall, Room 256

MFA, University of Kansas; M.A., Kansas State University

Specialties: Experimental/conceptual poetry and poetics, feminist poetry and poetics, poetry as survival, political American poetry, ancient and contemporary mythology. View faculty profile


Karalyn Kendall-Morwick, Assistant Professor


Morgan Hall, Room 251

Ph.D., Indiana University Bloomington; M.A., Indiana University Bloomington; B.A., St. Olaf College.

Specialties: 20th-century British and American literature, transatlantic modernism, animal studies, environmental studies, literature and science, queer and gender studies, cultural studies, teaching of composition and professional writing. View faculty profile

Eric McHenryEric McHenry, Assistant Professor


Morgan Hall, Room 300

M.A., Boston University; B.A., Beloit College

Specialties: Contemporary poetry in English, poetry in translation, literary criticism, literary journalism. View faculty profile


Mary Sheldon, Associate Professor


Morgan Hall, Room 125

Ph.D., Purdue University; M.A. and B.A., Gannon College

Specialties: World literature, Buddhism in Asian Literature, liberation theology in Latin American literature, business writing. View faculty profile

roy-sheldonRoy Sheldon, Associate Professor


Morgan Hall, Room 250

Ph.D., Purdue University; M.A., Bowling Green University; B.A., Kent State University

Specialties: Science Fiction literature and film, fantasy literature and film, business writing, Susannah Sheldon & the Salem Witch Trials. View faculty profile

bradley-siebertBradley Siebert, Assistant Professor


Morgan Hall, Room 132

Ph.D., University of Arizona; M.A., University of Arizona; B.A., Bethel College

Specialties: Composition theory and pedagogy, rhetorical theory and ethics, religious rhetoric. View faculty profile

vanessa-steinroetterVanessa Steinroetter, Assistant Professor


Morgan Hall, Room 131

Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln; M.A., Catholic University of Eichstaett, Germany

Specialties: Nineteenth-century American literature and print culture, especially of the antebellum era and Civil War; periodical literature; book history; women's literature; American ethnic literature; transatlantic literary studies and translation studies. View faculty profile

danny-wadeDanny Wade, Associate Professor and Chair


Morgan Hall, Room 258

Ph.D., University of Oklahoma; M.Ed. and B.S., University of Oklahoma

Specialties: English education, the teaching of poetry, adolescent literacy, trends and issues in young adult literature, and the preparation of elementary and secondary writing teachers, fictional research writing. View faculty profile

Izzy WassersteinIsrael Wasserstein, Lecturer


Morgan Hall, Room 154

MFA, University of New Mexico; B.A., Washburn University

Specialties: Creative writing (poetry and fiction), composition, the graphic novel, literature and film, poetics. View faculty profile

david-weedDavid Weed, Lecturer


Morgan Hall, Room 253

Ph.D., Syracuse University; M.A. and B.S., University of Kansas.

Specialties: Eighteenth-century literature and culture, composition and composition theory, literary and critical theory, gender and sexuality theory, history of the novel. View faculty profile

corey-zwikstraCorey Zwikstra, Associate Professor


Morgan Hall, Room 152

Ph.D., University of Notre Dame; M.A., University of Notre Dame; B.A., University of Alberta, Canada.

Specialties: Old English poetry, Middle English (esp. Chaucer), medievalism, Old Norse language and literature, English linguistics, book history, authorship, genre and canon. View faculty profile


Emeriti Faculty


Jean Dimmit


Specialties: English Education. 


Howard Faulkner


Specialties: American literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; American expatriate writers; modernism.


Maureen Godman


Specialties: British Renaissance literature, especially Shakespeare, Marlowe, and Donne in historical contexts; the connection between concealment and creativity; women’s spheres of influence and authority as rulers, writers, and patrons.


Raylene Hinz-Penner


Specialties: Creative writing (poetry and nonfiction), contemporary American literature.


James Hoogenakker


Specialties: Modern novel and short story, especially the fiction of Joseph Conrad.


Thomas Kennedy


Specialties: Medieval Studies.


Virginia Pruitt


Specialties: British and American modern literature and modernism, popular culture, film noir, pulp fiction, detective fiction.


J. Karen Ray


Specialties: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century British drama; Kansas history and literature.


Robert Stein


Specialties: Chair, Honors Dean, Victorian Studies.


Margaret Stewart


Specialties: American Literature, Nature Writing.