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English Instructors

Full Time Instructors

Kenet Adamson

Office: Bailey  Room 041
Phone: 828.398.7496

Education: BS in Journalism from the University of Florida, BA in English from Georgia State University, MA in English from Western Carolina University

Work Experience: 2014-present

  • Coordinator, Transfer Advising Center; and Instructor, English and Humanities
  • English Instructor

Favorite Literary Works: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Hobbit/Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, The Grapes of Wrath, Heart of Darkness, Slaughterhouse-Five, Dune, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Sophie’s Choice,The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Favorite Quotation: “A deus ex machina will never appear in real life so you best make other arrangements.”
Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Jennifer Browning

Office: Elm 205 
Phone: 828.398.7496

Education: B.A. in English, University of North Carolina at Asheville; M.A. in English, Georgia State University

Work Experience: An English instructor since 1993, Jennifer teaches a variety of courses including Writing and Inquiry and Writing/Research in the Disciplines

Courses Taught: ENG 111 and 112

Favorite Literary Works: The Optimist's Daughter, Eudora Welty;anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay; Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg; Escaping Into the Open by Elizabeth Berg; Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Favorite Quotation: 
"... all experience is an enrichment instead of an impoverishment." Eudora Welty

Erik Moellering

Office: Fernihurst Annex B
Phone: 828.398.7632

Education: B.A. and M.A. in English, James Madison University

Courses Taught: ENG 111, 112, 125

Favorite Authors: Czeslaw Milosz, Joseph Brodsky, Rebecca Solnit, Stuart Dybek, Don DeLillo, Stephen Dunn, Annie Dillard 
Favorite Quotation: "There is more simplicity in the man who eats caviar on impulse than in the man who eats grapenuts on principle."  G. K. Chesterton

Maggie Poist

Office: Elm 233
Phone: 828.398.7318

Courses Taught: 111, 112

Heather K. Vaughn

Office: Elm 221
Phone: 828.398.7315

Education: B.A., Elon University; M.A., University of Nebraska

Work Experience: Worked as adjunct instructor at A-B Tech from 1998 until 2000. Became a full-time instructor at A-B Tech in 2000, Heather received the Adjunct Instructor of the Year award and Teacher of the Year award. She currently serves as English Department Chair.

Courses Taught: ENG 111, 114,

Favorite Literary Works: To Kill a Mockingbird, Atlas Shrugged, Cider House Rules, My Antonia, Fair and Tender Ladies

Favorite Quotation: "I've put up with too much too long, and now I'm just too intelligent, too powerful, too beautiful, too sure of who I am finally to deserve anything less." Sandra Cisneros from Woman Hollering Creek

Beverly Williamson

Office: Elm 231
Phone: 828.398.7499

Courses Taught: ENG 111, 111A, 112

Education: University of North Carolina at Greensboro - B.A., Western Carolina University - M.A.T.

Work Experience: Full-Time English Instructor since 2011

Favorite Books: Pride and Prejudice, Light in August, Catcher in the Rye, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Love in the Time of Cholera

Favorite Quotation: "This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it ..." Emerson

Lisa York

Office: Fernihurst Annex B
Phone: 828.398. 7882

Courses Taught: ENG 111, 112

Education: MA English, ABD English, Certified Leadership Development Instructor

Work Experience: ENG 111, 112, 124, 131, 232 and 243. At UF, I taught a survey of British Literature and a course on the British novel and Technical Writing for Engineering students, as well as composition courses like those offered here at A-B Tech .  I am also a international facilitator for Phi Theta Kappa's Leadership Development program to certify administrators and faculty in leadership development. 

Favorite Literary Works: James Joyce's Ulysses and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, E.M. Forster' Howards End, George Lamming's In the Castle of My Skin, Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Charles Dickens's Great Expectations, and the poetry of William Wordsworth and W. B. Yeats.

Favorite Quotations: "The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit." (Joyce)  and "Only connect." (Forster) and "Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em! " (Webb Wilder)

Adjunct Instructors

Whitman Bolles

Roy Cole


Bio: Roy Cole is a native of Asheville and a career educator who recently retired as the English Department Chair at T. C. Roberson High School in Asheville, North Carolina, after thirty years of service.  A National Board Certified Teacher, he holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a Masters of Arts in the Teaching of English from Western Carolina University. 

Favorite Novels: A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving); The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain); The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald); To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee); The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver).

Favorite Quote: Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, old time is still a-flying, and this same flower that smiles today, tomorrow will be dying.  ---Robert Herrick

Leslie Conner

Chrystal Cook

Dale Dewoody

Bonnie Gardner


Education: degrees in drama and theatre

Work Experience: taught 30 years at Ohio Wesleyan University: American drama, Playwriting, and Educational Drama. Her original plays have won awards and been featured in festivals all over the country, including a 2014 Excellence in Playwriting grant from the Ohio Arts Council.

Favorite Books/playsMansfield Park, Ruined, Painting Churches, To Kill A Mockingbird, Buried Child

Favorite Quotation: “One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best.”
― Jane Austen, Persuasion

Lisa Grasso


Education: MA, English

Bio: Long ago, Lisa fell in love with North Carolina’s beautiful vistas, towering trees, fresh mountain air, and awesome BBQ—all stuff of poetry.  She and her family ventured here every summer to frolic and hike and plan for someday, which came in July of 2013.  They are now thankful to call Western North Carolina home.  Lisa has been teaching English since 1998, and is excited to continue her career at A-B Technical Community College.  She enjoys teaching all aspects of writing and literature.   

Favorite Books:  Paradise Lost, The Scarlet Letter, Crime and Punishment, Jane Eyre, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Tolkien’s translation), and Hamlet.  

Favorite Quotation:  "Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage” (C.S. Lewis).

Abigail HIckman

Erin Lesh


Education: MA, English
Bio: Being born and raised in the swamps of John's Island, South Carolina, I escaped from the mosquitoes to the mountains over two decades ago.  I earned my MA in English, with a concentration in teaching students in the community college setting, over ten years ago from Appalachian State and have been at A-B Tech ever since.  In my spare time, I am surrounded by a tornado of three feral children.  To unwind, I run up steep hills or, of course, read; mystery novels are currently my preference.

Favorite Books: The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Hamlet, In the Time of the Butterflies, Slammerkin, Lolita

Favorite Quotation: "It is not enough to be compassionate, you must act."--The Dalai Lama

Eleanor MacKen


Education: BA in Sociology/Anthropology from Middlebury College in Vermont
                 MA in English from Western Carolina University

Work Experience: High School and Middle School English teacher from 2008-2011
                             A-B Tech English Instructor 2016-2017

Favorite Literary Works: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Midnight's Children by Salmon Rushdie, All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.  

Favorite Quotation: “In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.”
—Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

Kevin McGuire

Constance Oliver


Education: MA, English

Bio: Constance Oliver is a graduate of Capital University in Columbus, OH and DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She has been teaching college writing classes for over seven years and also spent time in Cusco, Peru teaching English as a Second Language. When she is not grading papers, she likes to eat cupcakes and run marathons. 

Favorite Books: Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman, Absalom, Absalom, William Faulkner, The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje, 100 Love Sonnets, Pablo Neruda, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig

Favorite Quotation:“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”-Matthew Kelly

Mark Puckett


Education: MA, English

Work Experience:  a local Asheville writer with three books, The Reclusives, You with The Ill-usives and The Killer Detective Novelist.  He is a perpetual student with four writing/English graduate degrees and numerous publications in Act Two Magazine, Gulf Coast, Saveur, ARTNews, The Paris-American, USA Today and two Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  Pulitzer-winner Edward Albee produced his first play.  A former Travel Editor for The Daily Meal on Fifth Avenue, he has been to all fifty states and traveled the world. 

Favorite Books: The Last Good Kiss by James Crumley, The Mahé Circle by Georges Simenon, The Box Man by Kobo Abe, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera, Autobiography of Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe

Favorite Quotation: "All happy families are the same.  All unhappy families are different in their own way."  Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Jonathan Rich

Jimmy Silver

Lisa Spencer

Education: MA, English

Experience: My favorite book is Buried My Heart at Wounded Knee, My doctorate is being defended this year, Urban Education & Social Justice, I have worked on four continents, including ten years at Cardinal Stritch University.  I worked with Domestic Violence victims and incarcerated individuals as an educator.  I make music and go to teepees.

Peter Smith


Jessica White

Julie Young


Education: I graduated with my Bachelors and Masters in English Literature from the University of Southern Mississippi (Brett Favre was there too, but I can't claim to know him :).   My masters thesis discussed barriers and enclosures for women in Victorian England as seen in the Bronte sisters' works.   Deep, right?  I am honored to be a National Board Certified Teacher.  I was chosen by my colleagues to be Teacher of the Year at NBMS and at Madison Early College High School.

Bio: I am originally from the Mississippi Gulf Coast about an hour away from New Orleans.  I grew up enjoying the perks of living by the Gulf of Mexico--going to the beach, eating fresh seafood, experiencing Mardi Gras every February, and wearing shorts through the "winter".  My husband is from  the mountains, and it's my adopted home now.  I love having more than one season and am still in awe of the mountains. I taught full-time at a community college in MS for many years in the Writing Center, Developmental Studies, and the English Department.  When I moved to the mountains, I worked at Montreat College as a Faculty Director for the Asheville campus.  I've taught for 26 years and am fortunate to work for AB-Tech part-time as an English instructor and an online Writing Center tutor.  A few years ago I found my absolute niche in teaching (other than my beloved community college work)--I became an English teacher for Madison Early College High School.  I live in Madison County and adore helping high school students to achieve their high school diploma as well as their AB- Tech associates degree. I have twin daughters who attend the Early College, and my husband is Admissions Associate Director at Mars Hill University.

Favorite literature:  anything by Shakespeare, Ron Rash, William Faulkner, Elie Wiesel, and Harper Lee.

Favorite Quotation:  "Ah, but a man's reach shall exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?"  Robert Browning