SFCC English and Communications departmental Spring 2024 newsletter

The following newsletter from Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico is from May 2, 2024:

May is upon us, and the SFCC English and Communications departmental spring newsletter is here. Please read on for information about this past semester’s initiatives and projects, as well as a list of department faculty’s noteworthy accolades in 2024. Wishing you and yours a safe and pleasant summer ahead—Kate McCahill, Department Chair, English and Communications

Departmental Updates, Projects, and Initiatives in 2024

This spring, our department presented The Writing Generation, a series of literary events spotlighting New Mexico’s diverse and powerful voices. Created by Austin Eichelberger, English faculty, and Val Nye, Library Director, the series showcased writers Janna Lopez, Manny Loley, and Serena Rodriguez, all of whom received rave reviews from community attendees. The event was profiled by the Reporter, and the series will continue in Fall 2024.

We piloted a new assessment model this spring, inviting faculty and staff from around the college to participate in a series of conversations about student writing, all focused on one central question: “What did the student learn?” Over the course of two fun and engaging discussions, we were joined by faculty in physics, nursing, and teacher education, as well as by folks from the Tutoring Center, the Library, Marketing, OTL, OPIE, and more. Literature lovers abound at SFCC! We look forward to continuing the conversation in the fall semester and beyond.

English faculty designed and presented three panels on Professional Development Day this past March. Panels were open to all in the SFCC community, and focused on supporting student parents, analyzing acceleration eTorts at the college level, and navigating the ramifications of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Panelists included English faculty members Jared Valdez, Lauren Whitehurst, Genevieve Betts, Bethany Carson, Lauren Smith, Joseph Klemens, Austin Eichelberger, and Kate McCahill. We were also joined on our panels by Rachel Kutcher, Student Parent Success Project Manager; Catron Allred, Director of the Early Childhood Center of Excellence; Marcos Maez, Director of Student Engagement and Recruitment; Laura Smith, Collections and Instruction Librarian; Sarah Hood, Reference and Instruction Librarian; and Val Nye, Library Director.

Faculty’s use of open educational resources (OER) continues to evolve in English and Communications. This spring, five faculty members applied for funding to refine and expand OER use across our curriculum. Textbooks are always free for students in ENGL

100, 1110, 1120, 1210, 2210, as well as in most Communications and Creative Writing classes.

Congratulations are in order for our faculty retirees: Dr. Isabella Bornet, longtime Professor of English, retired this past fall, and Deborah Begel, English and Creative Writing faculty, will be retiring at the end of this semester. Stephen Hardin, Communications faculty, will also be stepping down from his post. Isabella, Deborah, and Stephen: We wish you the best, and we thank you for all you’ve done to empower our students and strengthen our community.

Leadership changes are afoot among English faculty: Bethany Carson will be stepping down as Curriculum Chair, a position she’s held since 2018. Jared Valdez will complete his term as Faculty Senate Chair this May. Joseph Klemens will continue as Faculty Senate Secretary in the upcoming academic year, and Stanley Eichelberger will remain General Education Committee Chair come fall. Thank you to all our faculty for their amazing leadership across the college.

Faculty Accomplishments and Achievements

Deborah Begel interviewed Santa Fe Pro Musica co-founder Thomas O’Connor about the history of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem and about how he plans to conduct this masterpiece at the Lensic Theater in late April. The interview ran in three parts on her show, Classical Explorations, on KSFR April 14th. O’Connor will also conduct Anna Clyne’s composition, Within Her Arms, a tribute to her late mother, at the concert.

Genevieve Betts published her poem “Across the Valley” as part of ViVO Contemporary’s Voice to Image show and book, and she participated in their two readings in January and February. She also held a book signing at FlowerSong Press’ table at AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference) for her poetry collection A New Kind of Tongue.

Andrew Lovato was appointed Santa Fe City Historian in March 2024.