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1. Announcements

It’s always nice to begin these Notes with a warm and enthusiastic welcome to new members of the Department, never mind the human race. And this one goes to the very recently arrived Isla Marie Voorhis, who was born on January 27, 2014, at 11:14 p.m., to Morgan and John Voohis. Weighing in at 8 pounds, 15 ounces, Isla joins brother Declan,  who surely doesn’t quite know yet exactly has hit him. Here’s sending best wishes and all good luck to this happy new plus one family.

And now for a little creative writing celebration: Ani Bakhchadzyan and Djinji Jimenez, B.A. 2011, will each read from their graduate thesis as part of the CalArts M.F.A. program. The reading will take place at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, February 21st at 7:00 p.m.

More immediately, our own Martin Pousson will be reading a short story for the last of The Rattling Wall book tour events to promote the release of the new issue. The event will take place at Book Soup in West Hollywood on Tuesday, February 11, at 7:30 p.m.  All are invited and warmly welcome.

It’s the start of another bright and shiny new semester, and the Northridge Review is once again accepting submissions. Please encourage all student writers to participate in this important opportunity to join the ranks of the long list of accomplished writers whose first works appeared in the Northridge Review. Poetry, fiction, playwriting, and creative nonfiction submissions are all welcome, with these stipulations:  fiction, drama and creative nonfiction, 5000 words max; poetry, 5 Poems max.  Please submit work at the following site: https://thenorthridgereview.submittable.com/submit. The submission deadline is February 28.

Please mark your calendar and plan to attend “Enhancing the Academic Potential of our Students,” on Friday, February 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the USU Grand Salon. This is the first in a series of interactive and action-oriented discussions exploring CSUN’s best practices and challenges that affect student retention and graduation rates. Please RSVP  to Robin Ferguson at: robin.ferguson@csun.edu by Monday, February 10, 2014. And please bring a smartphone if you have one. Also, there will be yummy refreshments.

Speaking of faculty development, Faculty Development has moved and can now be found in University Hall 215 (Undergraduate Studies suite). Stop by to see their new digs and learn all about their development opportunities.

For example, Faculty Development is distributing a REVISED RFP for the Judge Julian Beck Learning-Centered Instructional Project Grant, which you can find at http://blogs.csun.edu/faculty-development/category/grants/ Please use this updated form for your submission. Deadline is March 14, 2014.

Or, if you’re looking for funding to attend a teaching conference, apply to the Faculty Development Competition for Attending Teaching Conferences! The Spring 2014 RFP is now available.  The deadline for submissions is February 17, 2014 in UN 215.  For more information, visit the website above.

But if you’re thinking, instead, that maybe it’s time to give back, your opportunity to serve is just around the corner. Spring elections for positions in faculty governance will be held in March. Nominations for faculty officers (Faculty President, Vice President and Secretary), for Senators-at-Large (6 positions), and for one CSUN representative to the Academic Senate CSU will be taken at the next Faculty Senate meeting on February 13. If you would like to be nominated for any of these positions, please notify Shane G. Frehlich, Faculty President at shane.frehlich@csun.edu, or any member of the Faculty Senate, including our own Martin Pousson, Danielle Spratt, and Cheryl Spector, all of whom serve on the Senate (thank you!). Nominations are due by February 12.

But let’s not forget the achievement of others. Nominations for this year’s Faculty Awards are still being accepted with a February 21 for the receipt of nominations and a March 21 deadline for the receipt of all supporting materials. These awards acknowledge outstanding achievement by our esteemed CSUN colleagues and include:  Outstanding Faculty (up to 2 awards, $1,700 each); Distinguished Teaching, Counseling, or Librarianship (up to 3 awards, $1,200 each); Preeminent Scholarly Publication(s) ($1,200); Exceptional Creative Accomplishment(s) ($1,200); Extraordinary Service ($1,200); Visionary Community Service-Learning ($1,200). For full information, please see http://www.csun.edu/senate/awards.html.

Or, if you’d rather serve on the Awards Committee, this will be set up in March. Please indicate your interest in this committee on the University Service Form on Senate website. This is an excellent way to see what our colleagues have been up to across the campus, which can range between humbling and inspiring.

Dr. Laura Rendón will be giving the 2014 Terry Piper Lecture: “Leveraging Student Strengths to Support Student Success” on  Monday, March 3, 2014, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., in the USU Northridge Center. Dr. Rendón is the Distinguished Professor of Higher Education & the Co-Director of the Center for Research and Policy in Education at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Her research interests include student access and success issues related to low-income, first-generation students, Latino/a students in higher education and contemplative education.

If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in a freshman advising appointment, you might want to attend the upcoming roundtable,”Advising in Brief,” to learn more about working in partnership with CSUN’s advising staff to support freshman success. This roundtable will be led by Conchita Battle (Director, Advising Resource Center/EOP) and Elizabeth Riegos (Director, College of Science and Math SSC/EOP) and take place on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, from 11 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., in the CIELO Faculty Lab (SH 422). And yes, light refreshments will be served. But be quick; space is limited. Please RSVP to AFYE at x6535.

Finally, don’t miss out on the upcoming, Spring 2014, extravaganza composition Book Fair, to be held on February 12, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., in the Linda Nichols Joseph Reading Room. Come enjoy the festivities as textbook sales representatives showcase their newest composition books and resources. All faculty are welcome, and refreshments will be served!

2. Reminders

image of paper

This is a not so gentle reminder to not be a copy hog. Sometimes, this happens without us even knowing — i.e., printing to the copier is copying, two-sided copying is two copies per page. And always remember: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle–Only you can prevent copy waste!

3. Opportunities

Just to keep it on your radar, next year’s Competition for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity Awards deadline is Monday, March 3, 2014 at 5 p.m. For more information, including guidelines and application forms, please see http://www.csun.edu/research-graduate-studies/campus-opportunities. And let’s not miss this opportunity to keep up the English Department’s impressive record of terrific scholarly and creative work by all.

And here’s one for current students. Carmen Ramos Chandler of Media Relations has reached out to let us know about an opportunity with Robin Toma, Executive Eirector of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, who is looking for students/graduate students who can help organize and archive the commission’s records, which date back to the 1940s. This is a great job for anyone interested in knowing more about Los Angeles’s racial history. Anyone who might be interested should contact Carmen directly at carmen.chandler@csun.edu, and she will put them in touch with the appropriate people. And thanks to Chelsea Turner for passing this on as it does sound like an interesting opportunity.

4. Achievements

Dorothy Barresi’s essay, “Spooky Knowledge,” which reviews five new books of contemporary poetry through the lens of a postmodern poetic gnosticism, has been accepted for publication by The Gettysburg Review and will appear in their forthcoming Spring issue. She has had three new poems accepted for publication:  “What We Did While We Made More Guns” has been accepted for publication in Volt.  “Tenderness” and “What Those Who Qualify Will Receive,” have been accepted for publication in New Ohio Review.  On January 11 she gave a poetry reading at the Pop Hop Bookstore in Highland Park with former graduate students Dan Murphy and Kate Martin Rowe, who did the Department proud. No surprise there, though, with such stellar poets. Wish we all could have been there!

Mona Houghton has a new story, “Big Bug Love,” in the Fall 2013 issue of FictionWeek Literary Review, which we can, in fact, all read and enjoy at http://www.fictionweek.com/fwliteraryreview/fictionweekliteraryreview.html.

And in a bit of exciting creative writing news, two of our students have been recognized by the AWP award-winning literary journal Cargoes. Current undergraduate Brandon Krause has won the 2014 Cargoes literary journal prize in poetry. Brandon will receive a prize of $200 and his poem will be featured in the next Cargoes issue. And Justin La Torre, BA 2013, was named as a finalist in the Cargoes short fiction prize.

Nate Mills‘s essay “Playing in the Dark, on the Left, and Out of Bounds: Nelson Algren, World War II, and the Cross-Racial Imagination of Blackness” has been published in MELUS (MULTI-ETHNIC LITERATURE OF THE UNITED STATES) 38.4 (Winter 2013).

Justin La Torre, B.A. 2013, (yes, the same Justin La Torre of Cargoes fame above) has been awarded Honorable Mention in the Glimmer Train New Writers contest, a prestigious national competition of more than 1000 entries for short stories.  Justin joins Karlee Johnson, BA 2013, as the second CSUN alum to be so honored by Glimmer Train.