New Department of Theatre Chairperson Appointed

Stephen Di Benedetto has been selected as the next Chairperson of the Department of Theatre at Michigan State University, effective July 15, 2020.  “I am thrilled to join the Department of Theatre alongside such a wide array of talented artists working at the forefront of our field,” he said. “It is exhilarating to be a part of such a cohesive team charting our way as teachers, artists, and scholars during challenging times. Together we will build on our strengths to offer our students and community programs and performances that envision what it is to be human in the 21st century and how we can thrive and create the world as we hope it can be.…

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Alumna Receives Teacher of the Year Award From National Association

Alumna Julia Domínguez, who earned her M.A. in Hispanic Studies from MSU in 2000, received this year’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award College/University Level from the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).  An exemplary scholar-teacher, Domínguez is an Associate Professor of Spanish at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.  “I have dedicated my life to educating and preparing globally informed citizens who are engaged with world cultures,” Domínguez said. “I want my students to become excellent communicators in a second language as well as bicultural through the study of the Spanish-speaking world." Julia Domínguez Therefore, it stands to reason that while I am humbled and so appreciative of this…

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Groundbreaking Book Alters Perception of Introversion in Theatre

The field of theatre has long been one that favors the extrovert with a perception that actors must be outgoing, gregarious, and boisterous to find success. A new book seeks to alter that perception. Co-written by Rob Roznowski, Head of Acting and Directing for the MSU Department of Theatre, The Introverted Actor: Practical Approaches offers first-hand accounts, methods, and tested techniques that will enable directors and educators to create balance between introverts and extroverts in rehearsal spaces and classrooms.   “I think most people, when thinking of the stereotypical theatre students, envision a bunch of loud people making each other laugh, singing and performing constantly,” Roznowski said. “But…there is also another group of introverts sitting over…

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Alumna’s Journey to Building Successful Career and Award-Winning Agency

Kate Snyder, who as a junior at MSU told her academic advisor that she wanted to plan parties at The Met, is now the Owner and Principal Strategist of her own award-winning public relations agency, Piper & Gold. So just how did she transition from a desire to be a party-planner in New York City to owning her own successful mid-Michigan-based business? MSU Education Snyder, who originally wasn’t interested in attending a large institution, was drawn to MSU’s Residential Option in Arts and Letters (ROIAL) program, where she lived in Mason/Abbot Hall with other students who shared her interests in the arts. “What appealed to me about being in ROIAL was that immersion with…

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CAL Virtual Career Readiness Roadmap Competition Winners Announced

The three winners of the CAL Virtual Career Readiness Roadmap Competition recently were announced and received prizes, ranging from $500 to $1,200.  Facilitated by the Excel Network as part of the MSUFCU Dean’s Choice Grant, the competition was open to MSU students with a major in the College of Arts & Letters and required them to complete various career readiness-related tasks according to a three-tier system. With each tier, there were three tasks to complete, and for each tier completed, there was a chance of earning a greater monetary award.  While the competition gave students the opportunity to receive monetary prizes, it also had them prepare their resumes, create a professional online presence, and virtually network…

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Understanding the Language of Change Through Linguistics

Suzanne Evans Wagner isn’t telling people how to talk. She’s here to say that people have options and reasons for talking the way they do. An Associate Professor of Linguistics in MSU’s Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, Wagner researches the social motivations for language variation and language change. It’s a subject she speaks freely about, providing examples, comparisons, and insights for people interested in the science of language. “Have you ever wondered why some people drink pop, some people drink soda, some people drink soda pop, and others drink Coke or tonic?” she asked. “Those words all mean the same thing. My job is to show you why people call…

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MSU COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Information

On March 10, state officials announced the first two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan. Following guidance from local, state, and federal public health agencies and in the interest of public safety, Michigan State University made the decision to suspend face-to-face instruction in lectures, seminars, and classroom settings and move coursework to virtual instruction as of noon on March 11. The suspension of in-person classes will last through the conclusion of the semester, including finals, and spring commencement ceremonies are being postponed. University officials will continue to reevaluate this decision on an ongoing basis and will share additional updates or modifications as more information becomes available.  As we work to support faculty and…

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MSU Sows the Seeds for Successful Academic Career

As an undergraduate student at Michigan State University, Josh Guilford majored in English and completed a certificate in the Film Studies Program. Now an Assistant Professor of English in Film and Media Studies at Amherst College, Guilford teaches courses that are cross-listed between the English Department and the Film and Media Studies Program. The courses Guilford teaches cover a broad range of subjects. “Some of my courses introduce students to the study of cinema and draw on films and readings from diverse genres, historical periods, and national cinemas,” he said, “while others focus on core themes (such as intimacy in cinema), or on topics and figures central to the study of experimental film,…

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LAE Podcast Hosts Film Studies Graduate Donté Smith

Episode eight of the Liberal Arts Endeavor Podcast is now live! Our host, Christopher P. Long, Dean of the College of Arts & Letters, talked with recent Film Studies graduate Donté Smith over Zoom about his experience in the program and adjusting to life in quarantine. Smith is a freelance photographer and part of the Liberal Arts Endeavor Podcast production team. 

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Graduate Reflects on Time at MSU and How It Led to Studio Art Degree

The day after May McCalmon’s art pieces were mounted at Kresge Art Center as part of the Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, they had to be taken down due to the COVID-19 outbreak that prompted the suspension of all face-to-face instruction at MSU. “I was pretty excited and not too stressed about it,” McCalmon said about the exhibition. “I was ready and had been working towards it for almost three years. I definitely still feel accomplished for it, but it will never be the same as it would have been.” McCalmon, who graduated this month with a double major in Studio Art and Art Education, created 15 pieces, a mix of paintings and ceramics, for…

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