Language & Literature Dept

Faculty

Violet Dutcher
Professor and Writing Program Leader

Dr. Vi Dutcher is a professor of rhetoric and composition and teaches writing courses. Prior to coming to EMU, she taught writing and women’s studies courses at Kent State University—Stark Campus. She has also taught at The University of Akron and Cuyahoga Community College. She enjoys linking her courses to community partnerships where students produce a deliverable product for a specified need in an organization. Her research interests are community literacy practices in general and Amish and Mennonite female literacy practices in particular.

Mike Medley
Department Chair and Professor

Mike Medley has chaired the Department of Language and Literature since August 2013. Within the department, he coordinates the minor in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and regularly teaches TESOL courses in both the graduate and undergraduate divisions of the university, specializing in language and culture, English grammar, and methods of language teaching. He serves as adviser for students in EMU’s Bridge Program.

In 2010-11 Medley used his Sabbatical to create English language teaching materials based on the content of EMU’s trauma healing curriculum. He conducted workshops in English language teaching and trauma healing in Pakistan.

Prior to returning to teaching full-time in 2009, Medley served for 10 years as director of EMU’s Intensive English Program . He has published recently in College Teaching, Christian Scholar’s Review, Global Issues in Language Education, SPELT Journal, and the IEP-IS Newsletter. He is co-author and editor of a popular teacher resource manual How to Teach English: A Survival Kit for Teachers of English at the Early Stages, which was published in Pakistan (1994) where he and his family lived and worked from 1983-94. Current research interests include strategies for teaching trauma-affected language learners, teaching culture and intercultural communication as a means of peacebuilding, the integration of language teaching and intercultural communication through literature, and the literacy development of English language learners.

Kirsten Beachy
Assistant Professor

Kirsten earned her MFA in creative writing at West Virginia University. She is a contributing editor to The Tusculum Review and edited the anthology Tongue Screws and Testimonies: Poems, Stories, and Essays Inspired by the Martyrs Mirror. Kirsten co-chaired Mennonites Writing VI: Solos and Harmonies, a bi-national writing conference, in Spring 2012.

Kirsten is currently serving as interim director of EMU’s Core Curriculum.

She lives in Briery Branch with her husband, a bevy of backyard chickens and ducks, several hives of honeybees, and Sophie the cat.

Adriana Campbell
Instructor of Spanish

Adriana is of Ecuadorian and Colombian heritage. She completed her BA in Latin American Studies and Literature at American University and her MA in Hispanic Studies at the University of Virginia. Currently, she is working on completing her Ph.D. at the University of Virginia. In 2009 and 2010, she was administrator and instructor for the UVa Program in Peru. She joined the Language and Literature Department at EMU in 2012 and teaches Spanish language, literature, and film.

Adriana’s primary research interests are Twentieth Century Literature and Film, Andean Literature and Culture, Trauma and Resilience Narratives, and Hispanic American Women writers. Her dissertation in progress, “From Manchay Tiempo to ‘Truth’: Cultural Trauma and Resilience in Contemporary Peruvian Narrative,” tracks the development of cultural production in post-conflict Peru.

Don Clymer
Assistant Professor

Don Clymer has broad international experience in Latin America and Europe in both church-related service and academics. Prior to EMU, he taught Spanish, German and Latin American studies at Hesston (Kas.) College and directed their Global Issues Seminar. He has also served as director of communications for the Virginia Mennonite Conference and Board of Missions.

Don recently served five years as director of EMU’s Cross-cultural Programs. In 2006 he returned full-time to the classroom.

Aside from his interest in language, he has completed a degree at Eastern Mennonite Seminary with a concentration in Spiritual Formation. As such, he has led workshops in discernment, prepared and led worship, and given spiritual direction in a variety of venues.

Bringing his many experiences together has led Don to explore the intersection of cross-cultural experiences and spiritual formation.

Don is the author of numerous articles in a variety of journals and recently published a book Meditations on the Beatitudes: Lessons from the Margins.

He blogs regularly at Klymer Klatsch and has a writer’s page on Good Reads.

Martha Eads
Professor

Martha Greene Eads grew up in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains and studied literature and theology at Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Durham (UK). Before coming to EMU, she taught at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women and at Valparaiso University in Indiana, where she held a Lilly Fellowship in Humanities and the Arts from 2001-2003. Her research and teaching interests include twentieth- and twenty-first-century drama, English modernism, and contemporary Southern fiction, and her articles on those topics have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Christianity and Literature, The Cresset, Modern Drama, The Southern Quarterly, and Theology.

Phillip Grayson
Assistant Professor

Phillip S. Grayson, adjunct faculty member, is resident designer for the Theater Department at EMU. Mr. Grayson holds a B.A. degree from Gettysburg College in Philosophy, M.A. degree from Illinois State University in Speech, and an M.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University in Theatre Education. Phil is a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and has worked for all three television networks, major film studios and commercial theaters. He was on the faculty of the Department of Theatre and Dance at James Madison University for over 25 years where he designed scenery and lighting for over forty theatre and dance productions. Phillip has written articles and reviews for THEATRE CRAFTS, DRAMATICS, THEATRE DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY, THEATRE JOURNAL, and THE NEWSLETTER OF THE ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH THEATRE TECHNICIANS.

Mr. Grayson has served as Theatre Consultant for construction of The Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center in Charlottesville and renovations to Wilson Auditorium and Latimer/Shaeffer Theatre at JMU as well as designing eight theater performance facilities including the Mainstage at EMU, The Playhouse in Harrisonburg and The Old Brick in Elkins, West Virginia.

Previous to his position at James Madison University, Mr. Grayson has credits in regional theatre at the Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis and The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles.

Chad Gusler
Assistant Professor

Chad Gusler received his B.S. in Biblical Studies and Theology from Eastern Mennonite College in 1993. In 1998, he received an M.A. in Religion from Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and in 2007, his M.F.A. in creative writing (fiction) from Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington.

Kevin Seidel
Assistant Professor

A native of California, Kevin Seidel came to EMU in 2008 from the University of Virginia, where he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. He received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Virginia in 2007. He is working on a book project that uses original research on the eighteenth-century English Bible to open up new ways of thinking about the history of the English novel. His teaching and scholarship both explore the changing relationship between religion, secularism, and literature.

Carol Snell-Feikema
Instructor

Carol Snell-Feikema teaches Spanish language and composition courses, Immigration Issues and Community-Learning, Latin American Civilization, Spanish Civilization and Spanish Literature. She and her husband, Michael, led the EMU Spain and Morocco Cross-Cultural Semester Fall 2013. A native of Iowa, she has also lived, studied and traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America.

She received her Master’s Degree in Spanish from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2004. Her thesis, “The Process of Concientización in Isabel Allende’s De amor y de sombra,” studies the process of spiritual awakening and critical consciousness in the context of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. She studied Globalization and Liberation Theology at Departamento Ecuménico de Investigaciones in San Jose, Costa Rica with professors, human rights workers and missioners from throughout Latin America.

Prior to coming to EMU, she taught Spanish and Service-Learning at South Dakota State University, leading university cross-cultural and study abroad experiences to Guatemala, Mexico, Spain and the US-Mexico border at Nogales. Student service-learning projects have included running a day-camp for children in the shanty towns of Nogales, Mexico, giving out food, blankets and medicine in response to Tropical Storm Agatha in Guatemala, teaching English to Spanish-speaking immigrants, tutoring Spanish-speaking school children, translating at a local food bank, working with homeless people in Granada, Spain, designing and painting a welcome mural on a village guesthouse in Morocco as part of a program for revitalization of rural communities, and helping build a mosque in the Rif Mountains of Morocco.

Andrew White
Associate Professor

Andrew White is a native of Western Oregon. He grew up near Portland, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. One of the most memorable events of his childhood was the eruption of Mount Saint Helens (65 miles north of Portland) on May 18, 1980.

After completing a bachelor’s degree, Andrew spent two years doing volunteer work in Eastern Europe – mostly in Bulgaria. Returning to the USA, he went on to earn an M.A. in English at Oregon State University (1999) and a Ph.D. in English at Washington State University (2003).

Before coming to EMU in August 2008, Andrew taught at the American University in Bulgaria, an American-style residential, liberal arts college in the Balkans. His research interests include early American literature, ethnic studies, and Balkan literature. Andrew teaches courses in literary studies (including Global Literatures II, Shakespeare, and ethnic literatures), first-year writing, and speech.

Adjunct Faculty

Staff

Joan Chamberlain
Office Coordinator

Joan Chamberlain, Office Coordinator in both the Language & Literature Department and the Bible & Religion Department, came to Eastern Mennonite University in 2007 after serving as Office Manager in a local business. Prior to coming to the Shenandoah Valley, Joan taught and coached at Barrington College (RI) and Messiah College (PA) and coached at Eastern Mennonite High School. Joan enjoys spending time with her extended family, bicycling, sailing, and volleyball.

M Esther Showalter
Conversation Partner

Maria Esther has taught English as a Second Language and Spanish in both her native country Bolivia and the United States since 1993. She taught ESL at the Even Start Family Literacy program in Washington, DC. She earned her M.A. in Education from George Mason University in 2004. She was an ESL and Spanish instructor at Dayton Learning Center and has also taught Spanish at James Madison University. Aside from teaching she served as the Office Coordinator for the Intensive English Program at EMU. Maria Esther, her husband Mark and son Jonathan live in Harrisonburg. She enjoys teaching and being part of this community.

Back to list