Peggy Herring
Administrative Assistant
English, Rhetoric, & Humanistic Studies

P: (540) 464-7240
F: (540) 464-7779

227 Scott Shipp Hall
Lexington, VA  24450 

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New Faculty

We are most fortunate to have seven extraordinary new faculty members who bring a rich variety of experiences and scholarly interests to the Institute.  

  • Major Mary S. Atwell
    Major Mary Stewart Atwell is the author of the novel Wild Girls (Scribner 2012).  Her short fiction has appeared in Epoch and Alaska Quarterly Review, among other journals, and in the anthologies Best New American Voices and Best American Mystery Stories.  Her articles and essays have appeared in Poets & Writers and The Writer's Chronicle.  She is currently at work on her second novel, Save the Children.  After teaching in California and Missouri, she is thrilled to be returning home to Virginia to begin her new career at VMI.
  • Ms. Stephanie L. Hodde
    Stephanie Hodde joins the English, Rhetoric and Humanities Department at VMI after teaching graduate and undergraduate reading courses for Hollins, Mary Baldwin, and The Curry School of Education at University of Virginia. Her research and teaching interests explore intersections between artistic discourse and multimodal forms of literacy, including community-based narratives, spectacle theater, and reconstructing literature as performance.  

     Ms. Hodde holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, with a concentration in Reading, Writing, Literacy and Culture from University of Illinois at Chicago, and an M.A. in Humanities (English and Education) from the University of Chicago, where she studied arts-based literacy within the urban landscape. Her dissertation, ”Dramatic Literacies: Dynamics of Multimodal Performance in a Girls’ Theater Workshop”, explored aesthetic culture and creative learning discourses amongst Latina girls in Logan Square, Chicago.  She began her college studies at Hobart and William Smith, where she earned a B.A. in English and Drama.  

     Her extensive background in professional theater and dramaturgy with Playwrights Theater of New Jersey, Steppenwolf Theater, Redmoon and others led Ms. Hodde to develop arts-based workshops for local organizations in Lexington.  In response to her community work with Boxerwood Educational Association, Fine Arts in Rockbridge, and The Community Dance Connection Theater, Ms. Hodde received project grants from the Virginia Commission on the Arts, a Washington & Lee Community Grant, and a grant from the Rockbridge Public Schools Foundation. She hopes to continue offering rich arts-based literacy experiences to underserved populations in the Rockbridge Community.  Her newest experiment, The Groove Girls Project, is beginning its second year at Maury River Middle School.  

    When she is not found teaching Public Speaking courses at VMI, Ms. Hodde also serves as Education and Outreach Coordinator for Project Horizon in Lexington, where she develops and teaches prevention curricula on healthy relationships across K-12 classrooms in Rockbridge County.  

  •   Major Catharine C. Ingersoll
    Major Catharine Ingersoll is Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of English, Rhetoric, and Humanistic Studies at VMI. She earned her B.A. in Art and Music from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. She also studied art history at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.

    Prior to graduate school Maj. Ingersoll worked in administrative roles at the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and at the Maryland Institute College of Art. While at the University of Texas she taught Art History in the Department of Art and Art History, European Studies in the Department of Germanic Studies, and curated exhibitions at the Blanton Museum of Art. In 2011-2012, Maj. Ingersoll was the recipient of an Albrecht Dürer Fellowship at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg, Germany. At the GNM she assisted curators in preparing the exhibition “The Early Dürer,” on display in the museum in the summer of 2012.

    Major Ingersoll’s research interests center on the art and visual culture of Renaissance Germany, particularly in the southern regions and the area along the Rhine River. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the artist Hans Wertinger and his role as court painter to the Duke of Bavaria in the early sixteenth century. She has presented papers at conferences in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and has published book reviews in the Journal of the Historians of Netherlandish Art and the Journal of the Northern Renaissance. Her article “The Patronage of the Annunciation Window at Ingolstadt Minster as a Response to the Protestant Reformation” is forthcoming in North Street Review: Arts and Visual Culture, a journal published by the University of St. Andrews.

    Major Ingersoll and her husband Daniel grew up in a small town in rural Maryland, and they are thrilled to be living in Lexington after eight years in Austin. Just before the start of the fall 2015 term, they welcomed their first child, a daughter named Eleanor.

  •  Major Michelle B. Iten
    An Assistant Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Humanistic Studies, Major Michelle Iten teaches courses in civic discourse, rhetorical writing, and the history and theory of rhetoric. She earned her M.A. and B.A. in English from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, where she served as assistant director of the writing center and later as a fulltime instructor teaching courses in research writing, creative nonfiction, business writing, and rhetorical theory. After a career in corporate communications and magazine publishing, she earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from Texas Christian University, where she held multiple research and teaching fellowships.

    Major Iten specializes in rhetorical democracy and in the theory and teaching of argument. Her current research projects focus on disciplinary influences in argument pedagogy and on the rhetorical nature of reflective practices in democratic time. Other research and teaching interests include style in argument, propaganda theory and criticism, rhetorical approaches to political virtues, and emotional intelligence in everyday democratic interactions.

    Major Iten is particularly committed to undergraduate education in rhetoric and to advancing student writers’ abilities to bring multiple knowledges to their academic and political lives.  

  •  Mr. Andrew D. Morgan
    Andrew Morgan is a PhD candidate in the philosophy department at the University of Virginia and a research assistant at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. Before UVA, Andrew completed an MA in philosophy at Northern Illinois University. He is currently writing a dissertation in metaethics on the relationships between normative language, thought, and action. He also has research interests in ecological feminism, pragmatics, and the history of science. His favorite subjects to teach are religion and ethics, which is why he is excited to be at VMI teaching courses on those topics.
  • Ms. Susan B. Riveland
    Susan Riveland came to VMI’s Department of English, Rhetoric, and Humanistic Studies in 2015 from New Jersey, where she taught writing classes and piloted a seminar class on The Military Veteran at The College of New Jersey. She has also taught composition and creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Morehouse College, The University of Illinois, The University of Minnesota, and Florida International University. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, N.Y., an M.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Florida International University.

    Riveland is a U.S. Army veteran, having served for nine years at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and Army Forces Command, Ft. McPherson (Atlanta) GA. Prior to moving to Lexington, she served in a two-year appointment to the Governor’s Veterans’ Services Council for the State of New Jersey, as a liaison and advocate for both homeless veterans and student veterans. She has used her writing to advocate for the veteran community and is a published journalist in a variety of newspapers and magazines in New York, Atlanta, and Miami. An active musician, she performs as a jazz singer and saxophonist and a classical clarinetist. At VMI, Riveland’s goals are to encourage cadets to embrace writing as a way to process their unique college experience, and to nurture the ideals of public service.

  • Major Ethan W. Stoneman

    Major Ethan W. Stoneman is Assistant Professor of English, Rhetoric, and Humanistic Studies at Virginia Military Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in 2014 from the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied rhetoric and aesthetics in the Department of Communication. Before joining the ERHS faculty, he spent a year lecturing in the Communication Arts and Sciences Department at the Pennsylvania State University.    

     Major Stoneman teaches courses in the history, theory, and practice of rhetoric, with aesthetics thrown in, for good measure. Pedagogically, he combines a student-centered approach to learning with the rigors demanded by a liberal arts education. As a teacher of rhetoric, he is committed to contributing to an all-encompassing education that prepares cadets to think, write, and speak well, while enabling them to reflect on the ethical, pragmatic, and aesthetic dimensions of human co-existence.    

    Much of his research and scholarship attends to the intrication of rhetoric and practical philosophy, particularly the areas of political theory and aesthetics. His writings have appeared in journals such as Philosophy and Rhetoric and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. Other interests include philosophical pessimism, civil society and public sphere studies, media ecology, the Counter-Enlightenment, and rhetorical criticism of literature and public address. He is currently working on several journal-length projects, one of which explores the relationship between Arthur Schopenhauer’s pessimism and his short, lesser-known work on dirty argument tactics.