School Department News

Language and Literature

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 - 2:03pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., April 15, 2013 - William Carey University students Megan Bourne of Columbia and Shelby Barrett of Lumberton were both awarded scholarships at the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society Convention in St. Louis, Mo., March 27-29. Bourne, a senior art major, won the National H.Y. Benedict Fellowship ($2,500) for her paper Anish Kapoor. Barrett, a senior biology major, won the Region III Scholarship ($500) for her paper The American Oyster and Its Many Roles in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. WCU’s Mississippi Beta Chapter of Alpha Chi is limited to no more than 10 percent of the junior, senior, and graduate class members, and WCU students must have at least a 3.70 Grade Point Average on the 4.0 scale to qualify. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - 3:40pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., March 26, 2014 - Sisters Nancy and Autumn Barnard of Laurel, who are both students at William Carey University, recently presented conference papers at the 2014 Sigma Tau Delta Annual International Convention held February 26 - March 1 at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront in Savannah, Ga.

Nancy is a master’s student in the English program, and Autumn is a senior English and religion major. The students’ conference papers were selected from over 800 submissions. Nancy’s presentation, “Pattern and Performance,” focused on the influence of impressionistic art in Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night. Autumn’s paper traced hubris in Shelley’s Frankenstein and Hawthorne’s short story, “The Birthmark.” In addition, WCU’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta received special recognition and a plaque for 20 years of affiliation with Sigma Tau Delta. Dr. Marsha Newman, associate professor of English, is the faculty sponsor for WCU’s chapter.

Sigma Tau Delta was founded in May 1924 as an "order designed to promote the mastery of written expression, encourage worthwhile reading, and foster a spirit of fellowship among those specializing in the English language and literature.” The society’s first national convention was held less than a year later in April 1925. This year’s 90th birthday event, which ran from February 26-March 1, featured an exciting line up of speakers which included Justin Torres, author of We the Animals. Besides stimulating paper sessions, attendees could perform at an Open Mic poetry session or take part in a Bad Poetry Contest.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 3:05pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., February 12, 2014 - The Department of Language and Literature at William Carey University has received national recognition for its programs in English and English education from the  National Council for Accreditation in Teacher Education (NCATE) and the National Council Teachers of English (NCTE).  The programs will be listed as nationally recognized through a 10-year accreditation cycle from February 1, 2014 to August 1, 2024, and will be included on the NCATE/NCTE website as nationally recognized programs.  

Carey’s English programs are built on the strengths of both the traditional curriculum of the Noonkester School of Arts and Letters and the innovative field-based experiences available in the School of Education, as well as the strong qualifications of program faculty. This national recognition from NCATE and NCTE affirms those students in the English programs who are prospective teachers and who seek to complete English language arts teacher preparation programs at the secondary level.  Such affirmation includes both a programmatic standard which assures that Carey’s programs in English and English education provide experiences and resources necessary to prepare candidates effectively. It also affirms the standards in candidate performance which focus directly on what English language arts teachers should know and be able to do In addition, the NCATE/NCTE review focused especially on the program’s assessment system for candidate performance.  

According to Dr. Thomas Richardson, chair of the department of language and literature, “This is a good time to be at Carey for prospective teachers and students interested in English.  What we have done with assessments here has made our program better and shows us the value of this national recognition. The NCATE review noted that our program is strong in content knowledge and assessing – in multiple ways.  At the same time, we are mindful of how our candidates are able to apply that knowledge in the classroom and in teaching/learning situations.”

Friday, January 17, 2014 - 3:14pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., January 17, 2014 - William Carey University’s Mississippi Beta Chapter of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society hosted its Carey Collegium VII featuring a lecture by Ellen Ruffin, associate professor and curator of the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at The University of Southern Mississippi, on January 16. The lecture, “The de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection: The Hidden Jewel,” was held in the Sarah Gillespie Museum of Art on Carey’s Hattiesburg campus. Pictured are (left to right) Dr. Thomas Richardson, professor and chair of the department of language and literature at WCU and Alpha Chi faculty member; Dr. Read Diket, professor of art and education/director of Center for Creative Scholars at WCU and Alpha Chi sponsor; Alyssa Keyes of Ringgold, Ga., president of Alpha Chi; Ellen Ruffin; Dolores O’Mary, administrative assistant for language and literature and Alpha Chi sponsor, and Dr. Randall Harris, professor of biology and Alpha Chi sponsor.

Thursday, December 5, 2013 - 4:52pm

Hattiesburg, Miss., December 5, 2013 - Dr. Read Diket, professor of art and education/director of Center for Creative Scholars at William Carey University, along with her daughter, Tally Scully, and Tally's niece, Callie LaValle, recently published their first book, "Houdini and the Magic Molt." Scully and LaValle wrote the educational children's story, and Dr. Diket created the illustrations. Dr. Diket will hold a book signing for the new publication on WCU's campus December 11 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. in front of Wilkes Hall. The book cost $20 and is also available for purchase at

The creative process for the book began when Scully and her husband, Mike, purchased an ootheca and watched the hundreds of tiny mantises emerge from the mantis egg case. They became enthralled with the creatures and their molting process, and Scully was inspired to write a children's book about a Chinese preying mantis who finds magic in the process of molting. Her niece provided input from a child's perspective, and between the two of them, a science-based educational book with an inspiring story was born. Scully then enlisted the assistance of her talented artistic mother, Dr. Diket, to provide beautiful illustrations to accompany their tale. This three generational book is appropriate for adults and children alike.

"This is book about family values, the journey to find yourself through the missions you undertake, the balance that we must all find in our lives, and the magic to be discovered in all of nature," Scully said. "One needs only to step outside and explore the backyard to forever feel the imprint of science on their life."

For more information about te book, contact Dr. Diket at