Two long-time friends of the English Department are about to retire. Jo Ann Fernald (the Director of the Office of Disability Services) and Pamela King (the Director of Sponsored Research for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) are both retiring at the end of this academic year. Like many of you, I have had extensive contact with both of these colleagues, and I have long been impressed with their professionalism and dedication. Over the years, Jo Ann has helped me better serve my students who have various disabilities, and I know that she and her staff have helped countless students succeed in their studies at UNC Charlotte. My connections with Pam King go back to the day she interviewed for her current position. I was working in the Dean’s office at the time, and I remember thinking that she would be a perfect person for the position. In her ten years at UNC Charlotte, Pam has not only provided leadership and expertise in the area of sponsored research, but she has also played a major role in cultivating the College’s support for research. I’ve long been impressed with her willingness to help all faculty members with their grant proposals even if their grants were for comparatively small amounts of money. Both Jo Ann and Pam are looking forward to their new adventures, and I know that we all wish them well, but they should also know that they will be missed.
Graduate Program News — Pilar Blitvich and I recently talked about encouraging developments in our graduate program, and we thought we should share some of this news the department. In addition to our regular seven TAships, tied to the WRC/FYWP, this year we were able to secure two exceptional student awards, which waive the student’s first-year tuition costs, and two New Time Limited Assistantship funds ($10,000 each). Furthermore, our three prospect courses (taught by Jen, Kirk, and Ralf) also generated Taships. Moreover, we were able to offer a Dean’s Graduate Scholar Award to an incoming English Education student. We are also very pleased to report that Robin Kello was awarded the Russell Robinson Scholarship.
Kudos— As you know, I like to use my Monday Missives to share news about recent accomplishments by members of our department. Here is the latest news:
Pilar Blitvich recently published a co-authored article titled “Despierten, Latinos” (Wake up, Latinos): Latino Identity, US politics, and YouTube” in Journal of Language and Politics. She has also had a number of other articles and book chapters recently accepted for publication.
Kaitlyn Chapman, an undergraduate student in Jen Munroe’s interdisciplinary honors course on food systems and sustainability, won first place for the Honors College for her poster at the recent Undergraduate Research Conference.
Nicholas DeArmas, one of our graduate students, has been accepted into the Ph.D. program in rhetoric and composition at the University of Central Florida with full funding.
Alan Rauch recently learned that Scientific Americans : The Making of Popular Science and Evolution in Early-twentieth-century U.S. Literature and Culture by John Bruni was just published in the series that Alan edits (with Martin Willis) for University of Wales Press (distributed in the US by University of Chicago Press) called Intersections in Literature and Science. It is the first book in the series. Also, Alan was the sole guest on Charlotte Talks on April 25th (http://wfae.org/post/alan-rauch). He discussed his book Dolphin.
Upcoming Events and Deadlines— Here are some dates to keep in mind:
May 10 — The CLAS Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 10th beginning at 10:00 a.m. Please forward the letter to all EPA and SPA staff members in your departments.April 30 — The English Department meeting will take place in the Library (Atkins Room 130) from 11:00-12:30.
May 12 — Final grades for the Spring 2014 semester must be submitted by Monday, May 12th at noon.
Quirky Quiz Question — Alan’s news about being a recent guest on the radio show titled Charlotte Talks underscores for me the importance of this show in terms of Charlotte’s cultural scene. Who is the host of this show? For extra credit, who are some other English faculty members who have recently been guests on Charlotte Talks?