Dr. Donna Lillian has been named interim associate dean of Appalachian State University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Beginning January 3, 2022, she will serve alongside Dr. Mark Bradbury, the college’s other associate dean. Lillian will be filling the role while Dr. Mike Madritch, professor of biology, serves as interim dean of the college.
“I’m thrilled that Donna will be starting in January. She brings strong expertise in the humanities to the college leadership team, along with her departmental and DEI leadership experiences. Her logistical experience in space management with the Sanford renovation project will be invaluable as the college continues to manage, renovate and expand our physical infrastructure,” said CAS Interim Dean Madritch.
Lillian joined the Department of English in 2010 as an associate professor of linguistics. She has previously served as interim assistant chair for rhetoric and composition (spring 2020), interim assistant chair for English programs (spring 2019) and as the director of women’s studies (2010-13).
Her scholarship encompasses three overlapping fields: discourse analysis, language and gender and onomastics (the study of names and naming patterns). She studies marital surname choices, use of Ms. as a courtesy title and names in literature.
She has published in international journals such as Discourse & Society, WORD, Names, Onomastica Canadiana, ONOMA, SKY Journal of Linguistics, Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines and American British and Canadian Studies.
In addition to her own scholarship, she has supported the scholarship of others through her work editing the journals WORD and Onomastica Canadiana.
Lillian regularly teaches applied grammar, principles of language, the history of the English language, inventing language(s) and on occasion women and literature. In 2017, she was inducted into the College of Arts and Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers.
Lillian earned an undergraduate honors B.A. in linguistics from York University and a B.Ed. in junior/intermediate English from the University of Western Ontario. She earned a Ph.D. in English linguistics and stylistics from York University and an M.A. in linguistics from the University of Toronto. She also earned a certificate in employment mediation from Carolina Dispute Settlement Services.
Prior to joining Appalachian, at East Carolina University, Lillian served as associate chair in the Department of English. Additionally, she has served as president of both the American Name Society and the Canadian Society for the Study of Names and as a member of the board of directors of the International Linguistic Association.
By Ellen Gwin Burnette
December 13, 2021