March 2009 Archives

Congratulations to Mona Fattah

English department staff member Mona Fattah has been accepted into the Occupational Therapy Masters Program within the Center for Allied Health Programs (CAHP). She was able to complete the prerequisite coursework through the Regents Scholarship Program.

March's Engage English Scholar of the Month is...

Warda G.!!! Warda is a junior double-majoring in English and African American and African Studies. She has been involved in community work through Jane Addams School for Democracy and Bryant Coyle Center. Warda has also been and active participant in the Al-Madina Cultural Center. Thank you Warda for your commitment to excellence and we hope that you continue your studies and community engagement!

Here is what she has to say about getting involved:

• Why is it important to you to get involved?

It is a great way to discover myself. Getting involved in the Twin Cities area has helped me see the diversity of this community and how I can both learn from it and contribute to it.

• How has getting involved changed your education?

Getting involved has broadened my frame of reference. Being a participant at Jane Addams School has changed what I thought of learning and teaching. The cross-cultural discussions and the diverse participant I have met there have influenced my decision to major in English literature and African Studies. I am also planning to study abroad in Kenya Fall 2009 and hopefully that experience will be useful in shaping my senior thesis as well as relating what I have learned here in the US to that part of the world where I come from.

• Has getting involved changed your career path?

Yes. When I transferred to the University of MN I was registered as Political Science major, during orientation I was with a group of CLA-English majors and I spent my first year taking Biology, Society and Environment major requirements and I did not know exactly what I would do with any of this! Working with Jane Addams School for Democracy and Brian Coyle Center has helped me understand my potential and set attainable goals. I still have not decided on exactly what I want to be, but being involved has helped me see what that could look like. I am hoping my experience in Kenya next fall will continue to influence my interests and lead to fulfilling career.

• What suggestions do you have for other students that are interested in getting involved?

Community Engagement Scholars Program (CESP) is a great program that helps you make the most out of volunteering. Talk to your professors or professors from your major, it’s a great way to find out major related areas that you can get involved in.

Thank you again Warda! Do you think you have what it takes to be next Month's Engaged English Scholar of the Month? Talk to one of your English professors and ask them to nominate you for this recognition. Also, you can contact Josh Capodarco (capod001@umn.edu) if you feel that you should be nominated but you can't find a professor. We look forward to hearing from all of you doing great community work.

Best American Essays and Short Stories

Regents Professor Patricia Hampl's "The Dark Art of Description" has been selected for the anthology Best American Essays 2009. The essay was formerly published in the spring 2008 Iowa Review. . . . A story by third-year MFA candidate Ethan Rutherford was chosen for Best American Short Stories 2009. "The Peripatetic Coffin" first appeared in the spring 2008 American Short Fiction, which is currently featuring the story online.

Book Exchange

FUSE is sponsoring a Book Exchange in Lind Hall 227. What, you may ask, is a book exchange? Simply put: Take a book, leave a book. Got any books you don't want anymore? Don't throw it away, put it in the book exchange box in Lind Hall 227 and check out the shelf in Lind Hall 226 for books that you might want in exchange (it's so literal!).

Now that Spring break is over...

Now that Spring Break is over and you've had the chance to reflect on your semester (right?) why not look into some interesting things happening in the English Department this semester?

As always, the Fellowship of Undergraduate Students of English meets every Tuesday from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. in Coffman Union. Plus, on March 31st FUSE will be powering a special MOVIE NIGHT. FUSE will be showing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (a film adaptation of Ken Kesey's famous novel) in Coffman 305. This showing is open to all students. Come for some snacks, some drinks and some Jack Nicholson! You can find more information by visiting FUSE's website.

Also, if you haven't already you might want to look into attending one of the Chair Search talks. This is your chance to get your voice heard about what the Department will look like in following years. Please contact Rebecca Aylesworth for more information regarding this opportunity.

As always, one of the best ways to get involved and meet staff and faculty is by attending events within the Department. One event that might interested potential writers is the event Celebrating New Books by English Faculty. This is your chance to meet with professors such as Maria Damon, Ray Gonzalez, Timothy Brennan and more! You can find more information by clicking on the following link here

Prospectives Visit

The Department of English welcomes prospective graduate students March 26-28. Events scheduled include a faculty roundtable, library visit, tour of the Twin Cities, and meeting with graduate students. We look forward to meeting you!

Josephine Lee Wins Teaching Award

photo of Josephine LeeProfessor Josephine Lee has received an Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education Award, one of eight recipients across the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. The award ceremony will take place April 27 at the McNamara Alumni Center. Professor Lee previously won the Horace T. Morse-Minnesota Alumni Award for Outstanding Contribution to Undergraduate Education in 2002-03.

MFAs Win SASE Awards

MFA alums and an MFA candidate won three of seven 2009 SASE/Jerome Awards, sponsored by the Jerome Foundation, which grant up to $3,000 to emerging Minnesota writers. The winners: poet Michelle Matthees (MFA 2001), novelist Scott Muskin (MFA 1998), and current fiction third year Ethan Rutherford.

Cross-Cultural Conversation

On Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009 the Undergraduate Studies office hosted Cross-Cultural Ties: Students bringing the world together. This was a panel discussion geared at international and intercultural engagement. Students that attended had a chance to hear from Professors with experience abroad, Undergraduate students with experience abroad and International Students that are now studying in the U.S.

Panel members spoke about how their experience has changed their life and perspective! For example, on panel member said "the greatest thing about study abroad is that it does give you a new perspective on the world...it gives you a critical perspective. When you come back from abroad you can become a better citizen." This was just one of many amazing insights and suggestions that panelists expressed.

Many panelists suggested that international experience was essential for understanding your own role in our global system!

Do you want to know how you can get involved? You can always visit the Learning Abroad Center for more information about traveling abroad. Also, you can experience many cultures right here in the Twin Cities. Through service experience you can work with diverse communities without leaving the state. For service learning opportunities and volunteering you can visit the Career and Community Learning Center.

Thank you to all of our panelists for their knowledge and insight. We hope to hear from other English majors with their experience abroad and in Minneapolis.

If you would like to share your story about your international experience, or your experience here at the U please send an e-mail to Josh C. (capod001@umn.edu). Also, if you would like more information regarding the event please send an e-mail to Josh C.

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