New Faculty Profile

The English Department wants to extend a warm welcome to its new faculty members! Here you can learn all about the new members of the staff and find out what you can expect if you have them in class. We hope our new members enjoy being here as much as we enjoy having them!

Meet Our New Academic Advisor, Jennifer Wells

New #bsuenglish academic advisor Jennifer Wells earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio State in 1990. She was always interested in liberal arts, but started out as a film major before she chose to pursue an art history major. She has a passion for studying abroad that she hopes to share with her students. 

preview-chat-jennifer-wellsWhat are your office hours?

My office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Occasionally, I have meetings on Wednesdays, so Wednesday mornings usually aren’t good. A lot of students schedule appointments. But if somebody walks in and I’m free, I am happy to see them.

What are you currently reading, if anything?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. You need to read that book! It’s a real story. And it’s about a woman who, back in the 50s, had ovarian cancer and the hospital took some cells from her. She eventually passed away, but her cancer cells grew like nothing they had ever seen. So they started using her cells to do experiments on and they’ve made all this medical progress just from her cells. And it talks about her family and how they didn’t know the hospital was doing this and it gets into a real medical-ethics murky area. Lacks’s cells are still alive. Her cells are still growing from the 50s. They just keep regenerating and regenerating and growing new cells.

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Meet Dr. G Patterson!

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

Whatever class I teach, I really like to focus on social justice. For example, a professional writing class doesn’t seem like it would have anything to do with social justice, and yet, in my classes students are working with campus groups and nonprofits to make a difference in their communities. Even in introduction composition courses, I want to he11156378_1624207644462444_9146109308537578909_nlp students understand the consequences of the stories they’re telling, and the stories they refuse to hear. I think that’s the crux of what I do: I think about the tangible impact that I’m making in students’ lives. I want to empower students to write into existence the world they want to see; I want them to really feel like they’re agents of change when they leave my class.

When are your office hours?

My office hours are on Tuesdays from 2:00-3:00 pm and Thursdays from 2:00-4:00 pm, and by appointment any other time.

What are you currently reading, if anything?

That’s a great question. A mentor once told me that academics should never stop reading for pleasure–that we have to remind ourselves why we’re here. Right now I am reading a book called The Fifth Season by the author N. K. Jemisin, who is a black feminist speculative fiction writer. I’ve also been reading Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crowwhich talks about mass incarceration and how that plays into our particular history of racial injustice in the U.S. (more…)

Meet New #bsuenglish Faculty Member Aimee Taylor!

Aimee Taylor earned her Bachelor’s in English at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. She went on to complete her Master’s at Marshall University in West Virginia, and she is currently working on her dissertation for her PhD in Rhetoric and Writing at Bowling Green State University. This semester, she is teaching ENG 103: Rhetoric and Writing.

Aimee Taylor- Instructor at BSU

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

I’ve always been a teacher. From a very young age, I related teaching to helping and working with people. I also believe that we all have something inside us that we can teach others, and we can always learn from others. So, with that said, teachers are life-long learners, too. Teaching is my way of making sense of the world.

What is your biggest pet peeve in the classroom, or a big mistake that students tend to make?

I don’t have pet peeves per se, but I try to get students to stop saying “this is a stupid question” or “I’m so dumb” or “nothing I say matters.” It is my job to bring the scholar out of them. I greet them every day as fellow scholars, and instead of “freshmen,” I refer to them as “fresh-scholars.” Repeating that language and encouraging them to make mistakes in the safe space of my classroom begins to change that mindset.

What is a text you think everyone should read?

There is not a single text that I think everyone should read. Read everything! A foundational text in my teaching life, however, is bell hooks’ Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom.

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Meet Professor Rani Crowe!

Assistant Professor Rani Crowe has been making and performing her own work for over twenty years, from stand-up comedy and solo performance art, to multimedia installations and filmmaking. This semester, she is teaching one section of ENG 310: Screenwriting and two sections of ENG 425: Film Studies.

How would you describe your perspective on teaching?

rani-croweThrough watching, reading, discussing, and practical application exercises, I guide students to learn skills and build muscles that build towards a culminating final project where they practically synthesize the skills they have learned. I like to create early non-precious exercises where exploration, risk, and failure are permitted and encouraged in order to learn the process. I try to guide students to be able to articulate their own artistic goals and standards, and help them successfully meet them in their final projects.

When are your office hours?

Monday and Wednesday, 11 AM- 12:30 PM

What are you currently reading, if anything?

Screenplays: I try to read a couple a week. I am always looking for new ways to write them for myself, and good examples I might use for others.

Craft Books: Creating Screenplays That Connect and Adventures in the Screen Trade.

Personal Interest Reading: Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi  Coates.

Escapist: I have been enjoying the Jack Reacher novels by Lee Child.

What is a text that you think everyone should read?

Oh, I tend to buy multiple copies of Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet (I have a favorite translation), Yasunari Kawabata’s Palm of the Hand Stories, and a children’s book called The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds that I give away freely as gifts to young artists. I also like Anne Bogart’s A Director Prepares, Peter Brook’s The Empty Space, David Mamet’s Three Uses of the Knife, Anna Deavere Smith’s Letters to a Young Artist, and Matthew Goulish’s 39 Microlectures: In Proximity to Performance. I reference these books often. These are all books that feed me in creative process either with inspiration or example.

What is your biggest pet peeve in the classroom, or a big mistake that students tend to make?

I have two pet peeves:

One is when a student’s goal is merely to please me or get a grade. I want students to have their own critical thoughts, and I want them to have their own goals and agency for the class. They will get more out of it, and I can help them get farther.

Another is if a student starts to struggle (whether they get behind or miss classes due to stress or they have a legitimate crisis), and they compound their situation by not coming to class or not communicating because they feel ashamed or embarrassed or want to avoid the situation. The hole gets bigger. So often, there are resources within the university that can help them, or I can work with them to make accommodations if they communicate early. I want my students to be successful. I am rooting for them. I think most professors are. When the student gets down in that hole and lets it get bigger and bigger, it is harder for us to help them later.

Are you working on any projects at the moment?

I am working on fundraising and pre-production to direct a short film called Finding Grace, written by Screenwriting Faculty, Kathryn Gardiner. We hope to shoot in the spring.

I am working on fundraising and development for a short film I am writing, Heather Has Four Mommies, which was shortlisted for the Kevin Spacey Foundation Grant, but it wasn’t funded, so we are still raising money. We want to shoot in the early summer.

My recent short film, Texting: A Love Story, is winding up its festival circuit time. It still has some screenings left. It has been accepted to 74 festivals around the world, so far. Next, I hope to find an online home for it.

I have a few concepts for features and pilots that I am still developing. (Film is a long process with many phases. It is best to be working on several things at once.)

What are some of your hobbies or interests?

I make jewelry, mostly beaded earrings. I have a cat, a dog, and a rabbit. I love to travel when I can. I speak French. I love theater, performance art, art museums, and other performance or art events. I like to kayak and ride my bike. After managing a fancy restaurant, I like wine and food. I have been doing some work on my house. I read a lot, when I have time. I like many kinds of music.

What is a piece of advice you would offer students?

Love the process. If you are doing it to become a famous writer/filmmaker/actor/musician (whatever), your chances of failure and disappointment increase. If you love the process of making the work, you are more likely to be happy and accumulate work that is actually more likely to lead you to some type of success. It takes time and practice. Patience is something I am still learning, but the accumulation of work does eventually start to manifest results.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about your background, research areas, passions, goals, etc.?

I started as an actor, then I did stand-up comedy, then playwriting, then directing, then performance art, and then filmmaking. They all build off each other and inform each other. I think of myself as an artist first. Whatever content I am working with dictates what medium will best serve it.