Gifted TMCC Authors and Presenters 2017: Part 5

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Gailmarie Pahmeier and Lindsay Wilson Image

To left, first Reno Poet Laureate Gailmarie Pahmeier; to right, newly introduced second Reno Poet Laureate Lindsay Wilson.

Lindsay Wilson Chosen as Reno Poet Laureate

At the Reno City Council meeting on April 12, Truckee Meadows Community College English Professor Lindsay Wilson was announced as the 2017-2018 Reno Poet Laureate. The Poet Laureate is an official city government-appointed post, and is tasked with writing insightful works about Reno life for festive or official gatherings.

“The Poet Laureate will promote poetry as an art form and a means of inspirational public commentary by speaking at important Reno events and public arts dedication ceremonies,” according to

The call for nominations was announced in the fall, and TMCC Professor Erika Bein nominated Wilson.

“He is a teacher who is held in very high regard by fellow faculty and staff, but mostly by his students who cram into his classes every semester from every part of the Truckee Meadows,” she wrote. “Lindsay works with independent poets, English majors, new but curious creative writers, TMCC and UNR students. I would venture that a high majority come away with more than they expected to find within themselves.”

Arian Katsimbras is a former student of Wilson’s and now a writer and English Instructor himself.

“Lindsay continues to dedicate countless hours aiding in the organization of, and participation in local events, community boards, and literary workshops that aim to foster substantive support and growth in Nevada's literary arts community,” he wrote. “As a board member of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame, Lindsay's ardent-hearted passion for our art's community is conspicuously present.”

On March 14, the Reno Arts and Culture Commission (RACC) voted unanimously to recommend Wilson for the position. He will also receive a $2,000 honorarium for the two-year term from the City of Reno, which is provided through the Room Tax Fund.

Eric Neuenfeldt, English Instructor, said that Wilson is a highly-engaged Reno citizen and a tireless advocate for the region’s arts.

”Students are drawn to Lindsay for his enthusiasm about the art of poetry, his kindness in responding to work, and empathy in the classroom,” he wrote. “I often see Lindsay staying late to discuss drafts of poems with students in his office. On weekends, writers can find Lindsay at a Reno coffee shop, reading new poems his students have written, carefully providing guidance and encouragement.”

Katsimbras added that Wilson embodies vision, arts advocacy and mentorship.

“We desperately need poetry in our time, and I can think of no other writer and educator who will take up this mantle with measured heart and commitment to the arts in our region,” he wrote.

Wilson is the second Reno Poet Laureate since the program was founded in 2014. His first event will be a poetry reading at the City of Reno’s 150 Sesquicentennial Kick-Off celebration on May 9. Also, Wilson's poem "The Mudsuckers" has recently been published in The Carolina Quarlerly.

Perla Petry and Gen Z Presentations

Perla Petry has been an Academic Advisor at TMCC for three-and-a-half years. She is also the Major Exploration Workshops Coordinator. These interactive sessions are a survey of the many possible majors and how they can meet students’ career goals.

The workshops are typically held at TMCC once a month and are free and open to the campus community.

Together with fellow advisor Jill Barrett, she recently presented “Generation Z and the Importance of Major Exploration—It’s a major decision,” at the NASPA Western Regional Conference, Nov. 10-12 in Seattle. NASPA is the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, formerly the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

“I feel that our advisement services at TMCC are truly innovative, and I love having the opportunity to share these unique innovations with my peers at conferences like the NASPA Western Regional Conference,” she said. “At the same time, I’m exposed to the various efforts others are doing in their respective student services areas and I’m able to share any applicable information that I learn, bringing back new ideas to my colleagues.”

Petry said that she often learns new methods of helping students while attending the conferences where she also presents.

“As student services professionals, I think we are always looking to partake in opportunities that foster supporting students in their journeys toward academic excellence, and being able to speak at these professional development functions exposes us to those opportunities and allows us to engage in important discussions that lead to the discovery of better ways to support our goal of student success,” she said.

Jill Barrett Presents Talks at CoNVerge and NODA Conferences

Jill Barrett, Academic Advisor, chooses topics for her presentations that will help her learn something new, or deepen her understanding of a subject area she has already started to explore.

At the 2016 CoNVerge Conference in Las Vegas, Barrett and her colleague Amy Blomquist presented a talk entitled “Strengths-based approach to student success,” which is about magnifying a person’s own top five character strengths. The strongest five are determined by studying the main list of 24 character traits, and choosing the five that best fit each individual.

Barrett and Co-Advisor Grecia Anaya-Arevalo presented a talk at the NODA Region 2 conference in Pomona, Calif. on the unique S.O.A.R. orientation system at TMCC, and how it is growing and evolving. NODA was the National Orientation Directors Association, but changed its name in 2013 to the Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education.

She also presented workshops at National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) conferences in 2014 and 2015.

“To prepare for these presentations I do a lot of research,” she said. “I read articles and consult with my fellow advisors to obtain as much information as I can. Half the fun is putting together the presentation and figuring out the puzzle of how to arrange it. This is important to keep everyone engaged during the presentation and so that they leave with a better understanding of the topic than when they arrived.”

Barrett said that at first she was daunted by public speaking, but enjoys creating proposals and getting different perspectives on the topics from her co-workers.

“It is also rewarding to get other colleagues from different institutions to attend sessions and give their feedback on the information provided,” she said. “Presentations are a wonderful outlet for both the presenters and the attendees.”


Coming up in the Accomplished Authors Series

  • Viki Kappel Spain
  • Joseph G. Gonzalez
  • Chandra Healy
  • Jill Channing
  • Scott Miller
  • Hieu Do

For more information about the Accomplished Authors and Presenters series, please contact Marketing and Communications at 775-673-7087.