Photo of Bene Cox 

Dr. Bené Cox

Professor, Interim Director of the University Writing Center

Ph.D. (1980), Vanderbilt University; MA (1976), University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; BA (1972), University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa; First Year at MTSU: 1976

Office: PH 384; Phone/Voice Mail: 898-2714

Dr. Cox teaches grammar and modern English usage and the Bible as literature. She is a Fellow of the Brooklyn Institute for Training Peer Tutors and is one of the co-founders of the Women's Center at MTSU. For several years she served as Dean of the Tennessee Collaborative Leadership Academy and worked a state and university administrator. She has received awards from The College Board, the State of Tennessee, American College Testing, and several schools and colleges. Her current research focuses on May Justus, a writer, and Highlander Folk School, an innovative program for social reform.

See Publications


  • "Leftists on the Mountain: May Justus' Children's Promoting Social Justice," Sixth Biennial Conference on Modern Critical Approaches to Children's Literature, Nashville, TN, April 1, 2005.

  • "Leadership through Collaboration."Keynote Presentation.Tennessee Leadership Seminar.Dickson, TN, November 2007, 2008, 2010.

  • Planner and Monitor for "The Liberal Arts in a Technical Society" Symposium for the Southern Academic Assembly, The College Board-SRO, Atlanta, GA, March 1993.

  • Session Chair and Presenter, "Holistic Scoring to Assess Student Writing," Annual Meeting of The College Board, Hilton Head, SC, February 18, 1993.
  • "Change in Higher Education: Demographics and Dynamics." Honors Series Lecture, Middle Tennessee State University, February 15, 1993.
  • Chair and Presenter. The Academic Assembly for the Southeast Region of The College Board. Hilton Head, SC, February 19, 1993.
  • "The Tennessee Collaborative: A Statewide Partnership of Shared Mission," Tennessee College Association Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, March, 1992.
  • "The Equity Agenda: Minority Preparation, Participation, and Success in College," Panel Presentation and Discussion for the National Forum and Annual Meeting of the Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO, July 18, 1991.
  • "Vocational Education and Academic Preparation for Work," Tennessee Academy of School Leaders, Gatlinburg, TN, July 10, 1991.
  • "Tennessee's Progress in Equity 2000 Project," National Press Conference of The College Board, Washington, D.C., June 4, 1991.
  • "Carrots and Sticks: An Examination of State Policy for Academic Alliances," National Project in Support of Academic Alliances, American Association of Higher Education, Atlanta, GA, June 24, 1991.
  • "A Partnership of Shared Mission: The Tennessee Collaborative for Educational Excellence," Tennessee College Association, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, April 18, 1991.
  • "Teacher Education Initiatives and Programs to Improve the Recruitment and Retention of Minorities in the Tennessee Board of Regents System," Tennessee Association of Colleges of Teacher Education, Nashville, TN, April 11, 1991.
  • "Academic Forum: An Analysis of Tennessee's Contributions to Academic Partnerships," The College Board Southern Regional Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, February 19, 1991.
  • "Progress Report on the Statewide Collaborative for Educational Excellence," Joint Session of the State Board of Education and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Nashville, TN, January 25, 1991.
  • "Testing: Curse or Cure?" Panelist for the Tennessee Testing Conference, State Testing and Evaluation Center and CTB McGraw Hill, Nashville, TN, November 19, 1990.
  • "Overcoming the Barriers: Access and Quality Education in the 1990s," Invitational Colloquium of The College Board, Chicago, IL, June 28-30, 1990.
  • "The Tennessee Collaborative for Educational Excellence: Success of a Statewide, Multi-Partner Academic Alliance," American Association of Higher Education, National Conference, San Francisco, CA, April 4, 1990.
  • Chair, "Inner-Reader Rater Reliability in Holistic Scoring of Student Writing," The Tennessee Board of Regents Program, March 1990.
  • "Parents Supporting Student Achievement," Mid-Cumberland Council on Children and Youth, Nashville, TN, January, 1990.
  • "Collaboration for Educational Excellence," Mid-Cumberland Council on Children and Youth, Nashville, TN, December 8, 1989.
  • "Academic Alliances: The Tennessee Collaborative for Educational Excellence," Conference on National Urban reform in Education, Columbia University, the National Urban Alliance, and The College Board, New York, NY, December, 1989.
  • "Parents' Project of the Tennessee Collaborative for Educational Excellence," Adolescent Services Network, Nashville, TN, October 1989.
  • "The Vocational-Education Task Force of the TCEE," Tennessee Vocational Association Board of Directors' Conference, Murfreesboro, TN, September, 1989.
  • "The Tennessee Collaborative Academy and Local In-Service Projects," Presenter and Chair of Session, Executive Board, Supervisor's Study Council, State Department of Education, Nashville, TN, December 15, 1988.
  • "Tennessee Teachers: Today and Tomorrow" Participant and Regional Recorder, sponsored by the Governor of Tennessee through the State Board of Education, Nashville, TN, December 8, 1988.
  • "TBR Recruitment and Retention Report for Minority Teacher Education in Response to JHR 36," Joint House and Senate Sub-Committee on Higher Education, Nashville, TN, December, 1989 and December, 1988.
  • "The Social Context of Composition: An Intellectual History,"
  • Chair of Session, College Composition and Communication Conference, St. Louis, MO. March 1988.
  • "Writing in Organizations" Chair of Session, Pennsylvania State University Conference on Rhetoric and Composition, University Park, PA, July 8, 1987.
  • "Collaborative Learning in the Advanced Composition Class," National Conference on College Composition and Communication, Detroit, MI, March 18, 1983.
  • "Collaborative Learning in the Advanced Composition Class," paper read in session entitled "Changing Educational Environments Through Collaborative Learning," Conference on College Composition and Communication, Detroit, MI, March 18, 1983.
  • "Issues in Peer Tutoring," Session Respondent, Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Francisco, CA, March 19, 1982.
  • "Student Composition: Developing the Writer's Authority." Tennessee Council of Teachers of English, Middle Tennessee State University, October 2, 1981.
  • "Audience Awareness in the Composing Process: Empirical Research," Chair of Session, National Conference on College Composition and Communication, Dallas, TX, March, 1981.
  • "Employment of Adjunct Faculty at Middle Tennessee State University 1976-80." American Association of University Professors. Executive Board, MTSU Chapter, Spring 1981.
  • Basic Writing Skills Conference, Advisory Committee, Tennessee State University's Writing Clinic and the English Department, Nashville, TN, November 14-15, 1980.
  • "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Approaches to Critical Theories of Composition" and "Gaining Perspective: Teaching Writers to Edit," Brooklyn Institute for Collaborative Learning, City University of New York Graduate Studies Center, New York, June 1980.
  • "Developmental Studies Programs," Chair and Panel Moderator, Tennessee College English Association, Middle Tennessee State University, April 18, 1980.
  • "Designing a Writing Lab," Co-Chair of Session, National Conference on College Composition and Communication, Washington, D.C., March 15, 1980.
  • "Guidelines for Writing Center Development," Southeastern Conference of English in the Two-Year College, Birmingham, AL, February 21, 1980.
  • "Developmental English: Using Linguistic Patterns in Teaching Composition," Southeastern Conference on Linguistics, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, April 7, 1978.
  • "Women in the Academic Community," American Association of University Women, Middle Tennessee State University Chapter, Murfreesboro, TN, 1977, 78, and 79.