Dr. Donna Dunbar-Odem
Head, Department of Literature and Languages
I first entered the classroom as a teaching assistant in 1977. Except for an unhappy year as a technical writer, I have been teaching continuously in one place or another ever since. I went to several colleges before finally earning a Bachelors of General Studies from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where I continued on for my master’s. With an MA in English but without money, I decided to see if I could get a job teaching and so ended up teaching basic writing and eventually directing the Writing Center at Indiana State University in Terre Haute. Six years later, I moved to the University of Pittsburgh where I earned my PhD. In 1993, I came to East Texas State University as the Director of First-Year Composition. After 13 ½ years, I became Director of Graduate English Studies. And, now, as of March 2010, I am Head of the Department of Literature and Languages.
My research interests are tied with teaching students to write on the college level. I have presented at numerous national conferences, published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, published two textbooks, and have one book Defying the Odds: Class and the Pursuit of Higher Literacy published by State University of New York Press in 2007.