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Emergency Notification

From the Dean

February 9, 2021

February 2021
Road that leads to a glowing heart with a sunset in the background.

Dear Arts & Letters Community:
Happy February! With classes starting January 25, we seem to have had a very short “on-ramp” to the spring semester. By now, whether a student, faculty, or staff member, you are hopefully feeling the momentum of an academic semester in full swing. Momentum is an important factor in educational performance. Research shows[1] that a strong start leads to a successful finish. In other words, a short on-ramp can actually be a good thing, even though it makes for a tough first few weeks, or maybe a tough first semester; persistence pays off. Maintaining some momentum over intersession and summer is important too. The College of Arts & Letters offers a range of courses during summer session if you are interested in keeping that academic momentum going. Registration for summer session will open on Tuesday, March 16.
February is Black History Month! The Student Services team has a range of events and activities and the Pan African Student Resource Center (PASRC) is hosting a month-long celebration of Blackness and Black culture on Instagram. You can find out about both by clicking, here.
February is also a time to celebrate love – not only romantic love, but also the collegial love we foster across the College of Arts & Letters. What better way to celebrate love than with an evening of poetry? Please plan on joining the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics Annual Jean Burden Poetry Reading, which this year features award-winning poet and essayist Claudia Rankine on February 25.
And, as if that isn’t already enough, February brings us the Lunar New Year. If you celebrate this joyous occasion, or even if you don’t, I wish you much health and abundance in the Year of the Ox!
With collegial love,
Linda Essig
Dr. Linda Essig, Dean
PS – Don’t forget about our first student professional development of the spring semester: Professional Portfolios and Creative Pitches, February 12. Pre-registration suggested.
Dean Essig continues to hold drop-in office hours for students on Friday mornings from 10 a.m. -11 a.m. and for faculty and staff on Monday afternoons from 4 p.m. - 5 p.m. at No appointment needed.
Associate Dean Weiss also has open office hours on Tuesday afternoons from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. at
[1] See, for example, Attwell, Heil, and Reisl (2012) “What Is Academic Momentum? And Does It Matter?”