English Pre-Major

Studying English at Oakton Community College is about more than just language.

It's about nurturing your own essential talents in critical thinking so you're able to assess a situation and discern fact from misinformation.

It's about discovering new perspectives and digging into books beyond just the "classics" you had to get through in high school. Instead, experience new classics and boundary-pushing art created by authors from such diverse backgrounds: African-American, Latino/a/x, Native American, Asian-American, LGBTQ+, and more.

It's about developing essential and practical skills like media and digital literacy, conducting research for trustworthy sources, and writing effectively for diverse audiences. These skills can benefit you in almost any career and can qualify you for roles in exciting industries like advertising, journalism, screenwriting, and digital content creation, to name just a few.

Oakton Community College's English department provides you the opportunity to pursue your passion for words and communication as you obtain an Associate in Arts (A.A.) pre-major. You can focus your studies on the topics and areas that inspire you the most, including:

  • Composition
  • Literature
  • Creative Writing
  • Business Writing
  • Poetry
  • Drama
  • Journalism
  • Podcast writing

We also offer programs focused on technical communication and a full English as a Second Language (ESL) program that provides in-depth instruction in reading, writing, and speaking for both credit and non-credit students.

Check out the course catalog for a full list of currently available courses. English 101 and English 102 are essential, foundational classes open to all Oakton students. If you're looking to take your English education further, each semester the department offers Introduction to Literature, Drama, and Fiction, as well as special topics classes such as Native American Literature, African American Literature, Global Literature, and LGBTQ+ Literature, and Creative Writing,

With the abilities nurtured in the English pre-major, you'll be well prepared to move on to a four-year institution and carry on your studies, or to put your talents to work. Regardless of how you choose to focus your studies, you'll emerge from the English department better prepared to communicate with your peers, argue for your beliefs, and navigate modern life with sensitivity, skepticism, and a critical eye. 

Mission

The full spectrum of courses in the English Department aims to prepare students to participate in the discourse of higher education as well as their local and global communities.

Vision

Our courses prepare students for college-level writing, reading, and critical thinking. We empower our students to communicate their ideas effectively in a variety of genres for different audiences. We develop students’ wider academic skills by connecting them to college resources and developing skills and habits essential for academic success. The English Department “meets students where they are” by focusing on their strengths, not weaknesses.

Values

  • Responsibility: We develop ethical global citizenship through critical thinking and in conjunction with our Special Academic Concentrations such as Peace and Social Justice, Environmental Studies, Women and Gender Studies, and Great Books.
  • Diversity: We support a diverse student body through domestic and global literature course offerings, and our English as a Second Language program. We see the diverse backgrounds that students bring to the class as a strength.
  • Equity: We support students of differing levels of college-preparedness. We close achievement gaps in the populations we serve through individualized attention to students’ varying needs.
  • Integrity: We develop integrity in academic work through teaching information literacy, avoiding plagiarism, and research ethics.
  • Compassion: We create a supportive environment in and out of the classroom. Our pedagogy fosters empathy and understanding.
  • Collaboration: We teach students the collaborative nature of academic reading, writing, and critical thinking in our classes and throughout the college.

Meet Your Faculty

Full-time faculty

Braud, Donovan
Chair, English Department
Professor of English

B.A. Loyola University, New Orleans
M.A. Loyola University, Chicago
Ph.D. Loyola University, Chicago
dbraud@oakton.edu
847.376.7026
Office: 2522, Des Plaines

Adenekan, Olabisi
Professor of English
B.A. University of Lagos, Nigeria
M.A. University of Lagos, Nigeria
M.A. Roosevelt University
adenekan@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 3608, Des Plaines

Aquiline, Danielle
Professor of English
B.A. University of Tennessee, Martin
M.F.A. Columbia College
aquiline@oakton.edu
847.376.7093
Office: 2542, Des Plaines

Bustamante, Carol
Professor of English
B.S. Bradley University
M.A. DePaul University
M.A. DePaul University
cbustama@oakton.edu
847.376.7097
Office: B216, Skokie

Cameron, Stacy
Coordinator, English as a Second Language (ESL)

Associate Professor of English

B.S. Northern Illinois University
B.A. Northern Illinois University
M.A. University of Illinois, Chicago
M.A. Indiana University
scameron@oakton.edu
847.376.7193
Office: 2136, Des Plaines

Crawford, Will
Professor of English
B.A. Jackson State University
M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
crawford@oakton.edu
847.376.7137
Office: 3618, Des Plaines

Deshmukh, Madhuri
Coordinator, Peace and Social Justice
Coordinator, Literature
Professor of English

B.A. Loyola University, Chicago
M.A. Loyola University, Chicago
Ph.D. Loyola University, Chicago
mdeshmuk@oakton.edu
847.376.7032
Office: 2731, Des Plaines

Fakhrid-Deen, Tina
Associate Professor of English
B.A. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.Ed. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
M.F.A. Chicago State University
tfakhrid@oakton.edu
847.376.7230
Office: 2725, Des Plaines

Hren, Kristen
Associate Professor of English
B.A. University of Cincinnati
M.A. San Francisco State University
khren@oakton.edu 
847.376.7251
Office: 2524, Des Plaines

Johnson, Scott
Coordinator, Technical Communication
Professor of English

B.A. Furman University
M.A. University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Ph.D. (ABD) University of Tennessee, Knoxville
sjohnson@oakton.edu
847.376.7286
Office: 2556, Des Plaines

Long, Daryl Ann
Associate Professor of English
A.A. Waubonsee Community College
B.A. Northern Illinois University
M.A. University of Phoenix
dlong@oakton.edu
847.376.7249
Office: 3602, Des Plaines

Magnuson, Kate
Assistant Professor of English
B.A. Augustana University
M.A. University of Illinois, Chicago
magnuson@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 3608, Des Plaines

Mauritzen, Michael
Coordinator, Great Books
Associate Professor of English

B.A. Eastern Illinois University
M.A. Purdue University
Ph.D. Purdue University
mmauritz@oakton.edu
847.376.7292
Office: 2520, Des Plaines

Oster, Lori
Professor of English
B.A. University of Illinois, Champaign
M.Ed. Benedictine University
loster@oakton.edu
847.376.7022
Office: 2452, Des Plaines

Park, Ji-Hyae
Associate Professor of English
B.A. State University of New York at Buffalo
PhD University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
jpark@oakton.edu 
847.376-7263
Office: 2717, Des Plaines

Pinedo, Jessica
Assistant Professor English
B.A. Willamette University
M.A. University of Southern California
jpinedo@oakton.edu 
847.376.7196
Office: 2717, Des Plaines

Roth, Daniel
Coordinator, Developmental English
Professor of English
A.A. Moorpark College
A.A. Moorpark College
B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz
M.A. University of California, Santa Cruz
droth@oakton.edu
847.376.7013
Office: 2739, Des Plaines

Sloan, Philip
Professor of English
B.A. Michigan State University
M.A. Carleton University
M.A.T. Wayne State University
Ph.D. Kent State University
psloan@oakton.edu
847.376-7105
Office: 2739, Des Plaines

Staats, Marian
Co-coordinator, Environmental Studies
Professor of English

B.A. Swarthmore College
Ph.D. Loyola University, Chicago
mstaats@oakton.edu
847.376.7103
Office: 2514, Des Plaines

Villarruel, Cecy
Assistant Professor of English
B.A. Smith College
M.F.A Roosevelt University
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago
cvillarruel@oakton.edu
847.376.7134
Office: 2524, Des Plaines

Part-time faculty

Barron, Elana
Lecturer
B.A. Northeastern Illinois University
M.A. National Louis University
M.A. Northeastern Illinois University
ebarron@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Berendsen, Linda
Lecturer
B.A. University of Pittsburgh
M.A. University of Illinois, Chicago
M.A. Roosevelt University
lberends@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Bishop, John
Lecturer
B.A. Washington University, St. Louis
M.A. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Ph.D. Northwestern University
jcbishop@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Bolf, Steven
Lecturer
A.A. Elgin Community College
B.S. Illinois State University
M.A. Northwestern University
sbolf@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Boulavina, Svetlana
Lectuer
B.A. Lviv State University, Ukraine
M.A. Lviv State University, Ukraine
sboulavi@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Bower, Christopher
Lecturer
B.A. University of Illinois, Champaign
M.F.A. School of the Art Institute of Chicago
cbower@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Brown, Donald
Lecturer
B.A. University of Connecticut
M.A. CUNY, Brooklyn College
dobrown@oakton.edu 
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Cantor, Evan
Lecturer
B.A. University of Illinois, Champaign
M.Ed. Loyola University, Chicago
ecantor@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Cohen, Barbara
Lecturer
B.S. University of Illinois, Champaign
M.A. University of Illinois, Chicago
bcohen@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Connolly, Dan
Lecturer
B.A. Columbia College, Chicago
B.A. DePaul University
M.A. DePaul University
dconnoll@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Crockett, Beverly
Lecturer
B.A. Northern Kentucky University
bcrocket@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Dadivas-Hong, Jennifer
Coordinator, WSAT
Lecturer

B.S. DePaul University
M.A. University of Illinois, Chicago
jdadivas@oakton.edu
847.376.7150
Office: 2738, Des Plaines

Davros, Michael
Lecturer
B.A. Tulane University
M.A. Louisiana State University
Ph.D. University of Illinois, Chicago
mdavros@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Ewuoso, Isaac
Lecturer
B.A. University of Illinois at Chicago
M.A. DePaul University
Post-Graduate Certificate - TESOL
Post-Graduate Certificate - Teaching English at Two-Year Colleges
iewuoso@oakton.edu 
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Fox, Carol
Lecturer
B.A. Dominican University
M.A. Creighton University
cfox@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Garvey, Caitlin
Lecturer
B.A. DePaul University
M.A. DePaul University
M.F.A. Northwestern University
cgarvey@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Hamlin, Amanda
Lecturer
B.A. Carnegie Mellon University
M.A. Loyola University, Chicago
ahamlin@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Herrera, Gerardo
Lecturer
B.S. University of Central Oklahoma
M.F.A. Regent University
gherrera@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Iordanova, Iordana
Lecturer
DIP. Higher Ed., Sofia University, Bulgaria
Ph.D. Sofia University, Bulgaria
M.M. Kellogg School of Management
iiordano@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Jakalski, David
Lectuer
B.A. DePaul University
M.A. DePaul University
Ph.D. University of Illinois at Chicago
jakalski@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Kaftanska, Hanna
Lectuer
M.A. Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
M.A. Northeastern Illinois University
hkaftans@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Karlen, Linda
Lecturer
B.A. University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
M.A. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
lkarlen@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Kelly, David
Lecturer
B.A. DePaul University
M.F.A. University of Iowa
dkelly@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Kossy, David
Lecturer
B.A. DePaul University
M.A. DePaul University
dkossy@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Kulefsky, Ryan
Lecturer
B.A. Columbia College
M.F.A. Bard College
kulefsky@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Levin, Janet
Lecturer
B.A. Indiana University
M.Ed. Roosevelt University
jlevin@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Long, Cory
Lecturer
B.A. Ball State University
M.A. Ball State University
clong@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

McKeag-Tsukamoto, Cynthia
Lecturer
B.A. University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh
M.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison
M.A. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
cmckeagt@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

McNamara, Stephen
Lecturer
B.A. Washington University, St. Louis
M.A. Loyola University, Chicago
smcnamar@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

McNett, Michael
Lecturer
B.A. University of Illinois, Champaign
M.A. Northwestern University
mmcnett@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Namikawa, Shuko
Lecturer
A.A. Hokusei Women’s Jr. College, Japan
B.A. Coe College
M.A. Northeastern Illinois University
shuko@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Nogowski, Janet
Lecturer
A.A. Harper College
B.A. Northern Illinois University
M.A. University of Illinois, Champaign
jann@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

O'Kerns, Margaret
Lecturer
B.A. Southern Illinois University
M.S. Northwestern University
mokerns@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

O’Sullivan, Teresa
Lecturer
B.A. Northeastern Illinois University
M.A. Northeastern Illinois University
tosulliv@oakton.edu
847.635.1759
Office: 2406, Des Plaines

Oswald, Catherine
Lecturer
B.A. University of Iowa
M.F.A. Seton Hall University
Secondary Education Certificate, University of Iowa
coswald@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Peterson, Paul
Lecturer
A.A. Oakton Community College
B.A. University of Illinois at Chicago
M.Ed. DePaul University
M.S. Northern Illinois University
M.A. Northeastern Illinois University
papeters@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office 2430, Des Plaines

Ramage-Wolf, Angela
Lecturer
B.A. Bonaventure University
M.A. Bonaventure University
aramagew@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office 2430, Des Plaines

Rebarchik, Brittany
Lecturer
B.A. Brigham Young University
M.A. Brigham Young University
brebarchik@oakton.edu 
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Salmasi, Soraya
Lecturer
B.A. Tehran University, Iran
M.A. Northeastern Illinois University
ssalmasi@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office 2430, Des Plaines

Sanfilip, Thomas
Lecturer
B.A. Northern Illinois University
M.F.A. Goddard College
sanfilip@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office 2430, Des Plaines

Serb, Robert
Lecturer
B.A. Loyola University, Chicago
M.A. DePaul University
rserb@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Sternstein, Jeffrey
Lecturer
B.A. University of Iowa
M.A.T. University of Iowa
A.B.D. University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
jsternstein@oakton.edu 
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Stoicheva, Miloslava
Lecturer
B.A. Veliko-Turnovo University, Bulgaria
M.S. Indiana University
mstoiche@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

Swanson, Christine
Lecturer
B.A. Northeastern University
M.A. Northeastern University
chswanso@oakton.edu
847.635.1910
Office: B206, Skokie

Trongeau, Darren
Lecturer
B.A. DePaul University
M.A. DePaul University
dtrongea@oakton.edu
847.635.1950
Office: 2430, Des Plaines

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton Community College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

Contact Us

Donovan Braud
English Department Chair
847.376.7026
dbraud@oakton.edu

Madhuri Deshmukh
Literature Coordinator
847.376.7032
mdeshmuk@oakton.edu

Danielle Aquiline
Co-coordinator, Creative Writing
847.376.7097
aquiline@oakton.edu

Stacy Cameron
Coordinator, English as a Second Language
847.376.7193
scameron@oakton.edu

Madhuri Deshmukh
Coordinator, Literature & Peace and Social Studies
847.376.7032
mdeshmuk@oakton.edu

Tina Fakhrid-Deen
Co-coordinator, Creative Writing & Co-curricular Writing
847.376.7230
tfakhrid@oakton.edu

Scott Johnson
Coordinator, Technical Communication
847.376.7286
sjohnson@oakton.edu

Michael Mauritzen
Coordinator, Great Books
847.376.7292
mmauritz@oakton.edu

Daniel Roth
Coordinator, Developmental English
847.376.7013
droth@oakton.edu