Faculty

The faculty who teach Thinking and Writing are experts in their chosen fields of study. Their diverse training and life experiences contribute to a stimulating and challenging intellectual environment for students to develop as readers, thinkers and writers.

Michael Antonucci (PhD, Emory University) teaches courses in the English Department and American Studies Program. His training in African American literature and culture serves as the foundation for his research on Space, Place and Race in United States.

Phyllis Benay (PhD, University of Massachusetts), professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Director of the Center for Writing, mentors faculty as they craft better assignments and peer writing tutors as they refine their tutoring techniques. She enjoys walking in her marsh with her dog Max, peering through binoculars at birds, cooking, gardening both vegetable and perennial, stacking wood, reading, and sometimes actually writing.

Tracy Botting (MA, University of New Hampshire) studies nineteenth-century English and American literature, American Regional fiction, Women’s literature and lives, Native American fiction, Memoir, Biography, as well as fiction and non-fiction. A quirky sense of humor, vast store of gruesome and fascinating facts about the nineteenth-century and enthusiasm inspire her students to grow as critical thinkers.

Patrice Brewer (MA, Northwestern State University) teaches an ITW course entitled Folkways and Regional Identity that examines the folkways, folk life and folklore that shape a particular regional and cultural identity.  She earned a Master of Art degree in English with an emphasis in Southern Culture and Folklore from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana (location for the filming of Steel Magnolias).  She has been an educator for thirty years.  In her spare time, she enjoys boating, reading, hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

Brinda Charry (PhD, Syracuse University) has a doctoral degree in English. Her area of expertise is  English Renaissance Literature and Culture, including Shakespeare. She is also interested in post-colonial studies and global literatures and writes and teaches creative writing.

Julio Del Sesto (MFA, Academy of Art University), assistant professor of Journalism and advisor of The Equinox, Keene State College’s student newspaper, teaches courses in photojournalism, multimedia production, digital journalism, and social documentary photography. Professor Del Sesto is also the Public Relations Director for the Monadnock Habitat for Humanity and serves as the web development and social media advisor for the Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities.

Jennifer Ditkoff (MLIS, Syracuse University), Undergraduate Experience Librarian for the Mason Library, is interested in the ways a liberal arts education supports the freedom to access information, and facilitates the creation of knowledge to build community and engaged citizenship. She enjoys taking pictures, running slowly, yoga, reading, and supporting student success on campus.

Alice B. Fogel (MA, University of New Hampshire) is the author of several books of poetry and a “how-not-to” book about why we shouldn’t “get” poetry.  She has taught writing and literature to students of all ages, and is fascinated by the lifelong learning process as it involves phases of questioning, connection, doubting, motivation, and change. She is obsessed with backpacking, particularly on the Appalachian Trail, and is also a “clothing surgeon,” making new fashions out of old duds. For more about Alice, see her websites, www.alicebfogel.com and www.lyriccouture.com.

Richard Foley (EdD, University of Massachusetts Amherst), professor of Technology, Design & Safety, is interested in how we sort the myths, enforcement of orthodoxies and conventional responses that constitute “The Manufactured Reality” from the stirrings of our own unique gifts and sense of responsibility to our communities. How can Peak Oil, 9/11, the War on Terror, media literacy, sustainable design, cosmology and the Black Madonna inform our choices?  To paraphrase the Buddha, you must be present to win.

Heather Gigliello (MALS, Dartmouth College, MST, University of New Hampshire) teaches in the English and Education Departments. Students in her classes study issues surrounding race, gender, and socio-economics in American society. She is interested in how the media’s portrayal of race and gender impact the youth in America.  In her spare time, she enjoys taking adventures with her husband and two children.

John T. Hitchner (Master of Arts in Liberal Studies) is a teacher and a published writer of poetry and fiction. His intellectual interests include how literary protagonists struggle for redemption in the aftermath of their own private hell.

Steven Kessler (MAT, English, Colgate University) is a writer, ITW instructor, administrator, and staunch advocate of Mark Twain’s conviction that “[t]the different between the right word and the almost right word is the different between lightning and a lightning bug.” When not engaged in cultivating Twain’s earnest respect for words and their meanings among students, he enjoys vegetable gardening, cooking, old movies, and Jazz Age American fiction.

Mark C. Long (PhD, University of Washington), professor of English and American Studies, teaches and writes about American literature, with an emphasis in poetry and poetics; American studies, with a special interest in literature and the environment; and expository writing, with a focus on the teaching of first-year writers. Additional information about Dr. Long’s personal and professional activities is available at his web page, http://kscenglish.wordpress.com/.

Irene McGarrity (MA, SUNY New Paltz, MSIS UAlbany) began at Keene State College as Academic Technology Librarian in December 2013 after teaching first-year writing courses and serving as reference librarian at various institutions across New England and New York. Irene is currently working towards an MFA in Creative Writing at New Hampshire Institute of Art. Her research interests include contemporary fiction writers such as George Saunders, Amelia Gray, David Foster Wallace, and Haruki Murahami. She is interested in the use of code-switching in literature, experimental fiction, and metafiction. She is currently working on several writing projects. For more about Irene, see her blog: http://irenemcgarrity.wordpress.com.

M.Ellen Moynihan (MAT in English) teaches the ITW course “The Great Hunger” and Public Speaking. She enjoys traveling and reading and is interested in American literature, Irish history/ literature and collective bargaining/labor relations. She holds dual citizenship (Ireland & USA), has read her essays on public radio and has published in Irish literary magazines. Her newest role is that of a doting grandmother.

Michael J. New (PhD, Penn State University) teaches ITW, American Studies, and English at Keene State College, where his courses focus on multi-ethnic American literature, music, and culture. His interdisciplinary research investigates the role of performance, multimedia, and technology in African American and black diasporic expressive practices. Currently, he is at work on a book manuscript that examines recordings by poets who collaborated with jazz musicians during the Black Arts Movement. He blogs about literature, music, and culture at www.instrumentalvoices.com.

Peggie Partello (EdD, Plymouth State University), who currently teaches public speaking, has been a business owner, librarian, management consultant, and technical writer. She is a certified clicker trainer. Since childhood, she has been interested in the nonhuman animals that share our world. She has served on the board of the Monadnock Humane Society and performed volunteer work for a variety of animal welfare concerns. She enjoys the fiber arts, reading mysteries, crossword puzzles and spending time with dogs.

Ann Rancourt  (Ph.D, Florida State University) teaches in the Integrative Studies Program. She has held varied teaching and administrative positions at three colleges and universities. She loves higher education and working with students. Her teaching and research are framed by a need to question and understand. Nature and her dog, Michaela, help balance life.

George Russell (MA, English Literature, San Francisco State University; MA, English as a Second Language, University of Hawaii at Manoa) has written about Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Pragmatics and is generally concerned with language issues. He taught English in Japan for over 12 years, including six years at Kyushu Institute of Technology.

Tatiana Schreiber (PhD, Antioch New England Graduate School) teaches in the areas of environmental studies and anthropology. She is interested in health, agriculture, the environment, politics, human rights, the media and democracy. She draws inspiration for her teaching from the complexity of interaction among plants, animals, insects and microorganisms in her gardens: everything is connected and nothing is as simple as it seems.

Leaf Seligman (M.A., University of New Hampshire) is a Unitarian Universalist minister who strives to help students become more mindful people and to insist the work they do in Thinking and Writing is research-based relevant, rigorous, real work in the real world that deepens relationships. Her professional and personal goal is to encourage students to make everything they write a love letter to the world. If you don’t love the world, why be in it?

Emily Robins Sharpe (PhD, Penn State) is an assistant professor of global Anglophone and postcolonial literatures in the English Department. She completed her Master’s and PhD in Penn State’s Department of English, and her BA at the University of King’s College and Dalhousie University. Before coming to Keene State, she held an Editing Modernism in Canada postdoctoral fellowship in the University of Guelph’s School of English and Theatre Studies. Her research and teaching interests include global modernisms, postcolonial theory, cosmopolitanism, Jewish literatures, and the digital humanities. She is at work on a book manuscript examining global Anglophone responses to the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), which argues for the war as a formative juncture in transnational multicultural discourse. With Dr. Bart Vautour, she is co-director of “Canada and the Spanish Civil War: A Digital Research Environment,” a multi-phase project establishing a digital archive and print anthology of Canadian Spanish Civil War literature funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Beth Stickney (ABD,  CUNY Graduate School) is a lover and student of American Modernism, particularly poetry, who currently teaches a Thinking and Writing class on the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A political news junkie, lapsed New Yorker, and surprisingly good cook, Beth lives in a colorful house in Vermont where she hosts dinner parties and spends time with her husband, young son, and an Australian Shepherd named Moose.

William Stroup (PhD, University of New Hampshire) is Professor of English at Keene State College, where he has taught since 2000. Dr. Stroup specializes in British Romanticism and its connections to traditions of environmental literature and thought. Dr. Stroup grew up in Michigan and did his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan. He is a trustee of the Keene Public Library and also serves on the board of the Horatio Colony House Museum and Nature Preserve.

Laurie Stulbarg (MA, Stanford University) has been a faculty member in the Nonfiction Writing Program at Brown University and has taught writing and literature in the English Department at Bridgewater State University. Her research and creative interests include the communicative and literary qualities of Frederick Law Olmsted’s landscape spaces, as well as the critical essay, contemporary poetry, and creative nonfiction. In addition, she enjoys working on diverse projects as an editor, journalist, and grant writer.

Katherine Tirabassi (PhD, University of New Hampshire), associate professor of English and current coordinator of Thinking and Writing, teaches courses in creative nonfiction, professional writing, literacy and composition theory and her scholarly research includes work on histories of composition/rhetoric, writing center theory/practice, and writing pedagogy.

Michael Wakefield (M.Ed., Keene State College) is the Director of Technology for the Narragansett Regional School District in Baldwinville, Massachusetts. As a member of the KSC adjunct faculty for more than 50 semesters, he has taught courses in mass communication, film studies, and education, and is currently a faculty member in Journalism.  His main professional interests focus on how continuously evolving technologies influence the way we communicate, think, and learn, as individuals and in the context of our social networks. Among several other professional and artistic pursuits, he also continues his long career as a musician, playing the saxophone and other instruments professionally in a number of jazz, blues, and R&B groups as well as composing and playing original music to accompany dramatic live performances and recorded film/video productions.

Debra White-Stanley (PhD, University of Arizona) is an Assistant Professor of Film Studies. Her fields of interest and scholarly expertise include genre and the war film, film adaptation, and the study of film sound. She teaches a range of classes on subjects including the Horror Film, Science Fiction, American Independent Cinema, Film Sound and War and Cinema.

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