Beth Bonnstetter, Ph.D.
Professor, Department Chair
Assistant Professor of English
Jessica Brown specializes in medieval languages and literature. Some of her specific interests include hagiography, paleography and codicology, Middle English dialectology, gender studies, and Anglo-Saxon literature. Her dissertation, which is titled Proving the Dead: Doubt and Skepticism in the Late-Medieval Lives of Saints Æthelthryth and Edith, explored how doubt influenced fifteenth-century constructions of Anglo-Saxon women’s histories. Secondary interests include Old Norse language and literature, medievalism, epic fantasy literature, Victorian religious literature, history of the novel, and women’s textual authority in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She received her Ph.D. from Arizona State University and also holds degrees from BYU and Casper College.
Assistant Professor of English
Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication
Michelle Le Blanc
Instructor of English, Writing Studio Director
At Adams State University since Fall 2016, Michelle Le Blanc teaches general education reading writing courses for new college students (Communication Arts I and II). Le Blanc helps students to embrace the questions in order to find their voices.
“I feel it is important to recognize that students are making major shifts in their worldviews and beginning to realize and form their own beliefs. Students’ approach to learning must also shift – from learning to take standardized tests to entering the conversation, thinking critically, synthesizing information, and arriving at their own questions and conclusions. It’s also important to have not only empathy for these changes, but to also facilitate the learning that will help students work through these changes, become critical thinkers, and responsible world citizens. After all, writing is a personally intimate and challenging process. To teach writing without empathy and appropriate challenge would discount its very nature.”
Building on her bachelor of science degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Colorado – Boulder, Le Blanc has worked as a grant writer, group facilitator, journalist – most recently published in the Pueblo PULP – and has had her poems published. In 2012 she earned her MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in fiction from Antioch University in Los Angeles where she was chosen as the commencement speaker for her quite appropriate cohort — The Aspens. She has two works in progress: a coming of age dystopian novel and a memoir of illness, balance, and thriving.
Adrianna Lopez has been a resident of the San Luis Valley her entire life. She has taught English at a variety of academic levels, including junior high and high school. As a high school English teacher, Adrianna specialized in teaching AP Literature and Composition and freshmen honors courses. In 2016 she earned her MA in English, focusing her studies on literature and literary criticism. Her interests include power structures and subversion in literature, philosophy and theory (from Thomas Hobbes to bell hooks), gender studies, and the nuances of human pain and vulnerability as expressed through writing (oh, and the harrowing mystery of small talk). Adrianna has published her writings in a variety of journals. She currently teaches first year composition courses during the week and catechism classes at her local church on the weekends.
Ellen Simpson Novotny
Ellen Simpson Novotny earned a BA in English (1990) from St. Norbert College, DePere, WI, alongside a Wisconsin State 7-12 teaching license. She taught introductory composition courses at South Dakota State University while completing a MA (1993) with an emphasis in American Literature, further focused on regional women writers. After teaching high school English in the SLV for a decade, Ellen returned to the challenge of coaching students in their college-level writing goals.
Having taught for the English Department since 2004, she claims that face-to-face teaching is fun, but distance education opens a whole new world. Novotny has taught Communication Arts I and II, and Women’s Literature courses to students living around the globe through the distance education program at ASU. Today, the majority of her students are incarcerated, earning credits through Adams State’s Prison College Program. This is rewarding work. After many years of teaching writing, Ellen has come to revel in the puzzle of helping writers of all ages and many backgrounds grow his or her skills. Improved writing skills are tangible, so the student can enjoy the rewards immediately.