1. Announcements

Hello everyone. Somehow we have made it deep into Week 5. Just a reminder that it is neither feasible nor desirable to turn everything you would do in a face-to-face classroom into an online assignment. The workload for both you and your students isn’t sustainable, and research indicates that this approach does not result in better or deeper learning in the online environment. There are still opportunities to re-think and re-imagine parts of your course this semester. Find out about upcoming online teaching and learning workshops here.

By now you have probably heard that the new CSU Chancellor has been named: Joseph I. Castro, who will be the first-ever California native and Mexican American to lead the CSU. Faculty, staff and students are invited to a live, virtual “Conversation with the Chancellor-select” at www.calstate.edu/chancellorconversation this Friday at 11 a.m. to learn more about Dr. Castro and his vision for the CSU.

2. Opportunities

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Congressional Internship Program offers full-time undergraduate students paid summer and semester internships. According to the CHCIC website, “promising Latino undergraduate students experience what it’s like to work in a congressional office, while participating in weekly professional and leadership development and civic engagement through community service.” Internships include a stipend, travel to and from DC, housing, and professional development training. Applications for spring 21 internships open October 1, 2020. Please tell your students! And direct them here for more information.

3. Achievements

In the midst of current chaos, we have much to celebrate. Many of our students and alums are thriving, to wit:

Kenia Rodriguez (B.A. 2019) became one of the University of Connecticut’s first recipients of the Graduate Student Diversity Fellowship in Digital Humanities (DH) in June 2020. The fellowship is intended to support and enhance underrepresented humanities scholars’ academic and professional experience with two years of hands-on experience in DH research and methods. A participant in both the Mellon-funded HSI Pathways program and the WhatEvery1Says Project at CSUN, Kenia is now in her second year of the PhD program in English at UConn, where she was also recently awarded the Harriott Fellowship intended to enhance recruitment of outstanding young scholars.

Kelly Kurtzhals Geiger, Lenny Cohen, Aiko Shimizu, Maya Griffin & Mike Washington, five CSUN alumni & current students, just accepted a publication offer by Dark Owl Publishing for The Portal, their first collaborative coming-of-age novel. Written under their collective pseudonym, K. Lamm, The Portal: This Set of Journeys Is for You, hybridizes adventure & fantasy and targets a middle grade readership. The novel centers on Jackson Loving, an eleven-year old working-class boy from a broken family in the Midwest, in Detroit, Michigan. Jackson faces bullies at home and also up & down his block until he discovers a magical book that transports him to fantastical worlds with transformative adventures, from the ocean floor to the desert sky to the island shore and, finally, through a black hole of time & space. The collaborative authors represent various lines of intersectionality, with identities including African American, Asian American, Jewish, and white, and with diverse ages & backgrounds, including a mix of graduate & undergraduate students. All five alumni & current students completed their Master of Arts or Bachelor of Arts degree recently or will do so this Fall 2020, each as an English major with a Creative Writing emphasis. All five authors, Kelly, Lenny, Aiko, Maya & Mike, met in English 490: Senior Seminar in Narrative Writing, where they wrote their first collaborative fiction as an experiment. That classroom workshop experiment developed into a full collaborative novel throughout the semester and throughout the subsequent year, with Kelly serving as lead on the path to publication. K.Lamm’s The Portal will be fully illustrated and is slated for release in December 21. 

Current and former students Zuleima Ugalde, Sophia Apodaca, Annabelle Bonebrake, Marisela Gomez, Joseph Jaffray, Shayleene MacReynolds, and Frshta Mangal have brought out the first issue of Kind Writers Literary Magazine. The inaugural issue includes an Artist Spotlight feature on lecturer Kim Young. Founding editor Sophia Apocada describes the new magazine as “a platform that celebrates artists beyond the page” and “dedicated to bringing kind artists to the forefront.” Get your copy here.

Norma Aceves (B.A. 2008, M.A. 2013) has advanced to candidacy at the University of Florida.  Her dissertation title is “Gothic Hyperabilities: The Revenge Narratives of the Nymphomaniac, the Parasite, the Vampire, and the Witch in the Long Nineteenth Century.”

Cesar Soto (B.A. 2007, M.A. 2012) is now (as of Fall 20) Assistant Professor of World Literature at Grace College in Indiana. 

We are so proud of all of you!