What It Means to Become a Scholar

By: Artemis Harris

We hear the word “scholar” used a lot as graduate students. We write scholarly work, use scholarly sources, follow scholarly conversations, etc. But what does it mean to become a scholar?  

Simply put, a scholar is someone who uses intellectual and academic pursuits to set them apart from others by applying their expertise in a specific area of study. The key word here is “expertise”, just following intellectual pursuits is not enough. You are expected to show your mastery of those pursuits as well.  

This happens in many different forms; through the scholarship you produce such as your master’s thesis or other published works. It can also be shown through presentations at conferences where you are actively involved in the scholarly conversation and help to shape it. It also shows in your professional aspirations. If you are a teacher, professor, or researcher, you are spreading your scholarship to others and helping to further scholarly conversations.  

But why should we become scholars? How does this help us? 

Besides getting your diploma at the end of your educational journey, becoming a scholar allows us opportunities to grow and develop in our field outside of the traditional sense. One such way is networking. It is imperative in today’s day and age to network with as many people as you can to create connections that can be beneficial to you in the future. It often is about who you know that can help you get to where you are going.  

As graduate students, we should be networking with faculty as they are needed to fill our committee for the master’s thesis. Having a good working relationship with a professor or advisor can be beneficial when you need advice or help, or for a letter of recommendation in the future. They are also resources for when you are looking for information that might help you with your professional careers. They have networked with others and might be willing to reach out on your behalf to assist you in future endeavors.  

Outside of the university, when you go to conferences and panels you can network with others in your field of study there. These resources can be invaluable when it comes to finding future job opportunities, information for research, or in general making great personal connections.  

Being an expert in your field and having all these resources at your disposal can help to improve your odds of meeting your professional goals. Career opportunities will be more available to you if you can show this mastery of your field of study. Having published work, conferences, and recommendations from faculty further show that you are an expert in your field, but that you are ready and able to produce quality work. Employers are going to be looking for the best of the best, and this can set you apart from other applicants in your field.  

But how can I become a better scholar? 

Joining the conversation is a great way to start. Go to conferences even if you are not presenting to learn from others in your field. This of course opens you to the opportunity to network with others as well. Share your information and develop strong professional relationships with others in your field. Presenting at a conference is also a terrific way to gain scholarship well. You will be a part of the active conversation and it puts you and your message out there for others to see.  

Publish your work when you have the opportunity. Even if it is just in your school’s newspaper or journals, these publications get your name out, and can be used to show off your academic and scholarly work to others. It always looks good that you have scholarly work published as it shows that you have produced high quality work in your field that was good enough to be added to a publication. 

Becoming an avid reader is also a wonderful way to gain scholarship. This is especially important as following the conversation will help you stay up to date on trends and ideas within your field of study. You should also read outside of your area of study to become a more well-rounded individual. You never know when having an informed opinion on something can make or break an interview. Making an impression on others is a fantastic way to develop professional and working relationships during networking. Breaking away from what is comfortable and familiar to you will help to open your mind to new and exciting ideas and fields that you can apply to your own scholarship. Joining clubs and organizations is also an effective way to do this. Because of the diversity within these groups, you can network and gain leadership experience. You will also have the opportunity to share your scholarship with others so they can learn about things outside of their fields of interest as well.  

Congratulations Spring 2022 Graduates

The English and World Languages department would like to recognize and congratulate the following Graduate and Undergraduate Students on their upcoming graduation. 

 

Graduate Students –  

Master of Arts Degree: 

English: 

Hayley E Billet 

Thesis Title:  

The Portrait of a True Artist: Aesthetics and Social Critiques in the Works of Oscar Wilde 

Thesis Committee members:  

Dr. Emily Baldys – Chair – Assistant Professor of English, Millersville University 

Dr. Kaitlin Mondello – Assistant Professor of English, Millersville University 

Dr. Carla Rineer – Assistant Professor of English, Millersville University 

Lindsay Hartman 

Thesis Title:  

Proposing, Planning, and Designing a High School Writing Center 

Thesis Committee Members:  

Dr. A. Nicole Pfannenstiel – Chair – Associate Professor of English, Millersville University 

Dr. Emily Baldys – Assistant Professor of English, Millersville University 

Dr. Kerrie Farkas – Professor of English, Millersville University 

Madeleine Bair 

Thesis Title:  

Survivor Narratives 

Thesis Committee Members: 

Dr. Justin Mando – Chair – Assistant Department Chair and Associate Professor of English, Millersville University 

Dr. Kaitlin Mondello – Assistant Professor of English, Millersville University 

Dr. A. Nicole Pfannenstiel – Associate Professor of English, Millersville University 

Jordan E Traut 

Thesis Title:  

Doing the Good Work: First Americans Decolonizing the Mind with Performance Arts 

Thesis Committee Members: 

Dr. Kataryna Jakubiak – Chair – Associate Professor of English, Millersville University 

Dr. Susan Kalter – Professor of American Literature and Native American Studies, Illinois State University 

Dr. Justin Mando – Assistant Department Chair and Associate Professor of English, Millersville University 

 

Master of Education Degree: 

English: 

Katherine Elizabeth Ingaglio 

Thesis Title:  

Connecting Games and Literature in the Classroom: The case for Bloodborne and H.P. Lovecraft 

Thesis Committee Members: 

Dr. A. Nicole Pfannenstiel – Chair – Associate Professor of English, Millersville University  

Dr. Caleb Corkery – Associate Professor of English, Millersville University 

Dr. Justin Mando – Assistant Department Chair and Associate Professor of English, Millersville University 

 

Undergraduate Students –  

Bachelor of Art Degree:  

English: 

Brook Harris  

Christa E Gumbravich  

Elizabeth Marie Duchesneau 

Heather Lee Verani 

Joshua Robert Mixon 

Morgan Holiday Slough 

Sarah Michelle DiSanto 

Sean Elizabeth McClain 

Sydney Michelle Gant 

Thea Leann Buckwalter 

 

Language and Culture Studies: 

Allegra Dawn Banks  

David Ronald Krak 

Delvys Starlyn Garcia Martinez 

Erin M Cavanagh 

Hermenegildo Blanco 

Jenna Marie Coleman 

Kiera Anne Kirchner 

Morgan Amanda Higgins 

Victoria Grace Jester 

 

Bachelor of Science in Education: 

English: 

Brittney Gail Love 

Christa E Gumbravich    

Emily Rose Bishop  

Fei Yu  

Gillian Rebecca Baoyi Wismer  

Hannah Alan Gehman  

Hannah Elizabeth Jackson  

Hannah Elizabeth Stroble  

Julia E Keiser 

Madelyn-Jo Goslee 

Matthew Robert Pleger 

Natalia Bedoya 

Noelle Marie Piscitello 

Phoebe Elizabeth Tanis 

Rachael Thomasine Newcomer 

Samantha LIly Bechtel 

Sarah Sweda 

 

Foreign Languages: 

Allysa Kelli Snedeker 

 

From the entire English and World Languages Department:  

Congratulations graduates! 

We wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.  

 

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” 

– Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Thesis Defense for Hayley Billet

The English and World Languages Department is pleased to announce the defense of Hayley Billet finishing an M.A. in English. This defense is the last step of a lengthy independent research process. Graduate students work closely with the chair of their committee to add to existing scholarly conversations in a variety of fields within English and World Languages.  

 

The Portrait of a True Artist: Aesthetics and Social Critiques in the Works of Oscar Wilde

Wednesday May 4th at 10am in McComsey 253

Committee:

Dr. Emily Baldys, chair

Dr. Kaitlin Mondello

Dr. Carla Rineer 

 

All are welcome to attend. 

Thesis Defense for Lindsay Hartman

The English and World Languages Department is pleased to announce the defense of Lindsay Hartman, finishing an MA in English. This defense is the last step of a lengthy independent research process. Graduate students work closely with the chair of their committee to add to existing scholarly conversations in a variety of fields within English and World Languages.

Proposing, Planning, and Designing a High School Writing Center

Monday May 9th at 11:30am
Committee:
Dr. A. Nicole Pfannenstiel, Chair
Dr. Emily Baldys

Dr. Kerrie Farkas

All are welcome to attend.

Thesis Defense for Madeleine Bair

The English and World Languages Department is pleased to announce the defense of Madeleine Bair, finishing an MA in English. This defense is the last step of a lengthy independent research process. Graduate students work closely with the chair of their committee to add to existing scholarly conversations in a variety of fields within English and World Languages.

Survivor Narratives

Monday May 9th at 4:00pm

Committee:

Dr. Justin Mando, Chair

Dr. Kaitlin Mondello

Dr. A. Nicole Pfannenstiel

 

All are welcome to attend.

Thesis Defense for Katherine Ingaglio

The English and World Languages Department is pleased to announce the defense of Katherine Ingaglio, finishing her M.Ed. in English. This defense is the last step of a lengthy independent research process. Graduate students work closely with the chair of their committee to add to existing scholarly conversations in a variety of fields within English and World Languages.  

Connecting Games and Literature in the Classroom: The case for Bloodborne and H.P. Lovecraft

Tuesday April 26th at 4:30pm (zoom)

Committee:

Dr. A. Nicole Pfannenstiel, Chair

Dr. Caleb Corkery

Dr. Justin Mando

 

All are welcome to attend.

Thesis Defense for Cameron DiSanto

The English and World Languages Department is pleased to announce the defense of Cameron DiSanto, finishing a BA in English.

Transforming the Legacies of Romanticism in Contemporary North American Nature Poetry

Tuesday May 3rd  at 3:30pm in McComsey 253

Committee:

Dr. Kaitlin Mondello, chair

Dr. Justin Mando

Dr. Nicole Pfannenstiel

 

All are welcome to attend.

English Graduate Students Attend Fulton Theater to see Sweat by Lynn Nottage

By: Hayley Billet 

Dr. Corkery and graduate students from his Spring 2021 Drama class attended a showing of Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat at the Fulton Theater on April 8th. Most of the characters in Sweat are working class people from Reading, Pennsylvania. The plot focuses on the troubles they face when they are laid off from the job they have all worked at for many years.  

By attending the showing of the play that they have read for their class, the students were able to enrich their understanding of the play itself, further enhance their learning from the classroom setting, and experience the play rooted in community. 

This shows the value of experiential learning, a high-impact practice that all students, graduate or undergraduate, should take part in (https://www.aacu.org/trending-topics/high-impact). The graduate students were able to make real-world connections by viewing a play read in class, on a much larger scale (the Fulton). The graduate students engaged as audience members, at a theater filled with spectators who have personal and impersonal connections to Reading, PA. This community-based experiential learning helped us showcase and apply our interpretations, connections to the community, and our extension of class learning in a very real, community focused way. Students, myself included, also gained experience by organizing this event in coordination with Dr. Corkery.   

After reflecting on the experience, I noticed differences between experiential learning for graduate students and undergraduate students. I experienced the play as a graduate student and community member; I wasn’t just a student identifying the characters and themes of this work, I was sitting in a theater rooted in community values, experiencing the plot and characters alongside Lancaster County community members sharing an interest in telling the stories of our experiences in Pennsylvania communities. I have discovered immense value in experiential learning and invite others to work with our graduate faculty planning future community-based experiential learning events. 

English Graduate Students Attend Lynn Nottage Author Talk Event at the Fulton Theater

By: Jordan Traut

English graduate students Madeleine Bair and Jordan Traut from Millersville University were invited to attend a special author talk with two-time Pulitzer Prize winning writer Lynn Nottage at the Fulton Theater in Lancaster City, PA on Sunday April 3rd, 2022. A part of their “IDEA Speaker Series,” Nottage was interviewed before the community by Kevin Ressler, CEO of United Way, about her award-winning play Sweat. Graduate students from ENGL 642 Drama will be attending the show on Friday, April 8th, 2022.  

Pulitzer Prizes are awarded to writers and artists who best tell the stories of Americans. Nottage spoke about her first encounters with storytelling in her Brooklyn home as a child. She would listen to her mother and her mother’s teacher friends laugh and tell stories while she sat at the kitchen table doing her homework in the afternoons. Nottage is always trying to replicate that experience in her work as an adult.  

“There’s something about being in a dialogue [with] people in a room that I have always enjoyed,” she shared with audience members, speaking on her personal experience with the craft of transforming oral storytelling into screenplays for the theater. “The way a story shifts and moves” based on how people respond to it in real-time is the magic of the performing arts and what sets drama apart from other literary pursuits.  

A commission of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Sweat is one of Nottage’s most celebrated plays. It came to life through oral interviews with blue-collar workers in the post-industrial small town of Reading, Pennsylvania, for which the drama is set. Its characters reveal how entire segments of the American population can feel invisible, especially in the working class. The author points out during her interview how the crew can be virtually unseen during a production yet remain the backbone of the theater. She says, “Here we live, going about our lives, not really thinking about our neighbors. Our neighbors who are really struggling and who feel invisible.”  

For Nottage, her work is about intentionally seeing the people that American society does not want to see – the communities we build our highways around and the people we do not give names to. Crediting her “nomadic imagination,” the author explains how she finds the unseen people to tell stories about without exploiting them. “My brain is always looking for a beach that no one has been to before,” like a backpacker is always searching for that remote spot few have ever been to before. Nottage “illuminate[s] those spots that don’t get seen that often.”  

As a Black female writer, there were few mentors who looked like her in the industry. Nottage explains that successful people often are the support systems they wish had supported them in their journey. “I have been the person I wanted to be mentored by,” she says. She expresses her desire to make the theater equally comfortable for everyone in the United States, encouraging non-traditional venues to disrupt the norms of accessibility. Along similar lines, it is critical for the younger generations of all communities to see themselves reflected in the characters in books and on the stage.  

The last piece of wisdom Nottage gave to audience members at the Fulton is to not write to the expectations of anyone else. As a more experienced artist, she says, “I am only in service to myself.”  

Clubs and Organizations

By: Artemis Harris

Millersville offers a variety of options for its students to enrich their educational experience. One such option is the multitude of clubs and organizations available. With so many to choose from, the selection has been narrowed down to a few that fit within the realm of English and World Languages.  

This is by no means an extensive list of clubs and organizations within Millersville or the English and World Languages department. For more information on all clubs and organizations within Millersville, visit the Get Involved home page.  

Although clubs and organizations seem to be geared towards undergraduate students, graduate students will find that they not only align with their interests and majors, but also help to afford them opportunities to utilize what Millersville has to offer more fully. Joining allows graduates to gain leadership/mentorship experience, participate in editing/publishing work, event planning/public relations, and so much more that can be applied to future professional endeavors. 

Clubs that fit within the English and World Languages department: 

Film Club  

The Film Club is dedicated to screening films and discussing the topics presented in them and correlating them to larger social issues. Besides screening films they’ve also participated in events such as screenings at Lancaster’s Zoetropolis, and a few years ago took a trip to the Toronto International Film Festival.  

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Craven  

Executive Board: 

  • President: Molly Dorsey 
  • Vice President: Kayla Gold  
  • Secretary: Chris Herr  
  • Treasurer: Lilly Flynn 

The club holds screenings every Monday at 6pm in SMC 18, where they watch pre-selected films and discuss them. Some upcoming films are as follows:  

  • Monday, April 4 – Interstellar 
  • Monday, April 11 – Mulholland Drive 
  • Monday, April 18 – Time Bandits 
  • Monday, April 25 – The Children’s Hour 
  • Monday, May 2 – Tokyo Godfathers 

If you have any questions or would like to find out more information about the Film Club, you can email Molly Dorsey the current club President at mtdorsey@millersville.edu or Kayla Gold the current club Vice President at klgold@millersville.edu. Visit their Get Involved page to join or contact the club directly.  

The Creative Writers Guild 

The Creative Writers Guild is a space for individuals looking to write in a supportive environment and expand their skills. Their goal is to provide students with an outlet and an audience for their writing (poetry, prose, short stories, etc.). The Creative Writers Guild has a very active presence on their Discord channel where they actively offer advice and help with the creative writing process in all its forms.  

Faculty Advisor: Dr. McCollum-Clark 

Executive Board: 

  • President: Joesph McCarrie  
  • Vice President: Artemis Harris 
  • Secretary: Chanlakena 
  • Treasurer: Amelia Cusanno 

The club meets weekly on Tuesdays at 7:30 virtually and in person (depending on the needs of its members). For the meetings, weekly prompts are provided followed by a voluntary sharing session and a discussion. Writers of all skill levels and concentrations are invited. 

If you have any questions or would like to join The Creative Writers Guild, visit their Get Involved page to contact them directly or join. You can also join them on their Discord Server or follow them on Instagram for updates on upcoming club meetings and events.  

English Club 

The English Club is currently inactive; however, they are working on getting the club up and running. When the club is in full swing, it provides a welcome environment where lovers of verse and manipulators of language can come together to participate in literary activities, field trips, discussions, and more. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Corkery 

Executive Board:  

  • President: Kevin Nix 
  • Vice President: Jackson Fogel 
  • Secretary: Natalie Flory 
  • Treasurer: Kayla Gold 

The English Club welcomes majors and non-majors, and they plan to host literary themed field trips, events, movie nights, and more.  

If you have any questions, or would like to join the English Club, visit their Get Involved page to contact them directly.  

George Street Press 

George Street Press is not currently active. When George Street Press is active the organization designs, compiles, and edits an annual, professional journal publication of Millersville University student/faculty writings and visual art. This includes poetry, short prose fiction, drama, stylistic nonfiction, painting, drawing, digital designs, and more.  

Faculty Advisor: Dr. McCollum-Clark 

To see current and past editions of George Street Press visit their website 

If you are interested in joining George Street Press, visit the Get Involved page to reach out.  

GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) 

The GSA is an organization located outside of the English and World Languages department. They are an extremely active organization on campus. The GSA strives to make Millersville’s campus safe and welcoming for all. 

The GSA’s mission statement: Provide a safe and comfortable space for sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression minorities and their allies to interact without fear of being judged or discriminated against, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression.  

Faculty Advisor: Arianna Camel 

Executive Board: 

  • President: Alyssa Straface  
  • Vice President: Bex Shenk 
  • Secretary: Grace Lamont 
  • Treasurer: Sara Smith  
  • Historian: Sara Smigielski  
  • Public Relations: Christina Lewis  

Current events they are planning and hope to have this semester include:  

  • Tie-dyeing event (date TBD in April) 
  • Adoption event partnered with ASIA 

The GSA holds meetings every Wednesday from 6-8 PM in SMC 118. Sometimes they will have meetings on their Discord to play games online, or their events will be on different days at different times depending on availability. They cover visibility and awareness days, either through presentations or a fun activity to learn about its history. 

For more information or to join the GSA, visit their Get Involved page.   

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