Volume 43:1

September 1st, 2016

Chair: Kent Baxter                                                                                                                               Notes compiled by: Kate Haake

Announcements

News flash: we’re back.

Here’s hoping everyone had wonderful summers and that all are looking forward to the new school year!

Also, please send your news, announcements, and achievements to me at kate.haake@csun.edu, because I’m compiling these notes, again. It’s always great to hear from you, so please – please – don’t be shy.

Nominations are now closed for the College Personnel and Sabbatical Committees. But don’t be glum: if you missed the boat this time around, please mark it on your calendars for next year.

You are warmly invited to attend the 2016 CSUN Freshman Convocation occurring Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. on the Oviatt Library Lawn, an honored celebration of learning that welcomes our freshman class to our campus community. Get out your regalia and come join the fun. Freshman are new freshman for just such a very short time!

Mark your calendars now for the Wings/New Voice October 21th from 3-5 in the Grand Salon. This is a great celebration of our students and their writing, and you will miss out if you miss it.

Another thing not to miss: Banned Books Readout, with Pizza! Friday, September 30, 2016 12:00-2:00 p.m. Ferman Presentation Room, Oviatt Library. Students will be giving dramatic readings from, presumably, banned books, so do let your own students know, banned books being an excellent subject for class discussion, and all.

Reminders

Wendy Say, in our front office, is on leave for a bit, so please be patient, considerate, and resourceful.

Speaking of staff, let’s give another round of welcome to our new staff members to the English Department. Ruth Serrano will be joining us as a student assistant, and Ronaldo Noche will be temporarily filling the Main Office Administrative Support Assistant position.

Frank, or the front office, would like your office hours. It is very helpful for the front office staff to have your office hours so when students call them, they can direct the students to your available times. (PS They also want your syllabi.)

Please review your FERPA regulations memo regarding public posting of student grades and possible Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act issues, as recently sent out by Kent. For example, if you post grades in a public place (and why would you, given that students can access them instantaneously online?), you need to do so in a secret way that nobody can decode (and don’t even think about using parts of student ID’s or SSN’s). Same thing goes for emailing grades, or talking about them in class. The main thing is that student, and family, privacy is a real and important issue, and we all need to do our part to respect it.

Kent also sent you some useful information from Cheryl Spector on assisting new transfer students, who face a whole host of challenges, as we all know. The good news is that CSUN is excellently equipped to assist them. Maybe start with the new transfer webpage, at http://www.csun.edu/undergraduate-studies/academic-first-year-experiences/new-transfers, and take it from there. And while you are at it, it might also be worth reviewing the Academic First Year Experiences Page at http://www.csun.edu/undergraduate-studies/academic-first-year-experiences, which might also prove useful to you — and your students — in the weeks ahead.

And here’s a little pre-reminder for you:  the Amenities Committee will soon be asking you, please, to contribute to our annual fund, which finances the holiday party, refreshments for department meetings, and celebrations for faculty and staff retirements and other milestones. Contributions (in the form of cash or checks) should be given to Marlene Cooksey (ST 704). Checks should be made out to “Amenities.” (Please don’t put cash in Marlene’s mailbox.) Suggested contributions may (or may not be) the same as last year — that’s up to the Amenities Committee. But for point of reference, we have been paying: Professor $70, Associate $50, Assistant $40, Lecturer $10. Thank you, Amenities Committee — and thank you, too, everyone else — in advance, for helping us fund department events and reimburse those who shop for these events!

Opportunities

The College of Humanities has a variety of grants and funding opportunities you should keep your eye out — and throw your hat in — for! These include the CoH Research Lab Faculty Affiliate Program, the Academic Programming Fund, the Faculty Fellowship and Grant Program, the University Sabbatical Leave Program, the Distinguished Visiting Speaker Fund, the Probationary Faculty Research Program, and the College of Humanities Research Fellow Program. Details can be found on the COH webpage, at http://www.csun.edu/humanities/college-funded-activites-and-research, or in the lovely grid Jackie sent us by email this week that I can’t figure out how to duplicate here.

Don’t forget, either,  to check out the CSUN Faculty Development page at http://www.csun.edu/undergraduate-studies/faculty-development. You can apply for grants, attend workshops to enrich your and teaching (learning centered and culturally responsive, to name a few), and even bring your laptop to the roof and write and do research with colleagues on Writing Mondays, to name just a few.

And heres an opportunity for your students: The Nation is currently looking for submissions to its student writing contest, in response to the following prompt: It’s clear that the political system in the United States isn’t working for many young people. What do you think is the central issue for your generation in Election 2016? 10 finalists and two winners total will be selected – six from college students, six from those in high school. Winners will be awarded a $1,000 cash prize and a lifetime Nation subscription. Finalists receive $250. The winning essays will be published in The Nation magazine and at thenation.com. For complete guidelines, please see https://www.thenation.com/article/the-2016-nation-student-writing-contest/. Please help spread the word.

Achievements

During her recent sabbatical, Kate Haake published a co-authored essay, “The Bold and the Beautiful: Rethinking Undergraduate Models,” in What We Talk About When We Talk About Creative Writing. She also had fiction appear in West Branch Wired (http://www.bucknell.edu/west-branch-wired/katharine-haake.html), Shenandoah (http://shenandoahliterary.org/652/2016/03/15/diptych-forbidden-red-rubber-ball-katharyn-haake/),  and, in August, in the London-based Litro@StorySunday (http://www.litro.co.uk/2016/08/crown-gold-fuzz/).

Dr. Kim Knight, an assistant professor of emerging media and communication at UT Dallas and a former TA in our department, has received the 2016 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award for her work and innovation in the classroom. Knight credits her training here for her achievement. “From the very beginning, Dr. Clark helped me frame the classroom as a space that should place students and their thinking at the center,” Knight said.

Over the summer, Martin Pousson’s new novel, Black Sheep Boy, was released in hardcover by Rare Bird Lit. Two of his short stories were published: “Most Holy Ghost” in TriQuarterly (https://www.triquarterly.org/issues/issue-150/most-holy-ghost) and “Black Sheep Boy” in Eclectica (http://www.eclectica.org/v20n3/pousson.html). “Black Sheep Boy” also was a finalist for the Glimmer Train Fiction Open prize. Two of his essays were published: one on the Orlando mass shooting in The Advocate, where it was an Editor’s Pick, and one on LGBTQ history in MEL Magazine. He performed readings at Women & Children First in Chicago, Dog Eared in San Francisco, Skylight in Los Angeles, and Roar Shack & 826LA in Echo Park.

Linda Rader Overman‘s essay “Mestiza consciousness of La Fontera/Borderlands in Sandra Cisneros and Helena María Viramontes,” was published this spring in The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of the the American West . Ed. Steven Frye. New York: Cambridge Univ Press.