Humanities  
 

Faculty

 
Dan Brooks Dan Brooks, Ph.D.
Phone
: (616) 632-2068
E-mail
: brookdan@aquinas.edu
Dr. Brooks is currently 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 Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Binghamton University (N.Y.) 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.
 
Ian Borton Ian Borton, Ph.D.
E-mail: ian.borton@aquinas.edu
Ian Borton joined the Aquinas faculty in 2008. He loves teaching about art, Shakespeare, and the Black Death. In addition to his work with the Humanities Department, he spends his time highly-caffienated, communication-focused, and frequently-chasing after his wee daughter, Posie. Follow him on Twitter (@drborton) to keep up on cultural events, interesting news stories, and assignment updates.
 
Morgan Crabb Morgan Crabb, MA
E-mail: mjc002@aquinas.edu
Morgan Crabb earned his B.A. in Sociology/Pre-Law from the University of Arizona, and his M.A. in Humanities from Central Michigan University.  Morgan’s interdisciplinary focus affords him a diverse knowledge of the major theories and practices within the disciplines of the Humanities; including English Language and Literature, Broadcast and Cinematic Arts, History, Popular Culture and Sociology.  Scholarly and research interests in the evolving role of the Heroic Tradition in historical and contemporary cultures with particular emphasis on the Myth of Prometheus, Cold War History and Culture, and Theory and Criticism across the disciplines of the Humanities. A singer, songwriter, and live performance solo artist, Morgan is currently working on the completion and independent publishing of a book of original poetry. He currently resides in Canadian Lakes, Michigan, with his wife Shasta.
 
Jennifer Dawson Jennifer Dawson, Ph.D.
Phone
: (616) 632-2828
E-mail
: dawsojen@aquinas.edu

Jennifer Dawson, 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, she applied her background in Irish Literature and History to co-directing the AQ Ireland program where she hopes to return with future groups.  When she is not teaching or writing, Dawson stays busy playing with her children, and digging in her garden.

 
Michael Dodge Michael Dodge, MA
E-mail: michael.dodge@aquinas.edu
Michael Dodge enters his third year of teaching Humanities at Aquinas.  He earned an A.B. from Oberlin College and the M.A. in Divinity from the University of Chicago. He has also completed extensive course work in the history and religions of Western culture.  When not in the classroom at Aquinas he teaches at other area colleges, spends time with his pediatrician wife, Nancy, and enjoys theater (both as actor and audience member), biking, reading, and following the exploits of Katie and Philip, his two college-age children.
 
Gary Eberle Gary Eberle, MA
Phone
: (616) 632-2829
E-mail: eberlgar@aquinas.edu
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
 
 
Omar Flores Omar Flores, MSW
E-mail: ohf001@aquinas.edu
Omar Flores earned a B.S. in Psychology from Aquinas College, and an M.S.W. from Grand Valley State University. Omar has worked as a mental health therapist in Grand Rapids since 2006 and currently works at Hope Network as a licensed Master Social Worker in a medical clinic catering to the homeless populations of Grand Rapids. Through academic and cultural exchanges Omar has traveled across North America, Europe and China. He continues to focus his research and studies on cultural competence and exploration. Omar and his wife Elizabeth have two young sons together.
 
Kristin Graef Kristin Graef, MA
E-mail: graefkri@aquinas.edu

Kristin Graef has taught Humanities and Inquiry and Expression at Aquinas since 2004. She has taught on the college level in various capacities for over twenty years. Toward her B.A. in English at Wittenberg University she focused on the works of T.S. Eliot, while for the Master's at Ball State University she studied the Victorians, particularly Thomas Hardy. Currently she's pursuing a secondary teaching degree also at AQ, with majors in English and learning disabilities. Kristin is also active in ACT preparatory workshops in the Grand Rapids area, and acted as consultant and narrator for the online Writers' Alley Interactive Writing Tutorial. In addition she is Summer Program Director for Lake Michigan Academy in Grand Rapids. In her private life, Kristin has enjoyed lifetime European travel, studying art, music and literature in Liverpool, Salzburg, and Tubingen. She has two sons, Eliot and Jay, and is caregiver for her older brother Rick. Together they enjoy a variety of good music, and visit family in South Dakota as much as they can. Kristin's poetry has won contests and been recited publicly, recorded professionally, and published in several literary magazines.

 
Bethany Kilcrease

Bethany Kilcrease, Ph.D.

E-mail: bmt001@aquinas.edu

After growing up in Ludington, Michigan I moved to Grand Rapids and attended Calvin College, just down the road from Aquinas. Once I had graduated from Calvin, I moved to the East Coast and began a Ph.D. program in modern British history at Boston College under the direction of Dr. Peter Weiler. I received my Ph.D. from Boston College in May 2009. While I have loved living in Boston (all the books and baseball!), I am thrilled to be moving back to West Michigan to join the faculty at Aquinas College. As an historian, I specialize in modern British and European intellectual history. My research interests include mapping the intersections and implications 19th and early 20th-century British intellectual, political, and religious life. My dissertation, “The ‘Great Church Crisis,’ Public Life, and National Identity in late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain,” examines the panic in the late 1890s which gripped Anglicans and Nonconformists alike as they came to fear that Catholicism was growing in power and influence within British religious life. In addition to enjoying teaching and other historian stuff, I am an avid baseball (Red Sox and Tigers) and hockey fan (Griffins and Red Wings). I also enjoy British detective novels and am really into cats.

 
Jack Kilcrease Jack Kilcrease, Ph.D.
E-mail: jdk002@aquinas.edu
Jack Kilcrease grew up in Salem and Portland, Oregon. He attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, where he graduated with a B.A. in History and Religion in 2001. He later attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, where he received an M.A. in Systematic Theology in 2003. He briefly lived in Dresden, Germany where he studied German at the Goethe Institute. In 2009, he received his Ph.D in Systematic Theology from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis.
 
Vicki McMillan Vicki McMillan, MA, MFA
Phone
: (616) 632-2832
E-mail: mcmilvic@aquinas.edu
Vicki McMillan is an Associate Professor In-The-College 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, and Grand Rapids Cosmopolitan Home. She lives in the city of Grand Rapids with her husband Duncan and their son Chase.
 
 
Michael Miller

Michael Miller, MA

email: mdm002@aquinas.edu

 

 

Michael Miller attended Western Michigan University and received his B.A. in Creative Writing with a double major in Medieval Studies.  He attended the University of Southern California where he earned his Masters of Professional Writing.  After USC he worked in Los Angeles and New York for the Entertainment Industry as a Development Assistant and Writing Collaborator and also as the director of operations for a Business Management CPA firm.  Michael has taught as an adjunct at Aquinas since the spring semester of 2010 and also teaches at Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University.  When he isn’t teaching he is an avid writer having published poetry, short fiction, and essays with numerous one-act play productions, awards, and several screenplays optioned for production consideration to his credit.

 
 
Miriam Pederson Miriam Pederson, MFA
Phone
: (616) 632-2831
E-mail: pedermir@aquinas.edu

Miriam Pederson, M.F.A.,is an Associate Professor of English and teaches courses in creative writing and literature while also teaching in the Humanities and I&E programs. After receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree, Ms. Pederson has, for the past 25 years, taught in the Aquinas College English Department. She serves as advisor to Lambda Iota Tau, and as co-manager of the student literary and art magazine, Sampler. Ms. Pederson presents poetry workshops in area elementary schools and teaches writing courses for the Oscher Life Long Learning Institute. Her own poetry has been published in many journals and anthologies, and in collaboration with her husband, Ron, her poems are exhibited in area galleries. Her chapbook of poems, This Brief Light, was published in 2003. She has served as faculty for the semester-in-Ireland Program five times.

 
Caroyln Reese Caroyln Reese, MA
E-mail: reesecar@aquinas.edu
Carolyn Reese earned her B.A. in English, with a minor in social studies, from the University of Michigan, and her M.A. in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis in Victorian literature, also from the University of Michigan. She has taught literature, writing, mythology, and humanities, and especially enjoys classical studies. Carolyn lives in Grand Rapids with her husband, Greg, and two children, Kate and John.
 
Rosemary ODonnell Sr. Rosemary O'Donnell, MA
Phone: (616) 632-2496
E-mail: odonnros@aquinas.edu
Sister O'Donnell received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Aquinas College and her Master of Arts degree in Speech and Drama from Marquette University. She has taught a variety of subjects in secondary school and presently is a member of the Communication Department at Aquinas. Courses she has taught at Aquinas in addition to Humanities include Introduction to Communication, Public Speaking, Intercultural Communication, Nonverbal Communication and Communication Ethics. She is also a member of the Grand Rapids Dominicans, the founders of Aquinas College.
 
Ralph Vunderink Ralph Vunderink, Ph.D.
E-mail
: vunderal@aquinas.edu
Ralph Vunderink received his education partly in the Netherlands, where he was introduced to the classical languages of Greek and Latin and the modern languages of French, German and English. In the U.S. he completed his Ph.D. program in the interdisciplinary subject of theology-philosophy at the University of Chicago. He started out his career as a philosophy teacher at Lakeland College (Wis.) and the University of Detroit. He decided to switch to theology at Hope College and Winebrenner Seminary (OH). Since 1994 he has been associated with Aquinas College as an adjunct professor in philosophy, and since 1999 in the Department of Humanities. Having published in the fields of both philosophy and religion, he is presently working on content dealing with three underlying themes in Western culture as they express themselves in philosophy, religion, art, and literature.
 
Pamela Dail Whiting Pamela Dail Whiting, MA
Phone
: (616) 632-2827
E-mail
: waterpam@aquinas.edu
Pamela Dail Whiting, M.A. in English from Michigan State University, 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 is currently working on a children's literature textbook, An Invitation: Children's Literature.