Borderlands: began in 1983 as a unique cross-border learning experience created by the Institutional Development and Economic Affairs Services, Inc. (IDEAS) of Nederland, Colorado. EPCC was one of only three institutions of higher education selected to participate; the others were the Pan American University at Edinburg, TX and San Diego State University. Student research from this partnership initially produced television and radio programs on KCOS-TV and KTEP respectively in 1982, and the print publication was added in 1983 and is now in its 36th year.
The first issue was an interdisciplinary project published in the Mass Communications Department, supervised by Penny Byrne of MACO and English instructor Glenn Spiegelhalder. The student editor was Alfredo Corchado, who is an award winning journalist and Mexico-Border correspondent for the Dallas Morning News. He is the author of two acclaimed books: Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter's Journey Through a Country's Descent Into the Darkness and Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration. and is a highly sought after speaker. We are so fortunate he has agreed to celebrate with us at our 50th anniversary events, Spring 2019, to speak about his work and how EPCC changed the direction of his life.
The second issue was published through the English Department with Dr. Lawrence E Milbourn as faculty advisor and Penny Byrne as journalism instructor. The college district fully funded the publication starting with the third year with various faculty editors including English professor Ruth Pena whose last issue was volume 8. Starting in 1991 Ruth Vise, English instructor at Valle Verde, became faculty editor and project advisor and continues to this day. The publication moved to the Northwest Campus with Ms. Vise in Volume 20 (2001-2002) where Head Librarian Monica Wong championed it and its distribution on the web. Earlier volumes beginning with Volume 9 (1991) were by Northwest Library staff. Links and sources have been added by librarian Rachel Murphree who maintains the Borderlands website at: http://epcc.libguides.com/borderlands .
Borderlands is student driven with students in English 1302 Borderlands classes writing research papers on local topics, persons, or places of interest for the research requirement of the class. The faculty advisor works closely with student editors to merge various scholarly papers into feature articles. At times, faculty editors are brought on board to help in editing issues and readying them for publication. Faculty who have served as editors include the late Joe Old, Tejano Tribune faculty advisor at Valle Verde, to produce a printed supplement for such newspapers as the El Paso Times and El Paso, Inc. However, the continuance and success of Borderlands is largely due to the diligence, guidance, and leadership that Vise brought to the publication. Having maintained it for 28 issues, Vise produced a highly respected publication, bringing to light the richness and history of the El Paso community and the surrounding area.
With the retirement of Vise comes the newly-appointed faculty advisor Tony Procell, English professor at the NW campus. Procell has been with the College since 1991, teaching all levels of English and serving on various discipline and College committees. He was the Faculty Advisor for Chrysalis, EPCC’s literary and arts journal, from 2009 to 2013, with the 2012 issue having been selected by the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association as the sweepstakes winner for best literary publication in Texas. Procell brings along a new vision for Borderlands, adding such touches as an op-ed piece, fiction, and poetry about El Paso, written by El Pasoans, yet continuing with the journalistic articles that have been the mainstay of the publication. Procell plans to continue with the print version, partnering with El Paso, Inc. and linking a digital version of Borderlands to their website. Borderlands will also enter the social media world and the online issues will be converted into modern digital flipbooks. Procell, with his team of Murphree, editors, and English 1302 students, hopes to continue and expand the success brought on by Vise and the legacy she left behind.
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