Welcome to the English Department!

We are delighted that you are considering an English course at City College. The English Department offers a wide range of classes and programs designed to meet your academic, creative, and career goals. Whether you want to improve your reading and writing abilities, complete degree or certificate requirements, prepare for transfer, immerse yourself in great works of literature, or produce your own creative works, you will find exciting learning opportunities that connect you to engaging programs and events. When you study with us, you become part of a vibrant literary community that supports your exploration and intellectual growth.

COVID-19 Notice: Continuing through Fall 2021, most English classes are being delivered fully online due to COVID-19. However, there are limited options for classes held in-person. San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) will require all new and returning students to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination if attending any in-person activity (including in-person exams) or class for the Fall 2021 semester. For more information please visit https://www.sdccd.edu/students/covid19/.

Fully online class options will still be available:

REMOTE classes are fully online with required live online sessions during the scheduled remote times.

WEB classes are fully online and may offer optional live online sessions.

For a list of our Fall 2021 classes, please visit the online class schedule.

 

Programs

We are passionate about creating exciting learning environments and real connections. Below are a few of the programs you can be part of. Click on the image to learn more!

   EC logo              vamp logo                  sjc logo            cwp logo 

 

wc logo       puente logo       umoja logo          league logo

  

Announcements and Events

The department of English, ELAC, Humanities, Philosophy, and Labor Studies offers exciting events throughout the semester. See our events calendar below for details of upcoming talks, performances, and presentations. 

 

Want to know more? We invite you to explore the information below. If you have any questions, please contact the department chairs: 

Nadia Mandilawi (nmandila@sdccd.edu)

Jennifer Boots (jboots@sdccd.edu)

 

English Department Charter for Compassion

We strive to create spaces for ourselves and our students that foster interconnectedness and interdependence where all members of our community can offer the benefit of their intellect and energy to others and receive such benefit in kind. 

Tu eres mi otro yo. You are my other me.

- Luis Valdez Mayan-inspired poem, Pensamiento Serpentino

smiling students


Taking an English class your first semester is a great way to start at City College! We have several options for you to choose from based on your individual needs and preferences.

  • Is English your second language? Check out our ESL program, or English Language Acquisition (ELAC), for non-native speakers of English
  • Ready for transfer-level English? Take English 101 or English 105 
  • Ready for transfer-level English with extra support? Take English 101X or English 105X
  • Prefer to take a semester before transfer-level English? Take English 47A

English 101, 101X  and 105, 105X fulfill general education requirements. Check with a counselor to see which option is best for you based on your goals. You may also need to take English 205. 

We also offer classes in creative writing, literature, and linguistics. To see which classes are offered now, see our current class schedule. If you are a new student, you must register through CCC Apply before beginning classes at City College. Visit the City College website for additional information on how to apply or City's Help page for other general support.

 

Our Classes

The English program provides a breadth of course work designed to improve reading, writing, listening, speaking, and critical thinking skills. English classes range from developmental writing to transfer-level courses in reading and composition, composition and literature, and intermediate composition and critical thinking, as well as a series of sequential creative writing courses. Literature offerings include an introductory course and specialized courses such as British and American Literature and women in literature. Humanities courses explore cultural achievements of world civilizations. English department courses meet English Composition requirements for the associate degree and for University of California, and California State University, Communications in the English Language and Critical Thinking requirements. Literature courses may also meet general education, humanities, multicultural studies requirements, and preparation for transfer.

The English major at the lower-division level emphasizes learning to read more critically and to write more effectively using strategies of narration, exposition and argument. The English major primarily serves students transferring to colleges and universities where the focus is on academic writing, research, and criticism.

LIST OF COURSES

Non-Native English Speakers (ESL) (Click here for full course descriptions)
English Language Acquisition (ELAC) Program
ELAC 5A & B, 7, 15, 16, 26, 23, 25, 33, 35, 145

Composition (Click here for full course descriptions)
Pre-transfer level
  English 13A & B Academic Writing Skills
  English 47A Integrated Reading, Writing, and Reasoning
Transfer level (General Education - Area 1A & 1B)
  English 101 and 101X Reading and Composition
  English 105 and 105X Composition and Literature
  English 205 Critical Thinking and Intermediate Composition

Creative Writing (Click here for full course descriptions)
Pre-transfer level
  English 36 Basic Creative Writing Workshop
Transfer level
  English 245A Writing Creative Non-Fiction
  English 245B Advanced Creative Non-Fiction
  English 247A Writing Seminar - Poetry
  English 247B Advanced Writing Seminar - Poetry
  English 249A Introduction to Creative Writing I
  English 249B Introduction to Creative Writing II
  English 252A Fundamentals of Fiction Writing
  English 252B Intermediate Fiction Writing

Literature (Click here for full course descriptions)
Transfer level
  English 208 Introduction to Literature
  English 209 Literary Approaches to Film  English 210 American Literature I
  English 211 American Literature II
  English 215 English Literature I: 800-1799
  English 216 English Literature II: 1800-Present
  English 220 Masterpieces of World Literature I: 1500BCE-1600CE
  English 221 Masterpieces of World Literature II: 1600-Present
  English 237 Women in Literature
  English 238 Evaluating Children's Literature
  English 240 Shakespeare

Linguistics (Click here for full course descriptions)
Transfer level
  English 202 Introduction to Linguistics

smiling student 

In this section, you will find answers to frequently asked questions about taking classes in our program. If you have additional questions not addressed below, you can contact one of our level coordinators listed in the previous section (click on the course descriptions to view the contacts), or email one of our department chairs: Nadia Mandilawi (nmandilaw@sdccd.edu) or Jennifer Boots (jboots@sdccd.edu).

What does my milestone mean (R30/W30, R40/W40, or R50/W50)?

When you applied to City College (or Mesa or Miramar), you were given an R/W score or directed to Placement Assistant or the ELAC Guided Self-Placement. Your milestone score indicates which classes you have access to.

  • R30/W30: You can take ENGL101X or 105X (transfer-level English with support)
  • R40/W40: We recommend you take ENGL101X or 105X, but you can ENGL101 or 105 (transfer-level English without support)
  • R50/W50: You can take ENGL101 or 105

If you took the ELAC Guided Self-Placement, you are given an L-level (L19, L20, L30, L40). Please see the ELAC webpage for more information.

What if I am not a native speaker of English? What classes should I take?

If English is not your first language, we recommend you take the online ELAC Guided Self-Placement to know which ELAC classes to take, if any,  to prepare you for transfer-level English. You will still have the option to go directly into an English class based on your R/W milestone, if you prefer. For more information about our ELAC Program, please visit our ELAC webpage.

When should I take my English classes?

It's generally best to take an English class your first semester since most other classes require college-level reading and writing skills. Please check with a counselor to make sure that is what's best for you based on your academic goals.

What is the difference between ENGL101 and ENGL101X?

English 101X (5 units) fulfills the same requirements as English 101 (3 units), but with additional support.  In English 101X, you'll have more class time to discuss the readings and have a deeper understanding and more class time to work on revising your writing. Similarly English 105X is the same as English 105 but with additional support.

Does ENGL101X fulfill my transfer-level English requirement?

Yes! English 101X fulfills the same transfer-level English requirement as English 101.

What is the difference between ENGL101 and ENGL105?

English 105 focuses on reading and analyzing  literature. It fulfills the same requirements as English 101. In general, you should take either English 101 or 105. Please check with a counselor to know which class is best for your academic goals. 

Do I have to take ENGL47A?

You do not have to take English 47A. It is an option if you do not yet feel ready to take transfer-level English and want a semester to prepare first. If you are a non-native speaker of English who does not feel ready to take transfer-level English, we recommend that you take the ELAC Guided Self-Placement. In general, non-native English speakers will be better served in an ELAC class to prepare for English 101 or 105 instead of English 47A.

What do I take after ENGL101?

After you complete English 101 or 101X, you may need to take English 205. Please check with a counselor to know what the best option is for your academic goals.

What's ENGL13A?

English 13A is a one-unit optional class that may be helpful if you are taking a class that requires a lot of college-level writing and you feel you need additional support. You can get help with writing that history paper, for example!

Can I take a creative writing class if I have not taken ENGL101 or other transfer-level English class?

Yes, ENGL36 (Basic Creative Writing Workshop) is open to anyone interested in taking a creative writing class.

How do I contact an instructor?

Email is often the best way to contact instructors. Most City College English Instructor email addresses are available in the "Faculty" section below. You can also find instructor email links in the online schedule.

If you are having trouble connecting with a City College English instructor, email one of our department chairs for assistance.

Nadia Mandilawi nmandilaw@sdccd.edu
Jennifer Boots: jboots@sdccd.edu

Where can I get help with my reading and writing?

The English Center provides free tutoring services and workshops to help you in any class that requires reading and writing. Please visit the English Center webpage for more information.

students on curran


In this section, you will find information on what classes to take for the following:

  • Associate of Arts degree in English
  • Associate in Arts degree for Transfer in English
  • Certificate of Performance: Creative Writing
  • Certificate of Performance: English Language Acquisition

You can also find this information on pages 230-233 of the San Diego City College 2020-2021 Catalog.

To apply for an Associate of Arts degree, see the instructions here and visit your mySDCCD portal.  To apply for a Certificate of Performance, see the instructions here and the fillable form here.


Associate of Arts Degree: English

Courses Required for the Major: 

  • ENGL 101 Reading and Composition (3 units) or ENGL 105 Composition and Literature (3 units)
  • *ENGL 205 Critical Thinking and Intermediate Composition (3 units)
  • **ENGL 215 English Literature I: 800-1799 (3 units)
  • **ENGL 216 English Literature II: 1800-Present (3 units)

Select 3 units from the following (recommended sequence for UC Transfer):

  • ENGL 208 Introduction to Literature (3 units)
  • ENGL 220 Masterpieces of World Literature I: 1500 BCE-1600 CE (3 units)
  • ENGL 221 Masterpieces of World Literature II: 1600-Present (3 units)

Select 3 units from the following (recommended sequence for UC Transfer):

  • **ENGL 210 American Literature I (3 units)
  • **ENGL 211 American Literature II (3 units)
  • ENGL 245A Writing Creative Nonfiction (3 units)
  • ENGL 247A Writing Seminar-Poetry (3 units)
  • ENGL 249A Introduction to Creative Writing I (3 units)
  • ENGL 252B Intermediate Fiction Writing (3 units)

Total Units = 18

*Meets SDSU/CSU critical thinking requirement.
**Recommended sequences for UC transfer.

Note: English 205 meets SDSU/CSU critical thinking requirement.

Note: English 215 and 216 are required by SDSU and UCSD. 

Electives as needed to meet the minimum of 60 units required for the degree. 
Recommended Electives: English 202, 209, 238, 240, 245A, 247, 249, 252A, 252B; Humanities 101, 102, 201, 202; Journalism 200, 210A, 210B, 210C, 210D. 

Courses designed to support this and other majors: ELAC 15, 25, 23, 35, 33, 145. 

Transferable Units as Prep for the Major at SDSU SDSU will accept a total of 12 units of literature and creative writing as preparation for the English Major. This includes any combination of lower division literature courses and up to six units of creative writing courses.


Associate in Arts for Transfer Degree: English

The Associate in Arts in English for Transfer Degree is intended for students who plan to complete a bachelor's degree in English or a related major in the California State University (CSU) system. It is accepted by some but not all CSU campuses. Students who complete this degree and transfer to a participating CSU campus will be required to complete no more than 60 units after transfer to earn a bachelor's degree. It may not be appropriate preparation for students transferring to a CSU campus that does not accept the degree. Students who plan to complete this degree should consult a counselor for additional information about participating CSU campuses as well as university admission, degree, and transfer requirements. 

NOTE: Students intending to transfer into this major at a CSU should consult with a counselor and visit www.assist.org for guidance on appropriate transfer coursework.

It is strongly recommended that students consult with a counselor to determine which general education option is most appropriate for their individual educational goals.

Courses Required for the Major:

  • ENGL 205 Critical Thinking and Intermediate Composition (3 units)
  • ENGL 208 Introduction to Literature (3 units)

Select four courses (12 units) from the following:

  • ENGL 210 American Literature I (3 units)
  • ENGL 211 American Literature II (3 units)
  • ENGL 215 English Literature I: 800–1799 (3 units)
  • ENGL 216 English Literature II: 1800 – Present (3 units)
  • ENGL 220 Masterpieces of World Literature I: 1500 BCE – 1600 CE (3 units)
  • ENGL 221 Masterpieces of World Literature II: 1600 – Present (3 units)
  • ENGL 249A Introduction to Creative Writing I (3 units)

Total Units = 18

Note: It is recommended that students select courses that meet lower division major preparation requirements for their transfer university. 

Transfer Information 

Common university majors related to the field of English include: Creative Writing, Comparative Literature, English, Humanities, Language Studies, Linguistics, Literature. Course Requirements for Transfer Students Students who plan to transfer to a four year college or university and earn a bachelor's degree in this discipline should consult with a counselor or visit the Transfer/Career Center to determine the appropriate major preparation courses for their specific transfer institution and major. Transfer students may also earn an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences with an emphasis. This degree may be individually tailored to each student's specific transfer requirements in order to provide the most efficient path to transfer. More information on transfer programs and procedures is available in the Transfer Programs section of the catalog.


Certificate of Performance: Creative Writing

Courses: 

  • ENGL 249A Introduction to Creative Writing I (3 units)

Select two courses from the following:

  • ENGL 249B Introduction to Creative Writing II (3 units)
  • ENGL 245A Writing Creative Nonfiction (3 units)
  • ENGL 245B Advanced Creative Nonfiction (3 units)
  • ENGL 247A Writing Seminar-Poetry (3 units)
  • ENGL 252A Fundamentals of Fiction Writing (3 units)
  • ENGL 252B Intermediate Fiction Writing (3 units)
  • DRAM 108 Playwriting (3 units)
  • RTVF 110 Introduction to Scriptwriting (3 units)

Select two courses from the following:

  • ENGL 208 Introduction to Literature (3 units)
  • ENGL 210 American Literature I (3 units)
  • ENGL 211 American Literature II (3 units)
  • ENGL 215 English Literature I: 800-1799 (3 units)
  • ENGL 216 English Literature II: 1800-Present (3 units)
  • ENGL 220 Masterpieces of World Literature I: 1500 BCE-1600 CE (3 units)
  • ENGL 221 Masterpieces of World Literature II: 1600-Present (3 units)
  • ENGL 240 Shakespeare (3 units)
  • BLAS 155 African American Literature (3 units)
  • CHIC 135 Chicana/o Literature (3 units)

Total Units = 15

Recommended Electives: English 36.

A Certificate of Performance is a departmental award that does not appear on the student's transcript. All courses must be completed within the San Diego Community College District.


Certificate of Performance: English Language Acquisition 

The English Language Acquisition (ELAC) Certificate of Performance recognizes an advanced level of English language achievement for students whose first language is not English. Students who earn this certificate have successfully completed advanced ELAC coursework in grammar, writing conventions, reading skills, and critical thinking.

Note: Upon successful completion of the Certificate of Performance, students should be able to: 

  • Analyze and synthesize the written works of others and compose an organized, multi-paragraph piece in response.
  • Revise and reflect on own written work that demonstrates an advanced level of reading, writing, and critical thinking. 

Courses Required for the certificate: 

  • ELAC 145 Integrated Reading, Writing, and Grammar III (6 units) 

Select three units from the following: 

  • ELAC 5B English Language Grammar - High-Intermediate/Advanced (1-2 units)
  • ELAC 7 English Pronunciation (1-2 units)
  • ELAC 33 Academic Listening and Speaking II (3 units)

Total Units = 9 

A Certificate of Performance is a departmental award that does not appear on the student's transcript. All courses must be completed within the San Diego Community College District. 

Note: This program is not eligible for federal financial aid in accordance with Federal regulations.

 transfer students smiling

 
Interested in transferring to a four-year university?  This section features information on the transfer process and requirements, how to prepare for transfer, and transfer and career resources at City.
 

Need an introduction to the transfer process?

Check out the San Diego Community College Transfer Guide from the San Diego City College 2020-2021 Catalog. This guide also includes information on the requirements for students following the IGETC or CSUGE-Breadth Patterns.


Need help planning which classes to take to transfer as an English major?

We recommend that you meet with an Academic Counselor to complete an Education Plan. Visit the City Counseling and Personal Growth website to schedule an appointment today. Appointments book up fast, so don't delay!


Want information on transfer timelines, requirements, or how to meet with university representatives?

Visit the San Diego City College Transfer and Career Center website to make your transfer process smooth and easy. Information on the website includes:

  • Admissions deadlines and time frames
  • Links to transfer applications
  • Meetings with admissions counselors and advisors from UCs, CSUs, and other colleges
  • Transfer events such as campus visits and university fairs
  • Transfer workshops
  • Transfer Counseling

Want to learn more about studying English at some of our local universities after you finish at City?

Check out their department websites below:

umoja group


Interested in getting published or performing your work before a live audience? Want to graduate with Honors or see how the work you do in class relates to the "real world?" Taking an English class at City connects you not only with remarkable instructors and other amazing students, but also to programs and events happening on our campus at large. Click on the titles or contact the coordinators listed below for more information on how you can get involved!

  

English Center

We provide a community-based learning english center logoenvironment to help City College students become more effective, confident and independent readers, writers and critical thinkers.  In support of this mission, the English Center offers assistance for all disciplines through one-on-one peer tutoring sessions, workshops, the opportunity for qualified students to gain experience as peer tutors and mentors, and more!

Contact: 
Chris Baron, Coordinator (cbaron@sdccd.edu)

 

Honors

Each year over 500 students participate in City College's Honors Program. Honors classes are stimulating, engaging, and offer a greater level of depth while emphasizing student involvement, participation and performance. For more information or if you are interested in applying, visit our website or contact one of our coordinators.

Contact:
Hector Martinez, Coordinator (hmartine@sdccd.edu)
Dr. Kelly Mayhew, Coordinator (kmayhew@sdccd.edu)
Dr. Sarah Pitcher, Coordinator (spitcher@sdccd.edu) 

VAMP 

VAMP, which stands for Visual Audio Monologue Performance, is a student storytelling showcase performed in front of a live audience. Eight students are selected for each show, and they work with writing and performance coaches over a period of 5 weeks. VAMP performers have gone on to be published in local anthologies, be accepted to MFA programs, and take part in other community writing projects. Read the City Times coverage of our 2021 showcase here and see some of our past performances here

Contact:
Trissy McGhee, Coordinator (pmcghee@sdccd.edu)
 

Social Justice Conferencejasirix

The Social Justice Conference addresses a broad range of discussion topics that offer meaningful, community dialogue about the challenges facing our nation. Speakers and presenters have included activists, poets, artists, musicians, community organizers, and more.

Contact:
Paul Lopez, Coordinator (mplopez@sdccd.edu)

City Works Literary Journal

Since 1994, City Works has been publishing the poetry, fiction, prose, and artwork of City College Students along with the work of local, national, and international writers and artists. Our intention is to create a journal that reflects the identity and character of San Diego City College, provide a venue for emerging local artists, broaden our reach nationally, and encourage interaction between the college and the community at large.

Contact: 
sdcityworks@gmail.com 

City Works Press 

The San Diego Writers Collective is a group of San Diego writers, poets, artists, and patrons dedicated to the publication and promotion of the work of San Diego area artists of all sorts. Our specific interests include local, ethnic, and border writing as well as formal innovation and progressive politics.

Contact:
info@cityworkspress.org 

PATH: Preparing Accomplished Transfers to the Humanities 

PATH is a collaborative program between the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) and UC San Diego to help provide guidance to transfer students studying arts and humanities. Transfer students apply for the PATH program after receiving their acceptance to UC San Diego. Students accepted into the PATH program receive benefits not otherwise available to them at two time periods: during the summer before starting at UC San Diego, and during the school year while at UC San Diego.

Contact:
Kelly Mayhew, Coordinator (kmayhew@sdccd.edu)
 

League for Innovation Literary Contest

Each year, the League for Innovation invites its board member colleges to participate in the annual Student Art Award and Student Literary Award competitions. These two competitions enable community college students to compete with their peers across North America. Notably, the competition provides a means to showcase a selection of the best works being created by today's community college students. 

Contact:
Christy Ball, Coordinator (cball@sdccd.edu)

Puentepuente group

The Puente Project is an academic preparation program that, for more than 25 years, has
improved the college-going rate of tens of thousands of California's educationally disadvantaged students. The project's mission is to increase the number of educationally disadvantaged students who enroll in four-year colleges and universities, earn college degrees, and return to the community as mentors and leaders of future generations.

Contact: 
citypuente@gmail.com

Umoja

The Umoja Community at San Diego City College is a program designed to assist African American and other historically underrepresented students who desire to transfer to four-year colleges and universities, and earn their degrees. Course materials, discussions, and activities focus on African-American culture, literature, and experiences. Through Umoja, students can prepare for transfer while taking culturally relevant coursework and participate in enriching activities with students who share similar goals.

Contact:
Erin Charlens, Coordinator (echarlens@sdccd.edu)
Ebony Tyree, Student Leadership and Club Advisor (etyree@sdccd.edu)

New Play Festival

Contact:  
Katie Rodda (krodda@sdccd.edu)
Katie Stone (kstone@sdccd.edu)

World Culturesaudience

Experience global culture through film, drama, literature, expert speakers, and the arts. World Cultures events encourage understanding, appreciation, and celebration of human diversity on our campus and in the world. 

Contact:
Maria-Jose Zeledon-Perez, Co-coordinator (mzeledon@sdccd.edu)
Daniel Velazquez, Co-coordinator (dvelazquez@sdccd.edu)

Hermanos Unidos Brothers United (HUBU)

Hermanos Unidos/Brothers United is a movement and brotherhood that embraces and validates who you are as great men and leaders in your communities. The HUBU mission is to increase faculty and student interaction; promote community, cultural, and gender identity development, and encourage peer-to-peer interaction between students. 

Contact:
Rasheed Aden, Counselor & Coordinator (aaden@sdccd.edu)

students on grass

Attention students who've completed classes in our program: Are you transferring to a university? Did you perform at VAMP or a spoken word event? Were you awarded a scholarship? Are you working in your dream job?  Let us know by filling out this form here so that we can feature you on this website.

 

joanie headshotJoanie Lopez
Joanie Lopez is a disabled Chicana and the first person to attend college in her Mexican family. While at City, she took honors courses, earned a writing certificate, and published her stories in several publications, including the textbook, A Community of Readers, and the Sunshine Noir II and Reclaiming Our Stories anthologies. She also performed her stories at the VAMP storytelling showcase. Joanie was the chair of MEChA and worked closely with the Chicano Studies department. She earned two AA degrees, one in the English transfer program and one in Chicano Studies in 2017. Upon transfer to UCSD, Joanie received the Mellon Grant and the Chancellor's Scholarship. While at UCSD, she obtained a BA in US Latin American Literatures with a minor in Chicano Studies. Currently, Joanie is navigating through social media to showcase a bit of her life as a disabled Chicana. She wishes to educate people with everything she knows including cooking!

 

jc headshotJC Ortega Esquinca 
JC Ortega Esquinca worked as a tutor in the English Center and SI instructor in classes for several semesters while attending City College. They graduated from the Honors program in 2015. After transfer, they completed two years at The University of Puget Sound where they majored in Religion and minored in Gender Queer Studies. Post-grad, they have worked in HIV prevention and education at Pierce County AIDS Foundation and were also part of the nonprofit, The Rainbow Center, where they worked as a bilingual advocate for community members within the Washington State LGBTQIA+ community seeking connection to a wide range of advocacy services. Currently, JC is working at The Tacoma Public Library as an Associate, helping with their mission to bring forward an equity lens to the programming and services the library offers to the community of the South Sound. JC's most formative and empowering years came from being a student at San Diego City College, something they can't say about any other higher learning institution! 

 

More student features coming soon!

 


Meet City English professors who are also former City College students!

  • Christy Ball 
  • Paul Manuel Lopez
  • Norell Martinez
  • Carrie Gordh
  • Andrew Powers

blackbox performance

Aside from teaching, many of our English faculty are involved in creative pursuits and social activism outside the classroom.  From passion projects and performances to publications and community events, you can find our instructors working tirelessly to make San Diego a more just and beautiful place for everyone. Have a look at some of their accomplishments below.

 

Professor Manuel Paul Lopez is the author of Death of a Mexican and Other Poems (2006) and These Days of Candy (2017).  He is also the co-editor of the Reclaiming Our Stories seriesCheck out Professor Lopez's interview with the Library of Congress Hispanic Division here.

Professor Chris Baron is the author of the poetry collection, Lantern Tree, which was published as part of a poetry anthology, Under the Broom Tree, winner of the San Diego Book Award. His first novel, All of Me (2019), was selected Bank Street College Best Book of the Year. Learn more about Professor Baron and his work at https://www.chris-baron.com.

Professor Paul Alexander is founder and president of Pillars of the Community, a non-profit organization committed to embracing and celebrating the historic, rich, and diverse culture of Southeast San Diego. Watch Professor Alexander talk about Pillars here.

Professor Karla Cordero is the editor of SpitJournal, an online literary review for poetry and social justice, and founder of Voice 4 Change, a reading and writing workshop series promoting diversity and cultural competency. Professor Cordero is also the CFO and Social Justice Equity Coordinator for the non-profit Glassless Minds, an open mic venue in Oceanside, CA, serving historically underserved youth.

Professor Kevin Gossett is a local DJ and filmmaker. He has produced videos for campus and community projects, such as Reclaiming the Community, CCAP, and the City English Department "CityLOVE" welcome video.  Outside of campus, Professor Gossett has produced music videos, such as for the band Flat Worms and Marie Haddad. As a DJ, he has performed at the City College Block Party and local venues around San Diego. 

Chairs

Nadia Mandilawi, Chair
English Department
nmandila@sdccd.edu 

Jennifer Boots, Co-Chair
English Department
English Language Acquisition (ELAC)
jboots@sdccd.edu  


English Department Faculty Directory

 paul a headshot
Paul Alexander
palexand@sdccd.edu 

 

 
 mona headshot
Hi City College students! My name is Mona Alsoraimi-Espiritu. I have a B.A. in English and M.A. in Applied Linguistics. My course themes shift based on what's going on in the world around us so that we are always reading and writing on a relevant theme. My current English 205 theme is "conspiracy theories" and before this semester my theme was hip-hop music and culture. Feel free to email me for information about our course theme for the coming semester!
 christy headshot
Christy Ball
cball@sdccd.edu | AH-515B
Greetings! My name is Christy Ball (she/her/hers). As a caring-centered, social justice educator, I believe curriculum should cultivate the civic-mindedness, agency, creativity, skills, and talents students can use to solve real world problems. I also believe that we learn more by doing and when the work matters to us. For these reasons and more, in my courses you can expect to engage in what PBL Works calls Gold Standard Project-Based Learning. By the end of my courses, I hope you have a deeper understanding of what issues are fueling our current civil rights movements, the power you have to shape the world you want to live in, and what revolutionary civil rights leader Dr. Angela Davis means when she says, "I am no longer accepting the things I can not change. I am changing the things I can not accept."
 chris headshot
Chris Baron
cbaron@sdccd.edu | L-209
I love all the genres of writing: Poetry, Fiction, Comics, Graphic Novels, Spoken Word, ALL OF IT! I am a kid lit author--my Middle-Grade novel in verse, All of Me came out in 2019, and my next book, The Magical Imperfect comes out in 2021, both from Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan. I've been a Professor of English at San Diego City College and the director of the Writing Center for loongggg time. I consider myself so lucky to be a part of our community.  I grew up in New York City, but I completed my MFA in Poetry in 1998 at SDSU. My first book of poetry, Under the Broom Tree, was released in 2012 on CityWorks Press as part of Lantern Tree: Four Books of Poems which won the San Diego Book Award for best poetry anthology.
 audrey headshot
Audrey Breay
abreay@sdccd.edu | AH-515E
Hello Students! I'm Professor Audrey Breay (she/her/hers) and I love teaching at City College. I have a B.A. in English from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN and an M.A. in Literature from the University of Washington in Seattle. My recent English 101 courses have focused on Attention, Distraction, and Activism, while my English 205 has centered around anti-racist reading. My classes, whether online or face to face, are student-centered and discussion oriented. I love helping students develop their reading, writing, and critical thinking skills.
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Aja Booker
abooker@sdccd.edu
Hello! My name is Professor Aja Aguirre-Booker. I have a B.A. in liberal arts and an M.A. in education curriculum development and a Reading Specialist Credential. In my ENGL 101/31 course we explore various social justice issues that affect us in a variety of ways. We study stories in text and film, with an emphasis on writing. Being able to articulate oneself in writing is a very important skill set. Participants will learn how to use mentor texts to craft any type of writing. We read a variety of articles and texts in class like The Price of Blackness, Willing to be Disturbed, Whistling Vivaldi, and The Condemnation of Blackness.
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Jennifer Boots
jboots@sdccd.edu | 619-388-3264 | AH-517C
Hi! I am Jen. I have been teaching ELAC and English at City College since 2006. I enjoy working with my classes on projects that raise awareness and affect change in our communities. Similar to many of my colleagues, I have lived abroad teaching English - for me, in Japan - and have a passion for traveling to new places. I also enjoy camping, hiking, and trying out new restaurants. I look forward to working with you! Welcome to City College! 
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Michelle Chan
mchan001@sdccd.edu | 619-388-4371 | AH-511F
Hi, City College students! My name is Professor Michelle Chan (she/her/hers). I have a B.A. in Art History and M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. In my ENGL101 class, we focus on the theme "Forces That Shape Us" and explore topics ranging from migration and intergenerational trauma to the impact of popular culture on our beliefs, behaviors, and the way we experience the world around us. Some texts we've covered include The Best We Could Do, Acting Out Culture: Readings for Critical Inquiry, and The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die.
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Serena Collier
scollier@sdccd.edu 
Hi there! My name is Serena Collier and I have a master's in reading education and a master's in English and comparative literature. In the courses I facilitate, we focus on social issues that impact our society on a micro and macro level through project-based learning, diverse readings, peer discussions, and a variety of writing styles. I utilize a labor-based contact grading approach in my courses which, I have found, sets my students up for a high success rate. I look forward to meeting you in my courses!
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Karla Cordero
kcordero@sdccd.edu 
Hello City College writers and scholars, my name is Professor Karla Cordero (pronouns she/her/hers). I am the first in my family to go to college and received my B.A. in Liberal Studies with a minor in Literature and Writing and M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Poetry. From composition, to literature, and creative writing I love using comic books, graphic novels, spoken word, children's literature, poetry, novels and music, as ways to get us to collaboratively think about social justice, equity, community outreach and embracing our voices as the fiercest tools we own. I'm also an organic backyard Chicana farmer, so don't be surprised if I show up to class with a bag full of oranges! Ask me about Voice 4 Change, a spoken word showcase and open mic, inviting nationally award winning writers to share their stories on survival, celebration of diversity and cultural competency. I look forward to meeting you!
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Christina Fithian
cfithian@sdccd.edu | AH-511A
Hello, my name is Christina Fithian. I have a B.A. and M.A. in Linguistics with teaching certificates in Teaching English as a Second Language and Bilingual Education. My interests are in how we process grammar of our first and second languages, and how reading skills influence writing skills. I usually teach English 101 and 202 (Intro to Linguistics). In my classes, I like to delve into the "why" of things... Why that comma goes there, why certain methods taught in composition are more effective than others, why we understand information the way we do, etc. Expect a little more analytical and scientific approach to composition and critical thinking in my classes. 
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John (Jack) Flynn
jflynn@sdccd.edu | AH-509D
Hello, everyone. Although I am officially John Flynn, I go by Jack Flynn. I am an adjunct professor with City College's English department. I also teach at Southwestern College and Grossmont College because I love the diversity of students and faculty on all three campuses. I have a bachelor's degree with honors from Yale University and a master's degree from Columbia University, where I edited the literary review. I have also published a novel with E.P. Dutton and sold a screenplay to 20th Century Fox. I love to teach writing. I don't believe someone is born with writing talent. Writing can be learned, and I can help anyone willing to work hard to become a better writer.
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Alexander Gardella
agardella@sdccd.edu | AH-507B
Hi City College students! My name is Al Gardella (he/him/his). I studied at San Diego State University and earned both my BA and MA in English. I teach ENGL 101 and ENGL 205, and if you take my class, you'll learn to become a critical reader, writer, and thinker. We explore different aspects of identity over the course of the semester, and you'll even have a chance to reflect on your own identity by writing a short personal narrative! Some authors we've read include Gloria Anzaldúa, Audre Lorde, and bell hooks. We also often read works of children's literature and develop projects that are both critical and creative.
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Marty Gardella
mgardell@sdccd.edu | 619-388-3400
Hi, City College students. My name is Marty Gardella. I have a B.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in English Literature. In my English 101 class, we explore a variety of topics including interviewing classmates, friends, and family members; writing childhood/teenage stories; and exploring myths of family, education and empowerment, the tech frontier, money and individual opportunity, and gender. I like to use the eleventh edition of Rereading America as a textbook.
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Kevin Gossett
kgossett@sdccd.edu | AH-507B
Hi, I'm Kevin Gossett (he/him/his) and I live in Golden Hill where I enjoy a great view of City College. I have an M.A. in English with an emphasis in British Literature and have spent my 30s teaching writing and literature courses at City College and Grossmont College. My writing courses from the last few years revolve around relevant and relatable themes such as the future of Gen Z (ENGL47), the idea of home, especially among immigrants and marginalized communities (ENGL101x), and our complicated relationship with digital technologies (ENGL205). We explore current books, articles, stories, music, films, etc., and practice critical thinking, conversation, collaboration and creativity. Who's in?
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Aileen Gum 
agum@sdccd.edu | 619-388-3610 | AH-515C or AH-206
Welcome to City College! My name is Aileen Gum (she/her/hers). I have a B.A. in English, M.A in French Linguistics, & an M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). I believe language should be a "bridge," not a "barrier." I know it's not easy to learn a new language or to master academic English, so I hope our classes can be safe spaces where you can take risks to learn how to communicate better in English and to connect with others. When I'm not working, I like to get out in nature... even if it's in the middle of the city! I hope you can take time to explore some of the beautiful places in San Diego such as Tuna Harbor Park (pictured), just a few minutes from City College. 
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Alexandra Heath
Hi everyone! My name is Alexandra Heath (she/her/hers) and I have a B.A. in English from UCLA and an M.A. in Education from LMU. I love teaching English and enjoy using our classes to better understand the world around us! In my 101 class, we read both fiction and non-fiction accounts of the HIV/AIDS crisis to guide our lessons in literary analysis; in my 205 class, we learn how to critically analyze what we read by researching and analyzing conspiracy theories. My classes emphasize the writing process through continual options for revision and guidance throughout the process. I'm here to help you learn and succeed!
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Virginia "Gina" Jackson 
vjackson@sdccd.edu | AH-511A
Hello! My name is Professor Virgina (Gina) M. Jackson, and I have been an Adjunct English Professor for almost 10 years and an overall Educator for 23+ years. I am the Founder and Executive Artistic Director of Cultural Noire Performing Arts Company and am an Arts Commissioner for the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. My credentials include a B.A. in Speech Communication/English and Theatre Performance minors from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; an M.A. in African-American Studies/Literature-Theatre from Clark Atlanta University; and an M.Ed. and Preliminary Administrative Services Credential from National University. I have also completed the Museum Studies Professional Studies Program at Northwestern University as well as Global Humanities programs at the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California Berkeley. Within all of my taught classes, we explore societal themes through cultural lens. Our chosen literature reflects those themes and lens, and voices are given to those who are systematically voiceless.
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Charles Kovach
ckovach@sdccd.edu | L-209
Hi, City College students!  My name is Charles Kovach (he/him/his).  I have been teaching English at City College for over 26.5 years.  In my English 101 classes, we will work on writing that you may encounter in your academic and professional lives.
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Manuel Paul Lopez
mplopez@sdccd.edu | AH-517F
Welcome to San Diego City College! My name is Manuel Paul Lopez, and I was born and raised in El Centro, Califas. I am a Chicano writer, educator, and wannabe musician. In addition to teaching in the City College English department, I co-coordinate our campus' Puente program with Dr. Luis Perez. My passions are music, art, literature, food, and travel. My academic and writing interests include Chicanx/Latinx poetics and literature, BIPOC literature, hybrid literature, 20th-21st century world literature, translation, social movements, critical mentoring, sentipensante, project-based learning, and sound and pedagogy. My books include Nerve Curriculum, These Days of Candy, The Yearning Feed, Death of a Mexican and Other Poems, and 1984. My poetry, fiction, plays, and essays have been published in magazines and journals, both nationally and internationally. I've also co-edited three volumes of the Reclaiming Our Stories series, counternarratives published by City Works Press. In my classes, we read, write, watch, listen, and discuss content, and then synthesize and transform it into engaging projects. Examples include photo essays, plays, podcasts, visual art, publications, and others. I'm so excited that you're joining the San Diego City College familia!
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Nadia Mandilawi
nmandila@sdccd.edu | (619) 388-3420 | AH-515D
Hi! My name is Nadia and I have been teaching English at City College since 2006. Before that, I worked as a tutor in the English Center. I have a BA from NYU and an MFA in creative writing/fiction from SDSU. I love teaching reading and writing at City and in my most recent English 101 and English 205 courses, we focused on personal narrative and taking a close look at systems in place and how they effect us. In the last creative nonfiction class I taught, we worked on chapbooks, teeny books, centered on various themes. I love cats and spend too much time knitting. I also help with our VAMP storytelling showcase and am here to answer any questions about it! Welcome to City!
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Hector Martinez
hmartine@sdccd.edu | (619) 388-3585 | AH-517A
Hi, I'm Professor Hector Martinez. I earned a B.A. in English from USC and an M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing from SDSU, and I 've been a full-time faculty member at City College since 2002. I teach a wide array of classes; however, all my classes share the ultimate goal of empowering my students while encouraging them to take control of their education. What you learn in school belongs to you, and once you acquire this knowledge no one can take it away. The texts in my classes often deal with race, class, gender, and education.
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Norell Martinez
nmartinez@sdccd.edu | 619-388-3086 | AH-517B
My name is Dr. Norell Martinez (she/her/ella). I am a bilingual, bicultural Chicana from the San Diego/Tijuana border region. I have a PhD in Literature/Cultural Studies from UC San Diego where I did research on Chicana/Latina, Indigenous, and Afro-Caribbean feminism, spiritual activism, healers and healing. I teach my English and Literature courses from a social justice perspective. The focus of my classes explore themes in the areas of Chicana/o Studies, Gender Studies, Hip Hop, Education and Social Movements, amongst other topics. I especially like students to take a critical look at capitalism as a system that creates inequality, thus we learn from the perspectives of oppressed people of the world. 
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Kelly Mayhew
kmayhew@sdccd.edu | 619-388-3136 | AH-517D
Howdy dear students! I'm Kelly Mayhew (she/her) and I want to welcome you to my courses. My BA in English is from UC Santa Barbara, my MA in English is from San Diego State University, and my Ph.D. in American Culture Studies is from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. I teach many different classes every year, but central to all of them--what I want you to get from them--is a sense of community and belonging, a love of the process of learning, and the knowledge that I'm there for you every step or our academic journey together. We explore all sorts of chewy subjects in my classes: the history of Ethnic Studies in Honors English 101, the politics of food in English 205, or intersecting issues of gender and sexuality in Shakespeare in English 215. In all of my classes, I strive to make you feel like you're home, that you can be successful, and that you're heard.
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Patricia "Trissy" Mcghee
pmcghee@sdccd.edu | 619-388-3876 | AH-513E
Hi! My name is Trissy McGhee (she/her) and I have a BA in English from Cal Poly and MFA in creative writing from SDSU. I love teaching writing and reading and I really focus on the writing process and revision. In my 101 classes we focus on personal narrative, we examine and critique systems of education, and we read longer texts such as Tattoos on the Heart, Girls Like Us, Maus and The Best We Could Do. I also like to include work on self care and mental health, as I believe education should be about the whole person, including emotions. Creative writing is my passion. Please ask me about our creative writing program and VAMP storytelling showcase.
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Kelly Metz-Matthews
kmetz@sdccd.edu 
I'm Kelly Metz-Matthews (she/her). I teach English and English Language Acquisition at City College. I also teach at the University of San Diego and San Diego State University. I have a B.A. in English, an M.LSt. in Liberal Studies with an emphasis in Narrative Nonfiction Writing, an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction: English as a Second Language, and a certificate in TESL/TEFL. I frequently teach graphic novels, memoirs, and documentaries that allow us to investigate inequities and power dynamics in our society. My courses have included units on gender, educational access, housing insecurity, immigration, linguistic discrimination, poverty, and the prison-industrial complex. I'm multilingual and am currently writing my Ph.D. dissertation on the ways English functions as a form of gendered symbolic power for bilingual women in patriarchal contexts. Are you interested in bilingual poetry? Me too! Let's chat.
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Jim Miller
jmiller@sdccd.edu | 619-388-3554 | AH-517G
Hello City Students! My name is Jim Miller. I have a BA in English from San Diego State University, an MFA in Creative Writing from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University. In the wide variety of classes I teach--from American Literature and Humanities to Composition and Labor Studies--we approach the material through cultural studies and social justice lenses. In so doing, we also focus on how to do deep and meaningful scholarship and engage in lively discussions all in the context of a supportive and enjoyable learning environment.
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Ashley Nguyen
anguyen002@sdccd.edu 

Hi, City students! My name is Ashley Nguyen. I recently earned my M.A. in English from San Diego State University with a specialization in Asian American children's and young adult literature and media. When not reading or grading, I delight in exploring local boba and dessert shops, serving at my local Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement (TNTT) chapter, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Looking forward to getting to know you and supporting your success!
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Rachel Oriol
roriol@sdccd.edu 
Hi! My name is Dr. Rachel Oriol. I have been teaching composition and literature classes for more than a decade at the community college level. My classes often focus on rhetorical approaches, visual literacy, and memoir/reflective writing. The theme of my classes often follow along my research interests, which include dance, Latina memoir, and history of rhetoric. My teaching style is as a "warm demander" supporting students while encouraging them to grow in new ways.
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Ember Pepper
epepper@sdccd.edu | AH-515A
My name is Ember Pepper. I was born and raised here in San Diego; I grew up in southeast San Diego (near Chicano Park, basically barrio Logan). I attended San Diego City College before transferring to SDSU and earning first my Bachelor's in Literature and then a Master's of Fine Art in Creative Writing. I've been teaching for 8 years. I'm an adjunct, so I teach at multiple colleges. I'm currently teaching here at City and also at Southwestern College. In my 101 course, I often teach essay topics on anti-blackness and colorism, our role as humans in the environment, the American Dream, and the path to happiness. In my 205, we review rhetorical strategies and usually research about the effects of media representation. I favor group work and in-class activities and I believe in the writing process and how to tackle an essay piece by piece and step by step.
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Andrew Powers
apowers001@sdccd.edu 
A New Hampshire native, I moved to San Diego over a decade ago. During those years, I acquired a History and an English Associate’s Degree at San Diego City College, a Literature and Writing Bachelor’s Degree at the University of California San Diego, and a Master’s of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing at San Diego State University. Overall, I am fixated with the overlapping elements of horror pop culture and American politics, and I enjoy utilizing such discussions in both his short story publications and teaching pedagogies. With a respect and advocacy towards the ideals of community building, diversity, and open-communication, I hope to prepare students and future readers to think both creatively and critically when engaging with the world around them.
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Oscar Preciado
opreciad@sdccd.edu | 619-823-8529 | AH-513D
Hola! My name is Oscar Preciado (he/him/el). I am a bilingual Chicano and the son of Mexican immigrants. I have a BA in Philosophy from UCSD and an MA in American Literature from SDSU. In my English 101 classes, we read works in which students can see themselves and their history, while exploring patterns of protest and affirmation, resistance and resilience, deconstruction and creative reconstruction. In my English 205 classes, we cover the intersectionality of race, gender and class, and how they influence human agency. We explore a wide range of writers from different periods and cultural groups while also studying feminist, new historicist, Marxist, and postmodern theories of literature, language, and culture. As a former community college student, I'm proud to be at San Diego City College working with community college students.
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Monica Crystal V. Rodriguez
mrodriguez002@sdccd.edu | AH-505
Hello Knights! My name is Monica Rodriguez (she/her/hers). I have a BA and MA in Literature and Writing studies. In my ENG 101 course, we focus on writing and our education. We reflect on how we as writers have been shaped by our past experiences and through systems like public education. We look at how writing is used in our lives and communities, and we problem solve how to become stronger in our writing. Some texts in our classes include: Reclaiming Our Stories, excerpt from Bootstraps: From an Academe of Color, The House We Live In, Dangerous Minds, and Writing for Something.
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Anna Rogers
arogers@sdccd.edu | 619-388-3695 | AH-511E
Hello! My name is Professor Anna Rogers (she/her/hers). I have a B.A. in Art History and M.A. in American Literature. In my ENGL101 and 205 classes we focus on health, inequality, and environmental injustice. Some of the texts you might encounter include Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality in a Divided World, A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind, and The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die. I also teach ENGL208 Introduction to Literature and ENGL 237 Women in Literature. You will find that there is a lot of group activity and discussion in my classes. We read and prepare before class and then use our time in class together to share ideas and support each other as we develop our reading, writing and critical analysis skills.
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Renee St. Louis
rstlouis@sdccd.edu | AH-511A
Hi, everybody. I'm Renee St. Louis (she/her), your friendly neighborhood word nerd. I studied English, biology, and interdisciplinary cultural studies and have had a wide and strange variety of jobs in addition to teaching. In my classes, we examine documentaries on subjects that students choose and use those films as the basis for our discussions about persuasion, evidence, argument, and how to make change in the world. We have addressed subjects like body modification, food scarcity and ethics, racial profiling, sexuality and stereotypes, ethnic cleansing, humanitarian intervention, and white supremacy. Every section of every class is unique, because only that class will have that particular set of conversations. I hope to hear from you soon.
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Ebony Tyree
etyree@sdccd.edu
Hi, everyone. I'm Professor Ebony Tyree, and I teach in the Umoja Program and also serve as the program’s Student Leadership Coordinator and Umoja Club Faculty Advisor. I'm active in communal projects throughout San Diego working with the non-profit organization, Pillars of the Community, where I have taught Political Education classes and help coordinate a monthly community event called First Saturdays in the heart of South East San Diego. In addition to my work with Dr. Buul and Professor Turner on Curriculum Trauma, I am a published editor of a book titled Reclaiming Our Stories 2 and currently working on editing a 3rd and Special Edition of Reclaiming Our Stories in the wake of recent social uprisings and the pandemic.
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Kori Zunic 
kzunic@sdccd.edu | 619-388-4370 | AH-513B
Hello, students! My name is Professor Kori Zunic (she/her/hers). I have a B.A. in International Studies and M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. In my ENGL 47A class, we focus on learning about learning through Ken Bain's text, What the Best College Students Do. In my ENG 101 class we tackle various current issues from a reader America Now; we also delve into complex themes of social justice through Bryan Stevenson's seminal non-fiction book Just Mercy.