Graduate Teaching Fellows Mentoring Program

Good Luck, GTFs!


Good luck to our Graduate Teaching Fellows, who are taking their Master's Exams over the next few weeks!


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Our Mission:


  • As part of the Graduate Program in English, you’ll take a wide range of courses in Scholarly Methods, English and American Literature, and Theory.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistants learn the craft of teaching from seasoned professionals.
  • Stipends and full tuition waivers are available.


  • As a member of a teaching team, you’ll receive guidance and support from experienced and engaging teachers. Mentors, GTAs, and GTFs help each other to succeed in the classroom.
  • Join a community of teachers, exchange ideas, share your experiences, and work directly with students.


  • In your second year in the classroom, you’ll take charge of your own class and receive guidance from a faculty mentor and teaching team.
  • Graduate Teaching Fellows design classroom activities, create grading criteria, and evaluate student progress, while developing their own philosophy of teaching.
  • Applicants should contact  Dr. Paul Witkowsky, English Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Amanda Kellogg, Assistant Graduate Recruitment Coordinator, or Dr. Frank Napolitano, GTF Program Coordinator. 

Stipends and Tuition Waivers

  • In-state first-year Graduate Teaching Assistants receive a full tuition waiver for 9 graduate credit hours (the typical course load) each semester and a $10,000 stipend per year.
  • In-state second-year GTFs receive a full tuition waiver for 9 graduate credit hours (the typical course load) each semester and an $11,000 stipend per year.
  • The program offers a limited number of full tuition waivers and stipends for out-of-state students.

Mentoring Program Spotlight

Graduate Student Publications!

  • An essay written by GTA Jessica Mattox (M.A. 2018) has been accepted for publication in the Virginia English Journal! The essay, "Spectacles of Empathy: Shopping at Doctor T. J. Eckleburg's for an English 11-Advanced Placement Unit Plan on The Great Gatsby," will appear this summer.
  • Another of Jessica's essays, “Practical Poetry: A Nonstandard Approach to Meeting Content-Area Standards by Sara Holbrook--A Review,” recently appeared in the Virginia English Journal (Spring/Summer 2016, Vol. 66 Issue 1, pp. 68-73).
  • Former GTF Courtney Simpkins (M.A. 2016) has published a review of Gothic Romantic: An Edinburg Companion, ed. Angela Wright and Dale Townshend. Forthcoming in Studies in Gothic Fiction, Spring 2017.

Conference Presentations!

We're also pleased to announce that several members of our program are presenting at regional, national, and international conferences this semester.

  • On January 28, 2017, Dr. Michele Ren, Dr. Erin Webster-Garrett, former GTF Jessica Thomasson (M.A. 2015), and Ms. Samantha Blevins convened a roundtable discussion at Association of American Colleges & Universities 2017 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The session, entitled “Leaning into the Counter-Intuitive: Seizing ePortfolio Initiatives as a Means to Forward Liberal Arts Outcomes,” represents one of the 20% of submitted proposals accepted to the ePortfolio forum.
  • On February 2, 2017, former GTF Katherine E. Smith (M.A. 2015) presented a paper entitled “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria: Potential Causes for Maria’s Spinsterhood in Joyce’s Clay” at The X James Joyce Italian Foundation Conference in Rome, Italy.
  • GTF Kelly Nickell (M.A. 2017) will present a paper entitled "The ‘Elsewhere’ of Women’s Writing: Critical Responses to the Discourses of Female Conduct in Plath’s The Bell Jar" at the Humanities Education Research Association's Conference, in San Diego CA, from March 1-4, 2017.
  • GTF Phelan Tinsley (M.A. 2017) will present a paper entitled “How Native Writing Works to Invert Symbolic and Imaginary Texts to Counter Racist Discourse” at the Humanities Education Research Association's conference, in San Diego CA, from March 1-4, 2017. 
  • On March 3, 2017, GTF Caitlyn Parker (M.A. 2017), Dr. Moira Baker, and Dr. Michele Ren will present a co-authored paper titled “Anticipating Intersectionality: The Activist Work of Tar Baby, The Color Purple, and Zami” at the Intersectional Inquiries Conference at the University of Notre Dame, March 2-4, 2017.
  • GTF Stacy Penven will present a paper entitled "The Speaking Subject and the Revolution in Appalachian Literature of Resistance" at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference, to be held on March 9-12, 2017.
  • On March 17, 2017, Dr. Frank Napolitano will present “Resistance and Responsibility: Reshaping a Mentoring Program in the face of Administrative and Instructional Conflict” at the 2017 Conference on College Composition and Communication National Convention.
  • GTF Kari Lynne Rappold (M.A. 2017), GTA Michelle Williams (M.A. 2018), and GTA Jessica Mattox (M.A. 2018) will comprise a panel entitled "The Trifecta of Writing Instruction: Integrating Academic, Creative, and Technical Writing into Your Classroom" at Old Dominion University's 38th Annual Spring Conference on the Teaching of Writing, on March 27-28, 2017.
  • On March 31, 2017, GTF Caitlyn Parker will present her paper, "'A Point of Resistance': Exploring the Damaging Consequences and Powerful Advantages of Discourse in Alison Bechdel's Fun Home" at the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies International Conference at the University of Rochester.