Monday, May 14, 2018

James Reynolds, Professor Emeritus of English, Passes Away

The following obituary was posted on the Ashland Times-Gazette website.

James Gordon Reynolds, 82 of Ashland, Professor Emeritus of Ashland University, died April 27, 2018, at University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center in Ashland, following a period of declining health.

Jim was born in Hamilton County, Indiana, in 1935 to Harold and Roberta Gordon Reynolds. The family lived in several Indiana towns during World War II. In 1948 they settled in Greencastle, Indiana, where Jim graduated from high school in 1954.

At DePauw University (BA, 1958) he was a Rector Scholar, an English and speech major and a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity.

He was an English teacher at Kendallville (Indiana) High School in 1958-59.

At Indiana University (MA, 1961) in Bloomington (Indiana) Jim studied playwriting under Professor Richard Moody and dramatic literary theory under Aristotelian world authority Professor Hubert C. Heffner.

As an instructor at the College of Wooster (1961-1964) he taught speech and theater courses and directed several dramas (most notably “The Crucible”).

Jim spent two years as a freelance playwright in New York City during 1964-1966.

In the fall of 1966, he started teaching at Ashland College and retired from Ashland University as a Professor Emeritus of English in 1998. He was a member of Modern Language Association, American Association of University Professors and Educational Theatre Association.

As well as teaching literature and writing courses (especially modern drama, the essay, existential literature, and playwriting), he was occasionally an adviser for The Collegian, the university student newspaper. In the theater department, Jim directed 43 productions. His presentations of Shakespeare’s (“Hamlet, “Twelfth Night” and “Othello”) were especially memorable, as were his contemporary interpretations of “Master Harold and the Boys,” “Waiting for Godot” and “The Cherry Orchard”.

Over the years, Jim had various interests: he was a life-long fan of the Chicago Cubs; in the 1970s, he constructed crossword puzzles for Dell Magazines; in the 1980s, he played tournament bridge; in the 1990s, he studied Shakespeare at Oxford University, England, and attended Shakespearean productions at Stratford-upon-Avon, the Globe Theatre in London, and the festivals in Stratford, Canada.

In his retirement, he continued his interest in New York Times Sunday puzzles and was a Sudoku enthusiast; he walked daily at the Ashland Family YMCA. He was a biannual participant in Almanac, the national trivia contest sponsored by The World Almanac (placing first in the state of Ohio in 2008). He was a voracious reader of contemporary noir detective fiction, Shakespearean criticism, and memoirs.

He was preceded in death by his parents and twin sister, Judith Duane Reynolds, who died in 1995.

He is survived by many cousins in Indiana and close friends in Ashland, Wooster, Lakeside and Maryland.

There will be no memorial services in Ashland. A private graveside burial took place in Cicero, Indiana on May 5, 2018.

Online condolences may be shared on the funeral home’s website at

Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home & Crematory handled the arrangements.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Meadows Wins Prize for Outstanding Honors Thesis

Bethany Meadows with her thesis advisor, Dr. Maura Grady
Congratulations to Bethany Meadows for winning the Howard O. Rowe Scholarship from the A.U. Honors Program. According to the Honors Program Senior Cording and Reception program, "The Howard O. Rowe Scholarship is awarded annually to the graduating student whose Honors Capstone Project is considered to be the best among his/her peers."

During her May 2018 graduation from Ashland University, Bethany earned two degrees: a B.A. in English and a B.S.Ed. in Integrated Language Arts Education (grades 7-12). Throughout her time at Ashland, she was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta (national freshman honor society), member of Kappa Delta Pi (international education honor society), co-president of Sigma Tau Delta (international English honor society), Editor of the Honors Bugle, and the president of the Honors Program. 

Moreover, she worked at the University Writing Center as a Writing Assistant for her sophomore and junior years and as the UWC Intern for her senior year. Her thesis for the Honors Program, "History v. Film: An Examination of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Rhetoric and Ava DuVernay's Selma," examined the differences and similarities between King's historical speeches and the speeches appearing in the film using a neo-Aristotelian rhetorical analysis. In addition to her May 2017 defense of this thesis, she presented excerpts at the April 2017 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium at Ashland University as well as the National Collegiate Honors Council Conference in November 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. 

After graduation, Bethany plans to continue to pursue her favorite pastimes of watching hockey, going to concerts, and also attending Ball State University for her M.A. in English Rhetoric and Composition. One day, she hopes to be a owner of her own bar "Tequila Mockingbird" and also teach at the high school or collegiate level.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Fleming Publishes New Book of Poetry

Dr. Deborah Fleming, Professor of English and Director of the Ashland Poetry Press, just published a new book of poems, Source of the River, with Finishing Line Press. Congratulations, Dr. Fleming!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Graduating Seniors: Part Two

We wish our graduating seniors the very best as they apply for jobs and begin graduate degrees. Congratulations, graduates!

Madelyn Rumbaugh: Integrated Language Arts
Mady is applying to teaching jobs.
Susanna Savage: English, Public Relations, and Health and Risk Communication
Susanna will begin work on a law degree at The Ohio State University in the fall.
Garrison Stima: Creative Writing and Religion
Garrison is pursuing a job in the publishing industry. 
Madison White: Creative Writing and English
Madison will be working as a camp counselor at Camp Bethany this summer and is exploring her employment options.

Amanda Wise
Amanda plans to find a job in the Columbus area in the field of editing or publishing.    

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Graduating Seniors: Part One

We wish our graduating seniors the very best as they apply for jobs and begin graduate degrees. Congratulations, graduates!

Maggie Andrews: Creative Writing, English, and Public Relations
Maggie is starting a Bachelor's Plus degree in Integrated Language Arts this summer.

Jakob Demers:Creative Writing and English
Jakob will start an MA in Creative Writing at Ball State in the fall.

Nicole Lederle: Integrated Language Arts
Nicole is applying to teaching jobs.
Bethany Meadows: English and Integrated Language Arts
Bethany will start an MA in Rhetoric and Composition at Ball State in the fall.
Thomas Nesbitt: Creative Writing, English, and Digital Media Production
Thomas is applying to jobs at radio stations. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Students and Faculty Recognized at Honors Convocation

L to R: Sara Ludwig, Outstanding Sophomore; Bethany Meadows, Outstanding Senior; and Julia Swanson-Hines, Outstanding Junior  

On Sunday, April 22, Sara Ludwig, Julia Swanson-Hines, and Bethany Meadows were honored as the outstanding students in the English Department at the annual Honors Convocation ceremony. We are proud of their achievements!

Dr. Russell Weaver was recognized as a finalist for the Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award, and Dr. Deborah Fleming was recognized as a finalist for the Excellence in Scholarship Award. Considering the stiff competition for these awards, their finalist status is impressive. Well done, professors!

Dr. Grady's Shawshank Book is Out in Paperback; New Book Chapter Published as Well

Congratulations to Dr. Maura Grady, Director of the Composition Program and the Writing Center, for two publications!

The Shawshank Experience is now out in paperback, and she has a chapter in the book Fandom as Classroom Practice: A Teaching Guide (University of Iowa Press, 2018), called "Researching the Shawshank Trail: Fan Pilgrimage and Service Learning" with Richard J. "Robby" Roberson, Jr. and Erika Gallion (AU '14) as co-authors.