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COLA Connections Newsletter

From the Desk of the Dean


As Leo Tolstoy wrote in Anna Karenina, "Spring is the time of plans and projects." Well, we've made it to spring quarter – the last real quarter before we switch to semesters. Our semester conversion "plans and projects" are ready to blossom as we prepare for this important transition at RIT. I cannot express how appreciative I am of the staff and faculty in COLA who have put so much effort into the semester conversion. Thank you!

Spring quarter promises to be a busy and exciting time in COLA. We're proud to present the Digital Humanities Distinguished Speaker Series this spring, which will feature three important speakers on the convergence of the humanities and technology. RIT is uniquely positioned to be a leader in this field and COLA is enthusiastic about the teaching and research opportunities that await.

The newsletter this month also profiles three individuals that have had an important impact on COLA. First, Dr. Stanley McKenzie, Provost Emeritus and long-time member of the English faculty, made a $300,000 gift to the college to establish the Stan McKenzie Commons and an associated salon series.

Second, we profile Lyndsey Saunders, a co-op student in COLA who is responsible for student event planning and social media at the college. We take a look at why she chose COLA and the benefits she's seen as a result.

Third, we check in on alumnus Angela Mullally and her work with a therapy dog at Rochester Public School 19. A former adjunct faculty member, Mullally is proud of her RIT affiliation and her work helping special education students at her current job.

This edition of our newsletter also previews the upcoming symposium "From Russia with Love" headed by Dr. Elena Sommers in the English department. This symposium takes place on April 18 and offers attendees an opportunity to learn more about Russian culture, music, politics, and literature. (So, you see, the Tolstoy quote above was relevant in more ways than one!)

As always, if you have any questions about any of the content in this newsletter, please feel free to contact me directly at or (585) 475-2447.

Student and Faculty Spotlights

Stanley McKenzie   Provost Emeritus Spotlight: Stanley McKenzie
Stanley McKenzie, provost emeritus and retired professor of literature, has pledged $300,000 to the College of Liberal Arts. The gift is expected to contribute to the improvement of the college in two key areas: the Stanley McKenzie Salon Endowed Fund and the Stan McKenzie Commons. Read more...
Lyndsey Saunders   Student Spotlight: Lyndsey Saunders
For Lyndsey Saunders, the decision to come to RIT for a liberal arts major has netted great opportunities and insight into why COLA might be RIT's best kept secret.
Angela Mullally   Alumni Spotlight: Angela Mullally
When Angela Mullally works with special education students at Rochester's School 19 she has a new ally in calming students and diffusing situations. That help comes in the form of Blaze, a Labrador retriever therapy dog who has recently come to the school.

Upcoming Events

Conable Film Series   The Digital Humanities Distinguished Speaker Series
Beginning March 21, the College of Liberal of Arts, the RIT Project for the Digital Humanities and the Gannett Endowment for the Humanities will present Where Text and Code Collide: The Digital Humanities Distinguished Speaker Series. The three-part series will highlight the intersection between the humanities and science and technology.
Conable Film Series   Symposium: From Russia with Love: Literature, Music, Art, Film
Organized by Dr. Elena Sommers (Dept. of English), From Russia with Love is a multifaceted Symposium that aims to support RIT's Strategic Plan which underscores the importance of creating "enhanced opportunities for cross-cultural understanding and global awareness."""