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English Department Welcomes New Faculty

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English Department Welcomes New Faculty

The English Department is excited to welcome five new tenure-track professors in the 2015-16 academic year. Take a moment to read about them below!

Peter Duval
Peter Duval joins the English Department as an Assistant Professor after teaching at WCU for five years as an adjunct Instructor. His debut story collection Rear View (Houghton Mifflin, 2004) won the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference Bakeless Prize for fiction and the Connecticut Book Award for fiction (besting a pool of nominees that included Philip Roth's The Plot Against America). It was also a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Duval's writing has appeared in a variety of national and international journals, most recently Alaska Quarterly Review, Massachusetts Review, Witness, and Appalachian Heritage. His novella "Strange Mercies" will soon be published by the Massachusetts Review as an e-book. Twice honored with Connecticut Artist Grants and thrice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Duval lives in Philadelphia. Learn More.

Lisa Konigsberg
Lisa Konigsberg joins the English Department as a tenure-track Instructor after teaching at the college level for over a decade, including several years as an adjunct instructor here at WCU. Her current research interests include student-directed learning and assessment, as well as teaching for transfer. Konigsberg has taught a variety of courses at WCU, including Business & Organizational Writing, Film, and others, and she is currently serving as a student-teaching supervisor for the English Department's BSEd majors. Konigsberg has also published several poems, and her chapbook Invisible Histories was recently released by Spruce Alley Press. Learn More.

Benjamin Kuebrich
Ben Kuebrich comes to the English Department as an Assistant Professor of Digital Journalism after earning his Ph.D. in Composition & Cultural Rhetoric from Syracuse University in 2015. He is the co-founder and co-executive producer of This Rhetorical Life, a podcast created by graduate students in Syracuse's Composition & Cultural Rhetoric program; the podcast focuses on rhetorical analyses of contemporary public events and academic trends in the field of writing studies. Kuebrich's peer-reviewed article "'White Guys Who Send My Uncle to Prison': Going Public within Asymmetrical Power" was recently published in College Composition and Communication, and he is currently working on a book that critiques current modes of community engagement in higher education. Among Kuebrich's teaching and research interests are digital journalism, critical pedagogy, popular education, and intersectional analysis. He reports that he is especially happy to be teaching and working in the hometown of the renowned civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. Learn More.

Maureen McVeigh Trainor
Maureen McVeigh Trainor comes to the English Department as a tenure-track Instructor after several years of teaching composition and creative writing as an adjunct instructor both here at WCU and at other colleges and universities in the Philadelphia area. McVeigh Trainor earned an M.A. in English at WCU and an M.F.A. in creative writing at Rosemont College. Her work has been published in Calyx and Philadelphia City Paper, and her research interests include the application of creative writing techniques in the composition classroom. She has presented papers at conferences including the International James Joyce Conference, the Modern Language Association, and CCCC. McVeigh Trainor recently returned from teaching Advanced Fiction Writing at a study abroad program in Cork, Ireland. Learn More.

Shannon Mrkich
Shannon Mrkich joins the English Department as an Assistant Professor after teaching in the department as an adjunct Instructor for 15 years. She earned a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.A. from Arizona State University, both in the field of medieval and renaissance literature. She completed her Ph.D. in communication science at Temple University. Mrkich's primary research focuses on writing assessment and self-regulated strategy instruction, an experimental curriculum for developmental student writing. Her emerging research interest is the incorporation of distance education pedagogy into face-to-face classrooms. In her free time, Mrkich is an avid reader of speculative fiction, including dystopian, post-apocalyptic, alternative-history, and parallel-universe fiction. Learn More.