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Our StudentsJay Beavers received a B.A. from Grove City College in history and English in 2001 and an M.A. in Renaissance Literature from the University of Richmond in 2004. After teaching high school English for seven years, he moved to Waco to pursue a doctorate. Currently, he is in the Ph.D. program in Religion and Literature and plans to write his dissertation on Cormac McCarthy. After graduating, he hopes to find a job back East at a college or university where he can continue to think, write, and teach and where his lovely wife and daughter can be closer to family.
Jordan Carson began the doctoral program in Religion and Literature in fall of 2011. He grew up in Texas, and earned a B.A. in the University Scholars Program from Baylor, an M.Div. from Truett Seminary, and a Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Jordan is interested both in how 20th and 21st century novels function discursively in theology and ethics and in the concept of selfhood. His research interests include the moral vision of Cormac McCarthy, Thomas Pynchon, and Marilynne Robinson. Jordan's wife Dee Dee is an associate pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Waco. He is a big fan of Chelsea Football Club.
Christian Dickinson was born and grew up in Jacksonville Florida. While getting his A. A. degree in music, he was captivated by the nineteenth century novel, Dickens especially, and became a Literature major at the University of North Florida. After completing his B. A., Chris spent three years teaching. In 2010, Chris was accepted to the Master's Degree program at Florida State University, where he continued his studies in the Victorian novel and taught several Freshman Composition courses, including one which he designed around the theme of "Classic Film." Chris then spent one year teaching Developmental Writing at Tallahassee Community College. Chris is thrilled to be a part of the Baylor community. His current research interests include the reading of Dickens's novels and social thought in relation to the ever-changing religious landscape of Victorian England, and the view of Dickens himself as a modern day teller of moral parables.
Virginia Jarrell is from Ft. Worth, Texas. She earned a B.A. in Letters from the University of Oklahoma in 2006. For many years she dreamed of being a lawyer, but at the last minute decided she wanted a career that would allow her to keep her soul. She decided to pursue an advanced degree in English literature, her first and greatest love. Virginia’s research interests mostly center on the Victorian period. She especially loves the work of William Makepeace Thackeray, Charles Dickens, and George Meredith. She also has a deep and abiding love for the 18th century satirists, especially Fielding, Swift, and Sterne. She wonders if these two interests can combine into an M.A. thesis. (Although, she also loves the work of Victorian women writers like Charlotte Bronte, George Eliot, and Elizabeth Gaskell). In her free time she enjoys spending time with friends, baking, and making silly faces to earn a laugh from her adorable nieces Abigail, Hannah, and Olivia.
Nathan Kilpatrick is surprised at the speed with which he became acclimated to Waco, TX. Originally from the blessed ocean in Oxnard, California, he graduated from Azusa Pacific University in 2006 with a double major in English and Theology. Though he took two years off to prepare for grad school, he decided that the world of paperwork is no place for him! He is now happily in the Ph.D. program in religion and literature here at Baylor, because he refuses to give up the perhaps naive idea that books are true, good, and beautiful. In theory, he's working on researching Vatican 2's effect on the way Catholics in America tell stories, but more probably he's bossing any number of people around: his students, his colleagues, or his cat.Reid Makowsky is in his final year of the PhD program and is writing his dissertation on Evelyn Waugh and theology. During his time at Baylor he has enjoyed teaching freshman composition and British literature. His academic interests span from Old English poetry to contemporary writers such as George Mackay Brown. He has published articles on George MacDonald and the Northern Irish writer Bernard MacLaverty. In his spare time he likes to draw, garden, cycle, and walk. His long-term academic goals include a book twentieth-century British hagiography.
Michael Milburn is a PhD student from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated summa cum laude from Franciscan University of Steubenville and studied French at l'Institut Catholique de Toulouse. A Presidential Scholar, Michael's interests include nineteenth-century British poetry and fiction, the history of literary criticism, and the theological implications of aesthetics. He received the Alexei Kondratiev Award for Best Student Presentation at an annual meeting of the Mythopoeic Society, and his work has been published in Tolkien Studies and Mythlore, with a more recent article set to appear in Explorations in Renaissance Culture. Michael currently serves as president of the English Graduate Student Association.
J. Cameron Moore is a PhD candidate in Religion and Literature. He specializes in 20th century British and Irish Literature. His dissertation relies on the theological aesthetics of Hans Urs von Balthasar to address the place of beauty in the novels of G.K. Chesterton. In 2013, Cameron was the recipient of an HEB Foundation Doctoral Scholarship for Faith Related Learning. His publications have appeared in Renascence, ANQ, Literature and Belief, The St. Austin Review, and others.
Julie Ooms grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and graduated from Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA in 2008. After a brief stint as a TV news producer in South Dakota, she entered Baylor's graduate program in the Fall of that year. She has spent the past three years trying to figure out a dissertation topic and trying to stay out of the Texas heat as much as possible. She is particularly interested in literature about war, especially that of the American 20th century, and continues to make valiant attempts to narrow down that interest into a dissertation. Her other interests are science fiction, comic books, cartoons, trying to prove to the world the existence of Nice Calvinists, and her cat, Book, who has fluffy white hair just like his Firefly namesake.
Courtney Bailey Parker completed her B.A. in English literature at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and her M.A. in English here at Baylor. As a doctoral student, her primary research interests include English Renaissance drama (mostly Shakespeare), Early Modern women's writing, and the lovely poetry of Edmund Spenser. On a more popular level, she is interested in how women today engage with (or invert) the narratives of the Women's Movement, especially in mainstream Christian circles. Her writing has appeared in various places, including Christianity Today, Cahiers Elisabethains, Literature and Belief, and elsewhere. She blogs regularly at www.courtneybaileyparker.com. Courtney's dashing husband, B. J. Parker, is also a doctoral student in Baylor's Religion Department.
Kalani Pattison graduated from high school in Indonesia and attended university at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, where she could see the ocean from her dorm room for two of her four years there. Her main area of interest is British 17th Century Literature, though she also is interested in post-colonial literature, linguistics, women's studies, and random selections of literature from many time periods. In addition, she loves travelling, listening to other people's stories and is probably more adventurous than she appears.
Sarah Rude is a PhD student specializing in medieval British literatue, and will likely write her dissertation on Malory's Morte Darthur. She is a member of the leadership council for the Medieval and Renaissance Research Seminar and serves as co-social chair of EGSA. In her spare time, she enjoys running or playing fetch with her dog (Feste Waffles).
Elizabeth Travers, an M.A. student, hopes to study the devotional poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins and George Herbert. In 2002, she earned a B.A. from Mississippi College where she was honored with the Sarah A. Rouse Award for excellence in English. Before coming to Baylor, Elizabeth taught secondary English and Social Studies and spent two years as a copywriter for a marketing firm. She calls North Carolina home.
Danielle Williams is a PhD student from southern California. Though she came to Baylor with plans to work on 20th c. British literature, she was drawn to Rhetoric and Composition after realizing how much she enjoyed teaching and talking about first-year writing. (Seriously! She loves talking about teaching composition. If you have any questions about teaching or what this course of study looks like at Baylor, please contact her.) Danielle's research interests explore the intersection of computers, composition, and student identity, and she is currently working on a project that examines the civic uses of digital literacy. In her limited spare time, Danielle enjoys playing with kitchen gadgets (as Julia Child once quipped, "every woman should have a blow torch"), working out with the W:IPS, and hanging out at the Lazy Bandit Ranch with her husband, Chris, and their two beautiful cats.