English and Languages Faculty

Dr. David Splawn

Chair of the Languages & Literature Department
Assistant Professor

Splawn_profile.jpgPh.D. English Literature, Film & Media Studies, Texas Tech University

M.A. Modern & Postmodern British Fiction, University of East Anglia

M.A. Intercultural Ministry, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

B.A. Religion & Philosophy, Wayland Baptist University

I love teaching. While I have spent the last 15 years of my life pursuing a variety of occupations- youth minister, missionary, aid worker, professor, entrepreneur, barista, and photographer- the common thread that weaves all those things together is my role as a teacher. Beyond the university, I have taught in a variety of contexts- an Islamic University in Indonesia, at private and state schools in Texas, as a barista trainer in a small coffee shop, and as an ESL teacher in Kenya. I cannot imagine doing anything else, but teaching.

My research is dedicated to the particular way that the cinema, as literary texts, invites and assumes a religious-experience-seeking viewer who will gain spontaneous pleasure from film that is akin to a moment of worship. I am a recent Ph.D. graduate of Texas Tech University and I am pursuing ways to read films and write about films in order to contribute my own unique perspective to the great cinema discussion. Currently, I am working on revisiting my book-length dissertation for publication, and I am concocting a few article-length projects for presentation.

Most importantly, I am married to an amazing woman who has patiently lent her loving support in the many years it has taken me to complete my degrees. We have four children, a girl and three boys, under the age of seven. As you can imagine, our house is rarely quiet, full of laughing or crying at all hours of the day and night.

I hope to see you in class very soon where you will kindly allow me to teach you something new.

Dr. Zachary Beck

Director of the Honors Program
Assistant Professor

Beck_Profile_smpic.jpgPh.D. English, Baylor University

M.A. English, University of Florida

B.A. English & Political Science, University of Florida

I was born and raised in Cocoa, Florida, right across the Indian River Estuary from Kennedy Space Center. I grew up watching space shuttle and rocket launches from my driveway. As a Kindergartener, I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. Each year of school, I wanted to teach the grade I was in, so naturally I have become a college professor. I attended the University of Florida for my undergraduate and Master's programs. I became a Christian when I was a sophomore through a Campus Crusade Bible study led by my next-door neighbor in the residence hall.

My research interests lie in American literature, modernism, and Christian literary theory. For my Master's thesis, I explored the possibilities of putting orthodox Christianity in conversation with secular critical approaches that seem hostile to faith on the surface. I put Saint Augustine of Hippo (Confessions, On Christian Doctrine) in conversation with materialist-dialectic theorists Slavoj Zizek and Alain Badiou. I have also presented papers that treat the theories of Roland Barthes, Ngugi wa Thiango, and Jean Baudrillard from a Christian standpoint. I received my Ph.D. from Baylor with a specialty in American Modernism. For my dissertation, I examined the decline of virtuous friendship in the novels of Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein.

When I am not teaching, reading, or grading papers, I enjoy watching Netflix and playing board games with my wife and best friend Amanda, and playing with my three children, Lily, Brennan, and Lucy. I also play and compose music for the piano.

Dr. Ellis Purdie

Assistant Professor

Ph.D. English, Creative Writing, The University of Southern Mississippi

M.A. English, Creative Writing, The University of Southern Mississippi

B.A. English, Mississippi College


Profile information to come soon.

Dr. Jeanna White

Director of Writing

Ph.D. English, University of Texas at Arlington

M.A. History, Baylor University

B.A. History, Baylor University

I began my academic career with the study of history, specializing in Twentieth Century America. However, in graduate school, my intellectual interests shifted to the study of American literature, focusing primarily on Twentieth Century American literature, African American literature, and American war narratives. I also became interested in Composition studies and the history of rhetoric.

I joined the ETBU faculty in 2005. My teaching responsibilities include Rhetoric and Composition courses, American literature, and special topics courses such as African American literature and Studies in Writing.

My academic interests include the Rhetoric and Composition studies, the slave narrative tradition, and postmodern literature. I have published in African American Review, South Central Review, and The Griot.My most recent publication examines Barbara Kingsolver's use of disability in The Poisonwood Bible, and I am currently working on an article that explores the value of writing about belief in the freshman composition classroom.

Dr. Troy White

Assistant Professor

T._White.jpgPh.D. English & Comparative Literary Studies, Warwick University

M.A. English, University of Mississippi

B.A. Music & English, Mississippi College

I have written on many subjects, including Victorian literature, composition, and Gothic fiction. Regardless of subject, I consider myself foremost a scholar who uses composition skills--writing and reading-- to help me think deeply. In both my composition and literature classes I want my students to join me in the scholarly development of thinking. This development includes discussions on how to think and write with deliberate focus, depth, liveliness, and clarity; how to perform a layered process of thinking, reading, writing, and revising; and how to use time well in scholarly work.

I find that the best learning occurs when the teacher and student join together in learning as a shared activity. By treating my students as fellow scholars, I encourage them to develop a sense of ownership over their reading and writing so that their scholarly development can continue after the course is over.

One of my current research interests is Sabine Baring-Gould (1834-1924), a once-celebrated English novelist who has been unjustly neglected since his death (though occasionally remembered as the writer of "Onward Christian Soldiers"). I am also working on an essay that re-defines composition by presenting "failure" and "time-travel" as liberating concepts for both student and teacher in the composition classroom.

Another hobby of mine is playing music (cello, guitar, bass). I also enjoy spending time with my wife and two children.

José Alonzo

Assistant Professor of Spanish

M.A.-- Texas A&M at Commerce

M.S., B.S., B.B.A.-- Stephen F. Austin State University

Sherry Covington

Adjunct Instructor of English


Blanca Jenkins

Adjunct Instructor of Spanish

Gayla McMaster

Adjunct Instructor of French

Teri Pletch

Adjunct Instructor of English