Teacher's Assistant & Graduate Assistant

Teaching Assistants typically teach one composition course, ENGL 100, each semester.

The Assistantship for Academic Year 2014-2015 includes a tuition waiver (covering 9 in-state graduate-credit hours per semester) for the year plus a stipend of about $3,350 per semester (a total of about $6,700 for the first year). Students are required to carry a full-time course load (a minimum of 6 credit hours of coursework per semester) and maintain good academic standing. Students who are eligible for a two-year award will be given preference, though one-year awards are also possible. We anticipate one position for the coming year, contingent on budgetary approval.

Current TA's & GA's

Naomi Coufal is a second year student in the M.A. literature program. Her graduate work focuses on scholarly representations of racial issues in the life and work of J.R.R. Tolkien. She also teaches a section of college composition as a Teaching Assistant.


Jill Durland is a second-year student in the M.A. English 7-12 program. She is currently studying Young Adult Science Fiction and its use in the secondary classroom. She is also a Teaching Assistant for the English department and teaches a section of college composition.



Matt Pisarski is in his final year of the M.A. English Literature program. He is currently conducting research towards an article on Stefan Zweig focusing on Zweig's concern with legacy and preservation. Matt's other interests include Modernism, Post-Modernism and the literature of both World War I and World War II. Matt currently teaches Composition at Fredonia.


In order to apply for the graduate assistantship, candidates should submit a statement/letter of interest that details their qualifications and motivations for teaching a first-year composition class. It can include discussions of any teaching experience, knowledge of composition theory and current pedagogical methods, and other relevant preparation, as well as how teaching composition relates to the applicant’s professional goals. In addition, current students should submit one letter of recommendation specifically addressing their strengths for teaching. New applicants to the program should, in addition to the two they are submitting for overall graduate study, submit an additional letter of recommendation discussing their strengths for teaching English composition. Applicants for admission wishing to be considered for a teaching assistantship should be sure to check the appropriate box on the graduate application (now online: www.fredonia.edu/gradstudies). Please note that full applications for Graduate Studies are due by April 1, 2014 for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Please submit letters of interest electronically by Monday, 1 April, 2014 to:

Dr. Birger Vanwesenbeeck, Graduate Coordinator, English Department (email: birger.vanwesenbeeck@fredonia.edu). Have additional letters of recommendation mailed to his attention, English Dept., SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia NY 14063.


In special circumstances, Graduate Assistants in English may be assigned to one of a variety of tasks, such as assisting the Coordinator of Composition with writing program implementation, assisting faculty with scholarly research, or tutoring at the graduate or undergraduate level. Assignment of position and direct supervisor will be determined by the assistant’s strengths and professional goals.

Shirley Ibach is a second-year student in the M.A. literature program currently working on an article for publication entitled "Beauties and Beasts of Dracula, Carmilla, and the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Her research has focused on the Beauty and the Beast trope in Gothic literature. She tutors first-year composition students as well as fellow graduate students in writing as a Graduate Assistant in the English Department.  

Renewal of the award for 2015-2016 assumes satisfactory academic achievement and teaching evaluation; all Teaching Assistants are observed/supervised by the Coordinator of Composition, who makes recommendations for renewal to the department’s Graduate Committee and chairperson. Satisfactory academic achievement at the graduate level means maintaining a minimum grade of B in all coursework and a 3.0 GPA overall. TAs are required to participate in the discussion meetings of composition faculty and are expected to attend department meetings and to serve on at least one departmental policy-making committee. Once appointed, TAs will receive a handbook for teaching composition and will work closely with the Coordinator of Composition and other composition instructors, who will provide guidance and feedback on teaching. All criteria for teaching assistantships are subject to the policies of the university’s Graduate Council and the Office of Graduate Studies. All commitments are pending final budget approval.


Page modified 5/7/15