Writing, Linguistics & Creative Process

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Faculty

Full-Time Faculty

 
Oscar De Los Santos, PhD Oscar De Los Santos, PhD is current Chair of the Writing Department.  He is the author of Hardboiled Egg (short stories) and Spirits of Texas and New England (folklore stories), and the editor of Madame Luna and other Moon stories.  Oscar's other books include Infinite Wonderlands (short stories, with David G. Mead) and When Genres Collide (essays, with Thomas J. Morrissey).  His essays and stories have appeared in New York Review of Science Fiction, ExtrapolationConnecticut Review, and Saranac Review.  His novel, Before Celia, is forthcoming in 2013.  Write him at delossantoso@wcsu.edu.

Brian Clements, PhD Brian Clements, PhD coordinates the Department's MFA in Professional Writing. He edits the small press Firewheel Editions and the award-winning journal Sentence, a Journal of Prose Poetics. He is the author and editor of several books, including the forthcoming titles And How to End It (prose poems), Disappointed Psalms (poems), and the anthology An Introduction to the Prose Poem. Disappointed Psalms was awarded the Colombian Poetry Prize and will be published in 2008.
Edward A. Hagan, PhD Edward A. Hagan, PhD has focused his recent scholarship on contemporary Irish and American fiction and essay writing. He is particularly interested in what literary trends tell us about contemporary consciousness. He has just completed a book on contemporary Irish and Irish-American fiction and memoir; it argues that farce is the contemporary writer’s tool for puncturing the balloon of triviality of contemporary culture. Hagan authored a Fall 2007 article that argues sports metaphors have become so pervasive in contemporary society that they restrict our abilities to think outside the box of winning and losing.
Patrick Ryan, PhD Patrick Ryan, PhD joined the Department in Fall 2007. Before that, he taught college writing in Minnesota and Malaysia, Vermont and Texas, where he directed the East Texas Writing Project for four years. He coordinates operations of the University Writing Lab and first-year writing program. He writes about Elizabethan drama and rhetoric. He and his wife enjoy watching plays, attending concerts, and walking the family dogs.
Kelli Custer, PhD  Kelli Custer, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric & Composition and specializes in the teaching and assessment of academic writing. She moved to WCSU from the University of Denver, and her extensive background of teaching at the high school, two- and four-year college, and university level give her a singular ability to relate with college students of all backgrounds and levels of aspiration. Dr. Custer is a passionate teacher and supporter of writing education, including writing across the curriculum and writing in other disciplines. In addition to working with the department on assessment issues, she also works with the schools of Danbury and Bethel on WCSU's "Building a Bridge to Student Success" program. She is the faculty advisor for Black and White: A Journal of the Arts. In her life outside of the school, she enjoys hitting a heavy bag at the gym, being owned by her two cats, finding new places and people to photograph, and getting to know Connecticut.
Casey J Rudkin, PhD Casey J Rudkin, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric & Composition and coordinates the Department's MA English Writing Option program.  She specializes in pedagogy (ways of teaching & learning), rhetorical ways of knowing, technical writing, first-year writing and also domestic texts.  She is particularly interested in mentoring high school and first-year college students in making successful transitions into their roles as academics and members of the university community.   She understands that educators and administrators need to meet students where the students live in their worlds and on their terms. She recognizes that all students are capable of success when given access to positive motivation, support and conditions.   Rudkin has published academic work on topics ranging from Edith Wharton to tarot cards and from curricular development to cookbooks.  In her free time, she writes, games, adventures and cooks with her family.
   
   

Distinguished Adjunct Faculty

Lionel Bascom began his writing career in Tokyo as a news editor for Armed Forces Radio and Television Network. He did reporting and editing stints at the Free Press in Detroit, various bureaus for United Press International and was a writer at Money Magazine and a reporter at Fortune. For many years, he wrote a wide variety of stories for The New York Times and the New York Times Syndicate. He has published numerous books. The most recent titles include: The Last Leaf of Harlem, The Uncollected Stories of Dorothy West published in the Fall of 2007 by St. Martin's Press and The African-American Experience, Greenwood Press, Fall 2008.

Bill Bozzone Bill Bozzone is the author of over twenty plays that have been produced throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. His plays include: Rose Cottages; House Arrest; Korea; Buck Fever (all published by Samuel French;) War (Faber and Faber;) Sonny DeRee's Life Flashes Before His Eyes; Breast Men (both published by Smith & Kraus;) and Saxophone Music (Broadway Play Publishing.) They have been produced in New York at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Bank Street Theatre, Working Theatre, and Long Island's Bay Street Theatre, and in L.A. at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, and Showtime's Act One, among others.

Films include Full Moon in Blue Water, which starred Gene Hackman and Teri Garr, and The Last Elephant, which featured John Lithgow and James Earl Jones, and was nominated for an ACE Cable Award as Best Film, 1990. A short film based on his play, Buck Fever, was shot in 2006 starring John Heard.

Bozzone's fiction has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times. Stories (under the name Z.Z. Boone) have been published in magazines and journals including The New Ohio Review, The Tulane Review, and Weave, and his work is included in the anthology, Chick For a Day, published by Simon & Schuster.

Awards include an NEA Fellowship; grants from both the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Connecticut Arts Council; fellowships at the Eugene O'Neill National Playwright's Conference, and the Atlantic Center for the Arts; and the Ensemble Studio Theatre Silver Medal for Theatrical Excellence.

Louisa Burns-Bisogno Louisa Burns-Bisogno is an award-winning screenwriter, director, author, and international media consultant with over 100 on-screen credits. Her movies have been produced on cable TV and on all the major U.S. networks, as well as distributed internationally. Among these are: My Body, My Child with Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon; Bridge to Silence, with Marlee Matlin. 'Bridge' was honored by Women in Film and the Congressional Committee for the Arts at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Louisa has trained professional writers in dramatic series techniques in Moscow, Dublin and more recently in Rome. She has written story and scripts for popular American daytime series such as The Young and the Restless, One Life to Live and As the World Turns Louisa was a winner of the National Playwrights Conference at the O'Neill Theatre Center. She has had numerous plays produced including Angels and Infidels which she also directed. Seven of Louisa's plays have been presented by the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for staged readings.

A former council-member of the Writers Guild of America East, Louisa is active on the WGAE Digital Caucus. She is a professor of playwriting, screenwriting and webisode development at Western Connecticut State University.

Kelly L. Goodridge has taught writing for over a decade at WCSU. She has written for The Ridgefield Press and Lewisboro Ledger and was awarded the Arthur R. Riel, Jr. Freelance Journalism Award at Fairfield University. Kelly's recent publications include essays in Reel Rebels, SFRA’s When Genres Collide and TV Rebels: People and Programs That Shaped the Medium, Volumes 1 and 2. Forthcoming publications include: "Madame Luna," which will appear in a short story collection in 2011 and When the Ape-Hawk Strikes: Book One of A Modern Bestiary (a co-authored YA novel). She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and an MA in English from WCSU. Contact: kellyhasclass@sbcglobal.net

Jeanne I. Lakatos, PhD has coined the semiotic theory of iconic realism. Her foundational book, The Theory of Iconic Realism: Understanding the Arts through Cultural Context is housed in libraries on five continents. Her research focuses on this theory, as well as semiotics and sociolinguistics associated with Anglo-Irish, French and American tests. Dr. Lakatos has a forthcoming book, Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan): A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Revolutionary Rhetoric in Anglo/Irish Texts, which will be published in 2013. Her research has been published by Edwin Mellen Press and Peter Lang. Also, she has written for the National Science Teachers Association Journal and the Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature. She has written the operetta, Luminescence. She is the Coordinator of W.C.S.U.'s Tutoring Resource Center and serves on the administration and English teaching teams for the summer International Studies Program at W.C.S.U. Her family name, Lakatos, means "locksmith" in Hungarian, and she hopes that through her life's work, she has unlocked a few minds.
Dr. Lakatos manages two blogs:
http://www.iconicrealism.blogspot.com
http://www.revolutionaryrevelry.blogspot.com
James J. Lomuscio James J. Lomuscio has been a journalist for 30 years, writing for Gannett, The New York Times, Connecticut Post, Stamford Advocateand has served as the editor of Westport News, Westport Magazine and WestportNow.com. He is the winner of four first place writing wards, three from the New England Press Association and one from the Society of Professional Journalists. His book, Village of the Dammed: The Fight for Open Space and the Flooding of a Connecticut Town,was a finalist for the 2006 Connecticut Book Award in Nonfiction, and he is the author of the McGraw Hill textbook, Writing with Your Head and Your Heart: Balancing Logic and Emotion to Create Powerful Nonfiction.
Lisa Rose McCormick started teaching at Westconn in 2006 while completing her master’s in creative non-fiction, and has stayed on as an adjunct professor ever since. Soon after graduating, she developed the first sections of WRT210-W, Writing for Management, drawing from her seventeen years as a marketing executive at Wendy’s, Procter & Gamble, and IBM, and as a consultant to the advertising, marketing, and marketing research industries. In addition to her MA from WCSU, she holds a BA in Journalism from The Ohio State University.

Beyond business writing, her special interests extend to blogging and memoir writing, particularly from her specific perspective as a Baby Boomer. Her themes are changes in commerce and culture, and the impact of family, self-help, and traumatic loss, especially in the lives of women of her generation. Her newest mission is to edit and publish several manuscripts written by her sister, Lorra Laven, who died suddenly from cancer while finishing her third novel.

Lynne Paris-Purtle has taught writing and literature courses at Western for 26 years. In addition, she scores freshman placement essays for the university and has taught in the German Studies and EAP programs. Recently, she reviewed the manuscript for the seventh edition of The Bedford Handbook. She has also worked in the New Fairfield school system and helped found "Advocates for Excellence in Education," which provides programs for gifted students.
Marjorie Salem retired from the Bethel School System in 2007 after 30 years of teaching British Literature, American Literature, American Studies, Composition, and Reading Across the Disciplines.
Donald Stitt had a long career as an actor before entering academia. He was featured in four Broadway musicals, and he has also been seen on "Law & Order," "Boardwalk Empire," and "The Late Show with David Letterman." He was the creator of the long-running San Francisco nightclub hit, "Irving Berlin in Revue," and his family musical, "A Kid's Summer Night's Dream," won several Minnesota Theatre awards when it was revived in 2007. His solo piece, "The Voices in my Head Have Formed a Choir and Somebody's Singing Flat!", was performed at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and his most recent revue, "Too Marvelous: The Songs of Johnny Mercer," has played to enthusiastic audiences in CT, PA, and NYC. Don got his MFA as a part of the inaugural class of WCSU's Professional Writing Program, and has been teaching writing at WCSU since 2009. Don can be seen in the movie, "Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding," which is currently airing on Showtime.
Karen Smith Vastola Karen Smith Vastola is an instructor in the undergraduate program and a playwriting/ screenwriting mentor in the MFA Professional Writing Program. Her plays have been developed or produced at Rattlestick Playwrights’ Theater, DR2 Theater, MCC, The Actors Studio and Andy’s Summer Playhouse. Monologues/Scenes from her plays have been published in the Best Women’s & Men’s Anthologies, Smith & Kraus Inc., as well as Best Stage Monologues & Scenes from the 90’s. She graduated from Columbia University’s MFA Playwriting Program. She has been a Yaddo fellow and Sewanee Writers’ Conference Playwriting participant.
Jasmine Dreame Wagner Jasmine Dreame Wagner is the author of Listening for Earthquakes (Caketrain Journal and Press, 2012) and Rewilding (Ahsahta Press, 2013.) Her poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Blackbird, Colorado Review, Indiana Review, New American Writing, Verse, and The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral (Ahsahta Press.) Her fiction has appeared in NANO Fiction, Pear Noir!, Seattle Review, and Lost and Found: Stories from New York (Mr. Beller's Neighborhood Books, distributed by W.W. Norton, 2009.) A graduate of Columbia University and the University of Montana, Jasmine has received grants and residencies from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Hall Farm Center for Arts & Education, Summer Literary Seminars - Kenya, and The Wassaic Project.
Ann Witkavitch Ann Witkavitch, a communications expert and professional writer, is president of C-Suite Communications and founder of Press Pause Now. She is also managing editor of the Thin Threads book series published by Kiwi Publishing and a contributing editor and blogger at TravelingMom.com. Anne is a former communications executive at GE and The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and has experience in manufacturing, financial services, insurance, technology, and consumer package goods. Her first anthology, a collection of works by women writers, will be published in Spring 2010. Anne holds an M.F.A. in Professional Writing from WCSU and a B.A. in English from SCSU.

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