As the 2007-2008 academic year comes to an end, we are in the middle of some dramatic changes in the Department of English and at Radford University, centering on the revision of general education into what is being called a core curriculum. The faculty in English has been working hard in various capacities to keep writing and literature in the education of every Radford student.
To aid the development of writing competency across campus, Dr. Laurie Cubbison will be assuming a new title and position as Director of the Writing Program at Radford University this summer. She will be working on a renewed consistency in the delivery of freshman composition, as well as the resurrection of Writing across the Curriculum that will allow professors in other disciplines to incorporate writing instruction into their classes. We are also hoping that a sophomore writing intensive seminar will be established to complement the core curriculum, so that students will be able to develop their writing skills throughout the four years of their education.
This year we welcomed one new professor, Dr. Don Cunningham, whose area of expertise is Business and Technical Writing. He also has an interest in Japanese culture, and has regaled many groups on and off campus with his knowledge of Japanese weaponry. We are saddened, however, to say goodbye to Dr. Suzanne Kauer, English Education instructor, who will be assuming a position next fall at Dixie State College in Utah (southern Utah, she tells us) and to have only one more semester for students to enjoy the classes of Dr. Parks Lanier, who will retire this coming December.
We also will welcome a new Dean of our College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences (which itself is new, a result of a split of the College of Arts and Sciences at the end of last academic year). Dr. Brian Conniff will be leaving his position as chairperson of the English Department at the University of Dayton to assume the Deanship here this summer.
Both our undergraduate and graduate programs continue to thrive. A recent addition is a master’s track in English Education, allowing both current in-service teachers to receive their master’s degree and master’s students to receive their public school teaching credentials. Also available is a certificate in Appalachian Studies on the graduate level.
I would like to encourage all recent graduates and other alumni to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let me know what you are doing and how you are doing. A collection of successful alumni experiences will hearten the English faculty and impress the powers-that-be, to convince them that what we offer in our major is truly a “value-added” experience.