Faculty & Staff

Dr. Wendy L. Elle

Department Chair

Rio Grande Campus (RGC)
Bldg. 3000, Rm. 3120
Office:  512-223-3357
[email protected]

Department of

Composition & Literary Studies

Austin Community College

Rio Grande Campus Bldg. 3000, Rm. 3171
1212 Rio Grande, Austin, TX 78701
Office: 512-223-3233
Hours: M-F 8 AM – 5 PM

Administrative Staff

Sue Bloodsworth

Administrative Assistant III
[email protected]
Office: 512-223-3233
Hours: M-F 8 AM – 5 PM

Anja Ketcham

Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

Jennifer Zuba

Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

Assistant Department Chairs

Dr. Dania Dwyer

Dr. Dania Dwyer

Professional Development, Research, & Service

Dr. Diane Whitley Grote

Dr. Diane Whitley Grote

Textbooks &Technology

Dr. Rebekah Starnes

Dr. Rebekah Starnes

Assessment

Heidi Juel

Heidi Juel

Faculty Evaluation

Dr. Luanne Peston

Dr. Luanne Peston

Discipline Assessment, Adjunct Hiring & Onboarding

Dr. Lindsay Lawley Rerecich

Dr. Lindsay Lawley Rerecich

Curriculum

Program Contacts

Dual Credit Liaisons

Chris Berni

Chris Berni

Liberal Arts Gateway

Dr. Ursula Parker

Dr. Ursula Parker

Faculty Director of Integrated Reading & Writing

Dr. Anne-Marie Thomas

Dr. Anne-Marie Thomas

Honors Program Chair

Dr. Kari Conness

Dr. Kari Conness

Dual Credit Liaison

Chris Gardner

Chris Gardner

Dual Credit Liaison

Sarah Stayton

Sarah Stayton

Dual Credit Liaison

Full-Time Faculty

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Voting Adjunct Faculty

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Adjunct Faculty

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Faculty Accomplishments

 Leadership & Teaching Awards

Dr. Wendy Elle

Composition & Literary Studies Department Chair

Louisa Spaventa

Professor of English

Colin Shanafelt

Professor of English & Web Specialist II

Dr. Anne-Marie Thomas

Professor of English & Honors Program Chair

C. Prudence Arcenaux

Chair, Creative Writing
Professor of Composition & Literary Studies, Creative Writing

Professor Prudence Arcenaux teaches writing and literature and has been a professor at ACC for twenty-three years. Here  she discusses the importance of calling students by their preferred names, asking questions and listening more in the classroom, and utilizing additional resources like ACC’s Peace and Conflict Center.

Voices Under Equity “VUE by Larry Davis, ACC’s Chief Diversity, Equity, &Inclusion Officer

Awards & Publications

  • David Rice published Five Things I’ve Learned  (MyFiveThings.com, May 7, 2024)
  • Eli Ryder published “Which Horror Villain You Are (According to Your Favorite Taylor Swift Song” (The Lineup, 30 January 2024).
  • Dr. Wendy Elle (CLS Department Chair) received the​ ACC Faculty Leader of the Year Award (2024). (video)
  • Louisa Spaventa was selected to receive the​ ACC Teaching Excellence Award (2024). (video)
  • Ryan Shane Lopez published “One Noble Neighbor” (Deep Overstock, no. 18, October 2022), “Four Nights Found” (Carmina Magazine, 17 Sept. 2022), “Sound of Life.” (Lavender Bones, July 2022), God-With-Us’ Adventures in Churchland, Ch. 4: “The Miraculous Theft of Identity” & Ch. 7: “The Solving of Climate Change” (The Bookends Review, April 2022).
  • Theo Yurevitch published “Talisman Magic” (South Carolina Review, vol. 55.1, Fall 2022).
  • Dr. Carl Palm published The Great California Story: Portrait of a Place That Is One of a Kind, a book about the things that make California unique–unique in the way it was settled and developed, unique in its urban and natural landscapes, unique in its role as a leader and innovator in American life. (Northcross Books; 2nd edition – November 2023)
  • Dr. Carl Palm published This Day in California History, a book that profiles 366 different people, places, and events that played a part in California’s amazing and colorful history. (Northcross Books – November 2023)
  • Tonya Suther published “Play, Red-Naped, Play” & “Two Trees” (2 River View, Summer Issue, June 2023), “Again,” “Soup’s Off,” and “Which Breed Do I Resemble?” (ISSUED, May 2023), and “What They Said” (Zocalo Public Square, November 2022).
    Tonya Suther was also a Wilder Series Poetry Book Prize finalist for Regal Gutting (Two Silvias Press 2022)
  • Stephanie Frausto presented “Making Critical Literacy Evident” at The National Organization for Student Success (NOSS) conference in Nashville, Tennessee, on March 3, 2023. As a result of her excellent scholarship and presentation, she was selected to be the new Co-Chair of the INRW Task Force for NOSS.
  • Chris Berni was selected to receive the 2023 NISOD Teaching Excellence Award. (video)
  • Colin Shanafelt was selected to receive the 2023 NISOD Teaching Excellence Award. (video)
  • Dr. Anne-Marie Thomas was selected to receive the 2019 NISOD Teaching Excellence Award. (video)
  • Arun Jon was selected to receive the 2018 NISOD Teaching Excellence Award.
  • Ryan Shane Lopez published “Four Nights Found,” a blended retelling of Hansel & Gretel and The Parable of the Sower in Carmina Magazine (September 2022). He also published “Sound of Life,” a personal reflection on grieving a miscarriage in Lavender Bones (July 2022).
  • Dr. Anne-Marie Thomas, CLS Professor and Chair of ACC’s Honors Program, has had an epic accomplishment of gaining a sizable endowment for their scholarship fund. The Moody Foundation has awarded the Honors Program $25,000 for their scholarship fund. They only established the fund last year through the ACC Foundation and were able to raise enough money to award two modest scholarships, but Moody’s generous grant allowed the Honors Program to award a larger number of scholarships for the next three to five years.
  • Chris Berni was awarded a TLED Level III Fellowship for a research project titled “Assessing the Liberal Arts Gateway” (2021-2023).
  • Arun Jon, Wendy Lym, and Chris Berni presented a talk called “How our Department Got its Groove Back: Revitalization and Transformation” on March 1, 2022, at the League for Innovation in the Community College Virtual Conference.
  • Prudence Arceneaux, featured in the ACCTV show Voices Under Equity hosted by Larry Davis, ACC Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer.
  • Lydia Cdebaca-Cruz won the ACC Teaching Excellence Award (2021-2022)
  • Christopher Morgan won the NISOD Teaching Excellence Award (2022 & 2021)
  • Thomas Derr won the NISOD Teaching Excellence Award (2022)
  • Dr. Dania Dwyer presented at the 2021 MLA Annual Convention on the panel, “Just in Time: Caregiving, COVID-19, and Precarity in the Academy.” The title of her talk was “The Crisis of Care in Academia: Of Breathing Through Precarity in a COVID-19 World.”
  • Dr. Brinda Roy presented a professional development course titled “Global Faculty Learning Communities: Bringing the World into Your Courses” at ACC’s Spring Professional Development Day (2022). She also presented “The Stories We Tell: Lessons Learned from Globalizing English 1302” at Vanderbilt University’s Global Studies Symposium in International Education at Minority Serving Institutions and Community Colleges (2021). Finally, Dr. Roy was featured in the TLED series Teaching & Learning Champions in a piece titled Lessons Learned From Pandemic Teaching: Failing, Pivoting, and Resilient Pedagogy” (2022).
  • Luke Dylan Ramsey published a short story titled “The Oracle of Personal Experience” in the literary journal A Thin Slice of Anxiety (October 2021). He also published short fiction pieces titled “Sometimes Feel Like I Am Drowning” and “Vineyard, Doubled” in New American Legends literary magazine. His poems “Dead Laughter” and “Believer Not Believer” appeared in Terror House Magazine (April & May 2021). Finally, his novel Burn Everything Down is forthcoming in 2022 from Terror House Press.
  • Jenifer Hamilton Hernandez writes about food, travel, the arts, and lifestyle topics as a contributor to numerous publications, including Texas Monthly, Austin Monthly, San Antonio Magazine, Texas Highways, Edible Austin, CultureMap Austin, and CultureMap San Antonio. Most recently, she has written for Austin Monthly about an independent radio station that emerged from a live music venue in Taylor, TX during pandemic closures, about the state’s best stadium foods for TexasMonthly.com, and, also for TexasMonthly.com, about her grandmother’s wedding dress finding a second life on the internet. You can find more of her writing at jenhamiltontx.com.
  • Joe O’Connell was awarded a sabbatical in 2021 to complete a book of creative nonfiction titled The Contortionists. He’s working through the Book Project, a program of the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver.
  • Lydia CdeBaca-Cruz was awarded the Emma S. Barrientos Award of Excellence in the Arts Educator Category (September 17, 2021).
  • Alex Watkins published a chapter in the collection Linguistic Justice on Campus: Pedagogy and Advocacy (November 30, 2021).
  • Joe O’Connell’s documentary film Rondo and Bob–about Texas Chain Saw Massacre art director Robert Burns and his obsession with actor Rondo Hatton aka the Creeper–is on the film festival circuit. It screens Oct. 14 in Sitges, Spain, at what is considered the Cannes of horror film fests. More about the film at rondoandbob.com. It’s also screened at Horrible Realities in California, Saints and Sinners in Florida (Best of Fest), Midwest Horror (Best Feature) in Iowa, Hot Springs Horror in Arkansas, Cinema Wasteland in Ohio, Houston Horror (shortlisted for Best Feature) and Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas. (It’s not a horror film but really a love story!)
  • Frank Cronin is presenting at the Texas Regional for Campus Sustainability (TRACS). His presentation presentation “Solutions to Light Pollution: The Darkness at the End of the Tunnel” focuses on definitions of light pollution, its dangers, and solutions, with heavy emphasis on solutions.
  • Heidi Juel, in 2017 received a Digital Fellowship from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Wendy Elle was the Texas Observer Short Story Contest winner in October 2017 for her short story “Muriel.”
  • Judith Austin-Mills, Adjunct Faculty member, publishes her first historical novel, How Far Tomorrow. It was released by Plain View Press in October. The narrative is set during the Texas Revolution. She will be reading from her work at BookWoman on January 15, 2012.
  • Colin Shanafelt published What Gods Would Be Theirs? (novel), One Thing Right (children’s book), and Literary Analysis & Essay Writing Guide (textbook). Gatsby’s Light Publications (2011)
  • Tiff Holland, ACC English Adjunct Faculty member wins the Rose Metal Press chapbook award for her book Betty Superman.
  • Joe O’Connell, who teaches creative writing and English at ACC, took part in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” July 11 marked half a century since the publication of the book that is required reading in schools across the country. Along with a number of local writers, O’Connell participated in an anniversary event at BookPeople July 11th, reading passages from the book and talking about what it meant to him. O’Connell reflected upon the impact of “To Kill a Mockingbird” in an essay he read on KUT radio. Click here to listen.
  • Mary Dallas, ACC adjunct professor, has works combining poetry and visual art on display/sale at Authenticity Gallery in downtown Austin starting May 1. In March she was the presenter and a featured poet at the monthly Borderlands Poetry Reading at Barnes and Noble on Brodie Lane.
  • Anne-Marie Thomas, an ACC English professor, has co-authored a textbook on science fiction. Thomas, who leads the community college’s honors program, came up with the idea while teaching a course with an emphasis on contemporary science fiction. “I could not assign a science fiction textbook because there simply weren’t any in existence,” Thomas said. “There are a number of anthologies that feature short fiction, but I wanted to provide a survey of the development of science fiction as a cultural form as well as an introduction to the basic critical approaches that have been used to illuminate the genre.” She took a yearlong sabbatical to write “The Science Fiction Handbook” with M. Keith Booker of the University of Arkansas. Austin American-Statesman, 5-1-09
  • Jose Flores served on the advisory board for the new MyCompLab published by Prentice Hall. In addition, Jose has revised the Literary Visions, 9th edition book/study guide for Roberts and Jacobs Literature: An Introduction to… published by Pearson’s. In these 2 projects, front matter credit is given not only to Jose but to Austin Community College.
  • Elyse Fenton had her poetry manuscript, “Clamor,” selected by DA Powell as the winner of Cleveland State University First Book Award, and will be published in Spring of 2010.
  • Ronald Sukenick, American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize Sponsored by FC2 Announcing the winner of the 2008 Ronald Sukenick/ABR Innovative Fiction Prize is Amelia Gray’s Museum of the Weird

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Faculty Handbook

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