A Legacy of Learning

Jed Allen photo
Elizabeth Saliba holding Jed Allen's book of poems with scholarship recipient Misako Yamazaki holding her book of poems
February 08, 2018

Faculty member James "Jed" Allen is remembered by students and colleagues alike as a kind-hearted teacher; poet and musician.  Jed taught creative writing and English at Phoenix College (PC) for more than 13 years. His love of words and music were a gift he gave to friends, family, students and the community.  He published a book of poems titled “Fear of Algebra”, and performed with a number of musical groups, including The Blues Connection.  

Honoring a Legacy

When Jed passed away in 2016, colleague Elizabeth Saliba was looking for a way to honor Jed’s passion for teaching and writing. After careful consideration, Elizabeth settled on establishing a memorial scholarship in Jed’s name as a way to preserve his legacy at Phoenix College.

A Poetic Connection

This fall, the inaugural Jed Allen Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Misako Yamazaki, a creative writing major at PC. When Elizabeth and Misako met for lunch to talk about Jed and the scholarship, they learned that Misako and Jed have quite a bit in common; including both publishing a book of their poems; Misako’s recently published book of poems is entitled Wasps (and other poems).

Both Jed and Misako also have a passion for sharing their writing with others. Jed would often recite his poems at local coffee shops and books stores, and Misako has begun to do the same.

Misako will graduate from PC in May of 2019 and plans to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing. When asked what her long-term goals are, she unabashedly says she wants to be a bestselling novelist, and maybe a librarian.

As the first recipient of the Jed Allen Memorial Scholarship, Misako is grateful to be part of Jed and Elizabeth’s legacy at Phoenix College; supporting student writers for years to come.

If you would like to learn more about establishing a scholarship at Phoenix College, please call 602-285-7667, or email deborah.spotts@phoenixcollege.edu.

About Phoenix College

Phoenix College is one of the 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the nation. Phoenix College offers academic courses leading to associate degrees, university transfer, certificates and short-term job training to more than 11,000 students annually.