Reynolds named head of the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies
Dr. Thomas Reynolds has been named head of the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies at Northwestern State University. His appointment has been approved by the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System.
The department includes a vital part of the university’s core curriculum with courses taken by every NSU student. Within the department are a bachelor’s and master’s program in English, minors in English, professional French, creative writing, Spanish and two certificate programs.
Reynolds said he plans to focus on student and employer needs as department head.
“Now more than ever, soft skills like communication, critical thinking, and creativity are in high demand, and that is what we have always focused on in the Department,” said Reynolds. “To that end, we are actively growing programs in languages, creative and professional writing and literary and cultural studies, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, to prepare our students for graduate and professional schools and the increasingly global economy. The other side of this plan is to articulate more clearly the value of the programs we offer through broader outreach to the community, our alumni and potential students.”
An associate professor of English, Reynolds is also coordinator of the Graduate Certificate Program in Writing for Business, Industry, and Technology. He has worked as a professional writer and editor, an online course designer, and a high school instructor. Reynolds has taught courses in linguistics, literature, rhetoric and writing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He received his bachelor’s degrees in English and history from Virginia Tech, his master’s in English from NSU, and his Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His research interests include the multiple intersections between writing, writers, teachers and technology.
Reynolds joined the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Cultural Studies as a graduate assistant and was later an instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, director of First Year Writing and Writing Program Administrator.
Since 2020, Reynolds has been interim director of the Louisiana Scholars’ College. In that role, he facilitated the development of new curricula and curricular changes, working on five potential accelerated joint academic programs. Reynolds improved the College’s reach through social media which played a role in a 67 percent increase in the size of the incoming class. Retention of first-year students was nearly 90 percent. Reynolds played a major role in raising more than $10,000 for scholarships and unit activities.
Reynolds served as president of the Faculty Senate from 2017-2020 and has been a member of several university committees, He was part of the first cohort of the ULS Management & Leadership Institute, co-creator of the NSULeAds Intensive Leadership Program at NSU, and serve as co-leader of the university’s IGNiTE (Improve, Grow, and Nurture Your Talents) Leadership Program.