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Faculty Emeriti

Jo Ann Asbury
Jo Ann Asbury holds the MS and BS from Radford University. Her teaching and research interests are Appalachian literature and folklore, American literature, and composition. Her essays, poems, and stories have appeared in several journals. A native of Pulaski, Virginia, she tries "to foster an appreciation of our rich and varied Appalachian culture and heritage." Jo Ann was the recipient of the  Donald N. Dedmon Professorial award for excellence in teaching in 2000. E-mail address:

Dr. Earl Brown, Jr.
Professor Brown,  Executive Secretary/Treasurer of the National Collegiate Honors Council ( and  former editor of  The National Honors Report, received his BA from Carleton College and his PhD in Victorian and 18th- and 19th-Century British literature from Emory University. Dr. Brown enjoys teaching critical thinking skills, composition, and 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century British literature. In 1994, Dr. Brown received the Radford Foundation Award for University Service. He believes his "purpose" is to provide students the best possible environment to allow them to take risks and develop to their potential. E-mail address:  

Dr. Myrl Jones
Professor Jones joined the RU faculty in 1970 after having taught at West Texas State University, Lamar University and the University of Houston. His B.A. is from Texas Christian University, his M.A. from West Texas State, and his Ph.D. from the University of Houston. After retirement from full-time teaching at RU in 1995, he worked for 3 years as Assistant Director of the Faculty Developlment Center. He received the Donald N. Dedmon Award for Professorial Excellence in 1979 and has taught on several Fulbright grants:  Kassel University, Kassel, Germany, 1989-90; the University of Zagreb, Croatia, 1994-95; the University of Zagreb, 2000-2001; Osijek University, Osijek, Croatia, 2001-02; the University of Zagreb, 2002-03. He served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the University of Osijek, Spring 2005. Email address:

Susan Kirby
As a teacher, Professor Kirby finds herself "constantly learning in the student-centered classroom." She received her MA from Wake Forest and BS from Radford University. Her teaching interests include composition, technical and business writing, and American literature. Her interest in English in high schools led to a recent article in the Virginia English Bulletin on career communications in high school. Professor Kirby is originally from Galax, Virginia. E-mail address:

Dr. Parks Lanier
Professor Lanier received his AB at Pfeiffer College and his MA and PhD at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His teaching interests include British Romanticism, Appalachian studies, advanced grammar, the study of poetry, writing poetry, and composition. Originally, Dr. Lanier is from Georgia. At RU  he helped found the Highland Summer Conference in 1978, and has been very active in Appalachian Studies since then. For the past fifteen years, he has produced archival videotape interviews of visiting HSC novelists, poets, scholars, and musicians.  In 1988, he served as Program Chair for the ten-state regional Appalachian Studies Conference, and again for the 2005 Conference. For five years, he was president of the Appalachian Writers' Association, which honored him in 1998 for "Outstanding Contributions to Appalachian Literature." In 1991, he edited and contributed essays to The Poetics of Appalachian Space, which was published by the University of Tennessee Press. In 2001, the Appalachian Region Community Head Start program of southwest Virginia invited him to give its conference's keynote address and recognized his "outstanding efforts to preserve the Appalachian culture."  His poems and essays on Appalachian themes have appeared in such places as The Appalachian Journal, Now & Then The Appalachian Magazine, Blue Ridge Country and Appalachian Heritage.   
An avid Anglophile, Dr. Lanier has twice led students on tours to London, England and looks forward to doing so again. He has a large collection of art and history books about London and British Romanticism. He combines his interest in poetry and art by studying ekphrastic literature, especially poems inspired by paintings. He has developed and taught a Maymester ENGL 314 Special Topics course on this subject.
Dr. Lanier says, "The challenge of thinking globally and acting regionally is exciting both in the classroom and beyond. Whether speaking to students, to a community group in a nearby county, or to a writing workshop in a public school, I always try to make connections between our region and the world beyond. Radford University has a vital history in this respect, going all the way back to its early Ingles and Pocahontas Societies. Our 2010 centennial celebration should be a great occasion for reflecting on our past and energizing our service in the future." E-mail address: 

Dr. Warren Self, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Self earned his BA in English from Virginia Military Institute and his MA in English from the University of Virginia. He earned his EdD in English Education at Virginia Tech. Currently he serves as the Associate Vice President for Academic Enrichment but still occaisonally teaches courses in grammar and language for teachers, American literature, and composition.  E-mail address:

Dr. Alexander Weiss
Professor Weiss has degrees from the University of Maryland (BA and MA) and the University of California at Berkeley (PhD). His teaching interests focus on medieval literature; he has also taught classes on the Holocaust for Radford's Elderhostel Program. When describing his teaching philosophy, Dr. Weiss likes to quote Boccaccio: "You must read, you must sit up nights, you must inquire, and exert the utmost power of your mind. If one way does not lead to the desired meaning, take another; if obstacles arise, then still another; until, if your strength holds out, you will find clear which at first looked dark." His publications include Chaucer's Native Heritage, "Chaucer's Early Translation from French: The Art of Creative Transformation," and "English: A Discipline in Crisis." E-mail address: