Blog Update: July 22, 2015
Academic Calendar, Summer 2015
Academic Calendar, Fall 2015
Fall 2015 Finals Schedule

• Peer Writing Tutors Wanted

The Writing Center is hiring for fall 2015 positions.  Students need to have taken English/Comp 121, received a B or better, exhibit excellent communication skills. Students must be enrolled at JCCC to be eligible for the position.
To apply contact Kathryn Byrne
Writing Center Director
913-469-8500, ext. 3497

 • Steve Werkmeister Poem Published 

Silver Birch Press included one of Steve’s poems in their All About My Name Series. Here’s the link if you want to check it out:

• School Supplies Drive, July 20 – August 7

school supplies

• Save the Date for the 2015 Harvest Dinner

A Local Foods Dinner in Support of Sustainability Scholarships
Friday, August 21, 2015
Capitol Federal Conference Center
Regnier Center – JCCC Campus (map)
6 p.m. – Reception
7 p.m. – Dinner and Program
Free Concert following – Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art Lawn
Purchase 2015 Tickets
As a true campus farm-to-table dinner, the menu will be dependent upon the harvest. Menu updates will be provided here as they are confirmed.
$50 per person
$400 per table (seats 8)
$20/ticket, $160/table will benefit a scholarship fund for JCCC students pursuing sustainability research, internships and degrees.
• Adjunct Professional Development Event, August 15
During August Professional Development Days, a professional development event targeted specifically for adjunct faculty will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 15, in RC 101 B and C.
If you are interested in attending this event, please register using CRN 30131. Click here to review instructions on how to enroll.
In order to submit an accurate head count for Catering, please enroll by Wednesday, Aug. 12.
The schedule for the event is listed below:
8:30 to 9 a.m. – Registration and Continental Breakfast
9 to 9:20 a.m. – Welcome: Joe Sopcich, president, and Andy Anderson, vice president, Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer
Next, participants will have the opportunity to choose between LMS training or attend the roundtable discussions. Feel free to visit more than one table or one discussion!
9:30 to 10:20 a.m. – Learning Management System Training (D2L Overview Training Session, D2L Advanced Session)
10:30 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. – Learning Management System Training (D2L Overview Training Session, Lecture Capture Session)
9:30 to 11:30 a.m. – Roundtable Discussions. Discussions will include the following topics:
Opportunities for Collaboration with Full-time and Adjunct Faculty
Access Services
Managing the Learning Environment – Handling Difficult Students
Faculty Senate
Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Opportunities/Resources/Benefits
Building Relationships with Students
Creating an “Iron-clad” Syllabus
Sharing Your Course in D2L

11:45 a.m. to noon – 
Wrap-up and Prize Drawing. Must be present to win.
• Fall Semester 2015: Dates to Keep in Mind
Tuesday, August 11: In-service Sessions
Comp I and Comp II Revisions—Department Discussion (tentative)
Revision of the English Curriculum—Department Discussion (tentative)
TYCA-Midwest Discussion (tentative)
Wednesday, August 12
All-staff Breakfast, 7:00 – 8:30
All-staff Meeting,  9:00 – 10:30
Pin Ceremony, 11:00 to Noon, RC 101
Common Read Across the Curriculum (tentative)
College Now, 4:00 – 9:00
Common Read Social, 5:30 – 6:30 (tentative)
E/J Division Adjunct Meeting, 6:30 – 8:30 CC 232
Thursday, August 13
All-faculty Meeting, 9:00 – 10:30
Mind’s Eye Launch and Creative Writing Reading (tentative)
Friday, August 14 
E/J Division Meeting, 10:30 to 12:00, RC 183
Assessment World Café, noon to 2:00, RC 101
Saturday, August 15 
Adjunct Professional Event, RC 101

• Mind’s Eye 2015 is out!

The new Mind’s Eye student literary magazine is a gorgeous edition. Copies are available for $5  at Tom Reynolds’ office (GEB 165H), at the English Division office, and from the JCCC bookstore. The guest poetry/fiction judge for the issue is Eric McHenry, poet and English professor at Washburn University. Eric has just been named the Kansas Poet Laureate for 2015-2017. The guest non-fiction judge is JCCC’s own Steve Werkmeister.

mind's eye

Here is the list of winners:
Winner: “Loose Park” by Hannah Steinhauser
Everything in “Loose Park”—acorn, cicada, human—is beautiful, vital, slightly absurd, and ephemeral. An awareness of death breathes life into the poem.  –Eric McHenry
Runner-Up: “November Smells of Bitter Coffee” by Hanna Swedo
Form and theme dovetail nicely in this sestina. The speaker is preoccupied with recurrence — rituals (“coffee,” “cigarette”), calendars (“November”), and a cyclical relationship (“Father”). Despite the poem’s structural demands, the voice is conversational throughout.  –Eric McHenry
Winner: “How to Be Best Friends with your Best Friend’s Son” by Shelby Dallman
This sly little story makes no false moves. I especially admired the choice to put it in the imperative mood, like a set of instructions. That complicates the piece’s tone in interesting ways: It makes the speaker seem all the more ruthless and calculating, but it also hints at her sense of shame, her desire to hold her transgressions at arm’s length. She may find it necessary to describe “you” exploiting another human being, because admitting that “I” did it would be too painful.– Eric McHenry
Runner-Up: “Marlene” by Jon Dahl
I like zombie stories only slightly more than mosquitoes, freezing rain, and Bill O’Reilly. It’s a testament to this one’s energy and imagination that I was able to put that prejudice aside. Crucially, the author knows the importance of specific nouns and active verbs.— Eric McHenry
Winner: “My Mother’s Suicide” by Alexis Garren
“Ms. Garren uses an impressive level of sensory detail and tactile description of one situation to address the larger issue of suicide. She allows the main characters to remain honestly human, even in the face of inhuman suffering.”— Steve Werkmeister
Runner-Up: “How Can Someone be a Homicide Survivor?” by Melissa Smith
“As Ms. Smith takes us through the definition and various aspects of being a homicide survivor, there’s an interesting tension between the rigidity of the form and the strong emotional current underneath. It’s a great lesson in control.”
— Steve Werkmeister 
• The English Department to Participate in the Fall Cav Kickoff  Event
Campus Kickoff is Wednesday, August 19, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on the JCCC campus outside in COM Plaza and Fountain Square.  English Department members may want to think about volunteering to help staff our table.
• Kathryn Byrne Earns Ph.D.
Kathryn Byrne, director of the JCCC Writing Center, earned her doctorate this summer.
 Here are the particulars:
Her dissertation is “The Give and Take of Peer Review: Utilizing Modeling and Imitation.”  Her degree is a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition with an emphasis on Literacy, Rhetoric, and Social Practice, from Kent State University.
• A Learned Article on the Course Evaluations and their Validity 
Article on Course Evaluation at Inside Higher Education
• Booktalk News for June from Maureen Fitzpatrick 
Café Tempo is reserving “the big table” in the atrium for us on the days of our booktalks, so let’s not disappoint them! Come with your read in hand.
Wednesday, July 22 @ 12:30 – Café Tempo – guilty pleasures and other things you wouldn’t nominate for a regular booktalk
Come, order lunch or at least coffee, and get ready to hear about some new mysteries and mystery series.
 • Mark Raduziner’s Life and Creativity Featured at Nerman
Mark is featured in an installation  called “The Caretaker” by Los Angeles-based Amir Fallah. The artist creates a three-dimensional picture of his subject through paintings and constructions inspired by Mark’s possessions, including his collection of more than 300 cactus plants, which has gained him a measure of local renown. To read more about it click here.
A reception was held honoring artists whose work is being exhibited now at the Nerman. Mark was there, and Gretchen!
Mark and Gretchen, May 28, 2015

Mark and Gretchen, May 28, 2015

Mark at Nerman Reception

Mark at Nerman Reception

 • Nathan and Lorie Elected to Faculty Senate Leadership Positions
Professor Nathan Jones has been elected president of the JCCC Faculty Senate for 2015-2016.  Adjunct Professor Lorie Paldino has been elected Vice President of the Faculty Senate for 2015-2016.  Congratulations to both members of our department for this accomplishment!
  • Presentations from the Transitions Conference in April
Transitions Conference Photo Gallery. Photos are taken by student Brittany Branson.  See more of her work on Brit Photography on Facebook.
Ernest Morrell: New Directions in Teaching English
Kevin Rabas: Welcoming and Acclimating Beginning College Creative Writers
Erin O’Keefe and Elizabeth Martell: Transitions from Pathos to Logos
Ted Rollins: What Can Students Do with Their Writing Beyond Our Courses? Build an Expanded Writing Portfolio
SLCC ePortfofolio  Signature-Assignment-Tool
Morgan Menefee: More than Just Farmers: Enabling Agrarian Student Transitions from Farm to College

 • Interesting Editorial about College Teaching in the NYTimes Online

What’s the Point of a Professor

• New Collaboration Center to Open in Fall 2016 in Vacated OCB space

JCCC is moving forward to create a new Collaboration Center in the vacated space in OCB. The center will facilitate collaboration among students, faculty and industry in interdisciplinary projects and promote faculty working across disciplines to engage students in solving significant problems.
This will require students to apply what they are learning in context and to develop strong interpersonal and communication skills critical to career success. The center will support a much greater community connection, helping the college fulfill its mission “to inspire learning to transform lives and strengthen communities.”
The funds originally budgeted this year for the project will be re-budgeted to support it in fiscal year 2016. Architectural and construction work should be completed in time to occupy the space by fall 2016.
For a more complete description of JCCC’s Collaboration Center, click here. For a floor plan of the center, click here. (These documents are on Sharepoint, so you will need your username and password to gain access.)

 • Father Gregory Boyle Spoke as Part of Common Read Events 

Father Boyle spoke on Tuesday – March 10, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. in the Polsky Theater, to a standing-room-only crowd.
As the culminating event for the Common Read this year, gang intervention specialist Fr. Gregory Boyle spoke on March 10 to a capacity- crowd in our Polsky Theater. By sharing the stories of young men and women with whom Boyle works, he proclaims that kinship is most important: “without kinship, no peace,” Boyle says, “without peace, no justice.”  Boyle founded Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles in 1988 as a response to eight warring gangs entrenched in two public housing projects. Homeboy Industries is now the largest gang intervention, rehab and re-entry program in the world. More than 15,000 people a year enter its doors seeking transformation.
You can learn more about Homeboy Industries:
You can learn about our Common Read selection, The Other Wes Moore:
Homeboy employs and trains hundreds of former gang members every year in seven social enterprises. Boyle recently was honored as a White House Champion of Change.
Thank you to the Common Read Committee Maureen Fitzpatrick and Lorie Paldino (co-chairs), Monica Hogan, Farrell Jenab, Katherine Karle, Staci Petrillo, Marilyn Senter, and Jane Stock for organizing this wonderful event for our students and colleagues and our community.
See his great lecture that has been posted on YouTube

The event was recorded on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. The video contains an introduction by Professor Marilyn Senter 00.00-04:54, main lecture 04:54-50: 15, Q&A 50:2001:07:57.
 • English Professors, Ask Students to Sign Up for Twitter, Search for and Follow @JCCCEnglish 

To create a Twitter  account on the web:

Go to and find the sign up box,
Or go directly to
Enter your full name, email address, and a password.
Click Sign up for Twitter.
On the next page, you can select a username (usernames are unique identifiers on Twitter) — type your own or choose one  Twitter has selected for you. Twitter will tell you if the username you want is available.
Double-check your name, email address, password, and username.
Click to Create your account. You may be asked to complete a Captcha to let us know that you’re human.
Twitter will send a confirmation email to the email address you entered.
Click the link in that email to confirm your email address and account.
Search for @JCCCEnglish to follow English Students Twitter account

• Alert Your Students to this CASAI Resource 

The JCCC group Council Addressing Substance Abuse Issues (CASAI)  is sponsoring meetings on Thursdays, 11:00, RC 171 for those struggling with substance abuse problems.
•The Common Read Selection for  2015-2016 Common Read Announced 
The Common Read Committee is pleased to announce the Common Read selection for 2015-2016 is The Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candace Millard.  Candace is a local writer and a former JCCC student!

common read 2