Happy Friday! And happy homecoming weekend. What a perfect day today, at least, for homecoming. Clearly fall and chilly when I left the house this morning just after 7 a.m. to ride to campus. But the sun is out, the leaves are beautiful, and the campus and the town look great.
Every week—I mean every week—I have wonderful stories to tell, amazing anecdotes to share.
You might want to check out Scott’s most recent publication. “(Arm) Wrestling with Masculinity: Television, Toughness, and the Touch of Another Man’s Hand,” now appears in the journal Men and Masculinities.
But around here, scholarship is not only the province of our faculty. Many of your undergraduate students are producing great work as well. Why don’t you invite them to submit their work the WSCA Undergraduate Student Research Conference? Here is a bit of an email I received this week Donna Gotch who is planning this year’s USRC.

Submission Guidelines
All authors of the submitted papers must be undergraduate students at the time of the submission cannot be graduate students at the time of presentation. Students should not submit more than one paper for which they serve as the primary author. Coauthored papers are welcome. Submit: 1) a detachable title page (i.e., saved as a separate WORD document) with the paper title and contact information of all authors; and 2) the paper, including an abstract and references. Papers should be no more than 25 pages in length. All submissions should be Microsoft WORD documents.

Students must submit the title page and separate paper by December 1, 2017. Please email your document to Donna Gotch atdgotch@csusb.edu. All authors will be notified of paper acceptances by January 9, 2018.

Conference Registration
For those students whose papers are accepted, WSCA will provide complimentary registration to the rest of the WSCA Convention. The registration fee for the USRC is $15 for those presenting papers.

The department can help students who are accepted travel to CA for their presentation.
It is, in fact, homecoming weekend here at CSU. For some of you that means avoiding Old Town tonight because the parade will throw driving into disarray. For others it means going to the football game tomorrow night.
For me it means spending time this afternoon with Carl, Eric, and Kari, for the Festival on the Oval and catching up with alumni who may stop by our table to visit. We’ll be there from 3:305:30 as the parade makes its way onto campus. Any of our community is welcome to join us. Just head to the northwest corner of the Oval and look for the big white tent.
I was privileged last night to go to the Alumni Awards Dinner where the College of Liberal Arts cleaned up! Two out of the three university-wide alumni awards went to CLA graduates. We celebrated the career of Polly Baca the first Latinx state legislator in Colorado and a PoliSci B.A.
And we celebrated the many, many accomplishments of our own Ann Gill, who received the Jim and Nadine Henry Award. Did you see the departmental Facebook TBT of Ann Gill that included great pictures of Carl and Denny and also folks some of you know from the field including Stephen Browne, Robert Iltis, and Debera Peterson? In case you missed that, here are the pics!
Complain all you want about my continuing to spread these pictures of you, but you know you would do the same if you had pictures like this of me!
I was moved to tears—really I was—by the video celebrating Ann’s career and in particular by the wonderful footage of Eric talking about Ann’s powerful mentorship of him and of so many students. Ann, thank you for everything you have done and continue to do for the department, the college, the university, and the community!
We also celebrated Jim Vidakovich who received the CLA Alumni of the Year Award. Jim graduate with a B.A. and an M.A. and has gone on to do dozens of things not the least of which was work for 11 years with the Sesame Street people. Here is an article about Jim and his award.
Maybe you are like me and you sometimes feel a bit overwhelmed by the day’s tasks. I get sucked into the present and the immediate future. It goes something like this: how the ____ am I going to get all that is on my plate eaten?
But events like last night remind me to look up. I am reminded that the work we do really matters. Jim is the son of a coal miner, a first generation student whose parents were determined that he would not spend his life digging coal out of the earth.
Ann, as Tony Frank said last night, is a light and a spark, and the sparks of her life have lit the way for many others.
This is why we do this work. Our energy, our passion, our commitments are fed by faculty and friends and colleagues even as ours feeds others.
If you can, my friends, take a moment to remember those who have fostered your careers and supported your dreams. And remember as well that in the interstices of your everyday lives, the bit of light you are shinning is helping someone, somewhere to flourish.
Have a great weekend!