The WVC English Department
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 2014-2015 academic year was indeed productive for our faculty, and the forthcoming year promises many more accomplishments. Here are the highlights.
Paulette Boudreaux's first novel, Mulberry, winner of the inaugural Lee Smith Novel Prize from Carolina Wren Press, will be published in October. Our department will host a launch party and proudly send her off on her book tour. For dates and places of where she will be reading, click here.
Paulette Boudreaux, Rebecca Cisneros-Diaz and Leslie Saito-Liu will be participating in the academic year-long California Acceleration Project. The project's professional development opportunity, the Community of Practice in Acceleration, supports faculty who are piloting new accelerated courses in English and Mathematics. Support consists of participating in three in-person workshops and receiving continued training from the programs' two coaches. Currently, 30 colleges throughout California are participating in the Community of Practice, and 59 colleges are offering accelerated pathways for students. Paulette, Rebecca and Leslie are tasked with learning Accelerated Course pedagogy and then returning to WVC to grow the English Department's accelerated course offerings. Their effort should help to narrow existing equity gaps.
In addition to her responsibilities as Chair of both the Language Arts Division and the Women and Gender Studies Program, for the third time, Leigh Burrill organized the successful Global Gender Forum: " The 'F-Word'," a well-attended symposium where students present their research on topics ranging from "Pathologizing Transgenderism" and controversial sex reassignment surgery in Iran, to "Heternormativity, Masculinity Norms, and Relationship Abuse in Java, Indonesia." This symposium sparked compelling discussions about gender and sexuality norms among the audience members, students, faculty, staff, and the community members in attendance. Leigh also continues to serve as a voice and resource for the LGBTQ community at WVC through her advocacy and activism both on and off campus.
Nicole Cuttler and Tina Golaw will be joining Paulette Boudreaux, Rebecca Cisneros-Diaz and Leslie Saito-Liu at the National Conference on Acceleration in Developmental Education in Costa Mesa, California. This conference is co-sponsored by the California Acceleration Project and the Community College of Baltimore Country, home of the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), a model of acceleration that enables students placed one-level below college to enroll directly in college-level courses if they also enroll in co-requisite courses (the aim being to help students bypass a semester of stand-alone remediation). Nicole also continues to teach in the WVC First Year Experience Learning Community; Tina Golaw will be joining the program beginning fall 2015 semester. FYELC is a year-long program that enrolls students in the same English, Math and Counseling courses; it is designed for students who welcome additional support and guidance.
Dulce María Gray completed a year-long sabbatical leave that she used to conduct research on the teaching of pre-collegiate and freshman writing courses to Latin@s. Her blog about this project is titled Writing Community College. In October, she will be presenting a paper, "Teaching College Writing to Latin@s," at the English Council of California Two-Year Colleges (ECCTYC) annual conference. Starting in September, she will also be serving as Senator for the English Department in WVC's Academic Senate. Dr. Gray and her colleague in Administration of Justice, Renee Paquier, were awarded a grant by the WVMCCD Land Corp Teaching and Learning Fund in order to attend the four-day-long Institute for Curriculum and Campus Internationalization (ICCI) in Bloomington, Indiana.
Julie Maia's curriculum guide, Key Concepts: A Feminist Approach to Human Rights Education, developed while completing a year-long Stanford University fellowship with the Stanford Human Rights Education Initiative (SHREI), is in the works for publication. Julie is also to be congratulated for two other major reasons: she has been awarded an NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers to participate in the three-week-long "The Legacy of Ancient Italy: The Etruscans and Early Rome" taking place in Lugano, Bologna, Orvieto and Rome, Italy; and, as of May 2015, Julie has retired after a productive 25 year career teaching in the English Department at WVC.
The English Department is in the process of hiring a tenure-line faculty member who will start teaching during fall 2015 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!