skip to main content columnskip to left navigationskip to horizontal navigation

Communication & Performance

College of Arts & Sciences

The Storytelling Program welcomes Nancy Donoval

Nancy Donoval

The Department of Communication & Performance is thrilled to announce that storyteller Nancy Donoval will be joining us in August 2019 full time, as Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator in Storytelling. Nancy earned an MFA in Theatre from Northwestern University and has been immersed in the world of storytelling as a performer, teacher, producer/organizer, and story coach for over 30 years. One of her primary interests is in storytelling as it relates to healing professions and law, particularly as they relate to sexual violence, awareness, prevention, and intervention.  Her interests also include story listening, the neurobiology of storytelling, and ways that storytelling can be used to facilitate discourse about difficult topics. Nancy is the winner of Chicago’s 2010 National Storytelling Slam—you can hear her winning story here.  As former director of the Wild Onion Storytelling Festival in Chicago for 9 years, she brings a wealth of organizational and leadership experience, which she will direct in part toward fortifying alliances with the International Storytelling Center, the National Storytelling Network, and other community organizations.
                             Why study Storytelling?

to develop a professional career as a performer, to foster dialogue across diverse populations, or to enhance work as teachers, community workers, business leaders, corporate trainers, ministers, counselors, and social justice workers.

The Appalachian region is rooted in the art of storytelling. Inspired by the storytelling revival of the 1970s and the successful National Storytelling Festival in nearby Jonesborough, Dr. Flora Joy established storytelling as an academic program in the 1980s with a focus on education. The program has grown to be recognized for its interdisciplinary applications and has broadened its career training scope. Today, students may pursue an undergraduate  storytelling minor, a graduate storytelling certificate, or the Communication and Storytelling Studies master’s degree. They have opportunities to learn from professional tellers through the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough and through intensive storytelling institutes offered at ETSU. Students can attain mastery as performers and proficiency in storytelling applications across a wide range of occupations.

Students in the ETSU Storytelling Program concentrate on performance skill and craft in order to pursue a professional storytelling career, to foster dialogue across diverse populations, or to enhance their work as teachers, community workers, business leaders, corporate trainers, ministers, counselors, and social justice workers. 

Our students also have the opportunity to be join TaleTellers, an ETSU student organization that serves our region by bringing storytelling off campus and into the community. Members hone their skill and talent as they gain experience telling for festivals, slams, schools, and community groups. Membership is open to all ETSU students.

Out of state students who join the National Storytelling Network pay in-state tuition rates through NSN.

Storytelling Programs

Master’s in Communication & Storytelling Studies: 
 View the course requirements here.

Graduate Certificate in Storytelling
View the course requirements here.

Minor in Storytelling:
 View course requirements here. 

Creative Arts Scholarship 
View requirements and online application here.

Short intensive master classes in the field of contemporary storytelling.

Storytelling students present their storytelling to your organization.

Book by ETSU storytelling student to be made into movie
An East Tennessee State University graduate student in storytelling has learned that an award-winning book she self-published in 2012 is to be made into a major motion picture.

Storytelling revises curriculum
Graduate students in East Tennessee State University’s Storytelling and Communication Studies programs this fall are enjoying a newly revised curriculum that will help them develop skills applicable in a wide segment of the job market.

Story Slam’s First Ever National Winner
This past weekend, the first ever National Story Slam took place in Chicago. The winner, Nancy Donoval, represented the Twin Cities. We share Donoval's winning story “Bump.”

Why Storytelling Matters:

  • From The Chronicle of Higher Education, Why Storytelling Matters in Fields Beyond the Humanities
  • If you are unable to access the article, a full text version can be found here.

Storytelling in the News:

Find us on Facebook!

icon for left menu icon for right menu