The header is a section of a painting posted on the website

Blog Update: October 24, 2014

• Literary News from the Sustainability Office

Remember, we’ll gather on Halloween, at 2 PM in GP 101 to discuss some truly scary stuff.  Clifi.  This is a shorthand for Climate-based-science fiction.  This refers to stories set in a world affected by climate change and its consequences.  One can argue that the Hunger Games series can fit into this genre as well.
One author associated with this genre is Paolo Bacigalupi who has written award winning novels like The Wind Up Girl, Shipbreaker, and Drowned Cities.  We will be reading three short stories from his collection, Pump Six and Other Stories.  The book is available at your usual outlets and may still be available through our bookstore.
The stories are:  “The Tamarisk Man,” “The Calorie Man,” and “Yellow Card Man.”  The latter two stories take place in the same world as The Wind Up Girl.  Bacigalupi deals with the consequences of not just climate change, but also the growing control of corporations over the world’s food supply.  The results aren’t pretty.
 The New and Improved stuff has to do with the film Interstellar.  The film’s premise is that Earth’s resources have been overtaxed and that a new planet must be found to save humanity.  While there is a certain contradiction in giving away stuff when the topic of the day is the consequences of producing too much stuff, we will give away some stuff.  There will be an official Interstellar prize package including potentially a free ticket or two to the film courtesy of Paramount Pictures.

• The Poetry of Tom Reynolds — In the News!

Tom Reynolds’ poem “Flint Hills Runner” has been posted on the website Kansas Time + Place.  Read his poem here.


• David Cantwell’s Latest Publication 

David’s 7500-word monograph on country-pop singer Lee Ann Womack has been published on the website No Depression: The Roots Music Authority Since 1995.  Read the article here


• The Choices Project

Between now and -October 31, there will be an interactive and evolving display of student and community writing in the Carlsen Center lobby called “The Choices Project*.” This project is sponsored by the English/Journalism Common Read, and our goal is to create a Literary Art Installation, a mosaic of anonymous personal reflections. We are asking participants to take a few minutes to write on the following prompt:
 We all make choices–big and small, dramatic and seemingly mundane, for better or worse–that shape our lives and that lead to opportunities or that close doors.
On the sheet provided, write about a choice you made when, as the poet Frost would say, “two roads diverged” before you. You do not need to sign your contribution.
Find a spot on the Choices Project wall in the JCCC lobby, and post your response.
 We are inviting you to invite your students or community to participate in this event. To facilitate the event, we will be printing and distributing sheets for participants to use to write. If you think your students would like to be engaged in this installation, please contact me to request a pad of the event paper. Each pad will come with 30 sheets—lined for writing on one side and including a student release statement on the back to give us permission to display or remove contributions.
Please request the number of pads you would like to use by Monday, October 6, by contacting Maureen at  Also, please forward this email to any individuals, departments or clubs you think might want to participate.
*the Choices Project was inspired by The Strangers Project

• News about the 2013-2014 League for Innovation Student Literary Competition

Since JCCC hosted the 2013-2014 League for Innovation Student Literary Competition, we are publishing the winners anthology, which should be out in the next two weeks. It includes the winning entries (first/second/third/honorable mention)  for the poetry, fiction, essay, and one-act play categories.
JCCC student Shawna Bragg won third place for her essay “What Do You Know About It?” Roderick Townley, the essay category judge, stated that her piece is “an unflinching account of a girl taken from a dangerously dysfunctional mother and thrust into the disorienting world of the child protection bureaucracy. Very affecting work.”
Besides Lim, the competition judges were Thomas Fox Averill (fiction), Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (poetry), and Paul Stephen Lim (one-act play).
• Gribben Lecture at Labette Community College, Friday, October 24
Labette Community College’s annual Gribben lecture will be Friday, October 24 (two weeks after TYCA and one week before KATE). The speaker will be Brian Ballentine of West Virginia University.
The event is free, it’s usually a lovely drive to Parsons, Kansas, and they will even feed you!

• Booktalk Meets on October 24, GEB 264, at 2:15. 

Friday’ October 24 in GEB 264 @ 2:15–The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and             Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

old man book

• Creative Writing Reading — Next reading is on October 29

Creative Writing

This semester The Creative Writing Reading events will continue in COM 319 at 11:00 a.m.  Readings are scheduled fo October 29, and November 19.  All faculty, staff, and students are welcome to come and read about five minutes worth of a short story, play, novel excerpt, poem, narrative, etc. Free coffee and cookies will be provided, so spread the word. Beth Gulley is the coordinator of these events.  She can be reached at or  ext. 4201 for more information.

• Article from the NEA Today on the Threats to Developmental Education.
Read the article here.

nea article

• NISOD Excellence Award: Nominations due by Friday, Oct. 31

This award was established to recognize faculty members, administrators and administrative staff who epitomize “the importance of excellence in teaching and leadership in open-door settings” by keeping their focus on helping students succeed. These are the individuals who do great things in the classroom, or go out of their way to ensure student learning, success and leadership and are innovative within the roles they serve on campus. Since its inception in 1978, the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) has emphasized the importance of teaching and leadership excellence in institutions of higher education.
 The JCCC Staff and Organizational Development Department will provide full travel support for three selected individuals to attend the NISOD Conference, scheduled for May 25-28, 2014, in Austin, Texas. The conference focuses on celebrating teaching and leadership excellence with outstanding individuals sharing their best practices. All award recipients will be recognized during the final conference session.
Here is the NISOD Excellence Award Nomination Form:
 • ‘Building a Strengths-Based Future’ available for classrooms, also at Career Development Center
Faculty, have you had someone present a “Discover Your Strengths” presentation in your classroom and would like to have your students learn more about how to use their strengths in the job-search process and in working with others? Consider having a staff member from the Career Development Center present our new workshop, “Building a Strengths-Based Future,” to your students. This workshop is ideal for capstone classes or those classes where students know their top-five strengths and are ready to incorporate them into their resume, cover letter and job-interview practice.   Contact the Career Development Center at 913-469-3870, if you are interested, or let your students know about our upcoming workshops:
Wednesday, Oct. 29: 2 to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 18: 10 a.m. to noon
Thursday, Dec. 18: 4 to 6 p.m.
All of the above sessions are held at the center, Student Center 252.

· Ed Tech Center offers short D2L workshops

 The Educational Technology Center is offering short workshops on Desire2Learn. No registration is required for these sessions.   These hands-on demos plus Q and A will last 50 minutes, with time available afterwards for those who would like additional one-on-one support.    Scheduled sessions are (see also
D2L Basics, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 1-3 p.m., LIB 373, Paul McCourt
D2L Basics, Thursday, Nov. 6, 4-6 p.m., LIB 373, Jeff Kosko
D2L Gradebook, Friday, Nov. 14, 10 a.m.-noon, LIB 373, Bob Epp
D2L Gradebook, Monday, Nov. 17, 2-4 p.m., LIB 373, Zack Zahringer
D2L Basics, Thursday, Nov. 20, 5-7 p.m., LIB 373, Davy Jones
For the D2L iTeach training series offered by Ed Lovitt, see here.
You are always welcome to stop by LIB 375, or make an appointment with an Ed Tech Analyst at or ext. 3842.

• Farrell Jenab, College Scholar, to Discuss Role of Women in Kansas Flint Hills

As a Flint Hills native herself, growing up listening to her father’s stories of the history and folklore of the area, Farrell Hoy Jenab knew the Flint Hills was a special place.
But it wasn’t until she was a grown woman, teaching English as an adjunct professor at Johnson County Community College, that she began writing about the lives of the women of that region.
Those stories will be shared as Jenab presents “Flint Hills Women” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, in Hudson Auditorium at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. A 6:30 p.m. public reception in the Regnier Center atrium will precede the event. Her presentation is part of the College Scholars program at JCCC.
In a second presentation, Jenab will discuss “Prairie Women’s Writings” at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in Carlsen Center 211. The public is invited to this presentation as well.


For more information, click here.
• Andrea Broomfield to Lead Teaching Portfolio Sessions, Oct. 30 and Nov. 18
The following dates and times have been scheduled for to provide opportunities for faculty members to work on their teaching portfolio, with all sessions held in LIB 373:
10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29
11 a.m. to noon, Thursday, Nov. 6
1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18
2 to 3 p.m., Friday, Nov. 21
Andrea Broomfield, professor of English, will provide faculty with information pertaining to how to write a teaching philosophy on the following dates/times:
1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30
1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 18 (concurrent wi​th open lab time)
No advance registration is required. Simply show up to the session.

 • Guest Editorial:

Steve and the English Student Twitter Account 
The What:
You may be aware that the JCCC English Department has a publicity committee. The committee’s charge is to find new ways to advocate for the Department and all we have to offer, and in pursuit of that charge we have, among other endeavors, created a Twitter account (@JCCCEnglish). I have been given the honor of administering that account, and I am asking for your help.
At its most basic, the account imparts important department and college news, recognizes literature and literary figures (or things related to literature), and advocates for the discipline in particular and for the Arts and Humanities in general. Below, I will get into why I think this is vital, but for now, here’s a few sample tweets from the past couple months:
•#JCCC has released spring catalog! Find your English classes here: 
•Banned books are to libraries as dancing is to Footloose. Get your groove back with a book: so much depends / upon // 6 hours of comp / credit // glazed with rhet/oric // in MLA / format. Happy #JCCC Engl b-day, Wm Carlos Williams!
•Everything in higher ed is measurable if you value only what can be measured. #SMART#JCCCEnglish: Count on Wisdom, Count on Art.
•”Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean” Theodore Dreiser, American writer. Learn to sew words to meaning at #JCCC English!
•Literature draws on 2500 years of tradition–it’s what stays. Join us this semester at #JCCC
The thing is, we need followers, particularly students. Since we set up the account in mid-spring, we’ve attracted roughly three dozen followers, mostly through word of mouth (tweet of screen?). My hope here is two-fold: 1) you all sign up to follow the department twitter account (to do so, you need an account yourself–here are the instructions: (it’s super-easy–D2L will hang its head in shame–and you do NOT have to tweet in order to receive tweets). 2) you encourage your students to sign up. Our hope is that if we can get students to sign up, we can get students to elect to take more of our classes.


A Bit o’ Honey for the Pot:
I know we all don’t have time for wit, wisdom, and timely announcements, so in order to make the account more useful for everyday classroom matters, I would be willing to make the occasional announcement for cancelled classes, special events, that kind of thing. We are limited to 140 characters, so they have to be short (“Werkmeister’s Comp I 10 & 11 cancelled today. See D2L for more info”), and unless you can talk Keith into giving me three-hours release time, I won’t be making daily announcements (“don’t forget your journal!”). If you want to advertise what’s going on in your class (“This week in Drama: Ibsen’s Doll House–don’t be sulky squirrels!”) or an important event happening on campus in or the area, we can do that, too. My hope is to make the account reflect who we are as a department: fun and smart and practical and idealistic (in 140 characters).
The Why:
And here I am very emphatically speaking for myself. As a department, as a discipline, and as an approach to life, we are under siege. As you can tell from the fourth bullet listed above, I feel like there’s an existential threat to English departments (literature first, but non-professional writing soon–i.e., writing that’s not business- or tech-oriented). The threat is coming from all directions–some of you have heard me rage against the assessment machine (based on cost-benefit analysis popular in business), and the new Program Review regime (with its emphasis on SMART goals–specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) is just tying us closer to methods developed to increase productivity and profitability in the corporate world. On campus, we have fliers and posters the explicitly assess the worth of education by the wealth of job opportunities, and we have an ideology that says if a class doesn’t “count” towards graduation, it’s “wasted” credits. We have allowed to seep into higher education the idea that if something isn’t immediately practicable (“how am I going to use this in the ‘real world’?”) or can’t be used as currency in the credits-for-diploma marketplace, it’s literally without value. It’s a waste.
Some disciplines teach how lives are saved, some teach the materials of life, some teach how to make more money in the course of one’s life. We, and I would include here others in the Arts and Humanities, teach why life’s worth living.  Continue reading here.

 Faculty Senate Blog        Faculty Association Blog 

Faculty Senate Minutes for Sept. 11, 2014  Faculty Senate Minutes for August 14, 2014

•  Scheduled Meetings in the Halls of Academe 

Faculty Senate meets  November 13 (CC 232); December 11; January 22; February 12; February 12 ; March 12; April 9; May 14
Faculty Association meets in RC 270 from 2 – 3 on November 17; and December 8.
Board of Trustees meets each month at 5 p.m. in the Hugh Speer Board Room, GEB 137, November 20; December 18; January 15; February 9; March 12; April 16, 2015* (4 p.m.); May 14; June 18. Board Packets

• Four Faculty Members Presented at TYCA 2014 in Grand Rapids Last Week 

Sam Ball and Amy Pace presented “Dear Professor.” This session encourages conversation about why getting to know our students is vital for student writing and for fostering a crucial sense of community within a community college classroom. By tracing and reflecting on the “pedagogy of disclosure,” this session will show how narrative assignment prompts, narrative writing exercises, and honest conversations with students fulfill our course outcomes.
Maureen Fitzpatrick presented “You Belong in a Zoo: Teaching Technology, But Not ‘Technically.’” In this workshop, participants worked collaboratively to build pieces of a website for a fictional zoo. Maureen used this introductory assignment to show students how to combine intentional writing choices with an understanding of the mechanics of the Internet.
Beth Gulley and Jeremy Gulley presented “Playing with Padlet–the Digital Answer for Those Who Love Paper.” Beth and Jeremy demonstrated how to use, a free, easy-to-use “global platform for creativity and self-expression,” to facilitate discussions in on-line, hybrid, and face-to-face courses.

• Andrea Broomfield’s Latest Food-related Book Review

“Recognizably Sublime Moments and Weirdly Remote Rhetorical Flourishes”
by Andrea Broomfield
Adam Gopnik’s The Table Comes First: Family, France and the Meaning of Food (Vintage, 2012) covers a wide range of topics, from profiles of restaurateurs to philosophical arguments regarding taste.  I was drawn to the book because of the title and what the book might convey to me about French food culture and France in general.  While France does play a role in Gipnik’s study, its role is less overt than what the title leads one to believe.   Readers do not meet French families or gain much insight into modern-day French families’ eating habits and recipes, in other words. Continue reading here

• Mark Browning Moves House

“A Moving Story”
Penny and I used to joke, when the kids annoyed us, that we should have had puppies rather than kids. One of us would look at the other and simply say, “Puppies.” We understood.
 Moving resembles childbirth, knocking us out of our established routines and leaving us saying, “I am never doing that again!” Actually, the more I think about it, the parallels continue. Moving winds up being absurdly expensive, begins with great hopes and leads inexorably to those hopes melting away, and—at least in my case—causes back pain.
Penny and I moved over the last couple of weeks, abandoning life in the sticks and purchasing a house that’s only a half mile from where I grew up. The address is 11711 Markham Road, Independence, should you want to stalk us via Zillow. My mother lives one street over, but happily she’s not up to walking to our place. Continue reading here

browning house

• Common Read Activities for Fall 2014

12-item Grit Scale (PDF)
 Angela Duckworth Speaks about Grit: Ted Talk


Monday October 13-Friday October 31
Carlsen Center Lobby
Choices Writing Project/Installation (description and prompt attached) To learn about The Stranger’s Project (which inspired this) may help clarify the project
Thursday, November 13
Craig Auditorium
Coming Home with Wes Moore episode viewing with comment by JCCC veterans; Part of Veteran’s Day week events

• Microsoft Office for Students

JCCC has an agreement with Microsoft that allows credit students to download and install a full version of Office 365 Pro Plus at no cost via the Microsoft Student Advantage program. Office on your PC includes Word, Access, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, and Lync.  Office on your Mac includes Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.  For more information, go to

• Creative Writing Reading Dates
Creative Writing

This semester The Creative Writing Reading events will continue in COM 319 at 11:00 a.m.  Readings are scheduled fo October 29, and November 19.  All faculty, staff, and students are welcome to come and read about five minutes worth of a short story, play, novel excerpt, poem, narrative, etc. Free coffee and cookies will be provided, so spread the word. Beth Gulley is the coordinator of these events.  She can be reached at or  ext. 4201 for more information.

• Enrollment now required for mandatory training; here’s how to enroll

     July 1, 2014, marked the beginning of fiscal year 2015 and with that a reminder of two training programs required of every employee every fiscal year. Completion of these two training programs is in compliance with Board Policy Mandatory Training 422.02
     Enrollment with a CRN is now required for the two training programs. You can do so through MyJCCC. After enrolling, you will receive an email confirmation that will contain a link to the training program. The training is delivered on-line 24/7 from any computer with an internet connection.
     Each training program has its own CRN, one mastery test and a certificate of completion. Should you desire a certificate of completion for your records and/or if your supervisor requires it, you will be able to print it.  You do not need to present a copy to Human Resources. Successful completion will automatically be communicated to Human Resources. Your JCCC transcript will be updated the month following the date you completed the training.
     The course CRNs are:
Information Security and Campus Safety Awareness – CRN 34050 Preventing Harassment in the Workplace and on Campus – CRN 34051
     Follow these steps to enroll:
Log in to MyJCCC Click on the MyView tab Click on the green ADD/DROP CLASSES button located in the Staff Development window Select the term Staff Dev 2014-2015 Enter the CRN Click Submit
     The CRNs may also be found on the staff development open/closed class list.
     Questions regarding registration or the programs may be directed to

• Department of Journalism News

The Journalism and Media Communications Department has entered into a  transfer agreement with UMKC for journalism and mass communications. JCCC students can transfer up to 15 journalism credits to the major at the university.
The department’s annual “People in Promotion” panel presentation is planned for Tuesday, November 25, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. in CC 211• Professor Sam Bell’s Digital Article at The Chronicle Has Led to Surprising Things!
• Booktalk Meets on October 24, GEB 264, at 2:15. 

Friday’ October 24 in GEB 264 @ 2:15–The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and             Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The Booktalk schedule for 2014-2015

Friday, November 21 in GEB 264 @ 2:15– Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
Friday, January 23 in GEB 264 @ 2:15–The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
Friday, February  27 in GEB 264 @ 2:15–The Art of Mastering Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen
Friday, March 27 in GEB 264 @ 2:15– Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teichotz
Friday, April  24 in GEB 264 @ 2:15–Spill Over by David Quammen

• The New Mind’s Eye Is Now Available


 From the College Website: Mind’s Eye includes poetry, fiction and non-fiction. It began as a way for writers and artists to share their material in print form.
“This year, the poetry section includes 18 works, all of which have the earmarks of good poetry—interesting use of language and the ability to surprise us, to make us think about ourselves and our world from fresh perspectives,” writes Thomas Reynolds in the magazine’s introduction.
“The fiction and non-fiction sections are also very strong, conveying their narratives in prose that is often surprising and always compelling,” he writes.
The magazine will also include interviews with Denise Low, former Kansas poet laureate and guest judge of the poetry and fiction entries, and Wyatt Townley, the current Kansas poet laureate.
The wisdom from three other writers also is included, as they answer the same three questions posed to them by the magazine’s editors.
Works of art from JCCC students, which Reynolds describes “as series of powerful and thought-provoking images,” also contribute to the creative content.
“Mind’s Eye” is for sale for $3 starting in the C-Store and the Writing Center or from Reynolds (GEB 165H); Larry Thomas, “Mind’s Eye” faculty advisor for art and photography (ATB 101B); or Kelly Byfield, administrative assistant for the English department (CC 221B).

 • Looking ahead: Free College Day 2015 will be April 18, 2015

JCCC is planning another Free College Day next year – specifically, Saturday, April 18, 2015.  It’s a great way to give back to the community, bring new people to campus and show off what we have.

For each of the last three Free College Days (2009, 2011 and 2013), the college has offered more than 100 classes and welcomed about 1,500 people to campus. Teachers and participants alike told us how much they enjoyed the event.
Once again, faculty and staff can volunteer to teach a class free of charge to the public. If you enjoyed the last three Free College Days – or heard how much your colleagues enjoyed it – then please volunteer to teach a session again. People have taught their subject (interior design, science, history, math, automotive, language, etc.) or their interests (coin collecting, stamps, genealogy, sailing, camping) – almost anything goes. Some things to know about the day: There will be 45-minute classes beginning at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. That gives participants 15 minutes to get from one place to another or get refreshments.
If you’d like to teach a session (or two!), we will eventually need to know the time(s) you’d like to teach, whether you have a preferred room, and how many participants you can handle in a class. We’ll also need a title for the class and a short, 2-3 sentence description. (We don’t need all these details right now, but we will in the fall.)
We’ll again use the courtyard, the Carlsen Center lobby and the Atrium as bases for directions and information. And of course we’ll have food and entertainment for all. If you’d like to volunteer to teach a class that day or just need more information, please contact Julie Haas,, ext. 3120.