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Focus on Faculty

 Ilene Miele: Inspiring Peer Publication

Ilene Miele: Inspiring Peer Publication

In an interview, UCSB writing professor Ilene Miele discusses Starting Lines, a yearly compilation of student work used to teach future writing students. Miele describes the motivation behind the launch of the publication and its impact on the lives of hundreds of students and alumni alike.

Jennifer Holt: Protecting Freedom in a Digital Age

Jennifer Holt: Protecting Freedom in a Digital Age

Jennifer Holt, a Film and Media Studies professor at UC Santa Barbara, researches media policy and the digital infrastructure that underlies modern communication.  In this interview, she provides crucial insight on how to be a properly informed citizen without losing sight of our basic rights when it comes to digital usage.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: From Wool to Apps, Lisa Jevratt on Art and Technology

FOCUS ON FACULTY: From Wool to Apps, Lisa Jevratt on Art and Technology

“Understanding programming can really help shape science, help shape production, help shape art and culture,” says Lisa Jevratt, an art professor who teaches in UC Santa Barbara’s Media Arts and Technology Program and is part of the university’s Center for Information Technology.

Jevbratt’s work, which has included the Zoomorph app, research projects, and collaborations with MAT students, offer us a picture of the future of technology. In this interview with Writing student Vinny Leonelli, ,she answers questions about the future and her achievements in her field.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Becoming Nearly Carbon Neutral

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Becoming Nearly Carbon Neutral

When UC Santa Barbara put out a climate report in 2014, professor Ken Hiltner was in complete awe at the enormity of the carbon footprint that academic conferences left behind, amounting to about 55 million pounds of carbon dioxide.  With a joint appointment in Environmental Studies and English Literature, Hiltner was ideally suited take action. He spoke in a recent interview about his Nearly Carbon Neutral Guide to academic conferences and the intersection of humanities and the environment.

Focus on Faculty:  Erika Rappaport on Tea, Identity and "Global Imagination"

Focus on Faculty: Erika Rappaport on Tea, Identity and "Global Imagination"

Tea has long been one of the most popular commodities in the world. In her book, A Thirst for Empire: How Tea Shaped the Modern World, UC Santa Barbara professor Erika Rappaport takes a deeper look into the historical value of the global tea industry, and how it ultimately shaped our contemporary consumer society.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, New Frontiers in Media Arts and Technology

FOCUS ON FACULTY: JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, New Frontiers in Media Arts and Technology

Imagine if you could explore the world of atoms, fly through the human brain, and come face to face with the surface of the moon. After years of collaborative research, JoAnn Kuchera-Morin and her team of scientists, artists, and engineers have made this possible here at UC Santa Barbara.

The AlloSphere, a 3-story-high spherical research instrument, takes data too small to see or hear and visually and sonically magnifies it to the human scale, allowing scientists and engineers to interact with complex data like artists: creatively and intuitively.

In a recent interview, JoAnn Kuchera-Morin, a professor of Media Arts and Technology and Music who is director of the research lab, discussed the importance of holistic thinking and a return to the learning-by-doing that the AlloSphere enables.

FOCUS ON FACULTY:  Susan Derwin's Writing Workshop for Veterans

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Susan Derwin's Writing Workshop for Veterans

Having the ability to tell your story can change your life – at least according to Susan Derwin, a specialist on trauma studies and a professor in UC Santa Barbara’s Comparative Literature and Germanic and Slavic Studies departments. Derwin has created a space for student veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars – as well as their loved ones  — to employ storytelling in order to both recover from personal trauma and to share their experiences with the public.

As director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center (IHC) on campus, Derwin created the course seven years ago and continues to teach it today. The class is titled “Writing Workshop for Student Veterans and Their Loved Ones,” and during the summer there is an opportunity for student veterans from across the entire UC system to participate in a similar workshop.

In a recent interview, Derwin discusses the power of narrative today, a time when many voices continue to go unheard.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Laura Kalman, History

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Laura Kalman, History

Professor of 20th Century History Laura Kalman, in her vintage jean jacket and brown leather shoes, makes her history lectures as colorful as her rainbow shoelaces. Teaching history seems to be something that is as much fun for her as it is for her students.

“I love teaching 20th century United States history,” Kalman said. “I feel as though it is important that you all (students) have some sense of what it is.”

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Charles Bazerman

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Charles Bazerman

After more than 50 years of research and teaching, Charles Bazerman's contributions have left a tangible effect on the international community of writing educators.

This week, UCSB’s Writing Program is honoring Bazerman for generously funding the "Charles Bazerman Endowed Faculty Fellowship for Professional Development in Writing,” which will amount to $300,000 in support for continuing lecturers in the Writing Program to further their research. A reception is set for 4 p.m, at Mosher Alumni House with a talk by colleague and Writing Program Lecturer Katie Baillargeon.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Monique Meunier

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Monique Meunier

Monique Meunier, a ballet dancer and UC Santa Barbara assistant professor, felt a need to respond to the polarizing, divisive presidential election of 2016, believing that national solidarity is more important than ever.

So she choreographed and directed a Fine Arts and Performing Arts collaborative performance titled Still We Rise, for UCSB students to come together to support those whose futures are imperiled by proposed changes to DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was begun during the Obama presidency.

The performance premiered last winter to 120 people over two nights and concluded with ten dancers coming together at center stage to recite poet Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise.”

ANNOUNCING: The Charles Bazerman Faculty Fellowship in Writing

ANNOUNCING: The Charles Bazerman Faculty Fellowship in Writing

The UC Santa Barbara  Writing Program is pleased to announce the creation of the Charles Bazerman Endowed Faculty Fellowship for Professional Development in Writing. This endowed fund supports an annual, competitive, two-course fellowship for a Continuing Lecturer in the Writing Program. 

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Aline Ferreira

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Aline Ferreira

Aline Ferreira, an assistant professor in the department of Spanish and Portuguese, is currently directing high-tech eye tracking equipment in UCSB’s Bilingualism, Translation, and Cognition Laboratory to observe the brain as it translates from a speaker or typist’s mother tongue to a second language and back again.

She discussed this and other projects in a recent interview with HFA student Sierrah DeBoer.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Patricia Fancher wins a research grant

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Patricia Fancher wins a research grant

Writing Program lecturer Patricia Fancher’s research on 20th Century women physicians aligns with her focus on feminist rhetoric, women's writing and writing in the sciences. She was a first generation college student and attributes much of her own success to the community of women who supported her and mentored her through her educational journey.

“It feels like a beautiful tribute to continue to study how other communities of women mentor and support each other,” Fancher said.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Elizabeth Pérez

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Elizabeth Pérez

Elizabeth Pérez, assistant professor in Religious Studies at UC Santa Barbara, has won a top
honor for her first book, Religion in the Kitchen: Cooking, Talking, and the Making of Black
Atlantic Traditions
. Pérez was awarded the Clifford Geertz Prize in the anthropology of religion
at the 2017 American Anthropological Association meeting in Washington, D.C.

"When I was a PhD student and waiting to talk to people about larger-scale rituals, I was put to
work in the kitchen: slicing vegetables, frying plantains for Platanos Fritos, or rolling little
dumplings or balls of different kinds of flour. I found that it wasn't just the glamorous rituals with the splendid altars and the exciting music that were important, but that what I was doing had a place in the tradition, especially in the formation of religious subjects."

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Robert Krut

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Robert Krut

UCSB writing lecturer Robert Krut has some advice for soon-to-be teachers: “Remember what it’s like to be a student. Remember what it’s like to sit in a classroom.” 

One would imagine that after investing thousands of dollars in tuition, students would be scribbling attentively in their notepads each piece of information that spills from the mouth of their respective professors. 

But, this is often not the case.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Jane Callister

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Jane Callister

UC Santa Barbara Art professor Jane Callister is a featured artist in the Thomas Fire Artists’ Recovery Exhibition, taking place at Porch Gallery in Ojai, California until March 11th. Callister is a 53-year-old professional artist who has exhibited works of paintings, drawings, and installations.

Originally from the Isle of Man, she has been a full-time faculty member of the Art Department at UC Santa Barbara for more than 20 years. She donated one of her paintings, the acrylic Turmoil (2017), to the exhibition to help raise funds to benefit local artists who were victims of the fire.

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Writing Program Lecturer Cissy Ross

FOCUS ON FACULTY: Writing Program Lecturer Cissy Ross

"I don’t like to call it retiring, I like to call it reinventing." 

                                                             — Writing Lecturer Cissy Ross