Dr. Mark Gellis: The Home Page Who is this guy?

Dr. Mark Gellis:
The Home Page

Hello and welcome to my web page. If you have questions or need to contact me, please feel free to e-mail me at mgellis@kettering.edu

Dr. Mark Gellis

Basic statistics...I was born in Queens, NY on June 1, 1959, which means I have passed the half-century mark. Thus, sadly, I am a lot more gray now than I was when they took that picture to the left.

I received a B.A. in English from SUNY-Binghamton in 1981 and then received an M.A. in English from The University of Illinois in 1983. The next really important date was October 23, 1992, when I married my wife Sandra (who is a little bit camera shy, so if you want to find out what she looks like you'll just have to come out to Michigan and visit us). I graduated from Purdue University with a Ph.D. in English (specialization in Rhetoric and Composition) in 1993. And, on March 9, 1994, Sandra and I were joined by our daughter, Elizabeth. Elizabeth is now attending Purdue as well, pursuing her graduate work in English.

For many years, Sandra, Elizabeth and I had a Russian Blue named Boris, who was one of the sweetest cats I have ever known. We lost Boris to old age (he was nearly 19) in November of 2006, but we are now the proud owners a beautiful black cat named Spock. (My daughter insisted on this name. Personally, I think she's more a "Spooky" than a "Spock.") A few years later, we adopted Miss Daruma (pronounced "Darma"), a rescue dog, a Shiba Inu, a wonderful sweet dog, and we enjoyed having her as part of our family for many years until she passed away because of a brain tumor in the Spring of 2016. The current roster now includes Miss Spock, Miss Kiki (another Russian Blue whom we adopted around the time we got Daruma), and Miss Teddy Bear, a Golden Chow we inherited through an unusual set of circumstances. (Poor Miss Spock, who was the only pet for many years, and now has to contend with an overly friendly, 60-pound Golden Chow, as well as another cat, probably thinks she has died and gone to Kitty Hell.)

By trade, I'm a rhetorician, which means I am a teacher and scholar whose main areas of expertise are teaching writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills and exploring how texts are written, disseminated, and interpreted. My special areas of interest are pedagogy (the study of teaching) and rhetorical criticism (the study of how texts influence audiences). I am also interested in such topics as technical and professional communications, the role of rhetoric as a tool for citizens in a democratic society, distance and online education, political and religious rhetoric, eighteenth century literature, science fiction and fantasy, and the rhetoric of popular culture.

Some of my current research projects include methods of teaching professional and technical writing, methods of teaching literature, and exploring the literary, rhetorical, and ethical aspects of anime, horror films, and games.

Aren't you glad you asked?

Between 1994 and 1997, I was an Assistant Professor of English at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where I taught Freshman Composition, Literature, and Technical Communications.

I am now an Associate Professor in the Department of Liberal Studies at Kettering University, where I teach professional communication, literature, and interdisciplianry humanities. I am also proud to serve as the faculty advisor of a chapter of Delta Chi fraternity here at Kettering.

I am presently placing some of my handouts and other teaching materials on the Internet so that students and teachers alike can take advantage of them. As the author of these documents, I give permission for them to be reproduced and distributed, without charge, but with the restriction that they may not be sold for profit (like anyone would pay for them) or modified without my permission; furthermore, I request that teachers who make use of these documents cite me as the author.

Some Interesting Links

The Rhetoric Page at Kettering University. I wrote the Rhetoric Page as a launching point for people who need information on writing, rhetoric, technical communications, literature, the teaching of these disciplines, and related topics. I have also added a second set of links that covers related topics and information resources on the Internet.

I love old movies. And when I need information on some obscure film, I know I can turn to The Internet Movie Database for the information I need.

In case you were wondering, I am related to Roberta Gellis, the novelist; she is my mother. She passed away on May 6, 2016. You can read her obituary here. My parents moved up to Michigan in early 2014 so that my wife and I could help care for them. My father, Charles Gellis, had been suffering from dementia for many years. He passed away on November 17, 2014.

On a somewhat happier subject, I spend entirely too much time watching cartoons. (My father, an artist and photographer, was also interested in animation.) A very useful source, particularly for those interested in anime, is the Anime News Network. Not surprisingly, I was happy to see the formation of the Kettering Anime Club. Finally, an excellent and very entertaining site discussing all areas of film, animation, and popular culture is TV Tropes. The only trouble with these sites is that, once you start reading, you may not want to stop!

I also love previews. I recently discovered the Coming Soon! web site, which (as you might expect) is dedicated to upcoming films, books, and so on.

Another method I have found for squandering my free time is playing either computer games like Harpoon, Command, or Railroad Tycoon, or RPGs like those published by Steve Jackson Games and Wizards of the Coast. One site related to rpgs especially worth checking out is The Traveller Map, an interactive map of the vast fictional setting of the classic sf role-playing game, Traveller. Another site people may find interesting, because of its extensive forums, is EN World.

Harpoon and Command are very realistic naval tactical simulators. Harpoon is an old classic; it is probably one of the best military strategy games ever developed. It is still great fun to play; there have been hundreds of scenarios written for it and its scenario editor allows one to create new scenarios whenever one wants. An excellent resource for those interested is HarpGamer.

Command was released in 2013 and is very similar to Harpoon; in fact, Command's development team includes long-time Harpoon players who have taken advantage of years of experience with Harpoon's strengths and weaknesses to create an exceptional new strategy game--it comes with its own scenario editor and a database featuring thousands of ships, planes, submarines, weapons, etc. (In fact, it has two databases. One covers the modern period, 1980 to the near future; the other covers most of the Cold War, 1946 to 1979.) Some starting points for those interested in Command are the forums at Matrix Games, Warfare Sims, and the Baloogan Campaign page.

For those of you interested in the real thing, you can check out the Department of Defense. Some useful sites on American and world naval history include Haze Gray & Underway, Hullnumber, the Naval History and Heritage Command, the Naval Vessel Register, and Navypedia.

My wife and I used to be active in the Society for Creative Anachronism, an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to studying human history and society before 1600. We don't get to many events anymore, but we have many fond memories. They do everything from fencing to making their own armor and costumes to recreating medieval feasts and dances with authentic, period recipes and music. Sound interesting? If so, check out their links. For those of you living in the Flint area who would like to learn more about the SCA, the local group is the Shire of Stormvale.

Get Me Out of Here...

Well, the nerve of some people! Write a nice Home Page for them to browse and all they want to do is click and be on their way! But if you really must be going, you can either go back to the main web page for Kettering University or to my Rhetoric Page. Take care. Keep in touch. Don't be a stranger. (Or, at least, don't be any stranger than you already are...)

This page was last updated on October 31, 2016.