The last Friday of classes this fall. Amazing right? With exams next week we will be at graduation and into winter break. What a great—and challenging—semester this has been.

Scott has a couple of new, short essays out “The Joy Luck Club” and “Amy Tan,” in Barry Keith Grant, ed., Books to Film: Cinematic Adaptations of Literary Works (Cengage Learning, 2017), 191-196.

Meanwhile, Carolin has a new essay out as well. “Communicative resurrection: Letters to the dead in the Israeli newspaper.” Journal of Communication, 67(6), 827-859.

Did you see the wonderful story on Usama’s film project Boy from War in Westward? You all probably know as well that he is teaching a new class for us called The Personal Lens (SPCM 380A2). It will be our first foray back into production and is a project with Art and Art History.

Speaking of new classes, Evan will be teaching SPCM 380A1 Global Media Cultures. Both classes have a seat or two remaining if you know of students looking for classes.

And one of our undergraduates Mahalia Henschel rocked her speech at the President’s Gala! Skip to 8:10 to see her show off what great communication looks like!

Folks like Mahalia become alumni and we like to bring alumni back to campus to chat with our undergraduates. As you know, each semester the department hosts two alumni panels. These are required for Capstone students but also open to all of our students.  We have reached out extensively to our networks and would love to get some additional alumni on our list.

If you have contact information for any alum who got their BA in our department and you think they would be a good person for our students to hear from, please forward their contact information and a little bit about them to Carol and Elizabeth. Connecting with alumni just makes the department a better place.

Not only do they come and visit with the undergraduates, we get to tell their stories. For example, check out this amazing story Carol wrote about Juliana Vélez (’11). Some of you will remember Juliana from your classes. Over the last few years, she has built an amazing, meaningful careertelling the stories of women from around the world and helping empower girls through mentorship.

This story is one of many about CLA alumni that form the core of this semester’s CLA Magazine focusing on meaningful work. Check it out!

Lastly, the college is building its recruiting efforts. I think many of you have met Erika Ryan in one setting or another. If a high school student or potential transfer student reaches out to you for information about the major, tell them what you know and then send them on to Erika. I have attached here a document that can help guide your conversations. Building our undergraduate major will continue to be an important part of our success story and will let us pursue a wide range of opportunities.

As we have had candidates on campus over the last couple of weeks I have had the honor of explaining to them what I see as our shared values. I tell them we are passionate about communication. We are deeply committed to understanding how humans use—and are used by—communication. We know that this understanding matters. Because of this, I told them, we are great teachers and scholars and community members. We believe in engaging each other, our discipline, our students, and our world.

And the candidates, after spending a couple of days with us, affirmed all of this. They see in all of you these commitments and these passions.

Well, good on us!

Have a great weekend. For me, I will be making holiday candies and hanging with friends and getting a bit of work done.