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1.  Announcements

It is with bittersweet pleasure that I submit to you this year’s final edition of Thursday’s Notes, which has weathered, like all of us, some transitions and challenges over the past nine months. Looking back through these posts, it strikes me again how productive we have been as a faculty and how resourceful and resilient. Kudos to Jackie for her spectacular first year as Chair, and to all the rest of us for the hard, good work we have done. Although this hardly needs announcing, summer is at last upon us. Here’s wishing everyone all good things in the several months ahead, which I hope will be restful and regenerative. But first, one last set of Notes.

Which begins with one more accolade for all of our graduating seniors!  The Honors’ Convocation on Monday, May 21, and the English Department Awards Ceremony and Reception (more on that below) and the College of Humanities Commencement, both on May 23, were, as ever, moving and successful events. More kudos to us all, who taught our award-winning graduating seniors, and to the graduating seniors, for finally graduating, and to the rest of our students, whom we also commend.

Moving on, and alas, Shelly Thompson is leaving the College of Humanities SSC/EOP Office to become, hooray, the Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies. Although we will miss her very much, we can’t not be thrilled for her too, and I know I speak for all of us when I wish her the heartiest of congratulations.

And for those of you who want to keep busy this summer, the Course Identification Numbering System (C-ID) (that’s the articulation agreement we are still working on with the community colleges) is pleased to announce that course descriptors for English are now available for our review. This means they want our help in ensuring widespread consensus about the most appropriate preparation for students earning an associate degree in English and then transfer as English majors to CSU. To do so, please log on to the C-ID website and provide feedback on the draft C-ID course descriptors for English. Here’s how:

  1. Go to www.c-id.net and select the “Descriptors” page from the menu on the top of the website.
  2. Choose the “Comment on Descriptors” link.
  3. Click the “Register Here” link if you haven’t already registered for access to the review area.
  4. After registration, a confirmation email with your password will be e-mailed to you immediately. You must click the confirmation link contained in that email message to enable your password so that you can log in to C-ID’s review area. Your e-mail message will be sent by noreply@c-id.net, so please check your spam mailbox if you do not receive it and add this address to your safe sender list.
  5. Use your email address (username) and password to login to the review area.
  6. Read the draft descriptors in your discipline area or related areas having impact on your discipline.
  7. Comment on the draft descriptors, indicating what you feel could use improvement, or any other feedback you think would be relevant or useful. Please note it is just as important that you comment when you are in agreement with the descriptors.
  8. They will keep your email address on file and send you email updates when additional or revised descriptors become available for comment in your discipline.
  9. Please do all this by June 15.

Once the C-ID descriptors are finalized, colleges will be asked to submit their Course Outlines of Record to C-ID, to ensure courses in Transfer Model Curriculum (TMC)-aligned degrees are aligned.  The C-ID course descriptors are at the heart of the TMC and are the curricular foundation; they identify the essence of the course content.  Your participation as a discipline expert is critical at this time. Your articulation officer will facilitate the submission of course outlines.

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is accepting applications through September 27, 2012 for their 2013 Summer Stipends program. Successful applicants receive an outright award of $6,000 for two consecutive months of full-time research and writing. And if you are interested in applying, tomorrow, May 25, is the deadline for letting the Dean’s Office know.

Bob Chianese will be signing copies of his new book, Art Inspired by Science, in Ventura at the Bank of Books bookstore, on Saturday June 2, from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. You can purchase a copy at the bookstore, the last one in Ventura, which is a warehouse of used books with sections of new books written by both contemporary and local authors. Bob will also make a brief presentation about a few works of art in the book. The Bank of Books is located in Ventura at 748 E. Main Street.

And Mona and Kate will be reading from their new books on May 31st at Chaucer’s Bookstore in Santa Barbara, in case you are looking to get away twice.

2.  Reminders

If you haven’t turned in grades yet, there’s still time. But do get them in by tomorrow, Friday, May 25, and be sure to click all the buttons to make sure they’ve been properly submitted.

Dean Say has asked us to be reminded of and to share widely CSUN’s Drug-Free Campus and Workplace Policy, which is available at  http://www-admn.csun.edu/ohrs/relations/drug_free_campus.htm.  The website features useful information about work-related problems and health risks associated with alcohol and other drug abuse problems.  Also listed are campus and community resources available to faculty, staff, and students. Please take a moment to review this important information. The Dean further reminds us that we cannot serve alcohol in class or at school-related events. Students, as well, cannot bring alcohol for individual consumption or for distribution at school-related functions.   There is a process by which one can petition to serve alcohol, but this must be pursued in advance of the function.

Please turn your 319 key in to Frank as soon as you no longer need it. We have desperate need of them.

3.  Achievements

Six rhetoricians/compositionists from the CSUN English Department participated in The Inaugural Southern California Rhetoric and Composition Research Symposium at UC Irvine on May 4: Norma Aceves, Jada Augustine, Ian Barnard, Irene Clark, Stephan Topf, and Nicole Warwick.

Irene Clark‘s review of Mary Soliday’s book, Everyday Genres: Writing Assignments across the Disciplines, has been published in the Spring 2012 issue of the journal, Composition Studies.  Irene has also received a Research and Creative Activity grant for her proposal titled “Genre Awareness, Rhetoric, and Transferability: Students’ Perspectives.”

Nate Mills presented “Samuel Steward, Eldridge Cleaver, and the Practice of Materialist Sexual History” at the Queer Places, Practices, and Lives Conference at the Ohio State University.

On Thursday May 17th, Pat Swenson and Nancy Taylor (along with Hillary Kaplowitz from Instructional Technology) will present “Creating a Dynamic and Interactive Online Classroom” at EduSoCal’12, to be held at Loyola Marymount University.

And the winers are…

This, again, is the time of year when the Departments announces the recipients of its various awards and distinction. Although many of our here are a few of the stand-outs this year:

 The $500 Henry Van Slooten Scholarship in English for the essay written in English 258, 259, 275, or 355 which best demonstrates a “passion for the English language”  has been awarded to John Kubler for his essay, “Does Poe Condone Revenge in ‘The Cask of Amontillado’.”

 The $500 Lesley Johnstone Memorial Award for the best written scholarly or creative work on some aspect of the natural world or environment has been awarded to Megan Magers for her essay, “Near a Body Buried.”

The $250 Robert apRoberts English Honors Essay Prize for the English Honors student whose thesis is judged to be the best thesis submitted during that academic year is being shared this year by Melissa Filbeck for her thesis, “A Tale of Three Hymens:  Abstinence and Agency in Pamela, Twilight and Fanny Hill,” and Trista Payte, for her thesis, “Either I’m Nobody or I’m a Nation:  Strategies for Post-Colonial Selfhood Explored through Pantomime, The Dragon Can’t Dance, and The Mimic Men.”

The $1000 Annamarie Peterson Morley Award for a currently enrolled English major planning to become a teacher at any level has been awarded to  Megan E. Betry.

The $1000 George Morley/Annamarie Peterson Scholarship for a currently enrolled English major in need of Financial support has been awarded to

The last $500 Finestone Award given to a graduate student whose thesis is in the study of literature and is considered by a faculty panel as the most distinguished has been awarded to Lilit Manucharyan for her thesis, “The Representation of Women and the Transmission of Armenian Ethnic Identity in Twentieth-Century Armenian-American Literature.”

The $2000 Professor Mitchell Marcus Prize in English for a currently enrolled classified graduate student in English whose achievements in the study of English are considered by the faculty to be the most distinguished has been awarded to Sean Pessin.

And the Academy of American Poets Award goes to Robin Smith for her poem, “blue into blue.”  Co-Honorable Mentions were given to Jaclyn Hymes for her poem, “Plumage,” and to Itiola Stephanie Jones for her poem “Palms Open, Love Fading.”  This year’s judge was Kim Young, CSUN alum and author of Night Radio, winner of the 2011 Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize (The University of Utah Press) and the chapbook Divided Highway (dancing girl press, 2008).

Finally, César Soto has also been awarded 2012’s Nathan O. Freedman Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Student which is a university-wide award open to all Master’s students. César was featured at the Honors Convocation on May 21st and his story was a moving inspiration for all. For more on Cesar, please see the Daily News at http://www.dailynews.com/ci_20682293/award-winning-csun-grad-student-heads-notre-dame.

Congratulations all around, and one more big thanks to the Amenities and Awards Committee for their hard work overseeing these awards and and to everyone else who worked on behalf of these students.

4.  Opportunities

Lisa De Niscia has written to let us know about her new publishing company, Whitepoint Press.  She is excited about discovering new writers who want an alternative to the New York publishing and is very open to writing (fiction, poetry, and non-fiction) that takes risks. Please let your students and former students know that Whitepoint Press is now accepting submissions for consideration of publication.  Guidelines can be found at http://whitepointpress.com/submissions/.

If you know of any talented student writers, NorthStar Moving is looking for a writer/copywriter with a strong handle on English language who is able to follow directions well. Starting salary is $9 an hour for copy writing, letter writing, blog writing, writing responses to clients, etc. It’s a fantastic learning opportunity for students needing experience.


And so it ends, at least for now.  One more round of applause to our entire community for making it through another year. And very best wishes for wonderful summers all around.

Also, please note the vacation photo above.  Those of you who so desire, please send me your own vacation photos from this summer for possible inclusion in the inaugural EOTN of the 2012/2013 Academic Year, which will be upon us in a blink.

Signing off for the 2011/2012 year, Kate Haake.