Love to Read and Write?

Transform your passion for reading, writing and creative thinking into an incredibly rewarding career!

The Communication, English, and Media interest area at Kirkwood will inspire you to develop your curiosity, sensitivity, and understanding of traditional and modern forms of the English language, literature and writing styles. Our dedicated faculty include talented writers and scholars.

As a Liberal Arts student, you'll meet communication core requirements while choosing from many electives in composition, literature, and creative writing.

With a future looking bright for English graduates, you’ll be able to channel your creativity and love for the written word and literature into a lifelong career.

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The English interest area at Kirkwood is part of our Liberal Arts program. You’ll work closely with the Advising and Transfer center and communication, English, and media faculty when deciding which classes best match your interests.

Kirkwood has special transfer agreements with all three state universities and many other four-year institutions, including a 2+2 agreement with the University of Iowa

Explore your share of more than $3 million in scholarship opportunities! At Kirkwood, we make it incredibly easy — you only need to apply once, even if you are eligible for more than one scholarship.

Be sure to check out these opportunities:

Frank Lionberger Memorial Scholarship

  • Must be pursuing an A.A. degree with career interest in communication, English, and media
  • Must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average
  • Must be a full-time student

Mary Wilson Memorial Scholarship

  • Must be pursuing an A.A. degree with career interest in communication, English, and media
  • Must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average

Many students use the English interest area as a starting point for their career because the skillset acquired can be applied to dozens of different fields. Most degree plans are flexible and let you choose concentrations in areas of interest to you, such as creative writing or cultural studies.

Studying English prepares you for a wide and exciting selection of careers, including teaching, journalism, publishing, marketing, publications, script writing, law, medicine, or even working in tech companies and startup ventures.

Our communication, English, and media faculty include award-winning, experienced professionals, not grad assistants, equipped with the training and real-world publishing and communication, English, and media education experience that will take your creative writing and literary analysis skills to the next level.

They are a knowledgeable and well-respected community of writers and scholars ready to help you navigate the right path during your journey into a rewarding career in literature and writing.

Student Publications:

Cedar Valley Divide


Classes & Curriculum


ENG-101 Elements of Writing – 3 credits
Develops students’ fluency in communication and clarity in thinking through writers’ notebooks, expository writing, analytical reading and listening. Students use structured assignments to explore personal goals and values, exercising skills needed for reasoning and writing across the curriculum. Prereq: none

ENG-105 Composition – 3 credits
Develops expository writing with emphasis on organization supporting details, style, vocabulary, and library research skills. Prereq: ENG-101 or qualifying placement score

ENG-106 Composition II – 3 credits
Teaches precise and responsible use of research tools. Requires critical analysis of reading materials, audience and self when communicating content material. Develops students’ ability to use effective and ethical arguments. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

ENG-108 Composition II: Technical Writing – 3 credits
Provides concepts, principles and practice of writing and analyzing documents in business, science (including health occupations), and industry. Research emphasized. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

ENG-120 College Writing – 5 credits
Develops expository writing with emphasis on substance, organization, supporting details, style, and vocabulary. Teaches precise and responsible use of research tools. Requires critical analysis of reading current issues and literature. Develops student’s ability to use ethical and logical argument. Prereq: ENG-101 or qualifying placement score

ENG-221 Creative Writing – 3 credits
Offers students an opportunity to do advanced work in writing short story, poetry, literary nonfiction or play writing. Emphasizes regular workshops with attention to content issues, structures, forms, and styles of particular genres. Students read and comment on other students’ works as well as published material. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

ENG-225 Creative Writing: Poetry – 3 credits
Offers a writing workshop devoted to responding to and revising work, reading and discussing published poetry, and exploring various forms of the poem. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

ENG-233 Creative Writing Short Fiction – 3 credits
Offers a writing workshop focused on students’ attempts and successes in writing 500- to 3,500-word short stories. 75 percent of class time devoted to drafting, reading, and responding to peers’ drafts; 25 percent devoted to reading and discussing published short stories and the elements of fiction as they apply to crafting stores. Prereq: ENG-105, ENG-120

ENG-238 Creative Writing: Nonfiction – 3 credits
A writing workshop for students’ nonfiction: personal essays, memoir, nature writing, literary journalism, or other subgenre of the craft. Class time devoted to reading and responding to classmates’ work, discussing published nonfiction, and the writing craft. Homework devoted to drafting and revising, and to reading, and responding to published nonfiction in a variety of subgenres. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

ENG-240 Advanced Creative Writing – 3 credits
Offers students an opportunity to do advanced work in fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction, with an eye toward getting something published. Students respond to each other’s writing and enlarge their knowledge of the publishing industry. Prereq: ENG-221 or ENG-225 or ENG-233 or ENG-238

ENG-245 Advanced Creative Writing: Short Fiction – 3 credits
Provides a writing workshop approach to working on students’ short fiction. 75 percent of class time is devoted to reading and discussing the responses; 25 percent of class time is devoted to discussing already published work. All critiquing based in either New Critical/Elements of Fiction discourse or Reader Response. Prereq Eng-221 or ENG-233

ENG-275 Editing a Literary Magazine – 3 credits
Provides practical experience in reading and editing literary manuscripts (nonfiction, fiction and poetry). Students design and edit hypothetical magazines using actual student manuscripts and work on preparing an issue of Cedar Valley Divide, Kirkwood’s student art and literary magazine. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

ENG-924 Honors Project – 1 credit
Allows a qualified honors student to pursue a special concentration of student under the guidance of an honors faculty member. Requires that student meets honors eligibility criteria. Requires completion of an honors project contract. Requires approval of supervising professor and dean

ENG-928 Independent Study – 2-3 credits
Provides opportunity for independent writing projects under the guidance of a faculty member. Prereq: ENG-105, ENG-221; Permission of instructor is needed

LIT-105 Children’s Literature – 3 credits
Provides a broad overview of children’s literature, with emphasis upon work down by American writers and illustrators. Students use standard techniques of literary analysis to critique the works explored in the course. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-158 Literature of the African Peoples – 3 credits
Provides an introduction to the literature and culture of persons of African descent. Reading include fiction and nonfiction authors from Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-203 Forms of Literature: Story Cycle – 3 credits
Explores through story cycles and critical theory, the questions: What is a story cycle? How are they different from or similar to other forms of literary expression? How does from affect interpretation? Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-204 Forms of Literature: Nonfiction – 3 credits
Focuses on literary nonfiction – essays, memoirs, profiles or criticism – that aspires not only to inform, but also to employ language aesthetically and prompt reflection through literature and critical theory, the following questions: What is literary nonfiction? How are works of literary nonfiction crafted, read and interpreted? How are they different from and similar to other forms of literary expression? How does form affect interpretation? Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-205 Forms of Literature: Drama – 3 credits
Focuses on the study of dramatic literature. Students will practice a method of reading and interpreting plays, exploring the following questions: What is drama? How are works of drama crafted, read and interpreted? How are they different from and similar to other forms of literary expression? How does form affect interpretation? Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-206 Forms of Literature: Fiction – 3 credits
Explores, through short stories, novels, films and critical theory, the following questions: What is fiction? What are it common elements? How does understanding these elements and the ways that interconnect affect our understanding of how fiction is crafted, read, and interpreted? How is fiction different from or similar to other forms of literary expression? Prereq: ENG-105 or WNG-120

LIT-207 Forms of Literature: Poetry – 3 credits
Focuses on the study of poetry. Students will practice reading and interpreting poems, exploring the following questions: What is poetry? How are poems crafted, read, and interpreted? How are they different from and similar to other forms of literary expression/how does form affect interpretation? Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-208 Forms of Literature: New Media – 3 credits
Explores online and computer-based literature. Employing relevant literary theory, students traditional fiction and poetry, and compare those forms to the new media forms of hyperficiton and hyperpoetry. Questions include the following: What is new media literature? How does it compare with traditional genres? Is it a new genre? What makes it qualify as literature? How does literary form affect interpretation? Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-209 Film Adaptation
This course focuses on the relationship between literary works (fiction, drama, nonfiction, poetry, or graphic literature) and their adaptations into film. Students will explore, through reading literature and viewing films, the following questions: What is adaptation of literature to film? How are the elements of plot, character, setting, point of view, symbol, and theme adapted or altered from literature to film? How do the adaptations of literature to film inform our understanding of both literary forms and film? Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-222 Literature and Culture: American Dreams – 3 credits
Explores a variety of expressions of self and society in America through established fiction, autobiography, journals, letters, photographs, and other cultural artifacts. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-224 Literature and Culture: Women and Work – 3 credits
Through reading literature along with social documents by women and men, the course explores gender identity and work issues for women in traditional and nontraditional gender roles – as domestic angels, factory workers, or professionals. Materials may include autobiographies, letters, films, short fiction, poetry, drama, novels, and other artifacts. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-225 Literary Themes: Beyond Bartleby: Images of Business and Labor in Literature and Film – 3 credits
Explores images and issues of business and labor as they manifest in major fiction and nonfiction texts. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120; Admission to the Advance program

LIT-226 Literary Themes: Literature and the Search for Identity – 3 credits
Explores the theme of identity in literature – short stories, novels, poems, plays, and nonfiction. May use ideas and approaches from literary criticism, psychology, philosophy, and religion to illuminate the importance of stories in structuring human experience and establishing a sense of our own identities. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

LIT-227 Literature and Culture: World Poetry – 3 credits
Explores non-Western traditional and contemporary poetry of Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Studies the forces that shape the creation as well as the experience of poetry in these cultures, such as politics, gender, religion, technology, etc. Students learn to compare literary expression across cultures and to place the Western tradition in a larger context. Prereq: Eng-105 or ENG-120

LIT-924 Honors Project – 1 credit
Allows a qualified honors students to pursue a special concentration of study under the guidance of an honors faculty member. Requires completion of an honors project contract. Requires approval of supervising professor and dean

LIT-928 Independent Study – 1-3 credits
Provides readings, papers and/or research projects in literature under the guidance of a staff member.

LIT-945 Selected Topics – 1-3 credits
Offers specialized study in interest areas. Areas may include special courses in mythology, American culture, adolescent literature, or other concentrations. Prereq: ENG-105 or ENG-120

I chose Kirkwood because I knew I could get a great education here for two years, and my options to go anywhere from here were virtually unlimited.

“I chose Kirkwood because I knew I could get a great education here for two years, and my options to go anywhere from here were virtually unlimited.”

George Appleseth,
Panora, Iowa

Meet Our Faculty And Staff

Lisa Angelella
Assistant Professor
319-398-5899 x5988
Cedar Hall 3020

Ph.D.; University of Iowa

Lisa Angelella teaches Forms of Literature: Poetry, Composition I & II, and Creative Writing and serves as an advisor for the Cedar Valley Divide, Kirkwood’s art and literary magazine. She has Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Iowa, and has published scholarly work in Woolf Studies Annual and poems in Willow Springs, 32 Poems, and Stoneboat. She loves coming to see the world in new ways through the papers students write.

Tony Arduini
Professor, Communication Studies
319-398-5899 x5914
Benton Hall 310

A.A.; Sauk Valley Community College
B.S., M.A. & PhD; Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

Tony teaches Fundamentals of Oral Communication. His academic interests include communication theory, relational communication, communication education, educational technology, open educational resources, and performance studies.

Rachelle Biderman

Iowa City Campus, room 246

Rachelle started her educational journey at Kirkwood and later earned a BA and MA in Communication Studies at The University of Iowa. Throughout her academic career, she participated in several theatrical productions and competitive speaking events. Her research interests include gender and communication and the many intersections of communication and psychology. Outside of teaching, she loves to camp, explore, and laugh as much as possible.

Eliot Blake
319-398-5899 x5762
Cedar Hall 3017

B.A.; Georgetown University
J.D.; Emory University
Ph.D.; University of Iowa

Eliot Blake is a refugee from practicing law in Washington D.C. He has a B.A. in Government from Georgetown University, a J.D. from Emory University School of Law, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. His research interests include English Composition, First Amendment jurisprudence, and fostering student success in college. He hails from Atlanta and shares his home with his husband, teenage daughter, and extremely screamy cat. You can find him teaching comp classes or bicycling aimlessly through Johnson County. He is easily startled.

Marci Bowden 
319-398-5899 x 5831
Cedar Hall 3018

B.A.; University of Iowa
M.A.; University of Iowa

Originally from western Iowa, Marci has more recently enjoyed her experiences in the “Cedars” of eastern Iowa. She attended the University of Northern Iowa for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees, earning a B.A. in English with a focus on both Professional and Digital Writing and her M.A. in English. She teaches Composition courses and enjoys finding ways to incorporate hip-hop into the curriculum.

Emily Brown
Assistant Professor
Iowa City Campus, room 246

B.A.; DePaul University
M.A.; University of Wisconsin-Madision

After growing up in Iowa, Emily moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University, and then moved to Wisconsin to attend the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She returned to Iowa in 2009 to teach at Kirkwood. She lives in Iowa City and most often teaches Composition I, and Integrated Composition II, and Forms of Literature: Fiction.

Phil Brown

Phil earned his BA from Drake University (English), his MA from Purdue University (American Studies—emphasis in American Literature), and a second MA from the University of Iowa (American Studies—emphasis in Film Studies). He teaches U.S. Film History, World Film History, Film Analysis, the Horror Film, Composition I and Composition II. His hobbies include gardening, raising chickens, and film making.

Jacki Brucher Moore
Associate Professor, Communication Studies
319-398-5899 x5313
Cedar Hall 1017

B.A.; Simpson College
M.A.; University of Northern Iowa

Jacki teaches courses in Oral Communication and Public Speaking. She completed her undergraduate work at Simpson College and earned her M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Norther Iowa. Jacki’s interest area is language, and she primarily examines communication through the lenses of Rhetorical and Feminist theories. Outside of Kirkwood, Jacki enjoys spending time with her friends and family (including her dogs), patronizing local coffee shops, and searching for new additions to her rather extensive collection of hippos.

Natalia Cherjovsky
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
319-398-5899 x4249
Cedar Hall 1019

B.A.; Hunter College, City University of New York
M.A.; Rollins College PhD, University of Central Florida

Dr. Natalia Cherjovsky teaches Fundamentals of Oral Communication, Public Speaking, Workplace Communication, College 101, and Popular Culture. She is also an advisor for Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society of two-year colleges. She earned a BA in film and media studies from Hunter College, City University of New York, an MA in communication & technology from Rollins College, and a Ph.D. in texts & technology from the University of Central Florida. Her research interests include culture and media, gender studies, and fandom, among others. She enjoys writing, traveling, reading, going to concerts, watching movies, and playing trivia and board games.

Chris Cronbaugh
Associate Professor
319-398-5899 x4028
Cedar Hall 2032

Chris teaches Basic Writing, Personal Achievement Writing, and Tools for Life Seminar.

Sondra Gates
Assistant Professor
319-398-5899 x5840
Cedar Hall 3025

Ph.D.; University of Michigan

Sondra received her PhD in American Literature from the University of Michigan, with a focus on 19th century women’s novels. Her current academic interests are global learning, including virtual exchanges and study abroad; writing about trauma; and neural diversity in the classroom. At Kirkwood, she teaches composition, American Dreams, science fiction, story cycle, film adaptation, and other literature classes. In her free time, she loves to read science fiction, travel, and go on leisurely runs through the country with her dog.

David Hulm
Iowa City Campus, room130

David has earned degrees from St. John’s University (B.A. in English) and the University of Iowa (M.F.A English/Writer’s Workshop and M.A. African-American World Studies). He is pleased to teach Composition I, Integrated Composition, College Writing, Forms of Literature: Fiction, Forms of Literature: Poetry, American Dreams, and Creative Writing. He loves to travel, fish, write poetry, and is working on a series screenplay. David is also interested in metaphysics, lapidary arts and cooking.

Terri Long Jedlicka
319-398-5899 x5323
Cedar Hall 2029

A.A.; Kirkwood Community College
B.A. and M.A.; University of Northern Iowa

Terri is a proud alumnus of Kirkwood Community College (AA degree) and the University of Northern Iowa (BA and MA degrees). She began at Kirkwood in 1997 working in Secondary Programs in the alternative high schools first in Washington, Iowa, then in Tiffin, Iowa. Terri came to main campus to be a part of the Learning Services Department and now the Communications, English and Media Department. The courses she teaches include Basic Writing, College 101, College Reading, Personal Wellness, and Workplace Communications. Terri also serves as a Reading/Writing Specialist for the TRIO Student Support Services program which works with disadvantage student populations. Terri and her husband have three children, two who are in college, and they reside in Solon.

Art Khaw
Professor, Communication Studies
319-398-5899 x5825
Cedar Hall 2033

Art Khaw (Ed.D., Liberty University) teaches Communication courses at Kirkwood Community College. His academic interests include leadership studies, organizational communication and health communications. Art is also a Certified Training Consultant (CTC) which he received from Ball State University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Resources and the Central Indiana Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. Art grew up in Adelaide, South Australia. He spends most of his time on the tennis courts where he competes in regional tennis tournaments and is an active member of the United States Tennis Association (USTA).

Randy Langel
Assistant Professor, Digital Media


Linn Hall room 1222B

A.A.; Kirkwood Community College
B.A.; University of Iowa
M.S.; Arizona State University

Randy obtained his AA in Communication Media (Kirkwood Community College), BA in Film and Comparative Literature (University of Iowa), and his MS in Graphic Information Technology (Arizona State University). Randy is an associate professor in the CEM department and teaches Digital Media courses, such as Mass Media, Video Production, Audio Production, Broadcast Writing & Performance, and News Media Convergence. He is the advisor of Kirkwood Student Productions and has a passion for visual storytelling. Randy is also interested in exploring the use of virtual reality, 360 video, and augmented reality.

Sarah Mangold

Assistant Professor
Linn Hall room 1222B

Sarah Mangold earned her MA in Communication Studies from the University of Northern Iowa and her BA in Speech Communication and English Literature from the University of Dubuque. Sarah worked for several Iowa newspapers before coming to Kirkwood. Currently, she advises the Communiqué, the college’s award-winning student newspaper, and teaches Media History, Mass Media, News Reporting, Public Relations and Marketing, and Fundamentals of Oral Communication.

Lenore Maybaum

Assistant Professor
Iowa City Campus, room 135 

B.A.; English literature
M.A.; English literature
Ph.D.; language, literacy and culture

Dr. Maybaum earned her Ph.D. in Language, Literacy, and Culture at University of Iowa with a focus on language acquisition, critical theory, and cultural studies. Her interests include French New Wave, film studies, the American novel, writing center theory and pedagogy, and Greek tragedy. She directs the Iowa City campus Writing Center and teaches Elements of Writing and Forms of Fiction: American Dreams. Her most recent publication can be found in New Maternalisms; tales of Motherwork, an essay exploring creative and maternal caregiving practices.

Shelby Myers
Iowa City Campus, room 346 

Shelby earned her M.A.T. in English Education at the University of Iowa in 1993 and has been a learner and educator since then. Her teaching interests focus on literacy issues at all levels, particularly the aspects of reading and writing in our communities that often go unnoticed. She teaches composition and reading courses on the Iowa City Campus and also works with English language learners. She leads a service learning oral history project in Iowa City with older adults that was featured in the documentary Aging in America: The Life Stories Project. Shelby regularly leads Kirkwood study abroad trips around the world focused on service learning. In her free time, she loves participating in musical theater in the community and spending time with her family.

Danny Plunkett

319-398-5899 x5928

3025 Cedar Hall


Danny Plunkett earned his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Georgia College & State University and his B.S. in Biology from the University of Alabama. He teaches Composition courses at Kirkwood’s Cedar Rapids campus, and his creative interests include literary fiction, weird stories, and prose poetry. In his spare time, he writes and publishes fiction and poetry, and spends time with his wife and St. Bernard mix, Barney.

Steve Price

319-398-5899 x5777
Cedar Hall 3022

B.A. and M.A.; University of Iowa

Steve Price is Professor of English and the Writing Center coordinator at Kirkwood’s Cedar Rapids campus. He grew up in the Southwest and moved to Iowa where he attended the University of Iowa. He has taught composition and literature courses at Kirkwood since 1994. He performs traditional folk blues on guitar and harmonica in the eastern Iowa area. Steve teaches College Writing.

Timothy Robbins

398-5899 x5929

3023 Cedar Hall


Tim Robbins teaches courses in first-year composition and literary studies at Kirkwood’s campus in Cedar Rapids. A first-generation college student, he received his Bachelor’s degree in English from the City University of New York-Hunter College before transplanting to the Midwest to earn his MA and PhD in English from the University of Iowa. Tim’s literary research focuses on 19th-American poetry and social movements, and his teaching scholarship is in the field of Open Pedagogy, particularly around the development of Open Educational Resources (OER). Tim and his wife Jessie are delighted to return to eastern Iowa to raise their children, frequent the farmers’ markets, and cheer on the Hawkeyes!

Catherine Schaff-Stump
Cedar Hall 3018

Ph.D.; second language writing, specializing in the rhetoric of Japan

Dr. Catherine Schaff-Stump received her interdisciplinary PhD in Second Language Writing from the University of Iowa and her MA in Business and Technical English from Iowa State University. She teaches a wide variety of subjects, including literature, composition, business writing, and creative writing, specializing in how different audiences effect different forms of communication. She is also an author of dark fantasy and horror. She can often be found pumping iron and power walking to counteract all the time she spends in front of a computer screen.

Renée Schlueter
319-398-5899 x5836
Cedar Hall 3023

Ph.D.; Saint Louis University

Dr. Renée Schlueter earned a Ph.D. in Nineteenth-Century British Literature with an emphasis in gender and culture from Saint Louis University. Her research and curricular focus on international women writers, gender and teaching, and the Grand Tour reflect this lifelong interest in global citizenship and women’s rights. Dr. Schlueter has developed a variety of face-to-face and online literature and composition courses and regularly teaches a two-week Rome Study Abroad class in Italy. As an educator, she believes that reading and traveling are immersive experiences with the power to awaken student global perspectives and help them live meaningful lives.

Kevin Shroth


Iowa City Campus, room 346


Kevin (Ph.D. University of Iowa) teaches Fundamentals of Oral Communication and some humanities courses, including Popular Culture. His academic interests include popular film and television, comedy, and rhetoric. When Kevin isn’t working, he enjoys reading (primarily nonfiction) and cheering for Arsenal FC.

Clark Skaggs
Professor, Communication Studies
319-398-5899 x5963
Cedar Hall 1018

B.A.; Southwest Baptist
M.A.; University of Central Missouri

Clark teaches Fundamentals of Oral Communication, Public Speaking and Encounters in Humanities. Clark believes in keeping communication skills sharp by participating in his area of interest. He regularly appears as a speaker and actor at local arts events.

Heather Strempke-Durgin
Assistant Professor
319-398-5988 x1224
Cedar Hall 3017

B.A.; Boise State University
M.A.; Oregon State University

Heather is a native Iowan who recently returned to Iowa, after living in the Pacific Northwest. She received her B.A. in English, with a focus on literature, and her M.A. in English and American literature. She is particularly interested in the intersection between gender studies and literature. Heather teaches Composition I, Integrated Composition, and Literature and Culture: American Dreams.

Marianne Taylor
319-398-5899 x5838
Cedar Hall 3024

M.A.; English literature

Upon receiving her M.A. in English literature and completing all of her PhD coursework, Marianne Taylor taught at Fullerton College and the University of California at Irvine. As Professor of English at Kirkwood, she teaches literature, creative writing, and composition classes online, in the classroom, and on Study Abroad programs to Ireland every summer. Marianne writes poetry, and her work has been published widely in national journals and anthologies; she is the recipient of several poetry prizes and awards; she serves as the inaugural Poet Laureate of Mount Vernon; and at Kirkwood she has held two Faculty Endowed Chairs for individual and collaborative writing projects. She loves to travel and enjoys hiking, watercolor painting, and studying various esoteric arts.

Mircea Tomus
319-398-5899 x5832
Cedar Hall 3022

Mircea obtained his degree in comparative literature and medieval studies from the University of Iowa in 1991. He hails from former Communist Romania and has been teaching classes in rhetoric, college writing, introduction to poetry and fiction, both in Europe and the United States. His spare time is filled with translation projects, making and playing music in his recording studio, and sailing.

Rich Underwood
Professor, Communication Studies
Cedar Hall 1017

B.A. & M.A.; Purdue University

Rich Underwood is a Professor in the Communications Studies discipline of the Communications-English-Media department where he teaches Fundamentals of Oral Communication and Public Speaking. Rich is a graduate of Purdue University, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communication. During his spare time, he enjoys watching Chicago-area sports and babysitting his grandchildren.

Lisa Williams
319-398-5899 x5828
Cedar Hall 2027

B.A.; Mount Mercy University
M.A.; University of Iowa

Lisa earned her undergraduate degree in English and Secondary Education from Mount Mercy University; her Masters in Education with an English emphasis was awarded by the University of Iowa. She teaches Elements of Writing, Core Writing, Basic Writing, College Reading, and Effective Reading Strategies. She also assists students in the Writing Center and Center for Online Writing. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, tending to her 170+ varieties of daylilies, and most of all, spending time with her family.

Steve Wolcott
Associate Professor
319-398-5899 x5841
Cedar Hall 3019

Steve Wolcott was growing up a few blocks from the Ohio’s Cuyahoga River when it famously caught fire in 1969. Despite this fiery beginning, he loves hiking and biking through river valleys. After earning two master’s degrees at Indiana University, he moved to Iowa where he’s been teaching writing and children’s literature at Kirkwood since 2010.


Rick Anderson (Emeritus), Communication
Don Arenz, English
Deb Bloom, English
Matt Bloom, English
Janis Bultman, English
Joonseok Choi, Communication
Gabe Christianson, Communication
Karen Cloyd, Communication
Andrew De Luca, English
Lois Deerberg, Communication
Elizabeth Dickhut, English
Sharon Grice, Communication
Debbie Heckert, Communication
Kasey Hullett, English
Scott Ketelson, Communication
Shawnacy Kiker Perez, English
Gina Larson, English
Barbara Lau, English
John Logel, English
Karen Marshall, Communication
Chance McWorthy, Communication
George Minot, English
Cara Picton, English
Buzz Pounds, English
Katie Reed, English
Vapordeal Sanders, Communication
Paul Shumaker, English
Tobias Veeder, English



Scott Ditzler, English
Robin Fields, English
Dom Franco (Emeritus)
Richard Johnson (Emeritus), English
Margaret MacInnis, English
Michele Payne (Emeritus), English
Tonja Robbins (Emeritus), English

Jeff Kirchoff, Dean of Communication, English, and Media

Jeff Kirchoff earned his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from Bowling Green State University and his M.A. in English Studies at St. Cloud State University. He has been at Kirkwood Community College since 2019.


Carolyn Gonzalez, Associate Dean of Communication, English, and Media

Carolyn received her Bachelor’s degree in English and Medieval Studies from the University of Iowa before earning her Master’s degree in English at Iowa State University. Her research interests are focused in the middle ages, spanning early Nordic and Early Medieval English literature. Her pedagogical interests are focused on first-generation student success. In her free time, Carolyn enjoys going on new adventures with her husband and toddler.


Carrie Barker, Department Assistant, Communication, English, and Media


Communication, English, and Media
3051 Cedar Hall