WKU Alumnus = Visiting Goldenrod Poet


Wouldn’t it be great if there were an opportunity to meet someone who graduated from WKU and has made it in the literary world? They could give you real world advice on how to get from where you are as a student in Bowling Green, KY to national recognition and success.

Wait, there’s actually one of those opportunities just around the corner on March 4!

saeed jonesSaeed Jones (’08) is now a Buzzfeed LGBT editor, Pushcart Prize winner, and author of the new poetry collection Prelude to Bruise. On Wednesday, March 4, Jones will be on campus as the guest poet of the WKU English Club’s annual poetry festival, Goldenrod.

On top of his other achievements, Jones has been recognized in pieces from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine, which also ranked Jones’s Twitter account as one of the best of 2014.

In addition, Jones’s Prelude to Bruise has been chosen as one of five finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry for the 2014 publishing year. The winners of the NBCC awards will be announced on March 12.

As part of the Goldenrod festival, Jones, who received his BA from WKU and his MFA from Rutgers University–Newark, will help judge the Goldenrod poetry competition’s finalists. He will also give a reading at 7 PM in the Recital Hall in FAC. Copies of his book will also be available for purchase and autographs. The event is free and open to the public so grab a friend, a professor, or a random kid on the sidewalk and go!

Don’t forget: Saeed Jones–March 4–FAC Recital Hall–7 PM. Be there!

UPDATE: Jones will select the top three winners from among these finalists:

  • “A Walk After Midnight on Repeat” by Sara Ann Alexander
  • “Coffee and Chai” by Shay Barlow
  • “SomewhereInAmerica” by James Buchanan
  • “John Lennon: A Day in the Rye” by Derek Ellis
  • “Cartoon Ghost” by Kirby Fields
  • “The Moon is a Shady Queen” by Isiah Fish
  • “Genealogy” by Jarred Johnson
  • “One Taste by Megan Seitz
  • “Welcome to Hell: A Red Carpet Event, Hosted by Joan Rivers by Renée Stewart
  • “Understanding” by Jordan Upton
Categories: Books, Creative Writing, English Club, Guest Speakers, Guest Writer, Main Campus, Student Successes, WKU Alumni, Writing Contest | Leave a comment

Do You Blog?

I was in Einstein’s, the little coffee shop far away from my second home in Cherry Hall, impatiently waiting for my hot hazelnut coffee to cool off and my bagel order to appear. The line was out the door and there were at least fifteen people ahead of me, so I did what any normal, talkative, and very bored person would do–I started a conversation with the closest, nicest looking person around me.

I began talking to a girl from Louisville about the never-ending line, boring classes, and demanding majors. She said Marketing and I said English.

“Do you blog,” she asked.

“No,” I said. I even laughed at the odd question.

“Well that’s odd,” she said. “Most English majors do. It’s like your thing.” I didn’t know what to tell her, so I kept blowing on my cup of coffee. “You should really look into it. It would be a good way to market yourself.”

So I looked into it.

I asked my classmates about the idea of a blog and they too had heard the same thing, either by older students or former professors: a blog was an important thing to have. It can show how well you write on your feet and with a deadline. So I took a class (Dr. Rice’s Technology and Writing) and started a blog, which ultimately landed me here– The English Major’s Weblog.

Here is where you come in!

If you’ve had time to explore the newly update English Majors’ Weblog (which I’m sure have) hopefully, you would’ve noticed the English Majors’ Personal Blogs tab. There you will find links to many of your fellow classmates’ personal blogs and creative outlets.

I’m here to tell you that we’re looking for some new blogs to add to our growing list!

If you have a blog, or are starting a blog, write to us and we will feature a link to your blog. We want to celebrate you and help expose you to the blog community. And if you don’t have a blog, I encourage you to create one in the near future and keep up with it. Most people think they have nothing to write about, but you have more to say than you think! It doesn’t have to be about English things; write about whatever you love. And it really is a great way to promote yourself and your English abilities. So what are you waiting for?

Like the girl in Einstein’s said–it’s our thing.

Categories: Community of English Practice, Fun, General, Uncategorized, Writers | Leave a comment

Tuesday Readings!!

Welcome back, English majors!!

Now that the snow has melted, freeing us from our dorm rooms and apartments, you should attend the two events here on campus!!

Picture courtesy of Amazon.com

Picture courtesy of Amazon.com

Author Book Talk with Kate Mayfield–a WKU alumna–will be hosted in the WKU Center for Literacy in Tate Page Hall, room 401. Mayfield will be joining the audience live from London via Adobe Connect at 1:00 PM Tuesday, February 24th (today). Mayfield is the author of The Undertaker’s Daughter, a book about what it’s like to be the daughter of an undertaker and to call a funeral home “home”. All students are welcome to attend this wonderful opportunity and are allowed to ask the author questions about her book or writing in general.

(This is a swipeable event!!)

Picture courtesy of littlpatuxentreview.org

Picture courtesy of littlpatuxentreview.org

Then after the 1:00 PM reading, make sure you make your way up to Cherry Hall, room 125,  at 7:00 PM for a poetry reading by Gerry LaFemina. His poems have appeared in my journals, including the American Poetry Review, The Sun, Gettysburg Review, and North American Review. Tonight will be a special event and open to anyone who wants to attend. To know more about LaFemina, click here.


Categories: Books, cherry hall, Creative Writing, English Club, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

South Korea and I–Teaching English Abroad

Witcher photo

Ms. Teresa Witcher (’14) is accepted into EPIK and will be teaching in Busan, South Korea.

Sometimes English majors are cornered into thinking that there are only a few career options available to them. However, recent graduate Ms. Teresa Witcher shows that’s not true by “exploring the other side of English,” and what she found changed her life forever.

Today, Witcher is on her way to Busan, South Korea to teach English in a public school for a program called English Program in Korea (EPIK).

She graduated from WKU in December 2014 with a Master of Arts in English with her concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). While completing her undergraduate degree in English at the University of Kentucky, she became friends with two South Korean elementary school teachers studying with an educator exchange group.

“They were the ones who told me about the EPIK program,” recalls Witcher, “This has been my goal since my senior year of undergraduate school and to be able to accomplish it in South Korea is incredibly exciting.”

busan photo

Witcher’s teaching placement is in Busan, a southeastern coastal city. Photo credit: sistercities.lacity.org

While there, Witcher will teach young children in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) setting, and she will get to experience Korean culture firsthand. Not only will her students be learning a new language, but she will also be tackling Korean herself. In Busan, She hopes to reunite with the friends who first introduced her to the program and revels in the thought of how their roles have reversed in a few short years.

As far as the application process goes, Witcher remarks that it “was quite long and required a lot of forethought.” She had to authenticate both of her degrees as well as undergo a national-level background check and two rounds of screening. She submitted her first application in August, completed an interview in October, and heard of her acceptance and appointment in December. Though the process could be described as tedious, Witcher knows “it was worth it.”

Just before her departure to Korea, she wanted to leave current English majors with a tidbit of advice that she’s learned along the way of acquiring two degrees in the field: learning to explore other sides of English.

She notes, “In undergrad, I was convinced I had to do literature, technical writing, or creative writing for the rest of my academic career.  It was only by chance that I discovered TESL, and from there my interests in linguistics and pedagogy.  My choice to attend WKU was born out of that diversification–the Master’s concentration allowed me to study both literature and TESL.”

No matter where you decide to go, your English major will help you get there. It may take a little time, hard work, and discovery, but the treasure you find at the end of the journey is always worth it.

Categories: English Major Success Stories, English Teaching, Graduate Studies, Student Successes | Leave a comment

Submit to Zephyrus!

Do you have a poem, essay, or short story you’re just dying to share?!? Then submit to Zephyrus, Western’s very own student literary publication magazine.

Featuring art, poetry, and short stories by your classmates, Zephyrus is a great opportunity for students (especially Creative Writing majors) to get their work out there and published in actual print! It’s pretty exciting stuff.

Submissions will judged anonymously by a student editorial board and the results of accepted works will be posted approximately 6 weeks after the submission deadline: March 2nd.

Click on the link below to access the application.


So what are you waiting for?! Submit to Zephyrus before March 2nd!!

(Deadline for submission was changed from February 23rd to March 2nd due to Snowapalooza. Stay safe and stay warm!!)

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Washington Center for Internships — Now Feb 25th

“Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.” ~ Paolo Coelho

On February 18th, a representative from the Washington Center for Internships (TWC) will be at WKU to talk about internship opportunities in the Washington D.C. area. 


Image by TWC

TWC is a non-profit and independent organization designed to assist thousands of students across the world in finding the right internships to help them receive jobs in their field of interest. Students who participate in the program gain valuable leadership skills and experience, learning the importance of hard work and dedication. It is TWC’s mission for students to become better leaders in the workforce and in the community around them.

The program offers an internship placement in almost every field: journalism, business, medicine, law, and many more. Internships are available in the fall, spring, and summer periods so you can decide which time is best for you. Through the program, you will be taught how to network and how to make the transition from college into a professional career setting, a valuable lesson to learn during this vital time of your life.

This is a great opportunity!!

The representative will be in Grise Hall Room 337 for general sessions from 1:00-4:00. She will also be available for one-on-one appointments. For more information contact Department Head of Political Science, Saundra Ardrey.

UPDATE: Because of the snow days, the informative sessions will be Wednesday, February 25 at 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM.

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Business Competition: Why you should apply!

Hey English majors!

This month, the CEI Business Plan Competition begins taking applications. THIS IS BIG NEWS. The competition is open to ALL WKU students and allows them to place their business ideas on the table and compete for a chance to earn funding, turning your dream into reality.

There are basically four rounds:

  1. Proposals
  2. Qualifiers
  3. Submissions
  4. Big Leagues (Kentucky State Business Plan Comp. in Lexington, KY)

So why should you, an English major, apply?

Because we have incredible minds, imaginations, and skills. We know how to be creative in business and how to think outside the box. We know how to think critically but also how to grab our audience’s attention. We know how to create. Our imagination mixed with concrete ideas could one day produce a business known around the world!

Well one can dream, right?

Check out the details and seriously consider it! You never know, you could be the next Bill Gates.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scholarships due Feb 6!

Do you think that scholarships are only for incoming students? Fortunately for you, that’s not true! The English Department awards several scholarships every spring to current English majors and minors. Since we are in the spring semester, that means that they are accepting applications NOW!

Students cannot be graduating before May or August of 2016 (sorry seniors!), and those with a GPA of 3.0 or higher are preferred.

It’s pretty easy to apply, you just follow these four simple steps:

1. Pick up a form in Cherry Hall 135 or print one off the website.
2. Ask at least one faculty member to sign the recommendation section of the form.
3. Include a 300-500 typed, single spaced statement describing you academic background, achievements, and goals.
4. Submit the completed form to CH 135 by February 6.

Even though you only have a short while to submit your application, every little bit helps. After all, we are English majors so we know how to get things done brilliantly yet quickly. So what are you waiting for?

Categories: Scholarship Opps | Leave a comment

Study Abroad Fair Tomorrow

Have you ever wanted to travel the world? Do you think it would be awesome to earn course credit while doing so? If you answered yes to these questions, then studying abroad is perfect for you! WKU offers a wide variety of study abroad courses in many different areas of study (including English!) in countries all over the globe. If you want to learn more about these opportunities, attend the Study Abroad Fair hosted by Study Abroad and Global Learning. The fair is sagl_fair_slider_sp2015this Wednesday, February 4th from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on the second floor of Downing Student Union.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Film Class: Take One!

Luckily for film and English majors, Dr. Ted Hovet extended what Western Kentucky University offers when he began teaching here in 1995. Devoted to the craft of English as well as the flair of film, Hovet’s involvement with the English department put WKU and Kentucky on the map for film students.

Dr. Hovet in front of the English Department's movie collection. Photo by Sara Ann Alexander

Dr. Hovet in front of the English Department’s movie collection. Photo by Sara Ann Alexander

When Hovet began teaching at WKU he spoke with Professor Joe Boggs, his mentor and the author of The Art of Watching Films, about beginning a film minor at WKU. At the time, a film major or minor did not exist in any college-level Kentucky school.

According to former department head Dr. Karen Schneider, she and Hovet began teaching the first two film classes in the English department. As those classes grew in popularity, more film courses were added.
The film minor became official in 2000 and focused on film studies, theory, and criticism. Meanwhile, WKU’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting continued to teach and refine more hands-on courses geared towards film production. “Over time, we realized that an interdisciplinary film major would have great appeal and, since film is the dominant narrative mode of our time, would serve our students well. … Dr. Hovet, working primarily with faculty in Broadcasting, spearheaded that effort,” Schneider said.

“So,” Hovet said, “we sent [a proposal] on through the channels and all the way up to the state Council on Postsecondary Education, and got it approved, and [we] got the film major in spring of 2010.” Hovet stressed that this accomplishment was a very cooperative effort and couldn’t have been completed without dedicated work from several people.

Hovet brings fervor and gusto to his classes making the subjects he teaches enjoyable, especially to students who share his passion for film. “He does a great job of showing up to nearly every film set that the film students have. He will even show up to some that are not class related,” said Michael Cheser, a junior and film major from Mt. Washington, Kentucky. He adds that Hovet is always willing to help students with their scripts or brainstorm solutions for projects. “Really if you have any questions you can always ask Dr. Hovet,” Cheser explained.

Hovet’s expertise not only expanded film but other aspects of the English major as well. He and Schneider developed a gateway class which became what we all know as ENG 299, “partly as a way to evaluate the effectiveness of the English major. Our experience with that, and student feedback, made us realize that some sort of introduction to the study of English as a discipline would be beneficial,” said Schneider. Hovet described ENG 299 as a way to “benefit [students] not only in the classroom, but as an encouragement to be involved in things outside of the classroom—whether it’s English Club, Study Away, Study Abroad, Sigma Tau Delta… all those opportunities students have to take their work outside of the classroom.”

Hovet himself is very involved outside of class. He was a co-advisor to the English Club for the better part of a decade, but his proudest accomplishment was developing the annual

Dr. Hovet at the 2014 Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture. Photo by Lizzy Davis

Dr. Hovet at the 2014 Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture. Photo by Lizzy Davis

Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture in 2001. “I’m really happy that’s continued and been a big event in the department every year,” he said of the annual occasion for students to publicly share their analytic papers.

What Hovet likes about teaching is the chance to teach students who are just beginning their English journey in ENG 100 and those who are at the end of the road in Senior Seminar. “What I have enjoyed the most about working at the English department is working with students at all stages,” he said. The same is true for his film courses as well.

“A recent example of a stellar contribution to the Film major is the creation (along with Dr. Dawn Hall) of the Sundance Film Festival Winter term ‘study away’ class—an incomparable opportunity for students serious about film,” said Schneider. According to Hovet, showing students the premiere American film festival, “the real, high-level film world, has been just great!”

WKU Students at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. Photo courtesy of the WKU Sundance Blog

WKU Students at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. Photo courtesy of the WKU Sundance Blog

Besides the study away class, Hovet developed partnerships with the Louisville International Festival of Film and the Nashville Film Festival. During these nearby events, students can volunteer and meet filmmakers in order to network and become familiar with the industry.

As Schneider said, “[Dr. Hovet’s] efforts in program development have strengthened the English major and, of course, resulted in creation of the only Film major in Kentucky, one that has been lauded by film professionals. In large part because of his mentoring, our students have gone on to pursue graduate degrees in Film and to find success in both

teaching and film-making.” Thanks to his hard work and those around him who share a passion for film and arts, the English major is a multifaceted discipline here at WKU.

If you’d like more information about the Sundance Film Festival Winter term Study Away class, click here. It’s too late this year, but it’s never too late to plan for a great class and excursion next year!

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