LSC-CyFair’s Literary Journal Gets National Recognition

CYPRESS — Lone Star College-CyFair’s student literary journal recently received a 2020 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) rank of Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines (REALM) First Class.

One of only 42 institutions nationwide, LSC-CyFair was chosen for the REALM award both at the state and national level. The Barker’s Voice: A Journal of Arts and Letters earned this top tier state ranking and was placed on the NCTE national map of award winners.

NCTE’s mission is in part to “promote the development of literacy, the use of language to construct personal and public worlds and to achieve full participation in society….” and the REALM program encourages development of literary magazines “that celebrate the art and craft of writing.”

Award-winning efforts of LSC-CyFair’s student and faculty editors were commended in an NCTE note for “inspiring a love of writing that students will remember for the rest of their lives.”

The 2020 Barker’s Voice student editors included Christian Garcia, Jared Cordova and Dale Smith (all senior editors) as well as Beth Murphy, Bluejay Rhoades, Lizette Lara, Crystal Garcia, Sar Fenske and Brody Kilgore.

Professor of English Michelle Brown served as The Barker’s Voice managing editor and club advisor. Other faculty joining Brown as editors were Associate Editor Garrett Johnson, Design Editors Kisha Cormier and Cher Schmitt, Art Editor Matthew Backer; Copy Editor Jane Stimpson; and Marketing Editor Dorrie Scott.

“Recognition of our work on the journal celebrates collaboration and interiority, artistic expression and space for artists to exist … the ability to create something that is valuable in its own right without it having to be monetized,” said Brown.

Among all who contributed to this award-winning journal, there is a sense of pride and now the opportunity to cite the award on resumes and in university applications. However, there were other reasons for working hard on the journal throughout the year, particularly in spring when COVID pushed everything online, and on into the summer.

“Art is often, on some level, about seeking validation or recognition as a human from other humans, about feeling seen and the connections that come from that,” said Rhoades, a senior student editor this year. “We are very grateful for the larger exposure that gives us, the editors, as well as the writers and artists in our literary magazine.”

Cordova, a former senior student editor, said “Often price tags are put on art, but we are glad to produce art without needing to worry about its monetary value (value in the art itself). The purpose of creating art is not about money. It’s about expression and having an outlet.”

This year’s Student Editor Erica Sirman and Senior Student Editor Beth Murphy agree that it’s more than recognition, which is nice.

Murphy said the connection is more important and Sirman said “It’s about artists working to highlight their unique perspectives, their individuality.”

To view or submit entries for LSC-CyFair’s exceptional student literary magazine go to Email for information on weekly Friday meetings via Skype.

May mester and summer registration is underway and fall registration begins April 12. For information go to and  Receive assistance at the April 15 LSC-CyFair Open House. For information, visit

Helping more than 21,000 students reach their academic and career goals, Lone Star College-CyFair is the fifth comprehensive college in the Lone Star College System, located at 9191 Barker Cypress Road just 3 miles south of U.S. Highway 290. Start close and go far at LSC-CyFair as well as at LSC-Cypress Center, located at 19710 Clay Road and LSC-Westway Park Technology Center, located at 5060 Westway Park Boulevard. For more information about LSC-CyFair and its programs, call 281.290.3200 or visit

Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 93,000+ students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. Lone Star College consists of seven colleges, eight centers, eight Workforce Centers of Excellence, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit

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