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February 28, 2017

English Faculty Member Selected
to Deliver 57th Annual Faculty Lecture

Riverside City College’s Jo Scott-Coe has been selected to deliver the 57th Riverside Community College District Faculty Lecture.

The Faculty Lecture series began in 1961, and each year Academic Senate members select the Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. It is the highest honor faculty bestow on a colleague.

LecturerScott-Coe will be presenting and discussing the newly-discovered private letters from 23-year-old Kathy Leissner Whitman, the wife of Charles Whitman, the man who terrorized the Austin community from the University of Texas's landmark tower in 1966.

Whitman’s rampage became known as the United States’ first school shooting.

Scott-Coe, who joined the faculty at RCC in 2008, holds a bachelor’s degree and a teaching credential from the University of Southern California. She also holds advanced degrees in Rhetoric and Composition from Cal Poly Pomona and UC Riverside in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts. She has taught at the high school level (Riverside Poly) as well as at the collegiate level for 25 years.

She is an accomplished writer, having written Mass: A Sniper, a Father, and a Priest and Teacher at Point Blank, as well as a substantial number of articles, essays and stories. In 2010, she was selected as the NCTE Donald Murray winner for Writing and Teaching.

In her lecture, entitled Private Letters and Public Witness—50 Years After America’s First School Shooting, Scott-Coe will share the story of Kathy, a first-year high school biology teacher, 50 years after she was stabbed to death by her husband on August 1, and before he began his assault on the community.

Faculty Lecture Dates and Locations
Lecture begins at 12:50 pm, and last an hour, with a reception after

  • Thursday, May 4 - Riverside City College, Digital Library Auditorium
  • Tuesday, May 9 - Moreno Valley College, Student Academic Success Building, Room 121
  • Thursday, May 11 - Norco College, Davis Center for Success, Room 217

"I will discuss how the newly-discovered private letters add an important dimension to our notions of ‘first responders’ in domestic terror," she said. "I will share how I came to discover and be entrusted with this epistolary archive (more than 300 pages of writings by Kathy, dated between 1962-66), my methods for studying the material and why Kathy’s letters offer compelling and highly-relevant testimony a half century later."

The lecture is free and open to the public, but parking rules will be enforced; please see metered machines for parking passes and regulations.

Suggested reading leading up to the lecture:

Family Shares Memories of Kathy Leissner Whitman (John Garcia) —

Listening to Kathy (Jo Scott-Coe) —

Jo Scott-Coe to deliver 57th Annual Faculty Lecture