Earn an English Degree at Madonna!

  • Prepare for a career in a wide range of possible fields, including education, business, law, or the arts
  • Gain a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of critical reading, writing, and communicating
  • Learn advanced research skills to find, evaluate, and present information clearly and compellingly
  • Pair with a major or minor in Spanish to prepare yourself for graduate school or for teaching in the U.S. or abroad


Literature in Life

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After reading Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, students from two upper-division literature classes taught by Professor Fracassi attended a stage adaptation of the novel at the Arthur Miller Theater in Ann Arbor. The playwright’s modern version of the story and student cast brought to life Austen’s famous satire and sense of humor and made a lasting impression on Madonna students!

Student Success

Chene Heady

Chene Heady

Chene Heady is Professor of English at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia. He holds a Ph.D. in British Literature and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, both from Ohio State University. He received his bachelor's degree from Madonna University (Religious Studies Major, English Minor, Class of 1994). His well-reviewed memoir Numbering my Days (Ignatius Press, 2016) was listed as  "recommended reading" by national Catholic publications including Our Sunday Visitor, Catholic Digest, and St. Anthony Messenger.

In March 2018, as a "featured author," Chene was the subject of five thirty-minute interviews with Johnette Benkovic on the international Catholic television network EWTN. His scholarly book, Worlds of Common Prayer: Liturgical Time and Poetic Re-enchantment, 1827-1935, appeared in June 2019 from Farleigh Dickinson University Press.


English Language and Literature Minor

This program, intended for K-12 educators, provides students with a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of critical reading, writing, and communicating.

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Language Arts Major

The Language Arts major is specifically designed for the Elementary Grades (K-8) English Language Arts teacher.

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Literature Minor

This program, for anybody interested in literature, allows students to choose their classes from all of the English offerings. 

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An English Major paired with a foreign language can help prepare you for graduate studies in English.

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Faculty Bios

Ian BellDean, College of Arts & Sciences

Ph.D., Marquette University

M.A., College of St. Catherine

B.A., College of St. Scholastica



Ian Bell

Ian Bell, Ph.D., joined Madonna in 2022 as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences after 15 years as a Professor of Religious Studies during which he taught courses on Scripture, spirituality, theological ethics, and religion in film.  His career in higher education has been marked by a keen interest in the value of the liberal arts and the importance of exploring questions of meaning and purpose in the context of a college education.

His research has focused primarily on the connection between spirituality and justice, especially within the framework of the theological method of the Jesuit theologian, Bernard Lonergan.  More recently, he has been drawn to the writings of Henri Nouwen and studying biblical Hebrew and Greek.

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Jeffrey CordellAssistant Professor

Ph.D., University of Virginia

M.A., University of Virginia

B.A., Western Washington University



Jeffrey Cordell

Jeffrey Cordell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Language, Literature, Communications, and Writing. He joined the full time faculty of Madonna University in 2013 from Alma College. He completed his doctoral degree in 2008 at the University of Virginia. He teaches American and British literature.

His interests include medieval and Renaissance English literature and classical backgrounds to British and European literature. His publications include work on the idea of Christian charity in shaping Francis Bacon's Advancement of Learning and, as a contributing author, an award-winning study of undergraduate library research methods.

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Kathleen M. EdelmayerCommunication

Ph.D., Wayne State University

M.A., Central Michigan University 

B.A., Wayne State University



Kathleen M. Edelmayer

Dr. Kathleen M. Edelmayer is a Professor of Communication. She joined Madonna University in 2003 after having been the Chair of the Humanities Division at St. Mary’s College of Ave Maria University. Previously, she was Director of Debate at Illinois State University, Assistant Director of Forensics at St. Olaf College, and Visiting Assistant Professor at Albion College. She earned a Ph.D. in Communication and a B.A. in Economics from Wayne State University. Her M.A. in Communication is from Central Michigan University.

Dr. Edelmayer teaches interpersonal communication, argumentation and persuasion, small group communication, and political campaign communication. Her research areas are religious and political communication, teaching methods, and administrative issues. She is very involved in Madonna University’s Study Abroad program, having led programs to Ireland and Poland/Prague.

She is very active in the professional community. She currently serves the National Communication Association as a member of the legislative assembly and the leadership team of the Undergraduate College and University Section of NCA. She has served as president of the Religious Communication Association, executive board member of the Central States Communication Association, and finance committee chair of the American Forensics Association.

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Ioana FracassiAssistant Professor

M.A., Eastern Michigan University

B.A., Madonna University



Ioana Fracassi

Ioana Fracassi is an Assistant Professor in the Language and Literature Department. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Madonna and Eastern Michigan University, respectively. Her course offerings include British, American, and world literature, as well as creative writing. She is the editor of Madonna Muse, the university's literary publication, and the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award (2007).

Her most recent publications include translations from Prévert and Voltaire, as well as original poetry and fine art. In 2014 she edited Stories of Hope and Learning (ISBN 978-1-4675-8539), a collection of poetry and prose featuring young Detroit writers. Ioana lives and writes in Ann Arbor.

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