Phillip Sterling
Phillip Sterling

Office: ASC 3056
Phone: (231) 591-5898
E-mail Address:

Professor Sterling teaches American Literature, creative writing, and composition. He is the author of a collection of fiction, titled In Which Brief Stories Are Told (Wayne State U Press 2011) and four collections of poetry: Mutual Shores (New Issues 2000), Significant Others (Main Street Rag 2005), Quatrains (Pudding House 2006) and Abeyance (winner of the Frank Cat Press Chapbook Award 2007). The editor of Imported Breads: Literature of Cultural Exchange (Mammoth Books 2004) and the recipient of a number of awards for his writing and teaching, including Senior Fulbright Lectureships in Belgium and Poland, he is the founding coordinator of the Literature In Person Reading Series here at Ferris State.

How It All Started:
When forced as an undergrad with the decision to choose between English and art, Professor Sterling chose English. “It’s a cheaper art form,” he says. The commitment to become a college professor came during his Ph.D. days. Before that, he just wanted to write. It never mattered if he was writing nonfiction, fiction, or poetry.   

Teaching Philosophy:
“Education requires a desire to learn. An interest in learning for the sake of learning is the best way to learn.”

What Students Should Know:
“It’s beneficial to know that we, as professors, are here to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Using tutorials can also make a difference.  If you’re struggling in my class then come see me.”      

What He Wanted To Know About His English Professors During College:
Were they human? Married? Did any of them like soccer?

Biggest Inspiration:
Professor Sterling is inspired by his five kids. He learns all about the little things in life from them.

Spare Time:
When he isn’t writing, you can find him playing in the sandbox with his three-year-old son or spending time with his other children.  Professor Sterling also enjoys cross-country skiing and bicycling. Domestic construction is his avocation (by default).

Most Memorable Moment:
While riding the ferry across the English Channel his glasses blew off his face. Professor Sterling needed his glasses to drive the car he had rented... He has many more memories to share.

Written by Ebony Franklin

Scholastic Success:
Ph.D. Bowling Green State University
M.A. Central Michigan University
B.A. Centre College

Employed at Ferris since: 1987