SFCC English and Communications Spring 2023 newsletter

Happy spring! The summer 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, projects, and collaborations, as well as a list of department faculty’s noteworthy accolades in 2023. Wishing you and yours a safe and pleasant summer ahead – Kate McCahill, Department Chair, English and Communications 

Departmental Updates, Projects, and Initiatives in 2023 

We piloted English 100, our newest English offering. This class is designed to prepare students for college-level reading, writing, critical thinking, and research. Lauren Smith, longtime faculty member, designed and taught the very first iteration. This class does not require a textbook purchase and has been designed to cultivate real-life writing and communication skills applicable across the curriculum and in the workplace. Input from SFCC’s amazing advisors has been integral to the success of this new course.

We piloted a library integration in our English 110L (Accelerated Learning Lab) sections, embedding librarians in every class and ingraining their presence in ways we haven’t done before. As our departmental offerings streamline and we make efforts to accelerate student learning, the library staff has been integral to our work and our success.  

We’ll be piloting a departmental collaboration with the tutoring center this summer. As with the librarians, tutors will become an embedded part of each section of English 100 and English 110L, our two newest English classes designed to build communication skills while condensing previous departmental developmental-level offerings.  

We transitioned to cost-free textbooks in almost all of our English and Communications classes, with pilots in many classes taking place this past spring. Empowered by Title V funds, English and Communications faculty transitioned from costly textbooks to open educational resources (OER) – everything from articles and essays to grammar handbooks and apparatus-style writing guides, all free for our students. Again, the SFCC Library staff was integral to this effort, and the department is grateful to Julie Gallegos and Carole Sheldon, as well.  

In the same vein, the SFCC copy center will now print open educational resources available online for students for a very reasonable price. This means that students can print their OER textbooks right on campus rather than having to rely on a third party, pay a higher price, and wait weeks for the book to arrive. This is a big step towards student access and empowerment where textbooks are concerned! 

English and Communications have partnered with the Santa Fe International Literary Festival to send students to this exciting event. Students will be attending readings and presentations compliments of festival organizers, and a handful of SFCC students will also be reading on the festival’s community stage at 12:30 PM on Saturday, May 20. Terry Wilson, longtime creative writing faculty, and her Exploring Creative Writing students are also being treated to a small-group conversation with prominent novelist Jennifer Egan. 

As part of a collaboration with the SFCC English Department and the Santa Fe International Literary Festival, writer Colum McCann will be visiting the college on May 19 for a three-hour story exchange event. You can register to attend at This free event takes place from 9-12 on 5/19; the festival is generously providing refreshments throughout the course of the morning. Join us! 

We are continuing to forge dual credit partnerships with the New Mexico School for the Arts and Monte Sol Charter School. NMSA’s teachers will be offering dual credit creative writing classes, and Monte Sol’s teachers will offer ENGL 1110: Composition 1 as a dual credit offering. We hope to foster similar partnerships with other Santa Fe high schools in the near future.  

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

Deborah Begel is the host of a new program called Classical Explorations every other Sunday afternoon from 1 pm to 4 pm on KSFR, 101.1 FM or, in Santa Fe. 

Genevieve Betts’ second collection of poetry, A New Kind of Tongue, is now available for preorder: Bonus SFCC connection: the cover is from a painting by Dion Valdez, faculty member Jared Valdez’ brother! 

Julia Goldberg just won first place in the Society for Professional Journalists 2023 Top of the Rockies regional journalism competition in the arts criticism category for her reviews last summer of the Santa Fe Opera. She also won second place for short-form features in the same competition. 

Joseph Klemens won a full scholarship to attend a week-long literary translation workshop this summer at Middlebury College, the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference. He also presented a conference paper at The Society for the Study of Narrative’s annual conference (that was in March); the title of the paper was “The Drunken Monologue and the Fictional Listener in António Lobo Antunes’s The Land at the End of the World.”