Chair: Kent Baxter Compiled by: RosaMaria Chacon


Well, we are all sweating a bit (perspiring for the dainty among you) so it must be the end of August and it must be the start of a New School Year.  I hope we have all had our Wheaties or Caffeine in whatever form you take it and are ready for the challenges, frustrations, and riches of a New Year.  The Best to Us and to Our Students.



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The wonderful arrival of Joseph DeGraffenreid June 12, 2015 (6 pounds and 8 ounces and 19.5 inches)–Happy and Healthy!!! Congratulations to Michele DeGraffenreid and Garret!

Nicole Eschen Solis (previously Nikki Eschen) as of June 10, 2015–a small beautiful ceremony on the beach in Kauai. She married her partner Alex Solis. Congratulations to Nicole and Alex!  Nicole now teaches at East Los Angeles College.

and Complimenti to Jackie — she will be the Special Assistant to the Dean during the Spring Semester,   we shall miss her

Donors to the English Department:

The family of Thomas Matthew Magness (who graduated from the English Honors Option San Fernando Valley State in 1968 with a passion for writing) have decided to establish a fund for graduate student travel to conferences between $1000–$2000 per year. He passed away this year, and his sister and her husband want to honor him.

Dorothy Rankin, one of our longtime lecturers who passed away last year, left $20,000. in her will.  Her dear friend Faye Hogan added $5000. to create the Dorothy Rankin Endowment Fund for professional development opportunities for lecturers (with 1 year and 3 year appointments). Dorothy continues to Give.

Irene Clark and her husband Bill have established a $50,000. endowment for the Irene Clark Fund for Rhetoric and Composition.  This fund will provide an award for an essay written for the Rhetoric and Writing minor or the Rhetoric and Composition Masters degree. It will also provide grants for graduate students in the Rhetoric and Composition option to present a paper at conferences in Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy studies. Irene, with her husband, continue to nurture and encourage in her chosen field–her passion.

Such generosity and paying it forward! How wonderful for Rhetoric and Composition students, Graduate student travel, and Lecturers.  Bravo!


Freshman Convocation Thursday Sept 10 6:00 p.m. Oviatt Library Lawn/Keynote Speaker-David Levithan, author of Every Day –the Freshman Common Reading for 2015.  Come if you can.

Although we are nearing the end of the week, let’s remember that the students are still in the driver’s seat in terms of adds.  If there is a spot they can take it, so let’s be careful to not overuse permission numbers and accidentally fill our classes to the brim. Next week, we can safely add with permission numbers.

Frank De La Santo recently sent us the Beginning of Semester Notices which provide useful tidbits on offices hours, attendance policy, faculty absences, keys, copying, etc.  Sometimes there is new information and sometimes, we might want to peruse it once again to help ourselves find out how to do something or avoid problems.

Our Staff is Really Wonderful and I like to let my students know not to contact the office to find me or ask questions because the staff has enough to do. And the students can email me, even at 3am, although I don’t answer until the next day.

If you want to post something in Thursday’s Notes, do send RosaMaria an email.


Aug 29th 4-7 opening reception for Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby curated by Charles Hatfield who encourages you to drop by anytime (CSUN Art Calleries).  He and Michele also invite you at 7:30 to his house for an informal get together at their house 18101 Kinzie Street  (just two blocks from the Galleries). RSVP for after party and email Charles for further info.

The Friends of the Oviatt Library are calling for submissions for their inaugural San Fernando Valley Award for Nonfiction (to recognize and promote important contributions to written work about the San Fernando Valley).  Works in the categories of history, social and behavioral sciences, physical and life sciences, biography and autobiography, and nonfiction humanities must be received by December 1, 2015.  An award of $750.00 with an Honorable Mention of $250.00 will be presented.  For more information, see

Faculty Workshop  Thursday Sept 17th 3-5 pm   Rooting Out Unconscious Bias  in Sierra Center/Colleagues Room.  Facilitators: Meryl Marshall-Daniels and Marcella De Veaux will address how Unconscious Bias can show up during hiring or as new faculty join CSUN and explore the parameters of this issue.  To register email

The West Valley Regional Branch of LA Public Library will be hosting a panel in Sept/Oct on Harper Lee’s new novel Go Set a Watchman.  If you are interested, contact Daryl Maxwell though I know some of you already volunteered

The Youth Policy Institute is looking for part-time Gear Up (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) Academic Tutor for Pacoima schools.  $11.00-$13.00 hr/20-25 hours weekly. Looking for currently enrolled or college grad who has completed freshman English, Algebra II or equivalent.    to apply

The Youth Policy Institute is also looking for a part-time Gear Up Lead Tutor $13.00-15.00/20-25 hours weekly.    to apply


The U.S. Department of Education has approved a continuation award for Enchao Shi and Lulu Smith (Foreign Languages) for their project “Promoting and Expanding Access to Modern China Studies at CSUN” for $57,691.  (a small part of the much larger grant). The first year of the project went so well that it was extended.  Congratulations Enchao and Lulu.

Martin Pousson’s short stories “Two-Headed Boy” (Antioch Review) and “Feathers” (Epoch) will be published in Fall issues.  Another short story “Father Fox” was a finalist in the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award. His invited essay on the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina will be published in The Advocate in September. From the Advocate to the Grand Opening of the new Pride Center in the USU–Martin will be a featured speaker.  Onward to Comic Con–Long Beach–he will be a featured panelist on LGBTQ genre literature. Always in Motion Martin–Good Work.

Noreen Lace’s poem “The Kiss” will be published in the August/September issue of Pilcrow and Dagger. A Hearty Congratulations!

Nate Mills has two pieces out recently– “Playing the Dozens and Consuming the Cadillac: Ralph Ellison and Civil Rights Politics” Twentieth Century Literature (61.2 2015) and “Writing Brotherhood: The Utopian Politics of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man” in Lineages of the Literary Left (U of Michigan 2015). His monograph, moreover, Figure in Rags: The Lumpenproletariat and the Black Marxism of Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, and Margaret Walker is under contract with U of Massachusetts Press. Impressive, Nate!

Jared Thomas (MA CW 2014) has been accepted into the USC Sol Price Graduate School of Public Policy. Happy Studies!

Zachary Jensen (BA CW 2015) founded Angel City Review, an online Literary Magazine.  Check it out at

And More Success for Prior and Current Creative Writing Students!

Mike Browne’s (BA CW 2015) short story “Ritual” was published in USC’s  Fractal Magazine

Teresa Cordova (BA CW 2015) had two poems “The Art of Opening Up”and “Whine and Whiskey Solution”  published in Angel City Review

Ros Perez (BA CW 2014) had two short stories “Mouse” published in New Legends Anthology and “Plague” in My Favorite Apocolypse Anthology

Thea Manalang (BA CW 2015 and current MA student) has been named the new Fiction Editor of Angel City Review and also had a story “The Lighter” published in Angel City Review

Douglass Weissman (BA CW 2009) was a finalist in the Glimmer Train Family Matters Short Story Award for “The Silent Riot of Waiting”

Kudos to All


If a note is missing, I attribute it to being tech challenged and I thank those who patiently gave of their time, energy, and knowledge so this could come out instead of being buried in the dregs of August.

until another thursday~