Language & Literature Dept


Mike Medley
Department Chair and Professor

Mike Medley has chaired the Department of Language and Literature since August 2013. Within the department, he coordinates the minor in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) and regularly teaches courses TESOL and general education courses in writing and speech. He specializes in language and culture, English grammar, and methods of language teaching. He also serves as adviser for international students in EMU’s Bridge Program.

Prior to returning to teaching full-time in 2009, Medley served for 10 years as director of EMU’s Intensive English Program . He has published recently in TESOL Journal, SPELT Journal, CELEA News, College Teaching, Christian Scholar’s Review, Global Issues in Language Education, and the International Journal of Christianity and English Language Teaching.

He is co-author and editor of a popular teacher resource manual How to Teach English: A Survival Kit for Teachers of English at the Early Stages, which was published in Pakistan (1994) where he and his family lived and worked from 1983-94.

Current research interests include the second language acquisition experiences of trauma-affected learners and strategies for teaching such learners; teaching culture and intercultural communication as a means of peacebuilding; and scaffolding English language learners’ access to academic language in complex texts. His forthcoming publication (Westbow Press, 2016) is a textbook for high intermediate and advanced learners of English that integrates language instruction with content related to trauma awareness and resilience—Resilience: Learning English in Tough Times.

Violet Dutcher

Dr. Vi Dutcher is a professor of rhetoric and composition and teaches writing and speech courses. Prior to coming to EMU, she taught writing and women’s studies courses at Kent State University—Stark Campus. She has also taught at The University of Akron and Cuyahoga Community College. She enjoys linking her courses to community partnerships where students produce a deliverable product for a specified need in an organization. Her research interests are community literacy practices in general and Old Order Amish women’s literacy practices in particular.

Marti Eads
Professor of English

Martha Greene Eads grew up in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge mountains and studied literature and theology at Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Durham (UK). Before coming to EMU, she taught at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women and at Valparaiso University in Indiana, where she held a Lilly Fellowship in Humanities and the Arts from 2001-2003. Her research and teaching interests include twentieth- and twenty-first-century drama, English modernism, and contemporary Southern fiction, and her articles on those topics have appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Christianity and Literature, The Cresset, Modern Drama, The Southern Quarterly, and Theology.

Chad Gusler
Assistant Professor

Chad Gusler received his B.S. in Biblical Studies and Theology from Eastern Mennonite College in 1993. In 1998, he received an M.A. in Religion from Eastern Mennonite Seminary, and in 2007, his M.F.A. in creative writing (fiction) from Seattle Pacific University in Seattle, Washington.

Jeanne Heil
Assistant Professor

Jeanne Heil received her PhD in Hispanic Linguistics from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2015. In addition to teaching linguistics and Spanish language courses, she also has a passion for mentorship of undergraduate students. In the past, she has worked with students on a range of projects, such as Honors Capstones and independent studies. She is expanding this experience at EMU to include TESOL practicum advising.

Jeanne’s research focuses primarily on the acquisition of grammatical knowledge in second language learners and early bilinguals/heritage learners. Secondary topics include cognitive approaches to language acquisition and methods in quantitative linguistic research. Her newest article ‘Extra-syntactic Factors in the That-trace Effect’ is due to appear in a new volume from John Benjamins publishing in 2017.

Adriana Rojas
Assistant Professor

Adriana earned her PhD in Hispanic Studies at the University of Virginia. She also has a BA in Latin American Studies and Literature at American University and an MA in Hispanic Studies at the University of Virginia. She was administrator and instructor for the UVa Program in Peru and selected to teach Hispanic culture for UVa’s Summer Language Institute. She joined the Language and Literature Department at EMU in 2012 where she teaches Spanish language, literature, and film.

Adriana’s primary research interests are twentieth century literature and film, Andean literature and culture, trauma and resilience narratives, and Hispanic American women writers. Her dissertation, “From Manchay Tiempo to ‘Truth’: Cultural Trauma and Resilience in Contemporary Peruvian Narrative,” tracks the development of cultural production in postconflict Peru. She explores how contemporary narrative responds to the wound inflicted upon Peruvian national identity in the aftermath of truth and reconciliation and attempts to provide Peru’s population with some measure of closure and healing.

Kevin Seidel
Associate Professor

A native of California, Kevin Seidel came to EMU from the University of Virginia, where he received his Ph.D. in English Literature and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. He is working on a book project that uses original research on the eighteenth-century English Bible to open up new ways of thinking about the history of the English novel. He is also actively involved in Scriptural Reasoning. His teaching and scholarship both explore the changing relationship between religion, secularism, and literature.

Carol Snell-Feikema

Carol Snell-Feikema teaches Spanish language, Immigration Issues and community-learning, Latin American Civilization, Spanish Civilization and Spanish Literature. She and her husband, Michael, led the EMU Spain and Morocco Cross-Cultural Semester Fall 2013. A native of Iowa, she has also lived, studied and traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America.

She received her Master’s Degree in Spanish from Minnesota State University, Mankato in 2004. Her thesis, “The Process of Concientización in Isabel Allende’s De amor y de sombra,” studies the process of spiritual awakening and critical consciousness in the context of the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. She studied Globalization and Liberation Theology at Departamento Ecuménico de Investigaciones in San Jose, Costa Rica with professors, human rights workers and missioners from throughout Latin America.

Prior to coming to EMU, she taught Spanish and Service-Learning at South Dakota State University, leading university cross-cultural and study abroad experiences to Guatemala, Mexico, Spain and the US-Mexico border at Nogales. Student service-learning projects have included running a day-camp for children in the shanty towns of Nogales, Mexico, giving out food, blankets and medicine in response to Tropical Storm Agatha in Guatemala, teaching English to Spanish-speaking immigrants, tutoring Spanish-speaking school children, translating at a local food bank, working with homeless people in Granada, Spain, designing and painting a welcome mural on a village guesthouse in Morocco as part of a program for revitalization of rural communities, and helping build a mosque in the Rif Mountains of Morocco.

Andrew White
Associate Professor

Andrew White is a native of Western Oregon. After completing a bachelor’s degree, Andrew spent two years doing volunteer work in Eastern Europe – mostly in Bulgaria. Returning to the USA, he went on to earn an M.A. in English at Oregon State University (1999) and a Ph.D. in English at Washington State University (2003).

Before coming to EMU in August 2008, Andrew taught at the American University in Bulgaria, an American-style residential, liberal arts college in the Balkans. His research interests include early American literature (esp. religion), ethnic studies, and Balkan studies. Andrew teaches courses in literary studies (including Shakespeare and ethnic literatures), first-year writing, and speech.

Adjunct Faculty


Kirsten Beachy
Assistant Professor

Kirsten serves as director of EMU’s Core Curriculum. She earned her MFA in creative writing at West Virginia University. She is a contributing editor to The Tusculum Review and edited the anthology Tongue Screws and Testimonies: Poems, Stories, and Essays Inspired by the Martyrs Mirror. Kirsten co-chaired Mennonites Writing VI: Solos and Harmonies, a bi-national writing conference, in Spring 2012.

She lives in Briery Branch with her husband, daughters, a bevy of backyard chickens and ducks, several hives of honeybees, and Sophie the cat.

Barbara Byer
Office Coordinator

Barbara began her role as office coordinator in March, 2016, after teaching ESL at Eastern Mennonite High School for 5 years. She has an elementary education degree from Messiah College and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from EMU. In her spare time Barbara loves to knit and crochet, read, watch funny movies with her family, and plan her next excursion somewhere in the world. She and her husband Owen are active members at Weavers Mennonite Church.

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