Faculty & Staff

Dr. Shelly Sanders

Shelly Sanders, Ph.D.
Department Chair
Associate Professor

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1999
M.A., Emerson University, 2001
Ph.D., University of Texas-Arlington, 2007

Phone: 325-674-4855
Email: mrw95v@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Young Adult Literature
  • Creative writing
  • Sports writing


Carolina Archer

B.A.S., Abilene Christian University, 2008
M.A., New Mexico State University, 2013

Phone: 325-674-2254
Email: cga06a@acu.edu



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B. Cole Bennett, Ph.D.
Director of the ACU Writing Center

B.B.A., Harding University, 1989
M.A.T.E.W., University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 1996
Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi, 2002

Phone: 325-674-2406
Email: cole.bennett@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Composition Theory
  • Rhetorical History
  • Service-Learning
  • American Literature



Brian Brown

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 2008
M.A., Abilene Christian University, 2011

Email: brian.brown@acu.edu


Dr. Laura Carroll


Laura Carroll, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director, Faculty Development, The Adams Center for Teaching and Learning

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1996
M.A., Marquette University, 1998
Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2002

Phone: 325-674-2264
Email: laura.carroll@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Critical Theory
  • Rhetoric


Dr. Bill Carroll

William (Bill) Carroll, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

B.A., Lipscomb University, 1993
M.A., Abilene Christian University, 1996
Ph.D., Marquette University, 2005

Phone: 325-674-2556
Email: william.carroll@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • 19th-Century British Non-fiction and Poetry
  • Poetry
  • Play Studies (Gaming Narratives and Identity)



Karen Cukrowski
Part-Time Instructor​

B.A., French and English, Abilene Christian University, 1984
M.A., English, Abilene Christian University, 1987

Email: kdc00a@acu.edu


Suanna Davis, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

B.S.E.D, Abilene Christian University, 1984 
M.A., Abilene Christian University, 1987 
Ph.D., Purdue University, 2000

Phone: 325-674-2263
Email: shd11a@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Rhetoric and Composition 
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy 
  • Old English Literature


 Dr. Mikey Delony

Mikee Delony, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

B.A., University of Houston, 1996
M.A.., University of Houston, 2000
Ph.D., University of Houston, 2007

Phone: 325-674-4856
Email: mxd06b@acu.edu

 Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Medieval Literature


Kyle Dickson, Ph.D.
Director of the AT&T Learning Studio

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1993
M.A., Baylor University, 1996
Ph.D., Baylor University, 2001

Phone: 325-674-2341
Email: dicksonk@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Eighteenth-century Literature
  • Film Studies
  • New Media Storytelling


Jeremy Elliott
Assistant Professor

B.A., Harding University, 2005 
M.A., Florida State University, 2007
Ph.D., Florida State University, 2013

Phone: 325-674-2263
Email: jke10a@acu.edu

Areas of Interest:

  • Ecocriticism
  • 19th and 20th Century American Literature
  • Early World Literature


 Carol Evans

Carol Evans

B.S., Lubbock Christian University, 1984
M.A., Abilene Christian University, 1991

Phone: 325-674-2404
Email: evansc@acu.edu



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Albert (Al) Haley
Writer in Residence

B.A., Yale University, 1976
M.F.A., University of Houston, 1993

Phone: 325-674-2262
Email: haleya@acu.edu

 Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Fiction writing
  • Poetry writing
  • Creative nonfiction writing
  • Screenwriting
  • World Literature


William (Bill) Horn

B.A.S, Abilene Christian University, 1999
M.S., Abilene Christian University, 2005

Phone: 325-674-4938
Email: hornw@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Business and Professional Writing
  • Conflict Resolution


Dr. Steven Moore

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Steven T. Moore, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director, McNair Scholars Program

B.A., University of Wisconsin, 1994
M.A., University of Nebraska, 1996
Ph.D., University of Nebraska, 2007

Phone: 325-674-2403
Email: steven.moore@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • African-American Literature
  • American Literature Before 1900
  • American Literature After 1900
  • American Poetry
  • Multicultural Literature


Yann Opsitch

M.A.C.M., Abilene Christian University, 2007
M.A., University of North Texas, 2012

Phone: 325-674-2046
Email: yjo00a@acu.edu


Harland Rall, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

B.S.Ed., Abilene Christian University, 1974
M.A., University of Cincinnati, 1990
Ph.D. Texas Tech University, 1996

Phone: 325-674-2384
Email: rallh@acu.edu


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Sherry Rankin

B.A., English, Harding University, 1986
B.A., French, Harding University, 1986
M.S., Harding University, 1987
M.A., University of California-Riverside, 1989

Phone: 325-674-2260
Email: rankins@acu.edu


Paul Roggendorff, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Director of World Languages

B.A., University of Texas, 1992
B.S., Institute for Christian Studies, Austin, TX, 1993
M.A., University of Memphis, 1996
Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2012

Phone: 325-674-2494
Email: par08b@acu.edu

Area of scholarship/expertise:

  • Latin American Literature and Culture
  • Argentinian Literature


Rebecka Scott

B.A., Ozark Christian College, 2012
M.A., Abilene Christian University, 2015

Phone: 325-674-2259
Email: rrs12c@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Rhetoric and Composition
  • Publishing Studies


Joe Stephenson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

B.A., Yale University, 1985
M.A., Music, Central Connecticut State University, 1995
M.A., English, University of Connecticut, 2000
Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 2007

Phone: 325-674-2887
Email: jfs05b@acu.edu


Carolyn Thompson
Director of the Institute of Intensive English,

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1965
M.A.T., Southwest Texas State University

Phone: 325-674-6905
Email: thompsonc@acu.edu


Darryl Tippens
University Distinguished Scholar

B.A. Oklahoma Christian College, 1968
M.A., Louisiana State University, 1971
Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 1973

Phone: 325-674-2957
Email: darryl.tippens@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/interest:

  • 17th-century English Literature
  • Shakespeare
  • Literature of Christian Spirituality
  • The Bible as Literature




Jeanine Varner, Ph.D.

B.A., Oklahoma Christian University, 1973
M.A., University of Tennessee, 1975
Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 1981

Phone: 325-674-2402
Email: jeanine.varner@acu.edu
Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • American Literature
  • History of the Novel



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Beatriz Walker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

B.A.S., Abilene Christian University, 1996
M.Ed., Abilene Christian University, 1999
M.A., Texas Tech University, 2002
Ph.D., Texas Tech University, 2005

Phone: 325-674-2140
Email: baw98p@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Spanish Golden Age Literature 
  • Twentieth Century Latin American Literature


Dr. Stephen Weathers

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Stephen R. Weathers, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1986
M.A., Abilene Christian University, 1987
Ph.D., Florida State University, 1999

Phone: 325-674-2257
Email: weatherss@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Nineteenth-century British literature
  • Fiction writing


Dr. Debbie Williams

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Debbie J. Williams, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Director of First-Year Writing

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1980
M.A., Texas Tech University, 1982
Ph.D., Purdue University, 1996

Phone: 325-674-2405
Email: debbie.williams@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Rhetoric and Composition
  • Autobiography Theory 
  • Pedagogy
  • Political Discourse



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M. Todd Womble, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 2008
M.A., Abilene Christian University, 2010
Ph.D., University of Texas at Arlington, 2015

Phone: 325-674-2083
Email: mtw04b@acu.edu

Areas of scholarship/expertise:

  • Contemporary American Literature
  • Literature of the American Southwest
  • Composition and Rhetoric: Writing Centers






Activities and Awards

In recent years, department members have held office in the Conference on Christianity and Literature (on both regional and national levels), the Conference of College Teachers of English, the Texas Association of Deans of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the South-Central Renaissance Conference. In addition, they have published numerous articles, book reviews, and short stories; presented original papers, short stories, poems, and lectures; and edited Shadow and Light: Literature and the Life of Faith, an anthology used in colleges and universities nationwide.

Besides producing scholarly and creative writing, our professors have led student groups in study abroad; spoken at ACU Bible Lectureship and the Christian Scholars Conference; served as consultants and guest lecturers at other universities; attended summer seminars sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and other organizations; edited major reports for the university; collaborated on books with colleagues from other departments; and developed computer hypertext.

Two have received the Trustees' Award as Teacher of the Year, four have been Honors Program Professor of the Year, three have received teaching awards from ACU colleges, and several have been honored by campus organizations as mentors and role models.

The bottom line: Faculty activities such as these provide rich resources for students majoring in English.  


Our colleague Dr. Jack Welch, professor of English, died of heart failure on July 28, 1996, in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he was completing eight weeks of mission work. He taught fiction writing, world literature, business and professional writing, and other courses and was the author of four books. He was media editor and feature writer for The Christian Chronicle and served as a deacon for the Hillcrest Church of Christ, in Abilene. We miss his sweet spirit, professionalism, generosity to students and colleagues, and Christian example. A scholarship fund has been established as a memorial.

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