Tag Archives: Bruce Ronda

CLA Dean Ben Withers opens the Spring 2017 CLA Awards Ceremony

Recently, the College of Liberal Arts (CLA) held their annual awards ceremony. Five members of the English department were honored. Sheila Dargon received the State Classified Award, Zach Hutchins and Kylan Rice were awarded for Excellence in Teaching, Tony Becker was presented with the Faculty Development Award, and Bruce Ronda was presented with the John N. Stern Distinguished Professor Award.

When presenting the CLA State Classified Award to Shelia Dargon, Roze Hentschell said,

The College of Liberal Arts State Classified Award recognizes outstanding contributions and achievements by state classified employees. This year, the award goes to Sheila DArgon, who has been with the Department of English for the last 10 years. Sheila’s nomination letter celebrates her exemplary leadership in supporting faculty and students to ensure their success. She anticipates problems before they manifest, can handle a crisis with composure, and is a careful listener who guides students to make the best decisions about their academic careers and helps them feel welcome, comfortable and confident. She is the first point of contact for all students who come to the third floor of Eddy (thousands of students, since all Composition students come that way as well) and a fine example of the excellence of State Classified employees. Congratulations, Sheila!

CLA Dean Ben Withers presents Sheila Dargon her award

Sheila Dargon
Undergraduate Program Assistant

What brought you to CSU?

I moved to Fort Collins in 2005. My sister and her family had lived here for years and I needed to start over, so I came out here and started working for a temporary agency while applying for jobs everywhere! I remember when filling out the application for a job here at the University, that I really liked the energy of being on campus, and thought it would be a great place to work. I actually got the offer from the English department on the day I would have been hired by the company I was temping!

What’s your favorite thing about working in the English Department?

My favorite thing about working in the English department is that every day is different. Some days I see and speak to a lot of students and faculty, and the next, I am working on the computer.

What’s one thing you’d like students in the English Department to know about you?

I want English students to know that I’m here to help and really want them to succeed here at CSU.

What’s your secret? By which I mean: what makes you so good at keeping track of so much information and so many people?

I have no idea, I guess when you like what you do and the people you work with, it makes it easy.

CLA Dean Ben Withers presents Kylan Rice his Excellence in Teaching Award (GTA)

The Excellence in Teaching Award recognizes one outstanding teacher in each of the following categories: Tenured Faculty, Tenure-Track Faculty, Special & Temporary Faculty, Graduate Teaching Assistant.

CLA Dean Ben Withers presents Zach Hutchens his Excellence in Teaching Award

Zach Hutchins
Assistant Professor of English: Literature

Professor Zach Hutchins received the Excellence in Teaching Award for his hard work as a tenure track with the English Department since joining in 2013.

Associate Dean for Faculty and Graduate Studies Bruce Ronda introduced Hutchins’ award, calling him a “curricular innovator, brilliant scholar, dynamic classroom presenter, mentor and role-model” who is known for his “witty, relaxed and deeply informed teaching.”

From faculty to student support, Hutchins has made an impact within our own English Department. Bruce reminisced that his colleagues praised his “ease in front of the class “and his “invite interaction” coupled with “evident joy in teaching the class.”

But first person testimonials from his students speak louder than those. Bruce explained that these students “drew the attention of the Committee on the Liberal Arts.” One student said “Professor Hutchins is a no-brainer when it comes to being recognized as an excellent teacher in the College of Liberal Arts, and I’m all too happy to officially give him my personal seal of approval.”

This award will not slow Hutchins down. We were able to ask him a few questions about his time in the English Department and how he plans to continue doing what he’s doing.

 

What has been the most rewarding moment(s) at the English Department, or in Eddy?

I think my most rewarding moment here at CSU came in the spring of 2016, when students from my fall 2015 senior capstone course, “Your Success Story,” emailed me to say that assignments completed in the course had helped them secure the dream job they had targeted. I love to see student work find a second life, outside the classroom.

Do you plan on working on any projects this summer?

I’ve got too many projects this summer, but the most exciting is an essay on Herman Melville’s epic poem Clarel that will take me to London in June, for the International Melville Conference.

Who (or what) had the greatest influence on your career path?

Probably a high school teacher who was willing to talk books (and play chess!) with me after school—not just during class hours. He helped me see that literature mattered and that teacher/student interactions could be more meaningful than an exchange of paperwork.

In one word, how would you describe Eddy/the English department?

Energizing!

CLA Dean Withers presents Tony Becker with his Faculty Development Award

The Faculty Development Award, presented to Assistant Professor Tony Becker,provides support for outstanding research and/or creative activity, and is funded by participants in the Great Conversations Speaker Series.

Bruce Ronda with his John N. Stern Distinguished Professor Award

Bruce Ronda
Associate Dean for Faculty and Graduate Studies

Bruce Ronda was presented the John N. Stern Distinguished Professor Award, which recognizes faculty who have demonstrated exemplary accomplishments in all aspects of their professional responsibilities over an extended period of time. As he’ll be retiring this year, we took the opportunity to ask him a few more questions about his experience at CSU and what his plans are for after.

What will you miss most about working at CSU?

Despite its many challenges and difficulties, colleges and universities like Colorado State are still very special places.  They provide an opportunity to reflect, create, analyze, propose, and converse in company with people who are also committed to those tasks.  So I will miss spending my days in the midst of such a community of thoughtful people: students, faculty members, administrators, and support staff.

Now that you’ll be retired, what are your plans?

I have several plans for the near future, some of which will start happening even before June 30.  I’m working on two book projects, one a biography of early-mid twentieth-century American poet Stephen Vincent Benet, the other a biography of Robert Coles, child psychiatrist and cultural commentator.  Then, I’ll be away for two weeks at the end of May for a trip to Scotland.  After I truly retire, I plan to keep working on those book projects, travel to Cape Cod for our annual post-Labor Day week there, see my family in Michigan, Oklahoma, and California some more, work in the garden, and spend more time playing the piano. . . and the banjo!

What wisdom do you have to offer about working and/or studying at CSU?

Maybe the most important advice I’d give to students at CSU is to appreciate and work with the faculty. We have amazing faculty members in English, in Liberal Arts, and throughout the university, and all the ones I know are eager to talk with their students. So: cultivate your teachers, talk with them about your questions, ask about their research or creative work, see if you can serve as a grader or intern in some capacity. As for working at CSU, I’ve found that the most important relationships to nurture have been with support staff. They are the true historical memory of our departments and colleges and are truly important contributors to the teaching/learning and outreach mission of the university.

Why do you think it’s important to study the Humanities?

I want to include the social sciences, too, in my response. This is a hard question, because it goes in so many ways. I’ll limit myself to two big reasons: the first is to understand better our “moment” in time by understanding history, economics, politics, society, and forms of expression in the arts. We come into a world not of our own making, and it’s enormously important to understand the forces that made the world the way it is and how those forces are expressed. Knowing where our “moment” comes from empowers us to live in it and change it. The second is to grow in empathy. While we cannot live in another’s skin or experience, we can grow in appreciation of the vast diversity of life, human and more-than-human. Here the arts and humanities have particular value, since they present us with the lived experience of people very different from us, and yet also strangely recognizable. Empathy, I’d say, is strikingly missing from our political and social discourse these days.

What project/paper/book have you most enjoyed working on?

All my projects have provided moments of pleasure and satisfaction, as well as frustration and anxiety. In many ways, my most recent project, the book called The Fate of Transcendentalism, has given me the most satisfaction because it brings together so many of my interests explored over many years.

What course have you enjoyed teaching the most?

That’s another hard question to answer, since courses differ so much in content, students, and the whole “feeling” of the course. Several CSU courses come to mind: a graduate authors course on Faulkner and grad topics courses on Hawthorne and Stowe, American Transcendentalism, and Terrorism and the Novel, and this most recent course on pragmatism.

What was it like teaching the Pragmatism course as your last course at CSU?

While it’s true that I’ve been thinking about this course for a long time, and reading in and about pragmatism for an even longer time, teaching it, of course, was something else again. I had wonderful students from the MFA and the MA lit programs—thoughtful, articulate, interesting people doing their own work and thinking their own thoughts. Their comments illuminated the texts in ways I hadn’t anticipated, so that was a real gift. It’s equally true that I taught this last course in a very different political and cultural moment than the one in which I planned it. The entire course was inflected with our awareness of the changes brought about, and the forces unleashed, by the presidential election. I think the election made us read Emerson and James, Stein and Susan Howe, in different ways. That was painful, but good.

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In Spring 2016, English major Alexander (Alec) Pearson did an internship where he researched department history. He graduated at the end of that same semester, earning his Bachelor of Arts in English with a writing concentration. Alec collected and wrote a lot of material that semester. One thing he did was interview some of our previous department chairs. One of his interviews just so happened to be with Bruce Ronda, whose retirement we are celebrating in a special gathering this week.

~from Alexander Pearson

Bruce Ronda, Professor of English and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Colorado State University, March 30, 2015

Bruce Ronda was the English department chair from 2001 to 2011. He joined the English Department in 1991 as visiting faculty, and became a full-time member in 1995. Before becoming chair he started and ran a full American Studies program in the department, but it had to shut down when he became the chair since there was no one else to run it. As department chair, he moved to make the English department more interdisciplinary. He also oversaw the creation of many new initiatives and programs, such as joining the National Writing Project, establishing the Community Literacy Center, expanding the Center for Literary Publishing, and creating the Changing Climates program. Opportunities for non-tenured faculty to participate in the running of the department were also increased.

After leaving his position as department chair, he became the Assistant Dean of the Liberal Arts college, the position he’ll be retiring from this year. Aside from his academic credentials, his most distinguishing feature is his tie, which he habitually tucks into his shirt. In fact, at a speech made by one of his co-workers at the farewell party when he left the English department for his current position said that, of all the things his fellow professors said about him, the single most common was “What’s with the tie?”

Interview Transcript

Alec: So, out of curiosity, how did you join the CSU English department?

Bruce: I came in 1991, as what was then called a visiting faculty member, and I taught courses in English and I also started an American Studies program in the English Department. And then I became a full-time member of the department in 1995.

Alec: Could you tell me more about the American Studies program?

Bruce: So my doctoral degree is in American Studies, which is a combination of literature and history, usually, and I taught that in my first teaching job on the East Coast, and many universities have American Studies programs, sometimes they’re free-standing, and more often they’re housed in departments, and I was asked to start one here at CSU, so I did and we borrowed faculty from English and History and some other departments. And it flourished for quite a while, but then when I moved to English full-time, and especially when I became the Department Chair in 2001, there wasn’t anyone to take over the American Studies program. So it was suspended. But I thought it was an interesting and exciting program, and there is still an American Studies course, that’s in the University curriculum, and it’s taught by a faculty member in the English department.

Alec: Interesting. So, do you mind me asking what inspired you to pursue a career in English in the first place?

Bruce: That’s a good question. So I’ve always been interested in language, in literature, in reading, and then as I went through college and graduate school I was also very interested in history, in social history, and so I found that the way that literature studies were going in those days was towards a more interdisciplinary way of thinking. So that really confirmed me in my interest in literature. So that’s what I’ve been doing, all these years.

Alec: So, more in that vein, how has the English Department changed over the years you’ve been working here, both at the college and generally across the nation?

Bruce: So do you mean since the time I came or since the time I became chair?

Alec: Well, both, preferably first since you came and then as the department chair. Like, you said that English studies in general had been becoming more interdisciplinary, could you elaborate on that?

Bruce: Sure, sure. So when I came in 1991 the English Department here, like I think at many universities, was primarily literature based. So studies of American literature, English literature, literature in translation. So in those first years when I was here in the mid to late 90s most of the faculty members were literature faculty members. There were other programs represented, but the core of the department was literature. And that was, as I said, true of many other departments as well. What has happened I think, gradually in the late 90s and especially the time that I was chair, from 2001 to 2011, was that other parts of an English Department so Creative Writing, Composition and Rhetoric, English Education, Linguistics and then in the graduate program teaching English as a second language and all those programs grew up, in a sense. They became more mature, they had their own conferences, their own journals, so many English departments changed, ours included, to be not so much literature-centered but to incorporate those aspects of English studies into the department. So that was a huge change, in those years.

Alec: Very interesting. And while you were a department chair, were you involved in a proactive way with these changes? Were you pushing for that sort of change?

Bruce: Yes, I thought it was both necessary and important so we made sure that the committees of the department had representatives from these different areas, that the assignments of graduate teaching assistants were proportional to the faculty and student population of those different areas, so yes, I was very much encouraging that.

Alec: So other than the change in inter-disciplinary programs, were there any other significant changes happening in the English department at this time?

Bruce: Yes. Yes, there were a number of changes of new initiatives that I led, or encouraged, we became part of the National Writing Project, which is a nation-wide project that encourages writing at the secondary and university level. So we’ve founded the CSU Writing Project, which is still going. I was helpful in establishing the Community Literacy Center through funding from the department and elsewhere. So that’s still going. We’ve expanded the center for literary publishing. What else, we established the Changing Climates at CSU which is still ongoing during the time that I was chair. And we expanded the representation of non-tenure track faculty members by establishing a committee for non-tenure track faculty members and including them in some of the other committees of the department.

Alec: Could you expand a bit on the ‘Changing Climates’ thing?

Bruce: Sure, sure. So that’s been an initiative of two faculty members, Sue Ellen Campbell and John Calderazzo from the English Department, and they came to me sometime in their tenures, early on I think, having department support and college support for a program that would help educate our faculty, faculty across the university really, about how to communicate about climate issues to a sometimes skeptical audience.

Alec: That’s certainly interesting. So I think that takes care of the next question I was going to ask, so could you tell me a story about what working in the English department is like, an interesting anecdote of some sort?

Bruce: What it was like during those years?

Alec: Yeah.

Bruce: Well, perhaps first not so much an anecdote but the reality is that I came in in 2001 which was the year of the WTC (World Trade Center) attacks, I left in 2011 when we were just recovering from the Great Recession of those years, 2008 through 2011, so my time as chair was kind of bookmarked by these national events. And between that time there were two significant economic downturns, so a lot of what I dealt with during my time as department chair were these challenges that came from outside. Loss of faculty positions, changing administration, changing climate in the nation, so sometimes it felt turbulent to me and challenging. On the other hand, I would say that we made some wonderful faculty hires, some of my greatest successes as chair was to hire some of the wonderful faculty members who are still here, who have contributed a lot to the department.

An anecdote, well, I always liked to dress like this, you know, to wear a jacket and tie, and I’d tuck my tie in like this, (through the second button of his shirt) because, I don’t know, it drags in my lunch or something. But when I first started at the department several people asked me if I had been to a military school, like a prep school where young men, young women too, are encouraged to tuck their ties in, and I said that I hadn’t it was just something that I learned to do. So, in the last spring that I was department chair, the department organized a kind of farewell for me, a kind of reception, and John Calderazzo spoke at that and said that he had gone up and down the halls, asking people if they could say something about me during the time that I was department chair and several people said very nice things about my scholarship and my leadership, but several people said, “What’s with the tie?” So he had to explain that it was just sort of Bruce’s quirk, so when John was done he asked me to come up to the podium and say a few words, so I went up to the podium and tucked my tie in, and people laughed. So that was an amusing little moment.

 

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~from Jill Salahub

Tomorrow the English department will be holding a very special celebration. Bruce Ronda is retiring this year, and as sad as we are to see him go, we are sending him off with our best wishes at this upcoming event. To honor him here on the blog, I’ve been collecting memories and well wishes from a few people who studied and worked with him over the years.

I myself had the honor of learning from Bruce as a graduate student, taking one of my very first classes with him, and have enjoyed his company and his leadership as I stayed on to work in the department. At one point, he guided and supported me through a very difficult time, an experience that had the potential to end my career at CSU. With Bruce’s help it instead allowed a space uniquely suited for me where I could thrive, matching what I was good at with what the department needed, and I am forever grateful to him for that.

I will miss Bruce’s dedication, trustworthiness, wisdom, and kindness, and wish for him only the best of things as he moves on. What follows, in no particular order, are more memories and good wishes.

Bruce Ronda talks with faculty and staff at the first walk through of the Eddy Hall remodel

From Professor Matthew Cooperman: I was the first TT [tenure track] hire, under Bruce’s tenure as Chair. I will always be deeply honored by the trust he showed in me, and have thought of him as a paragon of integrity. He’s been there for me, and for my family, during my time at CSU. And he’s a helluva banjo player.

Bruce Ronda and Leslee Becker at an awards ceremony in 2015. Leslee says of Bruce, “I’ve been in his house!”

From Associate Professor Pam Coke: The poet Arthur O’Shaughnessy wrote, “We are the music-makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.”  Dr. Bruce Ronda will always have a special place in my heart.  He is a dreamer of dreams, and he helped make my dreams come true.

It was Christmas Eve, 2001, an era where few people had cell phones.  Suffice it to say I did not have a cell phone.  Bruce called me at my parents’ house, in Dubuque, IA, on Christmas Eve, to offer me a job as an Assistant Professor of English Education.  It was the best Christmas present ever.

I have never regretted accepting Bruce’s offer.  It has been an honor to work with a man as intelligent, as principled, and as caring as Bruce.

I have been reminded of this many times over the past fifteen years.

It was September, 2003.  I had requested to meet with Bruce to discuss “a situation.”  I was not sure how he would react to my news, but when I told Bruce that Ken and I were pregnant, he smiled and told me that I had just made his week.  In that moment, I felt less afraid, less unsure.  It had been a while since any women in the department had had a baby, let alone an untenured faculty member.  I was uncertain what that would mean, but with a warm smile and a gentle hug, Bruce let me know that everything would be okay.

That is one of his many gifts.  Bruce is an active listener and a compassionate leader.  He is ethical and humane.  He is wise and wonderful.

Bruce, you have been a mentor, a colleague, and a friend to me.  Thank you for all of your advice and support over the years.  I will always remember having a cup of coffee with you when you stepped down as English department chair.  When I thanked you for hiring me, you said, “It was one of the best decisions I made as chair.”  I will treasure these words for the rest of my career, as I will treasure you, Bruce.  I wish you every happiness in the years ahead.  Enjoy retirement.

Three department chairs: Louann Reid, Bruce Ronda, and Pattie Cowell

From Assistant Professor Todd Mitchell: Thank you for all your years of service, leadership, and inquiry. You’re a true scholar, and an inspiration to many. May you continue to inspire others to be their better selves in the next chapter in your life. Best wishes.

From Associate Professor Dan Beachy-Quick: One of the things I’ve realized about Bruce, trying to write an anecdote about him, is how the man himself feels immune to anecdote. That is, something about Bruce refuses—for me at least—to fall into a short moment remembered that captures some essence of the man. Instead, when I ponder the gifts Bruce has given me, they seem in their largeness and constancy to escape the confines of the form, and so it only feels apt, at this pivot in career and life, to thank him largely for large generosities. When I was hired at CSU Bruce was chair. Coming from an art school, I realized I had no idea about how academic life actually worked. I think Bruce sensed this, and in the kindest of ways, and in the subtlest of ways, became for me a mentor—and in that mentoring, showed me the importance of long vision and patient listening, of not making a show of oneself but helping others be more seen. On lucky occasions when we could both make time, we’d coffee or a beer, and simply talk—about what each of us working on, of course, but talked in a way beyond research agendas and publishing hopes. Instead, it was (and is) a conversation in which you get a glimpse of the intellect not as a resource but as a life. That’s a mentoring, too—to see what it looks like to be involved in one’s work outside of any other motive than to do the work. It’s a vision of happiness, or so it felt to me, and feels to me still. And I owe Bruce a large debt for the vision.

Bruce at John Calderazzo and Sue Ellen Campbell’s retirement ceremony one year ago

From Graduate Programs Assistant Marnie Leonard: Bruce Ronda is an exemplary scholar, a supportive leader, and a pleasure to work with.  These descriptions are deceptively simple, yet each encapsulates a wealth of experience and insight and each engenders confidence and trust. Bruce’s contributions to the Department of English and to the College of Liberal Arts have helped make our part of CSU the best place to be.

From Professor Barb Sebek: Bruce has been a supportive colleague and good friend since I first came to CSU in 1995.  At several crucial moments in my career, he provided much needed professional insight and encouragement.  I admire his commitment to producing fine literary and cultural scholarship while also fulfilling the many duties of department chair and associate dean in the CLA.  In addition to serving together on various MA projects, faculty searches, and departmental and college committees, I’ve borrowed from his syllabus and assignments for the graduate literary research methods course and benefited from his teaching advice on countless occasions.  It’s hard to trace the influence of a colleague that has been so pervasive and so reliable.  Beyond department life, Bruce has provided many happy occasions over the years for making music together—from Purcell, Mozart, and Puccini to Gershwin, Woody Guthrie, and Hank Williams.  Bruce’s great talent on piano and strings is matched by his knack for organization to keep his fellow musicians on task—binders and folders with song lists and lyrics, and, on some occasions, exquisite martinis to ensure a warmed up and appreciative audience.  I will really miss Bruce at CSU, but look forward to more musical adventures ahead!

Bruce in front of the fully remodeled Eddy Hall

From Instructor (Senior Teaching Appointment) James Roller: Professor Ronda was inspiring to me during my graduate studies in a spectrum of ways. His depth and breadth of knowledge in American Studies, his gentle guidance and academic patience, his enthusiasm for the growth of his students, and his continuing curiosity for his subject were at once mystifying and encouraging. He impressed upon his advisees that a world of fascination awaited discovery in every text and every new anecdote that lay beneath the leaves of literature and history. My favorite memory of Bruce Ronda spoke of his unparalleled work ethic. As I was finishing my master’s thesis, I recall sending Bruce a draft of some 120 pages of written research, only to be amazed when he returned it to me the very next day with comments on nearly every page! He is a model academic who teaches by example and shows us all what is possible with a lifetime of dedicated service to the academy.

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image by Jill Salahub

image by Jill Salahub

  • Dan Beachy-Quick’s essay, “Thinking as Burial Practice,” is up at Wave Composition: http://www.wavecomposition.com/
  • A profile and interview with John Calderazzo on nature writing is forthcoming in Whole Terrain magazine. John will soon be doing nonfiction writing talks and workshops at Colorado Mesa University and the Wyoming Writers Conference in Sheridan.John has also conducted a number of science communication workshops for CSU faculty and graduate students through SoGES, the Department of Atmospheric Science, and the Office of the Vice President of Research.  This week he will do a talk on story-telling and science communication at a conference of Antarctic Researchers at Sylvan Dale Ranch.
  • Camille Dungy’s poem, “Frequently Asked Questions: #9,” is featured on the Academy of American Poets’ webpage, poets.org.
  • Bruce Ronda’s essay “’Picking the World to Pieces’: Little Women and Secularization” appears in Critical Insights: Little Women, Gregory Eiselein and Anne K. Phillips, eds. Ipswich, MA: Salem Press, 2015, 54-66.
  • Stewart Moore’s short essay, “Patience,” was just published in the fall edition of The Flyfish Journal.
  • Bill Tremblay’s narrative, “To Cynthia from the City of Love,” will be forthcoming in Ginosko Literary Journal sometime before the end of 2015.
  • Summer Whisman earned her MA in Rhet Comp in 2011 and was diagnosed with ALS in spring of 2012.  She has written an unpublished memoir about living with ALS called Pillowflipping my Way Through ALS and Oregon Public Broadcasting recently did an hour-long interview with her about her manuscript and experiences with the disease.  The audio of the interview and a short video are available at OPB’s website:  http://www.opb.org/news/series/at-home/at-home-with-als/

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ribboncutting

(left to right): Sandra Eddy (Willard O. Eddy’s daughter), Ann Gill (CLA Dean), John Didier (interim Chair of Philosophy), Irene Vernon (Chair of Ethnic Studies), Bruce Ronda (CLA Associate Dean), Tony Frank (President of Colorado State University and Chancellor of the CSU System), Christina Sutton (Senior Teaching appointment faculty member in the English Department), and Louann Reid (Chair of English)

Associate Dean for Faculty & Graduate Studies and former English Department Chair, and CLA Project Manager Bruce Ronda gave the opening remarks at the Eddy Hall Grand Reopening event that took place on August 19, 2015. What the video missed was the very beginning of his speech, which started with this:

Good afternoon and welcome to the official re-opening of Eddy Hall. I’m Bruce Ronda, Associate Dean in the College of Liberal Arts.

We are calling our event “Eddy Hall: Home Again.” By that we mean several things: home again for the faculty, staff, and students who were displaced from the building from May 2014 to May 2015; home again for the hundreds of former faculty and staff, some of whom have joined us here, who spent many years of their professional lives working in this building; home again to the building itself, kept together by patchwork and hard work since 1963, scarred by flood in 1997, then surrounded by fences, torn down, dug up, hammered on, and now emergent as an old and honored building made new, ready for the present and the future.

After his opening remarks, Dr. Ronda introduced the next speaker: “I’m delighted to introduce Christina Sutton, Senior Teaching appointment faculty member in the English Department. Christina was a graduate student here in the late 1980s, and returned to the department to teach in 1992, where she has been ever since, teaching courses in humanities, western American literature, and mostly in composition. Christina brings a unique perspective to life in Eddy Hall.”

Next up was College of Liberal Arts Dean Ann Gill.

And next, President of Colorado State University and Chancellor of the CSU System, Tony Frank.

And finally, the ribbon cutting.

The grand re-opening of Eddy Hall was a wonderful event, with opening remarks before the ribbon cutting given by Bruce Ronda, Christina Sutton, Ann Gill, and Tony Frank. There was even a band! A special thanks to Stephanie G’Schwind (Director, Center for Literary Publishing) and the new English department camera for the great pictures, which you can see on our Facebook page.

A note on video quality: Communications Coordinator Jill Salahub apologizes for her unsteady hand and the windy day.

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Image credit: Colorado State University's Facebook page

Image credit: Colorado State University’s Facebook page

  • Next week, John Calderazzo will present two science communication workshops.  He’ll work on basic communication skills with 20 or so CSU researchers in energy, vet-med, and ecology who will soon present their work at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to members of Congress, the press, and potential funders.  He’ll also run a science storytelling workshop at CSU Pingree Park campus for the Center for Collaborative Conservation.
  • In June, John Calderazzo will present a talk at ASLE: Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, on his various communication outreach efforts with scientists and their organizations.
  • SueEllen Campbell will be running a half-day, pre-conference workshop on teaching climate change in English and humanities courses at the biannual meeting of ASLE, the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, at the University of Idaho, in June. Then she will focus on catching up on her backlog of sources to consider adding to the Changing Climates website!   The URL is http://changingclimates.colostate.edu.
  • Matthew Cooperman and Aby Kaupang just returned from readings in L.A., including Cal State San Bernardino, where they addressed the MFA students in a thesis workshop. A long portion of Matthew and Aby’s collaborative hybrid project NOS, is just out in the latest issue of Verse.
  • Antero Garcia has been selected to be a 2015 National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow. This fellowship will support his ongoing ethnographic research into learning, literacies, and tabletop gameplay.
  • Along with Lee Nickoson, Kris Blair, and Mary P. Sheridan, Tobi Jacobi edited a special issue of Feminist Teacher on feminist community work (available in June 2015).  She and Mary P. Sheridan co-authored a piece entitled, “Critical Feminist Practice and Campus-Community Partnerships: A Review Essay.”
  • Bruce Ronda’s essay, “’Tender Spirits Set in Ferment’: Transcendentalism and the Aesthetics of Conversation” appears in “Whither Transcendentalism?,” a special issue of Revue Française D’Études Américaines/French Review of American Studies, third trimester, 2014.
  • Barbara Sebek’s paper, “Confounding Local and Global in Frank McGuinness’s Mutabilitie (1997)” was accepted for the conference, “Appropriation in an Age of Global Shakespeare,” which will take place at the University of Georgia in November.
  • Mandi Casolo’s short story “Goat’s Mouth” is a finalist for the national literary journal Arts & Letters Fiction Prize.
  • Anton Gerth was accepted to complete his student teaching abroad at the International School of Düsseldorf in Düsseldorf, Germany for Fall 2015 semester.  This is offered through a partnership with CSU’s STEPP program and the University of Northern Iowa.
  • Natalya Stanko, M.A. student in Creative Nonfiction, had her most recent feature story for Sierra Magazine appear in the May issue.  “Enough Is Enough” profiles a small Louisiana town fighting back against a proposal to build a coal terminal inside its city limits.
  • The Washington Post recently ran a fascinating feature article on Tracy Ekstrand, who took many nonfiction writing courses in the department and who also worked on The Colorado Review and helped start the Slow Sanders writing group in town.  You can read that here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/03/27/how-one-woman-climbed-her-way-out-of-scientologys-elite-sea-org/?tid=hybrid_experimentrandom_3_na
  • MFA graduate Matt Goering’s satirical literary journalism story, “The Truth of What’s Really Happening Here,” about UFO “researchers” in Colorado’s San Luis Valley, has been accepted by The Normal School.

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Alumnus Justin Hocking accepting his award

Alumnus Justin Hocking accepting his award

  • Alumnus Justin Hocking’s memoir The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld won the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. The book is also: a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, listed as one of Ten Brilliant Books That Will Grab You from Page One in Kirkus Reviews and The Huffington Post, selected by Hector Tobar as his Favorite Book of 2014 in Publisher’s Weekly and Salon.com, A Library Journal Best Books of 2014 Selection, a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014 Selection, a Hudson’s Books 2014 Booksellers Favorite, a Book Club pick for April 2014 on The Nervous Breakdown, and a #3 Denver Post Bestseller.
  • Moriah Kent, a graduate student in the TEFL/TESL program, was awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship grant. She will spend 10 months teaching English at a Bulgarian secondary school. She chose to apply to Bulgaria because she wanted to gain experience in the European educational system and has long admired art and culture of the Balkan region.
  • Tim Amidon was elected to the Committee on the Responsibilities and Standing of Academic Faculty (CoRSAF).
  • A free pdf chapbook of Dan Beachy-Quick’s early sections of “A Quiet Book” is available at Essay Press: http://www.essaypress.org/ep-23/
  • Leslee Becker has received a writing residency/fellowship at Brush Creek Foundation in Wyoming.
  • Pam Coke’s article  “Making Meaning of Experience: Navigating the Transformation from Graduate Student to Tenure-Track Professor,” co-authored with her graduate school colleagues Sheila Benson and Monie Hayes, appears in the April 2015 issue of The Journal of Transformative Education.  You can access the article here: http://jtd.sagepub.com/content/current.
  • The members of NCTE@CSU held officer elections at their meeting on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Congratulations to our new slate of student officers: Jenna Franklin (President); Emily Rice (Vice President); Paul Binkley (Secretary); Ian McCreary (Treasurer); and Morgan Bennett (Marketing Coordinator). Thank you to our outgoing officers: Anton Gerth (President); Belle Kraxberger (Vice President); Alex Andrews (Secretary); Jenna Franklin (Treasurer); and Emily Rice (Marketing Coordinator). Faculty sponsor Pam Coke is thankful for you and proud of you.
  • Sue Doe presented preliminary results of the TILT-funded course redesign study, “Engaged Learning Through Writing: A Faculty Development Project” alongside Mary Pilgrim (Math) and Hilary Spriggs (Math) on Saturday April 18 at the Rocky Mountain Regional Conference of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), at Colorado College. Preliminary results from their study suggest outcomes similar to those found in a similar study undertaken with the Department of Psychology — that student learning is improved at a statistically significant level by low-stakes engagement writing in the disciplinary classroom. The interdisciplinary study group, which also includes Kate Kiefer, will also present their project to the CSU Math Department on April 27.
  • Camille Dungy spoke at the CLA’s Great Conversations on April 23. Topic: How the environment is changing how we write and why.
  • Bruce Ronda’s chapter “Imagination and Apocalypse: Christopher Cranch’s Novels for Young Readers” appears in Romantic Education in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. National and Transatlantic Contexts (New York: Routledge, 2015).  Also: he has signed a pre-publication contract with University of Georgia Press for The Fate of Transcendentalism.
  • Cory Holland just published a paper in American Speech: Bayley, Robert, and Cory Holland. “Variation in Chicano English: the case of final (z) devoicing.” American Speech 89, no. 4 (2014): 385-407. http://americanspeech.dukejournals.org/content/89/4/385.full.pdf+html And a book review in the LinguistList on “Sounds Interesting” by J.C. Wells. https://linguistlist.org/pubs/reviews/get-review.cfm?SubID=35993937
  •  As part of a short but nice review of Dan Robinson’s forthcoming novel, Death of a Century (out June 5), Publishers Weekly wrote, “Set in 1922, Robinson’s atmospheric tale of betrayal and revenge paints a passionate picture of the Lost Generation, those who came of age during WWI.”
  • Kristin George Bagdanov’s poem “Moon Body” was accepted for publication by Berkeley Poetry Review.  She has also accepted an offer to attend UC Davis’s PhD in Literature program, where she will be a Provost’s Fellow in the fall.
  • Mandi Casolo has accepted an offer of admission to the University of Houston’s English Literature and Creative Writing PhD program with a teaching fellowship, and was awarded the Inprint Donald Barthelme Prize in Fiction.

Now Taking Applications: English Department Communications Internship

Number of positions: 2
Internship term: Fall 2015 Semester, 15 weeks, August 24th – December 11th, 2015
Total credits: 2
Hours: 80 hours (40 per credit hour), approximately 5 per week
Stipend: $500
Application Deadline: Friday, May 8th by 12:00 p.m.

The English Department is looking for two engaged, self-motivated, responsible, creative, and enthusiastic CSU students, undergraduate or graduate, with good communication and writing skills to help tell the story of the English Department. The interns in this position will help facilitate communication and community with students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the English Department.

Interns will spend most of their time researching, interviewing, attending events, writing, and developing content — both for print and online. A major responsibility of this internship will be creating content for the department’s blog. Interns will work directly with the English department’s Communications Coordinator to meet departmental communication needs and complete various content development projects as assigned, including but not limited to creating profiles of people (alumni, faculty & staff, students), programs and projects; conducting interviews; providing event coverage (which would include attendance and photos, along with other modes of recording where relevant); and reporting departmental news and upcoming events.

For these internship positions, some prior reporting or blogging experience and/or education is preferred, as well as an understanding of principles for writing for the web and strong communication skills, both in person and in text. We also prefer applicants who are familiar with the English Department, its programs, people, and events – and who are willing to learn more. Content will be developed in various modes, and therefore skill with technologies such as sound recording and photography, as well as image and sound editing experience is preferred. We are also looking for interns with good people skills, the ability to participate in effective verbal and written exchanges, understanding that as they attend events and conduct interviews and such, they are acting as a “goodwill ambassador” for the department.

Applicants should email or hand deliver to the English Department main office the following: a cover letter, résumé, contact information for three references (phone and email), and three writing samples (plus multimedia samples, if applicable) by the application deadline to:

English Department
c/o Jill Salahub: Communications Coordinator
Jill.Salahub@colostate.edu
A105 Behavioral Sciences Bldg.
1773 Campus Delivery
Ft. Collins, CO 80523-1773

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invitation

On Wednesday, April 8, faculty members from the entire college were recognized for teaching, research, and service and 3 MFA students were featured readers throughout the program.

Abby Kerstetter and Matt Truslow read their poetry and Nate Barron read from a micro-essay. Associate Dean of CLA and emcee Bruce Ronda arranged the program such that the individual works were effectively showcased and the readings marked logical breaks in the series of awards. Their work was well received by the audience and they made us proud.

Nate Barron reading

Nate Barron reading

English department faculty also made us proud as they received several recognitions and awards. The retirement of Doug Flahive was noted, as were the service milestones of Cindy O’Donnell-Allen (15 years), Sue Russell (20), and others. Zach Hutchins, Tobi Jacobi, and E.J. Levy received Faculty Development Awards, which provide a summer stipend for research and creative artistry. Pam Coke received the CLA Excellence in Teaching Award for Associate Professors, and Louann Reid received the Distinction in Advancement Award. In recognition of a career of distinguished teaching, creative artistry, and service to the university, Leslee Becker was named a John N. Stern Distinguished Professor. This award is a career milestone.

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E.J. Levy (Faculty Development Award) and Louann Reid (Distinction in Advancement Award)

Tobi Jacobi (Faculty Development Award)

Tobi Jacobi (Faculty Development Award)

Pam Coke (CLA Excellence in Teaching Award for Associate Professors)

Pam Coke (CLA Excellence in Teaching Award for Associate Professors)

Dean Gill and Leslee Becker (John L. Stern Distinguished Professor)

Dean Gill and Leslee Becker (John N. Stern Distinguished Professor)

Tobi Jacobi and Pam Coke

Tobi Jacobi and Pam Coke

Leslee Becker and Louann Reid

Leslee Becker and Louann Reid

Bruce Ronda and Leslee Becker

Bruce Ronda and Leslee Becker

We thank all faculty who were willing to be nominated and prepared materials, and we thank Zach Hutchins, Sarah Sloane, and Bruce Shields for their letters and support where such nominations were required. A special thanks also to Sarah Sloane and Deanna Ludwin for the great pictures of the event.

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