Department of English

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A versatile, career-preparative major that builds outstanding skills in critical thinking, reading and writing, English is a rewarding program of study. At BW, you'll engage in rigorous coursework, enriching experiential opportunities and comprehensive studies that span classic and contemporary literature.

English is intellectually stimulating and intrinsically rewarding. It offers outstanding preparation for graduate and professional school or entry into the fields of business, communication and education.

It builds competencies in oral and written communication, close reading, formal analysis, critical thinking, research strategies and debate.

Personal attention and faculty mentoring are at the forefront of the major. You'll supplement classroom studies with experiential learning opportunities that include independent study projects, internships, service-learning and study abroad.

BW professors bring impressive academic and scholarly credentials to the classroom. Whether you are fascinated with American, British or World literature, playwriting, poetry or other genres, BW faculty can help you explore your interest.

If you're looking to be published, you can contribute to BW's literary magazine and student-run newspaper. Another valuable source is BW's faculty, many of whom have published books, poems, articles and scholarly works.

English is a Career-focused Major

Majoring in English aligns well with career preparation by developing characteristics employers value:

  • Effective oral and written communication
    English majors become highly articulate in all areas of communication.
  • Critical thinking and analytical reasoning
    Close reading enhances an ability to use logic, balance various points of view, recognize how meaning is determined by context and develop a sustained argument.
  • The ability to analyze and solve complex problems
    Literary interpretation is an exercise in complex problem solving. English students learn to synthesize diverse points of view and apply multiple perspectives–social, political, economic, philosophical, historical and others–to understanding literary texts.
  • Ability to make ethical decisions
    Through literature, readers reflect on the meaning and consequences of human action. Literature enables a deeper understanding of ethical questions by contextualizing them.

Interested in Becoming a Teacher?

If you would like to become an English teacher, BW has an outstanding teacher education program.

Career Opportunities

  • Attorney
  • Journalist
  • Teacher
  • Librarian
  • Technical writer
  • Media representative
  • Public relations practitioner
  • Marketing director
  • Law enforcer
  • Human resources director


Comprehensive and rigorous, English offers the following programs of study:

  • Major in English
  • Major or minor in creative writing
  • Minor in writing
  • Minor in literature
  • Teacher licensure

Baldwin Wallace is one of only two schools in Northeast Ohio offering a creative writing major.

Within the English program, dynamic, engaging courses span traditional offerings like American, British and World Literature, Composition, Exposition and Argumentation, as well as contemporary and creative offerings that include:

  • Men Behaving Badly
  • Romantic Rebellion
  • Gender and the Gothic
  • On Madness and Murder
  • Nature Writing
  • Detective Fiction: Private Eyes
  • Creative Writing–Poetry
  • Fiction of Addiction
  • Grant Writing
  • Creative Writing–Playwriting

At the upper level, a departmental thesis and the honors thesis are options that invite students to engage in singular, long-term projects with a faculty director. Creative theses have focused on the writing of short stories, prose poems, vignettes, poetry and the lyric essay.

Course descriptions, requirements for the major and additional information can be found in the University Catalog.


Small class sizes, individual attention and faculty mentoring are at the core of BW's English program.

Hands-on learning opportunities include independent study, research, study abroad, internships and service-learning.

Independent study offers students enrichment opportunities beyond the classroom for individualized and advanced study. Students work one-on-one with a faculty member. Summer Scholars is another BW opportunity that blends faculty mentoring and independent study with research, scholarly and creative endeavors.

BW's 20-minute proximity to Cleveland puts you within easy access to impressive networking, internship and career connections at corporations, government and nonprofit agencies, advertising and media organizations and more.

Study abroad offers exciting immersion experiences. Consider studying British writers by spending a semester in Great Britain or traveling to Costa Rica, Italy, Hong Kong or any of the many other sites recently visited by BW English majors.

The student literary and arts journal, “The Mill,” is a high-quality publication that enables you to hone your craft as a writer or editor. The Mill Reading Series sponsors emerging and established writers to read their works on campus each semester.

You also can gain writing experience serving as an editor or staff member of the student-run campus newspaper “The Exponent.”

Other hands-on activities include a project that places BW students at local high schools to tutor writing and a Grant Writing course that matches students with nonprofit organizations to research and write real-world grant proposals.

Students in Dr. Susan Oldrieve's advanced studies Chaucer class delve into their studies in a fun, creative way. They reenact the famous Canterbury Tales pilgrimage with their own version that takes them throughout Northeast Ohio.

The department's Career Explorations Book Club assists students in charting their path to a satisfying career in the early stages of their English major.

On campus, English students are regularly recognized for their achievements.

Alpha Mu Zeta (BW's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta) is the international English honor society. It fosters a sense of community among English majors and minors by organizing social and cultural events.

At the annual Honors Ceremony in the spring, recognitions include:

  • A.W. "Bud" Collins Prize in Creative Writing (in honor of A.W. Collins '51).
  • Twila Haines Coxon and A. Williams Coxon Scholarship (in honor of Twila Haines '19 and A. Williams Coxon).
  • English Department Essay Prize (made possible by a gift from J. Richard Hankins, who taught at BW and helped establish the BW Writing Lab).
  • Amelia and Clara Harding Scholarship (in honor of Amelia '36, Charles '37 and Clara Harding).
  • Robert Howells Memorial English Scholarship (in honor of Robert Howells, who taught at BW 1967-88).
  • Ruby V. Redinger Prize (in honor of Ruby Redinger, an author and member of the English department 1956-1981).
  • Dr. Neille and Jeanne Shoemaker Scholarship (in honor of Dr. Neille Shoemaker, who taught in the English department 1946-86).
  • Bertha Stiefel Scholarship (in honor of English professor Bertha Stiefel '20, who taught at BW 1938-68).


At Baldwin Wallace, you’ll experience personal and professional growth in a supportive community that challenges and inspires you to succeed.

Baldwin Wallace has long championed the success of its students. Evidence of this can be seen in the extraordinary achievements of its alumni spread throughout the United States and the world. Among recent accolades, 92 percent of graduates from the Class of 2014 reported being in rewarding jobs or in graduate school studies within six months after graduation

Within the English Department, graduates can be found working in marketing, advertising, writing and editing, secondary and higher education, law and the nonprofit sector.


Ana de Freitas Boe, Associate Professor & Chair
Jeff Covington, Assistant Professor
Michael Dolzani, Professor
Michael Garriga, Assistant Professor
Les Hunter, Assistant Professor
Denise Kohn, Professor
Sharon Kubasak, Associate Professor
Catherine Lewis, Professor
Terry Martin, Professor
Susan Oldrieve, Professor
Eric Gardner, Writing Specialist
Tammy Layton, Writing Specialist
Lee Ann Jindra, Administrative Specialist