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Department Newsletter

The Department of English and Foreign Languages is ever-evolving and filled with excitement. We have created a newsletter entitled Reflections to inform the students about all the exciting things going on within the department. Check out our newsletters from Spring 23 and Fall 23 to see the activities and events the department implements throughout the school year.

Reflections Volume I Spring 2023

EFL's New Department CHair

Dr. Charlotte Teague is an alumna of Alabama A&M University, where she has just accepted her new position as Chair of the Department of English and Foreign Languages. Dr. Teague is a self-motivated teacher-scholar who is a demonstrated leader, and a team player who initiates and executes projects, tasks, and assignments. Her dedication to her school and her craft have been admired by many students and faculty alike. Because of this, we know the department is in great hands!Dr. Charlotte Teague

Dr. Teague lists her role of interim chair - which she undertook without any training or guidance - as her biggest accomplishment. According to Dr. Teague, "It felt like I was building a plane while flying it, but we made it!" She is grateful for her team and their collective ability to move the department forward. Together, they have worked to strengthen the program, recruit new majors, and improve general education program offerings. Dr. Teague labels this as "the road to success." Looking to the future, Dr. Teague still sees herself at AAMU, still teaching, still working, and still "shaping the future of our race, community, and world." 

- by Teonna Trammell


In February, a cohort of 10 EFL faculty attended the Association of College English Teachers of Alabama's (ACETA) 75th Conference in Clanton, Alabama representing Alabama A&M University. Faculty members in attendance were Dr. Phillip Blackmon, Mrs. Judith Hayes, Mrs. Kiietti Walker-Parker, Ms. Gentry Simmons, Ms. Yolanda Toney, Mrs. Pamela Manasco, Ms. Jody Jones, Dr. Sheri Stanley, Mrs. Theresa Wessels, and Dr. Charlotte Teague. Faculty attended scholarly and pedagogical presentations, including Dr. Teague's presentation, "'How I got over/You know my soul looks back in wonder...' The Amazing Grace and Rhetoric of Black Gospel Music in the HBCU Classroom."

Mrs. Judith Hayes is also pleased to report that Alabama A&M University has been chosen as the site of the 76th ACETA Conference, scheduled for February 2024.

Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Contest

Gwendolyn Brooks

The Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Contest began with seed money from Gwendolyn Brooks herself, who was passionate about encouraging students to write poetry. This goal is one that is shared by this iteration of the contest. There is no entry fee and the only requirement for entry is to be a current AAMU student. There is a wide variety of students who enter the contest, with a large mix of majors in both the Humanities and Sciences. There is also a large diversity of the themes of the poems. The contest was open from March 1st to April 1st. Winners were announced at EFL Honors Day on April 20, and presented with their prizes: $100, $50, $25 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.


  • 1st place: Stephen Martin, "Over the Garden Wall"
  • 2nd place: Jeremiah McDow, "The Switch"
  • 3rd place: Kiyha Pettway, "If the Crown Fits"
  • Honorable Mention: Goodwill Kwenda, "Simple Jays"

- by Keland Hamilton

"Look at what's happening in this world. Every day there's something exciting or disturbing to write about. WIth all that's going on, how could I stop?"
-Gwendolyn Brooks


EFL Honors: A Celebration of Literature, Language, and Culture

On Thursday, April 20, the EFL department held an Honors Day to recognizeEFL Honors high achievers in English major classes. Awards were given for the highest average in each major course, as well as for outstanding achievement in Spanish and French classes. Graduating seniors were also announced, including 77-year-old Annie Osborn, who was given a special recognition for being AAMU's oldest graduate. Additionally, Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Contest winners were announced (see above).

 After awards were distributed, closing remarks were delivered by Prof. Charlotte Canady-Slater; EFL Department Chair Dr. Charlotte Teague; College of Education, Humanities, and Behavioral Sciences Dean Dr. Lena Walton; and Associate Vice President Dr. Pamela Arrington. Students, faculty, and staff were then treated to a buffet including homemade empanadas, French macaroons, and other delicious treats.

Graduating Seniors

The EFL Department is proud to announce our graduates for Spring 2023 Commencement. Congratulations!

  • Keland Hamilton, Summa Cum Laude
  • Zoe Howard, Cum Laude
  • Adric Kimbrough, Magna Cum Laude
  • Annie Osborn, Magna Cum Laude
  • Taylor Watson, Cum Laude

Faculty Highlights

  • Dr. Tracey Gholston
    1. (1) Southern Humanities Conference. "Punishing Whiteness: Corbin Kyle's Thirst for the Whip." Presentation. January 2023. 
    2. (2) Chapter Manuscript. "Run, Nigger, Run: Consequences of Being and Staying 'Woke' in Singleton's Higher Learning. In Progress.
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  • Dr. Jonathan Lampley
    1. (1) Guest Speaker on Cathode Ray Mission Podcast. Topic: Batman: The Animated Series. February 2023. 
    2. (2) "Hawthorne, Poe Style; A 60th Anniversary Consideration of Twice-Told Tales (1963)." Tennessee Philological Association Presentation. February 2023.
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  • Pamela Manasco
    1. (1) 3 poems: "Clouds, July," "1992," "Great Black Wasp." New South Journal, Issue 14.2. Published March 2023. 
    2. (2) 4 poems: "Homes," "This Body, "Ten Years After the Murders," "Out of Reach." Palooka, Issue 13. Published January 2023.
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  • Dr. Charlotte Teague
    1. (1) "How I Got Over/You know my soul looks back in wonder..." The Amazing Grace and Rhetoric of Black Gospel Music in the HBCU Classroom." Association of College English Teachers of Alabama's (ACETA) Presentation. February 2023. 
    2. (2) Women (W)Righting Alabama: Celebrating the Quilt in Literary Contexts." Invited Talk: Presentation. The Huntsville Madison County Library in partnership with The Historic Huntsville Foundation. March 2023. 
    3. (3) "Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker: Two Geniuses of the South." College Language Association (CLA). Presentation. April 2023.
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  • Linda Raven Woods

    Elmer & Leonard. Top 20 Book of the Month for Fantasy on Coverfly Red List.

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Pre-law Pipeline

Pre-Law Pipeline

What can you do with a B.A. in English?

Succeed in law school. 

The EFL Department hosted a packed event, with nearly 30 registered students attending our first ever Pre-Law Pipeline event. Spearheaded by EFL faculty member Mrs. Charlotte Canady-Slater, the event featured a panel discussion between attorneys Rochelle Conley and Jazmin R. Shorter, as well as recent English graduate Tanaijah Adams, an upcoming law student at Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama. 

During the event, our featured guests discussed how the English major can prepare students for successfully passing the LSAT and succeeding in law school. Both attorneys Conley and Shorter praised the English degree for its ability to improve students' analytical and critical writing skills, and to prepare students to write in different modes. According to Attorney Shorter, "Majoring in English, if you plan to go to law school, is absolutely the thing to do. Having an English foundation is going to serve you the best." 

Tanaijah Adams, who graduated with a B.A. in English in 2021, focused her comments on specific skills taught by the English major, in addition to classes which helped her as she prepared for applying to law school. She praised the English degree for helping cultivate her persuasive writing, communication, and editing and proofreading skills. Additionally, she suggests that students interested in law school take the following classes, which will assist not only in improving students writing skills, but also in developing their debate, communication, and critical reading skills:

  • ENG 304: Advanced Composition 
  • ENG 420: Postcolonial Theory
  • ENG 325/326: African American Literature
  • ENG 407: Shakespeare

Organization Highlights

  • Sigma Tau Delta

    Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society Strives to promote high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. The Society provides cultural stimulation on college campuses and promotes exemplary character and good fellowship among its members. AAMU houses the Beta Nu Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, International English Society. For more information about the organization, please contact:

    Dr. Tracey Gholston

    Dr. Charlotte Teague  

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  • English Club

    The Alabama A&M University English Club is an organization by students, about students, and for students. AAMU English Club members participate in reading groups, hold workshops and student-based forums, volunteer for community services such as tutoring and reading to K-12 students in our area. We even design our own custom-made club T-shirts!

    Our club offers students a wonderful opportunity to express themselves and build their resumes. Although we are comprised mainly of AAMU English Majors, non-English Majors are also invited to join! For more information, contact:

    Dr. Robert Powell


    -by Zoe Howard

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  • Poetry Club

    Poetry Club has been busy this semester. Club advisors Mr. Jonathan Tyler and Mrs. Kiietti Walker-Parker have been meeting with the club twice a month, and have supervised them at events including the Women of Worth event at Buchanan Auditorium. Additionally, Poetry Club is planning to host a poetry slam which will feature performances by both club members and EFL faculty. Finally, Poetry Club will finish the semester with their annual Hands to Hearts event. For more information about the club, please contact: 

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Alumni Spotlight

Dr. Charlotte Teague

As the newly appointed Chair of the Department of English and Foreign Languages, Dr. Charlotte Teague is no stranger to the illustrious campus of Alabama A&M University. She previously served as the Interim Chair and has spent the past twenty years teaching for the English department. With a rich family heritage of Bulldog Pride, Dr. Teague is among her mother, four siblings, aunt, and niece who have all chosen to continue their education and obtained a degree at AAMU. Teaching is actually Dr. Teague's third career; previously, she was a technical writer and consultant for CSC at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, and the Educational Writer for MSFC. She transitioned into teaching as a public school teacher before moving to AAMU in 2005. Dr. Teague knew that teaching was her calling and life's work, and as an AAMU Alum, she wanted to dedicate her career to giving back to the students at her alma mater and plans on retiring from the university when the time comes. She believes in the HBCU mission of access and opportunity as she is committed to the teaching, research, and service that is the foundation of AAMU. One of her specialties is Black Women Writers, and her current research focuses on Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston. On April 5th, Dr. Teague attended the College Language Association Convention where the overall theme centered on "Rage, Resilience, & Response" and she had the honor of presenting her research through a paper titled, "Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker: Two Geniuses of the South." 

- by Robyn Cole 

Treona Brown

Ms. Treona Brown is in the last semester of her second year of law school. While at Cumberland School of Law, she is also a Legal Extern for Shipt, Inc. She praised her English degree for teaching her how to write persuasively, and for enhancing her analytical and critical thinking skills. She advises any English major with law school ambitions to build genuine relationships with professors and take classes that enhance writing and thinking skills. Specifically, Ms. Brown listed English 300, 304, 307, 407, and 420 as classes that shaped her writing. She also credited 303 as a course cultivating her technical writing skills, which is imperative in professional writing. 

- by Jonathan Perkins

Spanish Club & French Club 

Spanish Club meets several times each semester reviewing Spanish vocabulary and engaging in conversation using what we have learned. In recent years, the Spanish Club has had many students to join the club and realize that having a conversation in a foreign language is not as tough as they imagined it would be. In fact, they have expressed feelings of pleasure being able to communicate with people of different cultural backgrounds. For more information, contact:

French Club allows students an open and safe environment to practice, make mistakes, and have fun learning French. Students can build connections and friendships with one another. As the club progresses, sponsor Mrs. Brittany Massey hopes to add more cultural activities, including a French film night. For more information, contact:


- by Briona Comer

Dallis Wolfe Memorial Scholarship

Dallis Wolfe was an AAMU student and promising scholar when heDallis Wolfe was slain in 2021 - on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, no less. His poem "Eulogy For My Friend Black Man" was an Honorable Mention winner in the 2020 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Contest. In that poem, he expressed the fear of dying by violence and the need for Black men to rise above becoming statistics of gun violence. 

The Dallis Wolfe Memorial Scholarship has been established by EFL faculty member Mrs. Linda-Raven Woods in honor of late AAMU student Dallis Wolfe. The scholarship will be awarded each spring semester to a deserving AAMU student majoring in Psychology or Criminal Justice. Dallis believed that these fields would best enable him to give back to his community in St. Petersburg, Florida. 

- by Prof. Linda-Raven Woods

"Majors in philosophy, literature, and history have among the highest average scores on the GMAT, the LSAT, the MCAT, and the GRE."

Checking in with our Majors: Keland Hamilton & Jonathan Perkins

Keland Hamilton is a native of Bessemer, Alabama. He majors in English, but he was originally a computer science major. He switched majors because he likes to write, which is his hobby, and he wanted to see where he would go with his English major. In the future, Mr. Hamilton plans on writing novels. He wants to do anything related to technical writing, such as editing and copy-writing. During his time on the hill, he has had a positive experience. He has been able to network and express himself more with his writing and overall self. His big-gest inspiration in the English department has been Dr. Teague and Dr. B. They are his biggest inspirations because of the feedback he has gotten from his writing. This helps him push himself and gives him motivation. Even though the program is small, he feels like his goals have been achieved because of Dr. Teague’s help.

- by Monet Wright

Jonathan Perkins is a senior English major (English Language Arts concentration) from Birmingham. Initially, Jonathan earned a scholarship at his choir audition when he visited the AAMU campus for SOAR. He says that he is "a firm believe in going where you're wanted," and his warm reception on campus cemented his decision to become a Bulldog. Jonathan has remained in choir ever since. He's also a current member of the SGA: for the 2021/22 year, he was elected Senator of Diversity and Inclusion, where he worked with Common Ground. In Spring of ’23, Jonathan ran for (and won!) office as Constitutional Advisor. Jonathan is also a member of Sigma Tau Delta and Ward Modeling Troupe, and he recently cohost-ed Flex Your Film Festival at AAMU. This summer, he’ll be interning for Uncommon Schools in Brooklyn, New York.

New Faculty 

Welcome to our new faculty and staff!

  • Dr, Jonathan Lampley, Assistant Professor 
  • Dr. Deepak Pant, Assistant Professor
  • Ms. Hailey Scruggs, Administrative Assistant
  • Ms. Gentry Simmons, Instructor
  • Mrs. Laney Smith, Instructor
  • Ms. Yolanda Toney, Instructor
  • Mr. Jonathan Tyler, Instructor
  • Mrs. Suzana Vizcarra, Instructor


Want to know how the English major can help you get into law school?

Check out Pre-Law Pipeline, p. 3, and our Alumni Spotlight of Treona Brown, p. 5.

Want to learn more about creative writing opportunities in the EFL department?

Check out Poetry Club, p. 2, and the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Contest, p. 5.

Want to learn more about EFL clubs?

Check out Poetry Club, p. 2; English Club & Sigma Tau Delta, p. 4; and Spanish Club & French Club, p. 5.

Want to know about the amazing things our faculty and majors are doing?

Check out Faculty Highlights, p. 5; Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Charlotte Teague, p. 4; and Majors Spotlight, p. 4.Student Photo


Thank you to Prof. Linda Woods for her article about the Dallis Wolfe Memorial Scholarship, p. 5. Thank you to Dr. Robert Powell and Mr. Jonathan Tyler for their contribution of information for the alumni spotlight of Treona Brown, p. 4, and Poetry Club, p. 6. All other articles were written by Prof. Pamela Manasco and ENG 322 students.

Thank you to the students of ENG 322, who contributed their time and talents to this newsletter.

Reflections Volume 2 Fall 2023

Welcome From the Chair 

Fall is my favorite time of the year for many reasons, but the main one isDr. Teague that it is a time of change. The time changes, the weather changes, the leaves change, and because we are evolving, we change. As I wrap up my second year of leading the department, I can truly say that the departmental change I have seen has been noteworthy-especially this fall. For example, we have improved our DFW rates, created and certified new online courses, and revitalized our committees. and much exciting work is being done in teaching, scholarship, and service.

In addition, the department has grown, and I am proud to welcome our new Writing Center Director and our new instructors. We are now the undisputed largest department at the University with thirty full-time faculty members. While that has everything to do with our being the largest general education base, we have proven that we are MUCH MORE than a general education department.

When we look in the mirror, we see who we are as professionals with degrees in a field that is the foundation for all that is scholarly. Reading, writing, and critical thinking are the key components to success in all professions, and they define why we can proudly say that "We Make All Careers Possible!" Graduates of our program are everywhere, achieving in all fields. Our program is solid and valuable. Our focus for the department this year is to increase our majors and build an aggressive marketing plan that will help to tell our story and educate students on all that can be done with a degree in English.

We need all students, faculty, and alumni on board to help us. We must all be ambassadors in and out of the classroom. Will you help? I know the task will not be easy, but we must rise to the occasion and move in what I described at the beginning of the year as "beast mode." Let's Go!!!!

Dr. Charlotte Teague, EFL Chair

Congratulations to Our Graduating Seniors

  • Briona Comer, Cum LaudeGraduating Seniors
  • Ja'Boski James
  • Leonna Trammell 
  • Byron Wesley, Cum Laude

Our New Faculty

Dr. Nathan Hulsey

Dr. Hulsey

Behold the ascension of Dr. Nathan Hulsey, a sorcerer of Digital Media, who, in the year of our stars, 2015, was crowned with a doctorate from the esteemed North Carolina State University.
Today, he stands as the illustrious Director of the Writing Center at AAMU, wielding his wondrous words to guide the seekers of knowledge. Let us join the chorus of Bulldogs and herald his triumphs!

Professor Stacy Humes

Prof. Humes

I earned both my B.S in English (94) and my M.Ed in Secondary Education (2001) from Alabama A&M University. I was a 7th and 8th grade English teacher for 17 years: four years at Cedar Ridge Middle School in Decatur, AL and 13 years at Discovery Middle School in Madison, AL. In 2017, I became the Instructional Partner (Coach) at Discovery Middle School. I taught adjunct (English 101 and 102) for the
Dept of E&FL at A&M from 1999-2009 and most recently Spring '23.

Dr. Pamela White

My name is Dr. Pamela White. I received my Bachelor of Science and my Master of Arts from Jacksonville State University. I furthered my education by receiving my Doctorate in Post-Secondary Education from Capella University in 2021. I have been an English Instructor for twelve years. During those twelve years, my focus has primarily been English composition and learning skills for college students. The first three years of my teaching career I was an adjunct instructor at Bevill State Community College in Sumiton, Alabama, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. For the last nine years, I was an instructor at Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, Alabama. In 2022, I was the recipient of the Alabama Student Success Organization's Outstanding Research Award.

Also welcoming, Professor Alliyah Finley & Dr. Coretta Gholston

EFL Faculty Coaching

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the EFL Faculty Coaching Academy (FCA), which officially kicked off its inaugural semester this fall. This initiative is set to energize our approach to teaching and learning, providing invaluable support and mentorship to our new and seasoned faculty members. The academy is dedicated to both professional development and fostering a community of educators who can collaborate, share insights, and learn from one another.

The FCA consists of eight faculty coaches leading teams of at least four new or veteran faculty members. At the beginning of the semester, the teams were charged to complete one professional development activity together or individually by the end of the semester. Additionally, coaches were asked to encourage new faculty members to attend monthly technology seminars sponsored by ODEESIT.
Over the semester, the faculty coaches have guided their teams through a range of topics, including:

  1. Innovative Pedagogy: Teams explored the latest teaching techniques and technologies, improved skills in using Blackboard and Navigate, and completed ACUE and ODEESIT online teaching certifications.
  2. Research and Publication: Teams assisted each other in publishing articles and contributing to the academic community.
  3. Wellness and Work-Life Balance: Teams focused on health and well-being to ensure they can continue to thrive professionally and personally.

In the spring, we are excited to continue the coaching sessions and host scheduled events. The FCA will also honor the professional achievements of our faculty during the EFL Honors Day in April 2024.

As we build this program, our goal is to make the FCA an integral part of our department, continually evolving to meet the changing needs of our faculty and students. We are confident that the academy will not only enhance the skills and knowledge of our faculty but will also
enrich the overall educational experience for our students. Stay tuned for updates on the exciting developments within the EFL Faculty Coaching Academy.

- by Dr. Sherri Stanley, Faculty Coaching Academy Coordinator


Fall Events

  • Dia De Los Muertos

    Dia De Los MuertosSpanish Club meets several times each semester reviewing Spanish vocabulary and engaging in conversations using what we have learned. In recent years, the Spanish Club has had many students to join the club and realize that having a conversation in a foreign language is not as tough as they imagined it would be. In fact, they have expressed feelings of pleasure being able to communicate with people of different cultural backgrounds. For more information, contact:
    Dr. Koji Nishida, 
    Susana Vizcarra, 

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  • Creative Writing Monthly Workshops

    Creative Writing HalloweenThis fall, the creative writing committee began offering creative writing workshops on the second Friday of each month. Our first workshop was taught by Prof. Jonathan Tyler, who taught about metaphor and monsters on Friday, October 13th. Students and faculty listened to a brief presentation and then drew monsters to form the focus of their metaphors. After a timed writing session, the audience shared their creative writing efforts.

    Creative WritingThe last creative writing workshop for the fall semester will take place on November 10, when Prof. Linda Woods conducts a session based on gratitude. Workshops will resume in
    January, with a "New Year, New You" workshop lead by Prof. Gentry Simmons on January 12.

    Workshops are held in the Writing Center in McCalep- McIntosh 103 from 12-1pm. Light refreshments are offered. Please join us!

    -by Pamela Manasco

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  • Poetry Club...Lyrically Advanced

    Pie a PoetThe Society of Lyrically Advanced Poets has had a good start to the school year. Our most notable event so far has been a fundraiser on the Quad for Every Sunny Wednesday on October 18, Our Pie a Poet event raised S276 for the organization. We also held an open mic at The Foundation on October 24 that was Halloween themed. We will also be participating in the university's trunk or treat on October 30 from 6-8pm. at the Lewis Crews Tailgate Area. Our will have "trunk" superheroes and villains handing out candy to the kiddies.


    Give-a-bagIn November we have a few events. We will be hosting another open mic event at The Foundation on November 7 at 6pm. The theme for that event will be family and all are invited. We will be giving away hygiene bags on November 15 and a rewelcoming donations of wipes, deodorant, Chapstick/lip balm, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and pads. For more information, contact:
    Jonathan Tyler, 
    Kiietti Walker-Parker, 

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  • French Club C'est la vie!

    Crepes and ConvosFrench Club allows students an open and safe environment to
    practice, make mistakes, and have fun learning French. Students can build connections and friendships with one another. As the club progresses, sponsor Mrs. Brittany Massey hopes to add more cultural activities, including a French film night. For more information, contact:
    Brittany Massey, 

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  • Sigma Tau Delta

    Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society strives to promote high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. The Society provides cultural stimulation on college campuses and promotes exemplary character and good fellowship among its members. AAMU houses the Beta Nu Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society. For more information about the club, please contact:
    Dr. Tracey Gholston, 
    Dr. Charlotte Teague, 

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  • English Club...Pen or Sword

    The Alabama A&M University English Club is an organization by students, about students, and for students. AAMU English Club members participate in reading groups, hold workshops and student-based forums, and volunteer for community services such as tutoring and reading to K-12 students in our area. We even design our own custom-made club t-shirts!

    Our club offers students a wonderful
    opportunity to express themselves and build their resumes. Although we are composed mainly of AAMU English Majors, non-English Majors are also invited to join! For more
    information, contact:
    Dr. Robert Powell, 

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High School Senior Day

Malcolm X once declared, "Education is the passport to the future, forHigh School Senior Day tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." On Saturday, November 4, 2023, at 9:00 a.m., high school seniors and community college students from all over the country embarked upon a journey where they attended High School & Community College Day at our beloved University in the Event Center. The event began with a warm Bulldog welcome to The Hill by the 2023-2024 Student Government Association President Mike Davis, a civil engineering major from Montgomery, Alabama. Next, the 73rd Miss Alabama A&M
University Elect Chyna Ross, a mechanical engineering major from Huntsville, Alabama, took center stage and extended words of encouragement to the crowd of future AAMU bulldogs.

Meanwhile, there were performances from the Marching Maroon and White drumline, the award-winning AAMU cheerleaders, and the presidential Bulldog Beat. All three performances were received with an astounding round of applause as the program came to a close for the potential AAMU students to explore the different tables where faculty and staff on campus were eagerly ready to provide information about their respective departments, and the most lit department on campus (i.e. the Department of English and Foreign Languages) was in that number.

High School Senior DayVarious faculty members of the EFL department spoke with students about majoring in English and the benefits that come with it. There were several students who mentioned that they wanted to go to law school, so their minds have been set on majoring in criminal justice or political science. However, our esteemed faculty were able to point students in the right direction by having them sign up to receive information about majoring in English.

After all, an English degree is a passport that can take students anywhere in their future, so their tomorrow does not have to be a concern because they are preparing for the best with an English degree today. 

- by Yolanda Toney

Hip Hop Showcase: Droppin' the Mic

Hip Hop ShowcaseOn October 18-19, The AAMU Department of English and Foreign Languages auditioned rappers to be featured in "An Ode to Hip Hop," which will take place on November 14, from 12:20 - 2:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room.

"Hip Hop icon Tupac Shakur once said, 'I'm not saying [I will] change the world, but I guarantee that I will
spark the brain that will change the world.' In the Department of English and Foreign Languages we wholeheartedly embrace this idea. At its core Hip Hop is rhetoric, language arts, Black vernacular and poetic expressions, all of which can be found in much of our English curriculum," says Dr. Tracey Gholston, Assistant Professor, Department of English and Foreign Languages. "This celebration of Hip Hop's 50th anniversary is an opportunity to put the mic into the hands of our students so that AAMU campus can witness the sparks. In addition to Rap Battle contestants, we welcome spoken word poets and break dancers."

"It should be an entertaining afternoon with light refreshments, a good vibe, and beats that span the decades," adds Gholston.

- by Debra Daniel

Writers Harvest

Writers HarvestThe EFL Creative Writing Committee is proud to announce Writers Harvest 2023! This event will take place on Wednesday, November 15, from 5:30-7:30. Writers Harvest will contain both literary discussion, as we are led in a short talk by Dr. Powell and the English Club, and creative performances, as all faculty, staff, students, and Huntsvillians are invited to present short performances in creative genres such as poetry, prose, or song.

Writers Harvest has been a featured event presented by the Department of English and Foreign Languages for many years. In the past, the event has featured craft talks from such writers as Ashley M. Jones, the poet laureate of Alabama; Charlaine Harris, author of the Southern Vampire Mysteries book series, which was the basis for the hit HBO show True Blood; and novelist John Mauk, author of Field Notes for the Unbound.

This year, Writers Harvest will be held in the Writing Center in 103 McCalep-Mcintosh. We'll listen to a lively literary discussion from English Club at 5:30, and creative performances will begin at 6:00. Please use the link below or the QR code on the flyer to sign up for an early performance time (open until 5:30pm on November 15). Signups will also be open at the event. Bring a friend and enjoy literature and creativity!

-by Pamela Manasco

Alumni Spotlight

Faculty members Coretta Gholston and Gentry Simmons sat down for a chat about their experience as students of Alabama A&M University, the role they now have as professors, and what they offer as advice to both faculty and students.

Q: What changes do you see in the English department from the time you were a student to now that you are an instructor?

Dr. Gholston: Well, the stellar students are now professors!

Ms. Simmons: (Laughing) I can't argue with you there. D.r Toney falls into that category too!

Gholston: Also, I would say that Dual Enrollment is a new addition that we didn't have when we were students. I also don't remember there being a Program Coordinator. It also seems we have some more age diversity now. The professors are younger.

Simmons: You're right, but what has changed most for me is that we have a new location on campus. The McCormick building was tight, cold, and old to say the least. Our professors were true soldiers for sticking ti out up there. We are blessed to be in McCalep with all these new desks and modern looking offices and classrooms.

Q: What is your fondest memory of your time as a student at AAMU?

Gholston: You know, Dr. Thomas' class brings back good memories. She really knew how to bring that literature to life. I honestly believe that was what made me want to be a professor.

Simmons: Oh yes! I remember her teaching The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and quoting the ancient mariner in that animated voice, "There was a ship'. quoth he. Hold off! unhand me grey beard loon!* (Bursting into uncontrollable laughter) Dr. Thomas was a dynamic teacher! Those were some good times. I remember really enjoying class because our professors were passionate about teaching. They really challenged us to work hard and think critically. Dr. Garret trained us as though he knew we would one day be professors. Oh, and I enjoyed Dr. B because he always knew how to bring the best out of us in every text, discussion, and assignment.

Gholston: We certainly were well equipped for the roles we play now. I'm thankful for my time here as a student. We are the product of a strong department!

Q: What do you feel you bring to the table as an instructor being an alumnus of AAMU?

Gholston: Knowledge, history, tradition, and passion not only for the content, but for my alma mater!

Simmons: Amen! I was nurtured into success at Alabama A&M and it is a privilege to do the same for my students. There's a different level of passion for me because I am invested as alumnus and as an educator.

Q: What advice do you have for students of the university?

Gholston: Have fun, but make sure you take care of your classes first.
Simmons: Yes, I tell the students to follow the 80/20 rule: 80 percent academics and 20 percent turn up! My main advice for students is to truly understand the privilege of attending an HBCU. Take advantage of al the resources, words of wisdom, and networking opportunities while matriculating at the university. Life is different away from the "Hill". You will miss it when you're gone.

Q: What advice do you have for faculty of the university?

Gholston: Be passionate about your content and show empathy to students.

Simmons: I agree! I'll add this piece of advice: Enjoy your job. There's a lot that we can c h o s e to complain about, but even more that we can be grateful for!

Dr. Coretta Gholston is the newly appointed Dual Enrollment Specialist for AAMU EFL Department. She is a 2003 (B.S. Political Science) and 2008 (M.Ed. Secondary Education English) graduate of Alabama A&M University. She has been teaching since 2009 and transitioned into the role of a dual enrollment instructor in 2014. She received her doctorate degree in Instruction & Curriculum in 2014.
Ms. Gentry Simmons is Co-chair of the Developmental Writing Committee for the AAMU EFL Department. She is a 2006 (B.S. Secondary Education English and History) and a 2010 (M.Ed. Secondary English/ Language Arts) graduate of Alabama A&M University. She has been teaching since 2006 and has taught all grades 6-12. She started as an adjunct instructor for A&M in 2011 and became a full-time instructor in the fall of 2022. Additionally, she has worked as the director of a GED program for ages 16-24. In 2015 she received a second master's degree in human services with a focus in Executive Leadership.

by- Gentry Simmons with questions composed by Jonathan Tyler

Faculty Honors & Publications

Pamela Manasco: Professor Manasco has three creative publications forthcoming. Two poems are forthcoming in the Fall 2023 issue of Two Hawks Quarterly; one poem is forthcoming in the Spring 2024 issue of Kitchen Table Quarterly; and two poems are forthcoming in the Spring issue of The Midwest Quarterly. Additionally, over the summer Professor Manasco won a place in Season 18 of Writer to Writer, a mentoring program hosted by the Association of Writers &Writing Programs. She was paired with Poet Patricia Clark, and the two worked together this summer for three months writing and revising new poems, which culminated in a reading on July 28.

Dr. Charlotte Teague: Dr. Teague's essay "Seeing The Bluest Eye through a Sympathetic Imagination" was published in the Fall 2023 edition of ACETA's newsletter, The Light. D.r Teague also presented two invited talks this semester. The first, titled "Alabama Authors: A Literary Quilt &Program," was presented in September 2023 at the Decatur Public Library in partnership with the Historic Huntsville Foundation. The second, titled "Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing, and the Power of Knowing Our Roots," will be presented in November 2023 with the Alabama Humanities Alliance in partnership with Alabama Public Television. Dr. Teague will also present "Breaking up Fallow Ground: Sowing Seeds of Mentorship and Kinship to create Social, Academic, and Political Community for Black Women Writers" as an Invited Chair and Panelist at the 50th anniversary reconvening of the Phillis Wheatley Poetry Festival at Jackson State University.

Susana Vicarra: Professor Vizcarra's essay "Qué es Día de los Muertos Meaning?" was published in the Fall 2023 edition of ACETA's newsletter, The Light.

Linda-Raven Woods: Professor Woods's essay "The Problem with Baumgardner and Richard's A' Day Without Feminism: The Feminist Road Wil Always Be a Crooked One " was published in the Fall 2023 edition of ACETA's newsletter, The Light. Professor Woods's poem "Sad Girl Dreams" was published in Sad Girl Diaries in October 2023. Additionally, her novel Elmer & Leonard was selected as a Top 3 finalist for an editor-writer mentorship with Random House editor Caitlin McKinna via a contest by The Word: A Storytelling Sanctuary. Professor Woods is currently working with Elixir Writing Retreat to cohost a writing retreat in a host city in Spring of 2025. The retreat will enable 1-2 AAMU English majors to attend, pending establishment of a scholarship fund which will begin taking shape in Spring 2024.

- by Pamela Manasco

EFL Major Spotlight

English Major Spotlight on Ke'Maria Jones

Among the Bulldogs to watch at AAMU is Ke'Maria Jones, Class of '24, who is preparing to teach English at the middle school level following graduation. "I became an English major because I love literature," Ke'Maria explains. "Literature imitates real life, and finding a good piece of literature that I can relate to brings a different kind of joy into my life. I also want to share this love for learning about literature that I have with young adults, which is why I chose to have a concentration in Secondary Education." The budding teacher hopes to secure a position at a Huntsville school and intends to complete her master's degree in Secondary Education later on down the road.

During her time at AAMU, Ke'Maria has won several honors. She was named Top Student in ENG 405 (Advanced Grammar) in Fall 2022, and she also received a Certificate of Merit from the Department of English and Foreign Languages in Spring 2023. In addition, Ke'Maria has been a member of the Student Government Association and the University Echo Ambassadors. In her spare time, KeMaria enjoys cooking, watching The Vampire Diaries, and (not surprisingly) reading. Her favorite piece of literature is Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat. First published in 2019, this collection of short stories, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, is her favorite book, Ke'Maria says, "because it tells the inner thoughts and struggles of different black women's lives using transparency and the harsh truth."Ke'Maria Jones

On a personal note, I can say that Ke'Maria Jones is one of the most delightful students I have worked with in my British Literature survey courses. She is an excellent writer and participates in class
discussions, where her comments are always interesting and insightful. Even when juggling a full course load, a job, and other responsibilities, she is unfailingly kind, cheerful, and willing to help other students understand material that is sometimes a bit difficult for non-English majors, at least initially. I am very glad to have had her in class, and I fully expect her to be one of the most notable graduates of AAMU's English program. 

- by Dr. Jonathan Lampley


The Association of College English Teachers of Alabama (ACETA) is bringing its conference to the Alabama A&M University campus on February 22 and 23, 2024. ACETA is a nationally recognized organization of English teachers of Alabama that supports the study of English. It not only organizes a yearly conference but also promotes scholarship through annual awards. The theme for the conference is "Sympathetic Imagination" and, according to ACETA's website, it "broadly considers literature, film, and writing on the importance of sympathy and empathy." This theme allows for a wide variety of presentations that "might address phenomenology, the intersection of philosophies and literature, transhumanism, performativity, trauma theory, literary sensation and sensationalism, the nonhuman experience in literature, and other topics."

Our English Department is excited to host this conference! The last time ACETA found its way to Alabama A&M in 2005 was a great success. There are exciting events planned for February as well. We will have concurrent sessions of presentations, a poetry slam, a panel discussion, a sit-down lunch, and more. The events will be held in McCalep-McIntosh Hall, Buchanan Hall, and the Knight Center. There will be plenty of opportunities for our faculty and students to participate in the conference's events. In addition, the conference provides an excellent opportunity for our faculty to present papers locally. Proposals of up to 500 words should be submitted to ACETA by Friday, November 17, 2023. Please check ACETA's website ( for submission instructions.

- by Judith Hayes and Kiietti Walker-Parker

Summer Bridge

Participating in Academic Ways for Success, or PAWS, is Alabama A&M University's pilot summer bridge program for high school graduates who have accepted their admission to AAMU for the fall semester. While there have been previous bridge models, the summer 2023 PAWS program did not have a focus on student- athletes or returning students. PAWS was quite traditional in its mission designed to support incoming students in bridging the transition from high school to the college/university experience. EFL's Charlotte Canady-Slater was tapped as the program coordinator.

The 14 participants enrolled in two general education courses attempting 6 credit hours. English Composition 101 and Art Appreciation 101 were offered for the students who were treated as a cohort and therefore in classes with one another for the 8-week term. Yolanda Toney, also from EFL, served as the ENG 101 instructor for the PAWS students. Additionally, the program included a daily variety of college success workshops on topics like study skills, time management, academic advising, career readiness, interpersonal communication strategies, student life, expectations, and more. The students were housed on campus, school supplies and cafeteria access were provided each day, and social and cultural activities were organized. Overall, the program was a success. Students completed the program and passed their classes; all of them were able to begin the fall semester with a solid GPA. In a post-program survey, students overwhelmingly (strongly) agreed that the PAWS program revealed to them the significance of adequate rest, prioritizing tasks, and making better decisions. University administrators have indicated that the initiative will be funded again in the summer of 2024.

- by Charlotte Canady Slater

  • Homecoming XXL

    Homecoming 2023 was themed Bulldog Homecoming XXL, inspired by the hip hop magazine XXL. As Dr. Sherri Stanley put it, "We used to think making the cover of Vogue was the goal... now it's XXL Magazine! If you're into hip hop and 'the culture,' then you're into XXL."

    This year, the Hospitality and Special Initiatives Committee planned several events for Homecoming, including a spirit week of themed dress up days, new department t-shirts, and an English &Foreign Languages lunch.


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  • Sneak Peaks @ EFL

    In 2024, the Creative Writing Committee will continue our Friday workshop series with events in January, February, March, and April. First up is our Jan. 12 event, "New Year, New You," presented by Prof. Gentry Simmons.

    Top of the HillTop of the Hill Literary Society is returning in 2024! In the past, the society has discussed books including An American Marriage, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and Just
    Mercy. Starting in 2024, the group will convene to discuss banned books. In February, the society will focus on African Americans in the Arts to coincide with Black History
    Month. In March, the theme will be Celebrating Women Who Tell Their Stories for Women's History Month. Stay tuned for more details!

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  • AAMU Writing Center...Skills to Pay the Bills

    Dr. Nathan Hulsey is thrilled to announce the expansion of AAMU's Writing Center, a hub for learning practical writing skills. This expansion represents a significant investment in fostering good writing habits, providing students with a dedicated space to refine their writing skills, and promoting a vibrant academic community on campus.

    "The Write Place," known for its commitment to nurturing the next generation of writers, will be expanding its hours significantly and offering an extended range of workshops to inspire and support students in their creative endeavors. This expansion aligns with the EFL's ongoing commitment to fostering a holistic educational experience that nurtures both academic and artistic growth.Writing Center

    - by Dr. Nathan Hulsey

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