Mind’s Eye Student Literary Magazine Now Available

Mind’s Eye 2017, JCCC’s student literary magazine, is now available for sale (for $5) in the Writing Center (LIB 308), the English Department (CC 305), and in GEB 165H.  Professor Tom Reynold’s is the faculty director for the publication.

• Prof. McWard Elected Chair of English 
Prof. Jim McWard, Ph.D., has been elected the Chair of the Department of English for 2017 – 2020.  He has a doctorate in 18th Century British Literature from the University of Kansas and has taught at JCCC for many years.  During the Spring 2017 semester, he updated his popular Masterpieces of Cinema, which he will continue to teach in the Fall.  Jim is replacing Prof. Keith Geekie, who is retiring in June after working at JCCC since 1994.

• JCCC’s Day of Writing on June 3

Eighteen staff and faculty members joined the “JCCC Day of Writing,” the Kansas Studies Institute’s 7th annual Kansas Writers Symposium, on June 3, 2017.  The day’s structure was informal but productive.  Participants convened for a light breakfast and discussion of their different projects.  Some attendees were novices, and Mathew Schmeer provided them with prompts, writing activities, and inspiring advice.

Writing spaces were spread around the campus—a learning studio, a computer classroom, and the entirety of Galileo’s Pavilion; because the weather was lovely, some participants found a sunny spot outside to sit and write.  The group met up again for lunch and lively conversation, then returned to their projects for the rest of the day.  At the wrap-up session, participants chatted about what they’d written and talked about their plans for continuing their projects.

This year’s Kansas Writers Symposium committee included Anthony Funari,  Farrell Hoy Jenab, Amy Pace, Paul Restivo, Matthew Schmeer, and Jane Stock.

• Cavalier Conference on Writing and Literature NewsThe JCCC Third Annual Conference on Writing and Literature took place on April 21, 2017.   This year’s featured speaker was Professor Tom Averill of Washburn University, who gave a delightful keynote speech on the importance of collaboration in the writing process. Our theme this year was “Showcasing” and the morning of the conference featured 11 presentations from colleagues and visitors. Our conference also showcased the new Collaboration Lab.

• Writing Center seeks student tutors; please spread word

The Writing Center is currently hiring student tutors for the 2017-2018 academic year. Applicants must:

  • Have taken Composition I and received a B or better
  • Be a student of JCCC
  • Willing to learn on the job
  • Available for mandatory training every Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. during the semester.

If you know a student who enjoys writing, likes talking with other writers and enjoys the process of collaboration, have that person apply today. Tutors gain a stronger understanding of the writing process, increase their communication skills and may receive CRLA certification.

Those interested should apply on the JCCC jobs page, and see job listing #170502. Only those submitting a complete application will be considered for the position.

• The Common Read Launch
The Common Read launch for the Fall 2017 selection Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson was held Wednesday, April 5, in the Collaboration Lab. Attending this event was Tricia Bushnell, Director of the Midwest Innocence Project, who spoke briefly about her work with Bryan Stevenson and her commitment to the cause of social justice.

Tricia Bushnell at Common Read Launch


English Department News

–Professor Danny Alexander was featured in Episode 8: The Silver Screen and all Magazines at www.iconoclasofthings.com podcasts.  Professor Alexander of Rock and Rap Confidential was interviewed about music writers who were particularly influential in his career.

–Professor David Davis was the keynote speaker at the conference for the Kansas Association of Historians on Friday, April 14. His presentation was on science fiction in Kansas.

–Writing Center Director Kathryn Byrne and Kate McNeil, Professor of Accounting, were awarded a Perkins Leadership Grant to develop, pilot, and evaluate six online writing tutorials to be used in Accounting II courses.  These modules will focus on frequent grammar and citation mistakes that plague many accounting student’s writing.

–Professor Steve Werkmeister’s poem “Detasseling” was published in the Silver Birch Press’s My First Job series in May.

–Adjunct English Professor Anthony Funari served on a panel for projects integrating sustainability topics into non-Environmental Studies courses at “Sustainability across the Curriculum” workshop hosted by JCCC’s Center for Sustainability and KU’s Center for Sustainability

• The Journalism Department Give Headline Award

The Department of Journalism  presented their Headline Award to Yael Abouhalkah, a former Kansas City Star columnist. He gave the presentation “Real Journalism in the Era of Fake News” on Thursday, April 20, in the Hudson Auditorium.  Each year, the Journalism and Media Communications department honors media professionals whose work serves as an inspiration to students. Recipients must have spent all (for retired professionals) or a majority (for professionals currently working) of their career contributing to the field of journalism and media communications.

Yael Abouhalkah and Mark Raduziner at luncheon for Headline Award winner

•David Cantwell Wins Chet Flippo Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism

Adjunct Professor David Cantwell will attend the Pop Conference at the Museum of Pop Culture (formerly the Experience Music Project or EMP) in Seattle. PopCon is an annual gathering of academics, critics, journalists, and musicians. The theme this year’s conference is “Sign O’ the Times: Music and Politics,” and Professor Cantwell’s presentation is “Johnny Horton’s ‘The Battle of New Orleans,’ ‘Johnny Reb,’ and Country Music During the Civil Rights Movement.” He will also be moderating a panel, titled “Post-Dixie Chicks Country Music.” He has also been selected as the 2017 honoree for Rolling Stone‘s “Chet Flippo Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism.”  He will receive that honor in Nashville in June, at a luncheon during the International Country Music Conference (ICMC), where he will also be presenting a paper.

• Creative Writing Reading Series Returned

The Creative Writing Reading Series returned this Spring 2017. Faculty, students and staff read from their work for up to 5:00 minutes at this open mic series on Thursday, April 27, from 11-11:50 in the CoLab.

CCCC in KC Volunteer Opportunity 

Those of you who attended the Cavalier Conference last Friday had the opportunity to hear Jane Greer of UMKC speak. As the local arrangements chair of CCCC 2018, Jane is seeking volunteers—both to help plan the local support materials and to work during the conference. Tasks could include helping plan or prep registration or the book display to working registration at the conference or helping people in other ways. Volunteers who work for at least 8 hours will have the registration fee for the conference waived and will also just be part of a great organization and meet colleagues from around the area. The conference will be in KC March 14-17, 2018 (during spring break).

To volunteer, email Jane at greerj@umkc.edu.

Booktalk News from Maureen

Summer Plans!

Thursday, June 15 – 12:30 @ Café Tempo – Find, read and bring a mystery to discuss and share with the group
Thursday, July 13 – 12:30 @ Café Tempo – Find, read and bring a short story collection and share with the group (starting place:

 August Selection:
The Nix by Nathan Hill

Others to read:
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
 Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
1493 by Charles Mann
American Nations by Colin Woodard

School year 2017-2018!

Booktalk will meet in GEB 264 2:15-3:30 for the following dates:

Friday, August 25 – The Nix by Nathan Hill
Friday, September 29
Friday, October 27
Friday, December 1
Friday, January 26
Friday, February 23
Friday, March 23
Friday, April 27

Proposal Deadline — August 1, 2017
Conference dates: June 4-6, 2018
Organization:  International Writing across the Curriculum conference
Location:  Auburn, AL
Theme: Making Connections

NCTE is no longer accepting proposals, but it’s worth mentioning it will be in St. Louis, MO – Nov 16-19, 2017  http://www.ncte.org/annual

In Other News . . . 

  • Associate Professor Beth Gulley presented at the International Workshop on Comparative Studies of Language Research and Education between China and the West. Her paper was titled “MLA 8: We’re Here, But Should We Have Come: American Attitudes towards the New Version of the Popular Documentation Style.” The conference was held April 1-2 in Xi’an, China. During her sabbatical in Xi’an, China, she also worked on a project to help evaluate teachers who want to teach in the Queen Mary program. These are Chinese teachers who teach in English to international students. Most of them are in science and engineering fields.
  • Professor Marilyn Senter chaired a review team which considered Applications for Accreditation through the National Alliance for Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP). Her committee recently completed its report.
  • Professor Matthew Schmeer published a number of poems recently: “Disturbing the Peace” in Really System 13; “Yes” in the Marathon Literary Review issue 11; “Litany for the Day” in Sliver of Stone Magazine issue 14; “Outside Banning, California” was accepted for issue 37 of Slipstream, due out this summer.
  • Adjunct Professor Amy Pace and Adjunct Professor Farrell Jenab from the Kansas Studies Institute are helping to organize the Writer’s Symposium at JCCC scheduled for the first weekend in June.
  • Adjunct professor Dan Kennard recently had a story published in print at Five:2 One Literary Magazine and another accepted for print publication at Straylight Literary Review, forthcoming in December 2017.
  • In April 2017, Adjunct Professor Tatiana Scanlan presented at the Annual Conference of Central Association of Russian Teachers of America (CARTA).  The presentation was about two prominent Russian films:  “The Search for Happiness in Tarkovskii’s ‘Stalker’ and Zeldovich’s ‘The Target.’”
    Adjunct Professor Bill Ness has an article coming out soon in Renascence called, “‘Getting Somewhere’:  Motion and Stasis in the Works of Flannery O’Connor.”

The Art of Banksy in Bethlehem


•Dr. Mickey McCloud Spoke at the Great Books Series

Dr. L. Michael McCloud, JCCC Vice President of Academic Affairs, presented on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a masterpiece of medieval romance, as a part of the JCCC Great Books Series.  Dr. McCloud spoke Wednesday, March 29, in the CoLab, OCB 100.

Adjunct Professor Farrell Jenab Presented at the Noon at the Nerman

Adjunct Professor Farrell Jenab presented Friday, March 3, at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. She discussed the watercolors “Kaw – Bend at Valencia,” and “Kaw – Bend Near Willard” by Lisa Grossman.

• The English Department Wins 4 Distinguished Service Awards

The English Department recipients of the JCCC 2016-2017 Distinguished Service Awards are Profs. Maureen Fitzpatrick, Marilyn Senter, Monica Hogan and David Davis.

Ted Rollins Wins Sabbatical

Professor Ted Rollins received a sabbatical for Fall 2017. He will be working on a project researching and developing a portfolio system for JCCC students.

Sam Bell in the News 

Associate Professor Sam Bell is under contract with Cognella Publishing to write a Composition II textbook which will be set to go to national in spring 2018.

Steve Werkmeister Story Nominated for Pushcart Prize

Professor Steve Werkmeister’s short story “Going Home” has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Sun Star Review.

Professor Steve Werkmeister has published a collection of poems that can be found on Amazon.com: The Unauthorized Autobiography:: Composed of Fragments, Distortions, Mythologies & LiesAlso see Steve’s blog:  https://stevesofgrass.wordpress.com/

Mark Browning Writes a Play

On Sunday, December 11, the Heart of America Christmas Pageant closed in Raytown after eight performances and roughly 15,000 attendees. This year’s script, This Changes Everything, was created and written by Professor Mark Browning.

Danny Alexander Continues Being Successful at all Sorts of Stuff 

Professor Danny Alexander was featured in an interview in the Kansas City Star.  The interview was about his recent book on Mary J. Blige.


Professor Alexander is also co-advising the new Black Student Union.

 • Greg Luthi Sponsors the Creative Writing Club 

The Creative Writing Club brings students together to share their writing. The club will host workshops and activities to develop writing skills, learn new styles of writing and provide peer critiques. Advisor: Greg Luthi, 913-469-8500, ext. 3936

• The New MLA: Info 

Please see Maureen’s MLA Page: http://blogs.jccc.edu/mfitzpat/mla-in-service-2016/

MLA 2016 Brochure from Norton: MLA 2016 Booklet

• Thomas Reynolds Poetry Published 

Spartan Press and Prospero’s Books announced the release of their 21st book in the POP POETRY series: “Small Town Rodeos” by Thomas Reynolds


• Follow English on Twitter

The English Twitter account is hosted by Prof. Steve Werkmeister.  Follow him on Twitter at English_Dept@JCCCEnglish