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Recent Graduate Student Achievements

Michael New, recipient of a CALS Graduate Award for a Research or Training Seminar, recently completed his dissertation on jazz and African American poetry under the direction of Alden Neilsen.  Dr. New was a lecturer in English and American Studies at Keene University, but in fall 2016, he began a tenure-track assistant professorship at St. Anselm College in Manchester, NH, where he will teach in the areas of African American literature, poetry, and cultural studies.


Micah Donahue, winner of a CALS Graduate Award for a Research or Training Seminar, defended his dissertation, “The Whirlpool and the Mountain: Scenes of Cannibalistic Worlding in American Literature” ( Sean Goudie and Thomas Beebee, Co-Directors), in summer 2015.  In Fall 2016, Donohue began a tenure-track assistant professorship at Eastern New Mexico University where his teaching duties will focus on Latin@ literature, film, and Western regional literatures.

Robert Birdwell, winner of a CALS Summer Graduate Fellowship, completed his dissertation entitled "The Radical Novel: Utopian and Scientific. A Study of Genre and Recognition," and began a post-doctoral fellowship at Michigan State University in fall 2016.


Ethan Mannon, winner of a CALS Dissertation Award, defended his dissertation,  “Reading the Earth Workers: The Georgic Mode in Twentieth-Century American Writing,” in spring 2014.  In fall 2015, Mannon began an assistant professorship at Mars Hill University in North Carolina where his teaching duties focuses on American literature and Appalachian literature.

Katie Owens-Murphy, recipient of a Summer Graduate Fellowship, recently completed her dissertation project, “Lyrical Strategies: The Poetics of Fiction in the 20th Century American Novel.” After a year working as a lecturer, Katie secured a tenure track position and began as an Assistant Professor of English at the University of North Alabama in fall 2015.

Robert Volpicelli, winner of a CALS Dissertation Award, used the fellowship to finish his dissertation, “Transatlantic Modernism and the U.S. Lecture Circuit, 1880-1945,” ahead of schedule and enter the difficult job market. In fall 2015 he began as an assistant professor of English at Randolph Macon College.

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