Faculty

English

Janet Blank Libra

Dr. Janet Blank-Libra
Professor, Director of Journalism & Chair of the English and Journalism Department
605.274.5436
janet.blank-libra@augie.edu


Janet Blank-Libra regularly teaches courses in literary journalism, empathetic journalism, ethics and law of the press, multimedia journalism, photojournalism, news reporting and writing and the Civitas literature and Reading Augustana courses. She was the 2005 recipient of the Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award and the 2008 recipient of the Augustana Student Association teaching award. In 2017 Blank-Libra published Pursuing an Ethic of Empathy in Journalism (Routledge). Blank-Libra received her Ph.D. in journalism from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and her M.A. in journalism from the University of Montana, Missoula. She has led study-abroad courses in India, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.


Beth Boyens

Dr. Beth Boyens
Assistant Professor
605.274.5430
beth.boyens@augie.edu


An Augustana alumna, Beth Boyens has been teaching foundational courses in literature and composition since she joined the English department in 2000. She has taught in the First-Year Seminar (FYS) program since its start in 2016: a course on wandering each fall and a course on the perception of character each spring. Additionally, she teaches advanced composition, non-western literature, young adult literature, trauma literature, and an interim course which considers literary depictions of diseased and traumatized bodies. She also co-leads a spring break study abroad experience to Scotland with Dr. Janet Blank-Libra. Boyens’s research area is nineteenth-century American women’s literature; her other areas of interest include multicultural literature, regionalism, gender studies, and trauma studies. She has presented at the American Literature Association, the Midwest Modern Language Association, and the Northeast Modern Language Association conferences, among others. Her M.A. in English is from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and her Ph.D. is from the University of South Dakota.


Daniel Gerling

Dr. Daniel Gerling
Assistant Professor
605.274.5433
daniel.gerling@augie.edu


Dr. Daniel Gerling received his B.A. in philosophy and M.A. in English at Eastern Illinois University and spent significant time abroad before completing his Ph.D. in American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century American culture and its effect on U.S. foreign relations, and he is developing his dissertation, “American Wasteland: A Social and Cultural History of Excrement, 1860-1920,” into a book. Gerling joined Augustana in 2012, and in he 2013 began serving as the director of the Writing Center, Augustana’s nationally certified peer tutoring program. His writing center and composition research focuses on the problem of correctness in Standard Written Academic English. He is a featured historian in the 2017 documentary Flush, and has been a content consultant on several books on excrement and sanitation. He teaches courses on literature, grammar, FYS courses on excrement (fall) and English usage debates (spring), and co-teaches a J-term course in Cuba on race, gender, and cultural cross-pollination with the U.S. 


J.J. Gohl
Instructor
605.274.5400
jj.gohl@augie.edu


J.J. Gohl teaches foundational courses in composition and literature, as well as the methods class for English students going into secondary education. Her M.A. in English is from Southwest State University (Minn.).


Debbie Hanson

Dr. Debbie Hanson
Professor
605.274.5435
debbie.hanson@augie.edu


Dr. Debbie Hanson teaches Introduction to American Literary History, seminars in early and later American literature, World Literature I, World Literature II, and Creative Writing: Drama.  She has also taught interim courses about American cuisine and culture and musicals on film.  She served as the guest editor for The Willa Cather Yearbook, was a contributor to In Search of the Interior Borderlands: Where Does the Midwest End that Great Plains Begin?,  and presents papers regularly at the American Folklore Society’s national conference.  In 2017, she was the recipient of the Dakota Conference on the Northern Plains’ Herbert W. Blakely Professional Award for her paper “Lending a Feminine Touch to the B-29: Depictions of Women Workers in WWII Aircraft Industry Publications.”  Dr. Hanson is also an active member of Chapter 200 of Therapy Dogs International, and she and her dog Tully visit three dorms on campus and attend other campus events, such as December’s Semester Shutdown.


Patrick Hicks

Dr. Patrick Hicks
Professor, Augustana Writer-in-Residence
605.274.5434
patrick.hicks@augie.edu


Patrick Hicks is the Writer-in-Residence at Augustana University where he teaches courses on creative writing, Irish literature, and such honors courses as “Great Britain and the Great War,” and “Eleutheria: Freedom and Literature.” He is the author of The Commandant of Lubizec: A Novel of the Holocaust and Operation Reinhard, published by Steerforth/Random House, a short story collection, The Collector of Names, published by Schaffner Press, as well as six poetry collections, most recently Adoptable and This London, both from Ireland’s prestigious press, Salmon Poetry. He also edited A Harvest of Words, which was partially funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, The Georgia Review, Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, The National Catholic Reporter, Commonweal, The Huffington Post, and many others. He has been nominated seven times for the Pushcart Prize, he has won the “Glimmer Train Fiction Award,” been a notable mention in Best American Stories, been a finalist for the Steinberg Essay Prize, and his first novel was one of only twenty books chosen for National Reading Group Month. To his total astonishment, he was a finalist for an Emmy in 2017 and he’s received individual artist grants from the Bush Artist Foundation, the Loft Literary Center, and the South Dakota Arts Council. Before taking his Ph.D. from the University of Sussex (England), Patrick lived in Northern Ireland, Germany, and Spain for many years. A former Visiting Fellow at Oxford and a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States, he gives fiction and poetry readings all across the nation. His website is www.patrickhicks.org.


Cheryl Jackson Nelson

Cheryl Jackson Nelson
Instructor
605.274.5416
cheryl.jackson@augie.edu

 

Cheryl Jackson Nelson has been a member of the English/Journalism Department at Augustana University for over twenty years. She teaches freshman composition, the literary experience, later world literature, grammar, First-Year Seminar II “Crimes, Cops, and Culprits,” and the interim course “Before CSI: The Criminal Element in Literature and Film.” Cheryl has previously taught “Reading at the Collegiate Level” and interim courses exploring the relationship of food and culture. A former colleague, Nancy Dickinson, and Cheryl developed curriculum for and taught in the college preparatory program “START” for several years. The two also received a grant for planning and co-teaching a freshman composition course focused on campus and community service.  Cheryl received a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree from Sioux Falls College. In addition to teaching, she presently serves as chairperson of the Mikkelsen Library committee and is conducting research for a course focusing on crimes of the distant past.    


Jeffrey Miller

Dr. Jeffrey Miller
Chair of Humanities Division and Professor
605.274.5431
jeffrey.miller@augie.edu


Jeffrey Miller teaches courses on editing, sports writing and opinion writing in journalism, as well as classes in film and media studies. He also teaches regularly in the Civitas honors program, with courses including “Reading Augustana,” “History of the American Press” and “The Cutting Room Floor: Film and Censorship.” His areas of scholarly interest include transnational television/film and American media history. He is the author of Something Completely Different: British Television and American Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2000). Jeffrey is the 2014 recipient of the Augustana Student Association teaching award and also serves as adviser to the university newspaper, The Mirror. He previously worked as director of news services at Gustavus Adolphus College and as alumni magazine editor at Lafayette College (Penn.). His reviews and opinion pieces have appeared in newspapers including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. He has also written for numerous local and regional publications. Dr. Miller earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from Michigan State University.


Darcie Rives East

Dr. Darcie Rives-East
Associate Professor 
605.274.5422
darcie.rives@augie.edu


Darcie Rives-East teaches the survey course in American literature as well as upper-level seminars on early American literature and modern American literature. She also teaches literary criticism and theory, in addition to foundational composition and literature courses. Further, she has taught the Civitas course “Race and Justice in America: 1600-Present,” and is faculty advisor to the Augustana Women's Association. Her interests include women’s and ethnic studies and popular culture, with a particular emphasis on speculative and Gothic literature and film. Dr. Rives-East’s Ph.D. in English is from the University of Nebraska. Dr. Rives-East was the recipient of the Jane & Charles Zaloudek Faculty Research Fellowship in 2016-2017 and was one of two recipient's to be awarded the 2011-2012 Carole Bland Cultivating Faculty Excellence Endowment.


Sarah Rude     Dr. Sarah B. Rude
     Assistant Professor
     605.274.5297
     sarah.rude@augie.edu

 

Dr. Sarah B. Rude teaches classes in the SOPHIA core curriculum as well as the survey of British literature and upper-level seminars on literature of the Middle Ages and English Renaissance. She also serves as the advisor to Augustana’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society. Her research focuses on works by Geoffrey Chaucer and Thomas Malory, and she is a regular presenter at the Southeastern Medieval Association and the International Medieval Congress. Her most recent article entitled “Eye Beams and Boethian Sufficiency in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde” appears in the journal Mediaevalia. Dr. Rude earned her MA from North Dakota State University and her PhD from Baylor University.


Journalism

Janet Blank Libra

Dr. Janet Blank-Libra
Professor, Director of Journalism
605.274.5436
janet.blank-libra@augie.edu


Janet Blank-Libra regularly teaches courses in literary journalism, empathetic journalism, ethics and law of the press, multimedia journalism, photojournalism, news reporting and writing and the Civitas literature and Reading Augustana courses. She was the 2005 recipient of the Vernon and Mildred Niebuhr Faculty Excellence Award and the 2008 recipient of the Augustana Student Association teaching award. In 2017 Blank-Libra published Pursuing an Ethic of Empathy in Journalism (Routledge). Blank-Libra received her Ph.D. in journalism from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and her M.A. in journalism from the University of Montana, Missoula. She has led study-abroad courses in India, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.


Jeffrey Miller

Dr. Jeffrey Miller
Chair of Humanities Division and Professor
605.274.5431
jeffrey.miller@augie.edu


Jeffrey Miller teaches courses on editing, sports writing and opinion writing in journalism, as well as classes in film and media studies. He also teaches regularly in the Civitas honors program, with courses including “Reading Augustana,” “History of the American Press” and “The Cutting Room Floor: Film and Censorship.” His areas of scholarly interest include transnational television/film and American media history. He is the author of Something Completely Different: British Television and American Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2000). Jeffrey is the 2014 recipient of the Augustana Student Association teaching award and also serves as adviser to the university newspaper, The MirrorHe previously worked as director of news services at Gustavus Adolphus College and as alumni magazine editor at Lafayette College (Penn.). His reviews and opinion pieces have appeared in newspapers including the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. He has also written for numerous local and regional publications. Dr. Miller earned his Ph.D. in American Studies from Michigan State University.