Dr. Janet Sommers joined the University of Northwestern faculty in 1991.
From 2003-2009, Sommers served as chair of Northwestern's Department of English and Literature, where she collaborated on the addition of two new concentrations and three new minors, facilitated the growth of the college's chapter of the International English Honor Society, and grew the number of English majors by 66 percent.
Sommers' administrative and writing expertise played a key role in several University of Northwestern initiatives. In 2009, she served as writing chair and lead writer for the college's self-study report for reaccreditation. In 2006, she was a lead member of the task force that revised Northwestern's Core Curriculum. She has also collaborated with the University of Northwestern Christian Center for Communications in Quito, Ecuador, to help assess their English program.
In 2005, Sommers received University of Northwestern's Excellence in Teaching Award. Her passion for the integration of faith, literature and writing has provided several opportunities for presentations beyond the classroom, including the university's Faith & Thought Lecture Series (2006).
Sommers earned a bachelor's degree in English education from Gwynedd-Mercy College (PA) in 1986, a master's degree in English from the University of Toledo (OH) in 1988, and a doctoral degree in English from the University of Minnesota in 1995.
She and her husband Daniel reside in New Brighton, Minnesota, with their sons, Elliot and Graham.