Central Penn College - Matthew Vickless

Central Penn College


Faculty Who Care

Matthew Vickless, Ph.D
Assistant Professor, Interim Dean of Business, Dean of Professional Studies

Academic Bio

Matthew Vickless serves as the humanities liaison to the business program and on the board of trustees of the Central Penn Education Foundation. His article "Apprehending George Dyer in ‘Amicus Redivivus’: Charles Lamb on Miltonic Visionary Poetics” was published in The Charles Lamb Bulletin (n.s. 159 [spring 2014]: 20–32). Before coming to Central Penn, Vickless taught composition and literature courses at Duquesne University, where he held a doctoral teaching fellowship from 2009-2012. Prior to that fellowship, Vickless held both master's and doctoral research fellowships at Duquesne, where he worked closely with the late Albert C. Labriola, Distinguished University professor and internationally renown Milton scholar, assisting with the preparation of the Songs and Sonets volume of the Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne (Indiana University Press, forthcoming) and assisting with preparation of the Milton Society of America's annual MLA conference meeting booklet. His dissertation focused on eighteenth-century British visionary poetics and was directed by Daniel P. Watkins. Vickless has presented papers on various Anglo-American poets, including T. S. Eliot, Ann Yearsley, Aphra Behn, and George Dyer, at several regional and national conferences, including the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900 as well as at conferences sponsored by the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. His research interests include British Literature of the Long Eighteenth Century, British Visionary Poetics, and the literature of political radicalism, as well as intersections of critical race theory and composition studies. Vickless is a member of the East-Central American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and the American Association of University Professors. Along with Jack Babinchak, Vickless is co-authoring a paper on writing self-efficacy and academic success among first-generation college students.

Dean, School of Professional Studies, Central Penn College (2016-present)
Interim Dean, School of Business, Central Penn College (2017)
Assistant Professor of English, Central Penn College (2014-present)

Refereed Journal Articles:
“Apprehending George Dyer in ‘Amicus Redivivus’: Charles Lamb on Miltonic Visionary Poetics,” _Charles Lamb Bulletin_ ns 159 (spring 2014): 20–32.

Contributions to Edited Volumes:
Contributing editor, _The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne_, volume 4 (The Songs and Sonnets), ed. by Albert C. Labriola et. al. (Indiana University Press, forthcoming) 

Web-based Publications:
"On Failure and Fear in the Classroom," CTE@CPC, forthcoming Nov. 2017
"Designing the Efficacious Breakthrough," The Online Lecture Tool Kit, 4 Sept. 2017
"A Quick Technique for Making Your Lectures More Active," CTE@CPC, 31 July 2017

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts Dissertation Fellowship, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA (2012-2013)
Teaching Fellowship, English, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA (2009-2012)
Research Fellowship, English, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA (2006-2009)

Trustee, Central Penn College Education Foundation, 2016-present

Personal Bio
When I'm not helping my partner Melissa raise our son Cillian or manage our two angry chihuahuas, Kiki and Maya, I like to ponder the relative merits and complexities of the Superman versus Batman debate (Superman in my head, Batman in my heart).

Teaching Philosophy

Our word teacher has evolved from a Greek word meaning "to accompany": therefore, my role in the physical or virtual classroom is to guide students towards the objectives of the course, allowing them to reach a milestone on their path to a college degree, helping them realize the skills they already have and gain the confidence to apply those skills in this new and often strange environment of higher education. I draw upon my own experiences as a first-generation college student and as a successful scholar when I design curriculum and facilitate classroom situations that encourage students to actively construct the knowledge they need to perform the outcomes established for them. To facilitate this result, I practice education theorist Mary-Ann Winkelmes's principle of transparency: I try always to clearly communicate the task, purpose, and assessment criteria of each learning activity. I try to earn the trust of my students and thereby reach my ultimate goal--for students to see me as a full partner in their journey towards graduation.

  • Doctor of Philosophy in English - Duquesne University '15
  • Master of Arts in English - Duquesne University '10
  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Duquesne University '06
  • Bachelor of Arts in Classical Civilizations - Duquesne University '06

College Composition (I & II), College Composition Enhanced, Selected Topics in Rhetoric, Selected Topics in Literature, Grant Writing and Fundraising, Literature as Work, the Bible as Literature, Oral Communications

  • Todd A Milano Award - 2015
  • Central Penn College President's Award for Faculty Excellence - 2015


  • First Course on Servant Leadership, Paytime/Leadership Harrisburg, 16 May 2017