Authors and Editors
Lead Author: Anna Mills
Anna Mills currently serves as the English Discipline Lead for the Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges OER Initiative. She has taught English at City College of San Francisco since 2005 and has specialized in teaching Argumentative Writing and Critical Thinking since 2008. She earned a master’s degree from Bennington College in Writing and Literature with a focus on nonfiction writing. She has published a collection of book reviews, “Anna Mills on Nature Writing,” and her essays have appeared in The Writer's Chronicle, The Sun, Salmagundi, Cimarron Review, Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, North Dakota Quarterly, Under the Sun, Banyan Review, and various anthologies. She interned as a technical writer at Sun Microsystems and spent two years as a writer and web developer for the nonprofit CompuMentor, where she helped launch the portal TechSoup.org. Recently, she has taken to tweeting at @EnglishOER.
Dylan Altman is a husband, father, writer, educator, filmmaker, and wearer of “many hats.” He is an adjunct professor at Los Angeles Valley College, Oxnard College, and his Alma Mater CSUN. He believes in the transformative power of narrative and language.
Ryan Hitch teaches English at Saddleback College and several other community colleges in Southern California. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology from CSUF before getting a master’s degree in English and master of fine arts degree in Creative Writing from Chapman University. He currently serves as the 2021-23 English Puente Coordinator at Norco College, and is part of the CCCOER’s Open for Antiracism (OFAR) 2021-22 cohort.
Darya Myers teaches English at Long Beach Community College and is co-coordinator of the Puente Program there.
Edward Mahoney teaches English at College of the Desert, Azusa Pacific University, and Pepperdine University. He earned his MA in English from Cal Poly Pomona and an MDiv from Regent College. He is currently researching expressions of communal trauma in literature.
Allison Murray teaches English at Long Beach City College, where she’s been a full-time faculty for twenty years. She has specialized in Argument, Fundamentals of Comp, and Mythology, and is currently at work on a Mythology OER textbook. She has served as the college’s OER coordinator, where she oversaw over $1.4 million dollars in student savings through faculty adoptions and creations of OER. She has also served as the English Discipline Lead for the OERI, an OER reviewer for RFP 2, as well as the FDRG Lead for English for the C-ID. She is also a certified Les Mills BODYPUMP, CORE, and Spin instructor, and has run seven marathons.
Kathleen Nelson teaches English at Palomar College and Miramar College in San Diego County, California. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English Literature at California State University San Marcos, her master’s degree in English Literature at San Diego State University, and her master’s degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. Kathleen has an interest in open educational resources, basic skills, and online teaching. She enjoys the beautiful California weather for walks, watching British mysteries on TV, and creating cards and quilts in her off-time.
Natalie Peterkin teaches English at East Los Angeles College and several other community colleges in Southern California. She earned her bachelor's degree in English Literature from UCLA before getting a master's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly Pomona. Natalie is also a creative writer and lead editor of Cal Poly Pomona's liberal arts journal, Pomona Valley Review.
Tina Osborne has taught English at Cabrillo Community College since 2003 and has taught writing at the University of California Santa Cruz since 2020. She also taught English as a Second Language and various technology classes from 1998 to 2008 at several adult schools, and served as ESL and Technology Coordinator for many years at the Santa Cruz Adult School. Tina has been teaching online for several years and completed the Certificate in Online Teaching and Design through the Online Network of Educators in 2020. Tina co-published the books Out and About in the World of Computers and Out and About in the World of Technology, and she wrote several chapters for the book, Fostering Habits of Mind in Today’s Students: A New Approach to Developmental Education.
Sarah has the great honor and joy of being a professor of English at Mission College in Santa Clara, CA, where she also serves as Professional Learning Co-coordinator. Sarah has engaged in teaching and learning with the wonderful Mission College students through metacognitive reading, composition and critical thinking courses since 2010. Sarah has also served as a Northern California Learning Network Coordinator for CA Community College Success Network 3CSN since 2018. Before moving to the Bay area, Sarah taught for seven years in her beloved home state of Massachusetts. Sarah earned a Masters in Language and Literacy from Simmons College in Boston, MA and a Bachelors of Arts in English from Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. Sarah is passionate about equity pedagogy and professional learning, and she believes that all educators have a responsibility to engage in life-long scholarship in teaching and learning. Along with an amazing team of equity-minded leaders, including students, Sarah has engaged in deep equity and transformation work, and she has developed a Equity Pedagogy Community of Praxis for colleagues to engage in peer to peer learning, self-reflection and curricular redesign in order to create transformative teaching. Sarah lives joyfully, with her little house tiger, Fiona and neighborhood puma, McLovin, deep in the redwood forest of the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains! You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cynthia Spence is a tenured full-time English Associate Professor at Imperial Valley College and an adjunct English Professor at College of the Desert. Her academic interest is focused on community college intervention strategies and acceleration. Dr. Spence completed her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at CSUSB and she currently serves as a fellow for the Ed.D program. Her dissertation examined the role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation focusing on Self-Determination Theory in relation to Summer Bridge Students and community college retention and persistence rates. Dr. Spence served as IVC’s OER coordinator and is currently helping IVC implement AB705 requirements, expand their embedded tutor program, and is directing IVC’s co-requisite transfer English option for incoming students. Other areas of expertise are English literature, English composition and rhetoric, education reading and language arts, second language acquisition, and e-Learning.
Alex Sterling has been teaching composition and critical thinking at Los Medanos College since 2005. Alex has a BA in philosophy from Macalester College, an MA in philosophy from Purdue University, and an MA in English from Cal State East Bay. Alex has been married to Julianne since 1999, and they have two sons: Jasper is at the University of Oregon and Adlai is at Albany High School. Alex loves rock music and leads a band called Desoto Reds.
Saramanda Swigart is thrilled to be writing fiction (almost) full time after years of writing ad copy and corporate literature. She has lived and worked in Italy, New York, San Francisco, and Dubai. She has a Masters from Columbia University, with a supplementary degree in literary translation. Her short work, essays, and poetry have appeared in Oxford Magazine, Superstition Review, The Alembic, Fogged Clarity, Ghost Town, The Saranac Review, and Euphony to name a few. She has been teaching literature, creative writing, argumentative writing and critical thinking at City College of San Francisco since 2014.