English and Modern Languages Faculty

Gillian Bauer
Gillian Bauer
English, Instructor

Donna Bussell
Donna Bussell
English, Associate Professor

Meagan Cass
Meagan Cass
English, Associate Professor

Sarah Collins
Sarah Collins
English, Writing Specialist

Sara Cordell
Sara Cordell
English, Associate Professor

Lan Dong
Lan Dong
English, Chair

Stephanie Hedge

Stephanie Hedge
English, Assistant Professor

Tena Helton
Tena Helton
English, Associate Professor

Ethan Lewis
Ethan Lewis
English, Professor

Andrea Scarpino
English, Visiting Assistant Professor

Jennifer Whalen
English, Instructor

Stephanie Martinez
Modern Languages, Spanish Instructor and Coordinator


English Staff

Dr. Gillian Bauer

Gillian BauerInstructor of English
Ph.D. English, Loyola University Chicago

Phone: (217) 206-8332
Office: UHB 3069

Teaching Concentration: Composition; American literature; gothic fiction; class in American literature

Selected Publications:

  • “‘Christ, what a dead little place’: Compulsive Consumption in Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot.’” Studies in Gothic Fiction 4:1-2 (2015): 18-29. 89
  • “The Werewolf’s Closet: Clothing as Prosthesis in Marie de France’s Bisclavret.” The Treatment of Disabled Persons in Medieval Europe. Ed. Wendy J. Turner and Tory Vandeventer Pearman. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2011. 259−89. 90
  • “Vampiric Discourse in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.” Victorian Network 1:1 (2009). Web.

Learn more about Dr. Bauer.
To view more selected publications, visit our faculty bookshelf.

Dr. Donna Bussell

Donna Bussell Associate Professor of English
Ph.D. English, Columbia University

Phone: (217) 206-8091
Office: UHB 3072

Teaching Concentrations: Medieval and Early Modern Literature: Chaucer, Dante, Arthurian romances; devotional literature; liturgy; medieval and early modern women; linguistics; introduction to linguistics; history of the English language; sociolinguistics; digital humanities; Tolkien

“It’s a pleasure to mentor students as they explore ways of presenting their work, prepare applications for scholarships or post-graduate professional programs, or re-think their careers and educational goals.”

Selected Publications:

  • “Adgar/William, Le Gracial / The Book of Grace.” Vernacular Literary Theory from the French of Medieval England Texts and Translations, c.1120- c.1450. Eds. Jocelyn Wogan-Browne,  Thelma Fenster, and Delbert Russell. Woodbridge: D.S. Brewer June 2016.
  • “Cicero, Aelred, and Guernes: The Politics of Love in Clemence of Barking’s Catherine,” Barking Abbey: Authorship and Authority in a Medieval Women’s Community. Eds. Jennifer N. Brown and Donna Alfano Bussell. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer/York Medieval Press 2012. 183-209.

Learn more about Dr. Bussell.
To view more selected publications, visit our faculty bookshelf.

Dr. Meagan Cass

Meagan CassAssociate Professor of English
Ph.D. English and Creative Writing, University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Phone: (217) 206-8358
Office: UHB 3073

Teaching Concentrations: Creative Writing (with an emphasis in fiction and hybrid genres); contemporary American literature; composition; women’s literature and feminist theory; print and online literary publishing

“I love teaching because I get to learn new things about writing, publishing, and literature from my students every semester.”

Selected Publications:

  • “The Parents’ Guide to Ultrasport Children.” Washington Square Review, Spring 2015. 48
  • “ActivAmerica.” Bluestem, Spring 2015. 49
  • “The All-Mutant Soccer Team.” Joyland Magazine, Fall 2014. 50
  • “American’s Home Video’s Episode 25,857: Helicopter Dad.” DIAGRAM, Issue 14.3, Summer 2014. 51
  • “Interview with the Ghost of Jaws’ First Victim.” Mojo, January 2014. 52
  • “Portrait of My Father as Foosball Man, 1975-2012.” Corium Magazine, 53 Winter 2013.

Learn more about Dr. Cass.
To view more selected publications, visit our faculty bookshelf.

Sarah L. Collins

Sarah CollinsInstructor/Writing Specialist
M.A., University of Illinois Springfield

Phone: (217) 206-8477
Office: BRK 455

Teaching Concentrations: Freshman Composition; Film Studies

“I always look forward to what each new student can  teach me just as much as I love instilling a love of learning in them.”

Selected Publications:

  • “Medusa’s Children.” The Alchemist Review. 2014. Print.^M“A Tragic Affair.” The Alchemist Review. 2013. Print.
  • “Elf Quest.” Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas. Ed. M. Keith Booker. Vol. 3. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. 1014-15. Print.
  • “Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life.” Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas. Ed. M. Keith Booker. Vol. 4. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. 1743-45. Print.

Learn more about Professor Collins.
To view more selected publications, visit our faculty bookshelf.

Dr. Sara Cordell

Sara Cordell Associate Professor of English
Ph.D. English, University of Missouri

Phone: (217) 206-7213 23
Office: UHB 3066

Teaching Concentrations: Nineteenth-century British literature; literary theory

“Literature shows us our common humanity. It enriches our lives, broadens our perspectives, and furnishes our minds with language to say that for which we have no words. The value of literature is both intrinsic and invaluable. That’s why I love it and love sharing that love with my students.”

Research Interests: “My research focuses on the intersection between literature and psychoanalysis insofar as literature itself is a symptom. Currently, I’m working on a book that argues that the novels of the Brontës provided each sister an aesthetic means of giving form and expression to unspeakable grief and loss. In addition, I’ve published peer-reviewed articles and given numerous papers on literature and psychoanalysis at regional and national conferences.”

Learn more about Dr. Cordell.
To view more selected publications, visit our faculty bookshelf.

Dr. Lan Dong

Lan DongDepartment Chair
Ph.D. Comparative Literature, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Phone: (217) 206-8334
Office: UHB 3074

Teaching Concentrations: Asian American Literature; comics and graphic narratives; comparative literature; children’s and young adult literature; women and gender studies

Selected Publications:

  • Asian American Culture: From Anime to Tiger Moms (Greenwood, 2016)
  • Teaching Comics and Graphic Narratives: Essays on Theory, Strategy, and Practice (MacFarland 2012)
  • Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States (Temple University Press, 2010)
  • Transnationalism and the Asian American Heroine: Essays on Literature, Film, Myth and Media (MacFarland, 2010)
  • Reading Amy Tan (Libraries Unlimited, 2009)

Learn more about Dr. Dong.
To view more selected publications, visit our faculty bookshelf.

Dr. Stephanie Hedge

Stephanie HedgeAssistant Professor of English
Ph.D. English, Rhetoric and Compositions, Ball State University

Phone: (217) 206-8141
Office: UHB 3071

Teaching Concentrations: Rhetoric and composition; digital literacies; freshman composition; writing pedagogies and practices

“I love that, through spreading my passion for language, rhetoric, and literacies, I can help empower students through helping them gain access to languages of power and social change.”

Selected Publications:

  • “Questing Through Class: Gamification in the Professional Writing Classroom.” with Jennifer Grouling and Eva Grouling Snider. Technical Communications and Video Games. Ed. Jennifer DeWinter and Ryan Moeller. Burlington: Ashgate. 2014.

Learn more about Dr. Hedge.
To view more selected publications, visit our faculty bookshelf.

Dr. Tena Helton

Tena Helton

Associate Professor of English
Ph.D. English, Louisiana State University

Phone: (217) 206-7441
Office: UHB 3070

Teaching Concentration: American literature and culture; genre theory; film; writing; teaching literature

“Good teaching and good learning provides students with access to power. My classroom practices and my overall goals are to empower students within and outside the classroom.”

Selected Publications:

  • “From Beijing Story to Their Story: Adaptation and Stanley Kwan’s Lan Yu.” Co-authored with Lan Dong. Journal of Adaptation in Film and Performance 7:2 (2014): 139-53. 13
  • “What the White ‘Squaws’ Want from Black Hawk: Gendering the Fan-Celebrity Relationship.” American Indian Quarterly 34:4 (2010): 498-520. 14
  • “Being Virtually Human: Teaching Early American Literature Online.” Teaching American Literature: A Journal of Theory and Practice 1:2 (2007).

Learn more about Dr. Helton.
To view more selected publications, visit our faculty bookshelf.

Dr. Ethan Lewis

Ethan Lewis Associate Professor of English
Ph.D. English, Boston College

Phone: (217) 206-7436
Office: UHB 3068

Teaching Concentrations: Shakespeare; Milton; 17th-century literature; 20th-century literature; modern and contemporary poetry

“Closely study one Shakespeare play, for instance, and you have his oeuvre at your behest for the rest of your life. What a treasure trove to enrich your days!”

Selected Publications:

  • The Shakespeare Project and Ensuing Essays (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2015)
  • Reflexive Poetics (Cambridge Scholars, 2010)
  • Modernist Image (Cambridge Scholars, 2010)
  • Conundrums for the Long Week-End; England, Lord Peter Wimsey, and Dorothy L. Sayers (Kent State University Press, 2004)

Learn more about Dr. Lewis.
To view more selected publications, visit our faculty bookshelf.

Dr. Andrea Scarpino

Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Modern Languages

M.F.A. in Creative Writing at The Ohio State University
P.h.D. in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University

Research and writing interests: poetry; the body; disability studies

Selected Publications: 

  • Once Upon Wing Lake. Pheonix: Four Chambers Press, 2017.
  • What the Willow Said as it Fell. Los Angeles: Red Hen Press, 2016.
  • Once, Then. Los Angeles: Red Hen Press, 2014.

To view more selected publications, visit our faculty bookshelf.

Jennifer Whalen

Instructor of English and Modern Languages

M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Texas State University

Phone: (217) 206-8206
Office: UHB 3067

Research and Writing Interests: college composition; poetry; film and television; creative writing

“I love teaching because it is a daily reminder of the immense work words do.”

Selected Publications: 

  • “The Gold Door.” Southern Indiana Review Issue 23.2, Fall 2016.
  • “Hands Full.” New South Issue 9.2, Fall 2016.
  • “Outside Rushing In.” Gulf Coast, Issue 28.2, Summer/Fall 2016.

Learn more about Jennifer Whalen.

Stephanie Martinez

Spanish Instructor and Coordinator

M.A. in Linguistics, University of Illinois at Chicago

Phone: (217) 206-8300
Office: UHB 4037

Research interests: Psychological processes of second language learning; Role of culture in language learning



Composition Instructors

Lisa Davis

Erin Fisher

Tiffany Elliott

Danielle Patricio

Shelley Lewis

Alexandra Ayers