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English and Reading Discipline
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Congratulations to 2023 Full-time Faculty of the Year Awardee, Professor Ellen Olmstead! 

Professor Ellen Olmstead's portrait

It is with immense pleasure that the Montgomery College Outstanding Faculty Awards Committee recommends Professor Ellen Olmstead as Full-Time Professor of the Year. In her 23 years as a full-time faculty member in the English and Reading Department, Professor Olmstead has consistently demonstrated exceptional pedagogical mastery, a strong commitment to professional development, and unwavering support for her students and colleagues. Embodying the spirit of "radical inclusion," her accomplishments both inside and outside the classroom make her an exemplary role model and a deserving candidate for this prestigious award. As Dean Elizabeth Benton writes, “I can think of no one else who embodies professional learning, service, teaching and learning as does Professor Olmstead….I can think of no other faculty member who works harder or cares more deeply and is more deserving of recognition for outstanding achievement than Professor Ellen Olmstead.” 

The faculty who have written in support of Professor Olmstead have witnessed her tireless dedication to the success of the institution, faculty, and students. Amidst significant organizational and academic changes, she collaborated effectively with her fellow department chairs to navigate various challenges and ensure the seamless implementation of necessary transformations. 

Professor Olmstead's accomplishments as a scholar and teacher have earned her numerous honors and awards, including the Howard University African Studies Program Residency, the Global Humanities Institute Award for the El Salvador Partnership, and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. These experiences have allowed her to bring fresh ideas and insights to her colleagues and students, enriching their learning experiences. 

In addition to her teaching and scholarship, Professor Olmstead is a devoted advocate for inclusivity and serves as the Head Trainer for Safe Zones LBGTQ+ Awareness. By facilitating workshops that raise awareness and support for the LGBTQ+ community, she contributes significantly to fostering a more inclusive and accepting college environment. 

As a true advocate for Montgomery College students, Professor Olmstead has always been committed to providing access and opportunities for all. She has created speaker series, pioneered the use of open texts, and facilitated study abroad programs with increased scholarship funds. Her focus on serving minoritized populations is evident through her efforts to bring well-qualified faculty from diverse backgrounds, and her leadership in creating and maintaining literature courses that represent different cultures and identities. 

As one of her faculty supporters notes, in the words of W.B. Yeats, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire," and Professor Olmstead's teaching approach reflects this sentiment -- she ignites the passion for learning in her students. Recognizing that student success is heavily influenced by the quality of their instructors’ teaching, Professor Olmstead has also mentored both full- and part-time faculty by generously sharing her teaching materials, pedagogical methods, and her vast knowledge of curriculum design through multiple workshops arranged through ELITE and the English and Reading department. 
Professor Olmstead's passion for community college students, her dedication to the humanities, and her commitment to marginalized identities make her an outstanding faculty member deserving of recognition. Her wisdom, energy, and empathy have had a profound impact on the lives of her students and colleagues, and we are confident that she is the perfect candidate for the Montgomery College Full-Time Faculty Member of the Year.


Congratulations to English and Reading Faculty 2023 Outstanding Faculty Awardees!

Constance Farley, Outstanding Full-time Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Constance Farley is a dedicated Montgomery College professor, who has been teaching at MC for 27 years. Dr. Farley’s focus in the classroom is fostering a strong educational classroom community that values and respects equity and inclusion for all students. She feels strongly that she needs to meet each student’s academic needs from where they are when they enter her class. Her goal is to imbue each student with knowledge that will build their self-confidence, which in turn helps them believe they each have something important to contribute to the class, the college, and the world. Dr. Farley believes every student can be successful, which is the tenet of a good teacher. 

Dr. Farley has held many leadership roles in the department. During COVID, Dr. Farley took over the role of ENGL 101 and ENGL 101+011 coordinator. She has managed to juggle the craziness of this role and has become indispensable to all of the department’s full and part-time faculty who teach ENGL 101 and ENGL 101+011---which is over 50 faulty. Dr. Farley was instrumental in developing an ENGL 101 and 101+011 student orientation session, to help new students entering MC understand what to expect in college composition classes. She was one of three faculty who completed a DL Common Course in ENGL 122 (Mythology) last summer and took the lead on the team responsible for the General Education recertification of the mythology course this winter. Dr. Farley was also on the team that developed the current English Placement for incoming freshmen, and is still on our placement team today.  

Dr. Farley exceeds expectations for pedagogy and advancement of Montgomery College’s student success initiatives. Dr. Farley is creative and maintains intellectual curiosity. Most of all, Dr. Farley is a caring, compassionate educator---who is an extraordinary asset to Montgomery College. 


Deborah Stuart, Outstanding Part-Time Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching

Professor Deborah Stuart earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Il., and she earned a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Northwestern University. She has taught English for almost 10 years at Montgomery College. Previously, she tutored SAT/ACT preparation as well as college essays. Prior to her experience here in Maryland, she served as a high school English teacher and summer school principal in Los Gatos, California. She brings expert writing and grammar skills to the MC classroom, as well as a true passion for poetry. Overall, Deborah loves being part of the MC community. 

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Congratulations to 2021 Full-time Faculty of the Year Awardee, Dr. Mary Robinson!

Dr. Mary Robinson

Dr. Pollard, MC's past president, made the following remarks about Dr. Robinson: "A truly student-focused instructor, Dr. Robinson has been described as having her “heart…centered in the classroom.” Colleagues describe her as a tireless instructor, a motivated collaborator, an innovative peer, and a devoted community member. She brings both depth and breadth to her service and pedagogy at the College, shepherding the redesign and rebirth of the developmental reading program into the very successful integrated English, Reading, and Writing program. Serving for four years as chair of the English and Reading Department, and another four years as chair of the American English Language, Reading, Speech, and World Language Program, Dr. Robinson has led innumerable initiatives toward student success.

In fact, her leadership is so highly valued that she became the Germantown “chair of chairs,” taking on additional responsibility with efficiency and vision. Dr. Robinson’s contributions collegewide have also been extensive, with service on the MC 2025 Strategic Planning Committee and the President’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion. She is trained to review literacy courses from all Maryland colleges, universities, and local public school systems under the Maryland Literacy Framework, and has been recognized by the Office of the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools for her distinguished service. For her excellence on so many levels—personal and professional—Dr. Robinson embodies the dedication and vision to which MC faculty aspire."


Congratulations to English and Reading Faculty 2021 Outstanding Faculty Awardees!

Professor Paul Baker

Professor Paul Baker began teaching in the English and Reading department at the Germantown campus in 2004. He is innovative, teaching the ENGL 103 course fully online and helping inform the design of the common course. Professor Baker demonstrates excellence in the classroom and compassion toward his students and all students at the College.

Dr. Joseph Couch

Dr. Joseph Couch has been a professor in the English and Reading Department in Takoma Park for 16 years. His teaching philosophy centers around his belief that the activities of reading and writing help us construct meaning from our experiences and challenge us to foster our critical thinking. By projecting his own enthusiasm for his students' work as well as for writing, literature, and research, he demonstrates his dedication to his students as individuals.

Dr. Michael LeBlanc

Dr. Michael LeBlanc has been a professor of English and Reading at the Takoma Park campus since 2010. Since 2017, Dr. LeBlanc has served as Editor-in-Chief of The Sligo Journal. He is Co-Chair of Faculty Council, and he has worked closely with academic leadership to resolve constituent concerns and solve problems. 

Professor Catherine Lutter

Professor Catherine Lutter has been teaching in the English and Reading department since 2014. Professor Lutter incorporates service into her classes such as working with the Free Minds project where students respond to incarcerated individuals’ poetry as part of a prison education unit. Her motto is, "A teacher must always be a learner as well."

Dr. Monica Mische

Dr. Monica Mische has been with Montgomery College since 2011 as a professor in the English and Reading Department. She personifies teaching excellence in the community college classroom. Her goal is to change or "transform" every student, through education. Dr. Mische feels that education can make every student's life fuller, more meaningful, and more challenging.


The Red Jacket Open Submissions

Students, submit your short fiction, poetry, personal essays, artwork and photography to The Red Jacket, the official, MC-Rockville, student-run literary journal. This year's journal will focus on "Emotions & The Human Condition." Open Submissions from October 1st - December 17th. Send submissions to Please include your name, a reachable email address, and chosen theme per work submitted!

Download The Red Jacket Flyer #1 (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window) and The Red Jacket Flyer #2 (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)


April National Poetry Month

Open to the entire MC Community (students, staff, professors, and administrators)! 
People who write 20 poems in April and submit them to will receive a prize! You can submit your poems daily, weekly, or at the end of the month. National Poetry Month Flyer (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)

Open Mic Zoom Poetry Reading Meeting

Friday, April 30, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Meeting ID: 943 3591 8191
Passcode: 298880

Here are some websites to give you help with:

Different forms of poems:
Feminist poets:
Arab-American poets:
Disabled poets:
African-American poets:
LGBTQ+ poets:
Latinx poets:
Asian-American poets:
Native American poets:

April 2021 Notional Poetry Month
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Write a poem about "home".
Read a feminist poem & respond.
Write about dreams.
Read a poem by an Arab-American poet & respond.
Write a poem about how you've been affected by the pandemic.
Write a poem about religious or ritual beliefs.
Write about a puzzle - physical, emotional, psychological.
Write a blackout or erasure poem ( maybe using a textbook!)
Read a poem about he environment & respond.
Write about life without art, music, or poetry.
Read a poem by a disabled poet & respond.
Write a pantoum (from Malay).
Write about anxiety or fear.
Write about a social or political issue.
Write about Montgomery College
Read a poem by an African-American poet & respond.
Write a shadorma (from Spain).
Read a poem by a LGBTQ+ poet & respond.
Write a poem about your hometown.
Write a poem about thankfulness or gratitude.
Write a palindrome or mirror poem.
Write a poem about your favorite food.
Read a poem by a Latinx poet & respond.
Write about being seen and/or heard.
Read a poem by an Asian-American poet & respond.
Write a Luc Bat poem (from Vietnam).
Write about what mother, father, parent means to you.
Write a poem titled "The Gift".
Read a poem by a Native American poet & respond.
Write a poem to your childhood self.
Photo with two students staring into a Zoom computer screen and smiling like they are playing the virtual game

Tuesday, April 6, 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Please join us and bring a friend, sibling, or other family member for an hour of fun virtual games and information about MC and the English & Reading program.  Games will include Kahoots, a scavenger hunt, and Bingo as well as door prizes, game prizes, and a raffle! 
For more information, contact Professor Sharon Anthony at

Professor Marianne Szlyk

Sunday, April 11, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
RSVP to receive a Zoom link.

What is poetry? What is prose? Can they coexist peacefully and create something beautiful together?
Please join us to look at, discuss, and write this exciting form that’s trending in the poetry world (or is that the prose world?)!
Sponsored by the English and Reading Department, Montgomery College and the Paul Peck Humanities Institute.

April Writing Group

Come join Professor Brandon Wallace and Dr. Andraé Brown as they explore the role of African American literature and culture. 

How has your matriculation in school helped or harmed the shaping of you as a student? Participants are encouraged to write 12-to-15 sentences to address this question; however, speaking and listening will be t primary exchanges. School Segregation: The Continuing Tragedy of Ferguson Flyernew window

Friday, 4/30/2021 12:00 - 2:00pm 
Meeting ID: 863 34121951

For more information, please contact: 
All participants will receive a special gift from the WRLC

National Poetry Month

The WRLC Rockville Campus is sponsoring an Open Mic. Everyone is welcome to share their original poems or one of their favorite poems. National Poetry Month - Open Mic Flyernew window

Friday, April 30th From 2PM - 3PM
Meeting ID: 143 3511 8111
Passcode: 118880

For questions, please contact


Books for Learning Asian American Stories Through Literature

Join us as we read and discuss the fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry of some exciting and award winning Asian American authors of this generation. We will read excerpts from various contemporary works, reflect, and discuss our responses to these readings. Discussions will also include topics related to Asian American identity and the importance and impact of representation in literature. Most importantly, we will enjoy the captivating writings of talented authors whose works you may not have read before. 
Learning Asian American Stories Through Literature Flyernew window

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 from 2:00-3:30 pm
Facilitated by Professor Jennifer Lee, English and Reading faculty window
Meeting ID: 981 2560 9101

Letters Next to Generation

The final session for the Black Diaspora workshop will focus on epistolary essay form, particularly those written by James Aldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Discussion will focus on the relationship between black men and the messages they impart to one another. Letters to the Next Generation Flyernew window

Facilitated by Professor Charles Washington
May 5, 2021 from 5:00-6:00 pm
Meeting ID: 988 6157 8308 
Passcode: 501986 

Writing Groups for MC Students - Upcoming 2021 Meeting Dates

Writing groups student
Meeting ID: 922 4379 4762
Passcode: 039772

Facilitated by Dr. Emma Muñoz Professor at Montgomery College|

Conversations will be held mostly in Spanish with some English translations as needed. Native speakers of Spanish and heritage Spanish speakers are encouraged to attend.
We will be discussing various literary genre (short stories, poems, essays) written by Latin American authors. Students will be encouraged to share, either verbally, or in writing, their thoughts and experiences as they relate to the selected readings.


Writing groups students talking
Meeting ID: 988 6157 8308
Passcode: 501986

Facilitated by Charles Washington Professor at Montgomery College |

Students are invited to read, discuss, and write literature of the black diaspora and that reflect the black experience. Students will read a variety of literary works (poetry, prose, and non-fiction) by black writers and engage in discussions on the topics that are covered by these writings. Students will also reflect on these literary works and topics on a personal level and as they relate to current events and society.


Writing groups student reading
Meeting ID: 863 3412 1951

Facilitated by Brandon Wallace | and Dr. Andraé Brown | Professors at Montgomery College 

Come join Professor Brandon Wallace and Dr. Andraé Brown as they explore the role of African American literature and culture!

Virtual meeting
Meeting ID: 943 3591 8191
Passcode: 298880

Sponsored by the Creative Writing Club and the WRLC Rockville

Download Writing Groups for MC Students Flyer (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)

Literary and Arts Anthology by Students with Disabilities - Call for Submissions

  • Do you enjoy writing poems, stories, or personal narratives?
  • Are you skilled in drawing, painting, sculpture, or cartoons?
  • Would you like to craft a memoir but need some help along the way?

If so, please consider participating in this upcoming publication.  The submissions deadline is September 30, 2021, but students are encouraged to submit during the spring and summer months. Download Literary and Arts Anthology Flyer (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader - Link opens in new window)

Click for more information

Literary and Arts Anthology

We welcome work by MC students with a broad range of disabilities: physical, emotional, mental, learning, or sensory impairments of any kind or degree. While writers and artists certainly may craft pieces expressing their experiences of living with a disability, this is not required. Submissions may be about any topic!

Writing submissions may take two forms:

  • Finished pieces (requiring minimal editing).
  • Pitches (for which students describe an idea for an essay or memoir and, if accepted, work with an editor to develop their piece).

Due to space limitations, not all submissions may be accepted. Students are welcome to submit multiple pieces for consideration!  

For more information, please contact