Category Archives: Newsletter Articles

Congratulations 2020 Winter Graduates!


Special Message from Chair Kim McCollum-Clark (click to expand)

Dear English Graduates,

Words on the page. That is what I am producing, and that is what I am thinking about as I grapple with how to congratulate you all as our latest Department of English graduates. The sentiments and emotions are right there: how proud we are of you and your efforts. How happy we hope you are at achieving such a significant life goal. How excited everyone in your lives must be—your family and friends and professors—to see what your next steps will mean for you.

Usually, we mark this time in your life with what some call a “threshold event,” in recognition of its special quality. We humans want to bring meaning to things, after all, and birth celebrations and weddings and funerals and Confirmations and bar/bat mitzvahs—these all say, this moment in time is special. These events creates a before and an after. We gather with the one being celebrated to mark that they stand on the cusp of something new, yet to unfold.

At graduations, the threshold event celebrates your commitment to your own future, as you have seen it emerge and develop. It is an event powered by your hard work, your late nights, the times you got over your doubt, the times you roared forth with confidence. At these events, as your professors, we all long to celebrate you, to hug or shake your hands, to greet your families and friends. We want to hear your plans for the future and remember the past we shared.

You know where this is going, of course. This year, we cannot do those things in each other’s company. You deserve such a celebration, for you have persisted and finished your degree in two of the wildest and most difficult semesters in American higher education history. You watched as your plans for victory laps and final moments on campus became smoke. I don’t want to focus on the grief and struggle that we have all encountered this year, but I cannot let it go unnamed either. Our campus, without you, is a lovely, but sterile place. We have been reminded, over and over, that these spaces are meant to animated by you and your dreams and your laughter, by your plots and jokes and just-squeaking in the door on time arrivals. This is one of the things we faculty have learned in this pandemic year.

We hope that, among the many things you have learned this year, you realized how strong, passionate, and capable you are when things get hard. You finished those courses, that internship, that thesis! (This is the part where the airhorns in the stands go off—insert your favorite HUZZAH sound here.) And one day, “Fall 2020” will just be words on a page. You will say, “I finished college in the middle of a pandemic!” and I hope your listener realizes the two most important words in this sentence are “I” and “FINISHED.” You brought it home. You MADE IT through in a time that has challenged every single person living through it. You held on to that thread that guided you here and leads you forward.

We are English folks, so we should know in our bones the powers of words on a page. Sometimes they seem ephemeral, like they have no hold on what is really happening. And then, mysteriously, because someone tried to set them down—they mark an occasion. They remind us of a piece of what we endured. They LAST. They can bring us back to who we were and how we felt. I hope these words have shared with you the bittersweet mixture of emotions we are feeling as we remember you, grieve our common loss of being separated from you early, and celebrate the next steps that await you. Let us know where you land and into what new adventures you take your piece of Millersville University. Congratulations, from everything we have in us, for all you have achieved.
-Dr. Kim McCollum-Clark

Dear Graduates, You deserve the grandest of congratulations as you persevered through a truly challenging final stretch of your college careers. We value so much the hard work you have put into your time here and we wish you all the best as you move into the next chapters of your lives. You always have a home here at Millersville, so please stay connected. Keep reading, keep writing, and keep sharing your talents with the world!
-Dr. Justin Mando

Congratulations to you all!  We are so impressed with the individual ways you have made this degree your own  Please stay in touch.  We will miss you.
-Dr. Caleb Corkery

Dear Winter grads, congrats on achieving this major milestone, especially during such a difficult time! The world needs your talents now more than ever – we wish you the best for the future. Please keep in touch!
-Dr. Kaitlin Mondello

Congratulations on accomplishing this major milestone, despite the difficult times! I hope you keep this perseverance and courage through the rest of your life. And I hope you find ways to fulfill all your goals and dreams. Please return to your Millersville English family for our future alumni events!
-Dr. Katarzyna Jakubiak

Congratulations to all of you!  I have had the pleasure of working with nine of you, and all of you should be proud of your work and all your accomplishments through your time at Millersville.  I wish you the very best in your future and know you will all have many, many successes.  I can’t wait to hear about all of them!  As Henry David Thoreau said,
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”
Please keep in touch!

-Dr. Kerrie Farkas

Millersville University English graduates,
While you have read about numerous worlds in literary works, now it is time to create your own as you forge new paths post-graduation. This is an exciting time and nothing short of extraordinary. I wish you the best of luck and know you will succeed as you write your own narrative. Congratulations!

-Dr. Rivera-Lopez

Dear Winter 2020 Graduates in English:
Congratulations for your perseverance! You have reached an important milestone in your academic and professional lives in the midst of one of the most difficult times we have ever endured.
The skills you have developed, and the ways of being in the world that you have cultivated, will serve you well in the future. More than ever, our world will need people who can read carefully and critically, write persuasively, and help us to imagine different futures.
Best of luck!
-Dr. Tim Mayers

(Click on the names below for personalized messages to our graduates)


Sydney, your serious, inquisitive nature will take you far, especially since it’s balanced with a caring heart. Look forward to seeing where you apply it. – Caleb Corkery

It was wonderful to have you in my classes throughout your years at Millersville. Congratulations on your graduation and good luck with all your plans!
Katarzyna Jakubiak


Dear Mikia—I will miss having you in class ❤ But I am happy to see you graduating and moving on to greater things! I hope you continue to use what you have learned in film. Please keep in touch!
Jill Craven

Mikia, what fun to see you grow through these years. I remember thinking you were shy back as a freshman. You have so much to bring out there. Can’t wait to see it. – Caleb Corkery

Congratulations on your graduation! It was wonderful to have you in my classes throughout your studies at Millersville. I look forward to reading your ambitious final paper in the African American literature class. Best of luck with all your plans!
Katarzyna Jakubiak


Congratulations! You did it! I enjoyed being your advisor throughout the years, and I’m so glad you finally found your true interest in film at the end. Best of luck with all your plans!
Katarzyna Jakubiak


Leah is one of the hardest working students I’ve ever met. She studied abroad in Peru as part of her Spanish major, while staying in contact with me about her Writing Studies Honors thesis. I am so excited to see all that Leah will accomplish after graduation!
Nicole Pfannenstiel

It was wonderful to have you in our creative writing class this semester. The writing you shared and the feedback you gave to your peers were so valuable. Congratulations on your graduation and best of luck with all your plans. I hope you keep writing and I hope to see you at our literary festivals in the future.
Katarzyna Jakubiak


Way to go, Karen! Congratulations!! I look forward to hearing about your accomplishments in the future. I am sure great things await!!
Jill Craven

Congratulations, Karen! We’re all proud of your accomplishment and wish you the best in the future! I remember well cruising the Susquehanna River with you in our tandem kayak and the good work you did in that class.
Justin Mando

DYLAN MARCIANO – Magna Cum Laude

Wow, Dylan, I’m so proud of all your excellent work to graduate magna cum laude. We’ve been through so many years together, and I’m going to miss your visits, but I will look forward to meeting outside of Millersville for coffee and updates on you and Jess. I’m so excited for your future and the mark you will make on the world.
Jill Craven

I remember well the hard work you put into our Environmental Writing class and the creative way you approached the Tiny Ecology Project. I encourage you to continue to see the extraordinary in what others allow to pass them by. That’s a skill not everyone has and you’ve got it in spades! Best wishes to you in the future. I think you’re bound for many great accomplishments! -Justin Mando


It was nice to have you in class this semester. I appreciated your regular contributions to our class discussions and your insightful observations. Congratulations on your graduation and good luck with all your plans!
Katarzyna Jakubiak


Congratulations on your graduation! I will miss you! It was great to follow the development of your creative writing and your interests in African American literature throughout your career at Millersville. Your presentation at Made in Millersville about identity and your struggle with diabetes last year was wonderful. Good luck with all your future plans! I hope you keep writing and I hope to see you at our literary festivals.
Katarzyna Jakubiak

You inspire me! The book of poems, perseverance through rough times, and all with such grace, organization, and positivity. So glad to have you in class in your last semester and get to know you better. Congratulations on your graduation! I look forward to hearing about all the successes you will have! Keep writing and getting your voice out there to inspire others!
Jill Craven

Monee is such a joy to work with. Her passion for writing is obvious in her assignments and research projects. She is working toward writing children’s books, and I can’t wait to see what she accomplishes!
Nicole Pfannenstiel


Congratulations on your graduation! We will all miss you here! You did a wonderful job with The George Street Press. Good luck with your teaching plans. I’m sure you will be an amazing educator! I hope to see you at our literary festivals in the future.
Katarzyna Jakubiak

Hi Sara,
Congratulations! I still remember the ethnographic essay you wrote about George Street Club in my 311 class. Keep up the great work and best wishes for everything!
Yufeng Zhang


All I can say is Oughtgeist, Oughtgeist, Outgeist! I can’t believe this is the first short story you have written, and I encourage you to try your hand at more as you have a gift! It was a pleasure having you (and your cat) in class. Best wishes to you and congratulations on your graduation.
Dr. Farkas


Dear Chloe, I will miss the many notes. You always thought you were bothering, but I always loved that you were reaching out with your questions ❤ I’m a little teary that I won’t get to see you walk the stage—the culmination of all those emails and hard work! Congratulations, Chloe!!
Jill Craven


Cindy, what a delight working with you these past years. I’ll miss your easy-going, thoughtful style. You’ll have so much to contribute wherever you end up. – Caleb Corkery

Hi Cindy,
Congratulations! It has been a great pleasure to work with you this semester, and thank you for the perspectives you brought to our 464 class. Best wishes for everything!
Yufeng Zhang


Congratulations, Colin. Your road to graduation has been more challenging, and I know you have put in more effort than mere words can recognize to get here. I want to recognize all that extra effort, that has made this accomplishment all the more impressive. Wow, Colin!! Heartfelt wow!!
Jill Craven

Congratulations on your huge achievement. It was a pleasure to have you in class (and to ride the bus with you regularly). I wish you all the best in the future. Please keep in touch as you wish. You know where to find me (over e-mail or in the office).
Warm regards,
Dominic Ording

Colin, congratulations on all you’ve accomplished. You are such a model of perseverance and life spirit. You’ve touched so many of us. Thank you. – Caleb Corkery

Make sure you watch the Millersville Alumni Graduation video:

MU Alumni send well wishes to Fall 2020 Graduates

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A Tribute to Dr. Archibald

From directing the Writing Center to creating the Literary Festival, Dr. Archibald has been a major presence in our English Community.  As he moves on to his next chapter, both figuratively and literally, the English Department wants to celebrate all his contributions.

Dr. Archibald has been at the center of Writing Studies for the last two decades at Millersville.  Teaching Advanced Writing, Visual Rhetoric, Reading Our World, Composition, Stylistics, and the Writing Studies Seminar while coordinating all activities of the Writing Center, Bill has easily influenced over 3000 students in his 20 years at Millersville. In creating the idea of a literary festival and organizing it with Jeff Boyer and Kasia Jakubiak, he brought writing to life in our midst. His thoughtful engagement with our students, his involvement with the writing and reading community, and his colorful stories all make Bill a tremendous person to work and socialize with.

While we are all excited for Bill to enjoy an active and fun retirement, there is no getting past the feeling of loss that we have, knowing that our last semester with Bill is this one, and we won’t get to see him haunting Chryst any more.  There will be a huge hole in the community as we contemplate a new experience without his calming and reaffirming presence.

So much travel I’ve enjoyed from my office desk thanks to Bill.  Hitchhiking cross country, living in a boarding house in New Orleans, avoiding German nuns, confronting drunk neighbors.  The rabbit holes I’ve enjoyed looking in and diving down.

Bill listens as though your words make a difference in how he sees the world.  And speaks as though a truth is just arriving between you.  What a delight to be in his company.

Caleb Corkery

Bill’s 70th Birthday

In addition to being our terrific, devoted Writing Center Director, Bill Archibald also happens to be an amazing person.  In another life under the sun, he was a smoke-jumper who extinguished wildfires out west and a housing contractor (I think).  Bill can build things (like Writing Centers, houses, and furniture); he’s a techno-maven and an elegant blogger. Bill was born in Fort Collins, Colorado, which, for me as a life-long Easterner, makes him exotic. And Bill has a super-power: kindness.  Bill is kind, compassionate, and empathetic toward everyone—a rare distinction.

Bill, it’s time to put the lessons you shared with our students to use: please write your memoir!  Enjoy a blissful retirement!

Love always to you and Robin—

Judy and Eddie

I don’t want Bill to retire. Even though I know that he deserves this time to finally immerse himself fully in his beloved writing, to finally publish a book or a number of books and become the renowned author that he should be, given his talent. Still, I cannot imagine this department without him. I will miss his warm presence, his sober attitude that kept many of us sane amidst the occasional department craziness, his inexhaustible passion for his field that has been inspiring and contagious. Bill’s constant eagerness to talk about writing and literature, to organize literary events and encourage us to participate in them has helped me feel a part of an intellectual environment that protects our creative sparks from being lost in the every-day grind of our jobs. In particular, I am grateful that I had a chance to collaborate with Bill on organizing the MU literary festival in Fall 2019. His enthusiasm and perseverance kept us working, even though resources were uncertain, deadlines short and schedules hard to juggle; the end result was a fantastic event that bonded and enriched our English community of students, faculty and alumni. And this event was only one part of Bill’s legacy that I hope will remain on our campus for many years to come. Enjoy your retirement, Bill! I know you will be only a few streets away from us, so please keep returning to campus for the future events we organize.

With love, Kasia.

Bill has always been a caring, thoughtful colleague and friend. I still remember his welcoming, warm, and assuring words when I first met him in the hallway of Chryst right before the fall semester I started teaching at MU. Over the years, I’ve had the honor to serve on the Writing Studies Committee together with Bill, to participate in the Literary Festival he organized, and to chat with him about life, teaching, and news stories about China. It’s been a great pleasure to work with Bill!

Several years ago, Bill and Robin kindly invited my husband and me to celebrate Thanksgiving at their house. It was truly a fun celebration, and Bill and Robin were the best hosts! My husband, who is not very sociable and kind of reluctant to meet with new people, enjoyed the conversations with Bill so much that he still remembers Bill as one of the nicest persons he met!

Bill, all the best for a happy retirement! We’ll miss you!


Bill has been our Writing Center director forever.  Literally since the beginning of this century.  I’ve been here twenty years, and I can’t remember before Bill. I’ve checked in photos in the archives… he appears there too.  Hmmm…..

You have always been the Caretaker. I should know, Sir; I’ve always been here.

What will we do without him?  It seems vastly unjust that he doesn’t get to drop the mic, and walk out of the Writing Center and McNairy Library with the announcement blaring “Bill Archibald has left the building.”

While Bill is an outstanding colleague, he makes an even better friend. Bill’s generous and kind spirit has always been one that drew me into animated conversations and thoughtful reminiscences about obscure films we had both over analyzed. Plus Bill gives the best hugs; he owns the distinction of giving me the most wonderful hugs on Millersville campus, and I hope he’ll travel back to give me a few more after his retirement.

I will miss Bill tremendously.  Bill, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.


Bill Archibald has a profound sensitivity for understanding our world in images, writing, and oratory. He has a keen eye for spotting nuances in everyday life. He speaks with emotional depth with mercurial moments of dry wit and humor. In class, we are shown what makes great works powerful, and how we can practically emulate that in our own work. He offers authentic criticism without the fluff and is not afraid to challenge your thinking. With a warm presence in the office, he is always happy to share his knowledge and passion with you. Bringing together a community of writers is important to him, which is why he has dedicated himself to organizing the MU Literary Festival for the past two years. This has been his heart and soul poured out, exuberantly, and the only way he does this work, and should be proud of that. He sees the value in giving young writers a support network of inspiring professionals. Happy Retirement, Bill. Stay in touch!

Skyler Gibbon

Bill at the Lit Fest

Bill Archibald saved me from a life of academic writing. I should say, he saved me from a life of just academic writing. Thanks to Bill, I learned to see myself as a poet again, as a creative writer. Bill taught me that the scholarly prose we’ve been trained to produce can also be a jumping off point into more pleasant waters. Just as it’s been for me, I suspect it’s been the same for Bill’s students. He has helped so many write their better selves.

Thank you, Bill, and all the best to you in your retirement. Diplodocus!

Justin Mando

As you go forward in this tapestry called life you’re lucky to find a dozen people who you can call really good friends. Those who will listen to your dreams and nudge you forward. Those who you can tell secrets and trust that they stay secrets. Finally, a friend that will call you a dumbs when the need arises.

I found that kind of friend in Bill Archibald.

I didn’t know Bill the first year or two when I started at Millersville some 20 years ago. But we talked shop in the hallways, had lunch now and then and after a while Cindy and I got to know Robin and the four of us went out to dinner occasionally (even a Jackson Brown concert in Hershey). Now it seems as if we have know each other forever.

Bill represents what I would like to see more of in the English department. Knowledge of co-workers at more than just a surface level. People you can bounce ideas off of that will make you a better teacher or researcher. Friends you care about and who care about you.

I will miss that Hemingwayesque dude who owns Chryst 109 and the Writing Center, but I will make an effort to keep in touch, as I’m sure he will too.

Be well my friend,

Alan Foster

I have worked with Dr. Archibald during the 20-19-2020 school year through spending part of my Graduate Assistant hours in the Writing Center. I have appreciated his welcoming me into the work environment there, as well as his willingness to answer my questions. I would like to thank him for the opportunity to learn new skills through that work. Also, I wish him well in his upcoming retirement.

Clark Fennimore

Some of my favorite memories with Bill have been made across the dinner table. From my first visit to Lancaster, when he and his wife Robin joined us at a candidate dinner, to his surprise New Year’s Eve birthday dinner, complete with a tremendous chocolate cake and a barbershop quartet, Bill’s been the kind of colleague who’s made me feel welcomed and brought us all a bit closer together. Cheers to you on your retirement, Bill! Even though you’ve retired, know that we expect to see you for many more dinners!

Emily Baldys

Hi, Bill,

What’s the good word?  I miss hearing your footsteps, especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays around 11:15 a.m. when you scrabbled at the door of my second-floor office in Chryst and entered with a handshake.

I’d gladly lay down my pen and listen as you regaled me about getting up early to write, or ask whether I had read the Sunday Book Review and reveal you had already ordered that hot new novel, or talk about the biography you were listening to on Audible.  In return, I’d confess that I’d only written half a page of poetry in the past week, that I’d read the Review but likely would not read the novel until it came out in paperback AND I could find a used copy, or that with my hour-long commute getting Audible really would be a good idea—though first, I would have to fix the short in my car’s radio speakers.

The world grew kinder and worries withdrew for those 15 or 20 minutes.  “Noodles next Thursday?” you’d ask, scheduling a dash to Pho Pasteur up on Columbia Avenue.  “Now we have something to look up to forward to.”

Jeff and Bill at the 2018 Literary Festival

You’d slap your knees and get up, mentioning the meeting you had to go to or the pizzas you had ordered for your Writing Center tutors, and despite a second handshake I was sorry to let you go, listening as you stopped by the offices of Tim, Justin, and Carla to share a few words and a several laughs with each.  After you went back downstairs, it would take several more minutes to turn my attention back to my pile of ENGL 110 papers.

Hard to believe, that was just a few weeks ago, or that the last time I saw you was in a Giant Supermarket parking lot in Buck, where you drove down and I drove up so I could give you and Robin some Fish-Mox antibiotic capsules for your cat, Sophie.  “I got the drugs!” I joked, and we reached across the six feet that separated our cars.  Even that meeting seems swaddled in the indeterminate past, insulated from the present by all the subsequent days stuck at home since the campus shut down.

I know you are scheduled to teach online this summer, but it seems wrong that you should spend the last few weeks of our Spring 2020 so far from your English Department friends.  Emails and Zoom don’t fill the gap.  Earlier this semester, Justin and I talked about setting up one last Faculty Reading in the Writing Center and also making it a “Thanks, Bill!” occasion.  Now, that won’t happen.  It’s a cruel twist that Covid-19 prevents us from saying goodbye properly.

But what am I saying?  It won be long until we see each other again.  I can drive up, and even if we don’t shake hands, perhaps we can bump elbows.  We’ll go for noodles, then a visit to Winding Way or Dog Star Books, each exiting with a stack of paperbacks, each complaining that our homes are already full of books, and “Where am I going to put all these?”  Sooner or later, the campus will open again, and perhaps some late morning I’ll hear your footsteps on the stairs, and you will enter with a joke before we sit down and talk of writing and reading and gardening, and food—and “How’s life treating you?”

I look forward to that, my friend.

Jeff Boyer

I have nothing either profound or deep to say about Dr. Archibald, and not even anything terribly academic. To say that I am a non-traditional student is pushing the non-traditional student envelop a bit far. Be that as it may, the first day of my duties in the department of English office as graduate assistant, I was sitting there simply reading. A rather tall distinguished looking man walks in: What are you reading? Me: Derrida’s De la grammatologie, he’s even more obtuse in French. The distinguished looking gentleman extends his hand: Bill Archibald.

After that point I had the good fortune to talk with Bill many times about literature, and also to apologize to him for his tales of traveling through Kansas by car. If one is from Kansas, one automatically apologizes for the vast monotony of traversing the state through some other means other than an airplane.

I will always cherish those moments of discussing nothing more than what I was reading that day, or literature in a larger context. Bill Archibald is a true academician. Dr. Archibald, thank you!

William Artz



Professor Profile: Andie Petrillo

Read more about the professors in Millersville’s English department in this Professor Profiles series!

Professor Andie Petrillo

Professor Andie Petrillo is one of the new professors to join the English department this semester. She is currently teaching ENGL 110, Section 28.

Professor Petrillo’s education journey began at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD where she received her Bachelor of Arts. “While I was there, I was a member of the French Club and starred in two plays: The Eumenides (as a Fury) and Clybourne Park (Bev/Kathy)”

After her undergrad program, Professor Petrillo attended Millersville University as a graduate student in the Master of Arts in English Program. While at MU, Professor Petrillo worked in the English office as a graduate assistant, participated in University Theatre’s Fall Musical 2018 Production of Jesus Christ Superstar, and published two of her graduate essays in MUsings: The Graduate Student Journal, and much more. Her graduate essays focus on the “New Woman” in Victorian England and the success of multi-platforms like Pemberley Digital’s “Emma Approved,” respectively.

Elsa the guinea pig visits the English department office.

Professor Petrillo is especially passionate about British Literature (“Jane Austen & James Joyce are amongst my favorite authors”) and American Literature (“F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway are some other faves”). In the future, she hopes to earn her Ph.D. in British Literature and teach British Lit as a tenured professor.

When asked about her favorite aspects of the English major, Professor Petrillo said she loves how the English major creates opportunities for reading different genres of literature and writing creatively. If she could meet any writer, past or present, Professor Petrillo thinks “it would be a tie between Jane Austen (I wrote my grad thesis on Pride and Prejudice), James Joyce (just to pick his brain), or Ernest Hemingway (because he had such a colorful life/interesting personality).” Besides English, Professor Petrillo is interested in history and foreign languages. “Growing up I had an obsession with learning about the Civil War and the Holocaust, so I was pretty interested in history too. I’m also fluent in French so foreign languages interest me too.”

Some of Professor Petrillo’s favorite past-times include reading, watching Netflix, and snuggling with her two guinea pigs named Peanut and Elsa.

Made in Millersville Journal Opportunities

Need an internship? Want to get your work published? Check out the Made in Millersville Journal!

The Made in Millersville Journal is an online publication that works to publish student’s presentations from the annual Made in Millersville conference. This conference highlights student research projects and creative works from departments across campus. Students can present a paper, perform poetry, present an art sculpture, discuss a poster, play a musical performance, or anything that fits under the guidelines of the conference.

After noticing the wide variety of research and creativity demonstrated every year at the Made in Millersville Conference, Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol and Kerrie Farkas co-founded and co-created the Made in Millersville Journal, a conference proceedings journal for students and by students. Two pilot issues were published in 2015 and 2016 before the first full-fledged publication began in 2017. As of the 2019 edition, the Made in Millersville Journal has published 111 articles across all three colleges and 24 (of 26) departments, and has offered 24 internship positions.

There are two ways students can get involved with the Made in Millersville Journal: work on the editorial board as an intern or employee or publish in the journal as a presenter at the Made in Millersville conference.

Editors: Sara Lipski and Karen Layman (Shaakirah Tate and Daniel Dicker are not pictured) unveiling the current journal issue of the Journal during the 2019 Made in Millersville conference.

There are many reasons why students should intern for the Journal, some of which include gaining professional editing experience as well as building pathways to professional careers after college. Here’s the full list of reasons students should consider this internship opportunity:

  • Gain professional editorial and publishing experience
  • Improve their writing and editing
  • Gain hands-on experience working in a multidisciplinary, team environment
  • Work in a supportive environment that encourages interns to step out of their comfort zones
  • Build pathways between college and their future careers

The application deadline for the editorial board is October 1. Visit the employment/internship flyer for specific qualifications and directions to apply.

Not only can students join the editorial team, but they can publish their work in the Journal. In order to publish in the Journal, students must indicate on their conference application that they are interested in publishing. Here are some reasons student authors should publish in the Journal:

  • Impress future employers with a published writing sample​;
  • Improve their writing and experience a unique, authentic, and personalized publishing process by collaborating with a team of trained student editors; ​
  • Market their scholarly or creative work by being featured in the journal and on our social media platforms;
  • Translate their conference  presentation into an effective and accessible summary for a public audience; and ​
  • Build critical communication skills by working with an editorial team.

The application deadline for the Made in Millersville Conference will be in February.

If you have any questions about the Made in Millersville Journal or just want some more information, visit the FAQ page or email Kerrie Farkas or Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol.

Internship Profile: Anthony Miller

Anthony Miller, a writing studies major with a minor in film, interned at Winding Way Books in Lancaster City. Read more below about Anthony’s experiences working at a bookstore, marketing a business on Facebook, and joining a community of book lovers. Looking for an internship of your own? Visit the ELCM website to learn more about internship opportunities.

Melody Williams and Anthony Miller

Over the course of the 2019 Spring Semester, I took advantage of a unique internship opportunity at Winding Way Books in Downtown Lancaster. Prior to applying for the internship, I’d been into Winding Way’s former location and made several purchases. I was impressed by the store’s wide range of literary classics, sci-fi and fantasy. However, it was among the extensive nonfiction selection that I made my most valuable finds, picking up one of the most relevant books to my education so far, A History of Narrative Film by David A. Cook. As an English major, the bookstore existed as the perfect site for intellectual exploration. Whether they were part of a chain or independently run, bookstores throughout my childhood and young adulthood have forged my reading habits, so I was interested in being behind the scenes creating a similar environment for other readers. Eventually I was connected more closely to Winding Way by a coworker of mine who was friends with the owner, Melody Williams. From there I contacted Melody by email and we scheduled our initial meeting.

Seeing as I was the first ever intern at Winding Way, Mel and I got together to discuss the general expectations and requirements of the internship. From this brainstorming session, I was designated to perform a handful of general tasks: to spread the word about Winding Way and expand its consumer base, sort and shelve books while keeping inventory, supply written content to the official Facebook page to pique customers’ interest in the inventory, and run the cash register and help out customers while Mel was running her endless list of errands for the bookstore.

The first of my obligations was trying to extend the reach of the store across Lancaster, which I attempted in a number of ways. Primarily, Mel had me walk across the city handing out her customized bookmarks, which display the Winding Way contact information and a small map directing people to the new location on Chestnut Street. I was initially nervous about this simple job because of the anxiety imparted by a stranger’s attempt to sell a product or idea. Eventually, however, my nervousness about confrontation subsided in the wake of a number of people’s genuine enthusiasm. Of course I heard more people saying they’d stop in than those that actually did, but every new customer that I recognized from one of those interactions (of which there were a good few) reinvigorated me for the next time I was out on the town with a stack of bookmarks.

The bookmarks were also useful for posting on community boards across the city. From House of Pizza to Farbo Co to coffee shops to burrito joints, I strolled around town, further familiarizing myself with Lancaster, and hoping to further familiarize Lancaster with Winding Way Books. Various small business owners were more than happy to accommodate our advertisements which was inspiring to witness. One employee at Farbo Co even helped clear their community store to accommodate for a bookmark. Admittedly, I was pleasantly surprised to experience such altruistic thinking across store owners and their employees, which seemed to boil down to a basic commitment to helping out other independent businesses.

Although it took me a little time to truly take the advertising/networking portion of the internship by the scruff of the neck, I ultimately overcame the reluctance to confront random people with my “message” about the bookstore’s worth to the community. It helped immensely that I truly believe in the bookstore’s goals as a business so I never had to force myself to mislead or manipulate like a stereotypically cynical salesperson. When I was talking to people about the adventures inherent to Mel’s shelves, I really meant it. Eventually, with my growing awareness of the bookstore’s contents and an easing anxiety concerning street chats, I was able to name specific books that I thought potential customers would be interested in. After talking with one passerby about films and screenplays, he eventually ended up reserving a shooting copy of the script of Firefly, a cult television show.

As someone pursuing a Bachelor’s in English with a concentration in Writing Studies, the written portion of the internship was the segment of my internship that most directly addressed my degree. Early in the internship Mel granted me access to the Winding Way Facebook page, where I was able to respond to customer requests and questions. Primarily though, I used the Notes page to post book reviews, which Mel coined “First Impressions”. Throughout the course of the semester I would select one of the books from an author that I hadn’t heard of before, read the first chapter or two, and write a page long review of the content of the book, trying to describe the distinct merits of the story and the way the story was written.

Depending on the author, I would emphasize different aspects of the work’s overall impact. Thomas Pynchon for instance, inherited a cult reputation due to long, zany phrases peppered with  pop culture and obscure vocabulary; therefore, I focused on his unique compositional style because that seemed to be the defining characteristic of his literature. Zora Neale Hurston on the other hand was more known for her contributions to African American literature, writing dialogue for her characters that felt directly recorded from her experiences; therefore I expressed her monumental influence on other black writers in their efforts to seize back the narrative of their people from racist whites. These First Impressions gave me an opportunity to advance my writing by forcing me to interact with new writing, consider its context and composition, and articulate it in a measured, accessible manner.

One of the best parts of this experience was feeling like part of a community. A bookstore community is diverse, consisting of lone drifters, couples hanging out, flocks of friends, and families out for the day. The variety of people within these categories is impossible to comprehensively explore. Just as any particular piece of writing eludes categorization, so does any person seeking one out. Despite the diversity characters stopping by Winding Way, they were all brought into the bookstore by the same thing that brought me into the English major in the first place: a love of getting lost in the written word. Because of this central similarity, I was able to connect with almost everybody. I’ve traded both short anecdotes and long detailed monologues about what I’ve read, what I love to read, and what I plan to read next. Although bookworms are stereotyped as introverted and shy, I’ve had many animated discussions with the people at Winding Way. Although I love my private headspace, bridging the gap between two minds is a fulfilling experience. There was no shortage of interesting bridges built over the course of this internship. One afternoon I was talking to an aspiring writer in the bookstore for about an hour as she explained her conversion to Buddhism, ultimately recommending a book from our spirituality section.

Everybody that I remember walking in were patient, kind and curious. Some came in knowing exactly what they wanted. Others were just interested in exploring the space for a moment or two. A bookstore is the only place I can think of where browsing and not buying is an activity in and of itself. To briefly dip your toes into various articulations of art, science and history is an experience offered by few other business models. I tried to take that opportunity whenever I had the chance.

Overall, my internship at Winding Way Books was an educational experience that made a prominent mark on me. Not only was I able to make intellectual explorations by engaging with a vast catalogue of art and knowledge, I was also able to explore socially by mingling with outsiders to the bookstore, and more enjoyably, insiders. In addition, my writing became stronger by virtue of my increased exposure to good writing and my efforts to explain its goodness through short, concise reviews. I would recommend this internship to any English student at Millersville who is looking to expand their literary palette while also increasing their familiarity with downtown Lancaster.

-Anthony Miller 

2019 Northeast Modern Language Association Conference

Millersville Professors and graduate students traveled to Washington D.C. for the annual Northeast Modern Language Association Conference. Maria Rovito, in collaboration with the other Millersville students and professors, wrote a summary of the event and presentation topics.

Andie Petrillo, Dr. Emily Baldys, and Maria Rovito

The 50th anniversary conference of the Northeast Modern Language Association was held at the National Harbor in Washington, D.C., at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, from Thursday, March 21, 2019, to Sunday, March 24, 2019. The theme of the conference focused on transnational humanities, particularly intersections of nations and identity within language and literature. A variety of panels, roundtables, and workshops were held that focused on various kinds of aspects of English studies, particularly literature, rhetoric and composition, creative writing and publishing, critical theory, interdisciplinary humanities, and pedagogy and teaching. Several keynote speakers were included in this year’s conference; most notably featured was the postcolonial critic Homi K. Bhabha, who spoke about the politics of migration and human rights in his keynote address.

Members and presenters came from all over the world, including a few of our own students and faculty here at Millersville University. Graduate students and English faculty presented their research at the convention, including Drs. Emily Baldys and Katarzyna Jakubiak, as well as graduate students Maria Rovito and Andie Petrillo. Each of their presentations focused on different aspects of literary studies.

Dr. Emily Baldy’s presentation was titled “The Sisterhood of Disability Care in Gaskell’s Industrial Narratives,” and focused on disability care as surrogate sisterhood in Gaskell’s first published short story, “The Three Eras of Libbie Marsh.” In her work, Dr. Baldys argued that “Gaskell’s narratives self-consciously resist industrial capitalism’s devaluation of difference and dependence.” Particularly, through Gaskell’s depictions of sisterly relations and disability care, “Gaskell’s texts mount a ‘dependency critique’ similar to that proposed by modern disability theorists, modeling a respect for difference that Gaskell saw as necessary for rehabilitation of industrial system.”

Dr. Katarzyna Jakubiak presented on the politics of translation in her presentation, particularly translating African American Literature in Poland during the Cold War. Titled “We Make Our Own Negroes: James Baldwin’s Reception in Poland During the Cold War and Now,” Dr. Jakubiak’s work focused on the role of James Baldwin’s work in Poland in the 1960-70s in relation to current Polish reactions to Raoul Peck’s documentary I Am Not Your Negro.  She argued that the “past and present Polish responses to Baldwin attest to the power of his voice to impact the discourse of interracial and interethnic relations globally.” Dr. Jakubiak’s presentation also focused on the impact of Baldwin’s work on Polish political discourse: “As Poland’s current populist government manipulates the public fear of ethnic or racial ‘other’ to garner support, Baldwin’s work has again provided a platform for intellectuals and cultural activists aiming to undermine the government’s xenophobic discourse.”

Maria Rovito presented twice during the conference, in a roundtable on African American literature and trauma studies as well as on a panel on ability and identity. Her first presentation, titled “Race and Disability in Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Wilson’s Fences,” focused on the intersections of race and disability within African American literature. Particularly, her presentation researched how race, disability, and trauma impacts disabled characters within The Bluest Eye and Fences. Her second presentation, “‘I Did This to Myself’: Disability and Non-Normative Bodies in the Manga and Anime Series One Piece,” researched representations of disabled bodies within manga and animé. Her research particularly focused on Eiichiro Oda’s series One Piece, and how disabled characters within the series disrupt Western notions and expectations of disabled bodies.

Andie Petrillo presented a poster titled, “Packing a Punch: Satirizing the ‘New Woman’ In Victorian England.” She researched visual representations of the New Woman of Victorian England, and how these images stereotyped early feminists within the later Victorian period. These representations “show a shifting attitude towards a woman’s place in the later Victorian era and are figureheads for first-wave feminism.”

This year’s conference showcased the research and skill of Millersville students and faculty, and presented an opportunity for students and faculty to learn new ideas about literature, provided networking and mentoring opportunities, and gave students and faculty an opportunity to have fun with English studies. Next year’s conference will be held in Boston, MA.

-Maria Rovito

The Promise for Change

Abigail Breckbill traveled to Harrisburg in March to advocate for education reform through the Pennsylvania Student Power NetworkOn April 23, Millersville University is hosting an Education Justice rally in front of the McNairy Library from 10am-3pm. If you are interested in speaking at this event, are a member of a campus club that would like to support the event, or would like more information, contact Rachel Hicks. Read more about Abigail’s experiences below!

Students and faculty from across PA stood together in Harrisburg during the Pennsylvania Promise rally. MU Students Abigail Breckbill and Nathaniel Warren appear in the bottom left corner. (Photo Credit: Kathryn Morton)

On March 27, I was among a crowd of students from across PA in the Harrisburg capitol building. I joined them in chanting as they implored: Pennsylvania, keep your promise!

That promise is one that would renew investment in Pennsylvania’s future, reprioritize education, and provide opportunity to so many who desperately need it. The Pennsylvania Promise is a proposal for affordable, accessible education and would provide funding for those who, in our current educational and economic climate, find only closed doors in the form of skyrocketing tuition prices.

I first learned about the Pennsylvania Promise when I attended the 2019 Student Power Spring Break retreat, an event which brought together people from 25 campuses across the state for the common goal of learning how to better organize, plan, and advocate for change. Hosted by Pennsylvania Student Power Network (PSPN) it was an opportunity for me to meet members of our statewide community and discuss issues which affect us all, no matter our background, identity, or beliefs. It also provided me with the invaluable experience of seeing how deeply so many students are impacted by the policies that are currently in place.

Attending this retreat with PSPN was when I began to see firsthand what it takes to bring about change. It takes compassion for one another. It takes patience, and understanding, and the ability to listen to voices that are not often heard.

And it takes courage.

I found myself surrounded by people who were brilliant, determined, and inspiring. But they were also people who have been hurt. They’ve been hurt very deeply by a system which has been against them from the start. It’s easy to be afraid when you’ve been wounded before, when you know what you’re up against and how hard you’re going to have to fight. But what these people from my own community, from our community, have taught me is that rather than back away from that challenge, we must instead face it together. We, as young people, as dedicated students, as advocates for the future, can make change happen.

So when the opportunity arose to truly commit to becoming an activist, I knew I had to be there in Harrisburg. I had to take courage and speak out for change.

At the rally, we heard from a number of speakers across the state, both students and professors alike who often heartbreakingly explained the need for accessible education. For many students, making it through higher education is the only way out of the vicious cycle of poverty. They pursue a college degree as a means of creating a better life, one in which they don’t have to fear homelessness or watch their children go hungry.

But as things are, Pennsylvania has the highest rates of student debt in the nation. College students in our own communities are going hungry every day for the sake of getting an education. Rather than being the door-opening opportunity that it should be, college is often financially devastating, saddling students with debt for decades to come.

We heard from those who were forced to drop out or were not even able to attend college at all due to the costs of tuition. We heard from students who dreamed of making a better life for themselves but have to fear that it may never come to fruition no matter how hard they work. These are the people who have been hurt by the system. They must fight for change, as they have no other option.

Depressing as these struggles are, it doesn’t have to be this way.

The Pennsylvania Promise would supply two years of tuition fees to students attending community college, and four years of tuition fees for any student who has been accepted into a PASSHE school and whose parents make less than $110,000 a year. The amount of doors this would open to struggling students across the state is astounding.

Before going to Harrisburg, I understood the struggling from which activism arose. But when I found myself in a crowd of students, facing our legislators as we cried out for fulfillment of a promise we not only needed but demanded, I began to understand empowerment. I began to understand hope.

We rally not only because things need to change, but because we believe they can change.

The promise we need is one not only to reward hard work but to give hope, to invest in our community and our future. The promise is for students, and for Pennsylvania.

Abigail Breckbill

Political Wonk Alumna Danielle Floyd Prokopchak

Danielle Prokopchak

I am a (proud) Millersville University English Major grad turned political wonk both by trade and on the side. I currently serve as Creative Director for the PA Senate Democratic caucus so I get to oversee all visual communications for the 21 Democratic Senators in PA. I absolutely love my job because it’s the perfect blend of writing, creativity, strategy, emotion, politics and persuasion.

But before I landed this dream job, I started in the ad agency industry and side hustled in politics. I became interested in politics during the 2004 Bush-Kerry presidential election. I was a newly-registered voter who grew up in a mostly republican area and happened to be majoring in English and surrounded by smart, critically thinking and compassionate students and professors. I felt like my world was still being shaped and I was taking it all in. I was so fascinated by everyone’s passion as I hadn’t felt the direct impact of legislation and politics in my life (or hadn’t recognized it yet). So I started having uncomfortable conversations about things I wasn’t too familiar with and tried to soak it all in. I quickly learned which side the aisle I was on regarding many issues that were important to me – access to education and healthcare, women’s rights, voting access, preserving our environment and solving the world’s social injustices.

So as I finished school, I dove deeper into candidates, supporting people running for office and learning the issues. I then studied abroad in London where I fell in love with the protest and ‘resist’ culture. I felt so at home – even thousands of miles away. I was able to bring that energy back to the states and after college decided to volunteer for OFA (Obama For America) 2008. That experience changed me forever! I haven’t looked back since.

Once I got familiar with the political landscape, I quickly realized that I had an interest in running for office. The fact that a woman’s presence was lacking in many races and on many boards and committees bothered me. I knew I could do a job just as well as a man. And I knew I had the skills to run a good campaign so I ran for Township Commissioner in 2015, unsuccessfully. I have no regrets and learned so much from that experience. I then started working for the PA Senate where the desire to be a public servant is only ignited even more on a daily basis. I took some “political” time off when I had my second son and am now diving back in to the campaign world and taking another crack at the Township Commissioner position.

In addition, I serve as a Committeewoman for my township for the Dauphin County Democratic Committee. That’s a great way to get involved initially. I have also been very active with campaign volunteering and am emotionally gearing up for a Democratic Primary and ultimately the most important election of my lifetime – 2020 Presidential. I am so grateful for my time at Millersville – I can genuinely say that I often use the skills and tools from MU in my daily life. The confidence I have comes from public speaking classes. My writing experience helps me tremendously. My British Lit classes help me stay cool with the young kids (kidding!) and my study abroad experience is one of the greatest memories that I have and helped me become a fearless and independent person!

My advice to anyone interested in getting involved in politics is to begin with volunteering. Learn about candidates and issues and reach out to their campaign offices. No one will turn away a volunteer. You will meet people, learn and the opportunities will naturally come. If you have a desire to run for office, start with your County party. They will be able to walk you through the process start to finish and can also offer guidance and training.

“But I ask no favors for my sex. I surrender not our claim to equality. All I ask of our brethren is,
that they will take their feet from off our necks, and permit us to stand upright…”
-Sarah Grimké

–Danielle Floyd Prokopchak

Professor Emeritus Bruce Kellner

Professor Emeritus Bruce Kellner was a professor at Millersville University from 1968 until his retirement in December 1991. Professor Kellner passed away on Saturday, February 16, 2019.

From the LNP Obituary:

Bruce Kellner died of complications from Lewy body dementia on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at age 88. He is survived by his wife, Margaret; his children, Hans of Philadelphia and Kate Kellner Wilcox of Pittsburgh; his sister, Gloria Cameron of Houston, Texas; and many other family members and friends.

Bruce Kellner was born March 17, 1930 in Indianapolis, Indiana, and reared in Louisville, Kentucky, and Kansas City, Missouri. He served in the United States Navy for four years, 1951-1954. He graduated from Colorado College (BA) in 1955 and from The Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa (MFA) in 1958. He taught at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (1956-1960), and at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York (1960-1969), where he was also director of theater activities and staged over thirty productions. He then taught at Millersville University from 1969 until his retirement as Professor Emeritus of English in December 1991.

In 1968, Bruce Kellner published his first book, Carl Van Vechten and the Irreverent Decades, a biography of the American writer and photographer who had been his friend and mentor. He went on to publish 16 more books. He also wrote three one-character plays, all of which were produced, and lectured locally, nationally, and internationally.

Cremation will be conducted privately. In lieu of flowers, Kellner suggested that donations might be made in his memory to the Demuth Foundation or the Lancaster Public Library.

A memorial will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Homestead Village, 1800 Village Circle, in the Glasford Room, at 11 am.

Fall 2019 Classes

Check out these highlighted classes for Fall 2019! Make sure to check out the registration schedule and meet with your adviser to get your TAP number before your registration time.

ENGL 274 The Craft of WritingDr. Bill Archibald

  • MW 3pm (the schedule says MWF, but it’s MW)
  • This course will focus on writing for television this semester.
  • Prereq: ENGL 110

ENGL 429 Seminar: Killers and ThrillersDr. Carla Rineer

  • TR 9:25 am
  • This class will focus on American Crime Fiction and it satisfies the American Literature requirement.
  • Prereq: ENGL 110, 237 (contact the instructor if you need special permission)

ENGL 450 British Literature Since 1914 – Dr. Katarzyna Jakubiak

  • TR 2:35-3:50pm
  • This course will consider literary figures and works against the background of crisis in the 20th century from the onset of World War I to the present. Students will read and experience new movements, attitudes, and experimental techniques.
  • Prereq: ENGL 110, 237

ENGL 451 Literary CriticismDr. Jill Craven

  • Monday 6-9pm (schedule says Tuesday, but it’s Monday night)
  • This course is a seminar on major critics and theorists from Plato to selected modern critics and will explore critical trends and controversies within literary criticism.
  • Prereq: ENGL 110, 237 (contact the instructor if you need special permission)

ENGL 242 Reading Our World: Unruly BodiesDr. Emily Baldys

  • MW 3-4:35pm or MW 4:30-5:45pm
  • Disability can be a powerful symbol in literature (think Tiny Tim), but what does it mean to be “disabled”? How do the stories that we tell about disabled people’s “unruly bodies” influence society’s expectations about what it means to be a “normal” citizen, subject, and human being?  This course will examine representations of disability in contemporary literature and popular culture. With the help of some readings in critical disability theory, we’ll explore what disability does for literature, and what literature does for disability. We’ll analyze the emotional and political impact of representing disability in a diverse selection of modern narratives, including short stories by Flannery O’Connor and Raymond Carver, Mark Haddon’s novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and an episode from the Netflix series “Atypical.”  Readings will also include poetry, videos, and memoir by disabled authors and activists such as Anne Finger, Stella Young, Stephen Kuusisto, and Neil Hilborn.
  • Prereq: ENGL 110 and SPED 237 (which may be taken as a co-requisite)

ENGL 242 Reading Our World: Bible as Literature – TBD

  • W 6-9pm
  • This class will examine the Bible from a literary and cultural perspective. We will consider the Bible itself as a literary text, reading it closely, and the issues this perspective raises. These include canon formation, the aesthetic forms of the Bible, and its impact on the literary, historical, and religious traditions of diverse peoples for several millennia.
  • Prereq: ENGL 110

ENGL 471 Creative WritingDr. Judy Halden-Sullivan

  • TR 7:30-8:45pm
  • Creative Writing Fall 2019 Flyer
  • This section will emphasize contemporary innovative styling with an invitation to invent hybrid genres of creative writing. Students will explore their relationships with language, notions of what texts can be, and connections with readers.
  • Prereq: ENGL 110