International Women’s Day Friday

Welcome to Friday. Wee hoo!

First, I want to acknowledge that today is International Women’s Day. As I was thinking about this, I thought about a couple of the leaders of this department—Ann Gill and Sue Pendell. Both served as chair of the department, with Ann going on to serve as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. It was under Ann’s leadership that the foundation of our current department was laid (she hired me, much to her ongoing consternation). Sue brought the Morgan Chair (which resulted in the ACT Human Rights Film Festival) to the department and helped guide the first years of the CPD.

But International Women’s Day shouldn’t be a one-off once a year. Instead, it should be a celebration of—and call for—systemic change. And Ann and Sue are great role models. Over the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Sue was a leading force in a women’s group who—at great risk to their own careers—demanded the university conduct gender equity salary studies and to correct the substantial inequalities they constantly found. We continue to struggle with salary equity on campus, but we have made the progress we have because of the work of women like Sue.

And Ann was central to building the paid family leave policy that we currently have. Many of you have used the leave to take care of families and in support of your careers here at the university.

Ann and Sue, then, helped make systemic changes that make everyday lives of everyday women better. Thanks, Ann and Sue and all the others working everyday to correct the equity scales.

The awards keep coming. This time it’s Kiah to whom The SCMS Comedy and Humor Studies SIG has awarded the second place in the Graduate Student Essay Prize for her work “The Refractive Stand-Up Comic: Netflix, Identity, and Refusal of Hegemony.” Folks are leaving for the conference next week, I believe.

Beyond winning awards, the department has been extraordinarily busy this week. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday we had graduate program recruits in. Y’all treated them well. They seemed happy and excited about our program. Thanks, Kari and Lisabeth for all of your planning.

Tuesday, ACT hosted its annual kickoff event at Odell’s. They tapped lip-smacking Screening Sessions ACT beer. Well over 80 people showed up for the possibility of free tickets, passes, t-shirts and previews of the films. What a wonderful crew who were there. Shout outs to Carol and Beth who pulled the whole thing together.

BTW, some of you asked about the comps for the festival here is what we are offering this year.

  • Faculty, Special Faculty, and Staff: 2 comp tix to opening or closing. 2 vouchers.  These folks can RSVP by following this link: https://col.st/xfiKS
  • Grad students: 1 comp ticket to opening or closing night. 2 vouchers.  These folks can RSVP by following this link: https://col.st/CZAa2

Festival schedule is here: https://actfilmfest.colostate.edu/2019_schedule/. Folks can link to films to see trailers. FYI: No trailer for Open or Close b/c films are so new.

Vouchers will appear in mailboxes right after Spring Break (no point in giving them out now b/c they can’t be used until the festival starts). These have to be redeemed in person at the ACT Box Office (instructions on voucher).

And then on Wednesday, the CPD hosted a joint forum with the City of Fort Collins focusing on strategies to improve air quality. Over 60 city residents participated, including about a third of whom were people of color and/or made less than $20,000 a year. Twenty-five current and former undergraduates and graduate students worked as facilitators and notetakers, and the entire CPD leadership team provided support. We offered translation and interpretation services for our Spanish-speaking participants and for the first time hosted a parallel process for young people (ages 2-13), who made wind chimes out of recycled materials and thought about how they could help contribute to clean air in Fort Collins.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday we also passed important code changes regarding NTTF.

Speaking of those changes, I have attached here proposed changes to college code to reflect changes to NTTF. The main code has been revised and there is a new Appendix B that speaks to promotion of NTTF. Please read and then come to the college meeting April 24 to discuss and vote on these changes.

The college is hosting conversations about these changes:

  • Monday, April 1, 3 – 4 pm, LSC Room 306
  • Tuesday, April 2, 10 – 11 am, LSC Room 308

If that isn’t enough for a week, well I really don’t know what is. I mean look at all of those things: recruiting new students, a current student winning an award, and two public events that, between them, engaged 140 members of our community. Amazing!

In some sense today’s Friday email simply spools out the kind of department that Ann and Sue left us. Working hard is baked into our genes. More, however, just as Ann and Sue taught us, we do our work in the service of others, for the good of those around us, for the betterment of our world. You all—Ann, Sue, and all of you—inspire me.

I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. For me a basketball game with Carl. I will bake some loaves of whole wheat sourdough bread. I have—this is going to sound weird—a package of outstanding, giant white beans. I will slowly cook those until they are creamy, slick them with rich olive oil, and eat them on top of fresh bread. Man, that sounds like dinner!

Well, I hope you have plans that—even if odd—sound just right to you. Maybe some rest. Or a good book (may I recommend The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee by David Treuer?). Or board games with friends and family. Whatever it is, I hope it is wonderful.