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Laura Vrana

Laura Vrana

Laura Vrana, a past CALS Grad Travel Grant winner, will begin serving as tenure-track assistant professor of English at the University of Alabama-Birmingham in Fall 2018. Laura recently defended her dissertation, entitled "Writing Transgressions: Publication Contexts and the Politics of Recognition in Contemporary Black Women's Poetry" (Aldon Nielsen, Director), which focuses on black women's poetry and the politics of publication, literary prizes/awards, and academic institutions. Congratulations, Laura!

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Tacee Sechler

Tacee Sechler

Tacee Sechler, CALS Administrative Assistant, was awarded a Rising Star Award by the College of the Liberal Arts, which recognizes employees who demonstrate a quality of performance that indicates they will continue to develop into an exemplary employee. Staff members who win this award show passion for their work while exemplifying professionalism and dedication to the mission of their department and the College. CALS Director Sean Goudie suggests there couldn't be a more deserving recipient of this award: "Tacee has been a vital contributor to the success of CALS the past several years. Not only does she help us keep the Center running smoothly, but she also makes vital contributions to CALS programming and development on a weekly basis. We are so grateful for all that Tacee has given to the Center and congratulate her on this important achievement!"

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Jason Maxwell

Jason Maxwell

Jason Maxwell, recipient of the 2013 CALS Summer Graduate Fellowship, has accepted a position as Clinical Assistant Professor of English at the University at Buffalo. His dissertation, "Professing No Longer," explores the numerous intersections between literary theory and composition studies since their concurrent rise in the 1960s. Jason credits his time spent as a CALS Fellow as an important moment in his professional maturation at Penn State: "The CALS award gave me the space and time to develop the material in my dissertation in a way that wouldn't have otherwise been possible. The award supported me at a crucial moment in my professional development as a scholar, and its effects can still be felt many years later."

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Hester Blum

Hester Blum

Hester Blum served as President of C19: the Society of Nineteenth-Century Americanists in 2017-2018. Founded under the auspices of CALS in 2010, C19 is the leading scholarly organization in nineteenth-century American literary studies. As President, Blum presided over C19’s fifth biennial conference, held in March 2018 at the University of New Mexico. The conference furnished far-flung scholars—more than 500 participants were in attendance, having been selected from over 800 individual proposals—with the opportunity to collaborate with each other on the conference’s theme, “Climate.”

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Julia Kasdorf and Chris Reed

Julia Kasdorf and Chris Reed

Professors Julia Kasdorf and Chris Reed were awarded a Penn State Arts and Humanities seed grant as part of the university’s strategic planning process. Their collaborative initiative involves faculty from the College of the Liberal Arts collaborating with the Palmer Museum of Art on creating a major exhibition – 50 to 60 works – of the art of Warren Rohrer (1927-1995) as it evolved in conversation with poet Jane Turner Rohrer (b. 1928), his partner of 48 years. The Rohrers were modernists from traditional Mennonite farm communities. The exhibition, associated educational programming, and a published catalog together will engage vital issues of cultural and environmental sustainability.

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Susan Weeber

Susan Weeber

Susan Weeber, a past CALS Grad Travel Grant winner, has accepted a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in Africana studies at the University of Oregon, which she will begin in Fall 2018. Susan recently defended her dissertation, Poetics of Interruption: Media and Form in Black Radical Literature (Alden Neilsen, Director), which examines 20th- and 21st-century African American and African diasporic literature’s engagement with other media.

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Ebony Coletu

Ebony Coletu

Ebony Coletu has been selected for a Fulbright Award to the African Regional Research Program. The award will provide support for three trips over two years to West Africa to develop her second book project, "Pan-African Logistics: Chief Sam and the Undocumented Origins of African American Migration to Ghana.”

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