Project Profiles

Chair Profile

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Michelle Hall Kells is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of New Mexico where she teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in Rhetoric and Writing.  Kells received the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library Research Fellowship in 2008.  Kells served as Program Chair of the Writing Across Communities (WAC) initiative at UNM 2004-2014.  She is currently Program Chair for the National Consortium of Environmental Rhetoric and Writing (an affiliated organization of the Rhetoric Society of America). Kells also serves as Project Chair of the Salt of the Earth Recovery Project. Kells’s scholarship centers of the public rhetoric of citizenship. Her research interests include public rhetoric (civil rights and environmental discourses), language diversity, sociolinguistics, and community writing studies.

Kells is lead editor of Attending to the Margins: Writing, Researching, and Teaching on the Front Lines (Heinemann, 1999) and Latino/a Discourses: On Language, Identity, and Literacy Education (Heinemann, 2004). Her work is featured in the journalsTESOL Encyclopedia of English Language TeachingJACWritten Communication, Journal of Reflections, Journal of Community Literacy, Praxis, and Rhetoric & Public Affairs as well as a number of edited books including Cross-Language Relations in Composition, Dialects; Englishes, Creoles, and Education; Who Belongs in America?: Presidents, Rhetoric, and Immigration. Kells is the author of Hector P. Garcia: Everyday Rhetoric and Mexican American Civil Rights (Southern Illinois University Press, 2006).  Her recent book release is Vicente Ximenes, LBJ’s “Great Society,” andMexican American Civil Rights Rhetoric (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018)

Check out this link to the EmpireZinc lecture at the National Hispanic Cultural Center!

Project Coordinator Profiles

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Elvira Carrizal-Dukes is a doctoral student in the Rhetoric and Composition program at The University of Texas at El Paso where she teaches Chicana/o Studies classes in Chicana/o Cinema and Chicana/o Theatre. Elvira has served as President of Frontera Retórica, the UTEP chapter of the Rhetoric Society of America. She has served as Chair of the City of El Paso Public Art Committee and as a member of the Museums and Cultural Affairs Advisory Board. Elvira received a Digital Media and Composition Institute Fellowship in 2018 as well as a National Consortium of Environmental Rhetoric & Writing (NCERW) Writer-in-Residence Fellowship. Elvira’s scholarship centers on Chicanx filmmaking and visual rhetorics. Her research interests include digital rhetoric, user experience, and computers and writing.

Elvira is the Special Issue Multimedia Editor of Reflections Journal: Public Rhetoric, Civic Writing, and Service Learning, Special Winter Issue 2017-2018. Her work is featured in Digital Rhetoric Collaborative in a project called Altar to the Women of Rhetoric: Día de Muertos Altars as a Material Rhetorical Practice for Shifting the History of Rhetoric. Elvira’s chapter on Chicanx filmmaking is featured in Community Action for Social Justice digital book. Elvira is also the author of graphic novels including A.W.O.L. (DUKEScomics, 2017) and Dukes of Chuco (DUKEScomics, 2018), as well as a play called Father’s Shadow / Sombra del Padre (Dramatic Publishing, 2001). Elvira is a filmmaker and is the writer, director, and producer of Mariposa (2006) and The Weeping Pimp (2015).

kelli lycke project profile pic editKelli Lyckë is a graduate student of Rhetoric and Writing at the University of New Mexico. She teaches undergraduate writing alongside tending her own research. Her areas of interest include the recovery of American history through narrative of minoritized voices and questions about who has authority to select and write history. She received her undergraduate degrees in Secondary Education and Literature from Park University in Kansas City. After teaching high school English for two years, she quit her job, moved to South America, and learned Spanish.

She serves as student editor of Elevations, a textbook for first-year composition students. She is also currently working on a research project to uncover the nomination and dedication process for New Mexico State Historic Sites. She hopes to discover the criteria used to determine historical and rhetorical merit of location. Lyckë received the Mary Barlow student writing award in 2016. Her work is featured in Insight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching.

See Kelli’s personal website HERE.

zack munoz project profile pic editZakery Munoz is completing his Master’s degree in Rhetoric and Writing at the University of New Mexico (UNM). He completed his undergraduate degree from UNM with a double major in English and History, studying the histories and narratives surrounding the southwestern fringe of the United States and Mexico, including both Indigenous and Spanish influences on the region.

Zakery has dedicated his life to education after his plight through 6 high schools. While he teaches Composition and Writing at UNM, he enjoys tutoring young students reading comprehension and all things writing. He believes students of all ages should have the opportunity to learn how to learn, so that they might successful in whatever they do; students succeed when given the skills and opportunities needed to do so.You can find his published fiction in both the Leonardo literary magazine and in “Stories Through the Ages.”

See Zakery’s personal website HERE.

steve romero project profile pic editSteven Romero is an MA student in Rhetoric and Writing at the University of New Mexico (UNM). Steven has taught Developmental and Adult Basic Education courses in English and Reading at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) since 2008. He presently teaches First-Year Composition courses at UNM and serves as an embedded tutor for English composition courses at CNM. Steven has published fiction, non-fiction, and poetry in La Tolteca Zine and is a recent recipient of a National Consortium of Environmental Rhetoric & Writing (NCERW) Writer-in-Residence Fellowship. His current academic interests include visual, performance, and food rhetorics of Mesoamerica and the Southwest.
ryann-davis-profile-picRyann Davis is an emerging website developer who created this Salt of the Earth Recovery Project website. She recently began learning code and web development at the University of New Mexico, where she manages all websites for the English Department – both the Department’s main site: as well as the Department’s blog: