Rhonda Armstrong specializes in 20th and 21st century American literature. She has a doctorate in American Studies from Saint Louis University, where her research and coursework combined literary studies, history, art and visual culture, and political and social theory. She earned a BA in English, with a minor in History, from Western Kentucky University, where she also completed additional graduate coursework in British literature through a cooperative program at Cambridge University.
Dr. Armstrong's current research focuses on the role of the dead bodies in Southern literature. She has published articles and essays on the novels of Barbara Kingsolver (Seeking Home: Marginalization and Representation in Appalachian Letters and Song), Lee Smith (Journal of Appalachian Studies) and Bobbie Ann Mason (Southern Literary Journal), as well as on the poetry of Frank X Walker (Transitions: Race, Culture, and the Dynamics of Change).
At Augusta University, Dr. Armstrong teaches courses on Southern and American literature. Recent offerings include courses on Flannery O'Connor, William Faulkner, Appalachian Literature, and Modern American Novels.
Christopher Botero attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook for his undergraduate degree and pursued his graduate degrees at Penn State. He specializes in linguistics, Hispanic linguistics, phonetics, phonology, and second language acquisition. He serves as the Coordinator of the undergraduate and graduate programs in Foreign Language Education and also serves as Co-Director of the Linguistics Certificate. He has taught Spanish at every level at Augusta University and regularly teaches the Foreign Language Teaching Methodology courses (SPAN/FREN 4801/6801 and 4802/6802). These methodology courses are also taken by students in the TESOL program.
Dr. Botero's research focuses on second language phonology and computer assisted language learning. He is currently working on a project that involves constraint interaction in consonant lenition in various dialects of Spanish. In 2014, he was awarded 'Professor of the Year' by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese (AATSP), GA Chapter.
Liana Babayan received her doctorate from the University of Georgia in French and Francophone Literature. Her primary field of interest is Contemporary French and Francophone literature with an emphasis on Francophone women's writing from North Africa (the Maghreb). Her recent research concentrates on the representation of the exile in the recent works of two renowned Algerian born French writers, Assia Djebar and Helene Cixous, whose work focuses on the elaboration of postcolonial feminist writings, illustrating broad theoretical and analytical points about women writing between two worlds. Liana is exploring how the female writers attempt to rediscover, via textual practice, the place where the exile (linguistic and cultural non-belonging) is initiated and how the understanding of the exile becomes a significant part of their "ecriture feminine" and identity.
Giada Biasetti is Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Augusta University. She has served four years at Iowa State University as Assistant Professor of Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Cultures. Her teaching interests include Spanish language, literature, and culture as well as translation and interpretation. She also has experience teaching Italian language and culture.
Her diverse academic background has led to two main areas of research interests: 20th century Latin American literature and culture and translation and interpretation. More specifically, her first area of research focuses on novels, or other forms of literary work, that attempt to deconstruct or erase boundaries between pre-established and mutually exclusive binary oppositions. Such is the case with new historical novels of the conquest, which deconstruct the versions of facts that have been imposed and sustained by colonial and neocolonial processes. By addressing the variables of gender, class, sexuality, race, and ethnicity, the works she studies can be described as political, analytical, and conceptual critiques of binary oppositions and hierarchical systems. In addition, by focusing mostly (but not solely) on women, her area of study contributes to the inclusion of female authors in a male predominant field of study.
Although different in nature, her second area of research (i.e. translation and interpretation) also contributes to the erasure of boundaries between, in this particular case, two different cultures and languages. Her research focuses mostly on the study of bilingual authors, the act of serving as an intermediary, and the link between translation and globalization. Her interest lies in studying different cultures and identities through translation and emphasizing the rise of language awareness that is a direct result of the study of this highly interdisciplinary field.
We aren't quite sure why Dr. Bledsoe insists on wearing those Birkenstock sandals almost everywhere. Is it his little contribution to the German economy or an attempt to hang on to those student days in Berkeley? We do know that he stayed at Berkeley long enough to get three degrees (bachelor's degree in History and German, and his master's and doctoral degrees in German) from the University of California and spend time in Gottingen, Tubingen and Paris.
We also know that if you want to learn German, he is your man on campus—be it to learn how to say Guten Tag or to learn if there really are Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftkapitansmutzen. Dr. Bledsoe also teaches in the Humanities Program and promotes the medicinal qualities of beer (if brewed according to the German purity law), coffee, and tea.
Candis Bond specializes in writing center theory and practice and British Modernism. She earned her Ph.D. from Saint Louis University, where she studied Modernism and Women's and Gender Studies while working as both a writing consultant and administrator at several writing centers in the Saint Louis area. Her research focuses on the intersections of space and place and identity construction in both writing centers and literature. She has an article on pregnant female bodies as subversive spaces forthcoming in The D.H. Lawrence Review. She is currently working on a study that examines how writing centers can adapt to better meet the needs of non-traditional students and health-science majors. At Augusta, Dr. Bond teaches courses on writing center theory and practice and composition. In the past, she has taught courses in English, Women's and Gender Studies, and American Studies, including classes focusing on nineteenth and twentieth-century British literature, the novel, technical writing, and the topics of street harassment and urban spatial politics.
Ms. Cato can truly say that she understands the students' perspective at Augusta University, being a three-time Augusta State University alumnus herself. She currently teaches English 1101 and 1102, as well as Humanities 2001 and 2002. She is on the College Composition Committee. She is also the director of the Comcast Young Writers Contest and the Supplemental Instruction Program (SIP) which helps students master skills taught in the Freshman English classes.
Adam Diehl received his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Georgia as a young lad. He began his teaching career in 2007 at McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN. His high school teaching career continued at Westminster Schools of Augusta in 2009, and he has since joined the Augusta State University teaching staff as a part-time instructor. He enjoys myriad literary periods, but he is partial to Shakespeare, Donne, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, Eliot, Hemingway, Faulkner, and O'Connor, among others. He also has a keen fondness for British music, particularly The Beatles, The Smiths, and The Libertines.
In his teaching of 1101 and 1102, Adam strives to endow students not only with superior composition, reading, and discussion skills, but also with the ability to apply their academic mastery to everyday situations. Aside from teaching, Adam coaches the Augusta Preparatory Day School swim team. He also plays music regularly with his band The Gilded Youth.
Her current research examines the rhetorical nature of space and how it forms public memory through the engagement of materiality and narrative. Her book project explores the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War (2011-2015) in Virginia by analyzing how identities are created for tourists in spaces of public memory, including Richmond, Appomattox, Lexington, museum exhibits, and social media. With a particular focus on the inclusion of narratives related to race and slavery, this book argues that as racial identity is integrated into Civil War public memory, a complex relationship between narrative and materiality manifests that engages presences and absences on the landscape. Tracing the fluid construction of public memory via space demonstrates how rhetoric can be useful lens to understand how the contemporary significance of the Civil War evolves.
Dr. Fields is the Director of the First-Year Composition Program and teaches first-year composition as well as courses in the Professional Writing and Rhetoric track.
Simon graduated from Clemson with an MA in English and from Queens University of Charlotte with an MFA in fiction writing. His area of study is literature of the 50s and 60s, especially postmodern poetry and its relationship with surrealist poetry. He and his wife, Haley, were recently blessed by the birth of their son, Callum.
Professor Griswold has been teaching Spanish at Augusta State University/ Augusta University since 1989. She is a previous faculty sponsor for Alpha Mu Gamma, the foreign language honor society and has frequently been recognized for her outstanding teaching abilities. Just recently, she was named the 2012 Professor of the Year by the Georgia Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).
Anna Harris-Parker specializes in contemporary poetry. Her poems have appeared in Cellpoems, Poetry for the Masses, Mikrokosmos, and NakedCity magazine. At Augusta University, she advises Sand Hills literary magazine; directs Writers Weekend at Summerville; and teaches courses in composition and creative writing, including Foundations in Poetry, Persona Poetry and Poetry Workshop.
Christina Heckman specializes in medieval English language and literature. She teaches courses in Anglo-Saxon and Middle English literature, Chaucer, early British literature, the history of the English language, linguistics, writing, humanities, and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Her current research focuses on how the pedagogical practices of late antiquity influenced early medieval schools and the practice of disputation among teachers and students. She began her teaching career in Chicago, her hometown, and taught in New York and Ohio before coming to Augusta. She presents her research regularly at international conferences. Her work has appeared in Essays in Medieval Studies, The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia, JEGP, and Carmina Philosophiae: The Journal of the International Boethius Society.
Elizabeth Hegwood teaches freshmen composition, including a themed Composition 1102 class exploring the relationship between the natural environment and our identities and value systems. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Southern Mississippi's Center for Writers. Her stories and essays have been published in The Southeast Review, Juked, 971 Menu, Public Scrutiny, and others. Her story "One A.M. at the Beau Rivage" appeared in Wigleaf's Best of 2008, and her story "Migrants" was a finalist for Glimmer Train's Very Short Fiction Award in 2010. Her essay "I Know Where He Got That Hair" was published in Creative Nonfiction's Oh, Baby anthology in 2015.
Jared Hegwood has his PhD. in English with primary specialization in Creative Writing and secondary emphasis in Contemporary Literature. His research interests include Donald Barthelme, Jorge Borges and Italo Calvino, primarily the convergence of postmodern storytelling technique and fantastic fiction.
Dr. Hegwood's fiction can be seen or is forthcoming in numerous print and online literary magazines including The Tulane Review, The Adirondack Review, The Yalobusha Review, elimae, Keyhole Magazine, The Manifest Review, Pindeldyboz, Night Train and others. His writing has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and his story Adjustments was named one of 2004's Notable Short Stories by Story South.
He teaches courses in popular genres such as the Graphic Novel and Science-Fiction/Fantasy, as well as Literature for the Creative Writer, humanities, and composition. In the past he has taught courses in film theory, contemporary American drama, and the global graphic novel.
Christina Henderson specializes in the 19th century U.S. and transatlantic literature and has published articles in MELUS, Children's Literature, and the Southern Literary Journal. At Augusta University, she teaches courses in American Literature, Women's and Gender Studies, and composition. Her research interests include world's fairs, transatlantic reform, women writers, and telegraphic fiction.
Todd Hoffman earned his doctorate in Philosophy and English. He specializes in contemporary American literature, postmodernism, continental philosophy, literary theory and is interested in bridging the gap between philosophy and literature. In particular, Dr. Hoffman is interested in the politics of American postmodern fiction through the incorporation of the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.
He teaches courses in literary and cultural theory, humanities, composition, American literature and film. In addition, he has taught courses in Chicano literature, film techniques and genres, the Bible as literature, and sports and literature. He regularly presents his research at conferences and has published a number of reviews for academic journals.
Dr. Pedro Hoyos-Salcedo is a native from Cali, Colombia, S.A. He specializes in Latin
American literature, Spanish Golden Age, and Spanish XIX century literature.
Dr. Hoyos-Salcedo has published and edited in newspapers and magazines from his country as well as in the United Sates. Among other publications, he has published three books (De Cortes a Garcia Marquez-Ensayos de Literatura Hispanoamericana. Coleccion Prisma. Editorial Lumen. Lima. Peru, Ejes tematicos en la obra de Ricardo Palma. Universidad del Quindio-GEDES Editores, Colombia, and Ningun ser humano es ilegal ni el reino de Dios tiene fronteras. Universidad del Quindio-GEDES Editores, Colombia) and two music CDs, Digital Audio [Hoyos Family Musical Group], with new and original bilingual songs and interactive Workbook to master Spanish foundations in listening, speaking, reading, and writing (Good Morning/Buenos dias and To Be: Ser or estar? That is the Question. Universidad del Quindio-GEDES Editores, Colombia).
After seventeen years of teaching in his country in Universidad de Caldas at Manizales, Dr. Hoyos-Salcedo has taught at Augusta State University/ Augusta University since 1995. He has been teaching basic and advanced Spanish, Medical Spanish, and Latin American Literature. .
Professor Kelliher received her doctorate in English with a minor in linguistics from The Catholic University of America (CUA). While completing her degree, Dr. Kelliher taught composition and literature classes at CUA and worked part-time as an essay scorer for the American Council on Education. After relocating to the Augusta area, she began teaching composition and ESL courses in the Department of Learning Support at Augusta State University. She now teaches the individualized English 1101 and 1102 courses at Augusta University.
Before joining the faculty of Augusta State University, Dr. Kelliher spent much of her professional life in book publishing, working as a technical editor in the aerospace industry and as a manuscript editor and then production editor for Prentice-Hall and more recently for the American Psychological Association (APA Books) in Washington, DC.
Professor Kelliher's research interests center on British eighteenth and nineteenth century women's literature. She is particularly interested in the concept of propriety in the novels of early women writers (e.g., Ann Radcliffe) and in conduct books instructing women in proper behavior.
Guirdex Masse earned a B.A. in English and Africana Studies frm Brooklyn College (City University of New York), and a Ph.D. in English from Emory University. An interdisciplinary scholar of African American and African Diaspora literatures and cultures, his research explores the ways racial and cultural identities, as well as notions of citizenship and freedom, emerge from the transnational encounters of black writers and artists. He is currently working on a project that examines the participation of writers such as James Baldwin, Richard Wright, George Lamming, Leopold Sedar Senghor, and Aime Cesaire at a seminal conference that took place in Paris in 1956 (Le Premier Congres International des Ecrivains et Artistes Noirs). He is also pursuing work on an English translation of the novel Les Arbres Musiciens by the Haitian novelist and political activist Jacques Stephen Alexis.
Before joining the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Augusta University, Dr. Masse taught composition, African American, World Literature, and Caribbean literature courses at Emory University, Fordham University, Brooklyn College and the College of Staten Island. His teaching and research have been supported by several grants and fellowships, including the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the James Weldon Johnson Institute of Race and Difference.
Dr. Maynard earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia and her masters and doctorate from the University of South Carolina. She specializes in 18th- and 19th-century British Literature, and her book, Beautiful Boredom, explores conduct literature, aesthetic theory, and the psychological landscape of the 19th-century novel.
An Augusta native who has recently returned to the area after teaching, writing, and editing in other parts of the South, she is proud to now contribute to Augusta University's long tradition of high-quality education. In addition to composition and literature courses, she teaches Humanities, which is exactly the kind of class she wishes had existed when she was an undergraduate.
Professor Meyer earned her bachelor's degree in French from University of Wisconsin-Madison, a master's degree from The Johns Hopkins University and her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. She is author of numerous publications on Flaubert, French and Francophone women's autobiography, twentieth-century French literature, Descartes and Business French. Her reviews appear in Nineteenth-Century French Studies, World Literature Today, Contemporary French Civilization and the French Review. She has earned over 40 Scholarly and other grants and has presented over 70 scholarly and pedagogical presentations at national and international conferences. She was named the 1999 recipient of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Founder's Association Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship, was a recent Fellow at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she started her current book project on French and Francophone Women's autobiographies.
Professor Meyer’s awards include being named Fall 2013 Advanced Online Teaching Fellow at UW-Green Bay, Outstanding Higher Education Representative 2008 by the Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted, a 2004-2005 University of Wisconsin system Wisconsin Teaching Scholar as well as a member of a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee funded Scholarship on Teaching and Learning Women's Studies Research Group. She was a University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Wisconsin Teaching Scholar II in 2005-2006.
Professor Meyer has taught all levels of French language, literature and culture (especially Business French) as well as literature in translation and other interdisciplinary literature courses in English. She ran a Service-Learning program until recently. She enjoys teaching Travel courses in Paris and London. Professor Meyer received a "Teaching at Its Best" Award as well as the "Creative Approaches to Teaching" award, both at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay and has been nominated for campus-wide teaching awards.
Former Chair of English & Foreign Languages, she also enjoys serving on Executive Committees for various organizations, organizing conferences and conference sessions and serving on a variety of professional boards and committees, for instance, eight years on the University of Wisconsin System French Placement Test Committee, as grader of AP French Culture and Language Exams, and as member of the Fulbright English Teaching Assistant selection committee for France and for Luxembourg. Currently, she serves on the American Association of Teachers of French FLES* Commission, as well as their Commission on French for Business and Economic Purposes.
Jim Minick is the author of The Blueberry Years: A Memoir of Farm and Family, winner of the SIBA Best Nonfiction Book of the Year Award. Minick has also written a collection of essays, Finding a Clear Path, two books of poetry, Her Secret Song and Burning Heaven, and he edited All There is to Keep by Rita Riddle. Minick has won grants, awards, and honors from the Southern Independent Booksellers Association, Southern Environmental Law Center, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Appalachian Writers Association, Appalachian Heritage, Now and Then Magazine, Radford University, Lincoln Memorial University, and the University of North Carolina- Greensboro. His poem "I Dream a Bean" was picked by Claudia Emerson for permanent display at the Tysons Corner/Metrorail Station. Minick's work has appeared in many publications including Shenandoah, Oxford American, Orion, San Francisco Chronicle, Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Conversations with Wendell Berry, The Sun, Appalachian Journal, Bay Journal News, Wind, and The Roanoke Times. He completed an MFA in fiction from UNC- Greensboro, where he was The Fred Chappell Fellow and Fiction Editor for The Greensboro Review. Currently, he is a member of the Core Faculty in Converse College's low-residency MFA program.
Duygu Minton specializes in 18th century British literature and rhetoric and composition. In her dissertation she analyzed the interactions between novels and children literature in the works of three 18th century women authors, Anna Letitia Barbauld, Charlotte Smith, and Maria Edgeworth. In this comparative genre study, she demonstrated that the emergence of educational writing as a distinct generic form influenced the formation of the 18th century novel’s shape and history, as similar social, political, and ideological factors motivated and shaped both genres. Her dissertation’s close link with educational theory highlights Dr. Minton’s interest in contemporary pedagogical theories and specifically how student writers read and write about literature as well as questions of audience and genre in the composition classroom.
Dr. Minton taught courses on freshman composition, technical writing, analytical writing, as well as the western literary traditions. She has presented her work in such conferences as MLA, CCCC, and SCSECS among others. She enjoys spending time with her family and visiting her home country Turkey during vacations.
Dr. Lola Richardson is a native of Alexander, Georgia. She attended the public schools of Burke County and graduated from Lucy C. Laney High School in Augusta, Georgia. She received a BA degree in English from Paine College ; a Master of Education from Augusta State University and a Doctor of Education Administration from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She retired from Paine College in 2008 where she chaired the Division of Humanities. Presently, she works part-time at Augusta University as tutor in the Supplemental Instruction Program (SIP).
Jana Sandarg earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in Spanish at the
University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She attended high school in Bogota, Colombia,
and studied one summer in Madrid and one year in Seville, Spain, so it's no surprise
that she has taken students abroad for over 30 years. She directed Augusta College's
first study abroad program in 1982 to Mexico, and has directed the Salamanca, Spain,
program for over twenty years.
Jana founded the Spanish Club and a chapter of Alpha Mu Gamma at Augusta University, and co-founded the local Hispanic organization, La Asociacion Cultural Hispanoamericana in 1986. Her research interests are in international education, pedagogy, and Spanish and Spanish American cultures and literature. She has received national and state awards for her leadership in foreign language education, as well as the Outstanding Teaching Award at Augusta University, but she is best known for her "bueeeenos dias" entrance into the classroom and her fondness of margaritas.
After teaching for 35 years in Richmond County Schools, Molly retired in 2003. She started teaching part-time in the Department of English and Foreign Languages at Augusta State University in 2004. Currently, she is working in the Supplemental Instruction Program.
Paul seems to march to a different drummer, namely Ringo Starr, Tony Williams, or
Roy Haynes. An avid musician, he enjoyes teaching classes that connect music and literature.
He has taught on the correlations between the 19th and 20th century Romantic writers
and the music of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison, and also the poetic
forms contained within The Beatles lyrics.
In addition to English Composition Courses and Humanities, Paul regularly teaches Creative Writing. He has been the faculty literature advisor for the Sand Hills Literary Magazine for the past 14 years.
Dylan Smeak obtained his master's degree in Creative Writing from the Writer's Foundry
in Brooklyn, New York after earning his undergraduate degree at Augusta University.
While in graduate school, he interned for the PEN American Center Prison Writing Program.
His areas of study have included postmodern short fiction, fiction of the American South and West, hero narratives in fiction and cinema post 9/11, and postmodern cinema of the 20th and 21st centuries.
His fiction often details with place as character and the ways in which that character chews up and spits out those who try to tame it. His fiction has appeared in New World Writing, Luna Luna, Deep South Magazine, and others.
Seretha D. Williams earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University
and a master's degree and doctorate in comparative literature from the University
of Georgia. She is a professor in the Department of English and Foreign Languages
and an affiliated faculty in the Women's and Gender Studies Program. Williams is a
co-editor of the essay collection Afterimages of Slavery and the author of publications on African and African American literatures. She has
presented at national and international conferences and served as a peer reviewer
for scholarly journals and academic presses. A past Fulbright-Hays fellow, Williams
is interested in African and African Diaspora literatures and transnational contexts.
Currently, William's work examines the influence of Margaret Walker on the Black Chicago
Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement and situates Walker and those periods within
a transnational and transcultural framework. Her book chapters " 'The Bitter River'
": Langston Hughes and the Violent South" (Critical Insights Harlem Renaissance, 2015) and " '[B]ut yesterday morning came the worst news': Margaret Walker Alexander's
Prophets for a New Day" (Critical Insights Civil Rights, 2017) discuss the role of trauma in the creative works of African American authors.
Professor Williams teaches courses on world literature and Women's and Gender Studies at Augusta University. During the Summer 2015 term, she served as a faculty mentor for undergraduate students conducting research with the Center for Undergraduate Research. The project, "Text Mining and Digital Humanities: Quantitative Analysis of African American Poetry", illustrates William's pedagogic interest in incorporating technology and research into the undergraduate experience.
Williams has served on and provided leadership for numerous committees at Augusta University and in her discipline. At Augusta University, she has organized four Women's and Gender Studies Symposia, directed Women's and Gender Studies, coordinated the Minority Advising Program, and advised student organizations. In her discipline, she has served on the Fulbright selection committee for the East Africa Region and as an edition award reviewer for Society for the Study of American Women Writers. In 2016, Williams was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award for the Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and recognized as one the top African American faculty at Augusta University.
Blaire Zeiders specializes in early modern literature and the history of books and print culture. Specifically, she is interested in intersections between medieval and Renaissance literature, as well as the ways in which readers contributed to early modern cultural change via their demand for particular books in print. Her article on the medieval origins of Glenn Kaino's kinetic sculpture was published by Arthuriana in 2014; and her current research projects include an article on 16th century polymath John Dee and a book on the national implications of Arthurian legend printed as history, romance, pageantry, and drama from 1485-1685. At Augusta University, she teaches Shakespeare, Milton, Renaissance literature, the History of the Book, and composition.
Jun Zhao, a bilingual speaker of English and Mandarin, obtained her bachelor's degree in China, master's degree in Canada and her doctoral degree in the United States. Her wide research interests originate from her interdisciplinary training in applied linguistics, such as Second Language Acquisition, Sociocultural theory, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Pragmatics, Sociolinquistics, Intercultural Rhetoric, etc. Her most recent studies focus on second language writing for academic purposes. She has several recent publications and international conference presentations in this area. Jun Zhao currently teaches a variety of writing courses at Augusta University, and mainly works on developing second language writing courses for multilingual writers at different levels at Augusta University. Prior to joining Augusta University, she worked for the MA TESOL program at Marshal University.
Aixiu Zhu is an adjunct instructor of Elementary and Intermediate Chinese in the English and Foreign Language Department of Augusta University's Pamplin College. She earned her master's degree in International Chinese Studies from East China Normal University. She has been delving into the contrastive study of Chinese and English language and culture and teaching Chinese as a second language for more than ten years.
Rick Davis has written 39 plays -- six full lengths, many one-acts, several musicals for children - all of which have been produced on various stages: off-off-Broadway, in Los Angeles, and in theatres throughout the country. He has won many play writing awards and has twice received grants from the Georgia Council for the Arts and another from the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Eight of his plays have been published, including most recently two one-acts in the anthology Short Play Festival Collection (from the San Luis Obispo play competition). He recently performed his monologue, "The Sword Swallower's Husband," in NYC at the Emerging Artist Theatre's One Man Talking series. He directs for the stage at Augusta University and has had the exciting experience of directing Oedipus Rex in Greece.
When Dr. Evans was about twelve he read Poe's description of the short story as a genre and wondered: Can this be right? It took him several years in graduate school and a dissertation to figure it out. (Sometimes he's a slow learner).
A graduate of the University of Chicago and a Fulbright Scholar at the University de Rouen in France, he served as Director of the Humanities Program from 1995- 2009, and in 2005 directed the Cullum program on Russia and received Augusta State University's Outstanding Faculty Member award. From 2006 to 2014, he directed the Schools Project annually bringing classic plays to high school and university audiences. He developed a 10-hour multimedia DVD containing hundreds of traditional rhymes and 50 classic stories which raised 459 at-risk Title I kindergarten students' mean vocabulary scores from the 27th to the 47th percentile in nine months; three years later on Georgia's statewide reading test, these students failed to meet the minimum standard less than half as often (7.6% vs. 16.13%) as their system peers, and scored in the highest range 35% more often (39.6% vs. 27.02%). The DVD has since been distributed to 40,000 kindergarten and pre-school students. He co-founded Sand Hills literary magazine, edited The Best of Sand Hills and seven editions of The Humanities Handbook, has a dozen short story publications (Midlands, Chelsea, Oyez, The Long Story, The Best of Cimarron Review, etc.), has had four plays produced, and has published 16 scholarly essays in books and 17 in academic journals, principally on American literature, many on the American short story. He created Rhyme a Zoo, a game app teaching phonics and other pre-literacy skills (available at the Apple store), and the audio website hearatale.org which contains dozens of hours of children's rhymes and stories in English, Spanish, and other languages, as well as adult short stories, novels, non-fiction, and a large collection of classic Southern literature. He served as a professor at Augusta University for 43 years and has brought more than $150,000 in grant funds to the university.
Anthony Kellman is a poet, novelist and musician, and the longest-serving director of the Sandhills Writers Conference & Series which, during his tenure, brought to Augusta some of the most illustrious names in modern English literature. These included Caribbean Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, Edward Albee, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Ray Bradbury. Professor Kellman is the author of five books of poetry, Watercourse, The Long Gap, Wings of a Stranger, Limestone (the first published epic poem from the island of Barbados), and South Eastern Stages. He is the author of three novels, The Coral Rooms, The Houses of Alphonso and, most recently, Tracing Jaja.
His awards include Augusta University's Bell Research Award, a National Endowment of the Arts poetry fellowship (USA) and The Prime Minister's award (Barbados). His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in literary periodicals in the USA, the Caribbean, Canada, England, Wales, India, Venezuela, Cuba, and Brazil, and his fiction, poetry and music have been featured on National Public Radio (USA), the BBC (England), and in his homeland Barbados. He is also the editor of the first full-length U.S. anthology of English-language Caribbean poetry Crossing Water: Contemporary Poetry of the English-Speaking Caribbean (1992) and is the originator of the Barbados poetic form Tuk Verse, based on the rhythms of Tuk music.
As a musician, he's performed at venues in the United States, England, Brazil, and the Caribbean, often as an interconnected part of his poetry and fiction readings. Tony has released four CDs of original music (in the Island-folk/World/singer-songwriter genres) which feature an eclectic mix of Caribbean, African, and European folk influences. His lyrics reflect themes and subjects found in his novels and poetry such as the exploration of geographical as well as emotional landscapes; the importance of justice as a precursor to world peace; and the protean dimensions of Caribbean culture and identity.