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We, the faculty in the Department of English and Modern Languages at Shepherd University, feel compelled in this moment to declare emphatically and unequivocally that BLACK LIVES MATTER. Ours is not a declaration stimulated by George Floyd’s brutal and horrific murder on May 25th, nor is it a response triggered by the killings of Breonna Taylor or Ahmaud Arbery. Those, sadly, are only the most recent examples of black lives being destroyed by widespread social, societal, and systemic racism in this country. When the first black bodies were brought to the Jamestown settlement in 1619, our nation began its centuries-long pattern of prioritizing white lives over black lives. That devaluing of black lives continues to this day. Enough is enough! Our commitment to educational equality can only begin, we believe, when we as a faculty and we as a country begin to redress longstanding wrongs by affirming that BLACK LIVES MATTER. We declare that here, now, and always. Read more.

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 Alumni Spotlight: Chelsea DeMello (2015)

Department News

The next meeting of Shepherd University’s Stammtisch will be on Monday, November 16th, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. For those who would like to meet face-to-face, the group will assemble in the Multipurpose Room (room B41) of the Byrd Center. Please keep in mind that due to concerns over healthy and safety, each participant will be required to wear a mask in the building and even outside on campus. For those who are not comfortable meeting in person, a video stream will be available. Stammtisch is a conversation group for German speakers, and everybody is welcome—from beginners to native speakers. For more information, contact Dr. Eva Suárez Büdenbender (esuarezb@shepherd.edu).

Shepherd University’s Alpha Gamma Kappa Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, received a $100 Regents’ Common Reader Award from the national organization for hosting an Outdoor Literature Celebration. The event, which took place October 9th in the Town Run Garden between Knutti and White Halls, included about 15 participants—students, faculty, and members of the community. Dr. Heidi Hanrahan, Professor of English and chapter advisor, led a discussion of themes from the book Rough Beauty:  Forty Seasons of Mountain Living by Karen Auvinen. Participants discussed how separation from others has highlighted what nature offers and, in some ways, made it more valued. After the discussion, Ashley Hess, chapter president and an English major from Martinsburg, introduced some prompts for poetry writing, encouraging participants to write about fall or to use some of the brainstorming templates provided. Participants wrote for about ten minutes and then were given the opportunity to share their work.

The next meeting of Shepherd University’s Stammtisch will be on Monday, October 19th, at 4:15 p.m. Due to concerns over healthy and safety, the group will meet virtually. Stammtisch is a conversation group for German speakers, and everybody is welcome—from beginners to native speakers. For more information, contact Dr. Eva Suárez Büdenbender (esuarezb@shepherd.edu).

Our local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honors society, is hosting an event this Friday, October 9th, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. This “Outdoor Literature Celebration” will be an opportunity to workshop poetry and to discuss the book Rough Beauty:  Forty Season of Mountain Living by Karen Auvinen. The event is free and open to the public and will take place in the grassy area between Knutti and White Halls.

The Department of English and Modern Languages is proud to announce that quite a large number of our instructors have been recognized by the Shepherd University Foundation and have been given the Foundation’s faculty excellence awards. For the 2019 – 2020 academic year, the award recipients include:  Dr. Naomi Gades (Annette H. Murphy English Faculty Excellence Fund), Dr. Tony Schiera (Annette H. Murphy English Faculty Excellence Fund), Dr. Valerie Stevens (Annette H. Murphy English Faculty Excellence Fund), and Ms. Yildiz Nuredinoski (Annette H. Murphy English Faculty Excellence Fund). We are so proud of our colleagues. You are a benefit to this institution and to our department!