Dr. Beth Trembley began teaching in a three-year position at Hope in 1988. Then she taught at Wittenberg University and served as head of academics and faculty development for Davenport University, Holland, for nearly a decade. During that time, she received leadership and communication training at Disney University and Herrmann International. She also created and led a faculty development program.

She rejoined the Hope College faculty in 2002, teaching traditional, hybrid and online courses in narrative, including creative prose, digital works and comics. She teaches courses in novel writing, comics, memoir and digital storytelling. She also helps future teachers learn how to use creative writing in K–12 education. In addition, she serves the college as a faculty coach for online pedagogy.

Her creative work includes both fiction and nonfiction, in a variety of mediums, notably an award-winning mystery trilogy.

AREAS OF expertise

Beth has a Ph.D. in 20th century literature, focused on mystery and detective fiction. Her scholarship includes publications on Michael Crichton, film adaptations of novels, women in detective fiction and pedagogy.

She is also an award-winning mystery novelist. At Hope, she specializes in narrative, particularly developing longer-form stories.

She also serves as a coach for other faculty who are developing their skills in online and hybrid pedagogy.

Currently, she is completing a book for faculty titled How to Use Writing To Teach Anything. She is also working on developing applied comics for use by the college and local community groups. She keeps a twice-weekly blog on her journey as a writer learning to draw.

A certified practitioner of the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, a thinking styles assessment used by international businesses to promote thinking agility in a world of complex change, Beth led training in creative leadership at the corporate level.

She is also a certified master dog trainer.


  • Ph.D., English language and literature, University of Chicago, 1991
  • M.A., English language and literature, University of Chicago, 1986
  • B.A., Hope College, 1985, summa cum laude, phi beta kappa

Published Work

Creative Work

  • Scribbling with Spirit
  • DITCHED, The Third Lonnie Squires Mystery (pseudonym: Josie Gordon), Bella Books, 2011
  • TOASTED, The Second Lonnie Squires Mystery (pseudonym: Josie Gordon), Bella Books, 2009
  • WHACKED, The First Lonnie Squires Mystery, (pseudonym: Josie Gordon), Bella Books, 2008
  • “Against the Law” in Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes, Michigan State University Press, 2006 (named a Michigan Notable Book for 2007)


  • “The Selfie as a Pedigogical Tool in a College Classroom,” with Johnson, Maiullo, Werner, Wolsey, College Teaching, 62.4, 2014
  • “Challenging Students (and the Professor) to Use All of Their Brains: A Semester-Long Exercise in Thinking Styles and Synthesis Using a Work-Assessment-Feedback-Work Loop” in Beyond Tests and Quizzes: Creative Assessments in College Classrooms, Anker Publishing, 2007
  • The Guide to U.S. Popular Culture, Mystery and Detective Fiction content co-edited with William Reynolds, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 2001
  • Michael Crichton, Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers, Kathleen Gregory Klein, series editor, Greenwood Press, 1996
  • “It’s A Print”: Detective Fiction from Page to Screen, co-edited with William Reynolds, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1994
  • “‘Collaring the Other Fellow’s Property’: Feminism on Dorothy L. Sayers,” in Women Times Three: Writers, Detectives, Readers, edited by Kathleen Gregory Klein, Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1995

HONORS and Awards

  • Invited Fiction Judge for Write Michigan Short Story Contest 2015–present
  • Teagle Grant to develop online units for hybrid courses for the Teagle Hybrid Liberal Arts Network, in collaboration with faculty from Wabash, Summer 2015
  • GLCA grant to attend the Humanities Intensive Learning and Teaching (HILT) training in Digital Storytelling, working with faculty from Earlham and Alleghany, July 2015
  • Invited Fiction Judge for Write Michigan Short Story Contest 2015
  • TOASTED named a finalist by the Lambda Literary Foundation for Best Lesbian Mystery of 2009
  • WHACKED won the Lambda Literary Award (Lambda Literary Foundation) for Best Lesbian Mystery of 2008
  • Contributed to Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes, which was named a Michigan Notable Book of 2007
  • Awarded a grant from The CrossRoads Project, Hope College, supporting the development of a Senior Seminar looking at spiritual writing and vocation, 2007
  • Awarded a grant from The CrossRoads Project, Hope College, supporting the study of vocation and creativity, in First Year Seminar (in conjunction with Jennifer Wolfe, Music Department), 2006
  • First Year Seminar Module Development Grant, The CrossRoads Project, Hope College, to create a module for use across first year seminars incorporating the use of the HBDI in classes, instructional design and advising, 2005
  • Two grants from The CrossRoads Project, Hope College, supporting the study of vocation, to support inclusion of the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument in First Year Seminars, 2004
  • Matthew J. and Anne C. Wilson Foundation Faculty Development Fund grant for collaborative work with a student to develop a proposal and marketing plan for a creative nonfiction textbook, summer 2003
  • “Pro Status” from the Romance Writers of America for publication of first novel, 2002
  • First place winner in romantic suspense category of “Romancing the Novel,” a Romance Writers of America contest for unpublished novelists, 2000
  • Shared nomination for an Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical Work as contributor to Great Women Mystery Writers: Classic to Contemporary, Greenwood Press, 1994
  • Selected “Honorary Member of the Class of 1993,” Wittenberg University
  • One of two faculty members who had the most significant positive effect both in and out of the classroom, 1993
  • Lilly Community Service Grant, animal-assisted therapy for the elderly and developmentally disabled through Wittenberg University’s Community Workshop, 1993
  • New Course Grant, Faculty Development Organization, Wittenberg University (for English 380: The Poetics of Detection), 1992-93
  • University of Chicago Century Scholarship, 1985-89, 1991


  • “Creating the Liberal Arts Environment Online: Design Considerations for Hybrid and Online Learning,” keynote at the conference on Teagle Hybrid Liberal Arts Network: High Touch Learning for the 21st Century, June 8, 2015
  • “Creating Collaborative Communities Online,” Great Lakes College Association Conference on Liberal Education and Online Learning, Hope College, February 2014
  • “The Mysteries of Mystery,” guest lecture for English 373: Novels of Crime and Punishment, Hope College, February 2014
  • “My Academic Life,” guest lecture for Wayne Brouwer’s FYS class, Hope College, Fall 2013
  • Public Readings from “Against the Law,” Saugatuck Center for the Arts, November 2009

Outside Hope

Beth and her spouse enjoy living in the woods with two Dutch Shepherds, two cats and all of the neighborhood owls, deer, coyotes, hawks and wild turkeys. She draws something every day. She keeps up her blog, Scribbling with Spirit, posting regularly twice a week about issues of creativity and spirit. 

In her spare time, Beth draws more, walks a lot, reads, and enjoys film and television. Whenever she can, she fosters puppies for future service work. You’ll find her in attendance at most Hope College men’s soccer games.

Beth is also a lifelong Batman fan. 

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