English Department Faculty

Full-time Faculty
Dan Brooks Michelle DeRose
Brent Chesley Gary Eberle
Rebecca Coogan Vicki McMillan
Pamela Dail Whiting Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil
Jennifer Dawson  
Dan Brooks
Phone: (616) 632-2068
Daniel J. Brooks, Ph.D. is Director of the Humanities Program and Professor of English at Aquinas College. In addition to Humanities, he has taught in the freshman year Inquiry and Expression program and a variety of English courses, including 20th century British, Irish, and American literature, the Grammar of Modern English, and several introductory survey and genre courses. Brooks earned his PhD in Comparative Literature from Binghamton University (NY) in 1988 and joined the faculty at Aquinas in 1989. His most recent publications are concerned with globalizing the study of culture. He is also the faculty advisor for The Saint.
Brent Chesley
Phone: (616) 632-2830
Brent Chesley earned his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. He joined the faculty of Aquinas College in 1987. Dr. Chesley teaches 17th- and 18th-Century British Literature, Creative Nonfiction, and Business Writing. He is known around campus for his belief that Pride and Prejudice is the best novel ever written in English. He also has a special interest in helping students to prepare their creative nonfiction for publication. When he is not busy writing his own creative nonfiction, Dr. Chesley follows the fortunes of his favorite automotive racing team, Ferrari.
Rebecca J. Coogan, Ph.D.
Phone: (616) 632-2833
Rebecca J. Coogan, Ph.D.. Chairperson. As a member of the English Department, she teaches courses in her specialty areas of medieval literature and women's writing, as well as courses in fiction and composition. Her primary research interests are the Paston letters and Chaucer. A lover of travel, Dr. Coogan has studied in England and Austria and has enjoyed a semester as faculty director of the Ireland Program. Before coming to Michigan in 1989, she lived and studied in upstate New York. She has taught at Grand Valley State University and joined the Aquinas faculty in 1991. 
Pamela Dail Whiting, MA, MFA
Phone: (616) 632-2827
Pamela Dail Whiting, MA in English, Michigan State University; MFA, Vermont College, teaches Humanities, writing and literature courses for preservice English teachers, and writing courses for continuing education students. She began teaching at Aquinas in 1989 and taught cross-listed English and Education courses as well as Creative Writing at the Emeritus Center. Before teaching at Aquinas, she taught as an adjunct for Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University and as a high school English teacher in Michigan and Massachusetts. Her areas of interests include writing and English courses for prospective teachers. As College Chair for Michigan Council of Teachers of English, she is actively involved in professional development programs for English teachers. Her writing has been published in the Language Arts Journal of Michigan, and she edited the children's literature textbook, An Invitation: Children's Literature published 2001.
Jennifer Dawson
Phone: (616) 632-2828
Jennifer Dawson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English, earned her B.A. in English from the University of Michigan, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State University with an emphasis on Early American Literature and Victorian Studies. She taught at Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University before joining Aquinas College's faculty in 2001. While her main area of scholarly interest is American Literature and culture before 1900, her academic passions include studying women writers, conduct manuals, periodical literature, captivity narratives, letter writing and all aspects of cultural history. In 2008 and 2011, she applied her background in Irish Literature and History to co-directing the AQ Ireland program. Over the years, she has been active in Student Affairs: co-chairing the President's Academic Integrity Committee in 2007 and helping with the Common Reading Program which she began chairing in 2010. Being appointed Associate Dean of Student Affairs in 2011 formalized this commitment to fostering student development and promoting academic integrity. Currently, Dawson balances her schedule between teaching and working in the Dean of Students Office. Off campus, she is an avid reader, an ardent organic gardener, and a busy mother of two very active children who share her dream of returning to Ireland.
Michelle DeRose, Ph.D.
Phone: (616) 632-2826
Michelle DeRose, Ph.D., joined the English Department full-time in August 1999 to use her specialty in post-colonial literature and theory to teach the world and African-American literature courses. She is also the director of the Insignis Program for Honors Students, advisor for the Novel Experience, and an active poet. Her publications include both original poetry and scholarly work on poetry. She earned her Ph.D. with a focus on Caribbean epic poetry from the University of Iowa in 1996, where she learned to imagine ocean waves in the undulations of the cornfields and to love bicycling alongside those cornfields. Besides teaching, writing, and bicycling, Michelle loves any outdoor activity that requires neither motor nor ball and spends most of her free time hiking, canoeing, backpacking, camping, or cross-country skiing with her husband Myron, son Parker and their two dogs and a cat.
Gary Eberle
Phone: (616) 632-2829
Gary Eberle, MA, professor of English, is the author of several books, including The Geography of Nowhere: Finding One's Self in the Postmodern World (Sheed & Ward, 1994); Angel Strings, a novel (Coffee House Press, 1995); A City Full of Rain, short stories (Xlibris, 2001), and Sacred Time and the Search for Meaning (Shambhala, 2003). His newest book is Dangerous Words: Talking About God in the Age of Fundamentalism (Boston: Shambhala/Trumpter, 2007). Eberle has twice been selected by the Student Senate as Outstanding faculty member of the year, and in 1994 he received an award from the Aquinas College faculty for outstanding scholarship.  He developed the Insignis Program for Honors Students in 1985 and directed it for 12 years.  His journalism and fiction have won awards locally and nationally, and his novel Angel Strings was named a “best book” by the New York Public Library in 1997. Active professionally, he has been president of the Mid-East Honors Association, the Michigan Honors Association, and has been an officer of the Michigan Association of Departments of English. A more extensive biography and critical notes may be found in the on-line version of Contemporary Authors.
>>Link to Amazon.com page of Eberle's books
>>Link to Gary Eberle's entry in Contemporary Authors
Vicki McMillan
Phone: (616) 632-2832
Vicki McMillan, MA, MFA is an Associate Professor of English at Aquinas. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing, as well as her M.A. in English, from Western Michigan University. Her creative work has appeared in Sky, Controlled Burn, Voices, The Kalamazoo Reader, Fourth Genre and Grand Rapids Cosmopolitan Home. She lives in East Grand Rapids with her husband Duncan and their son Chase.
Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil
Phone: (616) 632-2872

Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil, Ph.D Gretchen Rumohr-Voskuil is an Associate Professor of English and serves as director of the Inquiry and Expression program. She earned her B.A. from Hope College, her M.Ed. from Aquinas College, and Ph.D. from Western Michigan University. Dr. R-V teaches composition, literature, literature methods, and writing methods at Aquinas. He research involves the history, rhetorical force, and application of the term "best practice;" rhetorics of motherhood; the relationship between state-mandated standards (CCSS) and first year composition; writing center pedagogies; and creating safe learning spaces for trauma survivors. Dr. R-V's scholarly work has appeared in Language Arts Journal of Michigan, Teaching Literature in Virtual Worlds: Immersive Learning in English Studies (Routledge 2011), and The Doctoral Degree in English Education (Kennesaw 2009), but she is most proud of her four young daughters.


Miriam Pederson- Professor Emerita

Rob Kirkbride- Adjunct Professor