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Creative writing professors inducted to TIL

Glenda Avalos

Two faculty members in UTEP’s Creative Writing Department were inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters (TIL), a nonprofit honor society that recognizes and celebrates literature in Texas: Associate Professor Rosa Alcala, Ph.D., and Assistant Professor Tim Hernandez.

“I had a voicemail, with something saying ‘congratulations, good news’ and I was wondering, this may be a fake message,” Alcala said. “Like when they say you won a million dollars, we just need your social or something like that, so I called back to see who was it from, and it was from (TIL) giving me the news that I was invited to be a member.”

Induction is based on literary accomplishments, according to the group’s website. The TIL’s elected membership consists of the state’s most respected writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism and scholarship.

Both Alcala and Hernandez have published work and are recipients of other prestigious awards.

This is not the first year that UTEP professors have been recognized at this prestigious level in the state and the country. Last year, the chair of the creative writing department, Daniel Chacon, was inducted as well as Associate Professor of Poetry and Creative Nonfiction, Sasha Pimentel.

Chacon said that being part of TIL is not only a recognition for the professors, but also to their work and ethics. Most importantly, he said, it shows how committed they are to their students and their community.

“We are very proud of the great diversity of exceptional talents in this year’s honorees,” said TIL President Carmen Tafolla, Ph.D. 

Alcala encourages students to pursue their dreams or careers in poetry and writing.

“Follow your passion. It matters. Go for it. Don’t let people tell you it’s a waste of time,” Alcala said.

The ceremony of induction will be held in McAllen, Texas on April 26 and 27.

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Creative writing professors inducted to TIL