1. Announcements

Information about and applications for the department’s Spring 2021 awards are available at https://www.csun.edu/humanities/english/department-english-awards-spring-2021. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, April 28th at 4 p.m. E-mail Michael Bryson (michael.bryson@csun.edu) with any questions. We have A LOT of money to give out, including the newly established Kitty Nard Memorial Scholarship, to please encourage your students to apply, and if applicable, nominate them yourselves.

In addition to the All-University Virtual Commencement Ceremony that will feature the conferral of all undergraduate and graduate degrees on May 15 and the College of Humanities virtual ceremony on May 23 at 1pm, the university will be hosting a series of in-car Commencement Parades May 25 through May 28. Students may register in advance to drive slowly through campus and stop briefly for an in-vehicle photo in front of the University Library. (!) Faculty in regalia and staff will be cheering from the sidewalks. More info to come about the “cheering from the sidewalks” part, so stay tuned.

Our MA Hooding Ceremony takes place on Zoom on Friday, May 14 at 1pm (just before the department meeting). More info to come on this event.

2. Opportunities

University Counseling Services will host a workshop on Suicide Prevention Training for Faculty and Staff on Wed., April 21, 12-1. Become certified in Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR), a training designed to teach three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide and respond to someone in crisis. RSVP for this event at https://tinyurl.com/t9smzebb.

Vice Provost Matt Cahn invites us all to the remaining Fall 21 In-Person Teaching Series Conversations: Friday, 4/9 3-4 (Zoom Meeting ID: 873 0441 8845, Passcode: 362205); Thursday 4/15, 12:30-1:30; and Friday 4/23 10-11. Prior sessions can be viewed at https://www.csun.edu/academic-affairs/person-teaching-support-page. These sessions provide the latest updates on plans for on-campus activities in the fall (including office access) and also serve as brainstorming sessions for teaching in our current circumstances.

The Pride Center is excited to announce that they have revamped our annual Queer in Your Career event into monthly mixers on select Mondays from 5:00pm – 6:30pm via Zoom to connect students with LGBTQIA+ professionals in a variety of fields. The areas of focus for the next Queer in Your Career mixer on April 12 are the College of Arts, Media & Communication and the College of Humanities. Students can RSVP here. Students who RSVP and attend will be entered into a raffle for a $100 gift card towards professional attire. Please share widely with students. The Pride Center also invites LGBTQIA+ faculty and staff to attend Queer in Your Career to share their experiences/knowledge with students. Interested LGBTQIA+ faculty/staff can contact Sarina Loeb directly (sarina.loeb@csun.edu) for more information.

The Nayereh & Mahnaz Tohidi Scholarship Endowment was established by GWS Professor Emeritus Nayereh Tohidi and her spouse, Kazem Alamdari, retired Professor of Sociology, both tireless defenders of human and women’s rights. The endowment is in honor of Dr. Mahnaz Tohidi, a dedicated physician whose life was cut short due to the repressive situation in her home country, Iran. Students interested in the Nayereh & Mahnaz Tohidi Scholarship of $1000 must submit a completed application form and an essay or video on a designated topic. Application Deadline: April 30th, 2021. Application:  Nayereh & Mahnaz Tohidi Scholarship Endowment. .pdf (csun.edu). Materials should be emailed to florence.kyomugisha@csun.edu.

CSU Summer Arts is beginning to plan its 2022 season and is looking for creative, dynamic, and motivated faculty members to coordinate courses. Interested faculty can watch a video with more details about being a course coordinator at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QStT6ujCaTg&feature=youtu.be, and should contact the Summer Arts office by April 30 to sign up to be on a conference call on May 27 or 28. (Summer Arts will determine the date and time for each genre call after April 30.) Faculty should NOT complete a course proposal form before participating on a conference call. Summer Arts will then create a focus group in each genre, made up of all the faculty members who express interest in being on the panel. During the conference call, the focus groups will talk about what kind of classes students need that aren’t, or can’t, be offered on a CSU campus because of budget, time, equipment, or other restraints. Following the conference call, any faculty members interested in proposing a course for Summer Arts will submit an official proposal form. Faculty selected to coordinate courses in 2022 will be notified in August 2021.

Please encourage your students to vitit the Dept. of Energy Student/Recent Graduate Employment Opportunities board At-A-Glance and other great resources at energy.gov/diversity. The jobs aren’t all scientific/technical—there are writing and communications positions!

3. Achievements

Tereza Abelian is the College of Humanities candidate for the Wolfson Scholar award. As you may know, each college puts forward one nominee, and one student is chosen from those nominees by the Faculty President and the Provost’s Council to be the 2021 Wolfson Scholar, “the graduating senior with the highest scholastic record.” We are so very proud of Tereza.

Matt Bernstein (BA 03, MA 06) writes that his first book, George Hearst: Silver King of the Gilded Age, is due out August 19, 2021 from the University of Oklahoma Press and is now available through pre-order.  Matt also stated that “the writing and researching skills I learned while earning a Master’s in Literature at CSUN certainly helped the process.”

On April 7th, Irene Clark participated in a panel at the virtual Conference on College Composition and Communication on “Imitation, Cognition, and Writing: Insights from Research in Neuroscience.” Irene’s paper was titled “Imitation, Critical, Thinking, and Identity: Pedagogical Implications of Neuropsychological Research.”