CSUSB College of Arts and Letters

December 2020 Newsletter

Dear CAL Faculty and Staff,
Season's greetings! I am delighted to share our latest newsletter, which chronicles some of the remarkable achievements of our students, faculty, staff and alumni during the Fall 2020 semester (CSUSB's first), which recently concluded.
COVID-19 and the various public health restrictions continue to have a substantial effect on our college but I am pleased to report that signs of hope are beginning to emerge.
Dean Rueyling Chuang
On Dec. 9, the California State University (CSU) announced that it anticipates delivering courses primarily in-person beginning next fall.

“We are approaching planning for the 2021 fall term with the goal of having the majority of our on-campus experiences returning," CSU Chancellor-select Joseph I. Castro said.

Meanwhile, please enjoy a safe, restful and joyful winter break. We look forward to our students' return when the Spring 2021 semester begins remotely on Jan. 23.

Wishing you happy holidays,

Rueyling Chuang, Ph.D.
Happy Holidays from the College of Arts and Letters!
The College of Arts and Letters Holiday Video has been a cherished tradition for many years, an annual showcase of our creativity and camaraderie.

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 video called for a much different approach than previous years, so faculty and staff were asked to share the people, pets, and pastimes that bring them joy.
What Brings Us Joy
On Dec. 17, CAL staff and department chairs celebrated the end of CSUSB's first semester and the start of the winter break with a festive celebration via Zoom that featured many of the virtual performances spotlighted below and the premiere of this year's Holiday Video.
...while CAL faculty gathered online for a casual, holiday-themed social hour Dec. 18.

CSUSB celebrates Class of 2020 with virtual commencement

Cal State San Bernardino celebrated its Class of 2020 commencement Dec. 12 as more than 1,200 students from the San Bernardino and Palm Desert campuses were honored in four virtual ceremonies.

The ceremonies were held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are the first held this year as the June commencement was postponed due to pandemic restrictions.

The College of Arts and Letters and the College of Education held a combined, 97-minute ceremony that is available to view on demand, including remarks from Dean Chuang.

2020 CSUSB Virtual Commencement
The university's Commencement Website offers a downloadable Commemorative Digital Program listing every member of the Class of 2020.
Theatre Arts, Music meet pandemic challenges with ingenuity, creativity
Under the stage direction of Dr. Stacey Fraser and the musical direction of Dr. Alastair Edmonstone, CSUSB Opera Theatre currently is adapting Missy Mazzoli's "Song From the Uproar" into a film expected to stream online early next year.

For its first “virtual” video, edited by Cash Tijerina, the CSUSB Chamber Singers ensemble performed “Kasar Mie La Gaji (The Earth is Tired)," by South American composer Alberto Grau.

Lesley Leighton, director of choral activities, said the student singers were urged to go outside and choose something beautiful — or something like a trash heap — and record their part while supporting the environmental theme.
Over the past several months, the Theatre Arts and Music departments have responded to COVID-19 with ingenuity and creativity, producing virtual shows while adapting to pandemic restrictions.

In November, Theatre Arts presented "The BIG Zoomtastic Musical Revue of 2020," a 75-minute, online-only production curated and directed by Lisa Lyons.

"Mathematical Mayhem: Puppet Stories About Numbers and Math" debuted on Vimeo in October. The five-episode video series by Prof. Johanna Smith had been conceived as a touring production for elementary schools.
"Mathematical Mayhem!"
Mathematical Mayhem! Episode 1
Kasar Mie La Gaji (The Earth is Tired)
Under the direction of Dr. Lucy Lewis, the Coyote Mariachi Ensemble Xochipitzahuatl filmed its recording of "Amor Eterno" featuring vocalist Jocelyne Esparza. The new ensemble debuted this fall and is comprised of CSUSB music majors, non-music majors, area high school students, and one eighth-grade student.
Amor Eterno
CAL names four outstanding 2019-2020 faculty
In recognition of their service to Cal State San Bernardino, several extraordinary professors and lecturers were saluted during an online ceremony Nov. 30.

In the College of Arts and Letters they include, clockwise from top left:
Terri Nelson, Bill Vanderburgh, Karen Rowan, Leslie Bryan
  • Dr. Terri Nelson (World Languages and Literatures), Outstanding Professor in Teaching and Instructional Related Activities
  • Dr. William Vanderburgh (Philosophy), Outstanding Professor in Scholarly, Research, and Creative Activities
  • Dr. Karen Rowan (English), Outstanding Professor in Service:
  • Prof. Leslie Bryan (Theatre Arts), Outstanding Lecturer
New book-writing ‘boot camp’ helps faculty draft chapters

During CSUSB’s first-ever winter intersession, taking place remotely, eight CAL faculty will participate in the college’s new book-writing “boot camp.”
Dubbed “BOOK IT, a Productive Online Writing with Accountability (POWWA!) Book Writing Bootcamp,” the initiative is designed to help faculty draft a book chapter during a two-week span in early January.
The program was launched in collaboration with Dorota Huizinga, CSUSB’s Associate Provost for Academic Research and Dean of Graduate Studies, and Dr. Terri Patchen, Faculty Coordinator for Scholarly and Creative Activities at Cal State Fullerton.
Podcast spotlights Stacey Fraser, Music chair, professor and CSUSB Opera Theatre director 
In the latest episode of the college's new podcast, Dr. Stacey Fraser, Department of Music Chair, discusses her background, career path and her avant-garde short film, "Still Life After Death," currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Future episodes are expected to feature Eva Kirsch, director of RAFFMA, and Art and Design Prof. Katherine Gray.
Dr. Stacey Fraser
Listen on Spotify Listen on Apple Podcasts iHeart Podcast Network
If you're a member of the College of Arts and Letters (faculty, staff, student or alumnus) and would like to be considered for a future episode to discuss your work, research or creative activities, email
Three CAL students among Top 30 winners during 2020 CSU Media Arts Festival
Three Communication Studies students were named Top 30 winners during the 2020 CSU Media Arts Festival, held virtually: Leo Fontes for "Another Chance" Trailer 1; Maria Flores Marquez for "Desenmascarado"; and Breanna Polk for "Use Your Words."
Another Chance Trailer 1  /  Desenmascarado  /  Use Your Words
CSU Summer Arts established the Media Arts Festival in 1991 to give talented California State University students studying film, broadcasting, video, screenwriting and new media an opportunity to present their work for critical review.
RAFFMA introduces new ‘Art Hour’ series to explore art and museum topics

The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art debuted a new video series during the Fall 2020 semester – RAFFMA's Art Hour with Lana and Teresa.

The free program, open to the public, is hosted by two of RAFFMA’s student assistants, who welcome special guests to discuss various art- and museum-related topics.

RAFFMA's Art Hour with Lana & Teresa

Philosophy professor's acclaimed book now in paperback
“David Hume on Miracles, Evidence, and Probability”  by Dr. William L. Vanderburgh is available in paperback now.

A review in the journal Religious Studies described the philosophy professor's work as an “excellent addition to the bookshelves of Hume scholars,” epistemologists and philosophers of religion.
David Hume on Miracles, Evidence, and Probability
Season 2 of Netflix's 'Blown Away' to feature Art and Design professor and MFA alumnus
Netflix's "Blown Away" will return to TV for its second season Jan. 22 and will welcome back acclaimed Art and Design Prof. Katherine Gray (shown here) as a judge for the hit glassblowing contest.

Competing in the new season of the award-winning reality series will be Nao Yamamoto, a 2014 alumnus of CSUSB's Master of Fine Arts program.
Katherine Gray, left
Palm Desert Campus faculty member helps historic Black churches go virtual

This past March, Lacey Kendall, a broadcaster, media consultant and faculty member at the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, saw a need to help local churches and called upon friends to help put together a durable, affordable, easy-to-install and easy-to-operate system that would help churches stream to their congregations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lacey Kendall
In June, the Church in the Cove Community Presbyterian Church in Cathedral City recommended the technology kit created by Kendall and her three friends, James Trotter, assistant director of Academic Technologies and Innovation at CSUSB; Paul Allen, an engineer with the Sweetwater Corp.; and Craig King, information technologies director at Sunrise Christian Church, for a $150,000 grant to specifically help Presbyterian churches in need.
More news from the College of Arts and Letters
In November, five recently tenured or promoted CAL faculty members presented highlights from their work or research in a special Zoom session:
CAL Research & Creative Activity Highlights - Nov. 19, 2020
Panelists were Dr. Maria Garcia-Puente, World Languages and Literatures; Prof. Ed Gomez, Art and Design; Dr. Liliana Conlisk Gallegos, Communication Studies; Dr. Julie L. Taylor, Communication Studies; and Dr. Dany Doueiri, World Languages and Literatures.

CSUSB alumna Paulette Brown-Hinds (’90, English) founder and publisher of Voice Media Ventures, was one of the California State University alumni featured in the fall 2020 edition of CSUniverse, a digest of highlights from the CSU’s 23 campuses.

Paulette Brown-Hinds
“My professors were amazing mentors," she said. "They encouraged me to be a leader both inside and outside of the classroom and instilled confidence in me. The lessons I learned have gone far beyond academics; they continue to guide me professionally and personally 30 years later.”
For even more CAL news, visit Inside CSUSB.
About the College of Arts and Letters

We are a dynamic and caring community of students, faculty, staff and alumni united by a passion for the arts and humanities at California State University, San Bernardino.
Our college includes the departments of Art and Design, Communication Studies, English, Music, Philosophy, Theatre Arts and World Languages and Literatures, and the Liberal Studies program.
We’re also home to the student-run Coyote Radio, which spotlights the Inland’s Empire’s best local bands around the clock, Coyote Advertising, an award-winning, full-service creative agency, and the Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, better known as RAFFMA, one of the region’s most acclaimed cultural centers.
Visit our home page for information about the outstanding programs within the College of Arts and Letters.
Learn more

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