It’s a Dean’s Life Vol. 5

It’s A Dean’s Life Vol. 5

February 2015

There is something very special about the start of a new year, but for educators the turning of the year also brings the joy of another semester. The year 2015 has started with a bang as SJSU welcomes 30,000 students back to school!

In the past three years, the College of Humanities and the Arts has taken great strides to unify and strengthen the arts and letters programs, encouraging development and bringing to light the many achievements of the faculty and students. This New Year perhaps marks the biggest step in that goal: the opening of the H&A Student Success Center. Located in Clark Hall room 244, the Success Center is a one-stop shop for students within our college who seek General Education advising. Dean Lisa Vollendorf explained, “Faculty, staff, and students all expressed that we need to find better mechanisms to support students as they progress to degree.” Read more here.

This spring brings the promise of a tremendous theatrical lineup in the Department of TV, Radio, Film, and Theatre. As we highlight throughout this edition of the newsletter, we honor Luis Valdez with a production of Zoot Suit this spring. We also are proud to be producing the socially important Dead Man Walking. A full schedule of events can be found on the department’s website.

Would you like to join me at Carnegie Hall this spring? The SJSU Choraliers and Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Jeffrey Benson will make their Carnegie Hall debut on April 27, 2015. The Choraliers will sing a short program of American music featuring Professor Layna Chianakas, mezzo soprano. The Concert Choir will then perform Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem with a professional orchestra and soloists from New York under Dr. Benson’s direction. You can learn more and support the students’ trip by visiting this link.

We are in full recruitment season on campus! Across SJSU we are recruiting sixty-four new faculty members, eight of whom will be in the College of Humanities and the Arts. These eight new professors will teach in areas as diverse as writing instruction, sculpture, dance, orchestra conducting, philosophy, Chinese, and American Studies. Stay tuned for more information about the new faculty as the year unfolds.

Many major events are scheduled for the next six months. I look forward to the numerous readings scheduled by our Center for Literary Arts. I also look forward to the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies exhibit on Beethoven in Politics (which opens in February), the Mari Kodama benefit concert March 15, and the Center’s thirtieth anniversary gala on July 24. For more information about the numerous Beethoven events, also visit this link. The School of Music and Dance has an embarrassment of riches scheduled in the form of concerts and performances this spring, and the Departments of Art and Art History and Design will be showcasing student, faculty, and professional artists’ work all semester. I also look forward to the Kazuki Fukuda-Abe Endowed Lecture on Japanese Contemporary Art at 5 p.m. in the Student Union on March 6, 2015. There are many more events to attend, so I invite you to bookmark and frequently visit our College calendar so you don’t miss anything!

Spring always brings a sense of joy and optimism, so I close with the warmest wishes to all of you for being part of College of Humanities and the Arts network of supporters, students, staff, faculty, alumni, and donors. We will continue to educate globally-informed, creative, compassionate citizens this semester, and I will be first in line to express my admiration and thanks to everyone whose work and support makes that education possible.

With warm regards,

dean signature



Lisa Vollendorf
Dean, College of Humanities and the Arts