• Various Deadlines of Interest:
Spring Technology Innovation Grants – April 7, 2017Friday, April 7, is the deadline for faculty to apply for Spring 2017 Technology Innovation Grants. These grants are designed to assist JCCC credit faculty with the acquisition of technology that fosters innovation in instruction and impacts student learning. The grants are intended for items not available through the normal ITP process.

Learn more and submit a new TIG application here:  https://infoshare.jccc.edu/communities/emptrain/edtech/Lists/TIGProposal/NewForm.aspx

After you’ve started an application, you can access it here:  https://infoshare.jccc.edu/communities/emptrain/edtech/Lists/TIGProposal/AllItems.aspx

For questions, contact Vincent Miller (vmiller4@jccc.edu or ext. 4711).

Proposal Deadline — April 14, 2017
Conference dates: August 3-4, 2017
Organization: SIDLIT — Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology
Location: Here!!
Theme: Discover, Connect & Engage!

Proposal Deadline May 1 , 2017
Location: St. Paul, MN
Organization: TYCA-Midwest (Two-Year College Association of English Teachers)
Conference dates: October 5-7, 2017
Theme: Cultivating Curiosity (registration fee waived for adjuncts who have proposal accepted)

Proposal Deadline — May 9, 2017
Conference dates: March 14-17, 2018
Organization: CCCC — Conference on College Composition and Communication
Location: Kansas City, MO
Theme: Languaging, Laboring, and Transforming (information about volunteer opportunities forthcoming)

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

• JCCC’s 20th Annual Night at the Nelson

All students, faculty, staff and their guests are invited to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art on the evening of April 7 from 6 to 8 p.m.  Faculty members from Arts Humanities and Social Sciences will be presenting works of art on display in the museum.  Feel free to come to part or all of the night’s events. Please encourage students to attend. Although the event is free we do ask that all attendees fill out tickets and turn them in at the Bloch Building so we can track attendance and notify instructors (for extra credit purposes). Tickets can be found in OCB 261 near the mailboxes. A limited number of tickets will also be available at the event.

Presenters this year include: Allison Smith, Tonia Hughes, Jill Domney, Valerie Zell, Clint Ricketts, Darrick Taylor, Rachel Di Camillo, Holly Milkowart, Stacy Davidson, Bernard Narcott-Mahany, Michael Robertson, James Leiker, Lorraine McCarty, Michael Hembree, Timothy Hoare, Dawn Gale and Dennis Arjo. For more information contact Allison Smith at ext. 3498 or Rachel Di Camillo at ext. 4329

•Awards Season: The Lieberman
English Adjunct Professors Leanna Brunner and Amy Pace and EAP Professor Victoria Gunbatar all received Lieberman Awards for Excellence in Teaching for 2016-2017.  Congratulations to our winners!

Mark Your Calendars: Creative Writing Reading Returns 

The Creative Writing Reading Series returns this Spring 2017 and will feature Mind’s Eye student writers (we hope). All faculty, students and staff are welcome to read from their work for up to 5:00 minutes at this open mic series. It is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, from 11-11:50 in the CoLab.

Reminder: April Is National Poetry Month


The Art of Banksy in Bethlehem


• 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 was explored Thursday, February 23, by a panel who discussed the Value of a Liberal Education. The panelists included: Vice Miller (Academic Support), Bill Koch (Science), Donna H (Math), and Monica Hogan (English).

Jim McWard Reports on New LMS Search 

As a reminder, here is the schedule for the LMS presentations.  They will also be recorded if you can’t make the actual presentations.

Blackboard                  Tuesday March 21st 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Hudson Auditorium
Instructure Canvas      Wednesday March 22nd 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Hudson Auditorium
D2L Brightspace          Friday March 24th 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Hudson Auditorium

•Dr. Mickey McCloud to Speak at Great Books Series

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

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.

Maureen Reports on the KCPDC Enhanced Teaching and Learning Conference

Last Saturday, I attended KCPDC Enhanced Teaching & Learning Conference over at Cleveland Chiropractic College, where I had the opportunity to hear presentations on a variety of topics, including sessions by some of our own faculty. Rebecca Kastendick and Victoria Gunbatar from the EAP program presented “Fostering Engagement through Collaborative Learning,” which I was particularly excited to see as I was unable to attend a similar session they did here earlier in the year on this topic. They introduced me to some interesting free software (polleverywhere.com and Quizlet), but more interesting to me were some of the ways they used their non-textbook book as the basis for capstone assignments—several ideas I will likely steal to use in my class with next year’s common read (creating a newspaper or reports based on the stories, assigning groups responsibilities for presenting what I think of as the “non-Walter” chapters, plus other ideas.

I also attended Ruth Heflin’s ” Reflective Thinking as a Teaching and Assessment Tool,” which reminded me that teaching is a cyclical thing—and that if you don’t renew and reexamine what you’re doing—in my case, when I fail to reflect on reflecting—you can fall into a rut and fail to properly take in and consider what students can tell you about their experiences and their own writing processes. Ruth outlined three “confessions” that I think many of us have experienced: the temptation to blame those who taught our students before they arrived in our classrooms, the assumption that students will automatically understand about how what we teach applies to their other classes, and our hesitancy at times to advocate for writing in all courses when faced with the claims of those outside of English that teaching and holding students accountable for the nitty gritty of writing is the responsibility of English faculty only. I was so happy to hear I was not the only faculty member ever to have a Composition II student who had taken me for Composition I swear they had never heard of the concepts I spent weeks on with them!

Gretchen Thum Reports on PR Panel Discussion  

Gretchen invited a group of PR professionals to come present to our students, talking about their careers, what a path to a PR job looks like, and how to connect their academic goals to their professional ones.  There were about 100 JCCC PR, Advertising, and Marketing students in attendance.  After the panel presentation, a  group of Gretchen’s students stayed for lunch and conversation with the presenters for more career and academic advice.

• 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 of Hero of the Empire

Join Booktalk Friday, March 24, at 2:15 p.m. in the CoLab, OCB 100, for a discussion of Candice Millard’s Hero of the Empire. Booktalk is open to anyone interested in the discussion of this book.

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.

• 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 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

Friday, March 24 — Hero of the Empire by Candice Millard
Friday, April 28 — Black Hole Blues by Janna Levin