Department of English & Fine Arts Faculty

Select faculty members have made their CVs available online:

Department Head

Kathleen Harrington 

Deputy Head

Thomas Coakley is a former squadron commander who has served as a Joint Staff policy advisor, space operator, and aviator. His teaching and academic interests include creative writing, contemporary literature, conceptions of military culture, and the role of the humanities in the ethical development of Airmen.


A generalist as the sole art professor and gallery curator, Pam Aloisa teaches drawing, painting, and several art lecture courses.  Several movements inspire her painting style-- a synthesis of European Symbolist, German Expressionism,  and American modernism.

Donald Anderson is drawn to literature of the contemporary sort, in particular, memoir, short fiction, creative nonfiction, and war literature. He has edited USAFA’s international journal of the humanities, War, Literature & the Arts since 1989.

David Buchanan’s research and teaching interests include Native American literature, the literature of war and violence, and the work of the rhetorician Kenneth Burke. He also flies as an instructor pilot in the Academy’s Powered Flight Program.

Lori Davis Perry's interests include British literature of the long eighteenth-century and the early modern period, including the intersection of religion and science, representations of violence, and anti-Semitism. Her research focuses on Elizabeth Rowe, Swift, Milton, Spenser, and Shakespeare. She has taught British Literature I, 18C British Literature, Spenser and Milton, Utopian and Dystopian literature, Renaissance drama, Anglo-Saxon Philology, Jane Austen, the Bible as Literature, and the Literature and Culture of Vietnam.

Max Frazier’s research and teaching interests include memory and identity in autobiography and fiction at the turn from the 19th to the 20th Century women’s literature.  She also publishes on Willa Cather, food literature, and young adult literature, focusing on topics of identity.  She teaches the Senior core English course as well as American Literature and other English Major’s courses.  She is a board member of the Willa Cather Foundation.

Dominic Gaskin is interested in literature of the American South, science fiction, and the graphic novel. He earned his B.S. in English from Troy University in Troy, AL and his M.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He enjoys reading, hiking, and partying with his family, Kate, Dax, and Thomas Pynchon (cat).

Ross Gresham’s interests include modern British and American literature, Shakespeare, and genre writing.

Jesse Goolsby (PhD, Florida State University) is the author of the novel I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and over 40 stories and essays in such distinguished journals as The Literary Review, Narrative Magazine, Epoch, The Kenyon Review, and Pleiades. His research and teaching interests include war literature, the history and development of the personal essay, and creative writing. He serves as Acquisitions Editor at War, Literature & the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities.

Jessica Hellmann’s research and teaching interests include Ecocriticism and Literature of the American West.

Gina Iberri-Shea’ s research and teaching interests include multidimensional patterns of variation in  university student public speech, linguistic variation influenced by race, gender, class, and culture; public speech assessment, debate across the curriculum, and teaching English through debate. Her current projects include debate across the curriculum in international teaching environments and the impact of speech and debate education post-graduation. She serves as the Academy’s Director of Forensics.

Nicole Jerr (PhD, Johns Hopkins University; MA, University of Chicago; BA, Northwestern University) works in the areas of modern and contemporary drama; aesthetic and philosophical modernism; classical and renaissance reception; political theology; and on the relations between literature and religion, philosophy, and the arts.  

Richard Johnston’s esearch and teaching interests include British Romantic literature and culture, lyric poetry, and aesthetics. Current projects include essays on Komunyakaa, Larkin, and Byron, the critical and pedagogical implications of rereading, and the uses of creative writing in the literature classroom. Dr. Johnston earned his doctorate from Harvard in 2013. A 1999 Marshall Scholar, Dr. Johnston serves on the Marshall Scholarship Selection Committee for the Houston Region. His short stories have appeared in Hobart and Corium.

Megan Kahn is a 38P (Force Support Officer) and received her MA in English from Rutgers University. Her research and teaching interests include eighteenth-century women in war and Young Adult Literature.  She is the OIC of the USAFA Mountaineering Club.

Gregory Laski (BA University of Notre Dame, PhD, Northwestern University) teaches and writes about nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century American literature, African American literature, political philosophy, critical race theory, and cultural studies. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Callaloo, African American Review, J19, Pedagogy, and Approaches to Teaching Charles W. Chesnutt. He recently completed a book manuscript entitled Untimely Democracy: The Politics of Racial Progress in American Literature after Slavery. He is now at work on his second book: a comparative study of the lives and writings of William Faulkner and W. E. B. Du Bois. For more on his research and teaching, visit:

Jes Lopez’s research and teaching interests include 20th century American Literature, John Steinbeck, the American Dream, and cultural influences of literature. She earned her Master of Arts degree in English through a joint program with The University of Charleston and The Citadel in 2008.

Kasey Lowery is interested in the intersection of trauma, British Romanticism, and gothic fiction.  She is also studying the importance of computer gaming in fiction, life, and the digital humanities.  Kasey is working with our Coors Chair Professor Steven Olsen-Smith to create a digital humanities center at USAFA.

Sharon Lynn’s research and teaching interests include late medieval literature, anchorism and heresy in the late medieval Church, and underrepresented literatures. Her pedagogical interests include syllabus design, diversity in the classroom, and the role of feedback in the writing process.

Tom McGuire

Ann Reagan’s current research focuses on music and musicians during the Holocaust.

Melody Pugh researches writing-related learning transfer and students’ out-of-school literacy practices.  She applies qualitative research methods to questions about the social significance of reading and writing, and is currently developing an administrative interests related to writing across the curriculum and writing in the disciplines.

Sean Purio’s research and teaching interests include the literature of war and violence and the short story. He received his MA in Literature from the University of Colorado Boulder and is currently the editor of the cadet journal Icarus. His primary job in the Air Force is a Personnel Officer.

Keidrick Roy’s Keidrick Roy’s research and teaching interests include African American literature, critical theory, and political philosophy. He received his Master of Arts in English with a concentration in rhetoric from the University of Arizona and serves in the nuclear operations career field in the United States Air Force.

Andrea Trocha-Van Nort earned a BA at the University of Oklahoma and a second BA, an MA, and her Ph.D. in France at the Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont II. She lived in France and taught English in private schools, private universities, and four different public universities over fifteen years.  She relocated to the United States in 2007.  Dr. Van Nort’s research centers on Shakespeare studies and Renaissance drama more broadly, though her scholarly interests range from classical literature to war literature in general.

Maj Ulmer is a USAF Academy graduate, class of 2001.  After earning his BS in English there he went on to become a AF pilot.  Amidst his 12 years flying active duty, he completed his MA from SUNY Stony Brook in New York.  Now, back at USAFA, he teaches War Literature to our 1st class cadets.  He is also involved with the powered flight program at the airfield and an officer in charge to the Cadet Rugby Team. 

Professor Thomas Vargish has published books and articles on nineteenth and twentieth century literature and cultural history.  He also teaches film. Prof Vargish gave a talk at Lund University in Sweden in May titled “The Cordelia Imperative.”

Katherine Witt’s research and teaching interests include the personal narrative and memoir. She received her Master of Arts in Literature at Texas State University.







U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-1110 DSN: 333-1110, 06 Dec 16
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