Happy Friday! As we charge into April with the snow falling and the last full month of spring semester, I hope all of you are well.

Lots to talk about this week. Ellie’s new essay, Aesthetic ruptures: viewing graffiti as the emplaced vernacular, has just been published online atCommunication and Critical/Cultural Studies, DOI: 10.1080/14791420.2018.1454970

Several of you have sent me the information about Doug Hesse’s presentation on April 17. Here are the materials I have received:

Doug Hesse, one of the country’s best known writing and program assessment experts, will deliver the lecture “Three Axes of Writing in the Research University: Professional, Civic, (Inter)Personal” on April 17 at 5:30 pm in the Lory Student Center Theater. Hesse’s lecture will explore the meaning and value of writing within STEM-focused research institutions.

This lecture, sponsored by the Department of English, is free and open to the public with no registration required. Seating will be on a first-come basis.

Hesse, who is Professor, University Distinguished Scholar, and founding Director of Writing at the University of Denver, has served as President of the National Council of Teachers of English, has chaired the Conference on College Composition and Communication, and is past President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, while also holding leadership roles within the Modern Language Association (MLA), including Chair of the Executive Committee of the MLA’s Division on Teaching as a Profession.

More information can be found at https://english.colostate.edu/news/three-axes-writing-research-university-professional-civic-interpersonal-doug-hesse/

Meanwhile, Elizabeth S is deeply involved in the Better Together Day programming April 10th. Here is what she sent me about the event:

Please join us on Tuesday, April 10th, anytime between 9-3pm on the Lory Student Center Plaza for the 2018 celebration of national “Better Together” Day. “Better Together Day” is an opportunity for CSU students, faculty, staff and Fort Collins community members of different faiths, beliefs, and non-religious beliefs, to build bridges of conversation and relationship. Participants are encouraged to stop by, grab a refreshment and snack, play a game, snap a picture, and have conversations with those who orient around religion differently. People of all beliefs and non-belief are encouraged to join in. As the attached poster promotes, we will have refreshments, opportunities to dialogue across lines of belief, a multi-faith family tree, a photo booth, pledge-signing, inclusive slam poetry, and much more.

The CPD is in the last week of recruiting CPD Associates. Send folks to the CPD webpage (https://communicationstudies.colostate.edu/center-public-deliberation/) to apply.

Last night was the opening of the ACT Human Rights Film Festival with our competitively selected student short films. UsamaKitEvanScottLindsey from the department served as jurors. Tonight is the opening of the festival. Over the next week, we will be hosting amazing films, remarkable filmmakers and film subjects.

What a noteworthy event ScottLindsey, and Carol have produced again this year. The work that Gloria and Dawn do to pay the bills, process the travel, and manage the box office is Herculean. We have an incredible team working on the festival and, really, working on all of the remarkable things the department accomplishes.

In fact, take a step back with me for a moment will you? Let’s just contemplate what this department does in a year.

  • Dozens of community meetings hosted and facilitated by the CPD and its student associates.
  • An ACT Human Rights Film Festival that is the only festival of its sort in the Mountain West.
  • Every single week at least one of you has published an essay, book chapter, or book.
  • You are going to conferences and giving key notes (Martín is off to Kansas State this week for this very activity).

And, we continue to win awards.

  • Carol will receive this year’s CLA Administrative Professional Award
  • Jordin will win the CLA Excellence in Teaching—GTA award.
  • Meanwhile, Junior CMST student Janae Brown just earned the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi’s Outstanding Junior in the College of Liberal Arts!

Our faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and staff are all award winning.

How is this possible? What kind of department are we? We are an astonishing department, that’s what kind. We can say with all honesty—and we have data to support this—that together we transform our discipline, we reach out into the world and remake political and community practices. Weenrich life in Fort Collins and at CSU. I am almost positive that few—if any—departments of communication can demonstrate the level of excellence that we demonstrate year after year.

I am so deeply proud of what all of you do!

I hope all of you have wonderful weekends. For me, I will be spending most of my time at the festival. But, in doing that I will be engaging in my community and in the world.