Department of English

Contact Us

Administrative Assistant

Sara Garska
Administrative Assistant
203, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5110
sgarska@ashland.edu

Department Contact

au-english@ashland.edu

Programs

Undergraduate
Degree Type: BA
Fostering Your Imagination

Are you an enthusiastic writer thinking about turning your passion into a career? Develop your voice in Ashland University’s Creative Writing program.

A degree in Creative Writing is an asset to nearly any career you pursue because it helps you develop critical thinking and clear expression.

Undergraduate
Degree Type: BA
Join Us on a Literary Journey

Are you passionate about literature and language? Join the English Department at Ashland University to start your literary journey across centuries and around the globe.

Undergraduate
Degree Type: BA
Passing Your Love of Language On

Do you have a love of language and literature and want to teach? Bring your passion to life for the next generation of high school students in the Integrated Language Arts program at Ashland University.

This program prepares you for teacher licensure in Integrated...

Graduate
Degree Type: MFA

Expand your writing practice and refine your craft within the supportive community of Ashland University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

Curriculum

Brochures, Course Rotations & Four-Year Guides

Each department provides information specific to its majors and programs to help ensure you choose exactly which major is right for you. Use the supplemental material below to assist you in finding a major that most interests you.

Current Academic Year

English Department Master Syllabi

Department Course Rotations

Current Academic Year
Creative Writing
Creative Writing, B.A. Four-Year Guide
English
English, B.A. Four-Year Guide
English, B.A. Three-Year Guide
Integrated Language Arts (Grades 7-12)
Integrated Language Arts, B.S. Four-Year Guide

Faculty & Staff

Hilary Donatini
Dr. Hilary Donatini
Chair, English Department, Associate Professor of English
306, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5224 / hdonatin@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Deborah Fleming
Deborah Fleming
Professor of English, Editor and Director of Ashland Poetry Press
308 , Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5789 / dfleming@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Maura Grady
Dr. Maura Grady
Associate Professor of English, Director of English Composition Program
316, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5670 / mgrady3@ashland.edu
Department of English
Christian Kiefer, Ashland MFA Director
Dr. Christian Kiefer
Director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
101, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
/ ckiefer2@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dan Lehman
Dan Lehman
Trustee's Professor Emeritus

/ dlehman@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Joe Mackall
Dr. Joe Mackall
Retired Professor of English
Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall

Department of English
Dr. Sharleen Mondal
Dr. Sharleen Mondal
Associate Professor of English
302, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5393 / smondal@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Naomi Saslaw
Dr. Naomi Saslaw
Professor of English
314, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5198 / nsaslaw@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Kelly Sundberg, Assistant Professor of English
Dr. Kelly Sundberg
Assistant Professor of English
314, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5199 / ksundber@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Jayne Waterman
Dr. Jayne Waterman
Associate Professor of English
312, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5284 / jwaterma@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Russell Weaver
Dr. Russell Weaver
Professor of English
310 , Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5117 / rweaver3@ashland.edu
Department of English

Department News

Senior Creative Writing Majors Share Capstone Projects

English 415: Capstone in Creative Writing is the final writing workshop in the major. Under the direction of Dr. Kelly Sundberg, the students have completed significant writing projects. They share descriptions of their capstones below. Congratulations to these students for completing their capstones!

Melissa Crisan: "Blackout" is a collection of poetry on abuse, mental health, suicide, and coping with the chaos both outside and within. It is framed around blackout poetry, which involves taking outside documents and covering certain words to turn it into something new. Using old notes, journal entries, and even an old suicide note, this work aims to take the parts of life that people want desperately to hide and find beauty within the pain. Mistakes should never be blacked out, but instead embraced as life's greatest source of empathy.
Noah Gore: When an orphaned girl and her younger brother learn that their mother may still be alive, they set out on a grand adventure to find her. Follow Nora (a thief), Tobias (a wizard-in-training), and their friend Flint (a sorcerer) as they travel throughout the Five-Nations of Dekko in search for what remains of their family.

This screenplay acts as a pilot to the entire series. Each episode’s runtime is roughly the same as a full-length film (80 to 95 minutes).
Kourtney Kisling: “The Shadow, Not the Tree” is a collection of 22 poems that speaks to the poet's very real experience living with major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation. The poems follow the speaker’s journey through pain, loss, heartbreak, the long, winding road to recovery and self growth, and finding happiness.

Erin McElligott: Piper and her parents are moving. They've been wanting to get out of the city, and into a place where it's quiet and secluded. Her father finds a property in northeastern Ohio and snatches it up quickly....Read more

Graduating Senior Spotlight: Part Three

The English Department wishes its graduating seniors the best as they apply for jobs and begin the exciting transition to the next chapter of their lives!

Ellie Jensen

I am an Integrated Language Arts major. My favorite memories as a member of the English department major include the Shawshank unit that we did with Dr. Grady, and we acted out as prisoners and guard. I also loved taking on our stylistic analysis this past year and feel well equipped to teach my future students about what a wonderful writer E.B White is. I have enjoyed the variation that I have seen, and the opportunities that we have had to expand our knowledge within multiple platforms. With my exposure to poetry, prose, and short story writing, in addition to my readings within the Victorian, Shakespeare, and American Literature courses, I feel incredibly prepared to take on my next chapter as an educator. I have accepted a position that will push my literary ability even further. I will be teaching English Language Arts 1 and English Language Arts 2 next year to the 9th and 10th graders at Ontario high school. Overall I am incredibly happy with the experience I have had at AU and grateful for the moments that will last me a lifetime.
We congratulate the following graduating seniors who did not submit profiles for these posts, and we wish them well in the years ahead!Schuyler BergerEric BreedenFaith EdwardsNoah GoreKathleen McKayJackson SchultzMelan White

...Read more

Michael Clark, Madeline Worcester, and Melan White Recognized at AU's Academic Honors Convocation.

On Sunday, April 18, Ashland University held its annual Honors Convocation to recognize outstanding students and faculty. Each year, the department's faculty vote to honor an outstanding sophomore, junior, and senior. The students chosen for this high honor are subsequently recognized at the University-wide Convocation. This year's recipients were as follows:
Outstanding Sophomore: Michael ClarkOutstanding Junior: Madeline WorcesterOutstanding Senior: Melan White
Michael Clark


I am in the Honors program and an Ashbrook scholar. My two majors are English and philosophy, and while these topics may seem mutually exclusive to some people, I believe that they are intimately related. My interest in studying literature stems from the belief that great literary works hold philosophical import, particularly that which speaks to what it means to be human. I am not involved in much on campus outside of my studies, but to these I am committed because they speak to the greater issues of life which are of the most importance to me. The meaning of any success that I have achieved while at Ashland, I believe, reflects the depth of my desire to pursue these greater philosophical questions and, hopefully, represents the successful progress that I have made towards this goal. I am grateful for the faculty that have supported me thus far in this pursuit, and I hope to only discover more with their help in the coming years.
Madeline Worcester


An Integrated Language Arts major, I am the secretary of Astronomy Club and the co-president of Sigma Tau Delta. I am also a member of Anime Club, Alpha Lambda Delta, Ashland University Theatre, and the Honors Program, among other things. I work as the assistant editor for the Honors newsletter, The Bugle; I'm a communication coach for the Ashland Multiliteracy Center; and I've recently been hired for...Read more

Graduating Senior Spotlight: Part Two

The English Department wishes its graduating seniors the best as they apply for jobs and begin the exciting transition to the next chapter of their lives! This post is the second installment in a series to spotlight these seniors, who generously shared their favorite memory of being a major in the English Department and their post-graduation plans.

AnnMarie Hill
I am an English Language Arts Education major with minors in Theatre and Spanish, which has given me a unique experience at Ashland University. 
My favorite memories within the English department specifically would have to be any and all of Dr. Donatini’s classes, especially ENG 404: The English Renaissance and ENG 406: 17th-Century English Literature. In these classes, we read plays and lengthy epic poems like Doctor Faustus, Twelfth Night, Paradise Lost, and The Rover, all of which allowed me to exercise my skills in theatre and literature simultaneously. Dr. Donatini created an atmosphere of respect, intellectual discussion, and love of learning that I strive to emulate in my teaching, along with a sense of immense kindness and care.
As I was planning final projects for my students at my teaching internship this semester, I thought back fondly on these courses and remembered the incredibly fun and creative projects that Dr. Donatini assigned, using them as inspiration in my own classroom. In both of my Shakespeare units, my students were given the option to write their own scenes into the play, reimagine it in a modern setting, or put together their own theatrical vision for a hypothetical production, just as I did in ENG 404 and 406. Having an amazing role model like Dr. Donatini has positively influenced my experience Ashland University in so many ways; she consistently encouraged me to learn as a teacher, grow as a writer, and further my...Read more

Contact Us

Contact Us

Administrative Assistant

Sara Garska
Administrative Assistant
203, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5110
sgarska@ashland.edu

Department Contact

au-english@ashland.edu

Programs

Programs

Undergraduate
Degree Type: BA
Fostering Your Imagination

Are you an enthusiastic writer thinking about turning your passion into a career? Develop your voice in Ashland University’s Creative Writing program.

A degree in Creative Writing is an asset to nearly any career you pursue because it helps you develop critical thinking and clear expression.

Undergraduate
Degree Type: BA
Join Us on a Literary Journey

Are you passionate about literature and language? Join the English Department at Ashland University to start your literary journey across centuries and around the globe.

Undergraduate
Degree Type: BA
Passing Your Love of Language On

Do you have a love of language and literature and want to teach? Bring your passion to life for the next generation of high school students in the Integrated Language Arts program at Ashland University.

This program prepares you for teacher licensure in Integrated...

Graduate
Degree Type: MFA

Expand your writing practice and refine your craft within the supportive community of Ashland University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

Curriculum

Curriculum

Brochures, Course Rotations & Four-Year Guides

Each department provides information specific to its majors and programs to help ensure you choose exactly which major is right for you. Use the supplemental material below to assist you in finding a major that most interests you.

Current Academic Year

English Department Master Syllabi

Department Course Rotations

Current Academic Year
Creative Writing
Creative Writing, B.A. Four-Year Guide
English
English, B.A. Four-Year Guide
English, B.A. Three-Year Guide
Integrated Language Arts (Grades 7-12)
Integrated Language Arts, B.S. Four-Year Guide

Faculty & Staff

Faculty & Staff

Hilary Donatini
Dr. Hilary Donatini
Chair, English Department, Associate Professor of English
306, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5224 / hdonatin@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Deborah Fleming
Deborah Fleming
Professor of English, Editor and Director of Ashland Poetry Press
308 , Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5789 / dfleming@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Maura Grady
Dr. Maura Grady
Associate Professor of English, Director of English Composition Program
316, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5670 / mgrady3@ashland.edu
Department of English
Christian Kiefer, Ashland MFA Director
Dr. Christian Kiefer
Director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
101, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
/ ckiefer2@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dan Lehman
Dan Lehman
Trustee's Professor Emeritus

/ dlehman@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Joe Mackall
Dr. Joe Mackall
Retired Professor of English
Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall

Department of English
Dr. Sharleen Mondal
Dr. Sharleen Mondal
Associate Professor of English
302, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5393 / smondal@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Naomi Saslaw
Dr. Naomi Saslaw
Professor of English
314, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5198 / nsaslaw@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Kelly Sundberg, Assistant Professor of English
Dr. Kelly Sundberg
Assistant Professor of English
314, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5199 / ksundber@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Jayne Waterman
Dr. Jayne Waterman
Associate Professor of English
312, Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5284 / jwaterma@ashland.edu
Department of English
Dr. Russell Weaver
Dr. Russell Weaver
Professor of English
310 , Center for the Humanities of Bixler Hall
419.289.5117 / rweaver3@ashland.edu
Department of English

Department News

Department News

Senior Creative Writing Majors Share Capstone Projects

English 415: Capstone in Creative Writing is the final writing workshop in the major. Under the direction of Dr. Kelly Sundberg, the students have completed significant writing projects. They share descriptions of their capstones below. Congratulations to these students for completing their capstones!

Melissa Crisan: "Blackout" is a collection of poetry on abuse, mental health, suicide, and coping with the chaos both outside and within. It is framed around blackout poetry, which involves taking outside documents and covering certain words to turn it into something new. Using old notes, journal entries, and even an old suicide note, this work aims to take the parts of life that people want desperately to hide and find beauty within the pain. Mistakes should never be blacked out, but instead embraced as life's greatest source of empathy.
Noah Gore: When an orphaned girl and her younger brother learn that their mother may still be alive, they set out on a grand adventure to find her. Follow Nora (a thief), Tobias (a wizard-in-training), and their friend Flint (a sorcerer) as they travel throughout the Five-Nations of Dekko in search for what remains of their family.

This screenplay acts as a pilot to the entire series. Each episode’s runtime is roughly the same as a full-length film (80 to 95 minutes).
Kourtney Kisling: “The Shadow, Not the Tree” is a collection of 22 poems that speaks to the poet's very real experience living with major depressive disorder and suicidal ideation. The poems follow the speaker’s journey through pain, loss, heartbreak, the long, winding road to recovery and self growth, and finding happiness.

Erin McElligott: Piper and her parents are moving. They've been wanting to get out of the city, and into a place where it's quiet and secluded. Her father finds a property in northeastern Ohio and snatches it up quickly....Read more

Graduating Senior Spotlight: Part Three

The English Department wishes its graduating seniors the best as they apply for jobs and begin the exciting transition to the next chapter of their lives!

Ellie Jensen

I am an Integrated Language Arts major. My favorite memories as a member of the English department major include the Shawshank unit that we did with Dr. Grady, and we acted out as prisoners and guard. I also loved taking on our stylistic analysis this past year and feel well equipped to teach my future students about what a wonderful writer E.B White is. I have enjoyed the variation that I have seen, and the opportunities that we have had to expand our knowledge within multiple platforms. With my exposure to poetry, prose, and short story writing, in addition to my readings within the Victorian, Shakespeare, and American Literature courses, I feel incredibly prepared to take on my next chapter as an educator. I have accepted a position that will push my literary ability even further. I will be teaching English Language Arts 1 and English Language Arts 2 next year to the 9th and 10th graders at Ontario high school. Overall I am incredibly happy with the experience I have had at AU and grateful for the moments that will last me a lifetime.
We congratulate the following graduating seniors who did not submit profiles for these posts, and we wish them well in the years ahead!Schuyler BergerEric BreedenFaith EdwardsNoah GoreKathleen McKayJackson SchultzMelan White

...Read more

Michael Clark, Madeline Worcester, and Melan White Recognized at AU's Academic Honors Convocation.

On Sunday, April 18, Ashland University held its annual Honors Convocation to recognize outstanding students and faculty. Each year, the department's faculty vote to honor an outstanding sophomore, junior, and senior. The students chosen for this high honor are subsequently recognized at the University-wide Convocation. This year's recipients were as follows:
Outstanding Sophomore: Michael ClarkOutstanding Junior: Madeline WorcesterOutstanding Senior: Melan White
Michael Clark


I am in the Honors program and an Ashbrook scholar. My two majors are English and philosophy, and while these topics may seem mutually exclusive to some people, I believe that they are intimately related. My interest in studying literature stems from the belief that great literary works hold philosophical import, particularly that which speaks to what it means to be human. I am not involved in much on campus outside of my studies, but to these I am committed because they speak to the greater issues of life which are of the most importance to me. The meaning of any success that I have achieved while at Ashland, I believe, reflects the depth of my desire to pursue these greater philosophical questions and, hopefully, represents the successful progress that I have made towards this goal. I am grateful for the faculty that have supported me thus far in this pursuit, and I hope to only discover more with their help in the coming years.
Madeline Worcester


An Integrated Language Arts major, I am the secretary of Astronomy Club and the co-president of Sigma Tau Delta. I am also a member of Anime Club, Alpha Lambda Delta, Ashland University Theatre, and the Honors Program, among other things. I work as the assistant editor for the Honors newsletter, The Bugle; I'm a communication coach for the Ashland Multiliteracy Center; and I've recently been hired for...Read more

Graduating Senior Spotlight: Part Two

The English Department wishes its graduating seniors the best as they apply for jobs and begin the exciting transition to the next chapter of their lives! This post is the second installment in a series to spotlight these seniors, who generously shared their favorite memory of being a major in the English Department and their post-graduation plans.

AnnMarie Hill
I am an English Language Arts Education major with minors in Theatre and Spanish, which has given me a unique experience at Ashland University. 
My favorite memories within the English department specifically would have to be any and all of Dr. Donatini’s classes, especially ENG 404: The English Renaissance and ENG 406: 17th-Century English Literature. In these classes, we read plays and lengthy epic poems like Doctor Faustus, Twelfth Night, Paradise Lost, and The Rover, all of which allowed me to exercise my skills in theatre and literature simultaneously. Dr. Donatini created an atmosphere of respect, intellectual discussion, and love of learning that I strive to emulate in my teaching, along with a sense of immense kindness and care.
As I was planning final projects for my students at my teaching internship this semester, I thought back fondly on these courses and remembered the incredibly fun and creative projects that Dr. Donatini assigned, using them as inspiration in my own classroom. In both of my Shakespeare units, my students were given the option to write their own scenes into the play, reimagine it in a modern setting, or put together their own theatrical vision for a hypothetical production, just as I did in ENG 404 and 406. Having an amazing role model like Dr. Donatini has positively influenced my experience Ashland University in so many ways; she consistently encouraged me to learn as a teacher, grow as a writer, and further my...Read more

A THRIVING COMMUNITY OF READERS AND WRITERS

Join the English Department at Ashland University and learn how stories have the power to change the world. From the classics to the contemporary literary scene, our flexible curriculum allows you to customize your education based on your interests. In the English Department’s three majors—English, Creative Writing, and Integrated Language Arts Education (Grades 7-12) you will find yourself surrounded by a thriving community of readers and writers.

Why Choose a Major in the English Department?

As a student in the English Department, you will:

  • Receive personal attention with small class sizes at all course levels.

  • Have the oppurtunity to double major in both Creative Writing and English, or pair an English program with a major in Communication Studies, Foreign Languages, History, Journalism, Digital Media Marketing, Philosophy, Religion, or Theatre.

  • Learn from expert faculty comprised of published authors and working editors who bring their expertise to the classroom.

  • Collaborate with faculty on research projects and publishing opportunities, with the chance to present your findings at professional conferences.

  • Get paid experience by working as a writing tutor in the University Writing Center and in internships with the Ashland Poetry Press and the AU Master of Fine Arts Program.

  • Join the editorial team of the Black Fork Review, a literary journal run by students and featuring student writing.

  • Be prepared to extend your education by pursuing graduate school. Previous majors are proven to have excelled in top graduate programs in their chosen field.

Graduates of our English Department work as arts administrators, attorneys, digital marketing strategists, editors, higher education administrators, journalists, librarians, professors, technical writers, and more.

Integrated Language Arts Education graduates hold positions throughout Ohio, across the United States, and in other countries. 

Find your voice by exploring the programs within the English Department.

Honor Society 

Sigma Tau Delta, Alpha Beta Phi Chapter

Sigma Tau Delta is a National English Honor Society. In addition to conferring distinction for high achievement in English language and literature, the Society’s Articles of Incorporation call for “service to society by fostering literacy.” Ashland University’s chapter strives to build student-professor relationships outside of the classroom, serve as leaders in the English department and foster literacy in the Ashland community.

Qualifications for Membership

To apply to Sigma Tau Delta, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Sophomore standing or higher
  2. 3.0 minimum GPA in at least TWO English classes beyond English 102
  • You DO NOT need to have an English major or minor to be a member of Sigma Tau Delta. We welcome all who love literature and writing to join.

Application for Membership

Please contact Dr. Hilary Donatini for an application (hdonatin@ashland.edu).

http://www.english.org/sigmatd/

Support the Department of English

By donating any amount you're making a big difference in our department's future. To designate your gift to the Department of English , select “Other” in the "Designated Options" and type the department's name in the associated box.

Athletics

Athletics