Blog Update: December 19, 2014

• The American Association of University Professors Student Essay Contest 

Click here for more information. The deadline in January 15, 2015

• Jane Austen Society of North America Student Essay Contest 

Click here for more information.  The deadline is May 15, 2015.

• Mark Your Calendars!

1/13, Tuesday, at 10:00 a.m., CC 232: In-service session “Revision of the English Curriculum.” The ad hoc committee on this topic is composed of Matthew, Nathan, Mark B., Maureen, Andrea, Keith, Steve W., and Jim, but I encourage all members of the English Department to attend to discuss this important topic.

1/13, Tuesday, at 2:00, GEB 215:  In-service session on “Teacher Engagement: Discussing How and Why to Engage with Our Students” with Amy Pace, Sam Bell and Dave Krug.

1/14, Wednesday, at 1:00 p.m.:  In-service session on  “What Do  You Propose? Proposing Sessions for the Upcoming English Conferences” led by Maureen and Beth.

1/15: Thursday, at 6:30-8:30, CC 234:  English Adjunct In-service Meeting

1/16: Friday, 10:30 – noon: English/Journalism Division Meeting

1/17. Saturday, 9:00 – noon: Adjunct Professional Development Day

• Holiday Reading! The 2 Finalists for 2015-2016 Common Read 
The Common Read Committee is pleased to announce the finalists for next year’s Common Read selection. They are:

common read 1

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland.

common read 2

The Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candace Millard
Copies of the book will be available in Katherine Karle and Maureen’s mailboxes for review. Please read more information about the books below. As usual, we will ask faculty who believe they might want to use the common read book next year to vote during January in-service. Review copies of the selected book will be available by February.

News from Journalism and Media Communications 

On Nov. 25, more than 100 students, staff, and faculty attended the Journalism Department’s People in Promotion panel. Students learned what it was like to work in the field of Strategic Communications (public relations and advertising), and what great job prospects await them after graduation.   On the panel were Tricia McKim, VP at Morningstar Communications; Leanne Breiby, Communications Director for the Kansas City Community Foundation; Becky Blades, past Chairman and current board of directors member at Trozzolo Advertising; and Kathryn Lorenzen, Senior Recruiter at Landajob Marketing and Creative Talent.  After the formal presentation, the speakers stayed to visit one-on-one with our students.  Below are photos from this event:






In November, JCCC Marketing Communications professionals engaged JCCC Advertising and Public Relations students in a joint marketing research project.  Julie Haas, Christy McWard, and Judi Reilly sat in on focus groups led by Journalism Professor Gretchen Thum.  Students discussed their educational experiences at JCCC, their plans for the future, why they chose JCCC over other institutions, and described their perception of student life at JCCC.  It was both a valuable fact-finding session for the marketing communications staff, as well as a real-life learning tool for students who will be conducting this type of research themselves in the “real world.”  The students’ coursework mirrored the research project.
The Journalism and Media Communications Department has produced transfer agreements with both UMKC and Baker University’s Journalism and Mass Media Programs, effective in January.
Three students were awarded Rose Family Scholarships in Journalism and Media Communications this month:  Courtney Beasley, Brittany Branson, and Justin Buchheit

• Holiday Eggnog from the Food Network

• Holiday Recipes from around the Division

Go to the Holiday Recipe Page by clicking here! Recipes were contributed by Maureen, Nathan, Andrea and Larry.

There’s still time!  If  you have a holiday recipe you would like to share, send it to I’ll post it as soon as I received it.

• Deadline for 2015 Kansas Voices Writing Contest,March 13

 kansas voices

• Sony World Photography Awards


• A Message from Juliet Kincaid, former English Prof at JCCC 

Hi, All!
This Saturday December 13, along with fellow writers Lisa Daly, Joyce Anne Brown, and many others, I’ll be selling and signing books from 2:30 until 4:30 at Mysteryscape Bookstore at 7309 W. 80th Street in downtown Overland Park. Hope you can come.
Best, Juliet


• Booktalk on The Luminaries meets Jan. 23

Booktalk invites you to the discussion of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker winning debut novel The Luminaries at 2:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, in GEB 264.
The New York Times called Catton’s work “a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly.” The expansive novel, set in New Zealand’s 1870s gold rush, interweaves a complex series of stories to reveal the truth about what happened one fateful night. You’ll want to start this one well ahead of the January meeting.


Other books for spring 2015 are:
Friday, Feb. 27: “The Art of Mastering Soviet Cooking” by Anya Von Bremzen
Friday, March 27: “Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teichotz (paperback due out January)
Friday, April 24: “Five Days at Memorial” by Sheri Fink
These meetings will be held at 2:15 p.m. in GEB 264 as well.
 • Leanna Brunner and Richard Fleming participate in NaNoWriMo 
Adjunct Professor of English Leanna Brunner participated in National Novel Writing Month.
Leanna reports: I finished my novel last week and made the Nanowrimo deadline. I ended up with over 52,000 words but am going to flesh it out over the next month.
Richard Fleming, associate professor of Game Development, also participated.
Richard reports: I still need to update my Novel, but I stalled out at around 20k words.  I had a great time trying this year and did get further than I have in the past.  I still plan on finishing it though :)
For More Information click here


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

JCCC hosted the 2013-2014 League for Innovation Student Literary Competition.  This week we  have published the winners anthology, copies of which are available from Tom Reynolds. The anthology 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).
• In Poetry News . . . 
Tom Reynold’s poem “Raking Leaves” from The Little Balkans Review was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize.

• News from around the E/J Division

Professor Mark Raduziner, Chair of Journalism and Media Communications, attended the National College Media Association conference in Philadelphia Oct. 29-Nov. 2. In addition to attending several seminars/workshops, he provided one-on-one critiques with student newspaper staffs.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Andy Anderson and Adjunct Professor of English Kay Haas attended the NCTE conference in Washington, D.C.  Professor Haas is the parliamentarian of the group, and Vice President Anderson is on the Executive Committee for the Conference on College Composition and Communication, an organization within NCTE.
English Professor Ted Rollins was awarded a grant for the “Sunflower Project 2.0: Sustainability across the Curriculum” program.
Professor Beth Gulley gave the presentation “Renew Your Love of Writing” at the Kansas Association of the Teachers of English conference on October 30.
Kathryn Byrne has been nominated for the Bellwether Award given by the Community College Futures Assembly.
Professor Marilyn Senter attended the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships annual conference in Chicago at the end of October.
On Nov. 13, the English Department held a screening of Coming Home with Wes Moore, a three-part series that aired on PBS in May.  A question-and-answer session featuring JCCC veteran students followed. This panel discussion was part of JCCC’s Veterans Week activities.
Adjunct English Professor Farrell Jenab, the new Director of the Kansas Studies Institute, presented “Flint Hills Women” as part of the JCCC College Scholars program.
The English Department continues to plan and organize the JCCC Cavalier Conference on Writing and Literature, to be held on campus on April 24. The theme for the conference is “Transitions.” It will be a regional conference for teachers of English from local high schools and area colleges.
 • 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


• There’s still time: Free College Day 2014

There’s still time to volunteer to teach a class for the college’s fourth Free College Day on 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), we offered more than 100 classes and welcomed about 1,000 people to campus. Teachers and participants alike told us how much they enjoyed the event.
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:
We’ll offer 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’ll 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’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.
 • Steve Werkmeister and the English Student Twitter Account 
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.


• 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

• Booktalk’s Schedule, with all meetings in  GEB 264, at 2:15. 

The Booktalk schedule for 2014-2015

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).