- Department Chair: Dr. Matt Wyszynski
- Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Hillary Nunn
- Undergraduate Advisor: Dr. Mary Biddinger
- NEOMFA information: Dr. David Giffels
- Director of University Composition: Mrs. Katie Stoynoff
- Administrative Secretary (English Composition): Carol Szabat
- Administrative Assistant: Theresa Morrison
Our course of study of literature, language, rhetoric, and creative writing fosters the development of critical thinking, skilled communication, appreciation of cultural contexts, informed citizenship, and knowledge of the various literary texts representing human thought and inquiry through the centuries.
The mission of the English department is:
- To help students improve the ability to read intelligently and to write with precision, fluency, and grace.
- To enable students to evaluate literature of the United States and beyond, with an appreciation of the diversity represented throughout the world of letters.
- To provide students with a broad historical view of literature, as well as an intensive knowledge of selected periods, genres, and writers.
- To assist students in furthering the knowledge of the structure and history of language, and to acquaint them with the theories of language held by major schools of linguistic thought.
- To enable students to evaluate texts not only as readers, but also as writers, and to seek innovative methods for expressing their own observations.
Students have the chance to work with the English Department’s faculty, which is comprised of dedicated teachers and scholars who have garnered regional and national recognition for their accomplishments in and outside the classroom, including an array of awards ranging from arts and research grants to Pulitzer Prize nominations.
Students majoring in English studies at the university have gone on to become successful professionals in their chosen fields, and have taken the department’s reputation into the world outside the campus gates. Our graduates hold careers ranging from positions in successful law practices, to jobs as published authors, technical writers, and journalists.
During their time as English majors, students are offered numerous opportunities to become involved beyond their coursework, and engaged with the campus community. The following are only a sample of those offerings:
- working as staff editors for the student-run campus literary journal, Rubbertop Review
- gaining professional editorial, publishing, and marketing experience working with University of Akron Press
- participating in the Upstart Crows student-run creative writing club
- participating in the university’s annual Shakespeare festival
- participating in the department’s annual summer reading series
The English Department is a member of the consortium of universities associated with the Center for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Membership has provided funding for graduate students to present papers at the annual conference.
The English Department is also a member of the only consortial MFA program in the Midwest, the Northeast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in creative writing (NEOMFA). The NEOMFA offers intensive study in creative writing under the direction of esteemed practicing writers.
The University of Akron | Department of English | Olin Hall 301 | Akron, Ohio 44325-1906
Tel: (330) 972-7470 | Fax: (330) 972-8817