English Department

English Department

Good reading and writing skills are valuable to everyone, whether you plan a business career or are studying nursing. The English Department teaches students to think critically, understand the materials they read and express their ideas in writing.

Who We Are

English students and faculty form a community of engaged thinkers and writers who present their ideas to each other and the world. We work in diverse fields and pursue varying outlets for our ideas, but we share a common goal of critical thinking and expression. We welcome you to our community!

Course Descriptions
Department Directory
Admissions | 763-433-1300
Dean Hannah Oliha-Donaldson |

Degrees & Certificates We Offer

Courses offered range from freshman composition classes to historical literature and creative writing classes.

The department offers three degrees that can be earned entirely online:

  • The English Department presents students with a variety of engaging literary opportunities. (See Visiting Writers Series below.)

    Both campuses also host student and faculty readings and have active creative writing clubs that publish the student literary magazines.

  • The English Department presents two exciting series: The Two Rivers Reading Series at the Coon Rapids Campus, and the Minnesota Writers Series at the Cambridge Campus.

    Each semester these series bring acclaimed and award-winning local, regional, and nationally-known authors to campus. Students study these authors’ stories, novels, essays, plays, or poetry in their English or Reading courses. Students then attend the readings in person to meet the author, ask questions, and have their books signed. Readings are video recorded to enable online students access to these events.

    The English Division is pleased to offer these events free to Anoka-Ramsey students, faculty, staff, alumni and the general public.

  • Write Like Us is an equity-based creative writing program at five Twin Cities metro-area community colleges. Write Like Us centers and celebrates the work of BIPOC writers and writing students, fostering literary mentorship and leadership as it builds a platform for shared stories, voices, and lived experiences.

    Learn more about the Write Like Us program and events here.

More About The Department

Students can explore their literary interests and develop their writing talents outside the classroom, too. The English Department presents students with a variety of engaging literary opportunities. On our Cambridge Campus, students can hear meet well-known writers through the citywide Minnesota Authors Reading Series. On the Coon Rapids Campus, the Two Rivers Reading Series allows students to study a book then interact with the published author. Both campuses host student and faculty readings and have active creative writing clubs that publish the student literary magazines.


To our current and future students,

We, the English faculty at Anoka Ramsey Community College, acknowledge the following challenges we face as a learning community:

  • The centering of white dominant culture in higher education that perpetuates racist and oppressive teaching practices;
  • The shaming of students for their use of the English language when it deviates from Standard American English;
  • The lack of access to resources for students with specific physical, cognitive, emotional, and economic needs;
  • The human tendency to look for easy solutions to complex problems;

With these challenges in mind, we, as individual professors, will

  • Aspire to implement anti-racist and anti-oppressive teaching practices that center belonging and equity;
  • Honor your individual uses of the English language while also helping you navigate the complex communication power structures existing within higher education and many professional contexts;
  • Provide the resources that will meet your specific learning needs;
  • Help you to analyze complex problems with reliable research and critical thinking to find ethical solutions;

We acknowledge that each one of us is a work in progress striving to improve our teaching practices to better serve each one of you.

Recent Faculty News and Recognition

Paige Riehl was selected as a 2024 Outstanding Educator by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Board of Trustees

Scott Wrobel published his story, “Charcoal,” in Blue Lake Review.

Katie Berg’s book, Rock Climbing Minnesota: 3rd edition, will be published June 1, 2022.

Yuan Ding published the following articles:

“‘Asian Pride Porn’: Neoliberal Multiculturalism and the Narrative of Asian Racial Uplift in Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy” in MELUS, Fall 2020.

“Ruth Ozeki,” in Asian American Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students, in August 2021.

Tracy Youngblom’s second full-length collection of poems, Boy, will be published in Spring 2023 by CavanKerry Press.

Her short story, “Three Wines,” was published in Blue Mountain Review, Summer of 2020.

Melody Heide published the following articles:

"On Teaching Students to Love Their Darlings" in Whale Road Review (December 2021)

"On Continuing to Love and Support My Favorite Literary Journals That Have Rejected Me and Knowing When It's Time to Cancel" in Brevity Magazine (April 2021)

Kathryn Kysar has the following news:

She has been awarded sabbatical residencies at Tofte Lake Center and Write On, Door County, where she will lead a workshop in July 2022 with poet April Gibson.

With essayist Sayantika Mandel, she co-chaired a roundtable discussion on the boundaries of the lyric essay for the December 2021 NonfictioNow conference.

She has poems and essays recently published or forthcoming in the The Mollyhouse, About Place Journal, Slag Glass City, Sleet, The Under Review, and Voicemail Poems.

She has been accepted for a summer workshop with poet Douglas Kearney at the Northwoods Writers’ Conference in Summer 2022.

Meet Our Students and Alumni