English Faculty

Allison Cummings - Professor


An associate professor of English, Dr. Allison Cummings joined SNHU in 2002. Courses taught include American Literature, Black Literary Tradition, Poetry Writing Workshop and first-year composition.

Cummings received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Reed College, her Master of Arts in English Literature and her Doctor of Philosophy in 20th Century American and British Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Cummings has published poetry and articles on poetry in journals such as Passages North, The Literary Review, and Contemporary Literature. She has also published nonfiction essays in EarthSpeak Magazine online.

Cummings has edited literary magazines, including Amoskeag: the Journal of SNHU and The Madison Review. She is currently the faculty advisor for SNHU's student literary journal, The Manatee.

Andrew Martino - Professor


Dr. Andrew Martino joined SNHU in 2005. A professor of English, he also directs the University Honors Program. Courses taught and designed include Books to Die For, Modern European Literature and Postcolonial Encounters.

Martino received his Bachelor of Arts in English, his Master of Arts in English and his Doctor of Philosophy in Comparative Literature from Binghamton University-SUNY. He was nominated for SNHU's Excellence in Teaching Award, 2007 and the Graduate Award for Excellence in Teaching, Binghamton University (SUNY) 2001.

Martino's recent or current service includes chair of the University Curriculum Committee, University Common Book Committee, faculty sponsor, Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honors Society); SNHU Honors Committee, the University Assessment Committee and chair of the English department.
Martino's numerous presentations include ''Illuminating the Darkness: V. S. Naipaul and the Comparative Spaces of Writing and Home.'' Rochester, New York. NeMLA. April 2012.

Martino's professional affiliations include Modern Language Association, Society for the Study of Narrative, American Comparative Literature Association, Northeast Modern Language Association, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Sigma Tau Delta.

He has published on numerous aspects of modern and contemporary literature including ''The Misplaced I: Il fu Mattia Pascal and the Spectrality of Identity.'' PSA 20: Official Publication of the Pirandello Society of America, Volume 20 (2007): 7-17 and ''The Vanishing Point: The Dis-Integration of Female Identity in Paul Bowles's Sheltering Sky.'' South Atlantic Review (Summer 2006): 24-52.

Public lectures include ''The Ghost Project: A Reading from a Novel in Progress.'' Southern New Hampshire University. February 16, 2012.

Benjamin Nugent - Director of MFA, Assistant Professor


Benjamin Nugent, Director of the Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction, is the author of the novel "Good Kids" (Scribner), and the cultural history "American Nerd" (Scribner). His short stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Tin House and Vice, and will appear in The Best American Short Stories 2014. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Op/Ed Page, Time, GQ, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and n+1.  He earned his bachelor's in English from Reed College, and was an Iowa Arts Fellow at the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he earned his MFA in fiction.

Charles Wilbert - Professor


Charles Wilbert has taught at SNHU for over 40 years. Wilbert is an English professor and playwright-in-residence. He specializes in playwriting and dramatic literature. He studied playwriting in New York City at the HB Studio and at the Roger Hendricks Simon Studio. Wilbert received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and his Master of Arts from Ohio University.

Wilbert has written over 20 plays, nearly all of them tested by a stage production at Southern New Hampshire University. A number of his dramas deal with historic figures such as Henry David Thoreau, Robert Falcon Scott, Gertrude Stein, Maxwell Bodenheim, and Thornton Wilder.

Crystal Bickford - Director of University Writing Program / Assistant Professor


An assistant professor of English since 2010, Dr. Crystal Bickford is also the director of the University Writing Program. Crystal's courses include Fundamentals of Writing, College Composition, Business Communication, and Sophomore Seminar.

Bickford received her Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and her Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Linguistics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

At SNHU, Bickford serves on the General Education Implementation Task Force and the Assessment Committee.

Current professional memberships include Northeast Writing Centers Association (NEWCA), Writing Program Administrators (WPA), International Writing Centers Association (IWCA), European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing (EATAW) and the National Association of Developmental Education.

Bickford's international contributions include, Bickford, Crystal. "Developing a Writing Consultants Program: Challenges for the Teacher, Tutor, and/or Administrator." Workshop conducted at the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing, 2011, Limerick, Ireland.

Bickford's numerous publications include, Bickford, Crystal. "Outside Looking In: Taking the Risk of Trading Autonomy in the Short-Term to Achieve Centrality in the Long-Term." "Marginal Words, Marginal Work?" Tutoring the Academy in the Work of Writing Centers. William J. Macauley, Jr. and Nicholas Mauriello, Eds. Published as part of the Hampton Press series on Composition and Literacy. March 2007.  "Marginal Words, Marginal Work?" won the "Best Research Publication" from the International Writing Center Association (IWCA) -- Presented at CCCC; New Orleans, LA; April 2008

Bickford received the Outstanding Contributions to Learning Assistance Association of New England (LAANE) President’s Recognition in 2000 and 2010, served as vice president and later president of the organization.

David Swain - Associate Professor


Teaching at SNHU since 2007, Dr. David Swain is an associate professor specializing in Renaissance British literature. Swain received an SNHU Excellence in Teaching Award nomination in 2010. His research is in early modern medicine, renaissance comedy and English social history.  Courses taught include Shakespeare, Literary Theory, British Literature: 1500-1800, World Literature I and Introduction to Poetry.

Swain holds a Bachelor of Arts from Eastern Nazarene College, a Master of Arts from Pennsylvania State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Massachusetts.

Professional associations include Shakespeare Association of America, Renaissance Society and the Modern Language Association.

Swain has edited "The Routledge Encyclopedia of Tudor England," (2001, 2011) and "Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night for the Broadview Anthology of British Literature Editions," (2011). Book chapters include "'Notlernyd in physike': Thomas Elyot, the Medical Humanists, and Vernacular Medical Literature," which was published in "Renaissance Historicisms," edited by James M. Dutcher and Anne Lake Prescott. Swain reviews for Kritikon Litterarum and has written numerous encyclopedia articles.

Diana Polley - Associate Professor


Dr. Diana H. Polley is an associate professor of English and coordinator of the literature program at SNHU. She specializes in American literature before 1914, particularly in the long 19th Century from the Federalist period through the early rumblings of Modernism.

Polley received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Dartmouth College and her Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy in English from The Graduate Center of the City of New York (CUNY).

Polley has given numerous talks, most recently on Mark Twain, Henry James and J. Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur. Her article on Willa Cather, "Americanizing Cather: Myth and Fiction in "My Ántonia,"" was chosen to be anthologized in Harold Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations series, specifically in Willa Cather's "My Ántonia" (2008). In addition, Polley is writing an article on the epistolary novel and Crevecoeur's "Letters from an American Farmer" and working on a manuscript entitled "Transhistorical Emerson: 'Republic of the Spirit' in Twain, James, Wharton, and Cather."

Polley has been the recipient of multiple grants, prizes and awards including applicant and project director for a three-year grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to revise and implement a new General Education Program at SNHU. She is the recipient of and participant in a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Seminar, "Reading Emerson’s Essays," University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, 2005.

Polley's service at SNHU includes chair of the General Education Committee, member of the Library/Learning Commons Task Force to build a new library/learning commons on campus, seminar faculty leader for College Unbound, and faculty senator in the Faculty Senate. She also serves as faculty co-advisor for Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honor Society) and is a member of the English Department Assessment Committee.

Polley's professional affiliations include American Literature Association, American Studies Association, Modern Language Association, Sigma Tau Delta, Phi Beta Kappa, and Society for the Study of Narrative Literature.

Frederick Lord - Associate Professor, Interim Dept. Chair


Frederick Lord joined SNHU in 1985 and is an assistant professor of English and Creative Writing. Courses taught include Introduction to Writing, Business Communication, Public Speaking, Introduction to Creative Writing, Intro to Critical Reading, Contemporary Poetry, Early American Literature, World Literature I, and Advanced Creative Writing.

Lord received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from New Hampshire College and his Master in Fine Arts from New England College.
At SNHU, Lord formerly served as director of the University Honors Program, interim director of the Creative Writing Program and Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts.

Lord serves as a board member at the New Hampshire Writers' Project and the New Hampshire Poetry Society.

Lord has numerous publications including, "If You Can't See My Mirrors, I Can’t See You" in Spectrum, June 2011 and "You Drive the Way John Ashbery Writes" in Into the Wind's Teeth, June, 2011.

Jeanne Hughes - Assistant Professor


An assistant professor of English, Jeanne Hughes joined SNHU as an adjunct instructor in 1993 and served as a visiting assistant professor of English in 2012-2013 and  was a SNHU Excellence in Teaching nominee in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Hughes has given various conference presentations and served on numerous panels. Publications include “How Gender and Racial Identity Development Informs White Women Teachers.” Rivier: Insight Academic Journal, Rivier University, Nashua, New Hampshire, Apr. 2013.

Hughes received her Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching, and her M.A.T. in English Teaching from the University of New Hampshire, Durham and her Ed.D in Educational Leadership and Learning from Rivier College, Nashua.

Hughes professional affiliations include American Educational Research Association, College Reading and Learning Association, International Reading Association, National Council for Teachers of English, and the New Hampshire Writers’ Project.

Karen Erickson - Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences


Dr. Karen Erickson came to SNHU in 2006 after 15 years at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she was on the political science faculty and awarded emerita rank. She directed programs in science, education, public policy and in Arctic affairs and policies assessment. Erickson also has held university teaching and administrative posts in Canada and Norway.

Erickson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Stanford, a Master of Arts in Political Science and Doctor of Philosophy from Harvard.

Erickson is a founder of the University of the Arctic and was on the U.S. delegation to the Arctic Council. Her publications cover Arctic and international politics, security, environmental policy, cold war legacies, rural education and postwar politics of Finland.

A winner of two Fulbright awards, Erickson has held fellowships with the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, the Scholar's Roundtable-NYU School of Law and the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education. She is a Leadership Fellow of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement and a member of the board of directors of the American Conference of Academic Deans as well as the World Affairs Council of New Hampshire.

Kristina Wright - Assistant Professor


Kristina Wright joined SNHU in 2013 as an assistant professor of English.  Prior to SNHU, Wright taught at Bentley University in the Expository Writing program and the University of Massachusetts, Boston, in the Critical Reading and Writing program where she received extensive teaching experience in composition and rhetoric, critical reading and writing, and oral communication. She has expertise in college writing assessment and learning outcomes.

Wright’s publications include “How am I doing in this class?” Student Self-Assessment in College Writing,” forthcoming in the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Innovative Teaching (CIT) journal, and “Entertain Me, Please!” The Uses (and Abuses) of Media and Technology in the College of Writing Classroom,” an article for submission to the Journal of College Composition and Communication. She has participated in numerous writing and literature conference presentations, and is also a published poet.

Wright received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and her Master of Arts in English and Doctor of Philosophy in English from Tufts University, where she taught composition and rhetoric in its First-Year Writing program.

Sara Howe - Assistant Professor

Sara Howe joined SNHU in 2013 as an assistant professor of English. Howe came from the University of Arizona where she was a highly involved graduate associate teacher, receiving numerous grants and awards.

Howe received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, CT; her Master of Arts in English from Trinity College, Hartford CT; and her Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English from the University of Arizona. Howe has curriculum and course development experience, editorial experience and has presented at several conferences.

Her dissertation, "(De)Compose, Shape-Shift, and Suture: Toward a Monstrous Rhetoric of Fan Compositions," studies fan fiction, vids, visual-spatial compositions, and other "fannish" transformative works as articulations of a monstrous rhetoric. In addition to fan studies, her research interests include composition theory and pedagogy, feminist rhetorics, new media, rhetoric in popular culture, and psychoanalytic theory. Her publications include "Teams, Tears, and Testimonials: A Rhetorical Reading of the Twilight Time Capsule," which will appear in Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History (2013).

Susan Cook - Assistant Professor


An SNHU faculty member since 2011, Dr. Susan Cook is an assistant professor of English. Her classes include composition and 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century British literature. She previously taught at Bemidji State University and the University of South Florida.

Cook received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and her Master of Arts in English Literature from Boston College and her Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Her publications include "Season of Light and Darkness: A Tale of Two Cities and the Daguerreian Imagination," (Dickens Studies Annual, Summer 2011), and "Envisioning Reform in Gissing’s The Nether World" (English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, August 2009).

Cook has presented on literature and visual culture at such conferences as the Dickens Universe, the North American Victorian Studies Association Conference, the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association Conference, and the Modern Language Association Convention.

She is a 2011 recipient of SNHU's Faculty Center Teaching with Technology Innovation Award and is a member of the Modern Language Association, North American Victorian Studies Association, Nineteenth Century Studies Association and the Victorians Institute.

Susan Youngs - Professor


At SNHU since 1989, Dr. Susan Youngs is a professor of English and chair of the English Language and Literature Program. Youngs helped develop and teach the Literature module for the Three-Year Degree. Youngs was nominated for SNHU’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2001, 2009 and 2010. Courses taught include College Composition I and II, 19th Century British Novel, English Literature I and II, Medieval Literature, and World Mythology.

Youngs received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Luther College, her Master of Arts in English Literature from Washington State University and her Doctor of Philosophy in Medieval Literature from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Youngs serves on SNHU's School of Arts and Sciences Promotion Committee, General Education Committee and the Three-Year Degree Steering Committee.

Professional memberships include the Modern Language Association and the Medieval Academy.