December 2022 SFCC English and Communications Departmental Winter newsletter

Kate McCahill shared the December 2022 SFCC English and Communications Departmental Winter newsletter reflecting on accomplishments. Here it is:

The holidays are upon us, and the SFCC English and Communications Departmental Winter newsletter is here. Please read on for information about this past year’s initiatives, projects, and newly formed community partnerships, as well as a list of department faculty’s noteworthy accolades in 2022. Wishing you and yours a safe and pleasant winter break ahead – Kate McCahill, Department Chair, English and Communications

Departmental Updates, Projects, and Initiatives in 2022

We streamlined developmental offerings in ENGL and READ from six courses to just two, minimizing students’ time to complete remedial coursework without compromising on curricular integrity. We’re now the English and Communications department; our Reading program has been archived, and the curriculum therein has been incorporated into our new/newly revised course offerings.

We developed a new course, ENGL 100: English Foundations, to replace ENGL 107, ENGL 108, and READ 100L. This course will prepare students for college-level writing, critical reading, and communications. ENGL 100 will be piloted in the spring semester by Lauren Smith, the course’s primary developer. A modified and more robust version of ENGL 110L (Accelerated Learning Lab for Composition 1) will replace ENGL 109 and READ 101L starting in the spring.

We developed comprehensive online Welcome and Orientation onboarding programs for new adjunct and full-time faculty teaching English and Communications.

We created and implemented all-online Creative Writing degree and certificate programs in addition to existing traditional/on-ground offerings.

Students no longer need to purchase textbooks for ENGL 100, ENGL 1110, ENGL 1120, ENGL 1210, ENGL 2210, and COMM 1130. Instead, faculty have worked with the SFCC librarians to develop and incorporate relevant, diverse, and dynamic open educational resource (OER) course texts, reading banks, and grammar/mechanical supplements.

We established new partnerships with the Santa Fe International Writers Festival and the New Mexico School for the Arts.

In September, we proposed department-specific multiple measures for academic placement, which would empower students to guide their own placement decisions, and which focus on students’ writing and reading comprehension skills at time of registration, rather than test scores or past academic performance indicators.

We created and received approval to proceed with a semester-by-semester strategic plan in alignment with our 2022 departmental program review, which will focus on diversifying our faculty, boosting our enrollments, and working with our leadership to assemble an advisory committee.

Of Note: Faculty Publications, Projects, and Accolades to Share

Deborah Begel published two pieces in the opinion page of the Santa Fe New Mexican this year. “The Rio Arriba Way – Can It Change?” ran as a My View piece on August 6th. Her short letter to the editor following the death of Mahsa Amini in Iran on September 16th ran on Sept. 30th. She also wrote a sidebar about the positive qualities of rattlesnakes that will appear in the January-February 2023 issue of New Mexico Kids magazine.

Two poems by Genevieve Betts, “Your Chair” and “The Parade,” appeared in volume 26 of the journal Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders in August. Genevieve participated in ViVO Contemporary Gallery’s Giving Voice to Image project (pairing visual artists with poets), and her poem “Resonance” is both on display there and published in issue 10 of a publication by the same name. Genevieve’s second collection of poetry, A New Kind of Tongue, is forthcoming from FlowerSong Press in 2023.

During the 2021-2022 law school admissions cycle, Bethany Carson won Syracuse University’s Public Interest Law Scholarship for entering L1 students. Bethany is currently completing her first semester at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, where her Legal Analysis, Research, and Communication course has become a particular favorite. Her poem “Old Astronomy” was accepted in October for publication by Cordella Press, a biannual journal featuring the work of women-identified and nonbinary writers and artists.

This semester, Austin Eichelberger was invited to conduct two master writing classes at the New Mexico School for the Arts here in Santa Fe.

Julia Goldberg won first place in the Society of Professional Journalists Top of the Rockies 2022 competition for beat reporting for COVID-19 coverage; first place for a science and technology feature; and second place for arts’ criticism. Julia won first place for arts critics in the New Mexico Press Association; second place for COVID-19 coverage; and second place for environmental reporting. In addition, the 2021 intern project Julia ran for the Santa Fe Reporter’s nonprofit placed third in the National Association for Alternative Newsmedia’s Annual Competition. Julia’s coverage of the Hermit’s Peak fire was published earlier this year in the New York Times.

Lisa Goldman’s Speech and Debate team was awarded a $2,500 grant from the National Speech and Debate Association. Her students have accumulated nine medals so far; 1/3 of them are first place medals at state competitions.

Kate McCahill’s writing will be included in a book called The Faculty Guide to Effective Shared Governance and Service (Routledge), to be released in 2023. In November, Kate served as the 2022 judge for the Santa Fe Reporter’s Annual Fiction Writing Contest.

James Reich’s sixth novel, The Moth for the Star, was accepted for 2023 publication by 7.13 Books. His work of academic nonfiction, Wilhelm Reich Versus the Flying Saucers, is under contract with Punctum Books. James has been commissioned to write an introduction to D. Harlan Wilson’s 2023 book, Nietzsche: An Unmanned Autohagiography (Anti-Oedipus Press). James’s screenplay, The Metal Cloud, co-written with Michael Grodner, enters preproduction for filming in 2023. His work has also recently been published in Extrapolation: Journal of Science Fiction, Sensitive Skin Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, and Poet Republik. This year marks the launch of his bi-weekly column, The Ecological Uncanny. James’s poetry collection, The Holly King, was published in a numbered, signed limited edition by Stalking Horse Press.