Omnium Issue 6 Out Now!


The title page of the 2024 Omnium issue.

Check out the new issue of Omnium: The Undergraduate Research Journal at NCWU, released in August 2024. Omnium collects written work by promising undergraduate scholars.

This year, the writers whose work we’re honored to feature in Omnium’s 2024 issue have dedicated their energies to thinking about how to make the future livable–how to allow communities to flourish. We have essays on fixing healthcare systems, on environmental stewardship, on developing resiliency against pathogens, on thinking long-term about beloved athletic and creative institutions, and about finding one’s voice even when swimming against the current.

Omnium would not exist without the many expert teachers and scholars at NCWU. Our sincere thanks go to to Drs. Jason Buel, Bill Grattan, Meredith Gringle, Jarrod Kelly, Jackie Lewis, Rachel Roy, Mark Sursavage, Katrina Sweet, John Temple, Lee Templeton, Shane Thompson, and Emily Weber for reviewing submissions to the Academic Writing Competition in their respective disciplines.

We invite our readers to enjoy and learn from the fifteen new essays collected here, and also encourage teachers in any discipline to use them as models in their own courses. Please use attribution when you do so.

OUR MISSIONOmnium, housed in the English Department at NCWU, provides our undergraduate students with the opportunity to explore the major genres of academic writing, join in scholarly conversations, share their ideas, perform original research, and see their work published in a professional venue. Omnium also serves as a teaching resource for NCWU faculty—and faculty at other institutions—as the essays and research articles published here reflect the skill and knowledge of real students at various stages of their academic careers, from first-year composition essays to projects created in senior seminars and honors theses. The materials lend themselves well to in-class discussion, analysis, and emulation, and we hope that students will be energized when they realize that there is no single arcane secret to writing well. All it takes is practice, motivation, and direction.

For questions about Omnium, please contact the editor, Dr. Doreen Thierauf.

NCWU Receives Grant for Digital Humanities Teaching & Learning


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University recently received a $60K grant from The National Endowment for the Humanities. Over the two-year grant period, NCWU will expand the Digital Humanities Lab, create a new course (Introduction to Digital Humanities), improve faculty knowledge of the digital humanities, incorporate local history into digital humanities projects, and promote undergraduate student research projects using digital humanities tools and methods. The proposed expansion of NCWU’s digital humanities programming is aligned with the institution’s mission and commitment to the eastern North Carolina region and its emphasis on innovative teaching approaches to use new information technologies.

Project co-directors, Dr. Jason W. Buel (Communication/Media Arts) and Dr. Shane M. Thompson (Religious Studies) established NCWU’s first Digital Humanities Lab as a physical space on campus to raise the profile of the University’s humanities, with the goal to make them more exciting, accessible, and modern to the general student population.


Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Joseph H. Lane, Jr., states “We are very excited that Dr. Thompson and Dr. Buel have received this grant. Their work in the area of digital humanities is the perfect example of the ways that North Carolina Wesleyan enriches our students’ lives with innovative teaching approaches that take advantage of the amazing new tools that can enrich our classrooms and our contributions to the community.”

The National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965 created the National Endowment for the Humanities as an independent federal agency. The law identified the need for a national cultural agency that would preserve America’s rich history and cultural heritage, and encourage and support scholarship and innovation in history, archaeology, philosophy, literature, and other humanities disciplines. The Endowment awards grants to top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.

About The National Endowment For The Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

6th Annual Academic Writing Competition Accepting Nominations


If you’re a current NCWU student, the 6th Annual Academic Writing Competition is open for your submissions!

You can upload up to two papers that you have written for NCWU classes in any year in any of the following categories: 

  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics 
  • Social Sciences and Education 
  • Business and CIS 
  • Humanities 
  • First-Year Composition (ENG 090, 111, 112) 

While revisions are encouraged, you don’t have to write anything new. You can submit papers in categories other than your major(s).

Winners in each category will receive a gift card and will see their work published in Omnium: The Undergraduate Research Journal at North Carolina Wesleyan University. Other students and professors can use your essay as an example of great student writing. 

The first prize in each category wins $50, the second prize wins $25, and the third prize wins $10. Visit https://omniummedia.wordpress.com/ to read essays by our previous winners!

Submit your paper(s) through this link

If you have any problems with the link or if you have questions, please contact Dr. Doreen Thierauf at dthierauf@ncwu.edu.  

The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2024, at midnight. Winners will be announced shortly thereafter.

We look forward to reading your papers! 

Wesleyan Singers Spring 2024 Concert: Music for Stage and Screen


The Wesleyan Singers presented their Spring 2024 repertoire on Monday, April 8, at 7:00 P.M. at the Dunn Center. Highlights included songs from The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, The Beauty and theBeast, and The Greatest Showman. The Wesleyan Singers, established in 1960, is the oldest performing ensembles on campus and is composed of Wesleyan students, faculty, staff, and members of the local community. Consider expanding your love for music by auditioning and joining this talented group, learning a broad variety of music genres, and even receiving scholarship opportunities!

Spring 2024 Humanities Speaker Series with Dr. Courtney Hoffman


On Wednesday, February 29, 2024, Dr. Courtney Hoffman of Georgia Tech delivered the Spring 2024 Humanities Speaker Series Lecture in Powers Auditorium.

Dr. Hoffman’s talk, “‘A compassion for those that labour’: 18th-Century Midwifery Manuals as Humanistic Artifacts,” argues that, while advances in medical treatment have led to safer outcomes in childbirth since the 18th century, the rhetoric surrounding midwifery, particularly regarding interactions with pregnant people, remains steeped in an ethics of care that has its roots in the pre-industrial era. 21st-century midwifery ethics of care advocates for patient education, autonomy, and treatment plans, founded on developing relationships between midwife and the birthing person. Such relationships are built on empathy and derive from the rhetoric of sensibility and fellow-feeling that pervaded 18th-century culture and that is embedded in the midwifery manuals of the era. Dr. Hoffman suggested that modern midwifery discourse displays the lingering effects of an 18th-century care ethics with the understanding that, while the technologies have changed, concerns surrounding successful birth practices have not. Her talk explored ethics of care in 18th-century midwifery manuals, demonstrating the value of studying historical technical documents as artifacts of humanistic and policy relevance, particularly as recent legal decisions in the United States emphasize history and tradition as the basis of cultural practices.

New Single Released Through NCWU’s 301 North Records


Raleigh area band, Soul Chatter (featuring artist Lonely Boarders) released their newest single titled, “Mr. Inside” through 301 North Records today! Tony Sawyer, Assistant Professor of Music Production at NC Wesleyan University helped with production and worked as the mixing and mastering engineer on the project. The single is now available on all streaming services including Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, iTunes and many others. 

301 North Records is the record label of NC Wesleyan University. Please visit the 301 North Records playlists on Spotify and YouTube Music to hear all our artists’ music.

soul chatter man in suit sitting in chair

Humanities Speaker Series- Dr. Eric Trinka


Dr. Eric M. Trinka, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Emory & Henry College

Dr. Eric M. Trinka, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Emory & Henry College spoke at the inaugural event of the North Carolina Wesleyan Humanities Speaker Series.

Dr. Trinka’s talk, “Joseph: Migration, Acculturation and a Tale of Two Bibles,” was held in Powers Auditorium on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, at 3:00 P.M.

Omnium Issue 5 Out Now!


Check out the new issue of Omnium: The Undergraduate Research Journal at NCWU, released in August 2023. Omnium collects written work by promising undergraduate scholars. This year’s essays, perhaps in response to current political trends, cluster around questions of identity, discrimination, justice, and freedom. In the same spirit, this issue of Omnium also features a forum of op-eds written by Dr. Kelvin Spragley’s students in support of protecting African-American history, Native American history, and women’s history courses for high-school and college students. We thank Dr. Spragley for entrusting his students’ writing to the journal, invite our readers to enjoy and learn from the fifteen new essays collected here, and also encourage teachers in any discipline to use them as models in their own courses. Please use attribution when you do so.

OUR MISSIONOmnium, housed in the English Department at NCWU, provides our undergraduate students with the opportunity to explore the major genres of academic writing, join in scholarly conversations, share their ideas, perform original research, and see their work published in a professional venue. Omnium also serves as a teaching resource for NCWU faculty—and faculty at other institutions—as the essays and research articles published here reflect the skill and knowledge of real students at various stages of their academic careers, from first-year composition essays to projects created in senior seminars and honors theses. The materials lend themselves well to in-class discussion, analysis, and emulation, and we hope that students will be energized when they realize that there is no single arcane secret to writing well. All it takes is practice, motivation, and direction.

For questions about Omnium, please contact the editor, Dr. Doreen Thierauf.

Humanities Student Awards – Spring 2023


Senior English Award

This year’s recipient of the Senior English Award, Madison Moore (pictured left), has proven herself to be a dedicated and intellectually curious student who enriches any classroom with her thoughtful insights and personal warmth. During her time as an English major, she has consistently demonstrated a deep investment in her own learning and fervent desire to explore new ideas and perspectives. One member of the English faculty writes: This year’s recipient “is an exceptional student, who engages in discussions with a curiosity, an openness, and a depth of thought that is inspiring to both her classmates and instructors alike. She has an admirable ability to connect the stylistic and thematic elements of literature to real-world, human experiences and their impact. Her impressive writing combines a creative sense of style with well-organized research and compelling analysis. Her presence in any classroom is truly a joy, and as she will soon be a certified teacher, her future students will be fortunate to receive the benefits of her warmth, humor, empathy, and intelligence.”

First-Year Writing Award

Andrea Fanzaga (pictured right) has been recognized for his essay “Climate Change Greatly Influences Everyone’s Daily Life,” which he wrote for Dr. Thierauf’s English 112 class in Fall 2022. Dr. Thierauf commented that the student’s work was outstanding throughout the semester, and his paper was the most deeply researched paper she has seen since the pandemic began.

The second recipient of the First-Year Writing Award, Layali Kasem, is being recognized for her essay “The Paradoxical Nature of Heroism,” written for Dr. Templeton’s English 195 Honors class in Fall 2022. Her essay revealed a gift for careful, critical analysis and demonstrated her talents as a perceptive and thoughtful thinker and writer.

Communication Outstanding Student Award

This year’s winner of the Outstanding Student Award in Communication is Jean LaGreca. Jean is an excellent student; he is highly motivated and always prepared, even when he has to balance his course load with his busy baseball schedule. His contributions to class discussions regularly elevate the experience for everyone in the class. His work is thoughtful and critically engaged, and he does an outstanding job of connecting course material to relevant topics in intercultural communication, his area of specialization. Jean represents the very best of our Communication Program, and he is a joy to work with. There is no one more deserving of this award.

Ethics Bowl Team Claims Impressive Wins


Wesleyan’s four-member Ethics Bowl Team recorded three wins in a recent competition sponsored by the North Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities. Coached by Drs. Jason Buel and Shane Thompson, the team is comprised of students Fabio Felli, Noah Larkin, Amanda Modlin, and Elizabeth Perry. The February 10-11, 2023, competition, taking place in the state legislative center in Raleigh, saw Wesleyan debate and defeat Barton, Catawba, and Livingstone colleges. The team lost to Johnson C. Smith in a split decision.

The Ethics Bowl Team (left to right): Noah Larkin, Fabio Felli, Elizabeth Perry, and Amanda Modlin. Photo courtesy of Dr. Shane Thompson.

“The team was outstanding. I was very proud of their accomplishment,” Dr. Thompson said, noting that while students do earn one credit for participating in Ethics Bowl, they must dedicate many hours of their free time to researching and preparing for the debates. Modlin, a sophomore criminal justice major, was pleased with the results as well. “I thought we did very well overall, considering it was our first in-person contest as a team.”

Read the full recap of the competition and learn more about the Ethics Bowl team in the March 2023 issue ofThe Decree.