Developing a Five-Year Plan

Millar and Negrón-Gonzales leading workshop

This interactive workshop, designed for early-career faculty, provided a framework and tools to create a five-year plan to help faculty achieve their professional goals in the academy. Faculty learned strategies for time management and received resources to help with developing their plans. During the workshop, faculty identified gaps in their current projects and created their tenure timelines. The workshop was facilitated by Michelle Millar, Associate Professor in the School of Management and Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales, Assistant Professor in the School of Education.

To learn more about the strategies discussed during the event, read Negrón-Gonzales’s post “Making a Five-Year Plan.”

Passage: A Reading and Conversation with Author Khary Lazarre-White

Khary Lazarre-White reading from passageDuring this reading and conversation, author Khary Lazarre-White discussed his work as a social justice advocate and founder of the award-winning youth development organization The Brotherhood-SisterSol that supports the empowerment Black and Latinx youth in New York City. Lazarre-White read an excerpt from his novel Passage, which tells the story of Warrior, a young Black man navigating police brutality, structural racism, and the snowy winter streets of Harlem and Brooklyn in 1993. Though the story takes place in 1993, there is a striking parallel between Warrior’s experience and the experiences of Black male youth today. This event was moderated by Assistant Professor Samira Abdur-Rahman from the Department of English.

Read more about the event and Passage in Samira Abdur-Rahman’s post “Encountering the City and the Self in Khary Lazarre-White’s Passage.”

Digital Humanities: Possibilities and Projects

Sample of Text Analysis

This 90-minute program featured inspiring visions and projects in Digital Humanities (DH) research and challenges faculty to imagine the potential of using DH in their own work. Presenters included professors Nathan Dennis and Karen Fraser (Art History/Arts Management and Museum Studies), David Silver (Environmental Studies and Urban Agriculture), and Gleeson Assistant Librarian Colette Hayes. This event was moderated by Michael Rozendal (Rhetoric and Language).

This CRASE panel was especially designed for faculty looking for inspiration in tackling their own DH projects, and/or those wishing to learn more about a range of research methodologies and projects in this ever-expanding digital arena.

Read more about the topic in Colette Hayes’s post “Adventures in Digital Humanities.”

Learn more about Digital Humanities Projects:
Digital Humanities Projects at Stanford
Digital Humanities Spotlight: 7 Important Digitization Projects

Writing a Strong Grant Proposal: Advice from a Grant Editor

During this interactive workshop, grant editor Crystal Herron provided advice on how to prepare and write a strong grant proposal. She shared common mistakes and offered suggestions and strategies for preparing a fundable proposal. Faculty participants also met with the director of the Office of Contracts and Grants (OCG), Don Campbell, and learned about the grant application process at USF and resources available to faculty. Faculty appreciated the specific feedback and tips from the editor and had time to apply the concepts during a working session.

10 x 10: Ten Objects, Ten Stories

Peggy Takahashi with Mitsu Sato, Topaz Barracks with a Sand Storm

Ten members of the University of San Francisco community responded to ten unique objects in Something from Nothing: Art and Handcrafted Objects from America’s Concentration Camps. Artifacts were created by people of Japanese ancestry while being held in detention centers— Department of Justice camps and ten permanent camps. Perspectives incorporated personal history and stories, scholarly analysis, and creative expression. The event featured perspectives from each presenter and was followed by a reception.

Ken Yoshioka and Brynn Saito

Contributors included:

  1. Hana Mori Böttger (College of Arts and Sciences, Art + Architecture)
  2. Brian Dempster (College of Arts and Sciences, Rhetoric and Language)
  3. Sara Fan (Center for Research, Artistic, and Scholarly Excellence)
  4. Saera Khan (College of Arts and Sciences, Psychology)
  5. Sherise Kimura (Gleeson Library | Geschke Center)
  6. Nick Large (Information Technology Services)
  7. Noriko Milman (College of Arts and Sciences, Sociology)
  8. Brynn Saito (College of Arts and Sciences, Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program)
  9. Peggy Takahashi (School of Management, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs)
  10. Ken Yoshioka (Information Technology Services)

Read responses from our presenters:
Sherise Kimura “Enemy Alien: Uncovering Family History
Ken Yoshioka “Return to Topaz

Plan Your Semester


Christine Yeh, Professor in the School of Education, led an interactive workshop where faculty created a specific semester plan to accomplish their research and writing goals. Participants strategized on how to navigate and balance multiple professional and personal goals. During the event, faculty learned about how many tasks actually go into each discrete goal, how to evaluate how much time each task takes, and the benefits of scheduling tasks on the calendar. Yeh also provided different strategies for being accountable for your research.

Participants felt that the workshop was helpful because it was very concrete and hands-on.

For more information about planning your semester, read Christine Yeh’s post Tips for Creating a Semester Plan for Faculty Success in Writing and Research.


Michael Arcega Michael Arcega Doña Señorita I was asked to share a reflection/response to the exhibit Anting Anting | Magic Objects by Michael Arcega at a Thacher/CRASE collaborative event “Inspirations from Anting Anting: Magic Objects of Protection.”

Art is not only personal to the artist who created it but also to the person viewing it. I chose the piece “Doña Señorita”: Matriarchal power enhancement. I was drawn to it initially because I love señorita bananas. At a deeper level, the piece makes me remember my home, my family. It symbolizes the generations of Locsin women – past, present and future.


I am from my mother, my father
From Wo Sin Lok
from Amoy 268 years ago
I am from my family,
small, quiet, large, noisy, 5 in 82
I am from the garnet
hard, durable, yet soft, vulnerable
I am from the diamond
unique, creative, reflecting light to make rainbows
I am from my grandmother
petite, powerful, God fearing,
I am from those who attend Mass, pray the novena
yet believe the theories of Darwin and Lemaitre
I am from the sugar capital of the Philippines
from the home of the aswang
I am from the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost
yet believe in the lore of kapre, dwende, tiyanak
I pray the Our Father, Hail Mary and the Glory Be
but say “Tabi Tabi po” to pay respects to the elementals
I am from Washington DC
but call myself a proud Ilongga
I am from the Balay Dako
from the house that burnt to ashes
I am from the Bisaya, Hiligaynon
gentle, soft-spoken, meek
yet direct, honest, to the point
I am from the ones who taught me right from wrong
those who taught me the importance of delicadeza
yet I live in the land where it is non-existent
I am from my Yaya Goya
I am from my Lola Inday
the king, queen, empress, the last word
I am from the Holy Rosary
Ako ang nanay ni Isabel
I am 112235121

Ako ang nanay ni Isabel means I am Isabel’s mother.
Aswang means witch
Balay Dako means big house
Delicadeza means being refined or having manners, etiquette. it means having the sense of propriety or how to behave under the circumstance.
Dwende is a dwarf who live in anthills, termite mounds (punso) who are either good or bad
Ilongga refers to the females of the Visayans who speak the Hiligaynon/Illongo dialect.
Kapre is a Philippine mythical tree giant
“Tabi tabi, po” means excuse me, pardon me, please move to the side
Tiyanak is a vampiric creature who imitates the form of a child; sounds like a child and when someone picks it up, it goes back to its true form and attacks.

Liza Locsin is Assistant to the Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a ninth generation Pilipino (of Chinese origin). 112235121 is her number in the Locsin genealogy. There are 82 people in her family on her father’s side.

Flint’s Legacy: Trusting Science and Pursuing Justice

A Series of Events sponsored by a CRASE Interdisciplinary Action Group Grant

Event #1: Public Enemy, an Adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People

Produced by the Performing Arts and Social Justice Program

On April 25, 2014, water officials from Flint, Michigan celebrated as they pushed the button that moved the city’s water supply from the Detroit River, which had supplied it for decades, to the heavily polluted Flint River. The benefits were almost purely financial.

Continue reading “Flint’s Legacy: Trusting Science and Pursuing Justice”

Adventures in Digital Humanities

As a librarian who is passionate about languages, literature, pedagogy, and research, I’m curious about how technology assists their study and practice. I’m also confident that technological innovation needs the critical and constructive perspectives of humanities students and scholars. For these reasons, I wanted to become more proficient in a field that delves into many of these interests and concerns: digital humanities (DH). So, I decided to attend the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (or DHSI) at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

DHSI has been held at the University of Victoria for almost two decades. It’s evolved over time into a 2-week institute where participants take intensive, week-long classes in a particular area of digital humanities. There are also preconference sessions, conversational  sessions, and daily colloquia. Longtime practitioners in DH teach, learn, and share ideas and projects alongside professors, librarians, archivists, graduate students, independent scholars, and journalists from all over the world — some who have been using digital tools and methods in their work for a long time, and others, like me, who are just starting out.

I arrived at DHSI with all of the anticipation, excitement, and nervousness that new learning adventures often bring. I soon found that I had nothing to be apprehensive about because DHSI and the University of Victoria provided a welcoming environment. And, any lingering homesickness that I might have been harboring was quickly abated by an assigned reading which mentioned Roberto Busa, a Jesuit priest and librarian who is often cited as the father of digital humanities. I learned that in the late 1940s, Busa asked IBM to assist him with work on the Index Thomisticus, a tool that made Thomas Aquinas’ corpus searchable. This project was a multi-year endeavor and a great example of the Jesuit influence on DH.

Digital tools are built a lot faster than they were in the 1940s. I learned that common DH methods and projects – such as text analysis, data visualization, mapping, and online publishing – may have any number of different tools, both open-source and proprietary, that scholars use to help them ask and answer new questions. One tool that I particularly liked experimenting with was Voyant – a simple and easy-to-learn open source text analysis and data visualization tool.

Voyant Tools analysis of DHSI website text
Screenshot of a Voyant Tools analysis of DHSI website text

Playing around and experimenting with different tools was fun, but a common refrain at DHSI was to be reflective and discerning about the use of these tools and their value to one’s particular research or projects. Course facilitators stressed that vetting tools is an important part of their research process.

As a result of the reflection and learning I was encouraged to do at DHSI, my own notion of and interests in digital humanities expanded considerably. I began conceiving of my own DH less in terms of tools and methods like text analysis, and more in terms of creating digital collections in collaboration with community stakeholders.

For example, how can I creatively use, remix, learn, and tell new stories or ask new questions with our existing library collections, both digital and analog? And how can I enhance these stories with multimodal learning and experience – by including aspects such as 3D replicas, sound, maps, and timelines? How can I involve our campus community in this endeavor? And, in keeping with our USF mission of changing the world from here, how do projects like digital exhibits make scholarship accessible and in service to communities outside of academia?

Furthermore, the two intensive classes that I took at DHSI – Critical Pedagogy and Digital Praxis in the Humanities (facilitated by Robin DeRosa and Chris Friend)  and Models for DH at Liberal Art Colleges and Four Year Institutions (facilitated by Angel Nieves and Janet Simon) –  encouraged participants to integrate student learning early and often in our DH work. In one of my classes, we talked about creating an online, interactive and open source Early American English literature textbook with and for undergraduates.

I also heard about student DH summer fellowships, where students earned summer course credit for conceiving of and creating a DH project in collaboration with faculty mentors. For example: Lauren White, a junior at Gettysburg College and a double major in Environmental Studies and English, worked with Musselman Library as a Digital Scholarship Summer Fellow. Using a platform called Scalar and material curated from her institution’s special collections and archives, White created This is Why We Fight, an interactive timeline of student-led social justice movements at Gettysburg College.

Gettysburg College student Lauren White’s project This is Why We Fight
Screenshot of Gettysburg College student Lauren White’s project, “This is Why We Fight.”

Here is another example of a project that I enjoyed learning about: Undergraduate and graduate students and their professor, Dr. Kristin Allukian at the University of South Florida, used a platform called Omeka to create, in consultation with a librarian, a searchable, cataloged digital collection or database of suffrage postcards, and are using this database alongside historical research to analyze and ask questions about these artifacts and their historical context. Their work is online and available for anyone to browse or use.

With examples like these as inspiration, I returned home from DHSI thinking about related projects I’ve worked on in the past, and those I’d like to work on in the future. I’m still interested in text mining and analysis (particularly after reading this article). But as a result of attending DHSI, I’m interested in so much more now.

My time at DHSI inspired me to consider the rich content in the USF library’s digital collections and how I might embark on a digital project or exhibit with students that curates content from and uses these collections to tell a story like the one Lauren White tells in “This is Why We Fight.” For example, what stories might be told with the library’s newly digitized collection of USF Foghorn newspapers? I’ve also been browsing Calisphere’s collectionsand digital exhibits for examples of exhibitions and ideas. Calisphere is a project of the California Digital Library, into which all ten University of California campuses, in addition to other California universities, libraries, and cultural institutions (including USF) have contributed digitized content. Last year, Calisphere began accepting proposals for exhibits, or “curated sets of items with scholarly interpretation that contribute to historical understanding.”

My two week immersion at DHSI was, of course, not nearly enough for me to become fluent in digital humanities. As many people I met at the institute suggested, however: it’s OK to start small, and learn from each other as we embark on this work. Collaboration and continued professional development is key. I now feel comfortable tapping the community from DHSI for help in this endeavor. A few librarians at Gleeson Library | Geschke Center also have interests in digital humanities and digital scholarship. I know our Digitization Librarian, Jessica Lu, our scholarly communications librarian Charlotte Roh, and others are excited to discuss the possibilities of DH at the University of San Francisco, too.

Colette Hayes is an assistant librarian at Gleeson Library | Geschke Center.

Trans-Scripts: CRASE-Sponsored Dramatic Reading and Photography

Event Organized by:
Jane Bleasdale, Ph.D.,, Assistant Professor, Department of Leadership Studies
Amie Dowling, MFA,, Associate Professor, Performing Arts Department
Daniela Domínguez, Psy.D.,, Assistant Professor, Counseling Psychology Department

With Donald Trump in office, 2017 was a challenging year for the transgender community in the United States. President Trump’s inaccurate understanding of sexuality and gender has led to the reversal of Obama-era positions on transgender rights and the creation of policies that attempt to harm transgender students, troops, and workers. Disheartened by these discriminatory attacks, professors Jane Bleasdale, Amie Dowling, and Daniela Dominguez felt the need to take action against President Trump’s attempts to silence and oppress the transgender community.

Sponsored by the Center for Research, Artistic, and Scholarly Excellence (CRASE) and the McGrath Institute for Jesuit Catholic Education, we produced “Trans-Scripts,” an artistic celebration based on the words and lived experiences of people from the transgender community. Trans-Scripts is a dramatic reading that is grounded in intersectional practice, an appreciation for the preservation of transgender rights, and a spirit of resistance to the reversal of progress. This performance featured transgender students and alum, women from El/La Para Trans Latinas, and photographs of transgender women by Kique Bazan of El/La Para Trans Latinas.

Photo credit: Kique Bazan

The process of creating “Trans-Scripts” started with 58 pages of interviews conducted by Professor Bleasdale with transgender individuals who attended K-12 Catholic and Public Schools. The interviews were edited to a 14-page script, and a backdrop of layered text from the Trump administration was added. Six rehearsals were held, and throughout the creative process, the producers provided mentorship, training, and encouragement to performers, which created avenues for them to feel empowered to use their voice and assert the value of their performance.

The final performance took place during the week of Transgender Awareness on November 14, 2017, at the University of San Francisco’s Intercultural Center and included a 30-minute dramatic reading and a 30-minute panel discussion led by the performers. The artists delivered an intimate performance that reflected the sociocultural challenges that Dr. Bleasdale’s participants have experienced throughout their journeys. The performance was infused with music selected by the research participants to help audience members better understand the affective dimensions of their lives. “Trans-scripts” was a performance that was as strong and powerful as the transgender communities it represented.

During the panel discussion, faculty, students, community members, producers, and performers, discussed strategies to dismantle cisgender privilege and other forms of oppression. Performers encouraged professors at the University of San Francisco to deepen their relationships with transgender students in order to build safer, more inclusive, and thriving classrooms where their identities are honored. They also drew attention to the importance of using correct pronouns as a demonstration of respect, awareness, and solidarity with the trans community.

Surrounding the stage were 26 photographs captured by Kique Bazan, a longtime activist for justice with years of experience working with advocacy organizations and an adjunct lecturer at the University of San Francisco (USF). His photography contested conventional social constructions of transgender individuals and encouraged cross-cultural dialogue on the importance of moving beyond the male-female dichotomy to increase understanding of the complex multicultural and intersectional identities of the transgender individuals that emerge and develop within them.

Photo credit: Kique Bazan

“Trans-scripts” was well attended with over 70 guests which included women from El/La Para Trans Latinas, outreach educators from the Asian Pacific Islander Wellness Center, the Director of USF’s Counseling and Psychological Services, the Director of the Lane Center, the Director of the Intercultural Center, staff and faculty across USF, and many others. Given the presence of monolingual Spanish-speaking guests from El/La, event programs were offered in English and Spanish. During the panel discussion, I provided translations throughout the dialogue to ensure the participation of our Spanish-speaking guests. During the discussion, audience members expressed powerful emotional responses to the performance.

We believe that our event sent a message to the Bay Area community that the University of San Francisco is interested in creating inclusive and affirming environments where transgender students, staff, and faculty can feel safe, protected, and celebrated.

Photo credit: Kique Bazan