is the director of the Writing Center, and teaches courses in composition and literature, one of the more popular ones being Literature of the Jazz Age.
She was born in the coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania and grew up in Catasauqua, a small town nestled in the Lehigh Valley. She holds a BA in English from Mansfield University with dual minors in philosophy and creative writing and an MFA in fiction from Wichita State University. She has completed a novel, Dime Store Rita, and two collections of short stories, The Ghosts in the Glen and The Last Innocent Year. Her stories have appeared in many journals, including Sycamore Review, Hot Air Quarterly, Night Train, Paper Street, Blood root, and others. She is the 2002 Richard Yates Short Story Award winner and received a special mention in the 2005 Pushcart Prize Anthology. Her work has been a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Award and was first runner-up for the 2010 Wabash Prize. In 2007, she laid the ground-work for her second novel, Hymns at Candlemas, while a resident at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. When not writing, camping, cooking, or gardening, she and her husband spend time dealing with (or battling) four neurotic cats and a co-dependent Lhasa Apso. If that’s not living, what is?
Melinda DeFrain is the Basic Skills, ESL, and Science Writing Coordinator, she also teaches courses in the Theory of Composition, Nature Writing, and literature.
She was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico to a former Wichita East High prom queen and a college football coach. She received a B.S. in horticulture (and yes, even so, she’s still a Dorothy Parker fan) from Kansas State University. She pursued a master’s degree in Wildlife Biology in Texas until returning to her first love, English. She received her B.A. in English from Western Michigan University (where she worked with National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon, among others) with emphases on Education and Creative Writing. She then received her MA in English from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. Parts of her thesis, on creative nonfiction, have been published nationally and she has since taught Creative Nonfiction for the WSU Office of Continuing Education. She received her MFA from Wichita State University and was a fiction fellowship holder during her program. Her thesis, Big Talker, a novel, is currently under consideration with an agency while she continues to work on her story collection, Acting Out, and a new novel. When she isn’t writing she and her husband and two daughters take care of two dogs, a cat, two guinea pigs, three rats, and the most resilient fish in the world.
Mary Sherman holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Wichita State, where she has been on the composition faculty since 1990. From 1990 to 2010, she was ESL coordinator for the English Department; from 1999 to 2010, she also directed the department’s developmental English program. Since 2010, Mary has been Assistant Director of the Writing Program and supervisor of English 102 classes. She has taught all of the courses in the composition curriculum with the exception of business and technical writing. She has also taught numerous literature courses, including Exploring Literature, Themes in American Literature, Nature of Drama, American Multicultural Literature, Modern American Writers, and Studies in Popular Literature. Mary’s teaching background also includes film classes such as Narrative in Literature and Film, courses in the history of film comedy, and the special topics course “Hollywood Looks at Hollywood.” In addition to her teaching duties, Mary was for many years a part-time academic advisor for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In private life, she is the proud parent of five mischievous cats who enjoy running her life. They intend to help her finish writing her first screenplay someday soon.
Darren DeFrain is the author of numerous short stories, essays, and screenplays, as well as the story collection Inside & Out (MSR Press) and the cult novel The Salt Palace (New Issues Press). Both books are available online through Dzanc Books. He is a graduate of the University of Utah (B.A. in English, B.S. in Psychology, minor in Italian), Kansas State University (M.A.), Texas State University’s M.F.A. program and Western Michigan University, where he received his Ph.D. in creative writing in 2000. He now lives in Wichita, Kansas with his wife Melinda and two daughters, and is the Director of the Writing Program at Wichita State University. He’s currently at work on a novel, The Romulus and Remus of Adams County, NE; a collection of essays, A Moveable Bar-B-Q; and a story collection, The Kids Are Alwrong. You can learn more at www.darrendefrain.com.
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