Giving Back

Your Support Opens Doors for CSCL students

Jill Kane

Jill Kane kanejm@umn.edu 612-626-5064

Amid the flurry of writing papers and completing projects that accompanies the end of semester, two generous undergraduate students took a break from studying last December to talk with me about their time in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature. Both seniors preparing to graduate this spring, John Hotaling and Jenna Lyons described finding their home in the department.

John, a Minnesota native and cultural studies major, told me he knew the major was a fit for him after the first session of Professor Robin Brown’s Introduction to Cultural Studies. “I couldn’t stop thinking about the topics we discussed," he says. “The courses taught me how to engage in the world."

Jenna, also a Minnesota native, selected the U of M because she wanted to attend an urban university, but what she found most compelling about her experience here was the depth and scope of the comparative literature major. Like Mary Finn Shapiro, who shares her story on page 12, Jenna was especially inspired by a course with Professor Richard Leppert. “Music as Discourse cinched it for me," she says, her face lighting up. “Professor Leppert featured one of my test answers on a list of exemplary answers. I was thrilled! I knew I had found a place to study what I love."

Connecting Students, Scholarships, and You

I’m sure Jenna and John’s experiences resonate with you, undergraduate and graduate alumni alike. As the name of this magazine suggests, CSCL is truly a department of intersections. Students learn to appreciate the full complexity of the world around them by examining many rich intersections of knowledge and understanding. And like John and Jenna, students graduate poised to become tomorrow’s leaders and scholars.

How might you intersect with the department? One option is to help sustain and grow the excellence of CSCL by investing in graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships. Fellowships and scholarships allow the University to attract the best and brightest students, like Jenna, who told me that receiving a scholarship was a welcome vote of confidence in her ability to succeed at the U.

If you would like to talk about giving opportunities, please be in touch. You may give to an existing fund (see the enclosed envelope) or establish a new fund to benefit CSCL students. Your gift may qualify for a match through the University’s Promise of Tomorrow Scholarship Program or the 21st Century Graduate Fellowship Endowment, doubling the impact of your investment.

What’s next for John and Jenna as they join you as alumni? John would like to teach in an underserved area of the country and is considering the AmeriCorps program. Jenna is setting aside time to prepare for law school. Both wanted me to tell you how eager they are to call themselves CSCL alumni and to start giving back to the department that gave so much to them.

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This page contains a single entry by cla published on July 23, 2008 4:30 PM.

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