As the 2016 school year comes to a close, Jackalope Magazine asked department chairs two questions: What was a highlight from this semester and what is one new initiative for the next academic year?
James Reich, Creative Writing Department
“We’ve seen some amazing multimedia work, fantastic fiction, challenges to poetic and essayistic forms, and for the first time, Glyph is a commercially available book with our new Santa Fe University Press. For our writers, that is the project that I can’t wait to see grow. The camaraderie on campus between students, faculty both full-time and contributing, and staff, is a continuing and perpetual highlight for me. Very personally, I’d like to thank everyone in the department for their passion and generosity.”
Chris K. Eyre, Film Department
“The highlight at the film school this semester was seeing the number of students that really ‘went for it all!’ We have so many individual artists that are taking their own reins and doing things like getting into graduate schools of note, being accepted to major film festivals, winning awards, screenings for our own Shoot the Stars ® program, making feature films and thriving in their classes. It’s been a great semester of growth, individually and collectively.
The newest initiative we have planned is to help enable students more access to film festivals, and submitting their films. We’ve just begun to launch this new initiative and will continue in the fall.”
Brad S. Bergsbaken, Business Department
“The highlights would be the launch of the business minor in entrepreneurship and the formation of the business program advisory board.
Next year, building co-curricular opportunities for students in the new degree specializations, and launching two new database applications for the university developed by business students.”
Tony O’Brien, Photography Department
“There were many highlights but the biggest one was the BFA thesis exhibition. It was very diverse, the work, and truly high quality, and it was wonderful to watch the students and their work evolve to this point at the end of the semester, and for the students, the end of their college days. It was a wonderful ode to the students.
In the Photography Department, we’re working to make a number of really wonderful changes and additions to the curriculum for next school year. We’re engaging the students in way more interesting ways: getting them out, and ultimately, to help them on their career paths in photography.”
Corine Frankland, Liberal Arts Department
“Artists for Positive Social Change was moved over to the Liberal Arts this year. We’ve enjoyed collaborating with the Contemporary Music Program, Film and Business. It has further taken the critical goal of ‘who am I?’ to the larger society in art and social justice. These are the key underpinnings of the Liberal Arts curriculum.
Launching in fall, we’re offering seminars for student success. Incoming freshman will take a class on successful strategies, and it will make them more connected to the university through these student services. It was a collaborative initiative with enrollment, student services, and advising to provide information and opportunities for students to be more socially engaged on campus. It will be like “College 101.” That’s the thing I’m most excited about.”
Laura Hawkes, Performing Arts Department
“Twenty-seven guest artists visited our department this year from all over the nation: acting, musical theatre and fight combat instructors, as well as directors, designers, technicians, and stage managers.
We are re-envisioning our faculty team here in the Performing Arts Department in the most exciting way possible. Our students have been an intimate part of this decision-making process as we have interviewed candidates this spring from across the arts and entertainment industry. We are hiring new faculty in multiple positions. The new faces arriving in August are not just students! This is an empowering initiative for our program which is happening now and deeply impacts the next academic year.”
Linda Swanson, School of Visual and Communication Arts Department