Department of English

Dr. Sylvia Pamboukian
Department Head, English
Professor of English, English Department
Wheatley Center 234

FACULTY AWARD OF NOTE: RMU Distinguished Faculty Award Winner. This award is given annually to an RMU researcher, as judged by a panel of faculty drawn from every school. It was awarded to Dr. Pamboukian in 2012 recognizing Doctoring the Novel as well as her other scholarly publishing

Faculty publication of note: Doctoring the Novel: Medicine and Quackery from Shelley to Doyle (2012, Ohio University Press). This book explores the ways in which nineteenth-century fiction understood and helped to shape ideas about medical quackery, from the body-snatching Victor Frankenstein in Frankenstein to the seductive Dr. John Graham in Villette to the criminal masterminds of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Available on Amazon.

Dr. Edward Karshner
Associate Professor of English
English Department
Wheatley Center 209

FACULTY AWARD OF NOTE: Fulbright Award, China. In the summer of 2005, Dr. Karshner was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study the semiotics of Chinese calligraphy. Studying with Dr. SuiWah Chan, an Associate Center Professor at University of Michigan’s Lieberthal-Rogel Center of Chinese Studies, he traveled broadly throughout China examining the use of the Chinese writing system from its earliest use in Oracle Bones to the Confucian idea of the “rectification of names.” In addition, he explored the confluence of traditional Chinese nature religions, Daoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism in what would become Chan Buddhism. Dr. Karshner was fortunate to be able to spend time with the Yi, a traditional mountain people in Yunnan Provence, and study their unique, shamanistic practices.

Faculty publication of note: Writing the Self: A Phenomenological Approach to Composition Theory (2008). An exploration of the teaching of composition using phenomenological rhetoric as a paradigm for allowing the inclusion of many, seemingly, contradictory theories of writing. Phenomenological Rhetoric allows students to blend subjective and objective modes of inquiry and writing. Students who use a phenomenological approach to reading, thinking and writing are able to express themselves in a discourse community that appears to demand only conformity. 


Dr. Connie Ruzich
University Professor of English, English Department
Wheatley Center 220

FACULTY AWARD OF NOTE: Fulbright, UK. Dr. Ruzich was awarded a faculty Fulbright Scholar Award to the United Kingdom in 2014.  Her research at the University of Exeter examined the uses of poetry in British commemorations of the centenary of the First World War.  Her blog Behind Their Lines, grew out of this research; it shares and discusses forgotten literary voices of the Great War.

Faculty publication of note: Behind Their Lines: Poetry of the Great War. This respected scholarly blog recovers and analyzes poetry of the Great War. Including both well-known and lost poetry, the blog uncovers surprising connections between these poems and the milestones of the War, from the home front to the Western front to Pittsburgh itself. Link:

Dr. John Lawson
Professor of English, English Department
Curriculum Co-Advisor, English Education
Wheatley 319

FACULTY AWARD OF NOTE: Pennsylvania Communication Association. The Carroll Arnold Distinguished Service Award recognizes contributions of a PCA member to the profession and/or to PCA. The award could be for long and faithful service, outstanding teaching, distinctive service, and/or a single outstanding contribution. Dr. Lawson served as the vice president and president of PCA, and has headed the PCA's Performance Studies Interest Group, organizing and chairing scholarly panels and performances.  

Faculty publication of note: Generations (2007, St. Andrews College Press) Aside from his collection of poetry, Generations, Dr. Lawson’s poems have been published in many print and online venues; most recently, "Apropos the Election," is scheduled to appear in the Nasty Women & Bad Hombres Anthology, due to be published by Lascaux Editions.  His plays have been published and produced in a variety of settings; the dramatic monologue, "Stranded," was produced at the Carlow University theatre in spring, 2016.

Dr. Diane Todd (Bucci)
Professor of English and Communication Skills, 
English Department
Wheatley 312

FACULTY AWARD OF NOTE: In addition to being nominated for The National Society of Collegiate Scholars’ (NSCS) Inspire Integrity Award in 2011, Dr. Todd (Bucci) received the Mentoring Magic Award in 2011 and the Outstanding Academic Advisor award in 2008. 

Faculty publication of note: Dr. Diane M. Todd (Bucci)’s research interests embrace literary representations of the historically oppressed and include women’s, multicultural, and working-class literature.  Her most recent publication is entitled “Fashion as a Means of Overcoming Liminality:  The Construction of an American Woman in Anzia Yezierska’s Bread Givers and Margaret Dilloway’sHow to be an American Housewife” and appears in  Americana:  The Journal of American Popular Culture (1900-present) (2017).
M.C. Kiliany
Lecturer,  Communications Skills
Coordinator for Communications Skills Placement and Assessment, 
English Department
Wheatley Center 303

Julianne Michalenko, Lecturer
Communications Skills 
English Department
Wheatley Center, 204

Dr. Lynn Smith, Lecturer, Communications Skills
English Department
Wheatley Center 206

Julia Newcome, Lecturer, Communications Skills
English Department
Wheatley Center 205