It’s a Dean’s Life Vol. 14

It’s a Dean’s Life
April 2017

Dean Lisa VollendorfSpring is here and never a more beautiful spring was seen in the newly rained upon state of California!

We have had tremendous programming on campus and at the Hammer Theatre since the semester began. From our amazing jazz and symphonic orchestra concerts to our recent successful run of the Broadway play Seminar, our students have been putting their talents on display and making us proud.

It was thrilling to welcome Cinequest back for a second year in a row. In partnership with the College of Humanities and the Arts, Cinequest brought films, talkbacks, and amazing programming to the Hammer in March. They expanded programming to Redwood City this year, and we are proud to be instrumental partners who help ensure the festival remains anchored in downtown San José.

Our Center for Literary Arts organized an impressive Travel Writing Conference in March. Featuring such luminaries as New Yorker writer Susan Orlean, Royal Geographic Society member Michael Katakis, and our very own Cathleen Miller, the conference drew interest from travelers, writers, and adventurers alike.

April will be a busy month for us as we start to prepare for graduation, welcome prospective students to campus on Admitted Spartan Day, and celebrate our first ever Paseo Public Prototyping Festival. The festival, to be held on April 7-8 at the Hammer, features the culmination of a year-long effort to support students’ creative use of technology for social good. Come check out this two-day arts, innovation, and technology free festival and see what the students developed to answer the question: “What will you create to make San José a better place to live, work, and play?” Mayor Sam Liccardo will be present for the awards ceremony on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. Don’t miss it!

The end of the academic year always brings excitement for all. On April 5, the Catalyst Quartet returns to the Hammer for an energetic concert sure to energize even the weary among us! The Claudia Hart digital trompe l’oeil exhibit in the Natalie and James Thompson gallery in the Art Building promises to please the senses and possibly even trick the mind. In May, I am looking forward to an events-packed month, as I already have plans to see The Crucible, National Theatre Live’s Twelfth Night, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

In addition to hundreds of events, performances, exhibits, lectures, and concerts going on in Humanities and the Arts, we continue to serve our students with integrity and compassion every day in our classes. In the past two years, we have restructured writing instruction to allow students choice in the classes they believe will help them develop as college writers. We have built a Success Center with six wonderful advisors who help support students to be successful in all aspects of their college careers. We have brought the Writing Center into the College and built out a robust program using writing fellows, peer tutors, and supplemental instruction to support to students at all levels of their education across the entire university.

We have much to be proud of in the College of Humanities and the Arts. And I have much to be proud of as Dean of a college committed to teaching students to be compassionate, informed, creative global citizens.

Thank you to everyone who supports the College of Humanities and the Arts. Through your work, your financial support, and your overarching support for public education and the arts, you make it possible for us serve our students and our community with integrity and pride.

With gratitude,

Lisa Vollendorf Signature

Lisa Vollendorf, Dean