Greg Bottoms, Professor in the Department of English
Professor Bottoms teaches courses in memoir, essay, literary journalism/documentary prose, travel writing/writing place, and cross-genre courses in which students focus on the fundamentals of craft across the genres of narrative nonfiction, prose poetry, and short fiction. As a teacher, he accents the fact that close, active reading and vivid, strong writing are two halves of the same creative endeavor. He believes that literary writing is indeed a teachable craft, but one that requires humility, a keen interest in human character, an inquisitive mind, a deductive approach to the social and cultural forces that shape us, a constantly deepening emotional intelligence, and a sense that language and literary art are meant, foremost, to convey truths about who we are and how we live.
Deb Ellis, Associate Professor and Director of the Film and Television program
Professor Deb Ellis is a documentary filmmaker who makes films that focus on social justice and activism. Her film, Howard Zinn: You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train (2004) is an overview of social movements of the 20th century seen through the eyes of activist and historian Howard Zinn. The film was short listed for an Academy Award in the feature documentary category in 2005. Her earlier films include The FBI’s War on Black America, a rigorous examination of the FBI’s infamous COINTELPRO program. An underground classic, the film remains a relevant cautionary tale about the dangers of government surveillance. Her most recent film, Peace Has No Borders (2017) is yet another chapter, reflecting on the impact of social activism and resistance to war.
Richard Watts, Director of the Center for Research on Vermont & Lecturer in the Dept. of Geography
Richard is an interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on the relationships between communications and public policy. Richard examines the role of strategic communications in the development and implementation of public policy related to energy, transportation and public health. This research builds on his experience as a policy and communication professional, as a journalist and a consultant to government agencies, advocacy organizations and business groups.