What’s Wrong With This Picture?

What’s wrong with these pictures?





I understand the humor in these, and for the most part I find them funny, but I think it’s utterly ridiculous that all the people, whether they’re celebrities, cartoons, or what have you, are white or can pass as white. 

 I made this one in response:Image

And I really just love this one ❤Image


Come on, people. It’s 2012. Can we please stop it with the whitewashing? 


We’re hiring in LIS! :D

We’re hiring! Please distribute widely.

Assistant or Associate Professor – Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) – Req.#12F01

Job Description:

St. Catherine University in St. Paul/Minneapolis is a comprehensive Catholic university with the nation’s largest college for women at its center. Founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1905, the University integrates liberal arts and professional education within the Catholic traditions of intellectual inquiry and social teaching. Committed to excellence and opportunity, St. Catherine enrolls over 5,200 students in associate, baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral programs in both traditional day and weekend formats. Associate and Graduate programs enroll both women and men.

The Master of Library and Information Science Program is seeking an experienced, dynamic, visionary candidate to join our learning community as Assistant or Associate Professor. We seek applicants who have research and teaching expertise in web information systems.

Responsibilities: Teaching required and elective courses; conducting research; meeting service and scholarship expectations for tenure and promotion; providing vision and advocacy for the program’s IT infrastructure needs; student advising/mentoring.


Earned doctorate in library or information science, computer science, information technology, or other related fields; expertise in several of the following areas: information architecture, web development, database management, universal design and accessibility; effective teaching and scholarship in the broad area of information science; ability to design and deliver courses in a variety of formats, including online and hybrid modalities; strong commitment to interdisciplinary research and cultural diversity.

Preferred Qualifications: Experience with the information technology infrastructure used in libraries and information centers; demonstrated potential for multidisciplinary research funding; knowledge of mobile technology applications and internet multimedia technologies; new program development and progressively responsible administrative and leadership experience.

The MLIS Program’s primary goal is to empower students to become future leaders in the complex and ever-changing information environment. The Program has over 180 master’s students and over 750 alumnae. Learning takes place in modern classrooms using up-to-date technology. The MLIS degree provides diverse programs of study in librarianship, with increasing emphasis on digital and web services. The Program offers a school media specialist licensure in collaboration with the Education Department. It also offers a joint post-master’s certificate in organizational leadership with the University’s Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) Program and offers information technology courses that support the MAOL master’s program

St. Catherine University seeks creative, adaptable faculty who enjoy working in a university climate that promotes cultural diversity and multicultural understanding. Consistent with the university’s Catholic identity, its commitment to women, diversity and social justice, preference will be given to candidates who manifest these themes in their teaching, research and service.

Send résumé & cover letter to:

Application: Submit an application letter, CV, evidence of excellence in teaching, academic transcripts, and the names and contact information of three references to Human Resources Req. #12F01, St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Ave, F-17, St. Paul, MN 55105 or fax to 651-690-6871, or email to hr@stkate.edu Official transcripts will be required for hire. For more information, contact the MLIS Search Committee (Joyce Yukawa and Sarah Park, Co-Chairs), at

jyukawa@stkate.edu Position will remain open until filled. Review of applications begins March 1, 2012.

St. Catherine University
2004 Randolph Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
EEO/Drug Free Workplace Employer
Tobacco-Free Campuses
Our university is a proud member of the Upper Midwest HERC and is committed to recruiting and retaining outstanding and diverse faculty and staff and assisting dual career couples. For more information and to find other higher education jobs in the Upper Midwest region, visit: www.uppermidwestherc.org

How to Prepare Your Academic Dossier

My dossier binder

During a recent chat with some friends, I realized that it may be helpful for junior faculty to have some guidance in the gargantuan project of preparing a dossier for an academic review. Putting together a dossier can be a stressful exercise, but it’s also very rewarding. My dossier preparation process was intellectually enlightening, and I really valued the opportunity for reflection. I also valued the opportunity to articulate my goals for future research, teaching, and service. And now, in writing this blog entry, I am enjoying reflecting on my own process. How very meta. Metaspark*.

Keep in mind that I am an assistant professor at a private, liberal arts, teaching university; you must consider your institution, department, etc., as you compose your own dossier. I also am in the middle of my review. I don’t yet know the outcome, but am humbled to have received positive feedback so far. I’m sure as I progress through this review, I will come up with more ways to improve the process for my next review, but I wanted to get this out while it was still fresh. In the spirit of collegiality, I hope my advice is useful and reduces your stress so that you can focus your energy on putting together a great dossier. Here we go:

In Preparation

  • Study your Faculty Evaluation Manual (FEM). Takes notes.
  • Study your university, college, school and departmental mission statements, norms and expectations documents, etc. Take notes.
  • Attend academic review info sessions and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Take notes.
  • Ask a senior colleague if you can read their narrative self-assessment. Take notes.
  • Serve as someone’s peer reviewer during an earlier semester. Take notes.
  • Make a calendar of deadlines: When is your dossier due to your peer reviewers? To your dean? To the Faculty Personnel Committee (FPC)? When will you receive the administration’s decision?
  • Make a checklist. What do your peer reviewers need? What does your dean need? What does the FPC need? (My peer reviewers and dean get my full dossier; the FPC receives only some of the documents).

Your Narrative Self-Assessment

  • If your review is conducted during the fall semester, start writing your narrative self-assessment during the summer. If you’re not teaching, or are teaching fewer courses in the summer, you will likely have more time to write.
  • My FEM required me to write about my teaching, scholarship, and service. Within teaching, there were 4 areas I needed to address. I’ve observed that successful reviews are written in a variety of ways. Don’t get bogged down by formatting, headings, etc. just yet; just write it, and organize it however you think best.
  • Cite your Faculty Evaluation Manual (FEM) and Departmental Norms document in your narrative. State specifically how your activities meet and/or exceed the expectations of your university and department.
  • If your FEC sets a page limit, stick to it. You don’t want to annoy your reviewers.
  • Have several different people proofread your narrative: a peer (not your peer reviewer), your colleague at a different institution, your boyfriend/best friend/father. Each person will be able to give you different kinds of feedback. For example, I asked my colleague from my doctoral program to proofread because she knows me as an academic, she knows my research, my teaching and writing style, etc. I asked my BF to read for clarity, grammar, punctuation, etc. Both gave great feedback.

Make a Tenure & Promotion Folder in Your Filing Cabinet

  • Print out every document that is evidence of your effectiveness in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service. Make as many copies as you need (I had to make 3). This will save you time later because you won’t be scrambling to find these items and then trying to print and collate them all at the last minute. Evidence may include:
    • job cover letter (to demonstrate that you’ve accomplished some of the goals you set forth in your cover letter)
    • articles (published or in the review pipeline)
    • book proposals (accepted or in the pipeline)
    • grant applications
    • all syllabi and representative assignment rubrics
    • all course and instructor evaluations
    • programs of conferences/workshops/events you organized
    • letters of appointment to leadership positions in relevant associations
    • requests to keynote a conference or guest lecture for a course
    • thank you letters for participation or lecture
    • thank you notes and other meaningful correspondence from students
    • meaningful correspondence with practitioners
    • letters of advocacy you’ve written to politicians
    • articles/news segments in which you were featured as an expert
  • Keep a table of contents of above evidence.
  • Annotate above evidence. These annotations will comprise the first draft of your narrative self-assessment. It could be something as simple as putting a post-it on the document indicating why this is important.

On Teaching

  • Keep a teaching journal. Reflect upon what works and what doesn’t work, and why. Do this after as many class sessions as necessary, and after you receive your teaching evaluations. Write about student conflicts and how you resolved them.
  • Take your teaching evaluations seriously. Some students may be liberal in their criticism, but try not to get debilitated by those; rather, look for themes and recurring comments. Focus on addressing recurring criticisms and maintaining your strengths, and then write about these in your narrative.
  • Get a calculator and some scratch paper. In your narrative, talk about how overall your averages improved each semester, and/or how you improved steadily on one particular area of weakness (for example, “clearer grading policies” or “creating a safe and comfortable classroom environment.”) If you know the departmental averages for these areas, see how you compare to them. You may not be able to address everything in your narrative. In mine, I wrote “In this section, I will discuss representative areas that demonstrate how I have worked to improve my teaching” or something to that effect.
  • I have a printed agenda for each class; during class I take notes on what I can improve for the next time I teach this particular unit, or assign that particular assignment – and why I need to make that change. Related, when you make other changes to your syllabi from one semester to another, take notes on why (for example, “Students indicated on my teaching evaluations that I need to provide clearer assignment descriptions.”) These notes will help you when you explain, in your narrative, how you are responsive to students, and the steps you are taking to improve your teaching.
  • Continually work on improving your pedagogical practices through workshops, reading scholarship, attending conferences, etc. In the teaching portion of your narrative, cite scholarship that supports your teaching philosophy.

Your Binder

  • Earlier I mentioned that you should keep a table of contents of your materials. For each section of my binder, I have a table of contents that lists the items that follow that page. This will help guide your reviewers through your materials.
  • I color-coded my dossier binder. In the photo above, you see that I have orange, pink, green, etc. binder tabs. Within each section, I have the same color sheets separating each document. For example, in the orange section (narrative self-assessment and CV), I have an orange sheet of paper between my narrative and CV. In my pink syllabi section, I have a pink sheet of paper between each syllabus. I know, I know: those poor trees. Sorry, but it truly makes it easier for your peer reviewers.

Your CV

  • Update your CV every time you do something meaningful. Some people don’t update their CV until something like this comes along, and then they scramble to remember which conferences they attended, the titles of their papers, all the committees they chair, etc. Don’t be that person.

And the most important thing is this: be a good professor, colleague, and researcher. If you are a good professor, colleague, and researcher, it will clearly show through all of the above.

There’s a lot more to say about professional/university service, setting goals, doing and publishing research, etc., but that’s another entry for another time. Or, at least for publishing, you can read Phil Nel’s excellent “How to Publish Your Article.”

Good luck!

MN Faculty Becoming More Diverse

Recently, someone from the MN Private Colleges Council interviewed me because she’d heard I’d “had a good experience at St. Kate’s.” Indeed, I have. You all know how much I love my job. But… there’s still work to be done. I enjoyed sharing my stories and experiences with her, and think she did a great job weaving together a story that both celebrates progress and indicates that it’s an ongoing struggle.

Here’s an excerpt from the article, “Faculty Becoming More Diverse,” on the MN Private Colleges Council (MPCC) website:

Looking at the data, in 2009 MPCC institutions employed 465 faculty of color; a decade earlier it was 278. This increase of 67% compares to an increase of 27% for white faculty. While MPCC institutions have been able to recruit a more diverse faculty, the 9% non-white faculty still lags behind the state’s diversity — 15% — and the ethnic diversity of our student body — 13%.

Once non-white or underrepresented faculty arrive, institutional support is key to their success. “A lot of us are first-generation graduate students and junior faculty and we don’t have an ‘old boys network’ to support us in the challenges we face,” Park said. She is one of four Asian Americans in a department of 13 faculty and staff. “The diversity and collegiality in my department is great,” she said. “That doesn’t mean there haven’t been challenges.”

During her first all-faculty meeting in 2009, Park was taken aback when another faculty member referred to a Chinese student as “Oriental.” “I was shocked that she didn’t know that that word was outdated and offensive,” Park said. When Park approached her afterward, her colleague apologized and the two had a great conversation, but Park knew “there’s still work to be done.”

Check out the full article:


What Do Professors Do All Week: A Reflection

Two of my bookshelves: young adult literature, Asian American literature, children's literature studies, childhood studies, adoption-related children's books...

Earlier this week I was inspired by friend and colleague Dr. Philip Nel to blog in response to the question, “What Do Professors Do All Day?” He started on Sunday, but I started on Tuesday because 1) I was super sick on Monday 2) SCU shut down for a Snow Day on Monday. I’m not blogging a play-by-play of today, though, because I think I’ve done this enough to learn a bit about my work habits. In reflecting about this experiment, I’ve come to the following conclusions:

  • I love my work.
  • I work in spurts.
  • I get distracted easily (surprise, surprise).
  • Knowing that I’m publicly sharing a play-by-play of my day was always on the back of my mind. What does this mean? Less Facebook, more work… although oftentimes Facebook is work because so many of my colleagues post work-related articles on Facebook. Last night a friend suggested fasting from Facebook for Lent, and I said I could never do that because I get too much work-related content through Facebook.
  • I enjoy blogging, and hope to do it more.
  • Sometimes I come dangerously close to working 12+ hours a day.
  • I need to make better use of my to-do lists. I started using toodledo.com but got discouraged after realizing just how many things I need to-do. I decided today to use google tasks – my life is already googlefied, it’s no-nonsense, and I can easily sync it to my iPad. We’ll see how this goes!
  • I need more exercise.
  • I need more leisure reading.
  • I need more socializing.
  • I need more meditation and downtime.
  • I need to write more. A LOT more.

I also have these questions:

  • How might my week have looked different if I wasn’t ill? If we didn’t have a Snow Day?
  • How can I better organize my time so that I focus on projects for good, long chunks of time, rather than piecemeal? Would that give me the time and space I need for my ideas to simmer, and would it result in a better product?
  • How well am I allocating my time? How would this have looked if I color-coded research, teaching and service?
  • Did my experiment (and Phil’s experiment) inspire you to work differently?

I don’t know if I’ll do this again next week, next month, or ever, but I really enjoyed it this week, and believe that it did cause me to be more careful and reflective about how I spend my time. Thank you Dr. Phil for the idea, thank you to my readers. It’s after 5pm! Checking out. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!