Pasadena City College, Home of the PCC Lancers

Kirsten E Ogden

Personal Info

Dr. Ogden is on Sabbatical for the Fall 2014-Spring 2015 School Year. 

Dr. Ogden spent her early childhood in Honolulu, Hawai'i before moving to the Bay Area. She's spent almost every summer of her life traveling to southeast Louisiana where her paternal family resides. She earned her Associate Arts degree from Skyline Community College, and completed her Bachelor of Arts degree from San Francisco State University with an interdisciplinary major in English, Theater, and Psychology, with a special concentration in African and African American Diaspora. Her Master of Fine Arts degree is in Creative Writing and American Literature, which she earned from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Her MFA thesis was a mixed-genre novel, Earthquake Weather.  Dr. Ogden's Phd is in Theater History, Literature, and Dramatic Criticism from Louisiana State University with a special concentration in Women's Studies and focused course work in indigenous performance and early american drama. She studied under playwright and contemporary theatre scholar Les Wade, African Diaspora scholar Femi Euba, and Nation-hood and Identity scholar Leigh Clemons.

As a composition specialist, Dr. Ogden focuses on helping students develop a foundational set of writing skills from which they can write personal, professional, and academic prose for a variety of audiences and purposes. Her primary goal is to guide students in the development of their authentic voices. As a literature and creative writing instructor, Dr. Ogden works from a historiographical and genre-less starting place, inviting students to locate themselves in the context of what they're reading and composing, and to examine and analyze factors influencing the context of literature compositions, theoretical foundations, and the development of genres. Many of Dr. Ogden's students have gone on to publish or present their literary and creative compositions at student conferences and in regional and national literary journals.

As a writer, director, essayist, poet, performance writer and teacher, Dr. Ogden often develops cross-disciplinary projects that bridge her creative and scholarly pursuits. Her work has appeared in national literary journals, and her plays have been staged at many university and community venues. She is an alumni of Teach for America, and works with the Kenyon Review Young Writers program each summer in Gambier, Ohio. She has served as 2-time judge for the Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Prize, and is a former Peter Taylor Fellow in Poetry of the Kenyon Review. Her creative pursuits are chronicled at EatThePaper.

Prior to her tenure at Pasadena City College, Dr. Ogden was Director of Writing Programs at the University of La Verne. While there, she transitioned the student literary publication, Prism, into the nationally-respected literary journal, Prism Review. Additionally, she developed the core curriculum for an interdisciplinary BA in Creative Writing, and redesigned the basic skills program at ULV to focus on acceleration. She also worked with the General Education committee to develop new student learning outcomes and assessment strategies, and pioneered early courses in ULV's online program. She also taught interdisciplinary courses in the Honors program, including American Vernacular and Music Journalism. She collaborated with the theater  department on several programs and courses, including the development of a Play Analysis course, the adaptation of student poems to full theatrical production, and she directed the first production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues at the Jane Dibbell Cabaret theatre. That show is now an annual, fund-raising tradition for theater students at La Verne, and an ongoing, all-female production at the college.  

Transitioning to a position at Pasadena City College was a welcome opportunity after her experiences at ULV. Dr. Ogden believes deeply in educational equity and social justice. As the first person in her family to attend and graduate from college, Dr. Ogden experienced the challenges and difficulties that many of today's working community college students face. It was her own experiences as a student at Skyline Community College that encouraged her application to PCC. In her time at Pasadena City College, Dr. Ogden has served on the General Education Outcomes Faculty Committee, helped to develop and pilot the early curriculum for PCC's award-winning College 1-Pathways program, co-spearheaded the English Division's distance education program with fellow colleagues, completed training in Reading Apprenticeship, co-chaired the development of the Stretch-Accelerated Composition program curriculum (STACC), and most recently has graduated from the WASC - Assessment Leadership Academy, using those skills at PCC as Faculty Assessment Coach on the PCC Assessment Committee.  Dr. Ogden is a proponent of mindfulness in the classroom, and is an avid Bikram Yoga practitioner, so take a breath.

Read Dr. Ogden's Teaching Credo HERE.