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Ann M. Bomberger

  • Associate Professor
    English Department
  • Associate Professor
    Fine Arts Program
  • Director, Honors Program
    Honors Program

I love big ideas and reading books as much as most academics, but I also have a strong practical streak running through me.  I combine those dueling passions through a love of service-learning and travel.  Both of those strategies get students thinking about big issues while giving students very tangible communication skills.  89.7 % of businesses surveyed for the Workplace Readiness Report Card (2006) found that  strong written communication skills are “very important” for four-year college graduates. I help students learn strategies for flexible, effective communication. In my classes and mentoring through the honors program, I emphasize

  • Community-based learning: Community-based writing and video projects can be particularly important for students because, as in life, there are many different voices, interests, and tasks vying for attention that they need to negotiate. 
  • Use of emerging technologies.  “Writing” well no longer means just employing words on the page; it means writing skillfully in different genres (essays, brochures, text messages, web, etc) using not only words, but pictures, sound, and video.
  • Discussion.  I encourage students and community members to talk through ideas regularly.
  • The Importance of diversity: People come from a variety of backgrounds and their assumptions and values are shaped by those backgrounds (for example, geography, race, ethnicity, gender, class, religion, and sexual orientation). This diversity is a strength of communities but can also cause misunderstandings.

Courses Taught

Undergraduate courses:

  • Students in Prof. Bomberger's English 211 (Advanced Composition) get experience writing "real world" documents:  See some of the professional work they created: GreenEriePA.orgThe Erie-GAINS Newsletter and The Gannon Goes Green Newsletter.
  • Intro to Honors: Encourages students to think globally by introducing them to a student from another country.
  • Students in her first-year seminar (English 100: Intergenerational Dialogues) interviewed senior citizens at Villa Maria Apartments and created video profiles of them.
  • English 206: Pursuits of English allows students to learn about all of the possible careers for English majors while developing the core skills they will need to be successful in the major.
  • English 240: Leadership Studies: How Leaders Communicate: Students create a video for their a local on campus or off campus site.LENG 111 and LENG 112 prepares students from all majors for the demands of college-level writing.
  • LENG 241 and 247 prepares students from all majors to be careful readers and to think about how literature relates to their lives.

Graduate courses:

  • Students in her Graduate Seminar in African American literature interviewed senior citizens who were involved in Erie's civil rights movement and created videos.  See an example on Gannon's Edge magazine.
  • Graduate students in Research and Composing studied how computers are impacting communication.  Students created videos connecting the theory they were reading with their personal experiences.  One student, for example, explored the intersections of teaching dance and composition, while another investigated the connections between gaming and creative writing.  They also crafted a proposal for original research that they might conduct for their master's thesis.

Educational History

  • SUNY Stony Brook, PhD in English, "The Politics of Cross-Racial Writing in Contemporary African American and White Women's Historical Fiction," 1997.
  • Allegheny College, BA in English, cum laude, 1990.

Professional Societies

National Council of Teachers of English


  • Bomberger, Ann. “Taking Steps for Change by Writing about the Environment” Community Works Journal. September 2013. Web.
  • Bomberger, Ann and Vesta Silva.  Raise Your Voice: Composing Written and Spoken Arguments.  Spokane, WA: Marquette Books, 2012. Print.
  • Bomberger, Ann. "Ranting about race: Crushed eggshells in computer-mediated communication." Computers and Composition 21.2 (June 2004). 197-216. Print.
  • Bomberger, Ann. "The Efficacy of Shock for Feminist Politics: Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School and Donald Barthelme's Snow White." Gender Reconstructions: Pornography and Perversions in Literature and Culture. Eds. Cindy L. Carlson, Robert L. Mazzola, and Susan M. Bernardo. Ashgate, 2001. Print.
  • Bomberger, Ann. "The Servant and the Served: Ellen Douglas's Can't Quit You, Baby." Southern Literary Journal Fall 1998. Print.
  • Bomberger, Ann. 'If I Was Colored . . . I'd Know Who I Was!': Yearning White Women, Guilt, and the Past." Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 27.6 (November 1998). Print.

Selected Academic presentations:

  • with Michelle Homan. "Using the web to sustain and promote local environmental partnerships: The project" Community-Campus Partnerships for Health.  Chicago, Illinois.April 30-May 3, 2014
  • “The project: Helping Communities Communicate about Environmental Assets,” Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences, Pittsburgh, PA, June 19-22, 2013.
  • “The project: Building Cultures of Writing about the Environment”, SUNY Council on Writing, Buffalo, NY, March29-30, 2013.
  • "Unabashed Interlopers--Composition Poaching in Public Relations Land with the Help of Service-Learning: The Erie-GAINS Newsletter Project," College English Association, Richmond, VA March 29-31, 2012.
  • with Shay Meinzer, "Which stories get told?”  Public relations in Community Development Initiatives with Shay Meinzer at PA Campus Compact, 2011.
  • "Composing written and spoken arguments: Collaborating across disciplines” at the SUNY Council on Writing Annual meeting in Binghamton, NY, 2011.
  • “Remixing Empathy & Challenge in First-year Students’ Reflections on Commonality & Difference,” Conference on College Composition and Communication (March 19th, 2010).
  • “Electronic Commenting on Student Projects: Tips and Theory” at the Mid Atlantic Educause conference on Jan. 13, 2010. (
  • Roundtable Discussant, "Real Writing Worlds of Students," NCTE, Indianapolis, IN, November 2004.
  • Co-presenter at Colloquium Vinosum, "Service-Learning: A Vehicle For Deeper Learning," Allegheny College, November 2004 (with Don Goldstein).
  • Participant in Computers in Writing Intensive Classrooms, June 2004.
  • Participant in crafting an Action Plan for Service-Learning at Allegheny College at Pennsylvania Campus Compact's Service-Learning Institute, April 2002 (with Dave Roncolato, Elizabeth Weiss-Ozorak, Karen Hoerst, and Andy Bennett).
  • "Service-Learning in First-Year Seminars: Adding Coherence to Multifunctional Courses" presenter and chair of panel, CCCC Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, March 2002.
  • "Virtual Flames/Real Pain: Racist, Homophobic, and Sexist Remarks in Course-Related Computer-Mediated Communication, " 21st Annual Lilly Conference on College Teaching, November 2001.
  • Upgrading the Server: Reanimating the Liberal Arts Through Computer-Mediated Pedagogy," in collaboration with Ben Slote, Karen Stone, and Susan Fenton," Degrees of Value: Technology, Markets, and the Aims of Education at the Association of American Colleges and Universities Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, January 2001.


  • She and Dr. Homan from Gannon's environmental science program worked with a team of students and community partners to create the GreenEriePA  website, a portal to all things green in Erie.  The site launched Nov. 2012. The site is funded by grants from Erie's Community Foundation, the Department of Environmental Education and by Gannon University.  This is a project that sprang from her work on the Erie-GAINS Sustainability subcommittee.
  • Member, Gannon Goes Green Committee, Martin Luther King Celebration Steering Committee, Technology Roundtable, and the English department Recruitment and Retention committee.
  • One of the key organizers of the workshop at the national composition conference (CCCC) Developing Long-Term, Reciprocal Relationships with Community Partners, 2009.