Department of English

Chowan University’s English Department offers a variety of classes focusing on composition, literature, and creative writing.

“The English Department is awesome! You not only get a greater appreciation for the written word, but the professors make it come alive!” – Brittany Bennett, Language and Literature graduate

Welcome to English

Chowan University’s English Department offers a variety of English classes focusing on composition, literature, and creative writing.

Studies in literature and language lead to a richer appreciation of life and its meaning. Learning to express yourself, orally or through writing, demands critical thinking skills to determine what one perceives to be true about experience. Seeing how others express themselves, by reading great literature or studying foreign languages, exposes one to a variety of perspectives on culture and existence, thus expanding a student's vision.

These studies also encourage and help develop a sense of aesthetics and humane values. While these values cannot be measured, we feel they are central to the life of the truly educated; the skills necessary to express one's growing understanding of these truths, perspectives, and values critical thinking, clear and logical writing, and oral communication of complex ideas are essential to success in any career a student eventually chooses.

You can earn the following degrees from the Department of English:

English (9-12) Education, BA
English, BA
English, Creative Writing Track, BA

Chowan University also offers these minors within the Department of English:

Drama Minor
English Minor
Writing Minor

All Chowan students take English 101 (College Composition) and English 102 (Composition and Introduction to Literature). These classes are designed to build upon what you have learned previously about reading and writing and to empower you to join a discourse community of scholarly writers. Composition is not focused on reviewing fundamental rules of grammar; rather, it is designed to help you write with sophistication about the material you study as a college student.

Additionally, Chowan students learn to express themselves during the following classes offered by the Department of English:

Foreign Languages
Drama (Theatre@Chowan) 
Communication (Public Speaking and Voice and Articulation)

In our global culture, these skills are essential for an educated person. As technology has advanced, people rely on the written word more and more—think of how often you read the online version of a newspaper, or send an email or a text message to a friend or loved one. We seem to be entering a new golden age of textual communication; a strong background in English will help you to navigate this Brave New World.

As a major in the Department of English, you can connect your classroom knowledge with real world experience. Our internships provide students with opportunities to gain practical experience in professional settings. The Chowan University chapter of the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society and Theta Alpha Delta Honor Society along with the English-Creative Writing Club offer students additional educational, service, and fellowship opportunities.


Theatre@Chowan provides opportunities for artistic and creative expression as well as intellectual exploration. It allows students to discover their unique talents and foster their innate creative abilities.


Tom Abbott, MA
Visiting Instructor in English
Kerri Albertson, MA
Instructor in English; Director of the Writing Center
John Davis, PhD
Professor of English
Steven Harders, MFA
Associate Professor of Communication and Drama; Fine Arts Studies Coordinator
Tim Hayes, PhD
Assistant Professor of English
Bryan Herek, PhD
Associate Professor of English
Jennifer Newhouse, MFA
Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
Cynthia S. Nicholson, PhD
Chair, Associate Professor of English; Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences