Faculty and Staff


Genevieve West

M. Genevieve West, PhD

Chair of Language, Culture & Gender Studies; Professor of English
PhD, Florida State University
Office: CFO 906
Phone: 940-898-2324
Email: GWest@twu.edu

Interests: Dr. West teaches courses in history, theory, and practice of rhetoric; feminist rhetorics; expository writing; and American literature. Her research focuses on African American women in the inter-war period and the Harlem Renaissance, and she has a deep commitment to archival research and recovering "lost" voices.

Dr. West's projects explore life as a department chair and the work of Marita Bonner. Her most recent volumes collect Zora Neale Hurston's short fiction in Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick (2020) and essays in You Don't Know Us Negroes and Other Essays (2022). West's essays appeared in African American Literature in Transition, 1920-1930 and Religion and Literature.

Rima Abunasser, PhD

Assistant Professor
Office: CFO 806
Phone: 940-898-2345
Email: rabunasser@twu.edu

Interests: Abunasser’s teaching and research focus on British and global writing and activism, specifically looking at how transnational writers, at home and in the diaspora, articulate nation, freedom and home. Her teaching specialties are British Literature from the eighteenth century to the present, the Global Anglophone and Francophone novel, and the literature of the Middle East and North Africa, with additional expertise in diaspora studies, decolonial studies, gender studies, and race and ethnic studies.

Jamie Barker, PhD

Senior Lecturer
PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Office: CFO 912
Phone: 940-898-2348
Email: jbarker2@twu.edu

Interests: Dr. Barker teaches a wide range of courses from first-year composition to graduate-level courses, specializing in and researching 20th- and 21st-century American minority literature and the trauma found within.

Dr. Barker is working on his second monograph, "Broken Fences and Instrumental Lessons: Trauma, Healing, and Identity in Selected Plays of August Wilson." His first monograph, "Trauma in 20th Century Multicultural American Poetry: Unmuted Verse," was published as part of the Reading Trauma and Memory series in 2020. He also won the International Award in 2022 for an article published in New Directions in Humanity Journal.

Ashley Bender, PhD

Associate Professor of English; BA in English Program Coordinator; Associate Chair of LCGS // Coordinator of FYE
PhD, University of North Texas
Office: CFO 801
Phone: 940-898-2334
Email: abender@twu.edu 

Interests: Literature of the long 18th century, especially drama; Shakespeare in the 18th century; sex and gender in the 18th century; textual studies; service learning in the composition classroom; experiential education and multimodal pedagogy

Will Benner headshot

Will Benner, PhD

Associate Professor of Spanish
PhD, Tulane University
Office: CFO 910
Phone: 940-898-2316
Email: wbenner@twu.edu 
Website: sites.google.com/view/williambenner

Interests: Dr. Benner teaches courses in Spanish proficiency, Latin American Women Writers and Filmmakers, and Medical Interpreting. His research explores the artistic productions by post-dictatorship generations in the Southern Cone. He is also developing a secondary area of expertise in medical interpreting pedagogy.

Dr. Benner has published in English and Spanish in "Chasqui: revista de literatura latinoamericana, Archivos de la Filmoteca," and the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. He has a book chapter in The Film Archipelago: Islands in Latin American Cinema published by Bloomsbury in 2022. Dr. Benner is writing an article on virtual reality as an artistic medium to testify against labor exploitation on the U.S.-Mexico border, and is working on a book project, Entangled Specters, which examines the digital turn in Southern Cone memory studies.

Matthew Brown, PhD

Associate Professor of English
PhD, University of Notre Dame
Office: CFO 901
Phone: 940-898-2371
Email: mbrown39@twu.edu

Interests: Medieval Literature, Literary Theory, History of the English Language

Gretchen Busl, PhD

Associate Professor of English; Graduate Program Coordinator
PhD, University of Notre Dame
Office: CFO 908
Phone: 940-898-2331
Email: gbusl@twu.edu

Interests: World Literature, Adaptation, Translation, Multilingualism, Graduate Student Writing

Vivian Casper, PhD

Associate Professor of English
PhD, Rice University
Office: CFO 808
Phone: 940-898-2344
Email: vcasper@twu.edu

Interests: Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller, modern drama

Daniel Ernst

Daniel Ernst, PhD

Assistant Professor of English
PhD, Purdue University
Office: CFO 903
Phone: 940-898-2336
Email: dernst@twu.edu

Interests: Dr. Ernst teaches courses on science and technical communication, public rhetoric, research methodology, and pedagogy. His research concerns automated language technology, writing and educational assessment, literacy and applied rhetoric.

Dr. Ernst's research explores the efficacy of automated writing evaluation technology in improving student writing, as well as the future of writing assessment techniques amid new language production technologies such as large language models.

Brian Fehler headshot

Brian Fehler, PhD

Professor of English
PhD, Texas Christian University
Office: CFO 804
Phone: 940-898-2220
Email: bfehler@twu.edu
Website: brianfehler.com

Interests: Dr. Fehler teaches courses in history, theory and practice of rhetoric; feminist rhetorics; expository writing; and American literature. Dr. Fehler researches and recovers marginalized, overlooked and forgotten voices in the history of rhetoric, particularly in American life from the 19th century forward; considers and re-evaluates the rhetorical practices and methods of figures who rarely had access to prominent oratorical stages; and applies lenses of contemporary rhetorical criticism (Burkean studies; rhetorical ecologies; feminist historiography) to redefine and more broadly consider practices of rhetorical and political participation.

His articles have appeared in scholarly journals such as Rhetoric Review and Rhetoric Society Quarterly and in outlets such as Gay and Lesbian Review. He is currently at work on two projects: recovering works of the British Sexological Society and tracking down less-well known speeches and writings of three prominent Texans, women politicos who rewrote, intentionally and effectively, myths of the Lone Star State for their own times and constituents.

Jackie Hoermann-Elliott headshot

Jackie Hoermann-Elliott, PhD

Assistant Professor of English; Director of First-Year Composition
PhD, Texas Christian University
Office: CFO 130
Phone: 940-898-2348

Interests: Dr. Elliott teaches courses on rhetoric and composition pedagogy and writing program administration for graduate students. She regularly teaches first-year composition courses, and occasionally teaches professional writing or special-topics courses for undergraduate students. Her research focuses on a wide range of topics including embodied writing, writing pedagogy and issues related to writing program administration.

Dr. Elliott's work has appeared in national journals The ADVANCE Journal, Composition Forum, and the WPA Journal), and her first book, Running, Writing, Thinking: Embodied Cognition in Composition, was published by Parlor Press in 2021. She is working on her next book, an edited collection that takes a critical look at how graduate student parents find support within the academy.

Gage Jeter, PhD

Assistant Professor of English
PhD, University of Oklahoma
Office: CFO 913
Phone: 940-898-2347
Email: gjeter@twu.edu

Interests: Jeter teaches courses in secondary English Language Arts and Reading (ELAR) methods, writing process and pedagogy, and the teaching of Young Adult Literature. His research focuses on humanizing conceptions of academic discourse, process-oriented and critical approaches to literacy teaching and learning, and social justice literacies in ELAR classrooms.

Rachel E. Johnston, PhD

Lecturer of English
Texas Christian University
Office: CFO 915
Phone: 940-898-2347
Email: rjohnston3@twu.edu

Interests: Dr. Johnston teaches courses in composition focused on global citizenship and wellness, and literature courses on domesticity, marriage, mobility, monsters and madness. Her research primarily explores the roles of women, marriage and failed marriage in early transatlantic novels, art and plays, expanding to motherhood and domesticity 1660-1860.

Dr. Johnston is comparing several of Daniel Defoe's fiction and non-fiction writings which show Defoe's seemingly feminist opinions on mercenary marriage as well as employment opportunities and reproductive control for 18th-century women in Great Britain and America.

Dundee Lackey, PhD

Associate Professor of English
PhD, Michigan State University
Office: CFO 911
Phone: 940-898-2159
Email: dlackey@twu.edu

Interests: Digital/Community Rhetorics and Literacies

Sierra Mendez, PhD

Assistant Professor of English, Assistant Director of First-Year Composition
Office: CFO 902
Phone: 940-898-2348
Email: smendez11@twu.edu

Angela Mooney, PhD

Assistant Professor of English
PhD, Tulane University
Office: CFO 909
Phone: 940-898-2150
Email: amooney4@twu.edu

Interests: Mooney teaches courses in Spanish, Latin American Women Writers and Filmmakers, and Latin American Culture. Her research examines representations of race, gender and social class in contemporary Latin American cultural production with a focus on women authorship, specifically in literature and film. It highlights how a group of female artists reformulated long-established perceptions of representation and participation in the industry while revealing new narratives with the power to influence signifying practices in contemporary Latin American culture.

Mooney has published scholarly articles in journals such as Hispania, Journal of Lusophone Studies, The Latin American Literary Review, Spanish and Portuguese Review and The Latin Americanist, among others.

Adjunct Faculty and Graduate Teaching Assistants 

Alicia Beretta

Alicia Beretta, PhD student in rhetoric

First-Year Writing Instructor
Email: aberetta@twu.edu

Beretta enjoys working closely with students on their writing and engaging them in their work in innovative and beneficial ways. She is enrolled in TWU's PhD in Rhetoric program with goals of becoming a first-year writing program director and helping students and teachers with their learning and success. Beretta has a heavy interest in the intersection of transfer pedagogy, archival studies and student engagement and how they inform and fulfill one another. One of her favorite things to do as a teacher is create engaging and multimodal scaffolding discussions and activities to help make the writing process and skill development more tangible and effective for her students.

Area of Specialization: First-Year Writing, Transfer Pedagogy, WPA, Writing Studies, Archival Studies/Pedagogy

Carissa Brown

Carissa Brown, MA 

First-Year Composition Teacher
Office: CFO 128
Email: cbrown4@twu.edu

Carissa teaches first-year composition courses for TWU. Her interests vary widely with a key focus on activism, citizenship, religious rhetoric, and the voice of marginalized communities. 

Area of Specialization: Religious rhetoric, activism, and citizenship

Michael Cerliano

Michael Cerliano, PhD student in Rhetoric

Undergraduate Advisor
CFO 914
Email: mcerliano@twu.edu

Michael Cerliano is a doctoral student in rhetoric at Texas Woman’s University. His work focuses on the intersection of rhetoric, esotericism, and culture. He has published on witchcraft and the Enlightenment in Piers Haggard’s film "The Blood on Satan’s Claw" for Horror Homeroom (2021), and on H. P. Lovecraft, hauntology, and apocalypticism in the collection Lovecraft in the 21st Century: Dead, but Still Dreaming (2022). His research examines magic, visual rhetoric, and writing as practices of self-formation and knowledge creation. In addition to his scholarship and teaching, he currently serves the department as the English undergraduate advisor.

Area of Specialization: Rhetorical theory, magic, esotericism, horror, gothic, art history


“Witchcraft and the Enlightenment in the Blood on Satan’s Claw”
“Lovecraft, Hauntology, and the Rhetoric of Unthinkability”

Juliette Holder

Juliette Holder, PhD student in Rhetoric

Graduate Teaching Assistant
Office: CFO 127
Email: jholder5@twu.edu

Juliette Holder is a feminist teacher-scholar committed to multimodal, embodied and accessible pedagogical practices. Her research focuses on the formation, promotion and transformation of feminist messages in popular culture. She has written about the lasting political rhetoric of Parks and Recreation for PopMatters, as well as an article about Taylor Swift and the evolution of feminist identities for Ms. She is also interested in thought leadership and emphasizes working within both academic and public writing forms in her FYC classrooms.

Area of Specialization: Feminist rhetorics, popular culture, celebrity rhetorics, composition pedagogy 


“Feminism (Taylor’s Version)”
“Why Do Voters Want Women Candidates to be Like Parks and Recreation’s Leslie Knope?”
In 'Eras Tour' movie, Taylor Swift shows women how to reject the mandate of one identity

Jennifer Judd

Jennifer Judd, PhD student in Rhetoric

First-year composition and technical writing instructor
Email: jjudd1@twu.edu

Judd is first-year composition and technical writing instructor who prioritizes a pedagogy of access. Deeply informed by feminist, womanist and disability theories, she is invested in ways that identity, embodiment, community and care work intersect in writing classrooms and promote social justice. Her research interests include feminist pedagogies, composition theory, feminist rhetoric, disability studies, religious rhetoric and contemplative writing. Jennifer has presented on topics such as collaborative writing and community building in composition classrooms (TYCA/CCCC 2023), the intersections of religion, feminist rhetorical historiography, and public discourse (SWPACA 2023), and disability representation in children’s picture books (SWPACA 2022). Her creative publications include children’s poetry and picture books published by Two Lions Publishing, Highlights for Children, and Cricket Media group.

Area of Specialization: feminist pedagogy, composition theory, feminist rhetoric, disability studies, writing studies, contemplative writing, embodied pedagogy

Miranda Kuehmichel

Miranda Kuehmichel, PhD student in Rhetoric

First-Year Writing Program instructor
Email: mkuehmichel@twu.edu

Kuehmichel moved to Texas to attend Texas Woman’s University from Boise, Idaho. She holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in Technical Communication from Boise State University. She gained teaching experience working in Boise State’s Writing Center as an undergrad and as a writing tutor in the graduate college throughout her master’s program. Kuehmichel’s master’s research centered on racism through language perpetrated against Japanese-Americans during World War II with an emphasis on those incarcerated in U.S. concentration camps (known colloquially as Internment Camps). Her graduate research centers on cultural rhetorics by investigating racism through language and its effects on immigrant diasporas in Texas.

Areas of Specialization: Cultural Rhetorics, Antiracist Language

Cassie Kutev

Cassie Kutev, PhD student in Rhetoric

First-Year Composition instructor
Email: ckutev@twu.edu

Kutev has a deep commitment to advancing the field of semitic rhetoric, where her academic journey includes a strong foundation in media studies, speech communication and forensics.

Kutev holds a Master of Arts in Mass Communication from Stephen F. Austin State University, where she focused on the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign and rhetorical analysis of 20th Century queer media. Her research interests, variables of anti-semitism, have garnered recognition through the Rhetoric Society of America. 

As an FYC instructor, Kutev's teaching ethos rides on acute communication skills, media literacy and cultural literacy so that students understand the importance of writing and feeling empowered when creating their compositions, even after they leave the FYC classroom.

Area of Specialization: Anti-Semitic Discourse, Middle Eastern Discourse, Information Literacy, Media Studies

You can learn more and get in contact with Kutev via LinkedIn

Kim Macpherson, PhD student in Rhetoric

First-Year Composition I instructor
Email: kmacpherson@twu.edu

Forty years ago, Kim received her Master's in English at Texas Woman's University; she is now in her third year as a PhD student. Macpherson teaches Composition I for TWU's First-Year Composition program. This Fall, she plans to take the PhD comprehensive exams and, of course, like all the great Pioneer Women, plans to pass.

Area of Specialization: LGBTQ+ elders aging in place, LGBTQ+ elder health, LGBTQ+ elder and the rhetoric of acceptance, LGBTQ+ elders and the rhetoric of shame

Lia Schuermann

Lia Schuermann, PhD student in Rhetoric

Composition instructor
Email: smendez11@twu.edu

Schuermann is a mixed Chicana who seeks to foster an interdisciplinary community of connections in her research and pedagogy. She teaches a themed composition course based on digital game design and development to create alternative and collaborative writing spaces for students. Her research interests include digital game trauma narratives and a digital archive project for the oral histories of mixed Chicanas to showcase their varied embodied experiences for those within and outside the community.

Area of Specialization: Digital Game Design (Game Studies), Trauma Studies, Cultural Rhetorics, Digital/Multimodal Rhetoric, Chicana Feminisms, Embodied Experiences, Oral Histories, Storytelling

Find out more about Schuermann’s work at her website and Twitter: @liaschuermann

Desireé Thorpe

Desireé Thorpe, PhD student in Rhetoric

First-Year Composition instructor
Email: dthorpe3@twu.edu

Thorpe is an experienced First-Year Composition instructor and received the 2022 J. Dean Bishop Excellence in Teaching Award. Thorpe is invested in acknowledging students’ in and out-of-school literacies and emphasizing digital literacies in writing courses to support students. Her research focuses on the intersections of digital literacies, affinity spaces and video games. Thorpe is also invested in the well-being of students and is working on projects that address bereavement in graduate school and provide support to First-Year Composition programs. She has a forthcoming chapter in Radical Transparency: Perspectives on Graduate Education in Rhetoric and Composition and another in There are Writing Emergencies: Composing (Ourselves) in Times of Crisis. Thorpe has presented at conferences such as NeMLA, SWPACA, Computers & Writing, and CCCC about topics such as gaming, anime and first-year writing.

Area of Specialization: digital literacies, rhetoric & composition, affinity spaces, game-based learning, video games, multimodality

Adapting Dark Souls III’s Affinity Space to Support First-Year Writers

Jordan AbuAljazer
Adjunct Faculty
CFO 128

Chera Cole
Adjunct Faculty

Gregory Coleman
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Guyer High School

Darby Dyer, PhD
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Denton High School
ddyer@dentonisd.org or ddyer1@twu.edu

Timothy Mark Ellis
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Guyer High School

JennahRose English
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Birdville High School

Timothy Foxsmith
Spanish Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Rockport-Fulton High School

Eric Fuentes
Spanish Adjunct Faculty
CFO 807A

Tamara George
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Guyer High School

Judith Gonzalez
Adjunct Faculty

Jennifer Hadley
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Argyle High School

Carolyn Harrod
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Ryan High School 

Georgia Helton
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Paradise High School

Natali Herrera-Pacheco, PhD
Spanish Adjunct Faculty

Esther Houghtaling, PhD
Adjunct Faculty
CFO 127

Megan Hughes
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Denton High School

Angela Johnson
Adjunct Faculty

Alexis Kaftajian
Adjunct Instructor, Dual Credit
Argyle High School

Amanda Kerr, MA
Adjunct Instructor
CFO 127

Stephanie Kincaid
Graduate Teaching Assistant
CFO 128

Shelby Kutev
Graduate Teaching Assistant
SUHH 2138

Joshua Lopez
Adjunct Faculty
ACT 220

Mindi McGreevy
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Port Neches Groves High School

Tiffany Messerli
Speech Adjunct Faculty
CFO 807A

Keri Overall
Adjunct Faculty
CFO 915

Jason Parker, PhD
Adjunct Faculty
CFO 128

Susannah Sanford McDaniel
Adjunct Faculty

Stacy Short
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Argyle High School

Dana Van Aken
Adjunct Instructor, Dual Credit
Ryan High School

Amanda Vingren
Adjunct Faculty, Dual Credit
Braswell High School

Emeritus Faculty

Hugh Burns, PhD

Professor Emeritus
PhD, University of Texas at Austin
Email: hburns@twu.edu

Interests: Rhetoric, Computers and Writing, Digital Humanities

Lou Thompson, PhD

Professor Emerita
PhD, Texas Christian University
Office: CFO 908
Phone: 940-898-2347
Email: Lthompson2@twu.edu

Interests: Documentary film, creative writing (fiction), disability studies, visual rhetoric


Russell Greer headshot

Russell Greer, PhD

Write Site Tutor Coordinator; Professor Emeritus
Office: BHL 235
Phone: 940-898-2118
Email: rgreer@twu.edu

Interests: Thomas Hardy, Anthony Trollope

Hannah Diaz

Senior Secretary
Office: CFO 131 & BHL
Phone: 940-898-2323
Email: hdiaz@twu.edu

Amber Fenton

Amber Fenton

Administrative Assistant
Language, Culture, and Gender Studies
Office: CFO 905
Phone: 940-898-2326
Email: afenton2@twu.edu

Page last updated 2:15 PM, January 19, 2024