Texas Tech University

Department of English Newsletter

October 2017

Greetings from the Texas Tech English Department

Dr. Brian Still, Chair and Professor
Dr. Brian Still, Chair and Professor

Welcome to our first monthly newsletter! We're reaching out to tell you about life  at TTU and to find out more about how you're doing. These are exciting times for Tech. Just this fall semester we enjoyed record enrollment—37,010 students—and because now Hispanic students make up more than 25% of our population, we are proud to say that we have achieved designation as a Hispanic Serving Institution.

Beyond this important achievement and other significant work underway at the university, English also is transforming itself and how it serves its students, the university, and the world at large. [Read more]

National Literacy Day

National Literacy Day

To celebrate the 50th International Literacy Day, the English Department hosted an open mic in the 2nd floor atrium on Friday, September 8 from 1:00-3:00pm. Students were invited to share a favorite poem or prose piece, and the event was an opportunity to celebrate literacy efforts all over the world—including right here at Texas Tech University. [Read more]

Puppies and Pastries

Puppies and Pastries

In our revamped English Atrium, we hosted the very first Puppies & Pastries event in September. Certified therapy dogs were brought for students to pet and relax. It was the perfect opportunity for stressed students to unwind and enjoy some down time. This is one of our many efforts, including free coffee and snacks, to make students across campus feel welcome. [Read more]

The Atrium

The Atrium

Through the summer of 2017, two folks on our department team, Ashley Olguin and Eleanor Mode, redesigned our Atrium space in the building. Since the new English building was completed in 2002, the Atrium has really been a great opportunity never realized, thousands of square feet of open area on the second floor of the building, right by the west-facing balcony, where countless students walk through or by every day. [Read more]

Students in the Spotlight

PhD Student Chen Chen is National Book Award Finalist

PhD Student Kate Simonian Wins Algren Literary Award

Chen Chen

Chen Chen's book, When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), winner of the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, is one of ten books selected to be a finalist for this year's National Book Award. [Read more]

Kate Simonian

Kate Simonian recently won the Chicago Tribune's Nelson Algren Literary Award. Kate's short story, "Le Problem Being," was selected out of 3,900 entries.
[Read more]

More Student News

STC Student Chapter Honored

This year, the Student Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication (STC) won the bronze Community Distinction award and the Pacesetter Award. A short instructional report on how to conduct a similar activity that our chapter was awarded the Pacesetter Award for was featured at the 2017 STC Summit Conference in Washington, DC. The Student Chapter was led by president Kylie Jacobsen, vice president Jack Labriola, Tresurer Kristen West, and Secretary Bethany Pitchford, all TC students at TTU. The faculty advisor is Dr. Craig Baehr.

PhD student Joya Mannan receives Fellowship

Joya Mannan was honored with the Paul Whitfield Horn Fellowship (2017-2018) for outstanding scholarship in a doctoral program.

LHUCA Literary Series Hosts National Book Award Finalist

Jessica Smith, English graduate student, founded the LHUCA (Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts) Literary Series to center conversations about the sociopolitical power of literature. Recently, LHUCA hosted Layli Long Soldier, who was just named to the National Book Award short list.

Faculty in the Spotlight

Dr. Yuan Shu, Fulbright Scholar in Singapore

Dr. Yuan Shu

Dr. Yuan Shu, Associate Professor of English and the director of the Asian Studies Program at TTU, is one of four TTU faculty honored this year to be Fulbright Scholars. Dr. Shu is currently in Singapore teaching and researching at the National University of Singapore. [Read more]


Dr. William Wenthe Named Lubbock Poet Laureate

Dr. William Wenthe

William Wenthe has been named the first Poet Laureate for Lubbock. The position is a one-year term, after which it will be rotated annually among the diversity of writers in the Lubbock area. [Read more]


Dr. Ken Baake's Honors Class Records “Old Time Radio Show”

Dr. Ken Baake

Honors 3301 students in Ken Baake's 2017 class worked on writing, editing, planning, and performing an old time radio show. The model was the Hank Williams "Health and Happiness Shows." [Read more]


Drs. Kolosov, Bauer, and Moore earn CH Foundation Grants

Dr. Jackie Kolosov
Dr. Jackie Kolosov
Dr. Curtis Bauer
Dr. Curtis Bauer
Dr. Kristen Moore
Dr. Kristen Moore


Jackie Kolosov, Professor in Creative Writing, has been awarded a grant of $46,500 to establish The CH Foundation Arts for Healing Workshops and Programming during the 2018 academic school year. At the same time, Dr. Curtis Bauer, Creative Writing, and Dr. Kristen Moore, Technical Communication and Rhetoric, have received a CH Foundation Grant for $43,511 to develop a class to ease transition to upper division classes where math is communicated in words, not formulas. In this collaborative project, professors in math, writing and linguistics will redesign the class according to a new approach that treats mathematical reading and writing as a second language.

More Faculty News

Dr. Mike Borshuk and students in his graduate course led a public reading and discussion on race and criminalization this May at the First Friday Art Trail. The event raised money for the East Lubbock Community Alliance. See the video produced by MA student Jill Elberson.

Dr. Kanika Batra received a 2017-2018 Beinecke Short-Term Research Fellowship at Yale University.

Dr. Kristen Moore won not one but two awards for scholarships: the 2017 Nell Ann Picket Award for Best Article in Technical Communication Quarterly (TCQ), and the 2017 Joenk Award for Best Article in IEEE Pro Comm.

Dr. Sara Spurgeon presented a paper on the Native American graphic novel at Comic Con in San Diego.

Alumni News

In the Spotlight: Alexis Breitkreutz (' 15), Instructional Designer at Tyler Technologies

After graduating from Texas Tech's Technical Communication program, I accepted a position with Tyler Technologies. Tyler Technologies develops software for the public sector and I, specifically, work with the Local Government Division as an Instructional Designer. In this position, I create interactive simulations that our clients can access to learn more about the processes in the software we develop. What I love most about my job is helping members of our local government better serve the people and knowing I use what I learned during my undergraduate studies daily.

Alexis Breitkreutz, Instructional Designer at Tyler Technologies
Alexis Breitkreutz, Instructional Designer at Tyler Technologies

My time as an undergraduate student in the Technical Communication program was crucial in preparing me for this position. I took courses in instructional design, gained an understanding of adult learning theory, and became a strong and skilled writer. I am so grateful to all of my professors in the program, who guided me every step of my educational journey and worked with and supported me through every potential career move I considered.

Send us an Update About You, Please!

We want this newsletter to be as much about you as about us, so we really want to know where you are, what you're doing, and how things are going. Email us an update at english.alumni@ttu.edu or fill out the form below and let us know if we can share it with everyone in upcoming newsletters or on the English web site.

Click here to fill out the Alumni News Submissions form

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In Memoriam

Bryce Conrad (1951 - 2017)
If you were lucky enough to be drawn into Bryce Conrad's orbit as a student or colleague, you know that of the words one might use to describe him—intelligent, compassionate, gentle, witty, serious, quirky, funny—perhaps the best is generosity. As a teacher, he was generous with his time, both in class for students grappling with an idea he proposed, and in his office, sitting quietly and patiently as students grappled with a fresh idea of their own. [Read more]

Mary Hatfield (1937 - 2017)

Giving

Please consider making a donation of some kind for your TTU home department. You can learn more on the giving page of our web site how your generous, tax-deductible donations of any size can be put to good use, from contributing to a smaller project to naming an endowed scholarship, fellowship, or professorship. We appreciate you consider supporting us in our efforts to enrich the educational experiences of our students.

Staying Connected

It has been a long time since we've said hello, but now that we've done it, we'd like to keep talking. Send us your information so we can share with our alumni community. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, or like our Facebook page. Send us an email at english.alumni@ttu.edu to tell us if you'd be interested in coming to a TTU English Alumni Event near you.