Santa Fe Community College Announces Katie Besser Student Awards

Recipients were recognized in an online ceremony on May 14

Sylvia Pincheira received Richard Bradford Memorial Creative Writing Scholarship

Santa Fe Community College’s emerging writers, photographers and mixed media artists were recognized during the Katie Besser Awards celebration hosted online by the SFCC Library on May 14. The awards were named for the late Katie Besser in recognition of her love of literature and creative writing. The event celebrated students’ creative expression through writing, photography and media arts. Writers representing SFCC’s diverse community read from their winning works.

The tenth annual winner of Santa Fe Community College Foundation’s Richard Bradford Memorial Creative Writing Scholarship was announced at the conclusion of the awards celebration. Sylvia Pincheira is recipient of the $1,000 scholarship. Named for the author of the 1968 classic Red Sky at Morning, the scholarship was initiated by author Michael McGarrity, arts advocate Charmay Allred and former Santa Fe city councilwoman Rebecca Wurzburger.

These are this year’s Katie Besser Student Award winners by category:

  • Creative Nonfiction – Winner: Tintawi Kaigziabiher, Orphan
  • Fiction – Winner: A.J. Wood, Soulmates
  • Images – Winner: Cover Photo (front and back of Accolades) —Digital Paint, Spencer Snyder;
  • Runner Up: Rob Fiss, Untitled 1; Honorable Mention: Arin McKenna, Dreaming of Your World;
  • Honorable Mention: Cristhian Tierney, Scenes from Monticello, New Mexico 3; Honorable
  • Mention: Joshua Haggard, Surrealist Triptych Photograph of three 360 images stitched
  • together, titled Journeys, Honorable Mention: David Breen, Space
  • Instructor Nominated AwardWinner: Josiah Rise, Stray Anatomy; Runner Up: Linda Mattocks, Some things I remember about living on the ranch
  • Personal Essay – Winner: Sylvia Pincheira, Aching Bones
  • Poetry – Winner: Tintawi Kaigziabiher, We Speak; Runner Up: Ida Starkovich,
  • Thanks for That; Runner Up: Joseph Gray, Song of the Brain-Flower; Honorable Mention: Anjoli
  • Lucero, Wants to be Her; Honorable Mention: Gracie Valdez, In the Arena; Honorable
  • Mention: Lucy Kaltenbach, Precipitation; Honorable Mention: Maria Martinez, Eclipse

Winners whose names appear more than once submitted more than one writing sample. The awards are sponsored by SFCC’s  School of Liberal Arts and SFCC Foundation. The Katie Besser Writing Awards are directed by Emily Stern.

For more than 35 years, Santa Fe Community College has been the gateway to success for individuals and the community by providing affordable, high quality educational programs that serve the social, cultural, technological, and economic needs of a diverse community. SFCC is a designated Best for Vets and Military Friendly school. The college serves more than 12,000 students per year in its credit, noncredit and adult programs. For further information, visit or call 505-428-1000. Follow us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.