Department News

The English Department consists of 19 full-time (plus many part-time) experienced and highly trained faculty members who work arduously to prepare curricula that engages students. They enjoy teaching the wide array of courses offered by the English Department and stay current by attending workshops, conferences, and by participating in numerous other professional development opportunities. Following, in their own words, is a sample of their activities.

My first published novel, Mulberry, has been received well and has won several awards: the Lee Smith Novel Prize from Carolina Wren Press, the Independent Book Publishers Silver Medal for Best Southern Fiction, and it was a finalist for Silicon Valley Reads. I have been invited to speak on panels about writing and the published novelist life, for example: The Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), the Berkeley YWCA Women Writers Festival, The Mississippi Book Festival. I was Eudora Welty Symposium Fellow and featured writer and adjunct faculty in the MFA program at Mississippi University for Women. Recently, I published a creative nonfiction essay in South Writ Large, an online journal, and was awarded the highly competitive Walter Dakin Fellowship to attend the Swanee Summer Writers Conference. At West Valley College I serve as Co-Coordinator of Umoja Community, the SUCCESS Program, and I Co-Chair the Curriculum Committee. Currently, I’m working on a new novel and a collection of short stories.

Equity continues to be my professional focus, and as such, I have been involved in the following: completed the Black Minds Matter course, and the Implicit Bias training, taught by Dr. Luke Wood; attended the Student Equity Institute at Mission College; completed the online course Teaching Men of Color in the Community College; accepted the responsibility of being a Latinx Faculty Fellow for the college (which includes coordinating events for the campus community) and participated in a Social Justice training workshop to learn about the academic experiences of students of color and LGBTQ students in higher education; completed the Read and Design Canvas course on Culturally Responsive Teaching; attended the Strengthening Student Success conference in Northern California; attended the Online Teaching Conference; attended the OnCourse National Conference; attended 3 CA Acceleration Project trainings; participated the 3CSN Growth Mindset Institute; co-wrote the BSSOT grant and used the awarded funding to create curriculum and help prepare the college for implementing AB705; and I was awarded the Basic Skills Student Outcomes Transformation grant.

Contact Rebecca Cisneros-Díaz

My passions are the practices of Global Citizenship, thus my teaching, service, and professional activities focus on GC, for example: I directed WVC’s inaugural Study Abroad Program; completed the Read and Design collaborative course on culturally responsive teaching and the brain at WVC; attended the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ “Global Citizenship for Campus, Community, and Careers: Crossing Borders and Boundaries” in San Antonio; attended the COLEGAS Fall Summit organized by COLEGAS (an organization that aims to serve Latinx students, faculty, and administrators) at Santa Rosa Junior College; participated in “Race and Ethnicity: Let’s Talk about It” training program at Mission College; participated in numerous workshops organized by Stanford University’s Education Partnership to Internationalize Curriculum (EPIC), Global Studies Division (SGS), and The Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE); attended the Education First College Study Tours’ “Global Study Symposium” in Boston; served as member of Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges’ External Evaluation/Accreditation Peer Review Team visiting several community colleges in California; took a semester off from teaching at WVC to serve as Director of the Writing Center, Professor of English, and Faculty Leader of Field Classes in 12 countries during Semester at Sea’s voyage around the world; invited to serve as Teaching Faculty in one of Global Citizenship Alliance's Global Citizenship Seminar for Students in Austria.

Contact Dulce María Gray

I started as the Dean of Language Arts almost one year ago. I am working to bring more visibility and resources to the School of Language Arts. One way I do this is by advocating for faculty requests, integrating budget requests from program review into the college resource allocation process, and being a voice for the division at the college-wide meetings. I just attended training on advancement and fundraising for the college and for Language Arts. Additionally, I’m leading the effort for Language Arts faculty members to start developing a strategic plan for the division and for each department. And I’m reaching out to the community and alumni to tell them more about Language Arts. My aim is to see Language Arts recognized among students as their #1 choice.

Contact Jennifer Johnson

I continue to serve as Faculty Advisor for Voices, the literary and arts journal of WVC published each spring. I have participated in various poetry readings, some of them focused on my recently published third collection of poetry, Gembox, a book of prose poems which won the 2018 Washington Prize and was published by Word Works Press in 2019.

Contact Nils Michals

Last Updated 6/7/21