Santa Fe Community College: Katie Besser Award Recipients

Color Shift by Sushmita Shrestha. 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 online by the SFCC Library May 5.

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 11th annual winner of Santa Fe Community College Foundation’s Richard Bradford Creative Writing Endowed Scholarship winner was announced at the awards celebration. Emmanuelle John is the recipient of 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. 

The 2021 KBA judges:

  • SFCC alumni and writer Tyrone Wright;
  • Poet Laureate of Santa Fe Elizabeth Jacobson;
  • Artist and illustrator Turner Mark-Jacobs;
  • Dr. Camilla Bustamante; and
  • Author Demetria Martinez.

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

Image and text:

Winner: Color Shift, (color) Sushmita Shrestha
Runner up: Color Shift, (black & white) Sushmita Shrestha
Honorable mentions: Creative Carpenter, Kayla Nichols, Skull Rose, Nehemiah Martinez 

Creative Nonfiction: 

Winner:  Bhutan, Fred Nugent
Runner-up: Leaders, Theodore Bloyd
Honorable Mention: The Fire, Emmaneulle John 


Winner: Hate, Marissa Myers
Runner-up: aunt effie ala cummings, Laurie Hilton
Honorable Mentions: Mrs. Acosta, Laurie Hilton, Precautionary Measures, Danielle Herrera


Winner: Loving and Longing: Healthy? Unhealthy?, Mateo Wester
Runner-Up: Interpersonal Communication Concepts Applied to the Film “Wasp”, Mateo Wester
Honorable Mention: Was This A Choice, Or Was I Born This Way? Raven Symins  

Instructor Nominated:

Winner: I Promise, Celestina Perea
Runner Up: Landshaping in Fragments, Molly Emerson
Honorable Mention: The Life and Times of Commander Chuckles, Michael “Mac” Cleaver 


Winners: Piggly Wiggly, Roxanne Seagraves
Runner-Up: Rose, Emmaneulle John
Honorable Mentions:
I Hate Guns, Alexandrea Storm
Little Girl Meets La Llorona, Nehemiah Martinez 

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 generosity and support of our judges, SFCC Media Arts Student Intern Najmeh Mousavi, The SFCC Library, and the Santa Fe Literary Review. The Katie Besser Art & Writing Awards are directed by Emily Stern. For more information, email or call 505.428.1467. 

A copy of Accolades, which includes the winning entries, is available to view here.