From the Dean

August 2019

Dear Arts & Letters Community:
 
Welcome! To new students, faculty and staff and Welcome Back! To those of you returning for the 2019-20 academic year. As I write this, new College of Arts & Letters students are visiting for their on-campus orientation and initial registration. Both new and returning students to the college – over 3100 of them – can choose from over 1,200 sections of 467 courses across our nine departments: Art, Communication Studies, English, Liberal Studies, Modern Languages and Literatures, Music, Philosophy, Television, Film and Media Studies, and Theatre and Dance. We are especially pleased to be launching a new major this year in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies housed in the Department of Liberal Studies. 
 
Students who major in Arts & Letters disciplines are often following their heart or their passion (sometimes to the consternation of their family). “Follow your heart” is actually pretty good advice. A study from labor market consulting firm EMSI “looked at the relevance of liberal arts in the labor market and found that human skills like creativity, mental flexibility, ethics, and compassion are both in high demand and are remarkably resistant to automation.” A more recent study by EMSI finds that “even roundabout individual pathways can produce positive economic outcomes.” This is why in the College of Arts & Letters we encourage you to follow your heart while also making visible to you the variety of career outcomes that can be available to you after graduation. Toward that end, please mark your calendars for Connect the Dots: Pathways into the Creative Industries on November 1. There will be morning workshops on Financial Literacy, Professional Communication, and Building a Web Portfolio. Over lunch, faculty will coach you on how to network in professional settings and then you will have a chance to deploy your new skills when you “Meet the Pros” in a series of networking roundtables. A panel of successful Cal State LA Alumni and a reception (i.e., Free Food!) round out the day. You will be able to register for individual sessions or the whole day.
 
I will be reconvening the “Dean’s Student Advisory Council” in the fall semester. This group meets with me once each month to discuss issues of concern to students and also to provide me with feedback on projects and initiatives the College is considering. If you are interested in being part of this group, you can apply here.
 
Finally, if you would to just drop by and chat, I am instituting “Dean’s Drop-In” on Friday mornings 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM. Please be understanding that there may be some Fridays when I am called away from the office, but on most Fridays 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM you can find me in MUS 228.
 
Best wishes for an intellectually and creatively stimulating – and academically successful – fall semester,
 
Dr. Linda Essig
Dean