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Welcoming Felicia Chavez - Scholar in Residence

Creativity & Innovation is excited to announce the appointment of Felicia Rose Chavez as our Inaugural Creativity & Innovation Scholar-in-Residence. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Felicia as our first Creativity & Innovation Scholar-in-Residence. As an educator, creative practitioner, and scholar, Felicia embodies the program’s goals to nurture students’ creative capacities and to support the College’s ongoing anti-racist work. In this new role, Felicia’s work has the potential to benefit our entire CC community. ” Dez Stone Menendez, Director of Creativity & Innovation

This new, three-year Residency will allow Creativity & Innovation to expand our service to the College by hosting longer-term Residents from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to share their creative practices, scholarship, and innovative ideas with our community. Working in collaboration with CC faculty members in all divisions and the Creativity & Innovation team, the Scholar-in-Residence will develop and implement curricular elements that help build students’ creative capacities, teach block courses that engage aspects of creativity theory and practice, host workshops for faculty, develop and disseminate scholarship within their field, and engage audiences within and beyond Colorado College to invite collaboration and expand possibilities for creativity pedagogies across disciplines.

BluegrassBebe-9383Felicia Rose Chavez is an award-winning educator with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Iowa. She is the author of The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom and co-editor of The BreakBeat Poets Volume 4: LatiNEXT with Willie Perdomo and José Olivarez.  A familiar face here at Colorado College, Felicia taught courses in English, Film and Media Studies, and the Colket Center for Academic Excellence from 2012-2018.

Formerly, Felicia served as Program Director to Young Chicago Authors and founded GirlSpeak, a literary webzine for high school students. She went on to teach writing at the University of New Mexico, where she was distinguished as the Most Innovative Instructor of the Year, the University of Iowa, where she was distinguished as the Outstanding Instructor of the Year, and Colorado College, where she received the Theodore Roosevelt Collins Outstanding Faculty Award. Her creative scholarship earned her a Ronald E. McNair Fellowship, a University of Iowa Graduate Dean’s Fellowship, a Riley Scholar Fellowship, and a Hadley Creatives Fellowship. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Felicia has returned to Colorado Springs to serve as the inaugural XX Creativity and Innovation Scholar-in-Residence at Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Find her at www.feliciarosechavez.com.

In her role as Scholar-in-Residence, Felicia will assist the Creativity & Innovation team to develop and support creativity pedagogies across campus and host faculty workshops. In addition, Felica will teach selected creativity-related block courses, beginning with Creative Non-Fiction in Block 2, thus reviving one of several popular courses that she taught at Colorado College as a Riley Scholar Fellow. Other courses include: Podcasting; The Inspiration Lab; Audio Essay; Audio Documentary; and Thesis Boot Camp. An award-winning teacher, Felicia possesses a special gift for helping students to connect with each other, with community, and to their own internal creative capacities. As former student recounts, “She encouraged a present-ness in each of us, not only as classmates, but also as human beings, as fellow artists. She strives to build and foster an environment of encouragement, one in which the heart is relaxed and the mind is at ease, a room of trust, an atmosphere of relationship. Her direct connection and respect for each of us paved the way for confident experimentation in our works. She is a genuine artist concerned with the growth and maturation of her students. I am extremely thankful to have been taught by her."

 

As Scholar-in-Residence, Felicia will also continue developing and sharing her creative practices, as well as her scholarly research. Felicia’s book The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom (Haymarket Books, January 2021) is a call to create healthy, sustainable, and empowering classroom communities. The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop invites educators to liberate their thinking from “the way it’s always been done,” and specifically addresses how to:

 

  •      Deconstruct our biases to achieve a cultural shift in perspective.
  •      Design a democratic teaching model to create safe spaces for creative concentration.
  •      Recruit, nourish, and fortify students of color to best empower them to exercise voice.
  •      Embolden our students to self-advocate as responsible citizens in a globalized community.

 

In The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop, Felicia exposes the invisible politics of power and privilege that have silenced writers of color for far too long, and presents a teaching model that protects and platforms students of color, because every writer deserves access to a public voice. It’s more urgent than ever that we consciously work against traditions of dominance in the classroom, but what specific actions can we take to achieve authentically inclusive communities?Described as a captivating mix of memoir and progressive teaching strategies, the book demonstrates how to be culturally attuned, twenty-first century educators.