Faculty and Staff
Dr. Alexander has taught in the Contra Costa Community College District, specifically at Los Medanos College, for over 10 years as an adjunct professor. Her Specialist and Doctoral Degrees were earned at The University of Michigan in Educational Administration and Supervision. She has served on many public and private organizations’ Boards of Directors and as Chairperson of The United Way’s Review and Allocation Committee. At LMC, she serves as a new member of the District Enrollment Committee. In 1997, Dr. Alexander was awarded the Image Award for community service by the Tulare Advance-Register and the Tulare County Alliance of African-American Women. Her outstanding service to the community was recognized by the City of Tulare, California, and she was nominated for “Woman of the Year” by the city’s mayor. She has published articles in the Visalia Times-Delta newspaper for “The Writer’s Group,” and has served as a keynote speaker and lecturer for several community-based organizations. Although she has held numerous administrative and supervisory roles in the past, she currently chooses to work directly with students in the classroom. The coursework in her classes might appear challenging; however, maintaining a “stress-less” environment is one of her goals.
Education: BS Finance, CSUH; MA English, CSUEB
Non-academic Interests: hiking, piano playing, cooking, walking my dog
Email contact: email@example.com
Birthplace: Honolulu, HI
Came to LMC in 2017
Education: BA English Language and Discourse CSUEB; MA Composition and Creative Writing CSUEB
Non-Academic Interest: Being outdoors
Contact: Rm: CC2-293, Stomita@losmedanos.edu
Greg grew up in Pittsburg and is a former LMC student, so he feels a particular kinship with the students who attend this campus. He believes English is unique among fields of study, since reading and writing skills are essential to the study of every other discipline. (He is pretty sure the same cannot be said for Boolean Algebra). He is an unrepentant dog lover, sometimes preferring them to humans, and he possesses the reverential love for music common to those with no ability to create it themselves. He does write poetry, and has been published here and there.
Jill Buettner grew up in California’s Central Valley. A former ballet dancer, Jill danced professionally for several years. Jill has a BA in English from California State University, Fresno and an MA in Literature with a certificate in Teaching Composition from CSU Sacramento. Before joining the English Department at LMC, Jill taught at Sac State, Diablo Valley College, Solano Community College, and West Valley College. Jill is an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher, and she enjoys sharing her love of reading and writing with students and supporting them in achieving their goals. Her interests include developmental education, writing center pedagogy, women’s/gender studies, and 19th-century American literature. Jill also enjoys cooking, traveling, practicing yoga, and binge-watching her favorite television shows.
Richard grew up in nearby Martinez and went to DVC from 1992-1995. From 1995-1998 he worked on a double Bachelor’s Degree in History and English at Cal State East Bay. He stayed on at Cal State, working simultaneously as staff at the University (working with faculty on their online courses) and on his M.A. in Literature, graduating in 2002. In 2005 his dream came true and he got his first teaching opportunity at Chabot College, in Hayward, where he still teaches both online and on ground. He was hooked on teaching from that first moment in his first class. In 2008, he began teaching at LMC, where he predominantly teaches English 70 and English 90. Six years into his teaching career, he still can’t believe how lucky he is to work with students on achieving their dreams. Richard’s favorite part of teaching is helping students hone their critical thinking skills, whether it be in class discussion of reading assignments or in student papers. He prefers assigning books that educate students about the world around them, or about the struggles of others to make it in life. Richard is a geek. He loves Star Wars and Doctor Who. He has even gone so far as to attend two Star Wars conventions and one for Doctor Who. Make his day and tell him you know what a Sarlacc Pit is, or what a sonic screwdriver is, but only if you really do. He is working on several writing projects these days. One is a science fiction space opera. The other is a good old-fashioned sword and sorcery romp. It’s his opinion that the iPod, iPhone, and PS3 are some of the greatest inventions of the past decade. He loves science and can’t get enough of the Mythbusters. One of his main hobbies is finding new voices with new ideas through the miracles of New Media and Podcasting.
Birthplace: Edmonds, Washington
Came to LMC in 2016
Education: BA American Culture from Vassar College; MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College
Non-Academic Interest: science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative fiction
Contact: Rm: CC-286, (925) 473-7587, Liz Green is an artivist: a queer writer, performer, and educator whose work has been published in The Body is Not an Apology webzine, Sinister Wisdom, Foglifter, sPARKLE + bLINK, and truth-out.org. She is a poetry slam champion and has performed at the National Queer Arts Festival and the San Francisco Fringe Festival. A graduate of Vassar College, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College and is a Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction. She participated in the Tin House Writers Workshop and was a Catwalk Artist in Residence. As an assistant professor of English at Los Medanos College she teaches composition, creative writing, and literature. She writes and enjoys poetry, creative non-fiction, and speculative fiction. She co-edited an anthology of creative non-fiction, poetry and research-based analysis on mental health advocacy that is being published by North Atlantic Books and distributed by Penguin Random House in July 2019. www.ldgreen.com
Marci Lapriore was born in Canoga Park, CA and grew up in Long Beach. As a first generation college student, she attended community college before transferring to the University of Arizona to complete her Bachelor's degree in English with an emphasis in Renaissance Literature. She completed her Master's in English at California State University Hayward / East Bay with an emphasis in fiction writing and women's studies. She also has her teaching credentials in both English and Social Science. She has been teaching middle school since 2005, and community college as an adjunct since 2014. She is a mentor, teacher, and social activist who loves reading. She loves helping students find their voices in their writing and working with them to critically think their way through texts and through life.
Birthplace: Minneapolis, MN
Education: B.A., Mount Holyoke College; M.ED, Boston University; M.A, San Francisco State University; Ph.D, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Non-Academic Interests: backpacking, skiing, surfing, and travel.
Contact: CC2-286; (925) 473-7866; firstname.lastname@example.orgMorgan has been teaching at LMC for 7 years, and she has previously taught at UMass, Amherst, SFSU, DVC, and SUNY Plattsburgh. She has lived on both coasts (but prefers the West!), and she also spent time working in Guatemala and El Salvador. In college and graduate school, she studied literature, language, and cultural studies, including Latin American and Latinx literature, women's and queer literature and rhetoric, and teaching and learning with multilingual students. She loves learning from her students and watching them achieve their goals and dreams. When she's not teaching, she's outdoors as much as possible, or attending music and dance events with friends.
A Bay Area native, Dabney has been teaching Composition at LMC for just over nine years and is back in school to get a degree in literature, so she knows how her students feel. She also believes that writing is a process, and as such, it's never really done -- it's just due. She tries to assign work that will help students to understand more about themselves, each other, and how we relate to the world around us, and she loves grammar -- especially the serial comma. (Can you spot the serial comma in this bio?) But don't worry! If you're going to learn grammar, she believes it should be as fun and painless as possible. And finally, Dabney enjoys baking and trying out new recipes. Students, she says, make great taste-testers.
Jeffrey Mitchell Matthews has been teaching at Los Medanos College since 1992, after earning his B.A. and M.A. degrees in English Composition from San Francisco State University, and later an A.A. Degree in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Queer (LGBTQ) Studies from San Francisco City College. Jeff is proud to have championed the LGBTQ community at LMC throughout his career, helping to design and create LMC’s LGBTQ Studies AA-T Degree. He is also the founder of LMC Freethinkers, a group of students and faculty that encourages freethinking, secularism, and rationality in all public affairs. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jeff has traveled the world extensively, seeking out and riding nearly every roller-coaster on the planet. He also writes, produces, performs and records techno-country ambient-punk music under the pseudonym “ghetto girl”. Jeff resides in Richmond with his husband of over 30 years, and their two cats
Education: BA in English, Colorado State University; Secondary Teaching Credential in English, CSU East Bay; MA in English, National University
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Stacey’s mom said she always knew Stacey would be a teacher. Stacey earned a BA in English from Colorado State and her teaching credential from CSU East Bay. She taught high school for eight years where she developed and taught her favorite class: "Literature and Dynamics of Social Justice." She and her husband began their family and lived in Guatemala for eight months. A year later with three children under the age of three, Stacey earned her Master’s in English and began teaching both students and teachers online. Here at LMC, Stacey co-coordinates the Puente program and teaches a variety of English courses. She is an avid reader and believes that everything comes back to reading. Want a book recommendation? Come by anytime the office light is on.
Came to LMC in 2013
Education: BA in English and Theology/Religious Studies from Saint Mary's College of California; MA in English Literature from Mills College in Oakland
Non-Academic Interest: Sports (Go Warriors and A's!)
Contact: CC2-238 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Caitlin Mitchell grew up in Sonoma County’s wine country. She moved to the east bay to attend Saint Mary’s College, where she studied English and Theology/Religious Studies. After graduating as a double-major, Caitlin attended Mills College, in Oakland, where she earned an M.A. in English Literature. In addition to teaching at Los Medanos, Caitlin has taught at Diablo Valley College-San Ramon Campus. When she is not teaching, Caitlin enjoys rooting for bay area sports teams, including the Warriors, A’s, and Niners.
Teresa Rockett is one of those few people who love to read, physical books (with pages!). She grew up in a small blip on the map – San Lorenzo, and went to college locally. She has been teaching at Los Medanos for three years, and has previously taught at California State University, East Bay (where she also obtained her B.A. and M.A. in English Literature). Her passion for student empowerment emphasizes writing as a process – anyone can get good results with effort. Her favorite part of teaching is listening; she enjoys conducting discussions based on student opinions of the assigned readings and watching their critical thinking skills flourish. When she is not pacing the front of the classroom encouraging students, her son, husband, and puppy captivate her attention.
Birthplace: Roseville, CA
Education: BA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis, BA in History with a Latin American emphasis, Minor in Women and Gender Studies, Dominican University; MA in English, Humboldt State University; MA and Ph.D. in Chicana and Chicano Studies with a Feminist Studies Doctoral emphasis, University of California, Santa Barbara
Non-Academic Interest: Reading and hiking
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As a young child, Adrianna suffered from a debilitating speech impediment that made it difficult for her to communicate verbally. Compensating for her lack of voice, Adrianna expressed her ideas through writing. By 7th grade, she decided that she wanted to earn a Ph.D. to research and teach. Her research centers on decolonial 20th and 21st century literature and theory development, with a recent focus on Oxnard, California author Michele Serros. She argues that decolonial storytelling is a subversive narrative structure that allows for authors to genre bend within a single, comprehensive text. When she is not teaching or research, Adrianna enjoys spending time with her family, reading books, and hiking with Cub Scout Pack 317. She is the proud mother of Elianna Juanita Simone.
Swathi Sreerangarajan (Shorter version: Swathi Rajan)
Birthplace: Bangalore, India
Came to LMC in 2017
Education: PhD: English from University of Pittsburgh (2016)
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgSwathi moved to the United States in 2009 for grad school. Having lived in the snowy Midwest for several years--Pennsylvania and then briefly South Dakota--she is thrilled to reside in the Golden State. She thrives on learning new things and she hopes her joy in reading and writing is infectious to her students. As an English instructor, she has taught at University of Pittsburgh, South Dakota State University, UC Davis, and now LMC.
Birthplace: Walnut Creek, CA
Came to LMC in 2018
Education: BA in Literature from UC Santa Cruz; MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry and teaching certificates in Post-Secondary Reading and English Composition from San Francisco State
Non-Academic Interest: tarot and energy healing
Faculty, English Department Chair
Alex grew up in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, and got his B.A. in philosophy and religious studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Alex has an M.A. in philosophy from Purdue University and an M.A. in English from Cal State East Bay. In the '90s Alex moved to California, become an indie rock songwriter, and joined the ranks of rock musicians with bad jobs. (Alex led a rock band called Desoto Reds for many years.) At age 30 Alex began his teaching career with three years at Portola Middle School in El Cerrito and two at Hayward High School, where he taught in the Puente Program, before starting to teach college English. Alex became a full-time member of the LMC English department in 2006. He currently teaches English 100, English 221, English 220, and Philosophy 122. Alex lives in Albany with his family – wife Julianne, and two teenage boys, Jasper and Adlai. He likes to read even more than he likes to watch the Warriors.
Birthplace: Lima. Perú
Came to LMC: 2010
Education: A.A. Liberal Arts, DVC; B.A. British and American Literature; M.A. TESOL, CSU East Bay.
Non-Academic Interests: Poetry, Painting, Drawing, Swimming, Hiking.
Contact: email@example.comMonica taught English at Napa Valley College from 2005 to 2015 where she also coached emerging student writers and mentored bilingual young poets. She also taught Spanish at NVC from 2013 to 2015. Mónica has been teaching ESL and English at LMC since 2010. She loves nurturing and guiding LMC students. She utilizes her experience as the only non-native speaker of English, immersed in mainstream university classes, majoring in English literature maintaining a 3.89 GPA while working full-time, to inspire, motivate, and teach students the academic skills they need to succeed in reading and writing classes. When Mónica is not writing poetry or reading under her favorite tree, she is swimming, hiking, drawing or painting. She has won several poetry contests. Mónica also teaches Spanish, French, and German at The Lafayette Academy in Lafayette.
Birthplace: Fontana, CA
Came to LMC in 2007
Education: MFA in Creative Writing; BA in Literature and Writing
Non-Academic Interests: Binge watching Netflix and being a mom
Contact: Rm: CC2-284, (925) 473-7865, firstname.lastname@example.orgSara Toruno-Conley has been teaching at Los Medanos College since 2007. She grew up in the high desert of southern California and now lives in Richmond with her husband, son, and little Chihuahua, Ziva. Sara has a chapbook of poems published, The Dementia of Language, and her poems have appeared in literary journals such as Forge, Contraposition, The Café Review, Eclectica, Ginosko, Temenos, and Monday Night.
Like you, Scott was once a community college student. In fact, on his way to earning an MA in English from CSU-Fullerton, Scott accumulated units from four different colleges. This trend continued in his teaching career, as he’s taught at nine different colleges before settling into Los Medanos as a tenure-track assistant professor. Teaching is not Scott’s only talent. He’s been known to participate in karaoke, his performances of which have been described by observers as “not bad” and “better than I thought.” He also enjoys playing guitar, so long as he’s not asked to venture beyond the key of G major. He writes and reads, as well, but his greatest joy comes from spending time with friends and family. Scott’s been described as a “Hipster,” which is undoubtedly true, and “chill,” something he’s lukewarm about. In 2011, he was told he possesses “swag,” a compliment he not only got in writing, but also got authenticated by a California Notary Public.
Birthplace: Phoenix, Arizona (but longtime Californian)
Came to LMC in 2018
Education: BA in Comparative Literature from Mills College, MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Lesley University
Non-Academic Interest: writing, textile art, gardening, traveling
July Westhale is the award-winning author of Via Negativa, Trailer Trash (selected for the 2016 Kore Press Book Prize), The Cavalcade, and Occasionally Accurate Science. Her most recent poetry can be found in The National Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, CALYX, The Indianapolis Review, Vinyl, Tupelo Quarterly, RHINO, Lunch Ticket, and Quarterly West. Her essays have been nominated for Best American Essays and have appeared in McSweeney’s, Autostraddle, and The Huffington Post. She was the 2018 University of Arizona Poetry Center Fellow, and is a 2019 Writer-in-Residence at Alley Cat Books. She is a staff writer at The Establishment and a longtime poetry editor at Narrative.
With a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature, a Master’s Degree in Linguistics and a Doctor’s Degree in Education, Professor Zhu has been teaching at Los Medanos College since 1991. He has also taught at other institutions such as University of Utah, University of California, Berkeley Extension, California State University, East Bay, and Saint Mary’s College. He has served as doctoral dissertation committee chair and committee member for Walden University, University of Phoenix and Saint Mary’s College. Believing that education is the foundation of a nation and a springboard to personal success, Professor Zhu loves teaching and enjoys every minute of it. He argues that language used by a person is a self-projected image of one’s self. His favorite pastime is learning different languages. Besides teaching and learning languages, Dr. Zhu is active in outdoor sports such as jogging and hiking. He is also a music lover who plays a few musical instruments. If you wonder why the plural form of “mouse” is “mice”, but the plural form of “house” is not “hice”, take his English classes for the answers.