Dean Ward

Dean Ward


Prof. Ward earned a B.S. in biology from Wheaton College (IL); working in a biochemistry lab somehow spun him into a Ph.D. program in literature at the University of Virginia, where he earned a doctorate with a dissertation on science and the novel.


Recent Activities

Prof. Ward’s most recent book project was the 2011 second edition of a textbook on reading and writing across the disciplines, written with Prof. Elizabeth Vander Lei. More recently he’s been called to administrative work, serving as English Department co-chair in 2013-14 and as academic dean for Calvin’s division of social sciences and contextual disciplines in 2014-15. He begins, in the summer of 2014, his fourth year as a member of Calvin’s Teaching and Learning Network, which works to improve the quality of instruction at Calvin. In August of 2014, he will begin to administer a Lilly Network Mentoring grant, designed to improve teaching and, particularly, teaching for Calvin’s faith and learning mission.

Favorite Books

  • George Elliot, Middlemarch
  • Charlotte Brontë, Villette
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
  • J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow
  • Toni Morrison, Beloved


  • Gardening
  • Woodworking
  • Fishkeeping
  • Old man sports (racquetball—you never have to run far; golf—no running allowed)

Academic interests

  • Novels
  • Victorian literature
  • African-American literature
  • The teaching of writing
  • Writing in and across the disciplines
  • College teaching

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