Ph.D., University of IowaBio
As part of their work as co-presidents of the American Name Society, Don and Alleen Nilsen co-edited a special issue of Names: A Journal of Onomastics, Vol. 56:1, March, 2008, which centered on the connection between names and ethnicity. Alleen Nilsen's teaching area is English education, which means that she works with students planning to teach English in junior or senior high schools. She supervises student teachers and conducts classes dealing with young adult literature and with effective ways of mastering language skills and managing the complications of teaching in today’s middle schools or high schools.
One of Nilsen's most enjoyable classes is ENG 470: Symbols and Archetypes in Children’s Literature, which is offered every fall. Graduates take the class under a 504 Cross Cultural Studies number. They investigate and bring to the class information about children’s literature from different countries and different perspectives. She also enjoys working with doctoral students in English education, especially helping them prepare articles for publication. The department has an active Ph.D. program with between 15 and 20 students, about equally divided between local teachers working while they teach and students who have moved here to be full-time doctoral students. Last year, Nilsen had a big year in publishing when her book on Joan Bauer came out as part of Greenwood Press’s “Teen Reads: Student Companions to Young Adult Literature” series. Also, Names and Naming in Young Adult Literature (co-authored with Don Nilsen) was published by Scarecrow Press, and she finally completed revising the eighth edition of Literature for Today’s Young Adults (co-authored with Ken Donelson), which has a 2009 copyright date on it.