Meet Dr. Virginia Kennedy

Virginia Kennedy PhD, English Department Chair
Virginia Kennedy has been teaching at West Nottingham Academy for three years. Dr. Kennedy holds a bachelor's and master's degree in English with a kindergarten through 12th grade teaching certification from Montclair State University and an master's and doctoral degree in English and American Studies from Cornell University in NY. Dr. Kennedy has taught on the high school and college levels in public and private institutions, including New Jersey and New York City public schools, Montclair State University, University of Scranton, Marywood University, and Cornell University. Dr. Kennedy has also worked as a director of communications and development and an executive director in the field of nonprofit environmental conservation.

Dr. Kennedy has published articles and book reviews in scholarly journals and books, as well as writing for various trade publications in the conservation field. Her most recent articles include “Living Conservation Values: Women and Conservation Easement Protection in Central New York” in the book Gender and Forests: Climate Change, Tenure, Value Chains and Emerging Issues published by Routledge and “Native Americans, African Americans, and the Space that is America: Indian Presence in the Fiction of Toni Morrison” in the book Crossing Waters, Crossing Worlds, published by Duke University Press.

Dr. Kennedy’s teaching interests include American Indian literature and oral cultures, African American literature, environmental literature, and American historical literature from the Puritans to the present. Working with Dr. Gardner, history department chair, and the English and history departments, she has developed West Nottingham's Evolutionary Expository Writing Program, a program that builds students’ critical-analytical reading, writing, and research skills sequentially from freshmen through senior year. The program’s goal is to ensure WNA students graduate with the capacity to accomplish college-level writing across all disciplines. Along with teaching senior English class, Dr. Kennedy teaches senior research project (SRP). Seniors in SRP, building on skills acquired through Dr. Gardner’s sophomore project and other writing projects across the curriculum, learn the process for developing a college level research essay and finish class with a research writing project on a topic of their choice. Dr. Kennedy also works individually with all seniors on the development of drafts and final revisions for essay and supplemental questions required for college applications.