• Common Read for 2017-2018

During the January in-service, E/J faculty chose Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson as the 2017-2018 Common Read.

• Common Read 2016-2017 Event, February 23

This year’s Common Read In Defense of a Liberal Education will be explored Thursday, February 23, 11:00-12:15, in the Craig Auditorium. A panel will discuss the Value of a Liberal Education. The panelists include: Vice Miller (Academic Support), Bill Koch (Science), Donna H (Math), and Monica Hogan (English).

•Professor Cathleen O’Neil, Speaker at Great Books Series 

On Wednesday, February 8,  Cathleen O’Neil, Professor of Mathematics, spoke on Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott.

League for Innovation Student Writing Competition, Deadline, April 3

The League for Innovation in the Community College is sponsoring its annual literary competition to celebrate the creativity, talent, and diversity of student writers. Each League board member (including JCCC) conducts its own competition, for which students submit work in four categories: fiction, essay, poetry, and one-act play. The work of the local winners will be forwarded to the national competition to be judged by nationally known writers in each category. The winners of the national competition are then published in a journal.

The JCCC portion of the competition is now underway, and as mentioned above, we are accepting submissions in four categories: fiction, essay, poetry, and one-act play. There is no entry form for this year’s competition. Instead, the student’s information should be included on the submission. Also, each student should send Thomas Reynolds an electronic copy of each submission. This year’s guidelines are here: League for Innovation Writing Competition Guidelines 2017. (Hard copies of the guidelines are available in GEB 165 and on the bulletin board in CC 221).

The deadline is April 3. Hard copy submissions can be placed in my mailbox or dropped off at my office (GEB 165H).  Please spread the word to your students.

• JCCC Scholarship Application

As you may have read on InfoList, the 2017-2018 JCCC Scholarship Application is available through the My Financial Aid tab in MyJCCC and then students click on the Scholarship Portal link. The priority deadline is April 1, 2017, but departments, selective admission programs, clubs and/or organizations continue to award scholarships throughout the academic year. Some need-based scholarships also require the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). More information can be found online at www.jccc.edu/scholarships. Please encourage your faculty to announce this in their classes in order for students to apply and/or direct them to the website above.

Gretchen Thum’s Students Win Scholarships

Faculty and students from the JCCC Journalism Department attended the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) conference on February 16. This annual conference is composed of local public relations and advertising professionals, and Strategic Communications faculty and students. Students and faculty from the University of Missouri, the University of Kansas, Avila University  and Truman State also attended, along with JCCC.  IABC awarded eight student scholarships to the conference, and JCCC students received four of them.

Pictured above are Assistant Professor of Journalism Gretchen Thum, along with her four Strategic Communications students. Eric Morgenstern, president of the local PR firm Morningstar Communications, is on the far left. Eric was JCCC’s 2015 Journalism Department Headline Award recipient.

• Booktalk Discussion Topic Excellent Daughters

Join Booktalk Friday, February 24 at 2:15 p.m. in GEB 264 for a discussion of Katherine Zoepf’s book Excellent Daughters. Zoepf has been reporting on the rapid and sometimes radically changing lives of women in the Arab world for over a decade. Samira Hussein will lead this discussion on a piece of the world that is too often misunderstood. Booktalk is open to anyone interested in the discussion of this book.

• Travel Grants Are Available- Applications due March 1

     KU’s Center for East Asian Studies is offering two travel grants of up to $3,000 each for JCCC faculty members, either full-time or adjunct, to travel to East Asia this spring or summer. “East Asia” is defined as China, Japan, or South Korea. The travel must be used to enhance or further develop East Asian studies at JCCC, either through preparing to lead a future study abroad trip or through developing a curriculum module. Travel must be completed by Aug. 15, 2017. 

     For more information or to receive an application, please contact Tom Patterson, Director International Education, at tpatte12@jccc.edu. The application deadline is March 1. Andrea Broomfield Presented at the Noon at the Nerman

Professor Andrea Broomfield presented Friday, February 3, at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. She discussed Flag Cake by Julie Blakmon, featured in the museum’s current exhibition Domestic Seen.

Lorie Paldino to Present at Peaks Conference

Adjunct Professor Lorie Paldino will be presenting her paper “Singular They: The All-Purpose Solution” at the Peaks Conference in Flagstaff, Arizona, on February 23.

•Paul Restivo Attends Conference

Adjunct Professor Paul Restivo attended the Write to Learn Conference in Osage Beach, Missouri,  Feb. 16-18.

• Update on Ruth Heflin’s Research

Adjunct Professor Ruth Heflin and her husband Adjunct Professor James Cooper went on traveled Minnesota to Wyoming to research the ecological effects on places mentioned in Charles Eastman’s book, Red Hunters and Animal People. She is working on producing a scholarly edition of the book, and will include her findings, although it will probably entail one more trip later this spring. She gave a presentation on our preliminary findings last August at the JCCC Faculty Symposium called, “American Indian Ecology Conveyed Via Literature.” She will also be giving a presentation on using reflective thinking exercises to promote learning and for assessment purposes at the Enhancing Teaching and Learning Conference next month.

• Cavalier Conference on Writing and Literature News

The JCCC Third Annual Conference on Writing and Literature will take place on April 21, 2017.  So save that date! This year the featured speaker will be Professor Tom Averill of Washburn University.  The theme for the conference is “Showcasing” and will involve JCCC’s new Collaboration Center on the first floor of the OCB.

The deadline for Presentation Proposals has been extended to February 28.

Cavalier Conference Presentation Proposal Form for 2017


The organizing committee of Maureen, Marilyn, Matthew, Greg Dixon, Nathan, Ted, and Keith are planning the conference and will send out a call for presentations soon.


Matthew Schmeer’s Poetry Published

His poem “The Merchant Marine’s Lover” was selected for an Editor’s Choice award for issue 5 of Panoply. The poem was published online in early January (https://panoplyzine.com/the-merchant-marines-lover-matthew-schmeer/

His poem “Disturbing the Peace” was accepted for issue 13 of Really System (http://reallysystem.org/), an independent online journal.

His poem “Yes” was accepted for the 11th issue of Marathon Literary Review, published by Arcadia University (http://marathonlitreview.com/), due out in February 2017.

His role playing game encounter “Hag’s Addle”, co-written with Gavin Norman, is scheduled for publication in Wormskin #5, a small press/indie press role playing game magazine.

• 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.

Nathan Jones Gets More Educated

Professor Nathan Jones officially received his second doctorate, in Composition and TESOL, from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The title of his dissertation, which is published by Proquest, is Discovering Perceptions of the Essence of College-Level Writing: Transcendental Phenomenological Inquiry in a Midwestern Community College.

Professor Jones will also be the new faculty sponsor for SKD English Honors Society. http://www.english2.org/


Keith Geekie Works with Pakistan Teacher

Professor Keith Geekie has completed her one-semester mentor role with a visiting Pakistan scholar.  She will continue working with Mr. Ishfaque Abbasi, from the Sukkur IBA English Department, on the design of Composition I courses online.

 • 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


The Great Books Series 

Wednesday, March 29 – GREAT BOOK MINI-LECTURE (12noon in the CoLab) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (translated from Middle English); presented by Mickey McCloud, Vice President of Academic Affairs/Chief Academic Officer

• Booktalk News

The following are the 2016-2017 selections for the Booktalk Discussion group:

Friday, Feb. 24 Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World by Katherine Zoepf
Friday, March 24 — Hero of the Empire by Candice MillardFriday, April 28 — Black Hole Blues by Janna Levin