Faculty and Staff

Andrew W. Ade

Associate Professor of English
Ph.D.University of North Carolina


Dr. Andrew Ade received his B.A. in English at Northwestern University before serving as a Peace Corps high school teacher in the Republic of Zaïre (today, Democratic Republic of the Congo). He subsequently earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has worked as the American Lecturer at Groupe HEC, a leading French business school, and received an NEH Summer Seminar grant to study Modernist art in Paris. He joined the Westminster faculty in 2003, where his teaching and research interests include Drama History and Criticism, Playwriting, World Fiction, and Film Studies. He coordinates the college’s First-Year Writing Program and runs the Playwriting Workshop. An award-winning and published playwright, Dr. Ade has written full-length, one-act, and short plays, as well as the book and lyrics for a musical. His plays have been produced from NYC to Chicago. Over the last decade he has participated annually in the KCACT Festival network (Region 2) and, more recently, for the National Playwriting Program (NPP). For his playwriting, he was a recipient of the 2009 Kennedy Center National Teaching Artist Grant, a 2012-2013 Heinz Endowments Fellow, and has had creative-writing Residency Fellowships at MacDowell Colony, The Ragdale Foundation and The Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts.


Bethany F. Hicok

Professor of English
Ph.D. University of Rochester

Bethany Hicok specialized in modern American and British literature and feminist theory at the University of Rochester. She has published articles on the American poets Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, and Elizabeth Bishop. Her book, Degrees of Freedom: American Women Poets and The Women's College, 1905-1955, was published in 2008 by Bucknell University Press. She was a participant in a 2010 NEH summer seminar on Brazilian literature held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Her latest publication is Elizabeth Bishop in the 21st Century (University of Virginia Press 2012), which she co-edited with fellow Bishop scholars Thomas Travisano and Angus Cleghorn. She is currently working on a book on Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil. She is also serves as the All-College Honors Program Director.

Deborah Mitchell

Professor of English - Department Chair
Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Mitchell completed her doctoral work in film studies at Case Western Reserve University under the direction of Dr. Louis Giannetti, author of Understanding Movies, Flashback, and Masters of the American Cinema. Mitchell's book publications include Diane Keaton: Artist and Icon (2001), The Makeover in Movies: Before and After in Hollywood Films, 1941-2002 (2004), and Royal Portraits in Hollywood: Filming the Lives of Queens (2009) [the second and third were co-authored with Dr. Elizabeth Ford]. Her articles have appeared in various journals, and she has presented papers at national and international film and literature conferences. She has also led groups of students to England, Scotland, Wales, France, and Italy.

Carol Morrow


Carol earned her B.A. in English at Westminster in 1995, returned to campus as an employee in 1996, and earned her M. Ed. in English in 2007. She serves as secretary for the Department of English and Public Relations and the All-College Honors Program, as well as adjunct instructor for Writing 111.

Richard Sprow

Professor of English
Ph.D., Purdue University

Dr. Sprow's interests include Shakespeare, Modern Drama, modern Literature and Film, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Popular Culture. A National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, he has written numerous papers delivered at conferences and has published (with Dr. Patricia F. Lamb) a handbook for freshman composition, Write This Way. Dr. Sprow used sabbatical leave in Spring 2004 to pursue research on author John Irving. He is currently working (with Dorita Bolger, Reference Librarian at Westminster) on an annotated bibliography of Irving's work.

David G. Swerdlow

Professor of English
Ph.D., Ohio University

With extensive publications in poetry, comparative and contemporary literature, and cultural studies, Dr. Swerdlow received the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry for 1996 and 2000. He has been a Fulbright Professor of American Literature in Peru, an NEH Fellow, and a Fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His publications include a chapbook of poetry entitled The Last Hill and the Wild Trees which appeared in the Ohio Review. Dr. Swerdlow is the author of two books of poetry, Bodies on Earth (2010) and Small Holes in the Universe (2003). He sailed with Semester at Sea as a faculty member in Summer 2009 and Summer 2005.

Kristianne Kalata Vaccaro

Assistant Professor of English
Ph.D., Duquesne University

Having earned a bachelor's degree in English from Westminster in 2000, Dr. Vaccaro is delighted to return to her alma mater as an Assistant Professor. Her teaching and research interests include women's autobiographical narratives, British Romanticism and Victorianism, American Modernism, and fantasy literature. Vaccaro has presented papers at numerous national and international conferences and has published articles in Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature and Eighteenth-Century Fiction. At right, she appears next to a statue of Juliet in Verona, Italy.