• Camille Dungy’s poems have been published in two new anthologies: Of Poetry & Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin. (W.W. Norton) and Read America(s): An Anthology (Locked Horn Press). Camille will be a member of the faculty of the Napa Valley Writer’s Conference this summer. The other conference faculty will be Brenda Hillman, Brian Teare, Major Jackson. Applications are still being accepted for remaining spots: http://www.napawritersconference.org/attend-the-conference/apply/
  • Todd Mitchell presented a master class on Earning The Transformation at this year’s Northern Colorado Writer’s Conference last weekend.
  • Neil FitzPatrick was awarded a 2016-2017 fiction Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Fellowships last from October – May, and Fellows receive a live/work space and a stipend.
  • Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri’s “The Story of A Starry Night” has been accepted for publication in Crab Fat Magazine.
  • Kiley Miller and Michelle Wilk presented last Saturday at the Colorado Wyoming Writing Tutors Conference in Denver. Their presentation was titled, “Power Dynamics: Navigating the Needs and Demands of the Writing Center.”
  • Bill Tremblay will do a reading on Thursday, May 5, at the Wolverine Publick House and Letterpress, 316 Willow St, Ft. Collins, from his just-published book, Walks Along the Ditch: Poems, starting at 8:00 PM.
  • From Publishers Lunch, Fiction: Debut … “Devin Murphy’s (MFA, Fiction ’09) The Boat Runner, the story of a wealthy Dutch family, industrious owners of a lightbulb factory in a small town, whose world is upended over the course of four years during the WWII Nazi occupation; we follow the youngest son through the forests of France, the stormy beaches of England, and deep within the secret missions of the German Navy, as he is confronted with the moral dilemma that will change his life forever—a novel that explores the human cost of war and questions what national borders really mean when weighed against a single human heart, pitched as reminiscent of All the Light We Cannot See and Cold Mountain, to Laura Brown at Harper Perennial, for publication in Fall 2017, by Rayhane Sanders at Lippincott Massie McQuilkin (World English).”
  • Mandy Rose reviewed Lynn Pederson’s book, The Nomenclature of Small Things, for the April issue of Stirring: A Literary Collection. The review can be found here: http://www.sundresspublications.com/stirring/

English Department Internship Opportunity

Reading

 

Please join the Department of English and the Creative Writing program at the University of Denver to hear the internationally renowned poet, Raúl Zurita.

When: Monday, May 9th / 7pm
Where: The University of Denver
Sturm Hall / Room 454

Raúl Zurita is one of Latin America’s most celebrated and controversial poets. After Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 US-supported military coup that ousted Salvador Allende’s democratically elected government, Zurita’s poetry sought to register the violence and atrocities committed against the Chilean people and the corruption of the Spanish language. During the dictatorship that lasted from 1973 to 1990, Zurita published a trilogy of books (Purgatory, Anteparadise, and The New Life), wrote poems in the sky above New York City, bulldozed poems in the Chilean desert, and helped to form the art collective “Colectivo de Accion de Arte” that used performance as an act of political resistance. Of his early poetry, C.D. Wright has written: “Under the eyes of church and dictatorship, he began to write and publish his poetry, juxtaposing secular and sacred, ruled and unruled. With a mysterious admixture of logic and logos, Christian Symbols, brain scans, graphics, and a medical report, Zurita expanded the formal repertoire of his language, of poetic materials, pushing back against the ugly vapidity of rule by force.”

Zurita was awarded the Chilean National Prize for Literature, a scholarship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and he has held poetry readings at numerous American universities including Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Berkeley. His books in English translation include Anteparadise (translated by Jack Schmitt), Purgatory (translated by Anna Deeny), INRI (translated by William Rowe) and Song for His Disappeared Love (translated by Daniel Borzutzky). He lives in Chile.

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Professor Roze Hentschell

What were you working on while on Sabbatical?
I was working on my book, tentatively titled, “The Cultural Geography of St Paul’s Precinct.” I also finished an article for Early Theatre, submitted final page proofs for an essay in The Oxford Companion to the Age of Shakespeare and worked on promotion study abroad experience I will be leading this summer,

What did you miss or not miss while you were away?
I wasn’t really away, since I was hiding out in an office in Aylesworth writing, so I popped into Eddy every once in a while. I did miss casual hallway conversations, but despite my deep affection for my colleagues, I did not miss committee work.

What are you working on now?
I am writing the final chapter of the St. Paul’s book and am also writing a proposal for the book to send out to publishers.

Can you tell us about the Shakespeare summer course in Oxford that you are organizing?
Last summer I was sent to Oxford learn about setting up a summer course for CSU Honors students and in the year since, we have worked with International Programs to get it started. I will be taking the first group of student this May. 10 students will be taking a 4 week, 3 credit experiential Shakespeare course with me, in which we will see plays at the Globe in London, by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and by Oxford drama students. We will also have field trips to Bath and Windsor and will have several well-known Shakespeare scholars come speak to us. In addition, the students will take a 3-credit independent tutorial with an Oxford professor in their specialized field of study. None of the students are English majors, which I hope will change in future years. I am beyond excited for this opportunity.

You and Ellen Brinks have both worked with the Honors Department to help create English-focused study abroad opportunities. Can you tell us a little bit about working with them?
The Honors Program is very keen to expand the opportunities for study abroad experiences in summer. Many honors students don’t feel that they can take a whole semester off, so summer is an ideal time to get a study abroad experience. Once we decided to go ahead with the Oxford program, CSU’s amazing International Programs office has taken over the business side of things.

Roze Hentschell discussing a text with her E630C: Special Topics in Literature-Theory and Technique Studies - Space and Place in Literary Studies graduate class

Roze Hentschell discussing a text with her E630C Space and Place in Literary Studies graduate class

After having served as Assistant Department chair, has your advice for students taking a class in the department changed?
I will only reiterate what I said before: take classes in areas outside your comfort zone and outside what you think you are interested in. Those are the classes that can change your life! Also, don’t wait until the last minute to register because it drives the assistant chair crazy!

What would you want a prospective student to know about the Literature program?
The literature program is packed with internationally recognized scholars who are also caring and energetic award-winning teachers. The courses offered are carefully designed to expose students to a vast array of literary genres, historical periods, and critical methodologies. I wish I could sit in on all of them!

Have there been any big developments since your last faculty profile?
Alas, no.

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~From English Department Communications Intern Beth Campbell

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Event flyer

We rarely turn our thoughts to the future as college students. We are focused on the here and now – what assignments need to be done, what classes need to be taken, which meetings we need to go to, and how we are going to spend our Friday nights. For those of us who sat in a circle in one of Eddy’s classrooms and listened to Roze Hentschell, Pam Coke, and Aparna Gollapudi outline what it takes to get into a good graduate English program, thoughts of grad school couldn’t have been further from our minds.

I, for one, had never really considered grad school. I suppose it was always in the back of my mind, nagging at me from a distance like that crazy great aunt no one likes to admit they have. I had only ever seriously considered completing my undergraduate years, and then moving on to whatever job came into view. Considering getting a higher degree was like doggie-paddling in the shallow end of the pool and wishing I could do backflips off the diving board into the deep end like my superiors. I never really gave it any credence, but as I began to really look and what applying to a graduate program could mean, my interest and my motivation peaked.

I was not the only one. This was the general consensus of the room before the presentation began. There were about twenty of us, all undergraduate students, anxious about our lives beyond our perfectly penned four-year plans and  looking for something to further our education.

Aparna Gollapudi, Pam Coke, and Roze Hentschell

Aparna Gollapudi, Pam Coke, and Roze Hentschell

Roze Hentschell, Pam Coke, and Aparna Gollapudi had compiled a packet of information and tips on applying to graduate schools. I had no idea what an extensive process this could be. They began by talking about making a list of programs to which you would wish to apply, double checking prices, GTA positions, testing requirements such as the GRE or any subject tests, and other general application requirements. From there, one looks to the application process itself. We spent a large amount of time discussing how to ask for letters of recommendation, what to provide to your recommenders, compiling writing samples, and writing a statement of purpose.

The statement of purpose I found to be particularly interesting. It needs to be professional and brief, but it also needs to showcase who you are as a student to the application committee. A truly well-crafted statement of purpose combines who you are as a person with who you wish to become and how that program will help get you there.

The presentation became a dialogue, moving through the information packet, but speckled with questions and insights. If a question arose, it was answered without a second thought. This interactive exchange made the entire prospect of applying to a graduate program much more real and tangible. Suddenly, it was not just some lofty dream tangled up in the rafters of our minds. It was a yellow brick road laid right under our feet and headed toward a world about which we barely dared to whisper. It was an actual opportunity, a chance to do what we had thought impossible. And it was empowering to hear that we could.

The hour-long presentation passed in what felt like twenty minutes. I left with my mind buzzing, ideas and inspiration twirling about my thoughts like bees. I now am not afraid to look toward my future, especially when considering a higher degree. I left feeling stronger and more driven than I have ever felt before, and I know that no matter what happens, I can do this.

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~From English Department Communications Intern Kaitlyn Phillips

On the final Sunday of any given month you can walk into Avogadro’s Number, a small restaurant and venue here in Fort Collins, and find a collection of people talking and shouting and laughing, many nervously clutching notebooks or writing furiously in a corner. If you look to the stage, you’ll see a nervous poet, ready to speak, and five audience members holding up whiteboards bearing a number between 1 and 10.

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Members of the Slam-o-gadros audience

This odd and glorious spectacle is known as Slam-o-gadros. For those who don’t know, a poetry slam is essentially a competition between poets, where judges are randomly selected from the audience to give each poet a score from 1 to 10; this continues for three rounds, and the last poet standing with the highest score in the third round is the winner.

This past Sunday was a particularly special slam; it marked the second year the event has been taking place, and was thus celebrated as a birthday party — including bubbles, birthday hats, a performance from featured poet Emryse Geye, and, of course, the poetry slam itself.

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Chris Vonjanack

The excitement was palpable as Chris Vonjanack took the stage to introduce the night’s featured poet, Emryse Geye. She double majored in chemistry and biology as an undergraduate student, is Italian in origin, and is wonderfully quirky; all of this shines through brilliantly in her poetry. From poems that contained expertly crafted extended metaphors about thermodynamics and romantic relationships to lovingly written pieces about her “Nona,” Geye kept the audience cast under her spell from the moment she took the stage to the moment she walked off.

Emryse Geye

Emryse Geye

Next up was, of course, the poetry slam itself. As new poets and familiar faces took the stage to read their hearts out, the audience cheered and applauded in unwavering support. Not many people know of the thriving slam poetry community in Fort Collins; it truly is an interconnected network of people who care about poetry and care about each other.

And so, in honor of Slam-o-gadro’s second birthday, and in the hopes that many more people will join the amazing slam community we’ve built here, I’ve compiled five tips for first time slammers; more specifically, Five Things I Wish Someone Would’ve Told Me Before I Got Up on Stage at My First Poetry Slam.

  1. Have at Least 3 Poems Prepared

As previously stated, poetry slams involve three rounds of poets, normally about 10 or 15 in the first round, about 5 in the second and three in the last. If you make it to the second or third round, you’ll want to be prepared with a new piece that you’re comfortable reading aloud.

 

  1. Practice Out Loud

Boogar, our local Slam Master, describes slam poetry as poetry that “needs to jump off the page,” that is so powerful it needs to exist in the real world, not just on the paper. The way you read your poem is just as important as its content; practice inflections, pronunciations, pauses, timing, etc. by reading your poem out loud to yourself or in the mirror.

 

  1. Stay and Mingle

Like I said before, Fort Collins has an amazing — and supportive! — slam family, and they love welcoming new poets into the community. So in between rounds and before and after the slam, walk around, introduce yourself, and say hello. Not only will you meet some amazing poets, but you might even make a new lifelong friend.

 

  1. Believe in Yourself

As cheesy as it sounds, it’s definitely true; if you have confidence in your words and your ability to read them, your poem and the message you’re trying to convey will come across so much clearer. And don’t forget to give yourself some credit; it is a brave thing to stand up in front of people and read your creative work — don’t sell yourself short.

 

  1. Relax

And finally, the most important thing is to relax! Even if you don’t do so great the first time, you’ll still have an audience snapping in support, and a community of poetry slammers that have your back! Not to mention, you can always try it again next month.

 

From one poetry slammer to another: Good luck, and we hope to see you slamming soon!

 

If you’re looking to try your hand at poetry slams, look no further! Fort Collins has two amazing poetry slams that happen every month: Slam-o-gadro’s, the final Sunday of every month at Avogadro’s Number, 7pm and the Bean Cycle Slam, the first Friday of every Month at the Bean Cycle coffee house, 7:30pm. Additionally, a group of poets (myself included) are hosting a poetry slam fundraiser this Friday at the Wolverine Farm Letterpress & Publick House starting at 7:30pm. All proceeds will benefit Far Away Friends, a nonprofit dedicated to improving primary education in Northern Uganda.

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Each year, CSU celebrates service milestones, (employees achieving a decade of service or more, milestones of 10, 15, 20, 25, etc.), and on Thursday there will be a reception for those people at the Lory Student Center. In honor of those on the English list this year, we gathered as a group one morning in the Whitaker Conference room to share food, drink, memories, and gratitude.

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From left to right: Instructor Thomas Conway, Associate Professor Tobi Jacobi, Assistant Professor Tim Amidon, Associate Professor Dan Beachy-Quick, Assistant Professor Doug Cloud, and Writing Center Associate Director Bruce Shields

From left to right: Admin Assistant Sue Russell, Senior Teaching Faculty Deb Walker, Assistant Professor Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker, Undergraduate Program Assistant Sheila Dargon, Senior Teaching Faculty Jeremy Proctor, Admin Assistant Marnie Leonard, Senior Teaching Faculty Thomas Conway, Associate Professor Tobi Jacobi, Assistant Professor Tim Amidon, and Associate Professor Dan Beachy-Quick.

From left to right: Admin Assistant Sue Russell, Senior Teaching Faculty Deb Walker, Assistant Professor Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker, Undergraduate Program Assistant Sheila Dargon, Senior Teaching Faculty Jeremy Proctor, Admin Assistant Marnie Leonard, Senior Teaching Faculty Thomas Conway, Associate Professor Tobi Jacobi, Assistant Professor Tim Amidon, and Associate Professor Dan Beachy-Quick.

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From left to right: Instructor Thomas Conway, Associate Professor Tobi Jacobi, Assistant Professor Tim Amidon, Assistant Professor Doug Cloud, Writing Center Associate Director Bruce Shields, and Office Manager Amparo Jeffrey (celebrating 10 years at CSU).

From left to right: Instructor Thomas Conway, Associate Professor Tobi Jacobi, Assistant Professor Tim Amidon, Assistant Professor Doug Cloud, Writing Center Associate Director Bruce Shields, and Office Manager Amparo Jeffrey (celebrating 10 years at CSU).

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From left to right: Senior Teaching Faculty Thomas Conway, Senior Teaching Faculty Jeremy Huffman Proctor, Assistant Professor Tim Amidon, Assistant Professor Doug Cloud, Writing Center Associate Director Bruce Shields, Assistant Professor Anthony Becker, Senior Teaching Faculty Anne Reid, and Associate Professor Aparna Gollapudi.

Later, we asked English department celebrants, “What was the moment (or one of the moments) that defines your CSU experience? Or, what is something you love about working at CSU?” What follows are some of the responses, and the full list of those celebrating milestones.

 

Leslee Becker (Professor), 25 years: “Part I: Our saga begins in Spring 1990, when I lived in Palo Alto, taught at Stanford, and received the news that CSU wanted to interview me.  A colleague suggested buying an interview outfit at the upscale Stanford Mall. I could always return to the store, my colleague said, since I’d probably wear it just one time.  I bought an expensive pants suit.  Think wide shoulders, sharp slacks.  Think Joan Crawford.  My mentor, Director of the Creative Writing Program, warned me not to try to fake answer any interview questions, especially ones that would reveal my ignorance of certain isms endemic to literary criticism. She also told me to relax and think of the interview as a rare occasion in which people might actually be interested in me and my work.

Part II: The big milestone started with meeting Rosemary Whitaker, English Department Chair, and Pattie Cowell, Assistant Chair.  Pattie wore a puffy vest tapestried with chicken feathers.  At the end of a long day, when I had met with students and faculty, and was still wearing my unfortunate outfit, Rosemary offered me the job, a shock.  I was stupid enough to tell her I had to think it over, and that I might be having an identity crisis, and couldn’t imagine myself teaching in CSU’s prestigious MFA Program.

The Middle/Middling Part/Next Milestone:  After inhabiting an office in Eddy’s south wing (home of the recently embalmed and the occasionally loud and dramatic), I was offered a chance to move to the north wing, closer to the seat of power: the mailroom/refrigerator/women’s toilet, and the Chair’s headquarters.

Climax: An offer to be the 2000 CLA Commencement Speaker.  I wore my 1990 interview outfit under an academic robe that someone had donated to the English Department in the Middle Ages. Ann Gill introduced me to the audience in a way that made me feel honored and accepted for all of my quirks.

Dénouement: I met with parents after the ceremonies, and received a letter from one set of parents, thanking me for allowing them to enjoy “the wonder of a moment.”  (I’ve since wondered if the parents might’ve been referring to their wonder that someone such as L. Becker would be allowed to teach the Youth of America.)

Theme: The author of this story reveals why she loves CSU, especially her longtime relationship (a first for her) with the real center of power— students and colleagues.”

 

Judy Doenges (Associate Professor), 15 years: One of the best memories I have from the past fifteen years came, believe it or not, at my hair salon. I was looking at a Vogue magazine, and I saw a short article on one of my former E412A students [Advanced Fiction Workshop]; she had just published her first novel and Vogue was highlighting it in their book review section.  It was wonderful to see how far the student had come and to have confirmed – yet again – what phenomenal students we have.

 

Sharmini Gingras (Instructor), 10 years: “I am spread across different departments, buildings and students. The most poignant moment for me at CSU was walking through the Oval one fall morning and seeing these worlds collide. In a speaking project by my international students, they connected with American students. I can’t pinpoint what it was – the golden leaves, crisp clean air, smiling faces, enriched connection among humans or the last few days before the looming of winter – but I thought to myself ‘I like this. I can do this for a while.’”

 

Marnie Leonard (Admin Assistant III), 25 years: “For me, time at CSU is a series of moments, all marking the energy flow of faculty, students, and staff as they draw from the past, contribute to the now, and create the future.”

 

Jill Salahub (Administrative Professional: Editor and Communications Coordinator), 15 years: “Just one moment of many I could have picked: Sitting on the patio of the Behavioral Sciences Building with Department Chair Louann Reid, discussing the possible ways department communications and thus my job could and would be changing. It was a beautiful fall day and both of us were very excited about the possibilities. It was one of those times when what I am good at, what I love to do, aligned so perfectly with what the department needed.”

 

Sarah Sloane (Professor), 15 years.When I arrived in Fort Collins one August at the turn of the century, my partner and I had driven 1200 miles in three days with three cats, a frisky yellow mutt, and a rubber plant. The rubber plant was easy–a pitcher of water from a Pizza Hut did the job. But the cats were less accommodating. The three held fiercely contended yodeling competitions not only for the full 400 miles in the car each day, but also often in the pet-friendly hotel rooms overnight. If one cat actually wanted to sleep for 1.5 minutes during the night, she could take a rest; the other two would happily spell her, careful to adjust volume so the pitch of those irritating, high-pitched yowls and howls would remain steady from dusk until dawn. We put pillows over our heads. We wanted to put pillows over their heads.

That trial was not much improved by the evolving situation with the dog. With the veterinarian’s permission we had given our 45-pound dog, Rosie, a dose of tranquilizers better suited to the bulkier breeds, perhaps a Russian Wolfhound. The triple dose not only failed to keep Rosie calm and quiet, it introduced a new variable: a side effect which triggered frequent stops for most of the trip. Within a half hour of our leaving Tacoma, we suddenly accelerated, opened every window in the car, and drove 60 miles an hour into the nearest gas station. My partner dealt with the dog, and I gingerly removed the blanket and sheet with which we had tenderly lined the back end of the station wagon for Rosie’s three-day nap just 25 miles before. I confess that that bedding made its way (cloaked in two black plastic bags) into a gas station garbage can; my nostril hairs were quivering in disbelief before I even got it out of the car. I wish we’d had rubber gloves for the ride. As you can imagine, Fort Collins looked pretty good by the time we got here.

What doesn’t kill you outright, makes you stronger. And it’s all good material.

Fifteen years later one of those cats is still alive. (Sparky, who is over 20 years old, is sleeping on her cushion in a stripe of sunlight as I write this.) I’m now a full professor at Colorado State and direct our MA in Creative Nonfiction program.  I have a new car with new bumper stickers (THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE!) and a parking sticker from Area 51. But also, low across my car’s back window,  remains a Colorado State University sticker. If it gets wrinkled or dirty, if I get a new car, or if I just decide I want a different style, I am sure that I will always have a CSU sticker on my car because I am very proud of where I work: a public land-grant university in the West where I am teaching the daughter of a rancher, the son of a TV repairman, two varsity basketball players, students majoring in equine science or construction management, and once a student in the University Rodeo Club. (I so wanted to be the Rodeo Club faculty advisor, but then I learned you actually have to have experience with horses. I settled for advising the science fiction club.) It’s been a great 15 years, and I honestly cannot think of a profession I would rather be in, nor an English Department I’d prefer anywhere else in the country. I not only didn’t expect to be a Ram who bleeds green and gold, but I didn’t know I would like it so much.” 

 

Sasha Steensen (Associate Professor), 10 years: “I have loved every year of the past decade at CSU, but when asked to think of one particular moment, I remembered a party, hosted by Roze Hentschell and Tom Cram, in honor of my tenure and Barb Sebek’s promotion to full professor. I knew then that I landed in a department and a university that prioritized community, commitment, and friendship.”

 

Sean Waters (Instructor), 10 years: “The one moment that has come to define my experience as a teacher at CSU was the first semester that I was teaching PHIL 110 – Logic and Critical Thinking as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, [Sean has been a part of both the Philosophy and English departments].  As I was trying to explain deductive logic, I realized that everyone in the room was understanding and thinking in a slightly different way, and I loved the challenge of attempting to solve the problem of how to adapt my lesson to different learners. I’ve since come to appreciate student difference and learning styles even more… and have had many smaller moments where I’ve found a way to explain a difficult concept in a way that students can immediately understand.”

 

Also celebrating service milestones in English:

  • Sarita Crawford (Instructor), 10 years.
  • Gerald Delahunty (Professor), 30 years.
  • Beth Hasbrouck (Instructor), 10 years.
  • Amparo Jeffrey, (Office Manager I), 10 years.
  • Evelyn Pierro (Instructor), 10 years.
  • Theresa Sandelin (Instructor), 30 years.
  • Barbara Sebek (Professor), 20 years.
  • Paul Trembath (Associate Professor), 25 years.

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Congratulations to those on this year’s list! We appreciate you so much, and are so lucky that you are here.

 

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On Monday, April 25, the English department held its 25th annual awards reception. Faculty, staff, family, and friends gathered to celebrate undergraduate and graduate recipients of scholarships, fellowships, and awards. The event began with snacks and socializing.

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Department Chair Louann Reid started the ceremony with some opening remarks. She shared that English undergraduates and graduates hold a total of 156 University and departmental scholarships and 7 literary awards for the 2016-2017 academic year. She also thanked the scholarship committee: Tony Becker, Beth Hasbrouck, SueEllen Campbell and Paul Trembath, as well as Sheila Dargon, who provided substantial support to that committee. Then Ellen Brinks took the podium to start presenting awards.

To start, 11 English graduate students earned distinction on their Final Project, Portfolio or Thesis.

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From left to right: Alhassane Ali Drouhamane, Anique Renee Sottile, Kathleen M. Hamel, Brian L. Doebbeling, Krista Boddy, Meagan K. Wilson, Joni Kay Hayward, Paul Binkley.

For Distinction in English Education on the Final Project:
Paul Binkley
Ian James McCreary

For Distinction in Literature on Project:
Joni Kay Hayward
Courtney Pollard
Meagan K. Wilson

For Distinction on Thesis- Creative Nonfiction:
Natalya Stanko

For Distinction in TESL/TEFL on Portfolio:
Krista Boddy
Brian L. Doebbeling
Kathleen M. Hamel
Anique Renee Sottile

For Distinction in TESL/TEFL on Thesis:
Alhassane Ali Drouhamane

 

The next scholarship awarded was new this year, the Zambia Community Education and Health Scholarship. This scholarship helps lessen the financial burden for a CSU English student accepted into the Zambia Education Abroad Program. Students in this service-learning program spend part of their summer in Livingstone, Zambia focus on Community Education and Public Health projects; they teach subjects like English, Math and Science or work supporting public health project in clinics & neighborhoods in the surrounding communities. This award is given to a full or part-time, sophomore, junior or senior undergraduate in the College of Liberal Arts majoring in English accepted into the Zambia Education Abroad Program with an overall 2.5 GPA and a 3.0 GPA in their major.

Antero Garcia presented the Zambia Community Education and Health Scholarship to Madeline Kasic.

Antero and Madeline

Antero and Madeline

Dan Beachy-Quick presented the next several awards. He started by sharing the good news that English has two winners and one honorable mention across all three genres in the 2016 Intro Journals Project. We’re the only school in the nation to manage such a distinction, and have been granted, in the past 3 years, 5 such selections (which may well be unique as well). The Intro Journals Project is a literary competition for the discovery and publication of the best new works by students currently enrolled in AWP member programs.

Poetry: Cedar Brant won for her poem, “Make Blood.”
Fiction:  Nathaniel Barron won for the first chapter from his novel-in-progress, From the Watchtower.
Creative Nonfiction: Emily Ziffer received an honorable mention for her nonfiction essay, “Moving Forward, In Russian.”

 

Next were certificates for Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society members. Members must be English majors with an overall GPA of 3.0 as well as a 3.0 in English courses. They must have completed at least 3 semesters of college coursework and at least 2 – 300 level English courses. Membership includes access to numerous scholarships, fellowships, publications, and job opportunities, in addition to university involvement. Recipients were Kelsey Easton, Patrick Eyre, Kelsey Shroyer, Krystal Tubbs, Davis Webster, Geneva McCarthy, David Grivette, and Kaylee Wieczorek.

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From left to right: Krystal Tubbs, Geneva McCarthy, Davis Webster, David Grivette, and Dan Beachy-Quick.

Next Dan presented Undergraduate Awards for the Creative & Performing Arts Scholarship Awards in Creative Writing.

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From left to right: Dan Beachy-Quick, Joelle Hamilton, Geneva McCarthy, Courtney Ellison, Noah Kaplan, David Grivette, Davis Webster, Gabriel Martinez, Scott E. Miller, Lindsey Whittington, Alyssa Meier.

FICTIONAlyssa Meier, 1st prize for her story “Blood Thicker than Water”
Lindsey Whittington, 2nd prize (3-way tie) for her story “A World of Turnips”
Scott E. Miller, 2nd prize (3-way tie) for his story “The Least We Can Do for Each Other Is Nothing”
Gabriel Martinez, 2nd prize (3-way tie) for his story “Rescued”

CREATIVE NONFICTIONDavis Webster, 1st prize for his essay “A Playlist for Steven’s Wake (Annotated)”
Noah Kaplan, 2nd prize for his essay “Ramah”
Courtney Ellison, 3rd prize (tie) for her essay “Luke 8:17”
Geneva McCarthy, 3rd prize (tie) for her essay “BBQ Ribs”

POETRYJoelle Hamilton, 1st prize: “Trail Poems”
Davis Webster, 2nd prize: “Simulacra and Simulation,” “Notre Dame,” “The Bluebird Theater on Colfax Ave.,” and “Oneiric”
Caleb McFadden, 3rd prize: “To Hers, a He, and Me,” “Do Not Cross This Line,” “Wildfriend,” and “Whatever Happens in the Clouds”
Rich Sanchez, Honorable Mention: “The Last Seconds Before,” “Day Poem 1,” and “Night Poem 1”
David Grivette, Honorable Mention: “As I,” “To Ophelia,” “Mirrors,” “Sudden Strangers,” and “Consideration on Nature’s Third Act”
Kelsey Easton, Honorable Mention: “Storm, Come Wash Away My Aches,” “From the Morning,” “As Cool Night Is Beautiful,” and “Sponges”

 

Dan Beachy-Quick then presented the Academy of American Poets Prize to Denise Jarrott.

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Dan and Denise

 

Dan announced the next section of the program in which we recognized 18 students winning department awards in 13 categories for the 2016-2017 academic year. He began with the first award by announcing the recipients of the Tremblay-Crow Creative Writing Fellowships, which alternate between MFA students in fiction and poetry.

The fiction recipient for Fall 2015 is Emily A. Harnden.
The poetry recipient for Fall 2016 is Kristin Macintyre and she will receive her award in Spring 2017. 

And finally, Dan announced the John Clark Pratt Award, which goes to a graduating MFA student for citizenship – the top MFAer of the year in terms of both writing and service to the Creative Writing community. The recipient this year is Abby Kerstetter.

Louann Reid then introduced the The Ann Osborn Zimdahl Memorial Scholarship, awarded in memory of Ann Osborn Zimdahl, a 1981 graduate of the CSU M.A. TESL/TEFL program.  Ann taught in the Intensive English Program and contributed to the international community of the University and Fort Collins.  Her career also extended overseas where she held several different teaching appointments.  Ann was strongly committed to cross-cultural understanding and enthusiastically shared her love of new cultures with her students both here and abroad. There are two recipients.

Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker introduced the first recipient, Kiley K. Miller.

Tatiana and Kiley.

Tatiana and Kiley

Camille Dungy introduced the second recipient, Samantha Killmeyer.

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Camille and Samantha

Hanna Cahow received the Zimdahl scholarship given to an outstanding graduate student in any program in English but was unable to be here last year, so Pam Coke introduced her.

Pam and Hanna.

Pam and Hanna

The Karyn L. Evans Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students in memory of Karyn L. Evans and created through a gift from her estate. Three of the four recipients are here today. Daniel DeHerrera was unable to attend. Pam Coke introduced the first recipient, Miriam Miranda Gueck.

Pam and Miriam.

Pam and Miriam

Deb Dimon introduced the second recipient, Scott E. Miller.

Deb and Scott.

Deb and Scott

Nancy Henke introduced the third recipient, Ashle’ Shante’ Tate.

Nancy and Ashle’.

Nancy and Ashle’

The Community Engagement Scholarship is awarded to full-time undergraduate or graduate students who are majoring in English with a demonstrated interest in Community Service Activities. It was established by Pattie Cowell, former chair of the English department and of the Women’s Studies Interdisciplinary Program, and her partner Sheryl Pomering, whose career included education and counseling for children and women in Fort Collins and Larimer County. There are two recipients of this scholarship. Jarion Hamm, an incoming student, will receive his award at next spring’s reception, and Sarah Sloane presented the award to the other recipient, Morgan Riedl. 

Sarah and Morgan

Sarah and Morgan

The Cross-Cultural Understanding Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding graduate student who has demonstrated a commitment to international/cross-cultural issues and education. This year’s recipient is Joel Grove. He was unable to attend.

The Donna Weyrick Memorial Scholarship honors the memory of Donna Weyrick, a 1962 graduate of the Department of English.  These endowed scholarships for undergraduates are made possible by contributions from the Weyrick family and friends. There are two recipients. Sharon Grindle introduced the first, Anna LaForge.

Sharon and Anna

Sharon and Anna

SueEllen Campbell introduced the second recipient of this scholarship, Laurel Bergsten.

SueEllen and Laurel

SueEllen and Laurel

We have another new scholarship this year: The Diane Keating Woodcox and Larry G. Woodcox Scholarship. Endowed by an alumna of the English department, this scholarship is awarded to a full-time junior or senior undergraduate major with an overall minimum 2.5 GPA. The student must have held gainful employment or have participated in a paid or unpaid internship an exhibit exceptional focus and determination as a student. Preference is given to a graduate of a Colorado high school. Tim Amidon introduced the recipient, Mackenzie Owens.

Tim and Mackenzie

Tim and Mackenzie

The TESL/TEFL Scholarship is funded by the INTO CSU English Language Program. It is awarded to an outstanding student in the TESL/TEFL graduate program. Tony Becker introduced this year’s recipient, Adele Vestal Lonas.

Tony and Adele

Tony and Adele

The James J. Garvey Graduate English Language Scholarship, given in memory of Professor James Garvey, is presented annually to a graduate student who is enrolled in the second semester or beyond of the TESL/TEFL graduate program or is a student in the Rhetoric and Composition or English Education graduate programs, and who has shown a strong interest in advanced language study. Recipients of this award may be first-generation students. Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker introduced the recipients, Azahara África García Fariña and Anabela Vanesa Valerioti.

Tatiana and África

Tatiana and África

 

Tatiana and Anabela

Tatiana and Anabela

The James J. Garvey Undergraduate English Language Scholarship, also given in memory of Professor James Garvey, is presented annually to an undergraduate student who has a documented interest and coursework in the study of the English language. Recipients of this award also demonstrate a commitment to diversity in education, and may be first-generation students. William Marvin introduced this year’s recipient, Madison Van Doren.

William and Madison

William and Madison

The Judith A. Dean Memorial Scholarship was created in memory of Judith A. Dean, a graduate in the master’s program in the Department of English, and prominent professional in the English teaching field and the organizations that support it. Judith Dean earned an MAT at Colorado State in 1978 and taught at high schools in Colorado, Idaho, and New Mexico. She served two terms as President of the Colorado Language Arts Society, and several years on the Society’s executive committee—strong measures of her prominence in public education in Colorado. Zach Hutchins presented the award to this year’s recipient, Kaari von Bernuth.

Zach and Kaari

Zach and Kaari

The Smith-Schamberger Literature Fellowship is given to a new or returning full or part-time graduate student in the MA literature program. The recipient is incoming student Ivana Loskanich, who will receive her award next year.

The last set of awards were for outstanding writing in two categories at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. The Outstanding Writing Award in Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy recognizes outstanding writing and research in composition, rhetoric, and/or literacy studies. This award is intended to recognize innovative ideas, critical thinking, and stellar communication in the broad area of writing studies. Multimodal and print submissions are welcomed. Awards of $100 for first place and $50 for second place are given at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Doug Cloud presented the awards.

1st Place: Undergraduate: Lilly Halboth
Project Title: Your Genre Toolbox: A Comprehensive Analysis of Residence Hall Posters

Doug and Lilly

Doug and Lilly

1st Place: Graduate: Laura Price Hall
Project Title: Maps as Story: Digital, Participatory Map-Making with StoryMaps

Doug and Laura

Doug and Laura

2nd Place: Graduate: John Koban
Project Title: “Guard Your Tongue:” The Chafetz Chaim and the Jewish Rhetoric of Lashon Hara

Doug and John

Doug and John

The second category is the Outstanding Literary Essays Awards at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Debby Thompson presented the awards to six students.

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From left to right: Debby Thompson, Davis Webster, Larissa Willkomm, Amanda Nickless, Caitlin Johnson, and Timmi Baldwin

Graduate
1st Place:  Timmi Baldwin, Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day: A Beyond human Cyborg”  
2nd Place: Caitlin Johnson “Dominance, Submission, and Satisfaction: Margery Kempe…”

Undergraduate

1st Place: Davis Webster, Appendix D: Interview with the Author”
2nd Place: Larissa Willkomm, Red Volcanoes, Laughing Monster: Autobiography in Ecriture Feminine”
3rd place: Amanda Nickless, “Olivier’s Hamlet:  The Transformation of Women onto the Big Screen”

 

Louann Reid wrapped up the event by thanking all the participants, faculty, scholarship committee, donors, and office staff. “I want to recognize especially three people: Sheila Dargon who supported the scholarship committee and arranged this reception, Jill Salahub for taking pictures, and Marnie Leonard for the creative centerpieces.”

Congratulations to all the recipients!

 

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Image by Ashley Alfirevic

Image by Ashley Alfirevic

  • Leslee Becker received the University’s Jack E. Cermak Award for Advising.
  • Stephanie G’Schwind is very proud to announce that Colorado Review will make a second Best American debut this year: Jonathan Franzen has selected “Namesake,” by Mason Stokes (Summer 2015 issue) for Best American Essays 2016. You can read the essay here: http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/features/namesake/
  • Tobi Jacobi presented a paper entitled “The Challenges of Going Public with Archival Prison Materials” on a panel with other prison writing scholars at the recent CCCC meeting in Houston, TX.  She also led a learning circle at the pre-conference prison pedagogy and research workshop.
  • As co-chair of the Qualitative Research Subcommittee of the Standing Commission on the Status of Women Faculty, Lisa Langstraat wrote a Vice Provost of Research Quarterly Funding Grant proposal, “Qualitative Research on the Culture and Climate for Women Faculty at CSU.”  Our committee was awarded all requested funding which will allow for the expansion of current research efforts and summer funds for coding and analyzing data.  This data will inform policy regarding improving the culture and climate for women faculty at CSU as well as nation-wide Advance Grant development.
  • Shoaib Alam’s short story “Guildwood Village” has been accepted for the 2016 Tin House Summer Workshop. He will be at Reed College in Portland from July 10-17 and is looking forward to studying with Chinelo Okparanta.
  • CSU was well represented among this year’s winners of the AWP Intro Journals Award. Cedar Brant won for her poem, “Make Blood,” and Nathaniel Barron won for the first chapter from his novel-in-progress, From the Watchtower. Emily Ziffer received an honorable mention for her nonfiction essay, “Moving Forward, In Russian.” That’s three awards for CSU, the most of any program! All of the nominees will be on our Poster at the English Department Awards Reception.
  • Two TEFL/TESL students, Kathleen Hamel and Brian Doebbeling, successfully defended their portfolios on 4/15.
  • Felicia Zamora (MFA ’12) has four poems accepted in West Branch’s upcoming feature issue focusing on avant-garde contemporary women poets. Other poems have recently been accepted to Cutbank, The Adirondack Review, and Salt Hill.

 

Greyrock Review Release Party!!!

 The Greyrock Review Release Party will be held on, Thursday, April 28th  from 6-8 at Wolverine Farm’s Letterpress & Publick House on Willow.

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selah

Selah Saterstrom

At once both warmly familiar and strangely terrifying, Selah Saterstrom’s writing took what I felt to be a comforting ritual and turned it on its head. Reinvigorating what I knew as literature and as reading, Saterstrom injected an electrifying pulse of stark realism, dark humor, and disturbing imagery into the Creative Writing and Reading Series.

The Hatton Gallery, as usual, filled with the amiable voices of friends and colleagues, and Saterstrom began by thanking the department for the wonderful pot luck dinner with a congenial southern drawl. Welcoming and intimate amongst cohorts, the reading fell in line with all the others I had attended so far.

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“So to answer your question, Barbara Walters, dogs do make me think about death.” Imagined interviews with American broadcast journalists, a southern town not flooded but completely leveled by Hurricane Katrina, and dogs that accidentally maul rather than save their companions, Saterstrom’s novel Slab was not what I was expecting. Described in the introduction as a a fallen biblical landscape, protagonist Tiger transforms atop the slabs of buildings that lie across her town like sheets of paper, tombstones, and alters. The concrete pieces that cover the landscape after her town is devastated by the infamous hurricane allow for reverenced musings on murderous dogs, cake recipes, and first kisses. Injected with sharp comedy and jokes that produce a near prickly smile on my face, Tiger tells us tidbits like, “If a southern bride serves red velvet cake at a wedding, it is considered a slutty thing to do.” Punctuated with moments of jarring irony, and constantly jumping from story to story, listeners can never quite place their footing in this world both destroyed and energized by Katrina.

Saterstrom then read to us from a book of lyric essays –  Ideal Suggestions – to be released in October. Her first time presenting excepts from her new book, she explained that each piece contains either a forward or an afterward about the origins of her work. The essay she read us, “Tale of Brother and Sister,” meditates on how a piece of writing can be haunted.

And the piece felt truly haunted. With terrifying imagery but beautiful words, the brother and sister discuss with calm a constantly shifting, immaterial scene of horror. “Some things have no shape,” the sister says. The essay, too, has an intangible shape, floating specterly from descriptions of fire and burning to dark and damp, starlets and pomegranate seeds to apparitions of dead bodies. Lines like, “People with gray eyes belong to dog medicine” and “Return the speck to the wet and tender stem” filled me with a definitive chill, as if unable to get out of a cold bath. Caught up in the disturbing visions alternating between blood and mold, Saterstrom’s writing felt arresting in its attention. One could drown trying to gulp down the fast, gorgeous rhythm of her words.

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In the Afterward of the essay, Saterstrom explained she wanted to capture the textures, atmospheres, and syntactical paradigms of two narratives: one of her stillborn son, Trevor, the other of her deceased twin brother. Haunted and guided by these stories, the piece has been in progress for decades as she left and returned to it to incorporate new layers of meaning and voice.

The evening ended with some Q&A, where Saterstrom offered poignant advice on the selection of time and genre for a piece. She views “writing as a zone to entertain the transformation of shadows,” and humbly offered up that, “the urgency to make the work trumps my need to know what the hell I’m doing. Listen to what the project needs.”

Instead of leaving humored or pensive, as I usually do, I felt gutted and hollow after the last reading. But it was intensely refreshing to have listened to something unsettling. The Creative Writing and Reading Series does not just welcome the English Department; it welcomes the power of literature in all its forms, apt to make you feel, as it were, something deep, or something raw.

The Creative Writing Reading Series at CSU is organized by English Department faculty and the Organization of Graduate Student Writers (OGSW); Creative Writing faculty serve on a rotating basis as director of the series and faculty advisor to OGSW. The series has a small annual budget and relies on the support of the Associated Students of Colorado State University (ASCSU), the College of Liberal Arts dean’s office, donors, local businesses, and CSU’s English Department. Its spring 2016 events are made possible with support from CSU’s Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Endowment, a premier funder of the arts at CSU. Please help grow this fund with a gift at: http://president.colostate.edu/lillabmorgan/index.aspx. All events are free and open to the public.

Next reading: Yusef Komunyakaa, Thursday April 21. 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm in the North Ballroom of the Lory Student Center.

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~from Communications Coordinator Jill Salahub

The whole group, English faculty and staff

The whole group, English faculty and staff

On Monday, the English department gathered in a conference room at the Hilton Hotel for a full day, whole department retreat. Four years ago, we had a similar event. A lot of good came out of that first See Change, and the joy of all being in the same room together at the same time was no small thing. We have a lot of new faculty members since then, had spent a full year dispersed across campus while Eddy was remodeled, and were ready to do it again — See Change 2.

In February a small group started meeting to plan the event — Cindy O’Donnell-Allen, Jill Salahub, Doug Cloud, Tobi Jacobi, Leslee Becker, Nancy Henke, SueEllen Campbell, and Tatiana Nekrasova-Beker. We began with a general question, what it might mean to thrive as a department. Early on a clear idea formed — we wanted this to be an event that was both constructive and uplifting. Considering how hard we worked and what a good time we had planning the event, we were pretty sure it was going to work out and be a great day.

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Links to readings were emailed out with the instructions to read prior to the event and be ready to discuss (yes, we gave ourselves homework), classes were cancelled so everyone could attend, and everyone was asked to bring a favorite book to swap. As people arrived, they were given a name tag, table assignment, five raffle tickets, and a sticky note to put on the cover of their book where they could write an explanation about why they’d picked this particular text to share.

Raffle items

Raffle items

 

Book swap

Book swap

As people found their tables, left their books on the swap table, and put raffle tickets next to their preferred prizes, breakfast was served (all day coffee service!) and the conversations started.

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An extra special surprise unveiled at the beginning of the day was a Lego model of the Eddy Building made by Assistant Professor Doug Cloud. Some of us on the planning committee knew about a smaller version he’d made and kept in his office, and jokingly challenged him to make a bigger one for the retreat. He did! Everyone was amazed and delighted by his creativity.

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He even included a view into Louann's office

He even included a view into Louann’s office

 

At 9:00, Cindy O’Donnell-Allen officially kicked off the day, welcoming everyone, giving them an overview of the plan for the day, and inviting them to eat, drink, and have a casual discussion of the readings while doing so.

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At 9:20, Department Chair Louann Reid shared some thoughts. She started by reading a poem, “The Gift” by Li-Young Lee, framing her discussion by speaking about “the moment, the shards, and the gifts.” She ended by giving gifts and thanks to the retreat planning committee.

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Next SueEllen Campbell gave us our charge for the work of the day. Each table was a Think Tank charged with a specific task in two parts. Part one was big thinking, big picture, vision with no limits, “think creatively, broadly, and positively.” The topics we worked with were as diverse as the department itself, ranging from the impact climate change might have on the deparment, to community building, to re-envisioning curriculum and procedures, and beyond.

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Doug Cloud introduced phase two of our Think Tank tasks, encouraging us to get specific, to identify the obstacles and opportunities related to our particular issues, and be ready to turn in a written report as well as share a short teaser with the group.

 

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Doug Cloud introducing phase two of the Think Tank work

After our Think Tank work, but before lunch, we had a very special guest speaker, CLA Dean Ann Gill. She spoke about what it takes to make a department thrive. She had some really great insights and stories, made us laugh and think, and ended by saying “I love the way your students talk about you.” A few of us at my table teared up when she finished, knowing that in a very short time she would no longer be our dean, and feeling such gratitude for how good she was at her job, how good she was to us.

Tobi Jacobi introduces Dean Gill

Tobi Jacobi introduces Dean Gill

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After Dean Gill was done, lunch was served. It was a nice break, a good chance to socialize a bit more before getting back to work.

 

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Lunch break between sessions

 

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Lunch break between sessions

 

When lunch was finished, we had a super fun hour filled with an exercise something like speed dating. There were prompts provided and every five minutes we switched partners and got new prompts. There are no pictures of this portion of the event because we were having too much fun to take any.

After we wrapped up our speed dating, we gathered for a group photo.

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Then we completed the book swap and had snacks (soft pretzels and ice cream — yum!).

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After that, the raffle, hosted by the talented and hilarious Leslee Becker and her assistant Tobi Jacobi.

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raffle

After a special presentation to Louann of gifts and thanks, and some general all around gratitude, the day came to a close. Once again, the time spent together was a delight, being all together in the same room at the same time. In the halls today, I’ve noticed that particular energy lingering, with everyone stopping to talk, to offer a “hello, how are you?” and taking the time to listen to the answer. If nothing else, our See Change 2 was a reminder that as much as our work and our students, we value our connection, our community. As Louann offered in an email following the event, “And about that retreat—all I can say is wow. Well, maybe a bit more—energizing, inspiring, pragmatic, visionary, amazing. Thank you again to the leaders and organizers and to all of you. What a gift it is to be part of this department.” What a gift, indeed.

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The Stranger by Albert Camus, Caroline's favorite book

The Stranger by Albert Camus, Caroline’s favorite book

Caroline Pachak
English Major (Literature)

What do you like most about your major?
I really love reading and books in general, so my favorite thing about being an English Lit. major is that I get to read books and talk about what I’ve read, like, all day, erry day!

How do you spend most of your time in Eddy Hall?
Reading!

Do you have a favorite moment in Eddy Hall?
The moment construction finished.

Do you have a favorite English class or teacher?
Last fall I took Victorian Lit with Ellen Brinks and that was a blast.

Describe Eddy Hall in one word.
Bright.

What’s your favorite book, poem, quote, lyric, or genre? OR Who is your favorite author?
Holy cow. I think my favorite book is The Stranger by Camus but my favorite author is Jeffrey Eugenides. Maybe.

If you were to give advice to incoming CSU English majors, what would it be?
Keep up on your reading! Being lost in discussion is boring.

What’s your biggest goal/priority right now?
Graduating in 3 weeks. (Ohmygod)

Why is it important to study the Humanities?
Empathy.

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