Faculty Accomplishments

Dr. Bi-ling Chen, Associate Professor of English, was awarded a sabbatical in Fall 2021, during which she advanced her monograph-in-progress on American writer Gish Jen.

Dr. Dwayne Coleman, Associate Professor of English, was named a finalist for UCA’s Teaching Excellence Award.

Dr. Kristen Figgins, Instructor of English, completed her Ph.D. in English at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.

Dr. Sonya Fritz was promoted to Professor of English and completed a several-year-long run as editor of the department’s poetry journal, Slant.

Dr. Crystal Harris, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, was appointed to the English’s Department’s Graduate Faculty in Spring 2022.

Dr. Ty Hawkins (and Dandelion)

Dr. Ty Hawkins, Chair and Associate Professor of English, published his third book with Palgrave Macmillan, Just War Theory and Literary Studies: An Invitation to Dialogue. Hawkins co-authored the book with Dr. Andrew Kim, Associate Professor and Director of the Center for the Advancement of the Humanities at Marquette University.

Drs. Paige Reynolds and Mary Ruth Stewart, Professors of English, collaborated to form the Central Arkansas Theatre Collective. CAT Collective produced two plays this year in Conway, with Shakespeare’s The Tempest running in July 2021, while Churchill’s Vinegar Tom ran in April 2022. Several UCA English majors interned with CAT Collective, which also raised more than $1,000 to support English students.

Dr. Lori Leavell, Graduate Coordinator and Associate Professor of English, spearheaded the department’s work to ensure a successful Existing Academic Program Review (EAPR) of its MA in English program. The EAPR revealed a program whose curriculum is innovative, whose faculty is highly invested in student success, and which is growing.

Dr. James Fowler has recently published a collection of short stories, Field Trip, with Cornerpost Press.

Michael Blanchard, Adjunct Professor, was appointed in May as editor of Slant, the English Department’s journal of contemporary poetry. He succeeded Dr. Sonya Fritz, who served as editor from 2018 through the end of fall semester 2022. In addition, he recently had three poems accepted for publication in the Cave Region Review and accepted an invitation from North Arkansas College to appear as a visiting poet during the spring 2023 semester. He will conduct a one-day poetry-writing workshop for creative writing students and give a poetry reading in the evening.