The publication of the inaugural issue of All Eyes on AES last spring marked a concerted effort on our part to showcase and share, as broadly as possible, the diverse activities and multiple accomplishments of our faculty, staff, students, alumni, and allies in the community. As former Chair Dr. Lauro Flores indicated at the time, each new issue will feature the profile of prominent AES graduates who are making a difference in their communities, include stories highlighting significant faculty projects (research, publications, pedagogical innovations, awards, etc.), and share some of our current students’ accomplishments.
As this issue demonstrates, we have a lot to celebrate as the current 2015-2016 academic year gets underway. To begin with, we are proud to be simultaneously celebrating both the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Department of American Ethnic Studies in 1985, as well as the 45th anniversary of the founding of the various programs—the African American Studies Program, Asian American Studies Program, and Center for Chicano Studies—that eventually morphed into and became AES. In recognition of these momentous events, AES held an Open House on October 12th—Indigenous People’s Day—and welcomed more than 200 guests from all over campus and the broader community who joined us to acknowledge and celebrate the important contributions AES has made in addressing matters of race and ethnicity through scholarship, teaching, and outreach.
In addition to a story in this issue about our Open House celebration, you will find an array of other stories about a newly opened writing center that will provide AES students with crucial support with the writing they do in our classes and a new book by an AES faculty member that examines how we can best cultivate and prepare our students to navigate a difficult and challenging world. We also showcase the critical role that members of our faculty play in the classroom, in supporting the financial needs of our students, and in collaborative projects with our community partners. Finally, there are stories that celebrate the historical election of an AES alumna to the Yakima City Council as well as the momentous appointment of a former AES chair as President of the University of Washington.
These are of course only a few slices from the productive lives of our faculty, staff, students and community partners that will provide you with a glimpse into the rich possibilities that play themselves out in AES every single day. Keep in mind that we also want to hear your stories—whether you’re AES alumni, friends, current students or community partners—so that we too can join in celebrating and sharing your accomplishments in a future installment of All Eyes on AES. So, please, stay in touch and let us know what you’re up to. In the meantime, enjoy reading the stories in this issue and join us in working to forge new connections as we continue to strengthen the many connections we already have.
Professor & Chair