Department of Languages and Literatures

Sheila Benson


Faculty - Associate Professor, English Education Advisor


Ph.D, Language, Literacy, & Culture, 2006, University of Iowa
​MA, English, 1999, Brigham Young University
​BA, English Education, French teaching minor, 1994, Brigham Young University

Research Interests

  • Media studies

  • New literacies

  • Secondary language arts methods

  • Adolescent literature

Dr. Benson currently teaches in the English education program.  A former high school English and French teacher, she mentors future middle or high school English language arts teachers.  She also teaches courses in the Teaching English in Secondary Schools MA program.  While pre-service teacher education is her focal area, she also has background in rhetoric and composition, 19th century British literature (especially Charles Dickens and Robert Browning), literary theory, and cultural studies.  Her research examines how English curricula shift when they meet the working conditions of schools.  Dr Benson advises the University of Northern Iowa Council of Teachers of English (UNICoTE), the student affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English, and is academic adviser for English teaching majors.  She currently serves on the Amelia E. Walden Book Award Committee for the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) as well.  When she is not doing professorial activities in her office, she can be found running trails, playing harp in the Wartburg Community Symphony Orchestra, walking her greyhound, or trying to persuade her two cats that books are not chew toys.