Tag: Stanford University

Tracy K. Smith Named Director of Princeton University’s Program in Creative Writing

Tracy K. Smith (photo via arts.princeton.edu)
Tracy K. Smith (photo via arts.princeton.edu)

Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts named Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith as the new director of the University’s Program in Creative Writing. Smith, a Professor of Creative Writing on the Princeton faculty since 2005, succeeds National Book Award finalist and poet Susan Wheeler, who has led the program since 2011.

“I’m delighted that Tracy has agreed to take on this leadership role in our world-renowned, undergraduate-focused program in creative writing,” notes Michael Cadden, Chair of the Lewis Center. “A brilliant wordsmith in both poetry and prose as well as a life-changing teacher, Tracy embodies everything that is best about the arts at Princeton and is a most worthy successor to our colleague Susan Wheeler. I look forward to working with her on her vision for the future of what is already an extraordinary program.”

Smith is the author of the memoir Ordinary Light (2015) and three poetry collections: Life on Mars (2011), winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and named as a “Best Book of the Year” by The New YorkerPublishers Weekly, and Library Journal, a “Notable Book of 2011″ by the New York Times, and as an “Editor’s Choice” by the New York Times Book Review; Duende (2007), winner of the James Laughlin Award and the Essence Literary Award; and The Body’s Question (2003), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith is also the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award, and a Whiting Award. From 2009 to 2011 she was the Literature protégé in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

Born in Massachusetts and raised in northern California, Smith earned her A.B. from Harvard University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia University. From 1997 to 1999 she was a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University. She taught at Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, the University of Pittsburgh, and Columbia University before joining the faculty at Princeton.

“I have such deep gratitude and enthusiasm for the community of writers and students here at Princeton,” says Smith. “I’m delighted to step into a position I’ve watched several of my colleagues navigate with such generosity, insight, and grace.”

Princeton’s Program in Creative Writing traces its origins to 1939, when Dean Christian Gauss approached the Carnegie Foundation to help the University focus on the cultivation of writers and other artists. He appointed poet and critic Allen Tate as the first Resident Fellow in Creative Writing.  Since then world-renowned writers have served as faculty and visiting guest writers including John Berryman, Elizabeth Bowen, Robert Fitzgerald, Thomas Gunn, Edmund Keeley, David E. Kelley, Lorrie Moore, Philip Roth, Delmore Schwartz, Kevin Young, and Nobel laureates Toni Morrison and Mario Vargas Llosa, as well as Joyce Carol Oates, who recently retired after 37 years on the faculty. Oates will continue to teach one class each year as a Professor Emerita.

Currently the faculty includes award-winning writers Jeffrey Eugenides, Chang-rae Lee, Paul Muldoon, James Richardson, Susan Wheeler, and Edmund White, along with Smith and Jhumpa Lahiri, who joins the faculty in September. Other writers teaching this fall include Michael Dickman, A.M. Homes, Christina Lazaridi, Patrick McGrath, Fiona Maazel, Idra Novey, Hanna Pylväinen, and Monica Youn.

It is with these internationally known writers that over 300 Princeton undergraduates take courses in poetry, fiction, screenwriting, and literary translation each semester, a number that continues to grow.

“For those students serious about becoming writers, the one-on-one mentoring and intimate workshops we offer are on par with the attention and rigor characterizing the best M.F.A. programs,” notes Smith. “Regardless what our students decide to do after graduation, the experience of working alongside such illustrious writers changes their view of language and literature immeasurably.” Students who seek a certificate in creative writing (similar to a minor) in addition to their major area of study, work one-on-one with a member of the faculty on a novel, collection of poems, short stories or translations, or a screenplay.

Some of these senior thesis projects become the first published work by graduates of the program, as was the case for writers Jonathan Ames ’87 and Jonathan Safran Foer ’99. Other graduates from the program include Catherine Barnett ’82, Boris Fishman ’01, Jane Hirshfield ’73,  Kristiana Kahakauwila ’03, Galway Kinnell ’48, Walter Kirn ’83, William Meredith ’40, W. S. Merwin ’48, Emily Moore ’99, Jodi Picoult ’87, Julie Sarkissian ’05, Akhil Sharma ’92, Whitney Terrell ’91, and Monica Youn ’93.

In addition to this course of study, the program invites writers of national and international distinction to give a reading and discuss their work.  The Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Seriesfeatures acclaimed poets and fiction writers, which this year will include Edwidge Danticat, Natalie Diaz, Robert Hass, and Claudia Rankine, among others.  The Emerging Writers Reading Series presented in partnership with Labyrinth Books in Princeton showcases new work by seniors in the program along with established writers as special guests, who this year will include Alexander Chee, Eduardo Corral, Ocean Vuong, and Tiphanie Yanique. Occurring monthly from September through May, readings in both series are free and open to the public.

The Program in Creative Writing also hosts an international high school poetry contest and awards the Theodore H. Holmes ’51 and Bernice Holmes National Poetry Prize with recipients such as Mark Doty, Matt Rasmussen, and Evie Shockley. The biennial Princeton Poetry Festival, curated by faculty member Paul Muldoon, features poets from around the world, in recent years presenting readings by Bei Dao, Kwame Dawes, Jorie Graham, Major Jackson, Ellen Bryan Voight, and Ray Young Bear, among others.

article via arts.princeton.edu

Professor Adams Bodomo Becomes 1st Black Faculty Member in the 650-Year History of the University of Vienna

Professor Adams Bodomo (Photo via chinaafricaproject.com)
Professor Adams Bodomo (Photo via chinaafricaproject.com)

Founded in 1365, the University of Vienna in Austria is the oldest educational institution in the German-speaking world. Now for the first time in the university’s 650-year history, a Black scholar has joined its faculty.

Adams Bodomo, from the African nation of Ghana, was appointed professor and chair of the department of African languages and literatures. He is the former director of the African studies program at the University of Hong Kong. Earlier, Professor Bodomo was a lecturer in the linguistics and African studies programs at Stanford University in California. Professor Bodomo is the author of Africans in China: A Sociocultural Study and Its Implications on Africa-China Relations (Cambria Press, 2012).

Dr. Bodomo earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from University of Ghana in Legon. He holds a Ph.D. in linguistics and African studies from The Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

article via jbhe.com

Claudine Gay Appointed Dean of Social Science at Harvard University

Harvard Dean Claudine Gay (photo via harvardgazette.com)
Professor Claudine Gay (photo via news.harvard.edu)

Claudine Gay, a Harvard professor of government and African and African American Studies, and a distinguished scholar of mass political behavior, has been appointed the Dean of Social Science.

Gay, who will begin her new role on July 1, joined the Harvard faculty in 2006, and has served as director of graduate studies for the Department of Government for the past five years. She has also been a member of the Committee on General Education, and earlier this year joined the Steering Committee for the Institute of Quantitative Social Science. She serves on numerous editorial boards and scientific associations, and is vice president of the Midwest Political Science Association.

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Read MLK’s Love Letter To Coretta Scott King

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We all know Martin Luther King Jr. was quite the speaker but, apparently, he was also something of a poet. On this Valentine’s Day, take a look back in time at his and Coretta Scott King’s incredible love story through a love letter he wrote her in the summer of 1952, a year before they were married. From Stanford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project:

Dearest,

Fortunately, I am in a better mood today. your letter was sweet and refreshing to my heart, which had well-nigh grown cold toward you. Of course I have become convinced in the last few days that my love for you is based on such a solid foundation that the stormy winds of anger cannot blow it assunder. Love is such a dynamic force isn’t it? It is the most inexplicable and yet the most beautiful force in life. O how joyous it is [to?] be in it.

Darling I miss you so much. In fact, much to much for my own good. I never realized that you were such an intimate part of my life. My life without you is like a year without a spring time which comes to give illumination and heat to the atmosphere which has been saturated by the dark cold breeze of winter. Can you imagine the frustration that a King without a throne would face? Such would be my frustration if I in my little kinghood could not reign at the throne of Coretta. O excuse my darling. I didn’t mean to go off on such a poetical and romantic flight. But how else can we express the deep emotions of life other than in poetry. Isn’t love to ineffable to be grasped by the cold calculating heads of intellect?

Read more.

article via newsone.com

Cory Booker Wins Senate Race in New Jersey

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Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark easily won New Jersey’s special Senate election on Wednesday, finally rising to an office that measures up to his national profile.  He will arrive in Washington already one of the country’s most prominent Democrats, and its best-known black politician other than President Obama, who backed him aggressively. Mr. Booker’s fund-raising prowess puts him on course to lead his party’s campaign efforts in the Senate, and he has been mentioned as a possible vice-presidential pick for 2016.

With 55 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Booker had 55 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Steve Lonegan, a Republican former mayor of Bogota, N.J., and state director of the conservative group Americans for Prosperity, according to The Associated Press. Still, the campaign gave a wider audience to certain facets of Mr. Booker that long ago began to prompt eye-rolling among his constituents.

With a Twitter following six times as large as the city he has led, Mr. Booker was known outside Newark largely for his appearances on late-night television and his heroics: rescuing a neighbor from a burning building, shoveling out snowbound cars, living on a food stamp diet.

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Condoleezza Rice Appointed to 2014 College Football Playoff Committee

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is one of the nine people expected to be part of the selection committee for the College Football Playoff that begins in 2014, a person familiar with the decision told USA TODAY Sports.

The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the committee has not been announced, also confirmed the following members: football Hall of Famer Archie Manning, Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez, USC athletics director Pat Haden, Arkansas athletics director Jeff Long, West Virginia athletics director Oliver Luck and Clemson athletics director Dan Radakovich in addition to Rice, former Ole Miss and NFL quarterback Manning, former NCAA Executive Vice President Tom Jernstedt and former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese as at-large selections.

The person said there will only be one sitting athletics director from each of the five power conferences, so those places are set.  “It’s an all-star cast,” the person said.  A second person familiar with the makeup of the committee who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it has not been announced said the committee also will include Lt. Col. Michael Gould, former Superintendent of the Air Force Academy and a former player for the school.

The first person said Rice’s diverse background made her appealing.  A native of Birmingham, Ala., Rice holds degrees from the University of Denver and Notre Dame, and is a professor of political science at Stanford. She served as National Security Advisor from 2001-05 and Secretary of State from 2005-09. She also was Stanford’s Provost from 1993-99. She has been on faculty at Stanford since 1981.

GOOD FIT: Rice more than qualified for committee

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Zimbabwean Author NoViolet Bulawayo Makes Short List For Britain’s Booker Prize

NoViolet Bulawayo is a Zimbabwean author. She is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
NoViolet Bulawayo is a Zimbabwean author. She is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. (Smeeta Mahanti/Courtesy Reagan Arthur Books)

According to npr.com, the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award, was announced today.  Among the short listers was We Need New Names author and Stanford University fellow NoViolet Bulawayo.  Although the Booker Prize is limited to writers from the British Commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland, the list skews international, and includes novelists from Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Canada. The complete shortlist is:

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo 
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton 
Harvest by Jim Crace 
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri 
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki 
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín

 article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson

14 Year-Old Thessalonika Arzu-Embry To Earn Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Chicago State University

At just 14, Thessalonika Arzu-Embry will be graduating Chicago State University in August with a bachelor's degree in psychology. A resident of the Great Lakes Naval Base, Thessalonika plans to continue her studies in a graduate program before opening a clinic with her mother.
At just 14, Thessalonika Arzu-Embry will be graduating Chicago State University in August with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. A resident of the Great Lakes Naval Base, Thessalonika plans to continue her studies in a graduate program before opening a clinic with her mother.

Thessalonika Arzu-Embry and her mother, Wonder Embry, get up at five in the morning most weekdays to go to school together.  Unlike most 14-year-olds, however, Thessalonika isn’t off early in the morning to the local high school. She’s going to Chicago State University.

Thessalonika is putting the finishing touches on a college career that started three years ago at College of Lake County and will end next month with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Chicago State.  “My college experience is a traditional college experience for me — it is just that I have completed it faster,” Thessalonika said. “I am very excited about joining others in having the opportunity to contribute to society in a significant way.”

After their early wake-up, Thessalonika and her mom pray and work on Bible studies, then work out at a local fitness center before starting their hour-and-a-half commute from their home at the Great Lakes Naval Station near North Chicago to Chicago State, located on the city’s South Side. Wonder Embry is a classmate of sorts at Chicago State, where she’s a graduate student in clinical psychology.

During the commute, Wonder and Thessalonika study theory together and chat about their homework assignments. Thessalonika said her mother keeps her motivated.  “My mother is a strong inspiration to my success. She is a veteran of the United States Navy, and when she finished her tour, she home-schooled my brother and I,” Thessalonika said.  Thessalonika’s mother said that for her part, she was just doing right by her daughter.  “The parents are the most influential force in their own children’s lives, and they have the power to influence them to do good and to go forward,” Wonder Embry said.

Thessalonika was home-schooled until she was 8. At age 11, after receiving the equivalent of a high school diploma through her home schooling, she passed an entrance exam to attend College of Lake County and enrolled to study psychology.  She said she chose college from such a young age because she loves studying and has an interest in psychology that goes far beyond just material knowledge. One of her ultimate goals is to help people through a clinic she hopes to establish with her mother and her brother, Jeremy.

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Donald Pope-Davis Named Provost at DePaul University in Chicago

Donald B. Pope-DavisDonald B. Pope-Davis was named as the next provost at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. He will take office in July. DePaul University enrolls about 16,000 undergraduate students and 9,000 graduate students. About 9 percent of the undergraduate students are African Americans.

Currently, Pope-Davis is professor of psychology and vice president and associate provost at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He has served on the Notre Dame faculty for 13 years and has been associate provost since 2007.

Professor Pope-Davis is the co-author of three books: Multicultural Counseling Competencies: Assessment, Education and Training, and Supervision (Sage, 1996), The Intersection of Race, Class, and Gender: Implications for Multicultural Counseling (Sage, 2001) and Handbook of Multicultural Competencies in Counseling and Psychology (Sage, 2003).

Dr. Pope-Davis is a graduate of Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. He earned a doctorate in counseling psychology at Stanford University.

article via jbhe.com