AboutI began teaching in 1993 as a part-time faculty member for several places of higher education, and in 1998 I started teaching for my current university where I was hired full-time in 2002. In March 2004, I successfully defended my dissertation and earned my PhD. For a decade, I focused on teaching and averaged at least one original conference presentation a year because non-tenured faculty were encouraged to stay focused on teaching. These expectations changed, though, to include service and scholarship. As a result, I became more actively involved in campus governance through chairing our campus senate, serving on non-tenured promotion evaluation committees for recently approved promotional tracks, and on our campus faculty affairs committee. I also have served twice as a member of a Middle States Commission on Higher Education Evaluation Team (spring 2022 and spring 2011). I have come to scholarly publication rather late in my career because it was not emphasized or expected due to my non-tenured status, but I enjoy it tremendously. I wish that there were more opportunities for non-tenured faculty to be supported in their scholarly work by being eligible for regular course release time and/or sabbatical opportunities, especially if their job descriptions have evolved over time to include such work in addition to their teaching and service duties.
EducationIndiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA – summer doctoral program – Ph.D.in English literature earned 2004
University College – Galway, Galway, Ireland – Summer Session Irish Studies, coursework completed July 1997
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA – MA in English literature earned 1993
Penn State University, The Behrend College, Erie, PA – BA in English literature earned 1991
Institute of Irish Studies, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland – 29th International Summer School: Celtic Influences in Anglo-Irish Literature – Certificate, 1990
PublicationsThe Irish Vampire From Folklore to the Imaginations of Charles Robert Maturin, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, and Bram Stoker. McFarland Publishers, 2017.
Pflueger, Ruth, Robert Weissbach, and Sharon Gallagher. “Strengthening Technical Writing Knowledge Transfer Through Targeted Study in a First-Year Composition Course.” 6th Research in Engineering Education Symposium: Translating Research into Practice, REES 2015. 2015,
“Violence in Verse: The Death Toll in Irish Poetry,” in English Association of the Pennsylvania Universities (EAPSU) Conference Proceedings, 1996, Fall 1996: 55-59.
“Yeats’ Red Hanrahan: The Old Traditions in a New Hero for an Emerging Nation,” in Pennsylvania English, vol. 17, no. 1, Fall/Winter 1992: 33-40.
“Irish Goddesses, Saints, and Legends: Brigid, Maeve, and Grace.” For Penn State Alumni Association Travel, Bevy of British Isles cruise on Oceania’s Sirena, July 13 – 23, 2022. Invited to lecture.
“Forgotten Family, Forgotten Texts: The Story of the Fairfields”, for Pennsylvania College English Association (PCEA), Pitt at Johnstown, PA, May 20 -21, 2022.
“Creating Opportunities for Non-Tenured Faculty Scholarship”, for Part-Time and Contingent Faculty Perspectives on Remote Teaching (CAITY-sponsored session) (Roundtable) at 53rd Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association, Baltimore, MD, March 10-13, 2022.
Recent chapter proposal acceptances:
“Dracula and the Alien Threat”, Aliens: A Companion, Peter Lang, Oxford, Genre, Literature and Film Companion Series. Eds. Elana Gomel and Simon Bacon. Abstract sent: Feb. 27, 2021. Accepted by editors and brief biography requested: June 27, 2021. Accepted by publisher April 21, 2022. Chapter due: January 31, 2023.
“Phases of the Moon in Varney the Vampire, or; the Feast of Blood”, Lunar Horror/Lunar Gothic. Eds. Elana Gomel and Simon Bacon. Abstract sent: Aug. 31, 2021. Accepted: Dec. 6, 2021.
After a great deal of research, am now at the writing stage for an original work telling the story of the mother, wife, and two daughters of Sumner Lincoln Fairfield (over 100 pages drafted thus far). Since I am a non-tenured faculty member, I am not eligible for a sabbatical to allow me time to completely focus on finishing the draft. Due to a demanding teaching load and service responsibilities, I can only work on the book during the summers so I hope that I may finish it soon and send it to my publisher so it may be peer reviewed, revised, edited, indexed, and published.
MembershipsMember of the Modern Language Association.
Member of Penn State University’s Alumni Association.