Welcome back! Park is already a different place than it has been for the past three months; hundreds of students came back to campus last week, and the rest of you arrived this weekend. We spent the summer working on all those projects and programs we didn't have time for during the academic year, and we're ready for a great semester.
There is so much news to report, I almost don't know where to start. But let me at least bring you up to speed on the most important things:
-- The Park School IS wireless. There are two computers in Park 220 for those of you who don't have laptops, but for the rest of you, no more waiting until you get home at night to check your email.
-- The Journalism Department welcomes two distinguished visitors to its roster this fall. Doug Feaver, founding editor of the washingtonpost.com, will join us as our Park Distinguished Visitor; Feaver has worked for the Post for decades, is the former president of the national Online News Association, and is widely recognized as one of the best and most respected online journalists in the world. And Alan Wright, whom many of you know from his Independent Production mini-course in the spring, will be joining us as a full-time Visiting Scholar. Wright is among the most acclaimed documentary producers in the UK, and he comes to Park after many years as a highly successful filmmaker and broadcast news producer. Mead Loop is the department's new chair.
-- In addition, we welcome back the school's former dean, John Keshishoglou (call him Dr. Kesh), who has been living and working abroad for the past several years. Kesh will be teaching our Global Flow of Information course in TVR and helping us identify and develop global service opportunities.
-- We have several other new faculty throughout the Park School, all of whom bring unique and important talents and experience to our classrooms. They include:
Caetlin Benson-Alliott, Dale Hudson, and Monteith McCollum in C&P; Melanie Bush, Ryan Parkhurst, and Mike Scully in Journalism; Michelle Berry, Jerry Gambell, Karen Hall, James Henery, William Ressler, Karen Rodriguez and John Scott in TVR. Welcome them all to our community!
-- The Cellflix Festival is in the works; submissions will be accepted beginning in November, and winners will be announced in January. Take a look at the Web site (designed by an amazing woman in Germany) and let me know what you think:
http://www.betak-design.de/testprojects/filmfestival/filmfestival.html. We're still working on it....details to follow.
-- A group of faculty met this week to begin work on the first (annual) conference in Park honoring the works of Rod Serling; you may have noticed that we have his Emmy awards in the lobby, and we are finding new ways to acknowledge his amazing talent and historical contributions.
-- And yes, I'm still working on a food cart for the lobby -- which will be part of a larger plan to spiff up (yes, spiff is a verb) the lobby area. Watch for the new chairs in the next few weeks...they're so comfy.
-- Finally, and among the most important reminders, we have an entirely new class of first-year students with us; please take 5 seconds to say hello and make them all feel welcome.
And do stop up to the third floor; I bought 10 pounds of chocolate for the basket that sits on the table in the outer office. It's got your name all over it....