West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

The WVC English Department

Department News

Calla Lilies at the Campus Center

Good News at the End of Spring Semester 2014! 

Our department of 17 full-time (plus at times 10 part-time) faculty members is an exciting and active place to be. In addition to regular teaching and committee work, each faculty member pursues enriching professional endeavors. The 2013-2014 academic year was indeed productive for our faculty, and the forthcoming year promises many more accomplishments. Here are the highlights.

In addition to her work in the WVC Curriculum Committee and her leadership in the college's Success Program, Paulette Boudreaux's new novel, Mulberries was selected from among 170 contest entries to win the inaugural Lee Smith Novel Prize. Mulberries focuses on an eleven-year-old girl struggling to keep herself and her three younger brothers afloat in segregated Mississippi during the early 1960s.

In addition to her responsibilities as Chair of both the Language Arts Division and the Women and Gender Studies Program, for the second time, Leigh Burrill organized The "F-Word": The Global Feminist and Gender Revolution, a well-attended symposium where students presented their research on topics such as "Malleus Maleficarum: The Historical Demonization and Unjust Persecution of Women Worldwide Under the Guise of the Supernatural," and "The Binary Behind Bars: Trans Identity in the Prison Industrial Complex."

Dulce María Gray's short story “You Take Twirled Bodies and Turn Them into Two” was published in an anthology titled No Regrets: It’s Time to Move On and her scholarly essay, “Teaching Spidertown in the Blended Classroom,” has been accepted for inclusion in a forthcoming edited anthology, Multiethnic American Literatures: Essays for Teaching Context and Culture. She was awarded a sabbatical leave for the 2014-2015 academic year when she will be conducting research on culture-specific pedagogical practices in teaching college writing to Latinos.

Vicky Kalivitis and Dr. Anna Brichko will be presenting a paper titled "Designing, Implementing and Assessing a Curriculum to Reflect Global Competence in Public Education" at the Applied Business and Entrepreneurship Association International (ABEAI) conference in November in Hawaii. Their paper reports on the multi-year collaborative Global Citizenship project they directed with colleagues and students at WVC, San Jose State University and Leigh High School. (For more information about this project, read "Leigh HS-WVC-SJSU Global Pathway Project" in the WVC Global Citizenship blog.) The yearly ABEAI conference provides an opportunity for the exchange of research and ideas among faculty members, students, scholars and practitioners in business and entrepreneurship. Kalivitis and Brichko's paper may be submitted for publication in the special issue of the Indian Journal of Economics and Business or the American Journal of Economics and Business Administration.

Julie Maia completed a year-long Stanford University fellowship with the Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative (SHREI). During her fellowship, she studied gender and human rights issues in the developing world and presented her work at the fourth annual SHREI Symposium, Critical Conversations: Human Rights across the Curriculum. Her presentation at the 2014 SHREI Symposium focuses on a curriculum guide that she authored, Key Concepts: A Feminist Approach to Human Rights Education

The department has hired a tenure-line faculty member, Nils Michals, who earned an MFA from the University of Montana. In addition to teaching writing in various colleges throughout the west, Michals has published two collections of poetry: Come Down to Earth , which won the May Sarton New Hampshire Prize, and Lurewhich won the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Award. His other poems and essays have been published in various journals. Mr. Michals begins teaching in the department during fall 2014 semester. 

Eric Pape continues to serve as president of West Valley College's Academic Senate.

New faculty member, Jeanette Richey, completed her first year as a tenure-line member of the department. In addition to teaching, this past academic year she trained in online-specific course design and pedagogy. This summer she's preparing the Composition course she will teach completely online during fall 2014 semester. 

As summer begins, English Department faculty disperse and use the "down" time to nourish by attending conferences, traveling, learning, reading, writing, publishing and preparing terrific courses and activities. We look forward to seeing all of you in our classrooms!


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