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Melissa E. Borgia-Askey

  • Assistant Professor
    English Department

I have over 20 years' experience in education, spanning K-12 through graduate-level higher education, in the areas of ESL, TESOL, Education, English/Composition, Indigenous Language Preservation, and Cultural Studies.

I've taught courses in Critical Writing and Reading, Creative Writing, Business and Technical Writing, Linguistics, Rhetoric & Composition, Honors, Global Studies, Western Humanities, and Educating English Language Learners. I have two PA teaching certifications for K-12 schools and I’m also an online course designer/instructor of English as a Second Language (ESL) courses for teachers.

I’m an active member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Conference on College Composition and Communication, Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the Americas, and College English Association, among others.

I have published articles in Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, Language Documentation & Conservation and Oral Tradition as well as other articles on Seneca language and cultural revival.


My consulting work has included research and data transcription for the Seneca Nation of Indians’ Tribal Historic Preservation Office, as well as work at a Seneca school, Ganöhsesge:kha:’ Hë:nödeyë:stha, where I've been involved in several projects pertaining to language maintenance and cultural revitalization.

My father's family emigrated from southern Italy to Erie in the 1920s. I am a first-generation college student, and I love my Italian-American heritage.

I adore my two cats (Nance and Kath), and I enjoy gourmet cooking, gardening, reading, writing, playing flute and saxophone, painting, furniture refinishing, photography, and sailing, hiking, canoeing and camping with my husband.

Licenses & Certifications

 

  • Instructional II Certificate, English Grades 7-12, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Issued January 2008
  • ESL Program Specialist Certification, Grades K-12, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Issued January 2006
  • Instructional I Certificate, English Grades 7-12, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Issued January 1998 · Expired January 2008

 

2015 Thiel College, Judge and Mrs. George H. Rowley Endowment for Teaching Excellence Recipient
2015 Thiel College, Faculty Scholarship Award Recipient
2010  IUP School of Graduate Studies and Research, Doctoral Student Travel Grant Recipient
2008  Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium, Travel Grant Recipient
2004  Mercyhurst College, Sister Eustace Taylor Graduate Student Award Recipient
2004  Mercyhurst College, Living the Mission Award Recipient

 

ENGL 101 Foundations of Academic Writing

ENGL 261 Introduction to Linguistics

EDCR 420/GEDU 520 Methods and Materials for Teaching English Language Learners (ELLs)

  • Ph.D., Composition and TESOL, Department of English, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Dissertation: An Overview of Language Preservation at Ohi:yo?, the Seneca Allegany Territory Committee: Dr. Wallace Chafe, Dr. Resa Crane-Bizzaro, Dr. Jeanine Fontaine, 2010
  • M.S., Bilingual-Bicultural Special Education, Department of Education, Mercyhurst College, 2004
  • B.A., Writing, Department of English, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, 1991

Member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

ACADEMIC EMPLOYMENT

  • Assistant Professor, Gannon University, Erie, PA, 2022 - present
  • Instructor, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock, PA, 2021 – 2022
  • Instructor, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock, PA, 2019 – 2020
  • Assistant Professor, Thiel College, Greenville, PA, 2014 – 2019
  • Writing Center Director, Academic Success Coordinator, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA, 2012 – 2014
  • Lecturer, Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, Erie, PA, 2007 – 2012
  • Academic Success Counselor, Act 101 Counselor, Adjunct Instructor, Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA, 2005 – 2007
  • Adjunct Instructor, Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA, 2004 – 2005
  • Instructor, Adviser, Erie Business Center, Erie, PA, 2000 – 2002
  • 2019 -- present: Active Member, Conference on Iroquois Research
  • 2015 – present: Active Member, TESOL International
  • 2010 – present : Active Member, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
  • 2002 – present : Active Member, National Council of Teachers of English/CCCC
  • 2009 – present : Active Member, College English Association
  • 2008 – present : Active Member, Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the Americas
  • 2002 – 2006 : Member, Pennsylvania State Modern Language Association
  • “Hadigeodo¨nyo¨h (They Tell Stories): Uniting the Hodínöhšö:ni:h Community by Performing and Reimagining the Creation Story.” (Fall-Winter 2020). Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore (46: 3-4): 24-33.
  • “Seneca Storytelling: Effect of the Kinzua Dam on Interpretations of Supernatural Stories.” (2014, March). Oral Tradition (29.1): 87-98.
  • "Using Gesture to Teach Seneca in a Language Nest School.” (2014). Language Documentation and Conservation (8): 92-99.
  • “Seneca Dancers: Maintaining a Culture and Language.” (2011). In M.E. Romero-Little, S. Ortiz & T.L. McCarty (Eds.). Indigenous Language Across the Generations: Strengthening Families and Communities (pp. 129–142). Tempe, AZ: Center for Indian Education, Arizona State University.
  • “Building an Intergenerational, Home-Based Language Nest.” (2010). Santa Barbara Papers in Linguistics (21): 115-127. With Sandy Dowdy.
  • “Modifying Assessment Tools for Ganöhsesge:kha:’ Hë:nödeyë:stha, a Seneca Culture-Language School.” (2009). In J. Reyhner & L. Lockhard (Eds.). Indigenous Language Revitalization: Encouragement, Guidance & Lessons Learned (pp. 191–210). Flagstaff, AZ: Northern Arizona University.

CONFERENCES

Podium Presentations

“Water Is Life: Standing Rock, #NoDAPL, and Literacy Education.” Invited Panel Presenter with Clancy Ratliff, Jesse Bien, Thien Ho, and Kenlea Pebbles. National Council of Teachers of English, St. Louis, MO, November 18, 2017.

“How to Integrate International Students on Campus.” Presentation at the 2012 PASSHE Summit. Inclusive Excellence and International Education: Charting the Future Together. Slippery Rock University, November 2012.

“Teaching Language and Culture Through Corn, A Seneca Heritage Food.” Panel with Sandy Dowdy and Autumn Crouse, Seneca Nation of Indians.” Colloquium on the Americas: Food and Foodways in the Americas, Mercyhurst College, April 2012.

“The Kinzua Dam and the Senecas: Cycle of Cultural Transcendence.” Invited Panel Presenter with Sandy Dowdy and Keiko Miller. Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium 17, University of Oregon, June 2010.

“Building an Intergenerational, Home-Based Language Nest.” Panel with Sandy Dowdy. Workshop on American Indigenous Languages, University of California at Santa Barbara, April 2010.

“The Unconscious, Mental Health Practice, and Cultural Transmission: Negotiating Between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Literacies.” Panel with Jeannine Fontaine and Resa Crane Bizzaro. 2010 Colloquium, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, April 2010.

“Seneca Dancers: Maintaining a Culture and Language.” Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium 16, Tempe, AZ, May 2009.

“Seneca - Hodinöhsyönih (Iroquois) Stories: Recommendations for Inclusion in Mainstream Curricula.” College English Association, Pittsburgh, PA, March 2009.

“Oral Literacy Practices in Seneca and Romani Societies: Identity and Resistance.” With Ana Wetzl. Expanding Literacy Studies, The Ohio State University, April 2009.

“Modifying Assessment Tools for Ganöhsesge:kha:’ Hë:nödeyë:stha, a Seneca Culture-Language School.” With Sandy Dowdy. Stabilizing Indigenous Languages Symposium 15, Flagstaff, AZ, May 2008.

Workshop Presentations

“Making Indigenous Space in Higher Education.” Invited Workshop Presenter, Indigenous Rhetorics Workshop, American Indian Caucus Special Interest Group, Conference on College Composition and Communication, Chicago, IL, March 9–12, 2022.

“All Our Relations: Teaching Social Justice Movements.” Invited Cross-Caucus Pedagogy Workshop Presenter with Joyce Rain Anderson, Yavanna Brownlee, and Ezekiel Rage. Conference on College Composition and Communication, Kansas City, MO, March 14, 2018.

 

INVITED TALKS

“Seneca Allegany: Making Strides Since Kinzua.” Invited Speaker, Native American Literature class, October 24, 2019.

“Seneca Allegany: Making Strides Since Kinzua.” Invited Speaker, Thiel College Forum, Thiel College, November 16, 2016.
“Contemporary Seneca.” Invited Speaker, Iroquoian Prehistory course. Mercyhurst University, January 2013.

“Strategies for Teaching English Language Learners.” In-service presentation for Mercyhurst Preparatory School teachers. Mercyhurst Preparatory School, August 2011.
“Reflections on a Semester of Hybrid Teaching.” Invited Speaker, Harnessing the Power of Hybrid & Online Teaching and Learning. Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, May 2011.

 

Melissa         E. Borgia-Askey

Phone: 814-871-5341
Office: PC 3235

Contact Melissa Borgia-Askey