Our Alumni - Their Accomplishments     

Scott Ortolano, Ph.D. 2013 - is Assistant Professor of English at Edison State College. He co-edited and co-wrote the introduction for Perspectives on the Short Story. With an eye towards the ever-changing needs of the 21st century classroom, Perspectives offers numerous innovative themes, conventions, and global variations of the short story. Like the short story itself, the anthology roams beyond formal binaries like "conventional" or "experimental," over the borders of geography, nation, ethnicity, race, class, region, and gender, and across the lines of urban, suburban, and rural life as well as political and social affiliations.


Scott Bailey, Ph.D. 2012 - Scott Bailey's first book of poems Thus Spake Gigolo is now in print, published by NYQ Books (New York Quarterly Books). A recipient of The John Mackay Shaw, Academy of American Poetry Award and The May Alexander Ryburn Fellowship, his poems have appeared in The Adirondack Review, Exquisite Corpse, The Cortland Review, Harpur Palate, The Journal, Meridian, The Southeast Review, New York Quarterly, and Verse Daily, among others.


Laci Mattison, Ph.D. 2013 - Visiting Lecturer at Florida State University, and Paul Ardoin, Ph.D. 2014 - Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, along with Dr. S.E. Gontarski, are the general editors of Bloomsbury's "Understanding Philosophy, Understanding Modernism" series, which reevaluates an aesthetic moment alongside the philosophy that shaped and was shaped by it. Mattison and Ardoin have also co-edited two volumes in this series: Understanding Deleuze, Understanding Modernism (August 2014) and Understanding Bergson, Understanding Modernism (January 2013), the latter to which they contributed chapters, as well. As Gregg Lambert states of the most recent volume, "The immediate usefulness of this series is the editors' tripartite structure of close reading, contextualization, and key concepts from the philosophies of modernism. This volume on Deleuze collates an exceptional range of scholars on Deleuze and/or Modernism, maintaining a nice balance between well heeled names and brilliant new voices." Forthcoming volumes in the series are dedicated to thinkers such as William James, Wittgenstein, Foucault, and Merleau-Ponty.


Gwyn Hyman Rubio, B.A. 1971 - Gwyn's third novel, Love & Ordinary Creatures, is now available through Ashland Creek Press. Gwyn's first novel, Icy Sparks (Viking/Penguin 1988), was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and also an Oprah Book Club Selection. Her 2005 publication, The Woodsman's Daughter (Penguin), was a finalist that year for the Kentucky Literary Award for Excellence in Fiction. Her collection of short stories, Sharing Power, was nominated for a Pushcart Press Editor's Book Award. Gwyn and her husband Angel have lived in Kentucky for more than 40 years, and in 2001 they moved to Versailles, Kentucky.


Michael Smith, Ph.D. 1995 - Michael is professor of English at Bluefield State College and an accomplished freshwater angler. His varied interests take him from the deepest corners of academia and theory to the wilderness of Virginia's Highlands. His book Reading Simulacra: Fatal Theories for Postmodernity (State Univ of New York Press, 2001) analyzes the extent to which our culture has immersed itself in the simulations and digital images of television, film, and video games. Outside his exploration of virtual reality, Smith is the author of five fishing books and a veteran fishing guide in New River Valley, Virginia. He recently updated The Virginia Fishing Guide (2012) by the late Bob Gooch, a legendary outdoorsman and fishing expert. Smith is accredited as a Virginia Master Angler and operates the New River Fly Fishing company in Virginia.


Michael C. Broome, M.A. 1972 - Dr. Broome is chair of the Columbia College Department of English and where he is the Stackhouse Associate Professor of English. He began his faculty work at the College in 1973. He moved to administration as Associate Dean of the College in 1992 and later as Dean of the Graduate School and Academic Services in 1998. He returned to his faculty work in the Department of English in 2000 and was named department chair in 2004. Dr. Broome’s A.B. in American Literature is from the University of Chattanooga, his M.A. in American Literature is from Florida State University, and his Ph.D. in English Education is from the University of South Carolina. Outside of his love for his chairmanship duties and for teaching Southern literature, world literature, and business writing, Mike enjoys golf, Civil War history, baseball card collecting, and FSU football.


Adam Johnson, Ph.D. 2001 - Adam's novel The Orphan Master's Son (Random House) won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. His work has appeared in Esquire, The Paris Review, Harper's, and The Missouri Review, as well as Best New American Voices a record four years running. He is the author of a collection of stories, Emporium, and a novel, Parasites Like Us. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, he currently teaches creative writing at Stanford University.


Matt Bondurant, Ph.D. 2003 - The short fiction of two-time Bread Loaf scholarship winner and Sewanee Fellow Matt Bondurant has appeared in journals such as Glimmer Train, The New England Review, and Prairie Schooner. His novel The Third Translation was published by Hyperion in April 2005 and it has been translated into 14 languages worldwide. His second novel The Wettest County in the World will be released by Scribners in October 2008. Film rights were recently purchased by Columbia Pictures. He recently accepted a tenure-track Fiction Writer job at SUNY Plattsburgh.


Todd James Pierce, Ph.D. 2004 - Todd has just won the Drew Heinz Fiction Prize. He was chosen by none other than Joan Didion for his collection of stories, Newsworld. Newsworld will be published by University of Pittsburgh Press. He is the author of The Australia Stories, a novel and, with another FSU graduate Ryan Van Cleave, Behind the Short Story, which provides the “inside scoop” on how a successful story emerges from first to final draft.


Jennifer Perrine, Ph.D. 2006 - Her first collection of poetry, The Body Is No Machine, was published by New Issues in 2007, and she has recently completed a second book of poetry, This Animal Self. She currently lives in Des Moines, Iowa, where she teaches fiction and poetry writing, gender studies, and Holocaust studies at Drake University.


Chelsea Rathburn, B.A. 1997 - Her first collection of poetry, The Shifting Line, received the 2005 Richard Wilbur Award and was recently published by the University of Evansville Press. She received an MFA from the University of Arkansas in 2001. Rathburn is also author of a limited edition fine letterpress chapbook, Unused Lines, published by Aralia Press in 2002. She works as a freelance copywriter and video producer in Atlanta.


Michael McClelland, Ph.D., Creative Writing - Already hailed by Publishers Weekly as an “up-and-coming mystery writer” following the success of his first novel, Oyster Blues, Michael McClelland, Wittenberg University assistant professor of English, has again captured the attention of critics with his latest release, Tattoo Blues, a witty crime novel set in Cedar Key, Fla.


Brigitte Byrd, Ph.D. 2003 - She is the author of three collections of poems: Song of a Living Room, (Ahsahta, 2009), The Dazzling Land (Black Zinnias, 2008) and Fence Above the Sea (Ahsahta, 2005). She is currenly an Associate Professor of English at Clayton State University, where she teaches creative writing.


Maryhelen Cleverly Harmon, Ph.D., American Literature, 1981 - She is an Associate Professor of English, University of South Florida where she specializes in 19th century British and American literature and is a winner of the Krevanek Award, USF's highest teaching award. Harmon has written book chapters and articles on the English Romantics, Hawthorne, and Melville.


David Bottoms, Ph.D. 1982 - Robert Penn Warren selected David Bottoms's first collection, Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump, for the 1979 Walt Whitman Award. His recent work includes Armored Hearts: Selected and New Poems and the novel Easter Weekend. He is a Professor of English at Georgia State University and the State Poet Laureate for Georgia.