CTN’s in-house, peer-reviewed journal, The Journal of Ideas and Pedagogy, is ready for publication.  In this issue of the journal, the Co-Editors, Rafael Castillo and Erin Doran, are proud to showcase the fine work of new writing practitioners who are part of the effort to give an academic voice to faculty members in two-year community colleges.  Leading the list are Lillian Huerta, Anne Fletcher, Yon Hui Bell, and Erin Doran.

Lillian Huerta is experienced in Middle Eastern cultures, teaches for Austin Community College, and is a faculty fellow for the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her essay is an illuminating journey of self-discovery and applied pedagogy. She brings a wide cultural breadth in her many travels to both Europe and the Middle East and is devoted to expanding knowledge in community college studies.

Anne Fletcher, also at Austin Community College, is clearly an advocate for students as she has a vast amount of knowledge on working pedagogy and the actual functioning of cariño, familia and respeto, the triage mantra that is a marker for successful interaction among both faculty and students. Her illuminating essay is a testimony to practical applications with committed faculty and is closely aligned to successful strategies. We also encourage readers to see Anne’s feature in a PBS Newshour story that aired in May 2021, showcasing Anne’s dedication to her students.

Yon Hui Bell, an instructor at San Antonio College, reflects on her journey as an “accidental educator.” Yon Hui’s contribution developed as part of her participation in the professional development credits CTN has arranged with the University of Texas at Austin, so our faculty members can receive graduate-level credit for their ongoing development activities.

Erin Doran gives readers insight on how faculty become CTN partners through synchronicity and what attracts them to the innovations of a program that connects with community, students, and faculty with a vision of promoting a students-first philosophy.

We are also introducing our Poetry Editor, Fernando Esteban Flores, a veteran English teacher with over 35 years of education. In addition to being a poet in the school programs, he is an award-winning faculty member and founder of Voces Cósmicas, a monthly workshop for new and established poets in Texas. He was responsible for selecting the poetry contents in the journal.

Included in this issue are book review contributors, Margo Moreno and Matilda Staudt, both faculty with the Alamo Colleges District in San Antonio.

Catch the Next is an organization dedicated to college faculty and students in Texas for the purposes of closing equity and achievement gaps. Because the concentrated goal of CTN had always been to empower students to achieve their academic goals, build leadership skills and produce returning mentors, a corollary inverse would be applied to CTN faculty to increase their academic goals through publishing academic platforms and mentor other faculty and replicate the success. Having a publishing network for faculty and staff was one dream from a 2012 convergence of ideas. CTN expanded their academic goals and gained support from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board along with support from the Meadows Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Center for Leadership at the University of Texas at Austin.

CTN is perhaps the only non-profit organization with faculty support systems to encourage the development of active writing practitioners within the cadre of community college higher education. Its closest ally is NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) housed at the University of Texas at Austin. Both work cohesively to promote and support faculty, staff, and administrators in their quest for learning and pedagogical excellence.  If you are interested in writing for the journal, please contact Erin at erin.doran@catchthenext.org.

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