Catching Up With Students and Alumni

Check out what our students and alumni have been up to recently. Have your own announcements? Email mtranber@depaul.edu to see your accomplishments on Ex Libris!

Teaching Internships in Two-Year Colleges

The following students are currently doing the 2-Year College Teaching Internships:

Diana Anderson (MAE), Harold Washington College; Colleen Corliss (MAE), Wright College; Sarah Hughes (MAWRD), Robert Morris University; Eva Marnen (MAE), Robert Morris University; Sabrina Martin (MAE), Harold Washington College; Jennifer McCafferty (MAE), Harold Washington College; Terita Smith (MAWRD), Robert Morris University; Brandon Thompson (MAWP), College of Lake County; Elizabeth Turows (MAWP), Truman College.

Student News

Read Steve Bogdaniec’s (MAWP) most recent article, “Sequel City – Back to the Future Part II” on Popbunker.net in his series “Sequel City.”

Lindsay Branca (MAWP) was recently hired as an administrative assistant at Illinois Partners for Human Service, a statewide network of organizations which work to ensure a high quality, sustainable, and accountable system for providing human services in Illinois. She will be responsible for database and content management, website development, preparation and writing of grants, and social media.

Stephanie Gladney Queen’s (MAWP) story “Wrap a Gift Using Just Two Pieces of Tape” appeared in the holiday issue of Time Out Chicago. The feature was a collection of how-to stories that explained ways to make your holidays better. The how-to is accompanied by a video tutorial by Stephanie.

Warren Scheideman’s (MAE) article “Threads of Fate: A Study of Symbolism In Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Crooked Man'” appeared in The Baker Street Journal for Winter 2010, Vol. 60; No. 4.

Alumni News

Erika Dusen Tamindzija (MAW ’06) recently had her short story, “Pretty Girl,”  published by SN Review, the 11-year-old quarterly online literary journal.

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A Message from the Threshold Editors

Threshold is DePaul University’s premier student-run literary magazine. The magazine features creative work by DePaul students in the fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama genres. Threshold is currently accepting submissions for its 2011 issue out in June. Read below for workshops and submissions deadlines and guidelines.

Threshold 2011 Workshops

WANT TO BOOST YOUR CHANCE FOR PUBLICATION?

Save the dates for our workshop events:

Wednesday, February 2nd

6-8pm

John T Richardson Library, Rm 308

Thursday, February 3rd

4-6pm

John T Richardson Library, Rm 308

Bring your creative work to the event and have the Threshold staff review your piece and give you feedback toward improvement!

Threshold 2011 Submissions Criteria

Submission Criteria:

• You may submit once to each genre, with the exception of poetry, in which we will accept up to three poems.

• Prose can be of any length, though we do ask that you consider your piece to be of reasonable length. This may include portions or chapters of novels, but the work should stand on its own as a whole piece.

• Poetry submissions can be any length (again, let’s not try for the Odyssey).

How to Submit:

All submissions must be in by noon on February 7, 2011.

• All submissions will be taken electronically to threshold2011@gmail.com with the category of you submission as the subject, ie “poetry submission,” “fiction submission,” etc.

• The email of your submitted work should contain two documents ONE will be a contacts page including first and last name, the genre to which you are submitting, email and/or phone number, and the title of your piece. The SECOND document will consist of your original creative work including ONLY the title (no indications of the author’s identity anywhere on the piece).

• The work must be submitted in a .doc or .docx format only.

Those who are selected for publication will receive a free copy of the journal and will also be eligible for our new Threshold Award for Excellence, given to one outstanding piece in each genre. These awards will selected by Chicago-area authors and presented at the Launch Party.

If you have any questions regarding submissions and/or about Threshold in general, please feel free to email questions to threshold2011@gmail.com.

Hunting the Smaller Jungle: Tips and Tricks for your Cover Letter and Résumé

By now, you’ve found the teaching positions you’re interested in. You have included on your résumé all your experiences that would make you an excellent candidate. The question is, how can you format your credentials to make the best possible first impression?

Many applicants do not take the time to personalize their cover letters and résumés—big mistake. This is often your only communication with a search committee, and every detail is scrutinized (at least, it is a good practice to pretend like every detail will be scrutinized—it will make you a more critical editor). Here are some helpful formatting and style tips for you:

  • Maintain consistency throughout documents.
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What I mean to say here is, if you are putting your name, address, and contact information at the top of your resume, you should also put this same header, with the same font and size on each supporting document you send. Not only does this present a well-polished, consistent group of documents, it also helps in preventing some of your documents from getting “misplaced” along the way. If a search committee is reviewing 200 applicants, and your resume has your contact information but your Teaching Statement does not, it is easy to be missed in a stack of loose, unidentified supporting papers. I have included my own personalized header as an example below:

  • Use bullet points

Bullet points are far easier for your committee to quickly look through to get a general overview of your experiences and qualifications. (See how well it works here?) This means that they do not need to spend twenty minutes reading through multiple paragraphs describing every aspect of your experience. While you want them to spend time on your résumé, you do not want that time trying to get to the core of your experiences. It’s best to use 3–4 bullet points per position, detailing specific responsibilities you held. If they need additional information, they will ask for it.

  • Do not write “References: Available Upon Request”

This just looks lazy on your part. I hate to be so direct, but it’s true. The committee shouldn’t have to request your references from you. If they are good references, including their names and contact information will increase your chances of obtaining the position. Some positions do not require that you submit letters of recommendation; however, it is still good to provide them with the contact information, so that should they decide to pursue your candidacy further, it is easy to find your referees. Also, it helps to provide your relation to the reference if it is immediately unclear from their title.

  • Be aware of word choices in cover letters that indicates inexperience.

Avoid using phrases such as “looking forward to new experiences” or anything that highlights to them that you are inexperienced. Focus on experiences you have already had that contribute to your qualifications as an applicant.

  • Avoid language that carries negative connotations.

This means you shouldn’t mention how you are better than any other potential candidates—even if you are. Avoid highlighting how you have experiences and skills that others may lack. For one, you can’t be sure that the other applicants don’t share your skills, and besides, it’s best to let your experiences and positive attitude do the comparisons for you.

In my next post, I will discuss what to do during the waiting period after you have submitted an application.

Please leave any comments and questions you may have for me!

DePaul Night at Victory Gardens–The Boys Room

DePaul Night for The Boys Room is this Thursday, January 27, starting at 6:30pm. There will be a pre-show reception with some light refreshments from Kim & Scott’s Gourmet Pretzels and the show begins at 7:30pm. There will be a post-show discussion directly following the event. Tickets are only $15 for DePaul Students, Faculty and Staff with a valid I.D.

About The Boys Room

Tim and Ron are brothers on the run: from marriages, unemployment, and adulthood. So they head to the only safe place left—Mom’s house. The Boys Room is a funny affecting world premiere about the precarious state of the modern American family. The cast includes local mainstays Joe Dempsey and Steve Key, rising star Allison Torem, and beloved Chicago actress Mary Ann Thebus as the mother of the “boys.”

To learn more, visit the Victory Gardens website.

Use code DEPAUL when purchasing. Call 773.871.3000 or visit the box office website.

“Science/Fiction” At the Music Box Theatre

Join DePaul University professor and Humanities Center fellow John Shanahan on Thursday, February 17, 2011 for an engaging look at the changing relations of science, fiction, and science fiction in American and Japanese culture.

The Music Box Theatre will screen two films—The Wild Blue Yonder (2005) and Ghost in the Shell (1995). Between the film screenings, a panel of distinguished scholars will discuss some creative remediations of science and technology in contemporary fiction and film.

DePaul and Columbia College students and faculty get in FREE to all events with ID.

All events are open to the public.

Schedule of Events:

  • The Wild Blue Yonder 6:00pm
  • Panel Discussion 7:30-8:30pm
  • Ghost in the Shell 8:45pm

The panelists:

June Chung, Associate Professor of English at DePaul University, specializes in fin-de-siecle American literature. She has published articles on modern capitalism and the arts, media and technology, orientalism, and commercial cosmopolitanism.

Daniel Dinello, a filmmaker and author, is a Columbia College Professor and its Distinguished Scholar for 2011-2012. He is the author of Technophobia! Science Fiction Visions of Posthuman Technology and contributed chapters to Battlestar Galactica and Philosophy and Anime and Philosophy.

Miho Matsugu, Assistant Professor of Japanese at DePaul University, specializes in modern Japanese literature and culture. She has produced critical writings on Kawabata Yasunari, Kirino Natsuo and Murakami Haruki.

John Shanahan, Associate Professor of English at DePaul University, specializes in the relations of literature and science since the Renaissance. His work has appeared in Genre, Studies in English Literature, and other journals and books.

The Films:

The Wild Blue Yonder (2005). Werner Herzog’s mind-bending mash-up of science fiction and ‘mockumentary’ splices actual NASA footage, a delusional narrator who believes he’s an alien, clips of Antarctic ocean exploration recast as video retrieved from the Andromeda galaxy, and a hauntingly other-worldly soundtrack.

Ghost in the Shell (1995). Oshii’s original anime masterpiece, set in the year 2029, tells the story of a cyborg special forces officer on the trail of a rogue computer program called ‘The Puppet Master.’ Oshii’s beautiful fusion of film, animation, still photography, and other media is at the same time a complex meditation on the increasingly unpredictable entanglement of human and machine in contemporary culture.

Hunting the Smaller Jungle: How to Make the Most of Your Part-time Experience

Sabrina Martin continues her series on applying for teaching positions at two-year colleges. In this installment, she discusses how to apply your part-time work experience to a teaching job. Read her first article, “The Search for Two-Year Teaching Positions.”

Now that you’ve started looking for two-year college teaching positions, you might be wondering, “How can I make the most of my part-time experience?” If you’ve never had a full time teaching position, you can still obtain a full time job- you just have to know how to present your experiences.

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way encouraging the use of falsification on your applications. This post isn’t about how to fluff up your experience, but about how to make the most of the experience you do have.

As I’ve written before, I’ve already been applying for teaching positions whose due dates have passed, even though I haven’t officially started my internship at Harold Washington College. When describing my internship in an application, I explain what I intend to do. However, one excellent internship is not enough to fill a whole page of a resume. Then what?

Look at instances where you may have taught, but perhaps didn’t categorize it as such.

For example, as an undergraduate, I was hired as a private tutor for a family with three children, assisting with homework and projects ranging from elementary to high school level work. Yes, this isn’t specific teaching in the classroom, but it does give a search committee more insight into who you are capable of teaching (the larger the age range that can benefit from your teaching, the better). Another example: I tutor a graduate student from South Korea. I am not an ESL instructor, but any experience you have with English as a Second Language is helpful.

Make the most of your professional experience, even if it is not in academia.

I work as an office manager for a small architecture and engineering firm in Chicago. Answering phones, responding to emails, scheduling meetings, and arranging executive travel may not seem like experience that would make me a good faculty member. Yet now they know that I am willing to help with any task, big or small, and that I do not limit myself to my office and my classroom.

Acknowledge in your cover letter how these experiences will make you a more helpful and committed faculty member.

The search committee wants more than just a great teacher, especially at a two-year college. They want someone who is willing to lend an extra hand, whether that means serving on committees, writing grant proposals, or even sponsoring a student group. To the search committee, a good applicant is someone who would make a good colleague.

I know that these experiences do not apply to everyone; however, if you think back to your undergraduate years, I would bet there are experiences that demonstrate your teaching abilities and strong communication skills that you may have overlooked.

For some helpful hints on resume and cover letter writing, check out the Purdue OWL.

Next time, I’ll be discussing some quick tricks to make your applications stand out.

Please leave any comments and questions you may have for me!