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Chair: Kent Baxter

Notes compiled by: Kate Haake



The official release of Christopher Higg‘s new experimental memoir, As I Stand Living (http://copingmechanisms.net/portfolio/as-i-stand-living-by-christopher-higgs/), will take place on Saturday, February 18, at the Poetic Research Bureau in Chinatown (951 Chung King Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90012). Chris will be reading with guests Brian Evenson and Zoe Ruiz, so this event is not to be missed.

And it will be followed by another exciting release and reading, the very next day! Part Time Lecturer and CSUN alumna Melisa Malvin-Middleton (Creative Writing MA, 2016) will celebrate the publication of her poetry chapbook, Hover the Bones, on Sunday, February 19, with a collaborative reading at the Neutra Institute Gallery and Museum in Silverlake (2379 Glendale Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90039). The event will take place at 2:00 p.m., and feature Melissa’s reading from her chapbook, much of which is drawn from her graduate project here, alongside guest poets and other CSUN alumni Nancy Carroll, Cody Dietz, Freddy Garcia, Jackie Hymes, Susana Marcelo, Lusine Makarosyan, and Anne Yale. More information and pre-orders can be found at http://www.yakpress.com/hover-bones-release/.

CSUN’s new Homecoming celebration is about to be upon us, with a full array of activities for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the entire family scheduled for this Saturday, February 11, starting at 3:00 p.m. There will be food, music and entertainment, a pinewood derby race open to everyone on the Matador Motorway, campus showcases, a beer and wine garden for the grown-ups, a Kids Zone, and so, so much more! Tip-off for the game against UC Santa Barbara is at 7:30 p.m., and we need all the fan we can get to cheer us on to victory. To register and see what’s planned, visit www.csun.edu/homecoming.

Help support the Freshman Common Reader project by stopping by SH 422 (Undergrad Studies on the Roof) to pick up a free copy of next year’s selection, Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. In return, you will commit to finding a new CSUN freshman in the fall and talking with that new student—however briefly—about the book. Suggested freshman conversation starters and a nascent collection of additional information about the book is available on the Faculty & Staff Resource Page at http://www.csun.edu/undergraduate-studies/academic-first-year-experiences/between-world-and-me-faculty-and-staff. (You can also have a copy of the book sent to you by CSUN campus mail, if you send them your name, Department, and mail code.)

Dr. David Yeager is this year’s keynote speaker for the 2017 Terry Piper Lecture Series at CSUN. Dr. Yeager is a Psychology faculty member at the University of Texas, Austin, and a Fellow in the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at Stanford University. In his address, “The Psychology of Academic Achievement: How Belonging and Mindset Influence Student Success,” Dr. Yeager will describe how individual students’ mindsets can significantly influence their academic success. More information is available at the RSVP (please do) website: http://www.csun.edu/studentaffairs/terry-piper-lecture-series. The event, which includes an opening reception, will take place on Wednesday, February 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the Northridge Center, in the University Student Union.

Spring elections for positions in faculty governance will be held in March. Nominations for faculty officers (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 16. If you would like to be nominated for any of these positions, please notify Adam Swensen, Faculty President, or any member of the Faculty Senate by February 15. More information is available on the Faculty Senate Website, at http://www.csun.edu/faculty-senate.


If you haven’t sent your 2017 course syllabi to Ronaldo Noche, you’re already way overdue, but it’s not too late. These syllabi are an important resource for the department, and we still want yours!

Even though the semester just got started and we are all excited for its new opportunities and challenges, one day, it, like all semesters, will come to an end. Just a reminder here that our commencement ceremony will be held on Monday, May 22, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. We will be holding a joint ceremony with the College of Health & Human Development II (Comm. Disorders, Enviro & Occupational Health, Fam. & Cons Sciences, and Health & Human Development). The Honors Convocation will take place on Saturday, May 13, 2017, at 8:00 a.m. Mark your calendars now!

Bad people lurk on the internet, so IT wants to remind us always to be vigilant for unusual or strange emails, to exercise caution and judgment before clicking on web links within emails, and only to download software needed for CSUN use onto university-owned computers (even discount coupons can introduce viruses and malware). Also, inform yourself about information security awareness by completing the CSUN information security training (http://www.csun.edu/it/security-awareness), which provides many scenarios to help inform and educate about ways to secure and protect CSUN data.


It’s that time of year again: (cross your fingers and hold your breath), the University Research and Grants Committee is holding its annual competition for Research and Creative Activity Awards. To wit, they are requesting applications from faculty members for this for awards to support faculty research, scholarship and creative activity, interpreted broadly to mean the disciplined quest for broadening human understanding. This quest includes artistic creation and the study of moral values, as well as logical and empirical inquiry into any field appropriate to the functions of the University. Projects related to curriculum development will not be considered. In concert with the campus-wide effort to support scholarly activity by probationary faculty, those faculty are strongly encouraged to apply. The guidelines may be downloaded at http://www.csun.edu/sites/default/files/2017-18_RSCA_Guidelines.pdf. For any questions regarding the competition or the submission process, you may contact Shirley Lang at x2901 or shirley.lang@csun.edu.

There’s also still time (but it’s running short) to nominate some special someone for a faculty award, with nominations due to the Senate office on February 17. These awards recognize outstanding achievement in a variety of areas. They include the Outstanding Faculty Award (up to two awards), $1700 each; the Distinguished Teaching, Counseling, or Librarianship Award (up to three awards), $1,200 each; the Preeminent Scholarly Publication(s) Award, $1,200; the Exceptional Creativity Award, $1,200; the Extraordinary Service Award, $1,200; and the Visionary Community Service-Learning Award, $1,200. For nominating procedures and other information, please see the Faculty Awards website at Faculty Awards website at http://www.csun.edu/faculty-senate/faculty-awards.

Also, if you’re quick about it, you can still apply for a China Institute Faculty Development Grant, which provides the seed money for faculty members to start a project in their discipline that researches on some China-related issues or promotes long-term exchange and collaboration with some Chinese universities. There will be two or three grants of $1200 each, which can be used to support travel expenses for faculty’s visit to China to conduct their projects. Applicants should submit a written proposal of no more than three double-spaced pages describing  the nature and purpose of their project, how they intend to carry it out, how it may help CSUN students or our collaborative relationship with Chinese institutions, and how the funds will be spent related to their travel to China. Additionally, a one page resume highlighting relevant experiences must be included. A word file containing the proposal and resume must be submitted to director of China Institute, Dr. Weimin Sun, via e-mail, Weimin.sun@csun.edu, by Feb 15, 2017.

And now, let’s think about our students. The Newman Civic Fellowship applications are currently being accepted, with an impending deadline of Friday, February 17, at 5:00 p.m. They are looking for nominations of undergraduate or graduate students who engage in collaborative action with others in order to create long-term social change, take action in addressing issues of inequality and political polarization, and demonstrate the motivation and potential for effective long-term civic engagement. Nomination criteria and process can be found at http://www.csun.edu/mic/newman-civic-fellows-award-nominations.

Another exciting opportunity for students is the 2017 Panetta Congressional Internship program, which sends one CSUN student to Washington to work for a member of the California Congressional delegation in the fall. For more information, please visit www.panettainstitute.org/programs/study-with-us/congressional-intern-training. The application deadline is Friday February 24, 2017 , by 4 p.m. to the Undergraduate Studies office (UN 215, MD 8203).

And with our less fortunate students in mind, please be aware of the new MataCare Grant program has just announced an emergency fund for CSUN students experiencing unexpected financial setbacks. Designed to address urgent, one-time financial needs for any CSUN student in good standing who is enrolled at least half-time, this program funds such needs as housing, child care, transportation and medical/dental expenses that come up unexpectedly and may negatively impact student learning. Students who demonstrate an urgent qualifying financial need (and can provide documentation, when appropriate) and who have exhausted all sources of financial assistance will be considered for a grant. The amount of each grant award is determined on a case-by-case basis. To review the online application and program details, visit http://www.csun.edu/financialaid/matacare-emergency-grant. This vital new program complements the CSUN Food Pantry (please also spread the word, where appropriate) as a further effort to address conditions that can have a negative impact on student well-being and degree completion.

Finally, your non-Spanish speaking students might be interested in a research study out of Stanford University’s Economics Department that could enable them to learn Spanish online. Eligibility requirements include: that the student doesn’t don’t know any Spanish, or very little; that the student is motivated motivated to learn (more) Spanish; that the student can commit studying Spanish online for up to four hours per week for one month starting from March, that the student is enrolled at CSUN and at least eighteen years old. Upon your successful completion of the study, the student will get receive $50 (on average), be paid as an Amazon Gift Card. Interested students should provide a student e-mail address through this survey form at https://stanforduniversity.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cGauUeQIFN983NH Questions may be addressed to start.studying.spanish@gmail.com.


Dorothy Barresi has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize for work published in 2016. She has three poems forthcoming in the journal Hotel Amerika: “Leading Man (Late Noir),” “National Public Radio,” and the long prose poem “The Inside World” (dedicated to Evelyn McClave). Her poem “Poem for My Father,” is forthcoming in Lake Effect, and the long poem “Skin” is forthcoming in American Journal of Poetry. Her poems “Tongue Stud,” and “Pension,” appear in the current issue of Pool.  “Cloud Chamber” and “What I Worry About at Night is Not What I Worry About in the Morning” appeared in the 2016 issue of Chaparral. She was the 2016 judge for the Patricia Bibby First Book Prize and will judge the contest again this year, selecting a full-length poetry manuscript for publication and writing a Forward for the book

Kate Haake published a long form personal essay, “Diptych: Photography, Brain,” in the 2017 Winter/Spring issue of Alaska Quarterly Review. She also published a chapter, “For WB: When Our Students Write Us,” in the new book, Creative Writing Innovations: Breaking Boundaries in the Classroom, edited by Michael Clark, Trent Hergenrader, and Joseph Rein.

Noreen Lace has had two poems, “The Fly” and “After,” selected for publication by Vine Leaves, an Australian Journal. She also had a piece, “One Dollar Stories,” appear in November/December issue of Crime Stories. And her poem, “All at Once,” is a finalist in Medusa’s Laugh Press’ Nano Text Contest. It will be published in a special edition of their Journal and winners will be announced at AWP.

Graduate student Katharine Mason has published a hybrid essaSeriesSixy, “The Girl on the Bike,” in today’s issue of The Rumpus: http://therumpus.net/2017/02/the-girl-on-the-bike/. The essay is illustrated throughout with original artwork by CSUN alumna, Araceli Colato (Creative WritingSeriesSix MA, 2016).
SeriesSix Congratulations to them both!