ENGLISH FULL TIME FACULTY
Christine Howell—Coordinator and Faculty
Office: ST 310-B
Office: ST 310-C
Craig joined the faculty of Penn Valley in August 1997. Prior
to coming to Penn Valley, Craig taught American and African American
literature at UMKC. He has a Ph.D. in English from the University
of Colorado and an M.A. from the Ohio State University. He is from
In addition to composition courses, Craig teaches courses in American
literature, African American literature, and fiction (reading it,
not writing it). People often find it odd, or frightening, that Moby-Dick is
Craig's favorite book, but he likes to challenge those people to
take American Lit 1 with him in order to discover the white whale
for themselves. A psychic once told him that he was Herman Melville
in a past life, and he thinks it is probably true.
In addition to literature and composition courses, Craig also
teaches the journalism courses and is faculty advisor for Spectrum,
Penn Valley's online student newspaper (follow the links to Spectrum from
this site to check it out for yourself). Since Spectrum is
online only, it is an exciting opportunity for students to create
a unique student newspaper. Craig invites any student interested
in writing, digital photography, or web design to sign up for English
104 (Newswriting and Reporting) or to contact him for more information.
Craig also teaches English 102 and some literature courses via
Craig serves on several district and campus committees, and has
been a PV representative on the Faculty Senate.
Office: ST 308-C
joined the PV English faculty in the fall of 2001. Prior to her
arrival at Penn Valley, Lisa taught English, specifically the
thesis writing course for M.S.N. students, at Mountain State
University in West Virginia. She has a Ph.D. in English from
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (where the big N on Memorial Stadium
stands for Knowledge, Go Huskers!); her M.A. is also from Nebraska
and her B.A. is from Westminster College in Fulton, MO although
she is originally a Nebraskan (go Huskers!). It is important
for Dr. McCloud to note that in his time with the Cyclones, the
football team spent its time watching the clouds while my team
generated basketball-style points.
teaches Basic Writing I, Composition and Reading I and II,
Creative Writing, Women's Lit., Women's Lives and Autobiography,
World Lit II, Humanities Past and Present, and the Bible as
Literature; her courses are delivered traditionally, online,
and on TV.
sits on a bunch of committees but is most interested in Global
Education and Assessment. Overall, she hopes that her students
are reasonably groovy and learn a great deal in her classes.
On a personal note, she hopes that students become active in
the world around them and develop an appreciation for Hammer
films (esp. Brides of Dracula) the works of Roger Corman (the
first Little Shop of Horrors, The Raven with Vincent Price),
and a general love for monsters of all types (Mothra, Godzilla,
the giant squid in 10,000 Leagues Under the Sea).
Lane Van Ham
Office: ST 308-B
Lane Van Ham has been teaching at Penn Valley since 2008. Prior to coming to Kansas City, he lived in Tucson, Arizona, where he taught for the University of Arizona and Pima Community College Adult Education. He has also worked as a dishwasher, a library page, and a homeless shelter coordinator.
Office: ST 308-B
Anita Leverich earned a BA English Literature and an MA in creative writing and literature from Kansas State University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Montana in Missoula. In between earning degrees, she spent two wonderful years as a Peace Corps Volunteer (1991-93) in Rwanda where she taught at the National University of Rwanda. Before coming home to Kansas City and joining the MCC-PV faculty in 2008, she taught at the University of Houston.
Office: ST 306-B
Though Jennifer Stephenson was just recently hired full-time as an English instructor at Penn Valley, she has served as an adjunct professor within the MCCKC system at both the Penn Valley and Longview campuses for two years. Since beginning her teaching career with MCCKC, she has enjoyed working with a variety of students as well as learning from her other English faculty memebers.
Prior to joining MCCKC, Jennifer earned her M.A. at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in English Literature and Language. Her B.A. in English came from Evangel University of Springfield, Missouri. Through her years as a student, Jennifer became fascinated with cognitive linguistics especially in the context of British and American 19th century literature. To this day, she still uses her interest in linguistics to teach the functions of basic grammar. While at UMKC, Jennifer became heavily involved in the culture of the writing center and even presented work about hierarchical language at the International Writing Center Conference in 2008. Because of this passion, she still advocates for the value of the writing center to her students on an almost daily basis.
As a new faculty member, Jennifer is and will teaching a broad spectrum of English composition courses from Eng 80 to 102. She also is committed to incorporate service learning into future classes as well as become more and more knowledgeable of Blackboard and its multiple uses inside and outside of the classroom.
Though Jennifer is in the midst of choosing committees to work with, she knows that her main goal will be to always promote student success in writing. She encourages all of her students to demand the best writing instruction as well as to demand their best when writing their own work.
Office: ST 306-B
After seven years in the banking industry as a project manager, teaching English comp was the last thing on Kelly’s mind. But then in August 2000 a computer science instructor at Maple Woods became deathly ill, and just four days before the fall semester, Kelly was asked to take over his introductory course. While teaching computer skills was not at all exciting, working with students was terrific; Kelly was hooked.
The decision to fill in for more online and f2f courses convinced her that teaching was the best gig ever conceived. While considering her interest in history and fiction, Kelly decided that her already obsessive reading habits were a clue to what she should be teaching: literature and language. After a fifteen-year hiatus from college life and her first bachelor’s degree at SMSU, Kelly earned a B.A. from Park University in 2007. In 2010 she earned an M.A. from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
Kelly challenges her students to adopt the science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon’s philosophical statement, “Ask the next question,” a motto that is as applicable to real life as it is to academic writing. Helping students learn how to embody an inquisitive mind and the ways in which they can participate in academic culture – particularly how solid writing and critical thinking skills tie them to this culture and the world outside of the college – is Kelly’s primary aim at MCC – Penn Valley. She also enjoys introducing students to studies in language and Theory of Mind, specifically how the latest research on autism informs us about human perception, the reading of fiction, our cognitive idiosyncrasies, abilities, and evolutionary inheritance. In her spare time Kelly enjoys running, roller coasters, zombie/vampire flicks, and horror fiction.
Division Chair: Vicki Raine
Office: ST 302-A
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