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Professor Steve Canaday teaching class

“Words, words, words.” - Hamlet, William Shakespeare.

If you love words – reading them, writing them, speaking them and interpreting them – you will find kindred spirits here. The English and Communications department at AACC is home to composition, literature, public speaking, human communication, journalism, mass communication and creative writing.

The aim of the English and Communications department is to prepare you to be a more effective reader, writer, speaker and thinker and to help you develop your abilities to understand and appreciate literature and other cultures. One principle of communication is that you can’t not communicate. Try not communicating. Seriously, just try it. Communications is all around us, on every job and in every field.  Developing your skills in this area will improve your professional and personal life. It is also a general education requirement that all degree-seeking students must complete.

Whether you struggle or excel in English and communications, we meet you where you are. At every level we work to improve your mastery of English grammar, punctuation and sentence structure, as well as your capacity to organize and express ideas in writing. In our English and Communications classes, you will develop critical thinking and analysis skills. Along the way, we can help you explore literature of the Americas and the world's many cultures, great writing informs both new and old, and classic literary themes in their cultural contexts. In our Communications courses, learn to effectively communicate, whether one-on-one, in larger groups or with people from different cultures. In our Creative Writing and Journalism courses, explore your boundless imagination, sharpen your critical thinking and hone your writing skills for our student publications and beyond.

Study with faculty in the English and Communication department and work toward earning a credential in English, Communication or Creative Writing.


The English and Communications department offers degrees in the following areas of study:

Faculty and Staff

Department Chair

Susan Cohen, Ph.D. (interim chair)

Full-time Faculty

Margaret Boas
Associate professor, English
HUM 113H

Dean Bowers, Ph.D.
Associate professor, English
HUM 203G

Garrett Brown, Ph.D.
Associate professor, English
HUM 113F

Alan Brownlie, Ph.D.
Associate professor, English
HUM 113D

Steven Canaday, Ph.D.
Professor, English
HUM 203B

Susan Cohen, Ph.D.
Professor, English
HUM 113C

April Copes, Ph.D.
Associate professor, communications
HUM 115

Katy D’Angelo, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, English
HUM 203C

Jennifer Dix, Ph.D.
Associate professor, English
HUM 113F

Haley Draper-Bowers
Associate professor, communications
HUM 115

LaTanya Eggleston, M.A.
Assistant professor, communications
HUM 200A

James Finnegan, Ph.D.
Associate professor, English
HUM 113B

Paul Gabriel Tucci
Associate professor, English
HUM 113J

Daryl Gonder, Ph.D.
Associate professor, English and visual arts
HUM 113E

Candice Hill, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, English
HUM 203C

Robert Hurd, Ph.D.
Professor, English
HUM 215K

Susan Kilgard, Ph.D.
Professor, communications
HUM 203E

Sandra King
Professor, communications
CADE 314

Wayne Kobylinski, Ph.D.
Associate professor, English
HUM 203A

Johnny Lew, Ph.D.
Assistant professor, English
HUM 203G

Jaque Lyman-Thomas
Professor, English
HUM 113G

Mark Matthews
Associate professor, English
HUM 215F

Jessica Mattingly
Assistant professor, communications
HUM 115

Timothy May
Instructor, English
HUM 203D

David Meng
Associate professor, English
HUM 113I

Sharon O’Malley
Assistant professor, communications
HUM 200A

Marjorie Paoletti
Associate professor, English
HUM 203H

Jessica Rabin, Ph.D.
Professor, English
HUM 215G

Brian Riley, Ph.D.
Associate professor, English
HUM 203I

Verna Robinson, D.A.
Professor, English
HUM 215E

Grace Sikorski, Ph.D.
Professor, English
HUM 203J

Suzanne Spoor, Ph.D.
Professor, English
HUM 203F

Brian Weber
Instructor, English
HUM 203D

Office Staff

Michele Kerr

Julie Schuman

Resources for Students

Writing Center

The Writing Center provides continuous help to students from all disciplines by providing one-on-one tutoring on a walk-in basis. English department faculty tutors are happy to assist in preparing written assignments, offer help in understanding errors on graded papers, and provide additional training in grammar, punctuation and usage.

Learn more about the Writing Center.

Virtual Writing Center

The Virtual Writing Center offers the same high quality tutoring experience as our face-to-face Writing Center locations in a synchronous, voice-interactive online environment.  It is open to all enrolled AACC students and can be accessed using Canvas and Blackboard Collaborate.

Learn more about the Virtual Writing Center.

Developmental English

If you placed into a developmental English class (ENG 001 or ENG 002), you will need to complete your developmental English requirement before you can take your two required freshman writing courses, ENG 111 and ENG 112.

If you placed into ENG 001 and do not have a RDG 026 developmental requirement you have the option of taking ENG 003. ENG 003 leads directly into ENG 111, effectively allowing you to complete your ENG 001 and ENG 002 developmental requirements in a single semester.

If you placed into ENG 002 and you have one or more developmental reading requirements (or are not a degree-seeking student) you can take the traditional developmental ENG pathway.

If you placed into ENG 002 and are a degree-seeking students who does not have a developmental reading requirement you will take ENG 002 concurrently with ENG 111 in our Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) model. (If you are not award-seeking but meet these same qualifications you may opt to take the ALP pairing.)

There is also a developmental reading course, RDG 040, which is an accelerated course that you can take if you have both developmental English and reading requirements. If you complete RDG 040 with a B or better you can then take ENG 111. If you earn a C in RDG 040 you qualify for the ENG ALP pathway (ENG 002/ENG 111) described above.

RDG 040 is an “academic literacies” course that integrates instruction in developmental reading and writing. For more information about RDG 040 please contact the reading department at 410 777-2077.

If you are an ESL student, the English department—in conjunction with AACC’s ESL program—also offers you an opportunity to accelerate. You may take the capstone ESL course (ESL 399) concurrently with ENG 115 in an “ESL ALP” arrangement similar to our ENG ALP model described above.

Successful completion of the ESL 399/ENG 115 ALP model allows you to advance to ENG 116, the equivalent of ENG 112 but designed with additional support for ESL students.

Honors program

The Honors program is for high-achieving students who wish to excel in a diverse and interdisciplinary learning environment. The focus is on collaboration in learning, critical thinking, effective communication and ethical leadership. The Honors program maintains academic rigor while allowing flexibility for qualified students in all majors to receive recognition for their achievements. Courses are defined by a different method of teaching and learning.

Learn more about the Honors program.

Amaranth, the student literary journal

Amaranth is AACC’s Journal for the Creative Arts. It is an award-winning, student-run and edited journal that is published once a year through funding from the AACC Student Organization and generous donations from Tim and Darlene Barnum and Burt Dall.

The Amaranth Coffeehouse is a monthly event where students gather to share writing, music, short films, monologues, comedy sketches and visual art.  It is an excellent opportunity for students to interact outside of the classroom, become acquainted with the work of their peers, and participate in AACC’s creative and cultural community.  This is an open mic where all students, faculty, staff and community members are welcome.  Each year, the Coffeehouse culminates with a release party for Amaranth.

Learn about Amaranth and its submission guidelines.

Campus Current Student Newspaper

Learn through experience by helping produce the print and online editions of this independent student newspaper.  For information contact the Current at

Read the Campus Current.

Writers Reading Series

Writers Reading at AACC is a reading series that hosts an array of writers including poets, fiction writers, essayists, songwriters, memoirists, playwrights, journalists and screenplay writers.

All events, are held on the Arnold campus in Humanities Building Room 112 from 2-3:15 p.m. Writers Reading encourages students, faculty, staff and community to attend. The readings are sponsored by the AACC Student Government Association, are free and open to the public and include book sales and signings.

For information contact Professor Susan Cohen at

Commonly Asked Questions

I don’t plan to major in English. Do I still need to take an English class?

English composition is required for every two-year degree at AACC. English and communication courses also fulfill Arts and Humanities general education requirements.

How is ENG-112 different from ENG-121?

Students place directly into ENG-121. Students can only take ENG-112 after successfully completing ENG-111. Both courses satisfy the general education composition requirement in Maryland public colleges and universities. In both courses, students write a substantial documented paper in addition to two or three other papers on the literature read in the course. However, each ENG-121 class has a theme, on which the reading and writing assignments are based. Also, ENG-121 students read whole works rather than selections from an anthology, and the classes typically are conducted as seminars.

I'm interested in taking a creative writing workshop. Can I take a workshop if I haven’t taken Intro to Creative Writing (ENG-200)?

"Intro to Creative Writing" (ENG-200) is the prerequisite for the second-level specific genre creative writing courses (fiction, poetry, etc.) You may ask the department chair for exemption from the ENG 200 prerequisite for ENG-201, ENG-202, ENG-203 or ENG-204. Faculty teaching the course you request will then evaluate your preparation for it and make a recommendation to the department chair.

How is an online version of an English or communications class different from a face-to-face, in-the-classroom version?

There are no differences in reading, writing, testing and performance requirements. The learning goals are the same in both versions, and students must meet deadlines in both for turning in work. Student work is assessed by the same standards in both types of classes. Online versions of English and communications courses may require more student participation in class discussions than face-to-face classes, e.g., regular postings to the course bulletin board.

How do I take Fundamentals of Oral Communications online?

"Fundamentals of Oral Communication" (COM-111) is essentially a course in oral communications theory, in which students write and deliver speeches in front of live audiences. Students in online sections of this course must record the delivery of their speeches to an audience and post these recordings to the class webpage.