The Scroll

Introducing Dr. Archie Crowley

This past week, I had the opportunity to meet with one of the English department’s newest professors: Dr. Archie Crowley (they/them).They were born and raised in Southern California, then moved to Atlanta, Georgia after undergrad, and then moved to South Carolina for grad school, and now up to North Carolina. Dr. Crowley has a PhD in linguistics from the University of South Carolina, and an impressive background in women’s and gender studies. After majoring in applied linguistics, they went on to create and film their own TedxUofSC talk that shared a linguistic perspective to help the audience embrace language evolution concerning gender and identity, which has garnered a million views online. Dr. Crowley has articles published in reputable academic journals and has presented speeches on various subjects in national and international conferences.

At Elon, where Dr. Crowley is so happy to be, the people have really stood out to them. Dr. Crowley says they have felt very welcomed by faculty and students alike. They are excited to begin many new projects around campus while learning the ropes at Elon. Dr. Crowley’s favorite class to teach by far has been Intro to Linguistics (ENG*3010). They are looking towards one day creating a linguistics program that provides teachers and students with a new way to consider language. This new way of thinking shows that language creates links in society that can be studied. These links explain how people communicate, and therefore can explain how relationships work in society. I was even able to share a laugh with them, based on the stereotype that all linguists are polyglots.

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Colin Rackley Creative Writing Alumnus

As an English major alumnus of Elon University, Colin Rackley has recently made a generous donation to the Elon English Department for his Elon Day Donation. He has expressed his great admiration for the English department and deeply hopes that other Elon graduates of the English department will make donations as well. 

Rackley obtained a degree in a Creative Writing concentration and was part of the graduating class of 1998. During his time as a student, Rackley was involved in the English Department newsletter and the student-led service organization Circle K International (CKI). 

Since graduating from Elon, Rackley has worked in a variety of different positions to find his passion. He has worked in transportation, hotel business, and non-profit sectors. When asked how he has applied topics that he learned within the English department or at Elon in general to his career, Rackley replied that he has been able to apply knowledge from Elon in a multitude of ways. For instance, when Rackley was a supervisor in the hotel business he had to be very specific when training another person and detailing the specifics of a job position. He believes that the detail-oriented mindset that he formed from the English department helped him to succeed in this position. Rackley also worked for a non-profit dedicated to assisting troubled youth. As part of his role in this non-profit, he worked to develop advertising, flyers, and events to recruit volunteers for the organization. He stated that the creativity he developed from the English department greatly helped him to accomplish these tasks in an effective manner. When he needed to tell stories at events about troubled youth he used creativity and effective language in order to deliver a persuasive message and moving story. Rackley feels his degree in Creative Writing helped him to communicate to the community.

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Introducing Sammani Perera, Our New Adjunct Instructor of English 

Professor Sammani Perera, a Sri Lankan, first discovered her interest in teaching when she got her master’s degree in Creative Writing – Fiction at Miami University, Ohio. “During my MA career, while working as a teaching assistant, I realized my passion for teaching,” she said. “After graduation, I continued to teach at Miami. It is this same passion that brought me to Elon.”

When Dr. Perera joined the Elon community, she first taught ENG 110. Now, she is teaching a section of ENG 255 titled “Postcolonial Identities in Literature” along with yet another ENG 110 section. Her ENG 255 course, which focuses on literature from Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, explores the identity of postcolonial nations and how colonialism leaves lasting impacts. 

And when asked how her time at Elon has been thus far, she responded first with one word: “Impressive.” This is due to how her students committed themselves to staying safe in the pandemic and maintained a similar responsibility with their coursework.

Her favorite aspect of teaching at Elon is small group Zoom meetings because “It gives me and my students an opportunity to get to know each other better while actually seeing each other without masks.” These meetings are also the most optimal for Dr. Perera to give students personalized feedback.

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Introducing Dr. Dinidu Karunanayake, Assistant Professor of English

Dr. Dinidu Karunanayake brings something entirely new to the Elon English Department, and for that, we are grateful. Professor Karunanayake is of Sri Lanken descent and attended Miami University in Ohio for his graduate study where he got his Ph.D. in English Literature.

Karunanayake is a postcolonialist and Asian Americanist and uses this interest to drive his research. “I study and teach Anglophone postcolonial, global, and ethnic American literature and culture with a specific emphasis on memory and human rights,” he said. His research interests also include a geographic focus on South Asia and Sri Lanka.

The lens of popular culture is what filters Dr. Karunanayake’s research. According to him, because of popular culture’s pedagogical and discursive nature, it both influences and is influenced by socio-political events of that time. 

“Therefore, popular culture offers us critical windows to history as well as contemporary times,” Karunanayake said. “They archive history. But at the same time, as I investigate with my students, such archives are flawed and incomplete. As informed readers, we must approach the past with a critical perspective. Literature and cinema offer us that perspective.”

Teaching was an immediate interest of Dr. Karunanayake’s following graduate school as a way to further his research interests. “Teaching is a learning process and I learn with the students,” Karunanayake said. He spent a year teaching as an assistant professor of English at Centre College in Kentucky before joining the Elon English Community. What drew Dr. Karunanayake to Elon was “its investments in interdisciplinary and global education and my passion for teaching.”

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Welcoming Dr. Travis Maynard, Our New PWR Professor

PWR Faculty Profile: Dr. Travis Maynard

New to campus this year, Dr. Travis Maynard is a PWR professor bringing much to our English Department. Dr. Maynard hails from a small town in Kentucky but spent the past eight years at Florida State University getting his Masters and Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition. Being at Florida State was more than just getting his degrees, however, as Dr. Maynard also received hands-on experience with students. “While getting my degrees, I gained eight years of teaching experience in both First-Year classes and the Editing, Writing, and Media major program,” he said.

Now, Dr. Maynard is getting the opportunity to apply all that he has learned and observed in his eight years of study at FSU to our PWR program in the English department, with an emphasis on alumni studies. During his time at FSU, Dr. Maynard focused on Editing, Writing, and Media major alumni and examined “their professional trajectories following graduation, their current writing practices and processes, and their perceptions of how the major prepared them for their lives after graduation.” Dr. Maynard’s study found that 94% of their alumni found employment following graduation and 70% of those alumni write for a minimum of 10 hours per week at their jobs; this demonstrates the usefulness of their education in securing employment.

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Exciting English Students at Elon

This week, I spoke with Elon Senior Olivia Jacquier, who is the current President of Sigma Tau Delta. Sigma Tau Delta (STD) is the English Honor Society for students at four year colleges and universities who are within the top 30% of their class and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Olivia is an English major with a concentration in Teaching Licensure from Connecticut, who was looking to get more involved on campus and make new friends.

“I basically eat, sleep, and breathe English. Being the STD President, working at the writing center, and my major take up all of my time, but I love it,” Olivia laughs.

Olivia was elected as the President of Sigma Tau Delta by her STD peers. Through her position, she has been able to plan fun on-campus events, such as the Halloween Book & Costume Party, the STD induction dinner, and work alongside her friends and amazing advisor. Being the President of STD has also opened up many professional opportunities for Olivia. She plans to attend a conference with her fellow STD officers in Las Vegas this year.

“Being a part of STD does give you so many opportunities, both professional and personal, which is really nice. There are not that many opportunities where you get to go to a conference in Las Vegas for $100 to network,” says Olivia.


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Faculty Friday: Professor Scott Proudfit

This week I sat down with English and Drama Studies Professor Scott Proudfit (pictured left) who recently was recognized with the Elon College Excellence in Teaching award. We discussed his award, his nine years of experience teaching at Elon, and finally his goals for the future. Professor Proudfit’s students describe him as the “Best person on the planet,” and he says that he feels “flattered” to be recognized by both the University and his students.

Professor Proudfit is passionate about creating courses that reflect life experiences. He has designed and taught many classes at Elon like “The Graphic Novel” and “The AIDS play.”

“I am very privileged to be able to design classes and majors that I am truly passionate about because I know not everyone gets that opportunity.”

I asked him about his impression of Elon students over the years.

“Elon students are normally pretty stressed, but they are also looking for big answers to big questions about things like gender, sexuality, and race and my classes are the places for them to really discuss these difficult topics with other people.”

Professor Proudfit describes his biggest teaching challenge as making his students comfortable without the protection of electronics. In his classes, there are no phones and no computers; just a group of people discussing important topics and big ideas. An uncommon way of teaching, but it seems to be working for Professor Proudfit.

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Faculty Friday: Professor Paula Patch

Professor Paula Patch is the College Writing/English 110 program coordinator, a senior lecturer in the English major and ENG 110 program and the newly elected Vice President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, a national organization composed of writing teachers and writing program administrators. Additionally, Professor Patch recently co-authored an article based on the takeaways from teaching high school students: “What College Faculty Can Learn From Teaching High School Students,” with Professor Greg Hlavaty.


Professor Patch and Professor Hlavaty have been teaching Alamance County high school juniors for eight consecutive years for the College Writing for High School Juniors program, which is co-administered by the Elon University English Department and Collegiate Start @ Elon in the Office of Education Outreach in the Elon University School of Education.“We find that we really love teaching the class because there is something about the energy that high school students bring to a classroom that college students either hide or put elsewhere,” Professor Patch said, “You’re just getting like the real, raw person in a high school class.”


The first part of the class focuses on college essays and other materials for college admissions and the second half on college writing preparation, such as rhetorical skills, process skills and argumentation skills. “We want to give them a preview and some preliminary work into developing those rhetorical skills, process skills and argumentation skills that we know everybody can use constant, repeated practice with,” said Professor Patch, “It’s been fun because we’re teaching similar things [as English 110], but with different purposes.”

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Faculty Friday: Dr. Paula Rosinski

In addition to being a professor in the English Department who teaches Professional Writing and Rhetoric classes, Dr. Paula Rosinski is the Director of Writing Across the University in the Center for Writing Excellence. Dr.  Rosinski explains that the Professional Writing and Rhetoric major is a “traditional rhetorical education, updated for the 21stcentury” and that the WAU program supports the teaching and learning of writing on Elon’s campus.

Dr. Rosinski specializes in multimedia rhetoric and writing technologies. She said that “in the writing technologies class I teach, we examine the biases, affordances, and limitations of different writing software and technologies that are common to professional writers, because they impact everything about the rhetorical situation: the audiences you can reach, the genres you can produce, and how texts are delivered and consumed.

This semester, she is teaching PWR 212, Multimedia/Visual Rhetoric I, in which students revise traditional rhetorical strategies and apply them to produce their own multimedia and visual texts. These two classes go hand-in-hand, because “To be able to produce emerging genres and multimedia and visual texts, you need to have an understanding of the software and hardware. Analyzing isn’t enough. Students should practice how to produce these kinds of texts, too.”

Dr. Rosinski’s role as Director of Writing Across the University involves developing programming to enhance the teaching of writing on campus, for example by offering workshops herself or inviting faculty to present on their own areas of expertise. Dr. Rosinski also coordinates writing pedagogy grants and scholarship grants, meant to support faculty as they teach and study writing, and she also organizes writing groups and writing “boot camps” for faculty and staff, which give them time to focus on their own writing.  “What’s rewarding is that the work I do with faculty directly impacts students,” Dr. Rosinski said, “I hear back from faculty saying not only did they learn to teach writing more effectively, but that their students are learning content better too.”

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Major Monday: Nicole Galante

Nicole Galante ’19 is an accomplished English major concentrating in literature and PWR and minoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Galante is a Provost Scholar and a Betty Gerow Scholarship Award recipient, among other titles.


Nicole Galante ’19 presents her research on young adult power in young adult literature at SURE day 2018.

An Elon College Fellow and Summer Undergraduate Research Experience participant, Galante is also the recipient of the Rawls Endowed Research Grant. She combines her expertise in literature, PWR and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies to conduct research and formulate theories about young adult power, or lack thereof, in the young adult genre. Throughout her two and a half year long research initiative, Galante has read and analyzed 20 contemporary young adult novels.

According to Galante, the inspiration for this research topic stemmed from her discussions with Dr. Cahill, Galante’s professor of Sex, Gender, and Power during the spring of Galante’s freshman year. Dr. Cahill introduced Galante to the idea researching the connection between childhood and oppression. “The idea blew my mind,” said Galante, “I’d always understood that children don’t have the same power as adults, but I’d never thought about it in the context of privilege and oppression.”

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