The English Department hosted our first Senior Project Showcase this spring! Twenty-two graduating students shared their projects with the campus community on Friday, June 1. Projects ranged from research papers to an artist book to website creations to open educational resources to original fiction, poetry and plays. The showcase was an excellent way to share the smart, creative, and innovative work our students produce for their capstone projects. We hope to make this a regular event in the department!
English majors showcasing their projects.
Visual collage of Emily Dickinson poems
by Amanda Chu.
Rhetorical analysis of The Last Airbender
by Danielle Huliganga.
Original play by Jillian Scognamillo,
Claire Johnson and Rachel Umansky (not pictured)
inspired by/satirizing Dicken's A Christmas Carol.
Artist book focused on body image and dysmorphia
by Zoe Magno.
Development of open educational resources in
early American literature by
Isabell Garcia and Lauren Moore.
Rhetorical analysis of female leaders by Sarah
Morningred (left) and a zine by and for people
of color by Clarisse Wangeline (right).
Students participating in the showcase, with
Kathryn Rummell and Catherine Waitinas.
The Human Library
One of our most innovative senior projects this year was Jeanne Bay’s Human Library event. You can read more about the international Human Library organization here. Jeanne brought this event to Cal Poly’s campus. On May 15, over 100 “readers” came to interact with 21 student “books.” Students’ stories explored issues of identity in all its forms, as well as experiences that shaped them before and while at Cal Poly. The evening was a resounding success, largely due to Jeanne’s expert leadership. The event even drew the attention of Beric Alleyne, COO of Diversity and Inclusion at eBay, who not only attended the event, but was so impressed by it that he invited Jeanne and several other students to participate in eBay’s Human Library event in San Jose this summer.
Here’s what student “reader” Rebecca Gates had to say about the evening:
“The Human Library Event was an incredibly raw and eye-opening evening. I was able to hear the stories of both friends and strangers at Cal Poly, and I learned so much about the variety of experiences here. There was a palpable feeling of empathy, understanding, and open communication present in the room. As a “reader,” I could tell Jeanne and the rest of the organizers took every step needed to make sure both the participants and readers felt comfortable. There was a little bit of nervousness when departing from my comfort zone and speaking about issues that are usually kept in the dark, but learning about and understanding someone’s perspective was well worth it. I hope other English students continue this new tradition Jeanne has developed and use it to help ingrain empathy and understanding deeper within Cal Poly’s values.”
Participant Talia Bravo.
Readers listen intently to a story.
Readers gather in the lobby before the event.
Organizer Jeanne Bay instructing "books" before
Organizer Jeanne Bay (right) and senior project
advisor Catherine Waitinas.
Participant Jared Noche making a connection
with a reader.
Participant Sean Parado telling his story.