Faculty Notes for February and March 2017: Publications, Quotes and More

Published in February: School Librarianship: Past, Present, and Future (Rowman and Littlefield), a collection of essays edited by iSchool Instructor Sue Alman in honor of former iSchool Director Blanche Woolls. Each of the contributing scholars was directly influenced by Woolls, considered by her colleagues to be the “Grand Dame of School Librarianship.” “I first met Dr. Woolls when I was a doctoral student, and she has been instrumental in providing networking, research, publishing and teaching opportunities throughout my career. She has supported countless others in the same way,” Alman said.

On February 28, Professor Ruma Chopra, Department of History, will lecture on “Maroons in the Age of Slavery” in observance of Black History Month at the David Library of the American Revolution in Upper Makefield, Pa. Chopra’s talk will center on societies of fugitive slaves living in wilderness areas in North and South America.

Professor Emerita Estella Habal, Asian American Studies Program, and former organizer for the International Hotel Tenants Association, participated in a panel discussion about the Asian American Movement at last month’s Listen to the Silence conference, an annual conference held at Stanford and organized by the Asian American Students Association.

Professor Robin Lasser, Department of Art and Art History, was a featured artist in STEAM 2017, a University of West Florida program offering art exhibitions and artist-led workshops for K-12 students to promote conversations about environmental stewardship. Lasser’s photographs, video, and site-specific installations focus on social justice and environmental issues. She is the recipient of a 2019 Eureka Fellowship from the Fleishhacker Foundation in support of Bay Area visual artists.

MFA Creative Writing Director Alan Soldofsky, interviewed last month by Puerto del Sol about his work and writing practice, is a contributor to Only Light Can Do That: 100 Post-Election Poems, Stories & Essays, an anthology published by PEN Center USA after the November 2016 election. “It’s very important in the present moment to be proactive as artists, to use our words, images, music, etc. to wake up the nation to what it’s done to itself,” Soldofsky said. “I’m writing my poems now as much for a public audience as I am for myself.” Read more online.

In January, Department of Environmental Studies Chair Lynne Trulio, a member of the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory Board of Directors, gave a talk on “The State of Burrowing Owls in Our Region” at the Sobrato Conference Center in Milpitas. The ecology and recovery of the western burrowing owl in California is one of Trulio’s research specialties.

Department of Anthropology Assistant Professor A.J. Faas, cycling enthusiast and member of San Jose Bike Party, was one of 150+ bike riders who took part in the first-ever Community Mural Bike Ride in San Jose this month. Faas is putting together a newsletter for an anthropology conference to be held in April that will highlight San Jose’s murals, including Mural de la Raza, painted in the 1980s, one of the oldest surviving wall art pieces in the city.

iSchool Lecturer Meredith Farkas, also faculty librarian at Portland (Ore.) Community College, wrote an op-ed for American Libraries Magazine urging librarians, regardless of the “direction the political winds blow,” to maintain their professional values in regard to access and serving the needs of the most “vulnerable community members.” Read more online.

On February 25, Professor Jennifer Rycenga, Department of Humanities and coordinator of the Comparative Religious Studies Program, lectured at the First Congregational Church in Norwich, Conn., on the legacy of Prudence Crandall, a Quaker and white abolitionist educator. Crandall’s first black student, Sarah Harris, was a member of the First Congregational Church 175 years ago. Rycenga is currently working on a cultural biography of Crandall, who opened one of the first schools for African American girls in Canterbury, Conn., in the 1830s.



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