Dr. Brenda Ellington

Dr. Brenda Ellington

Associate Professor of English

"I see online learning as the only means that thousands and thousands of students will have to earn degrees."

Degrees held:

  • Ph.D. in English Composition and Rhetoric – University of Louisiana-Lafayette, 2006
  • M.Ed. in Secondary Education – University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1987
  • B.A. in Library Science – Louisiana Tech University, 1981

Career highlights:

"Satirical Elements in Fanny Fern's 'Have We Any Men Among Us?' and 'Tom Pax's Conjugal Soliloquy.'" The Explicator. Vol. 72, No. 4. December 2014
State Conference Review of Louisiana Association for College Composition in the LACC Newsletter. 2005
Book Review of Books to Help Children Cope with Separation and Loss: An Annotated Bibliography. Published in The Bulletin of Bibliography. 1996
Submitted for Publication: "Sentiment and Satire: The Language of Flowers in Fanny Fern's Ruth Hall." The Explicator. July 2015
Quality Matters: QM Certification granted for English 3002-Technical Writing, July 2015
Teaching Excellence, National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD), 1998
Fellow, National Writing Project Summer Institute, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Summer 1997
Louisiana Association for Developmental Education Outstanding Educator Nominee, 1991
LSUA Outstanding Developmental Educator, 1990-91

In which online degree program(s) do you teach?

BA English

Which classes do you teach online?

English 1001, 1002, 2002, 2010, 2031, 3002, 3070, 3674, 3920, 4301, 4674, 4710

Why did you start teaching?

I started teaching because I wanted to make a difference for others. I had always struggled with writing--not with turning out essays, but with understanding the deeply internalized and often chaotic, enigmatic process of writing. We all know that teaching something is the best way to learn it, so I started teaching to help me figure out the composing process and find a way to explain it to students to help them avoid the confusion I had experienced, to lessen their apprehension and enhance their ability to write.

What's the best advice that you have ever received?

The best advice I have ever received comes not from a personal mentor or teacher, but from Pearl Buck. She writes, "I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work." I often think of Buck's practical advice, which inspires me to "get down to work" even when I don't feel like it.

What's your best advice for someone who is returning to finish an undergraduate degree?

I have my inspiration from Buck posted in my office: "I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work." This is my best advice for returning students.

What is the one book you think everyone should read?

The Bible because of its rich historical worth, its inspiration, its wealth of poetry, songs, and stories that convey human nature shared across centuries and cultures.

What qualities make someone particularly successful when teaching English?

The gift of relating with people, knowledge of content, thirst for more knowledge, and the ability to work with students on their level, to recognize their individual needs, and to motivate them to achieve.

What do you think is the biggest challenge that English teachers face today?

If the job of an English teacher is done correctly, the biggest challenge is burnout.

How do you see online learning affecting the future of education?

I see online learning as the only means that thousands and thousands of students will have to earn degrees. Through online learning, education is now available to individuals who would otherwise be unable to take courses that require traveling to campus. While I would not vote for the abolition of face-to-face education, I see more and more programs going online in the future and reaching more individuals than ever before.

What can earning a bachelor's degree do for a working adult?

Besides the obvious potential salary increase and job stability, there is a tremendous sense of accomplishment one feels because of the hundreds of successes required in a degree pursuit. This sense of accomplishment stays with the graduate forever, inspiring future successes.

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