Hobbies and Interests
Papers Published or Presented
I graduated from the University
of Michigan-Flint in 1986 with a double-Bachelor's
degree (in English and Psychology). I also
earned my Master's in American Culture at U of
M-Flint, graduating in 1998. I am still trying
to publish my thesis Ellery Queen: Forgotten
Master Detective. (Ellery Queen was a
famous mystery writer who had a great influence in
the early days of the mystery genre, but his
popularity has not endured as well as his
contemporaries, such as Dorothy L. Sayers or Agatha
Christie.) My thesis is available in UMF's Thompson
Library and in the Papers and
Publications section below.
Since completing my Master's
degree I have taken a few post-graduate
classes for professional development.
After earning my BA I wasn't sure what to do, so I stumbled into Technical Writing. It turns out I was pretty good at it! I worked as an in-house writer and as a consultant for about seven years before I began teaching. I worked at some very interesting places including a company that wrote data processing software for credit unions in Lansing, an educational software company in Diamondale, and couple of GM foundries in Saginaw. Through these jobs I got lots of experience writing instructions, software manuals and safety procedures, and became familiar with ISO standards.
I began teaching at Baker College in 1992 and fell in love with teaching. This prompted me to return to graduate school for a Master's degree so I could continue teaching. While in grad. school I worked on campus as a tutor in the Marian E. Wright Writing Center and also as a lab assistant in the Marian E. Wright Computer Writing Classroom. Upon completion of my Master's degree I was hired by the English Department and I've been here ever since!
When I'm not teaching I enjoy
learning about computer graphics and designing web
pages. I also enjoy needlework (especially
counted cross-stitch) and reading fantasy/science
fiction and mysteries.
My all-time favorite author is Ray
Bradbury, the first fantasy author I ever
read. The older he gets, the more I admire his
optimism and his determination to love life and keep
doing what he loves: writing. I hope I age as well
and as wisely as he!
My favorite fantasy novel is J.
R. R. Tolkien's The
Lord of the Rings. In July 2004 I presented
a paper at Mythcon 35, the annual conference of the
(a non-profit international literary and educational
organization for the study, discussion, and
enjoyment of fantasy and mythic literature,
especially the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S.
Lewis, and Charles Williams). I was invited to
expand and publish my paper ("Fairy Princess or
Tragic Heroine: The Metamorphosis of Arwen Undomiel
in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Films") in a
book called Tolkien
on Film: Essays on Peter Jackson's the Lord of the
Rings, published by Mythopoeic Press, Jan.
2004, available through Amazon.
I love murder mysteries and
whenever possible I attend a mystery conference
cum Murder, held each fall at Ball State
University in Muncie, IN. I read all types of
mysteries and love many authors!
The Middle Ages
I love studying the Middle Ages and am active in a living history group called the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. (SCA), a non-profit educational organization dedicated to re-creating the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The midwest region is called the Middle Kingdom.
In addition to the Middle Ages,
other historical topics I'm interested in include
the Titanic and Ancient Egypt.
In 2002 I saw two wonderful
Titanic artifact exhibits; one at the Great Lakes
Science Center in Cleveland, and one at the Museum
of Science and Industry in Chicago. Feb. - Sept.
2003 I volunteered one day a month at the Titanic
artifact exhibit at the Detroit Science Center. Each
time I got to spend the day enjoying the exhibit and
answering questions about Titanic. It was wonderful! In Dec. 03 my first
Course," which I wrote with Capt.
Charles Weeks Jr., was published on the Encyclopedia Titanica.
In Apr. 2004 I attended the Titanic
Symposium at the Maine Maritime Academy and
presented my current research on whether or
not there were really passenger segregation
gates on Titanic.
In 2001 I got to meet Dr. Kent
Weeks, director of the Theban
Mapping Project and discoverer of the largest
tomb in the Valley of Kings (or anywhere else): KV
5, the tomb of the sons of Ramses II. He was
visiting the Toledo art museum, which was exhibiting
part of the British Museum's Egyptian collection
while the British Museum was being refurbished. On a
related note, in 2004 I saw the Dead Sea Scrolls
exhibit when it stopped in Birch Run, MI. This
wonderful exhibit included a history of the Bible
and other historical writing (like Egyptian
hieroglyphs) to put the scrolls in their proper
historical context. If you ever get the chance to
see this exhibit, don't miss it!
In Dec. 2006 I saw the Tutankhamun and
the Golden Age of the Pharoahs exhibit when it
was at the Field
Museum in Chicago. This is another exhibit that
should not be missed! There are links to some of my
favorite Egyptology sites on my links page.
Tragic Heroine? The
Metamorphosis of Arwen
Undomiel in Peter Jackson's
Lord of the Rings Films." Tolkien
Lord of the Rings.
Janet B. Croft, ed. San
Titanic Science Presentation. Super Science Friday at the University of Michigan-Flint. May 15, 2009.
"The Light of Stars: Frodo's Elvish Air." Presented at Mythcon 37, The Annual Conference of the Mythopoeic Society. Norman, OK, Aug. 3-7, 2006. (The Mythopoeic Society is devoted to studying the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.)
"Locked Below? An Analysis of Class Separation Gates on the RMS Titanic." Presented at the Titanic Symposium at the Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, ME April 23-25, 2004. (This is a huge PowerPoint presentation of my current research project.)
Course." with Captain Charles Weeks, Jr.
The Encyclopedia Titanica. <http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/articles/true_course.pdf>
Titanic research site which also
publishes new research. You do not have
to be a member to use the Encyclopedia
or read the articles.)
of E-mail for the College Writing
Instructor." Eng. 516 Computers
and Writing: Theory and Practice.
Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Steve
Krause. Fall 2002.
Master's Thesis "Ellery Queen: Forgotten Master
study of the works of Frederick Dannay
and Manfred B. Lee and their influence
on the detective fiction genre.)
Prepared for Dr. Bruce Rubenstein,
Director of the Master of Liberal
Studies (American Culture) Program,
University of Michigan-Flint, August
I am married to Roger Jordan (a law professor at Baker College) and we live in Davison with our two cats. When we are not busy working we enjoy participating in the Society for Creative Anachronism, travelling, and visiting museums (as you might have guessed).
Some of my Favorites
black, blue, and anything in jewel
love dogs but am currently
dogless. Our kitties keep me busy
and make sure I get lots of kitty
love and attention.
This page revised Jan. 7, 2015. Created and maintained by Cathy Akers-Jordan.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.