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Tina Chen

Tina Chen

Tina Chen has been awarded the 2020 Outstanding Teaching Award for Tenure Line Faculty by the College of the Liberal Arts in recognition of her contributions to the undergraduate teaching program. Professor Chen is a past recipient of the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching at Vanderbilt University, where she taught prior to coming to Penn State. Congratulations, Tina!

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Julia Kasdorf

Julia Kasdorf

Congratulations to Julia Kasdorf, who received a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for the creation of a folk opera--in collaboration with Open Music and composer Bruce Trinkley--titled _aMUSEment, Play in the Workshop_. The musical drama is based on the life and work of Vernon Garbrick, inventor of the collapsible ferris wheel in Centre Hall. Well done, Julia!

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Laura Vrana and Aldon Nielsen

Laura Vrana and Aldon Nielsen

Kudos to our recent PhD alumna Laura Vrana, Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Alabama, on the publication of _The Collected Poems of Lorenzo Thomas_ (Wesleyan UP), which she co-edited with Aldon Nielsen, the George and Barbara Kelly Professor of American Literature. Lorenzo Thomas (1944-2005) was the youngest member of the Society of Umbra, predecessor of the Black Arts Movement. _The Collected Poems of Lorenzo Thomas_ is the first volume to encompass his entire writing life. In a career that spanned decades, Thomas constantly experimented with form and subject, while still writing poetry deeply rooted in the traditions of African American aesthetics. Congratulations to Laura and Aldon!

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Jason Maxwell

Jason Maxwell

Jason Maxwell, 2013 CALS Summer Dissertation Fellow, has a new book, _The Two Cultures of English: Literature, Composition, and the Moment of Rhetoric_, out now from Fordham University Press. Jason will also transition onto the tenure track beginning fall 2019, serving as Assistant Professor of English at the University at Buffalo. 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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Michael Don

Michael Don

Michael Don, Assistant Teaching Professor of English, released a new short story collection titled _Partners and Strangers_ in February 2019. _Partners and Strangers_, which is published by Carnegie Mellon University Press, has been described as "palpably real," and Michael Czyzniejewski, author of _I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories_, says: "Reading this collection makes me feel good: about literature, about the world." _Partners and Strangers_ is available to order online or for purchase locally at Webster's Bookstore Cafe.

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Benjamin Schreier & Sandra Spanier

Benjamin Schreier & Sandra Spanier

At a March 2019 reception for new named professors in the College of Liberal Arts, Benjamin Schreier was recognized for his promotion to the Mitrani Family Professorship of Jewish Studies and Sandra Spanier for her promotion to Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. These titles reflect the diligent scholarship and rigorous research agendas undertaken by both professors throughout their distinguished careers. Congratulations, Ben and Sandy!

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Elizabeth Kadetsky

Elizabeth Kadetsky

Elizabeth Kadetsky, Associate Professor of English, has published her first comic with Punctuate, the nonfiction magazine of the Department of English and Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago. Elizabeth's writing, which spans genres ranging from memoir to lyric essay to the novella form, recently expanded to include comics after she learned about graphic note-taking at the 2018 Comics and Medicine Conference and put the practice into action at that year's NonFictioNOW. Discussing the move from text-only to the mixture of text and graphics, Elizabeth tells Punctuate that "Shifting brain-modes from writing to drawing and then back again provides a healthy mental calisthenics." Beautiful work, Elizabeth!

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Sarah Adams

Sarah Adams

Sarah Adams, winner of a 2016 CALS Award for a Research or Training Seminar, has accepted a position as the Writing Program Administrator and SummerBridge Program Coordinator Berea College (KY). Sarah recently defended her dissertation, entitled _Learning to Listen: A History of Listening Pedagogies and Practices in Music and Rhetoric_, which was directed by Debbie Hawhee.

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Derek Lee

Derek Lee

Derek Lee, a former CALS Graduate Research Assistant and recipient of the Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has accepted a job as Assistant Professor of English at Wake Forest University, where he will be teaching 20th- and 21st-century literature starting in Fall 2020. His dissertation, _Parascientific Revolutions_, examines the paranormal mind and traces how unorthodox theories of consciousness have evolved from occult modernism into contemporary speculative fiction, Asian American ghost narratives, and other genres by analyzing a variety of traditional and untraditional scientific discourses. Congratulations, Derek!

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Leland Tabares

Leland Tabares

Leland Tabares, winner of a CALS Award for a Research or Training Seminar, has been named the 2019-2020 Postdoctoral Fellow in Contemporary American Literature at Washington University in St. Louis. Leland's research and teaching interests center on literature, labor, and racialization in twentieth- and twenty-first-century American culture, and he recently defended his dissertation under the direction of Tina Chen. Entitled _Professionalizing Asian America: Race & Labor in the Twenty-First Century_, the project traces how Asian Americans’ increasing representation in a diverse range of contemporary industry professions enculturate new conceptions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and belonging. Well done, Leland!

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Sandra Spanier

Sandra Spanier

Sandra Spanier was interviewed by the _Observer_ in March about the forthcoming 5th volume of the Hemingway Letters Project. Congratulations on the project continuing to garner so much media interest!

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