Santa Fe Community College Announces Katie Besser Student Awards

From left: SFCC Foundation Executive Director Kelly Marquez, Richard Bradford Memorial Creative Writing Scholarship winner Virginia Gonzales and SFCC Foundation Operations Coordinator Maria Montoya, at the awards celebration in the Rainbow space at Meow Wolf. Courtesy/SFCC

SFCC Professor Genevieve Betts hosting the Katie Besser Awards Celebration at Meow Wolf. Courtesy/SFCC

SFCC News:

SANTA FE –– Santa Fe Community College’s (SFCC) emerging writers, photographers and mixed media artists were recognized during the Katie Besser Awards celebration hosted by Meow Wolf May 11. The awards were named for the late Katie Besser in recognition of her love of literature and creative writing.

The event celebrated students’ creative expression through writing, photography and media arts. Writers representing SFCC’s diverse community read from their winning works.

The thirteenth annual winner of Santa Fe Community College Foundation’s Richard Bradford Memorial Creative Writing Scholarship was announced at the conclusion of the awards celebration. Virginia Gonzales will receive the $1,000 scholarship. Named for the author of the 1968 classic Red Sky at Morning, the scholarship was initiated by author Michael McGarrity, the late arts advocate Charmay Allred and former Santa Fe city councilwoman Rebecca Wurzburger.

These are this year’s Katie Besser Student Award winners by category:

  • Image
    First Place:
    Ayla Humphrey – “Illusion”
  • Poetry
    First Place:
    Laurie Hilton – “Border”
  • Runners Up:
    Aja Riggs – “Autofill”
    Christine Schwatken – “When No One’s Looking”
    Charmayne Samuelson – “Mesmer Mirage”
  • Honorable Mention:
    Ian Reschke – “Disillusionment”
  • Fiction
    First Place:
    Jesse Colvin – “Lessons in Adobe”
  • Runner Up:
    Abigail Rael – “Pass Through Me”
  • Honorable Mention:
    Aja Riggs – “Missing Piece”
  • Creative Non-Fiction
    First Place:
    Abigail Rael – “Who Learned What?”
  • Runners Up:
    Brielle D. – “y = mx + b, maybe?”
    Rosalie Calhoun – “Toad Tripping”
  • Honorable Mention:
    Charmayne Samuelson – “The Vortex of Death”
  • Academic Essay
    First Place:
    Virginia Gonzales – “Getting Better”
  • Runners Up:
    Luis Ramirez – “Tech in Time”
    Saif Mahmood – “Televising Criminal Trials”

The Katie Besser Awards are presented through a collaboration of SFCC’s English and Creative Writing programs, SFCC’s Media Arts department, SFCC Foundation, and with the support of Meow Wolf. The Katie Besser Art & Writing Awards are directed by Genevieve Betts.

Note: A copy of Accolades, which includes the winning entries, is available to download here

For more than 35 years, Santa Fe Community College has been the gateway to success for individuals and the community by providing affordable, high quality educational programs that serve the social, cultural, technological and economic needs of a diverse community. SFCC is designated a 2019 “Best for Vets” and a “2015 Military Friendly” school. The college serves more than 15,000 students per year in its credit, noncredit and adult programs. For further information, visit or call 505.428.1000. Follow us:  SFCC on Facebook, SFCC on Twitter, SFCC on LinkedIn.

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