Blog Update: April 11, 2015

• April is National Poetry Month

Read all about National Poetry Month and it related activities at The American Academy of Poets website at
• The English Department and Kansas Studies Institute Host 5th Annual Kansas Writer Symposium
On April 11, JCCC hosted the 5th Annual Kansas Writers Symposium.  The theme this year was Kansas Science Fiction. The keynote speaker was our own Professor Dave Davis, specialist and teacher in all things Sci-Fi.
The symposium was planned by Farrell Jenab, Tom Reynolds, Sam Bell, Matthew Schmeer, Dave Davis and Jim Leiker. It included a writing workshop for JCCC students.

kansas studies

 Dave Davis to Give Kansas Studies Lecture on Kansas Science Fiction, April 22
Dave will also give the public lecture “Ad Astra and Beyond: Science Fiction in Kansas” on April 22, at 7:00 p.m. in the Hudson Auditorium. A reception will precede the lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the Nerman Atrium.
Dave will also give the public lecture “Ad Astra and Beyond: Science Fiction in Kansas” on April 22, at 7:00 p.m. in the Hudson Auditorium. A reception will precede the lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the Nerman Atrium.
Join Dave for an in-depth look at the iconic role Kansas plays in science fiction novels, short stories, television shows, and movies.

dave and sci-fi

• Adjunct Professor Anthony Funari Received a Lieberman Award
Anthony Funari is the recipient of one of the $250.00 awards in the Lieberman Awards competition. He was honored for his teaching at the Adjunct Faculty Awards Dinner at on April 7 2015 at the Regnier Center.
• Professor Sayanti Ganguly Puckett to  Publish
Sayanti will publish research about Restoration playwright Susanna Centlivre in British Writers: A Collection of Literary Biographies in 2016. The publisher is Scribner’s/ Gale Cengage .
• A Message from Beth Gulley, Program Chair, Transitions Conference, April 24
transitions art 8
We are a few days away from our first annual Cavalier Conference on Writing and Literature. Our theme this year is Transitions. We believe we have a wonderful line up of presentations that includes Ernest Morrell, the immediate past president of NCTE, as our keynote speaker. Click here for the program for the JCCC Transitions Conference, 2015. If  you have not yet registered for the conference, it would be wonderful if you could join us in the Regnier Center to take part in the conference.
The lunch is free for JCCC employees.  You may cancel classes to attend.  Contact Beth or Keith for the promotion code to register for free.

• Ted Rollins Reports on His Experience at the March 2015 CCCC 

I enjoyed attending this year’s Conference on College Composition and Communication, themed “Risk and Reward,” in Tampa.  Here are a few sentences about the highlights of my experiences at the conference.
After having an excellent lunch with David and Diane on Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend Diane’s presentation focused on having composition students analyze protest groups.  I was especially interested in Diane’s discussion of one student, who wrote about the degree to which the Westborough Baptist Church has been effective as a protest group.  The other presenters as part of the same panel, “Risky Writing and Rewarding Pedagogies,” shared their research and in-class experiences related to the impact of policing plagiarism on the teacher-student relationship and the dynamics involved in having students write about addictions.
At this year’s conference I focused on attending sessions related to my growing interest in “writing for transfer.”  I wanted to learn more about what other writing teachers and programs are doing to help students apply what they learn in our writing courses to other contexts (including personal, academic, professional, and civic). Those sessions I attended gave me more insight into different ways to encourage “transfer” or use of writing knowledge beyond the writing classroom.  One session in particular, “Rethinking and Fostering Transfer,” featured immensely useful presentations from Ryan Shepard (Arizona State University, Tempe) and Howard Tinberg (Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA).  I am using some of the ideas and resources from these sessions to help prepare my presentation for our “Transitions in English” Conference at JCCC in April, which also focuses on applications of “writing for transfer.”

• The E/J Division JCCC Food Pantry Drive for April 

A message from Holly Milkowart, Food Drive Chair
The English Dept. food drive IS ON!  Boxes are located in GEB (EJ faculty office), CC 221 (EJ Division office), and OCB 204 (EJ adjunct faculty office).  The food drive is through the month of April.  All food donations go to support the JCCC Food Pantry.
Thank you.

food drive


food drive 2

  •  Tom Reynolds Reports that the Mind’s Eye Copies Will Arrive at the Beginning of May 
This year the Mind’s Eye writing contest judge is Eric McHenry, who is teaches creative writing at Washburn.


• Steve Werkmeister Recommends the Agas Interactive Map of Early Modern London

• Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice Reviewed by Steve Werkmeister

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Johnson County Community College and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City (The J) presented Kansas City’s first professional production of “The Merchant of Venice” since 1950.
Review: Merchant of Venice is, to a greater extent than even Taming of the Shrew, a really difficult play, difficult to produce and difficult to watch, particularly for a society that still espouses 21st century secular liberal values. It carries the weight of Elizabethan assumptions that we now recognize as anti-Semitic prejudices; it carries the weight of the KKK and the Dreyfus Affair and the Holocaust, all the brutal stupidity that fills the interim between the point in time that marks the future for the play and the opposite point that marks the past for play’s modern-day audience. This isn’t fair to the play-as-written, but one of the lessons we’ve seemed to have attached to this most difficult of Shakespeare’s comedies, life isn’t fair, especially if you’re an outsider looking in. Read Complete Review Here: Merchant of Venice Review


• The 2016 CCCC Annual Convention Call for Proposals, due May 5 

The 2016 CCCC conference will be held April 6-9 in Houston, Texas.  Next year’s theme is Writing Strategies for Action.  Download the Call for Proposals here. CCCC 2016 Call for Proposals
Electronic submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m., May 5, 2015, CST.
Online Submission Form:
Mailed submissions must be postmarked by April 28, 2015.

• Adjunct Professor of English to Speak at a Writer’s Workshop at UMC 

Leanna Brunner, adjunct faculty in English and writer extraordinaire (you’ll remember that she wrote a novel in a month for the National Write a Novel in a Month event), will deliver a presentation at the University of Missouri-Columbia in April. Her presentation on Marketing the Self-published Book is sponsored by the Mizzou Press.


• Creative Writing Reading, April 29

The next Creative Writing Reading for the Spring Semester is scheduled for April 29 at 1:00 p.m., in COM  319.  The reading will be hosted by Adjunct Professor Aisha Sharif.  For more information contact Beth Gulley at for more information.

creative readings

 • Booktalk Selections for Spring 2015, Next Meeting, April 24


Friday, April 24: “Five Days at Memorial” by Sheri Fink. 2:15 p.m. in GEB 264.

 • JCCC Journalism Department to Honor Eric Morgenstern, April 23

The Journalism and Media Communications Department at Johnson County Community College has awarded its 2015 Headline Award to Eric Morgenstern, president and CEO of Morningstar Communications, a local strategic integrated communications firm.
Each year, the journalism department honors a media professional whose example serves as an inspiration to college students. Morgenstern will receive the award during a luncheon at the college’s Regnier Center on Thursday, April 23.
Before the lunch that day, Morgenstern will present “Think Excellence, Not Difference,” at 11 a.m. in the Hudson Auditorium, located on the second floor of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. The address, free and open to the public, is expected to draw students and faculty in journalism, marketing and business.
For more than 35 years, Morgenstern has helped companies achieve and exceed their growth, sales, marketing and communications goals. He provides strategic counsel to CEOs and executives of companies nationally, including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, Hallmark Business Connections, Kansas City Area Development Council, RubinBrown and Tension.
Morgenstern is a founder of University of Kansas J-School Generations and an active alumni advisor.

• The English Department Is Registered for Cav Craze Day, May 13 

The annual spring festival, Cav Craze Day, is a fantastic event for the whole campus community featuring food, activities, music, transfer schools, clubs, and JCCC departments. This May’s event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, with Thursday, May 14, as the rain date. This event spans COM Plaza and Fountain Square.
Requests will go out in early May for volunteers to  man the English Department table.

• Call for Papers:  Teaching English in a Two-Year College (TETYC), due June 30  

Teaching English in a Two-Year College is pleased to announce a special issue focused on national trends and developments in higher education as they impact two-year campuses. The landscape of higher education seems to be undergoing seismic changes in the twenty-first century, and the impact on two-year campuses promises to be profound. This special issue will take stock of those changes. The issue will be published in March 2016. All submissions are due by June 30, 2015. Read more about it Teaching English in a Two-Year College Call for Papers

• 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 50:20-01:07:57.

• Outcomes Assessment Mini-grants Available

Mini-grants offered by the Office of Outcomes Assessment now are available on a rolling monthly deadline; submit your grant proposal by the 15th of the month to be considered for grant-funding review that month.
Use mini-grants to jumpstart or continue your assessment projects. Funds may be used for: Assessment resources
Travel for assessment-related activities
Equipment or software dedicated to assessment efforts
Assessment retreats
Costs associated with data input or external consultants
…and more.
Mini-grants are now available for up to $750. New guidelines/applications are available from the Office of Outcomes Assessment, GEB 262, on InfoShare or on the Outcomes Assessment blog.

• Creative Writing Club to Meet Every Thursday


In the spring semester, the Creative Writing Club will meet every Thursday, 3:30-5:00 in the InFocus Dining Room (Down Under) in the Commons building.  Activities vary from week to week, but usually involve writing exercises and critique sessions.  For more information, students may contact the club’s president, Stephanie Wallace:
• 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