Professor Paul Alexander comes from a long line of Americans who despite the odds
have always worked for social justice and a better world. He pursued an M.A. in comparative
literature at San Diego State University and became a Fulbright scholar in Damascus,
Syria. In addition to being a full-time English professor, he spearheaded the annual
Social Justice and Education Conference at San Diego City College. He is the president
and founder of Pillars of the Community, a nonprofit community organization that works
with those targeted by law enforcement for meaningful systemic change.. He founded
the “Reclaiming Our Stories” collective in 2015 which recently published a special
edition of narrative essays written by individuals from impacted communities titled
“In the Time of Covid and Uprising.” Currently, he is focused on challenging racist
gang laws that target Black and Brown residents across California. Above all else,
he is a proud resident of Southeast San Diego where he is raising his 3 sons with
his wife Raquel.
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!
Greetings, students! 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."
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.
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.
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 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!
email@example.com | 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.
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!
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!
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.
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
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 Anzaldua, Audre Lorde, and bell
hooks. We also often read works of children's literature and develop projects that
are both critical and creative.
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.
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?
Hi, everyone! My name is Tucker Grimshaw (he/him/his). I am a native San Diegan and
have lived in Hawaii and Boise, Idaho. Along with my love for literature, I enjoy
to surf, sing, and dance. I have an M.A. in English Literature, and my interests include
disability studies, queer studies, and first-year writing. In my ENGL101X, we focus
on the personal to the global, uncovering people, places, and ideas that have helped
us succeed as students and writers. In fall 2021, we read Trevor Noah's Born a Crime as a way to talk about and research social issues. In my ENGL205, we focus on language
and identity and read selections by Amy Tan, Sandra Cisneros, Gloria Anzaldua, and
Vershawn Ashanti Young. I'm committed to accessibility in my own classes and helping other
faculty members with ensuring their classes are accessible to all students, as well.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
email@example.com | (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
firstname.lastname@example.org | (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.
email@example.com | 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.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 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
Patricia "Trissy" Mcghee
email@example.com | 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.
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 619-388-3554 | AH-517G
Welcome, I'm 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 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. I'm also a writer
and am the author of the novels Last Days in Ocean Beach (City Works Press), Flash (AK Press), and Drift (University of Oklahoma Press) and the co-author of Under the Perfect Sun: The San Diego Tourists Never See (The New Press) and Better to Reign in Hell: Inside the Raiders Fan Empire (The New Press). I was also the editor on Sunshine/Noir: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana (City Works Press), Sunshine/Noir II: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana (City Works Press), and Democracy in Education; Education for Democracy: An Oral History of the American Federation
of Teachers, Local 1931. I'm a founding editor of San Diego City Works Press as well. I've published in a wide variety of other media sources and had a weekly
column in the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag for many years before moving my
column to Words and Deeds.
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!
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.
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
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
email@example.com | 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.
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.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 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
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.
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.
Hi everyone. My name is Professor David Walsh, and I am originally from the Boston
area; however, San Diego has been my home for the past 35 years. San Diego City College is also home because I have been teaching here since 2010. I am a proud graduate of San Diego City College and San Diego State University with
a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Applied Linguistics for teaching college-level English
courses for non-native speakers. I teach all levels of English and ESL (ELAC) courses
on our campus. Some of the topics we have explored in my courses include immigrant
and refugee experience, literacy in the digital age, education, identity, mental health
in the Western world, success, The American Dream, technology, free-speech, and so
much more. I always do my best to select topics and texts that are relevant to current
events and our specific classroom community. I am also a member of the English Center
support staff, providing workshops for our students and tutors, so please stop by
to say hello. Some of my likes are books, kindness, generosity, and humor. My dislikes
are borders (of any kind), cruelty, and inequality. I look forward to meeting and
working with you.
email@example.com | 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.