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Professor of English at Franklin Pierce University, Rindge, New Hampshire

Coordinator, Women in Leadership Program


Ph.D. Northeastern University

M.A. English Salem State College

B.A. English and Psychology, State University of New York at Albany

A.A. Liberal Arts, Berkshire Community College


Ms. Feminist Scholar

Donna Decker was selected as a Ms. Feminist Scholar in 2010 which gave her an opportunity to do public scholarship and social justice work at once. Ms, the foremost feminist magazine in North America, with 100,000 subscribers, hosts a unique, competitive initiative designed to engage feminist scholars in writing for both Ms. Magazine and blog. Decker was selected to be a Ms. Magazine Feminist Scholar based on the quality of her writing sample and the compelling nature (and marketability) of her project about the 1989 Montreal Massacre of fourteen women engineering students by a 25-year-old man. The goal of the three-day Ms. Writing workshop she attended in Washington, DC in May 2010 was to teach scholars to “translate” their academic writing into writing for a broader audience, the readers of the magazine and blog. While such readers are, by and large, educated and sophisticated, they are not interested in reading academic/theoretical jargon, so Ms. Feminist Scholars spent time in DC altering their writing styles to reach a wider audience.



Winner, 2016 Silver IPPY (Independent Press) Medal for Canada-East Best Regional


Finalist, 2016 International Book Awards – Women's Issues

St. Joseph Central High School Evening With the Stars Award: to be awarded April 29,

            2016, Pittsfield, MA.

Clark University White Ribbon Hero Award: to be awarded March 3, 2016, Worcester,


Open Book Toronto Recommends: The Chilly Fall Reading Guide – Dancing in Red

            Shoes Will Kill You.


Whiting Grant: Research and travel in England for Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Project, May 2016

Request (granted) for signed copy of Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You for Harrisville

            Children’s Center 10th Annual Auction/Fundraiser in February 2016

Research Research Grant, Franklin Pierce University: Elizabeth Stuart Phelps,July 2014, 2015, 2016

Student Government Association Faculty-Staff Appreciation Award, December 2012

Research Grant, Franklin Pierce University: Montreal Massacre, July 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009

Sabbatical, Franklin Pierce University, Spring 2012

Research Grant, Franklin Pierce College: Course Release for doctoral work, Fall 2003.

Research Grant, Franklin Pierce College: Maine Women Writers Collection. June 2005.

Sabbatical, Franklin Pierce College. Academic Year 2004-2005.

Faculty Support Grant, Franklin Pierce College: Wesleyan Writers’ Conference, June


Faculty Support Grant, Franklin Pierce University: Lesley University Writers’

            Conference, August 2007.

Northeastern University Scholarship – Awarded by Graduate English Department. 1997


Invited International Women’s Day Speaker, Colby-Sawyer College,

            New London, NH. March 8, 2016

Invited Speaker Melrose, MA Human Rights Commission and Melrose Women’s

            Commission, April 2016 by Melrose Human

Invited Workshop Host. 12th Annual Diversity Institute at Plymouth State University.

            Hosted by the Counselor Education and School Psychology Departments. NH.

            "Why Stories Matter: Beleaguered Masculinity, Entitlement, and Women.” April

            9, 2016. [Invited by FPU Alum Gabriel Vega]

Invited Speaker: First Parish Church Unitarian Universalist, Fitchburg, MA. January 10,

            2016. “Good Morning, 2016. Let’s Rock Some Fierce Empathy!”

Invited Speaker. Simone de Beauvoir Institute. Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec,

            Canada. December 4, 2015.

Invited Speaker. “Empowering Girls 2015” Conference hosted by Middlesex District

            Attorney Marian Ryan and Middlesex Partnerships for Youth. The Broad

            Institute, Cambridge, MA. “Curate Your Life: Creating Your Own Story.”

            December 1, 2015. [Invited by FPU Alum Shawn MacMaster]

Invited panelist: “That’s Nice, Dear. Writing Creatively in the Live Free or Die State”

            Society for the Study of American Women Writers. Philadelphia, November 4-8,


Invited panelist: “Authoring New Books.” Sigma Tau Delta International Conference.

            Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 18-21, 2015.

Invited speaker: American Association of University Women, Keene, NH chapter.

            Women’s History Month speaker, March 16, 2015.



·Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise. “Ashburnham Novelist to Speak on Women’s Issues at First Parish Service” by Anna Burgess. January 8, 2016.

·Jules' Tools for Change: Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You; an Interview with Donna Decker by Julia Horel December 7, 2015.

·The Gardner News: “A Woman’s Voice: Author Denounces Killings of 14 Women in 1989” by Doneen Durling. December 3, 2015 (1, 3).

·Pittsfield Gazette: “Pittsfield Native Turns Tragic Shooting Into First Novel” by Susan Guerrero. October 1, 2015 (13)

·Keene Sentinel: “Franklin Pierce professor's book a dark exploration of Montreal Massacre” by Steve Gilbert:

·Monadnock Ledger-Transcript: “A grim subject: FPU professor’s book on 1989 mass shooting gains new relevance with recent world events” by Nicholas Handy:

·Manchester Union Leader: “The Mindful Reader: Novel explores true-life massacre and its impact” by Deb Baker:



American Airway Magazine, “Choose Your Own Adventure” by Kathleen Parish.


Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You (Inanna Publications 2015)


“The Aftermath of Isla Vista.” Feature article. Ms Magazine. Fall 2014

“The Montreal Massacre: 25 Years On.” Sidebar. Ms. Magazine. Fall 2014

Ms. Magazine blogs:


The Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield (MA) columns:



Pierce Radius:





“It’s Always Hard Times for the Whistleblowers.” Northern New England Review.

            Volume 32, 2010.


Review of Janet Beer's edited collection, The Cambridge Companion to Kate Chopin

(2009) LEGACY: A Journal of American Women Writers. Volume 27, No. 1, 2010.


“Reading Books and Bodies: New Woman and Authority.” Chapter in New Woman

            Literature and the Body. Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Press.

            2009. 89-118.


“Shoes.” Fiddlestix Review. Franklin Pierce University. December 30, 2009.


The Women’s Times, Great Barrington, Massachusetts, occasional free-lance

            submissions, 1999-


Worcester Telegram and Gazette (circulation 40,000)

            “Looking Homeward” column, 1994-1997


Today’s Parent, free-lance feature writer, 1996-1998

Worcester Phoenix (circulation 40,000), business feature story: “Home Brew: The

            Gourmet-Beer Revolution Hits Worcester County”

The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts – circulation 35,000), regular

free-lance submissions to “It’s a Parent” column, 1991-1996


The Gardner News (Gardner, Massachusetts) – circulation 9,000, reporting local

            news, writing feature stories, publishing weekly column “Close to Home”







COURSES TAUGHT (Courses created *):

How to Write a Blog *

Women Writers 
Banned Books *
Introduction to American Literature
Introduction to Literary Studies

19th Century British Novel

Seminars in:

  • Jane Eyre and Jane's Heirs *

  • Monsters in Literature *

  • Silences and Silencing in Literature *

Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Queer Studies *
American Short Story
Theories of Fiction

American Mosaic
Introduction to Creative Nonfiction *
Fiction Workshop
Advanced Fiction Workshop
Introduction to Women’s Studies 
Women in Leadership Seminar
Ancient and Medieval Worlds
College Writing I and II
Law and Literature *

World Literature
Intentional Venom: Making Meaning of School Shootings *



  • Montreal Massacre (December 6, 1989)

  • Gender and Popular Culture

  • Women Writers; 19th Century New Women Fiction

  • Feminism

  • Contemporary Literature and Trends in Contemporary Literature

  • School Shootings

  • Gender and Sexuality in Literature

  • Creative Writing, including fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, blogs, newspaper columns. 

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