Mary Beth Simmons,
Director of the Writing Center
210 Falvey Library
Villanova, PA 19085
1992-1996 M.F.A., The University of Iowa
The Program in Non-Fiction Writing
Thesis: “Moments of Intimacy” : A collection of personal essays examining my two years in Cameroon, West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. Directed by Carol de Saint Victor, The University of Iowa
1984-1988 B.A., The University of Iowa
English major/Women’s Studies minor
“Readers Write: Idealism,” The Sun, December 2003
“Readers Write: Laughter,” The Sun, November 2003
“Readers Write: Excuses,” The Sun, October 2003
“From St. Augustine Confessing to Dr. Dave
Sinning: Teaching Nontraditional Texts in the Tutor Training Course,” The
Dangling Modifier, Volume 9, Number 2, www.ulc.psu.edu/Dangling_Modifier/articles/2003- spring-st_augustine.htm
“Readers Write: Debt,” The Sun, October 2001
“How We Talk about the Servants: Isak Dinesen
and Her Farah, Me and My Habra,” Returned
Peace Corps Volunteers
Writers and Readers, http://www.peacecorpswriters.org/pages/1999/9909/99wriwrihab.html, October 1999
“Family Myths,” Carver, Spring 1999
“Readers Write: The Laundromat,” The Sun, March 1998
“Moments of Intimacy,” The Journal of African Travel-Writing, Spring 1997
“The Cry-Die,” Worldview, Winter 1996-97
“Flat Coke with Ice,”
“The Corner Store,” The Sun, January 1996
“Personal Writing and the ESL Student,” ERIC, September 1995, ED 402612
“Agnes’ Hoof Soup,”
“Window,” 100 Words, Spring 1995
“The Road to Doukoula,” Escape, Winter 1995, reprinted
in To Touch the World: The Peace Corps
Experience, ed. John
Coyne, U.S. Government Publication
“Women at the Well” and “Lunch at Chaya’s,” SHE travels, Summer 1994,
in Traveler’s Tales: A Woman’s World,
ed. Marybeth Bond, O’Reilly and Associates,
Thomas Award for Best Travel Book.)
“Peace Corps Volunteer Remembers,” The Times Herald, Friday, February 28, 2003
Arturo Perez-Reverte’s The Club Dumas, “The
Inquirer Book Club,” The Philadelphia
Inquirer, July 9,
Michael Cunningham’s The Hours, “The Inquirer
Book Club,” The Philadelphia Inquirer,
Fall 2000-present Director of the Writing Center: Villanova University, supervising
10 graduate students and 40 undergraduates.
The Personal, Political and Theoretical: Nature and Environmental
Writing: Villanova University, an upper-division English course.
Advanced Expository Writing: Villanova University, an upper-division English course.
Writing: The Memoir: Villanova University, a graduate-level
course in the
Graduate Liberal Studies Program.
Tutoring Writers: Villanova University, an upper-division English
course that prepares students to work in the University Writing
Augustine and Culture Seminar: Villanova University, a two-semester
Freshmen seminar covering texts from the 1) Ancient, Medieval &
Renaissance period and 2) Early Modern period to present day.
The Literary Experience: Villanova University, an introductory
literary criticism course.
Summer 2000 The Writer’s Institute: Susquehanna University, instructor
in a one week “writer’s camp” for talented high school students
from across the U.S.
Fall 1996-Spring Honors Composition: Bloomsburg University, instructor in
2000 advanced course for Honors Program students.
Creative Writing/Nonfiction: Bloomsburg University, instructor
in a writing workshop course for upper-level undergraduates.
Creative Writing/ Poetry: Bloomsburg University, instructor in a
writing workshop course for upper-level undergraduates.
Writing Center: Bloomsburg University, interim Director,
supervising twelve student tutors, Fall 1998.
Composition & Literature: Bloomsburg University, instructor of
lower-level and research based writing and literature course.
Writing Nonfiction: Susquehanna University, lecturer in writing
workshop course for undergraduates, Spring 1999.
Song of Solomon Mini-Course: Bloomsburg University, co-taught
course for Extended Programs, Spring 1997.
English: Pennsylvania State University/Hazleton Campus, lecturer
of lower-level and research based writing classes, Fall 1997 and
Creative Writing: Phillips Emporium, Bloomsburg, PA., instructor
for young adult and adult writing classes, Fall 1997 and Spring 1998.
Summer 1996 Non-fiction Writing: University of Iowa Arts & Crafts, instructor in
evening, non-credit writing course.
Fall 1992- Non-fiction Writing: University of Iowa, English graduate
Spring 1996 instructor in writing course for upper-level undergraduate
Writing Lab: University of Iowa, instructor in an individualized,
semester-length course for undergraduate and graduate students.
Rhetoric and Accelerated Rhetoric: University of Iowa, graduate
instructor in participation-intensive courses for all levels of
1989-1991 English as a Second Language: Doukoula Government High
School, Doukoula, Cameroon, West Africa. Instructor and Head of
English Department. (Peace Corps)
“Dizzy about Disney: Why are the Brits Goofy about Disneyworld?” Paper presented at
The Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association Conference, Wilmington,
Delaware, November 2003.
“Are You Talking to Me? : When Tutors Talk Back to the Director,” Panel presentation
with three Villanova University tutors at a meeting of the International Writing
Centers Association and the National Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing,
Hershey, Pennsylvania, October 2003.
“St. Augustine Confessing to Dr. Dave Sinning,” Paper presented at the 15th Annual Mid-
Atlantic Writing Centers Association Meeting,” McDaniel College, April 2003.
“The Toughest Job You’ll Ever Love: Volunteering in the Peace Corps or Habitat for
Humanity,” Villanova University, Core Humanities Seminar Colloquia, February 19,
“Getting the Word Out: PR Hits and Misses in the Villanova Writing Center,” Panel
presentation with six Villanova University tutors at the 18th Annual National
Conference on Peer Tutoring in Writing, Muhlenberg College, November 2001.
“We’re not in Kansas (or Nebraska) Anymore: Early 20th Century Narratives of Osa Johnson and Nettie Fowler Dietz,” Paper presented at The Poetics of Space Conferences, Binghamton University, March 2000.
“How We Talk about Our Servants: Isak Dinesen and Her Farah, Me and My Habra,”
Paper presented at Writing the Journey: A Conference of Anglophone Travel
Writers and Writing, The University of Pennsylvania, June 1999.
“Trying to Reach the Boy in the Back Row,” Paper presented at The English Association
of the Pennsylvania State Universities, Indiana University, Indiana, Pennsylvania,
“When Truth and Fiction Merge: One Essayist’s Dilemma,” Paper presented at The English
Association of the Pennsylvania State Universities, Shippensburg University,
Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, November 1997.
“Personal Writing and the ESL Student,” Paper presented at The Second International
Writing Centers Conference, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, St. Louis, Missouri,
September 1995. (Paper is now located on ERIC.)
“Reading in Africa,” Falvey Library, Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania, October
“The Laundromat” and “The Corner Store,” Phillips Emporium, Bloomsburg,
Pennsylvania, November 1997.
Fall 2000-present Rubric Committee: Co-Chair, Villanova
Portfolio Committee: Chair, Villanova University
Core Curriculum Writing Committee: Villanova University
Academic Integrity Committee: Villanova University
Fall 1996- Sigma Tau Delta Co-Advisor: Bloomsburg University
Renaissance Search Committee: Bloomsburg University
Freshmen Writing Assessment Committee: Bloomsburg
Richard Savage Poetry Award: Bloomsburg University,
Participant on judges’ panel
Women’s Studies Advisory Board: Bloomsburg University
Promotion Committee: Bloomsburg University, Department of
Newcomers’ Network: Bloomsburg University, Presidential
Committee in charge of welcoming new faculty to campus
President’s Commission on the Status of Women: Bloomsburg
Writing Committee: Bloomsburg University, Department of
English, Chair 1997-98
Fall 1995 Professional Development Program Co-leader: University
Of Iowa, Rhetoric Department. With other graduate instructors and
Rhetoric faculty, organized and implemented a four-day orientation
seminar and semester-long training course for incoming Rhetoric
Spring 1998 Outstanding Women Celebration: Bloomsburg University,
and nominated by colleague as an “outstanding woman” on campus.
Spring 1996 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, 1995-1996:
University of Iowa, Council on Teaching. One of 25 campus-wide
teaching assistants to win award for academic year.
Summer 1999 At War: The Battle for America’s Soul by Jeff Snyder: Worked with
author on manuscript, provided organizational suggestions and
Spring 2003- Mainline Youth Alliance
Spring 1998- Women’s Conference of Columbia/Montour Counties:
Spring 1999 Steering Committee member for March 1999 conference held at
Winter 1997- Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Columbia County, PA.
Spring 1993- Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of Johnson County, IA.
Spring 1989- The United States Peace Corps
TEACHING AND RESEARCH INTERESTS
Creative Writing: Non-Fiction
Nature and Environmental Writing