three students taking notes

Writing

School of Humanities & Behavioral Science

The writing major at Anderson University gives students opportunities to develop advanced writing skills in a range of creative and professional writing arenas. Students are encouraged to pursue an additional major or a strategic set of minors alongside this major, especially fields which include challenging writing tasks. It is hosted by the Department of English

Program Overview

Writing

Writing majors immerse themselves in literature from a variety of genres and nurture their own creativity through writing classes, participation in the university’s literary magazine, and writing conferences.

In addition, students are able to pursue advanced training in expository, argumentative, nonfiction, and creative writing. The department also provides opportunities for students to participate in various publications and contests.

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Options

  • Graduate with a BA in Writing in 3 years
  • Graduate with a BA in Writing in 4 years
  • Complete the 3 + 1 program, from BA to MBA
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3+1 Program

Graduate with a BA in Writing and a MBA with the 3+1 program. You spend four years total at AU and earn two degrees while you are here.

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Getting Involved

  • Academic achievement among students majoring in English is recognized by membership in the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, a national English Honor Society.
  • The department annual sponsors the Campus Literary Arts Magazine, which publishes students’ poetry, fiction, and artwork.
  • The Department of English sponsors the Syford Poetry Contest and the Genesis Contest for Short Prose.
  • The Department of English encourages faculty-student collegiality through social gatherings such as dinners and picnics, professional theatre attendance, and faculty-home study groups.
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Classes

Among the classes of this major are:

  • Appreciation of the Writing Craft
  • English Grammar
  • Professional Writing and Editing
  • Creative Writing Workshop
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Careers

Students in the writing program often complete a second major in another discipline of their choosing, which means the types of industries in which they might work — ministry, health care, technology, government, education, non-profit or for-profit business sectors — are endless.

Pairing a writing major with another major elevates the skillset of an individual when searching for a career or internship. For example, a biology major pursuing a technical writing field would benefit as would a psychology, history, or accounting major to self-publish articles or books.

Internship Initiative

Internships and freelance work provide practical, hands-on experiences for our students. This benefits the students by:

  • providing opportunities to apply their skills
  • build their portfolios
  • develop a professional network
  • consider the full spectrum of career opportunities available upon graduation

These experiences are equally beneficial to the organizations who partner with us. They quickly discover the competence, innovative thinking, and quality work of our students, who are eager to demonstrate their skills and become an asset to their employers. This is because we have great students who come into the program with a desire to work hard and find meaningful ways to channel their enthusiasm and creativity. The training they receive in their coursework teaches them to think critically, communicate effectively across a number of platforms, and adhere to professional standards.

Types of projects suitable for our students could include (but are not limited to):

  • Developing content for marketing materials
  • Managing/writing for social media
  • Launching and helping maintain a social media presence
  • Managing/editing a print or web publication
  • Writing feature articles for a magazine, newsletter, website, or blog
  • Writing speeches
  • Writing grant proposals
  • Crafting letters or email messages to internal or external audiences
  • Copy editing
  • Conducting a variety of research projects -- possibly related to grants, marketing, internal processes, etc.

If you are an Anderson University student, you can access this internship database, which lists a variety of employers and job postings that would provide excellent internship experience.

If you have questions regarding this program, please contact Professor Cara Miller or Professor Elizabeth Ranfeld.

OUR FACULTY

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Dr. Scott Borders

Chair, Department of English; Professor of English

Photo of Scott Borders
Dr. Scott Borders

Dr. Scott Borders is chair of the English department and its senior member, having joined the faculty in 1985. With a BA in English from Anderson, he attended Purdue University for both his master’s and doctoral degrees. His doctoral dissertation was on family structures in the fiction of nineteenth-century writer Thomas Hardy.

With primary training in British literature of the past two centuries, Dr. Borders teaches a variety of literature courses in the major, including Introduction to Literature, The British Novel, and surveys of eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century British literature. Additionally, he teaches special topics courses in the fiction of Thomas Hardy as well as contemporary Southern American literature, along with a course in professional writing and editing.

In addition to chairing the department, Dr. Borders has served on many university committees, most recently on the Academic Policies and Faculty Affairs committees. For 25 years he was advisor to the department’s national honor society, Sigma Tau Delta.

Active in professional organizations, Dr. Borders has longstanding memberships in the Indiana College English Association (ICEA) as well as its national counterpart, the College English Association (CEA). Within that organization he has filled many leadership roles, including  a term as president; he currently serves as treasurer. He has been recognized with CEA’s Life Membership award and as ICEA’s Scholar/Teacher of the Year.

A native of Alabama, Borders resides in Anderson. He enjoys maintaining a 90 year old home and yard on Anderson’s northwest side, reading (especially fiction), and caring for two lively corgi dogs. He has one son, also a graduate of Anderson University.

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Peter Elliott

Assistant Professor English

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Peter Elliott

Professor Elliott primarily teaches first-year writing courses, including Rhetoric and Composition plus Rhetoric and Research. These courses are designed to give new AU students the writing skills they need -- and hone the skills they already have -- to be successful in their college coursework, regardless of the majors they choose. Elliott is also a certified K-6 teacher in Indiana and teaches Language Arts methods to prospective secondary English teachers.

His research interests include digital rhetoric and composition studies of students with disabilities. As the father of three sons, the youngest of whom has autism, Elliott is deeply interested in issues of access and accommodation for all students no matter what their perceived limitations. He enjoys presenting his work at regional and national conferences and being part of the dialogue of how best to serve all learners. His family is broadly interested in autism advocacy.

Elliott earned his B.A. from Purdue University and has two Master’s degrees from Ball State University, one in Elementary Education and one in Rhetoric and Composition. He began his career as a print journalist working in Minnesota, Northwest Indiana and suburban Washington, D.C., where he covered the Washington Redskins of the National Football League. He returned to Indiana and was a news and sports editor for The Herald Bulletin in Anderson before beginning graduate work in 2003. He later taught middle school Language Arts for four years prior to starting at AU as adjunct faculty in 2009. He joined the full-time faculty in 2012.

He, his wife Karla, and sons live in Fishers and attend The Promise United Methodist Church where he serves in children’s ministries.

Photo of Elizabeth Imafuji

Dr. Elizabeth Imafuji

Director of First Year Composition; Associate Professor of English

Photo of Elizabeth Imafuji
Dr. Elizabeth Imafuji

Elizabeth Imafuji teaches first-year writing and a variety of courses on writing and language, including Composing Arguments, History of the English Language, English Grammar and Style, and the Honors Program course Journeys and Migrations in the Western Tradition.

As Writing Program Director, she provides leadership for the university’s first-year writing sequence. She also co-directs the university’s Honors Program.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Imafuji researches writing and rhetoric. Recently she has presented her work at national conferences including those of the College Composition and Communication, College English Association, and the Council of Writing Program Administrators. In 2017 she was awarded a fully-funded spot on the Council for Independent Colleges seminar “The Verbal Art of Plato,” hosted by the Center for Hellenic Studies. She also serves on the executive board of the Indiana College English Association.

Dr. Imafuji holds a Ph.D. in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition from Ball State University, and an M.A. in English specializing in Teaching English as a Second Language from Purdue University. She joined the AU faculty in 2005.

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Cara Miller

Assistant Professor English

Photo of Cara Miller
Cara Miller

Professor Cara Miller first came to Anderson University to study journalism. As an undergraduate, she wrote for the school newspaper, was active in a social club, went on a trip to Spain, experienced several valuable internships, and graduated summa cum laude. She enjoyed AU so much that she returned to work on campus less than a year after graduating — first in the Publications Office, where she focused on university marketing and communications, and then in the English Department, which she joined in 2011.

In addition to freshmen composition, Professor Miller teaches courses in creative writing. She is also the faculty advisor for the student-run Literary Arts Magazine, director of the campus-wide Syford Poetry Contest, and a faculty mentor for first-year students. Besides teaching, she is the copy editor for two academic journals: Journal of Biblical Integration in Business and the Christian Business Association Review. Her own work has been published in various publications, including Eastown FictionSignatures magazine, and Metro North Business magazine.

Professor Miller serves on several university committees geared toward student success and marketing, including the Marketing and Recruitment Committee for the university’s Strategic Enrollment Plan, the Student Success Communications Committee, the Admissions Committee, the Centennial Steering Committee, and the Steering Committee for the Indiana Faith and Writing Conference. She is also co-coordinator of the Anderson University United Way Campaign.

She lives in Fishers with her husband and two young sons and attends Northview Church.

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Deborah Miller-Fox

Professor of English

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Deborah Miller-Fox

Professor Deborah Miller-Fox teaches creative writing, composition, cross-cultural American literature, two courses in the First Year Experience sequence and the Senior Seminar course required for all English and writing majors. Since 1997 when she began teaching in the English department, her course load has included a variety of other courses such as argument, literary non-fiction and advanced grammar. For many years, she advised the student staff for AU’s Literary Arts Magazine and directed the English department’s annual creative writing contest. Just recently, she accepted the role of faculty advisor for our chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society.

In addition to her responsibilities in the English department, Professor Miller-Fox serves the institution in a variety of other roles. For several years she chaired AU’s Academic Policies Committee and briefly served on the Faculty Affairs Committee. Miller-Fox worked with faculty from seven different departments to revise the existing Liberal Arts Seminar and design a new course from scratch. Additionally, she was one of the lead writers of a grant proposal that won the university a $1 million Lilly grant in 2013 and led to her becoming director of IDEA-U, a three-part initiative funded by the grant. Miller-Fox is also serving as co-chair of the university’s Strategic Enrollment Plan.

Though her primary calling is classroom instruction, Miller-Fox is an accomplished writer as well. She has contributed essays to several anthologies, and in 2010 she released A Star for Robbins Chapel, a young adult novel about a migrant family living in Lee County, Virginia in 1905. Though fiction and literary non-fiction are her preferred forms of prose, Miller-Fox writes scholarly and professional pieces as well. Since 2011, she has contributed multiple articles to Faculty Focus, an online professional journal on teaching methodology and best practices. Miller-Fox’s current writing project is a novel for adult readers. Tentatively titled Gravity, this work of fiction witnesses the crisis of faith, the consequences of rebellion and the power of redemption when the main character faces profound loss.

Professor Miller-Fox and her family attend Madison Park Church of God, where she serves on the Board of Elders and leads a small group with her husband, Jerry, a member of AU’s Falls School of Business. When she’s not cooking for family or friends, she can usually be found tending the flowerbeds around her home or reading a book on the front porch.

Watch a video about her passion for literature.

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Dr. Jason Robert Parks

Associate Professor of English

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Dr. Jason Robert Parks

Dr. Jason Parks hold s a Ph.D. in literature from Ball State University. Prior to joining the faculty at AU in 2008, Jason earned his Master of Arts in English at Butler University. His love of southern literature and absurdly long sentences led him to write a thesis on the links between modern historiography and William Faulkner’s Absalom Absalom! He has also worked extensively with at-risk youth in group home and academic settings, including a year of teaching literature, Bible, and Physical Education at an alternative high school near Boulder, Colorado. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Anderson University, where he was also an active leader in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and served as captain of the cross-country and track teams for three years. He earned NCAA All-America status as a college athlete and still holds the AU school record at 10,000 meters.

His current course offerings include Rhetoric and Composition, Rhetoric and Research, Contemporary Global Literature, and multiple courses in Medieval and Early Modern literature, including Chaucer and Shakespeare. His research includes topics ranging from digital pedagogy to early 20th century literary magazines. He has presented papers at multiple conferences on pedagogical topics and the transatlantic literary journal transition. He is a member of the Modernist Studies Association and the College English Association. He has also written a book chapter entitled, “A Digital Approach to Teaching Postmodern Literature,” which will be published by Bedford/St. Martin’s press in January 2015. Some of his original lesson plans can also be found on the preeminent online Shakespeare resource, The Shakespeare Standard.

He, his wife Kendra, and their sons, reside in Anderson and attend Madison Park Church of God where they also serve in the children’s ministry.

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Dr. Kevin Radaker

Professor of English

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Dr. Kevin Radaker

Kevin Radaker earned his Ph.D. in English with a specialization in American Literature from Penn State University in 1986. He joined the English department in 1987, and he served as chair of the department for twenty-five years, from 1988 to 2013. His current teaching assignments include American Literature of the Nineteenth Century, American Literature of the Twentieth Century, American Poetry, The American Dream in Twentieth Century American Literature, American Nature Writing, Christianity and Literature, Valuing through Literature, and both freshman composition courses. During his first seven years with the department, he taught courses in creative writing and directed the English department’s annual creative writing contests. In the spring of 1991, he received the Sears-Roebuck Foundation Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award.

In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Professor Radaker has published a dozen articles on Henry Thoreau, Herman Melville, Wendell Berry, and Annie Dillard in academic journals and encyclopedias. Besides his publications, he has presented papers at over thirty conferences, including three national conferences and three international conferences. His research interests are wide, but he is especially interested in the American Transcendentalists, the role of nature in American literature and culture, and the expression of the spiritual quest in literary works. During his years with the department, he has received seven summer research grants from the university and nineteen summer fellowships from various state humanities councils in support of his travels to those states to offer his dramatic portrayals of Henry Thoreau, C. S. Lewis, and Winston Churchill.

Besides his teaching assignments and research interests, Dr. Radaker is a veteran actor-scholar who offers three highly acclaimed dramatic portrayals of Henry David Thoreau, C. S. Lewis, and Winston Churchill. Since 1991, he has presented his portrayal of Thoreau over 400 times around the nation at universities, colleges, libraries, museums, conferences, state and national parks, and numerous summer Chautauqua tours. He began offering his portrayal of C. S. Lewis in the fall of 2009. Since then, he has presented his “Lewis” over 70 times in seven states at places of worship, libraries, and conferences, including an international teachers’ conference in Beijing, China, in October, 2011. He began offering his portrayal of Winston Churchill in the summer of 2016 for the Oklahoma Chautauqua tour. For more information about his portrayals, including testimonials and video clips, see his websites: www.thoreaulive.comwww.cslewislive.com, and www.winstonchurchilllive.com.

Over the years, Professor Radaker has aided the university by serving on many different committees. He has also aided his local worship community by serving as a Sunday School teacher on many different occasions throughout the past twenty years. He lives in Noblesville with his wife Linda, and their two sons, Paul and Luke. They attend Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis.

Photo of Elizabeth Ranfeld

Elizabeth Ranfeld

Assistant Professor English

Photo of Elizabeth Ranfeld
Elizabeth Ranfeld

Professor Liz Ranfeld graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and from the University of New Hampshire with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. Her MFA thesis was a research-based memoir about the ethical and moral implications of international youth missions work. At Anderson, she teaches freshman composition, nonfiction, creative writing, and the both of the First Year Experience courses.

As an essayist, Ranfeld writes and publishes about a variety of topics, but especially about women and religion. Recently, her work has been published by the Shriver ReportJezebel.comFaculty Focus, and Persephone Magazine. She is also invested in bringing technology into the classroom in new ways that benefit students. She blogs frequently about the best ways to use media, popular culture, and technology in the composition classroom. Ranfeld has presented sessions on using Google Drive in the classroom at AU and several times at Ball State University.

Since starting at AU in 2011, Ranfeld has traveled to India with Tri-S, become the faculty advisor for the student social club Alacritas, and served on the sexual assault prevention coalition. She advises freshmen through the First Year Experience seminar. Every fall, she takes English majors to the tri-campus writing retreat in Hartford City, Indiana, where they write and build relationships with students from Taylor University and Indiana Wesleyan University.

Professor Ranfeld lives in Albany with her husband Ben and their two young children. They attend Commonway Church in Muncie.