Updates from the English Department Office of Undergraduate Studies
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Click here to see this online

A note from the director...


Dear Students:

Have you submitted your work to UGS intern and The Write Stuff editor, Tavon Sanders? If not, go! We want to publish your work whether it's poetry, fiction, non-fiction, written for a class, not written for a class, short, long or in between. The same is true of your visual work. Photography, painting, cartoons, drawings, etc. Tavon wants your work! All submissions (or questions about submissions) to WriteStuff@uic.edu.

Speaking of UGS writers, be sure to read Katia Aguilar's first installment of her series where she reviews books by minoritized authors. This week she talks about Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Do you have younger siblings, friends at CPS or the Archdiocese of Chicago schools interested in UIC? UIC just launched the Ida B. Wells Scholarship. Keep reading to learn more about the scholarship and selection criteria. 

Speaking of scholarships, CUNY's Labor Studies is offering a generous scholarship. They will even help you with your application! You can read more in the section "Scholarships, Fellowships, Internships and Jobs" below. 

Looking for some practical advice about life after UIC? Email english@uic.edu for a recording of Wednesday's Careers Workshop. 

Scroll down to learn more about these and other topics including:

  • LAS' Internship Bootcamp
  • Support Group for COVID Loss
  • Job of the Week
  • Present Your Research at UIC's Impact and Research Week
  • Professor Cintrón Discusses Democracy and Migration
  • Share Your Research at the Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium
  • Penn State's "Mentoring for the Future of Literary Studies" Summer Program
  • Intern for Casa Central
  • Teach English in Taiwan
  • Calls for Writing, etc.
  • Upcoming UGS Events

Keep reading, stay safe, and be in touch!


Prof. Robin Reames, Director of Undergraduate Studies


Join LAS' Internship Bootcamp

Internship Bootcamp 
Spark your internship success by joining the LAS Internship Bootcamp. This series is designed to help you through every step of the internship search process to increase your chances of securing a future opportunity!
Students must commit to the following Tuesdays at 10:00am: March 2, March 9, March 19, 2021.
**DEADLINE TO APPLY IS Friday, February 26, 2021! 
Click here for application.

UIC Launches Ida B. Wells Scholarship Fund

 Ida B. Wells

UIC has launched the Ida B. Wells Scholarship, honoring the civil rights leader’s legacy and helping African American students receive their degrees.

The scholarship will be awarded to students from 20 partner Chicago Public Schools and Archdiocese of Chicago schools with more than 95% of African American student enrollment. High school seniors must be in the top 4% of their class to be eligible for the scholarship for their first year at UIC, with the potential to renew the scholarship for their second year at UIC.

“Research indicates with the rising cost of college expenses, many students are concerned about how they will pay for college,” said Phyllis P. Hayes, founder of the UIC CHANCE Program. “However, for African American students, who often come from underserved communities, this concern is even more real because in many cases, access to financial aid can mean the difference between being able to go to college and not having that opportunity at all.”

While the scholarship aims to help African American students attend UIC, it also honors the legacy of Wells, an African American journalist and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Association of Colored Women.

“Naming the fund after Ida B. Wells was a way to honor her commitment to social justice. One of the selection criteria for student applicants is to document work done in their respective communities,” said Caroline Theus Swinney, assistant vice provost of diversity and community engagement.

Dan Duster, Wells' great-grandson states, “What UIC is doing completely aligns with the family and with the Ida B. Wells Memorial Foundation, and we appreciate it,” Duster said. “The recognition of Ida B. Wells by UIC and the long overdue and well-deserved recognition she’s getting in America and having it in our own town is extra special.”

“This is the first time that this kind of scholarship is being offered to African American students on our campus,” Hayes said. “It is the hope of the Ida B. Wells Scholarship Committee that this initiative will help increase the numbers of African American students who are admitted to our campus. This scholarship stands for our plight to continue to fight for access, equity and inclusion.”


Book Review

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Katia Aguilar

Hello! My name is Katia and I am currently a third year student at UIC majoring in Communication with a minor in Professional Writing. I am hoping to work in the publishing industry after graduation. Primarily I would like to work as an editor if given the opportunity. My purpose with these posts will be to shed light on some great authors of color and bring the UIC community more great reading recommendations to consider during these difficult times. 

The first recommendation for this week is Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. The book follows a young girl named Casiopea who after accidentally releasing a Mayan god of death (Hun-Kame)  from his  wrongful imprisonment is given a choice to help him recover his throne in the Mayan underworld of Xibalba which was stolen from him by his twin brother (Vucub-Kamé) and in exchange the god will grant the young girl’s greatest desire. What follows throughout the story is a mysterious tale of adventure and perilous magical encounters throughout the pair's long journey in search of their goal. 

The book invites readers to join in on the journey that the protagonists have embarked on and centers around themes of magical realism, fairytale, and historical fantasy. These themes come together seamlessly to create a gripping storyline. 

Gods of Jade and Shadow does a great job of setting up a fairy tale hero’s journey re-told in a historical fantasy setting drawing inspirations from historical Mexican time periods in tandem with Mayan mythology to create an alluring and complex world of magic, myth, demons and beauty. As Moreno-Garcia’s characters travel together and develop alongside one another, so does the reader get to follow along on the journey and become immersed in the story and see the characters develop past their personal trials and tribulations into their own sense of self.  

I would recommend this read highly to anyone looking to add to their “TBR” list as this is a great selection to consider to distract from the isolation, as well as shedding light on Latinx and female authors. 


Author Blog: https://www.silviamoreno-garcia.com/blog/ 

Chicago Public Library: https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2154390126 

Barnes & Noble :https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gods-of-jade-and-shadow-silvia-moreno-garcia/1129853097

Pilsen Community Bookstore: https://www.pilsencommunitybooks.com/?searchtype=keyword&qs=gods+of+jade+and+shadow&q=h.tviewer&using_sb=status&qsb=keyword


Job of the Week

Recreation Attendant
Sara Johnson

This week’s job is recreation attendant at the Sport & Fitness Center.

The recreation attendant supervises the membership and control desk area. Their main responsibility is to provide excellent customer service. The services they provide include checking out equipment, helping patrons complete applications for memberships and locker rentals, and completing monetary transactions. In order to do these services well, it is important they know all the policies of the Sport & Fitness Center, how to navigate the UIC Campus recreation website, the membership management system, and the member identification access system. There are also regular staff meetings mandatory for all recreation attendants.

UIC’s Sport & Fitness Center looks for people who are team players, able to work well under pressure, have effective communication skills, a positive attitude, and excellent customer service skills. Those who are willing to work closing and/or opening are also sought after individuals. 

You can apply at https://recreation.uic.edu/employment/ 

Meet Vjwala Ambarkhana, a graduate student completing her final semester in management information systems. She has been working as a recreation attendant for about two years now, and she says she has thoroughly enjoyed working this position. She mostly swipes people into the building, and, since covid has started, she is also in charge of taking everyone’s temperature as they enter. Aside from managing people’s entry, she also helps set people up with memberships. Vjwala says, “It’s actually really chill and cool—especially my managers—they are super supportive. They’ve got your back whenever you need them.” 

The recreation attendant position has helped Vjwala to grow socially. When she first started this job, she remembers not being used to greeting people. She reflected on her childhood, saying she was quite shy, so she was not used to interacting with people, especially strangers. In Vjwala’s own words: “After I started working here, it’s like a new me. I started putting myself out there and talking with many new people. I got to know their feedback and was able to improve myself. It was an overall development of my personality.” She says that this development has helped to better prepare her for future career goals because it has helped to significantly improve her relational/social skills. 

When asked if she would recommend this job to a friend, Vjwala says she has already recommended many friends!


Present Your Research!


Are you a CURA (Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Award) student? We encourage you to register to present your work during UIC's Impact and Research Week April 5 - 9, 2021. 

Students will prepare a short presentation (7-10 minutes) and use a medium like PowerPoint or Google Slides to guide their presentation. Presentations will take place via panels of four students; opportunities for students to sign up as a group (e.g., for students working in the same research lab) will be made available. Each presentation panel will last one hour; each student will present their research and time will be allocated for a question-and-answer period with the judges assigned to the panel. 

Registration begins March 1, 2021 and we'll have a link to the registration page in next week's newsletter.


Interested in Democracy and Migration?

Cintron & Navejas

COVID Loss Support Group

COVID Loss Support Group

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 811 0056 5588
Passcode: 1d909s16


Share Your Research!

Author Anthony Doerr with his 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "All the Light We Cannot See." 
2021 Macksey Keynote Anthony Doerr with his 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning "All the Light We Cannot See." 

Do you - or your friends - have research in the humanities that is ready for a larger audience? If so, apply for Johns Hopkins University’s second annual Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium. The symposium offers students across the country the chance to gather together and disseminate their humanities research on a national scale. COVID turned 2020's symposium into a virtual event, but that was a great success! There were 359 participants and more than 10,000 visits to the conference site to date. Held live on April 24 and 25, 2021, this year’s event will be virtual as well. The application portal is open through April 1, 2021

This symposium is open to undergraduate students from any two-year or four-year college or university who would like to present their original scholarship in the humanities. We hope to have 400 participants this year. In addition to the multiple panels of student papers and presentations (including original creative works), we will also have a wonderful keynote delivered by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr and multiple professional development panels featuring Johns Hopkins graduate students and faculty and editors from Johns Hopkins University Press. Students studying all areas of the humanities are welcome to attend. Attendees will also have the opportunity to work with our student editors to revise their presentation into a journal-length presentation for our journal of proceedings, the Macksey Journal.

For questions or to apply, click here.


Get Paid to Write for the UGS Newsletter


Do you qualify for Federal Work Study? If so, we can now pay you to write for us!

This is a great way to add to your portfolio and get paid experience writing. We are looking for writers interested in submitting weekly, monthly or occasional articles. For more information, contact english@uic.edu.


Penn State's "Mentoring for the Future of Literary Studies" Summer Program

 Call for Applications: Mentoring for the Future of Literary Studies

Are you considering graduate school for literary studies? Do you want to take your English studies to the next level, but don't know where to begin? Penn State is proud to announce the beginning of its “Mentoring for the Future of Literary Studies” project, a summer mentorship program specifically designed to aid black, indigenous and students of color who are interested in MA or PhD programs in literary studies! 

The program is free, and will be conducted online over two days, during which participants will learn all about advanced degree programs from graduate students at Penn State University. Participants will create and gather materials for the graduate school application process and even be able to schedule one-on-one meetings with faculty from Penn State to network and help foster long-lasting academic and professional relationships.

The program encourages not only those interested in English literature to apply, but also students interested in Spanish, French, Arabic, Slavic languages, gender and sexuality studies and more! Applications from recent BA graduates, students of Junior or Senior standing, terminal MA students, and students from diverse cultural, economic, geographic and ethnic groups are highly desired. 

To apply, submit a 1-page, single-spaced cover letter as a PDF document by Friday, February 26th to Kendra McDuffie (krm30@psu.edu) or Camila Gutiérrez-Fuentes (ckg5141@psu.edu) using the title “Mentoring 2021 application.” In this letter include:

  • Your academic interest in graduate studies or the kinds of programs you would be interested in applying to
  • Your interest in languages, literatures, and cultures
  • Any personal experiences you think might be relevant
  • Your commitment, interest, or experience with diversity in academic settings

Internships, Scholarships, Fellowships & Jobs


Full Scholarships to Promote Diversity in Labor/Labor Studies

The Joseph S. Murphy Scholarship Program 

The Diversity Scholarships promote the leadership of women and people of color in the labor movement and Labor Studies. We award full tuition plus over $10,000 at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, to earn an MA in Labor Studies.  

For info on labor programs, scholarships and union internship, text (day, evening, weekend) 718-440-1550 or Laurie.Kellogg@slu.cuny.edu

The application is easy and they will help you apply by the deadline. 

Discounted tuition for out-of-state and international students.


Deadline: March 4, 2021


Internship at Casa Central


Casa Central is the largest Hispanic social service agency in the Midwest. Since 1954, Casa Central has delivered evidenced based, award winning programming in response to the needs of the Hispanic community. The organization is looking for an intern. The intern's essential duties include:

  • Assisting with the implementation of the Performance Management Model in UltiPro
  • Learning to run reports
  • Inputting Job Description information into the UltiPro system
  • Assisting with any other UltiPro Initiatives
  • Assist with conducting phone surveys
  • Assist with documenting Performance Management process

Click here for more information or to apply.


Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program


Looking for a job after graduation? Why not teach English in Taiwan?

The Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program (TFETP) is sponsored by the Ministry of Education and given the mission of improving the English proficiency of Taiwanese students. To reach the goal, we are recruiting quality English teachers to collaborate with local teachers and teach in public elementary and secondary schools in Taiwan.

Eligible applicants need to meet the following requirements:

  • English Teacher
  1. A native English speaker who comes from a country where English is the official/national/common language
  2. Hold a state-issued teaching license/certificate
  3. Hold a bachelor’s degree
  • English Teaching Assistant
  1. A native English speaker who comes from a country where English is the official/national/common language
  2. Hold a bachelor’s degree

Further information about the program and the application process can be found at  https://tfetp.epa.ntnu.edu.tw.


Summer Internships with Oak Park Festival Theatre

Oak Park Festival Theatre's 2021 Season 
Oak Park Festival Theatre
(Deadline: March 15, 2021)

At Oak Park Festival Theatre, our summer interns are the very lifeblood of our company. Every year, 10-15 young people from across the nation are accepted into the Internship Program at Oak Park Festival Theatre. These Theatre Arts majors and recent college graduates join us to learn first-hand about working for a professional outdoor theatre company. Interns:

  • participate in professional development workshops
  • perform their own Shakespeare scene study showcase
  • understudy our mainstage productions
  • work on every part of our summer production from set construction to assistant directing to box office and concessions to development.

In 2020 interns met virtually and built the core of our COVID-19 Action Plan which we will use to welcome artists and guests back to Austin Gardens this summer. 

Oak Park Festival Theatre provides a unique opportunity for burgeoning professionals. Deadline to apply is March 15, 2021. For more information and application, go to https://oakparkfestival.com/internship-program/ 


Calls for Writers, etc.


Black Lawrence Press Seeks Submissions

 Black Lawrence Call for Submissions

Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels: Myths, Legends, and Other Lies You've Been Told about Black Women revisits notions of Black womanhood to include the ways in which Black women's perceived strength can function as a dangerous denial of Black women's humanity. This collection addresses the stigma of this extraordinary endurance in professional and personal spaces, the Black church, in interpersonal partnerships, and within the justice arena, while also giving voice and value to Black women's experiences as the backbone of the Black family and community.

Black Lawrence Press is now accepting submissions for a new anthology of essays. Writers and scholars living in the United States and abroad are invited to submit essays of between 700-5000 words for the anthology on any of the following broad themes. (Other themes will be considered.)

  1. Black Women and Justice
  2. Black Women and Self-Care
  3. Black Women and Spirituality
  4. Black Women at Work and at Home
  5. Black Women and Sex (and Sexuality)

Essays can be creative or academic. However, essays have to be accessible since the anthology is for a general audience.

Drs. Jan Boulware, Rondrea Mathis, Clarissa West-White, and Kideste Yusef of Bethune-Cookman University will serve as editors.

Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2021. Contributors will receive a copy of the anthology as payment.

Previously published essays are welcome. Please contact Dr. Clarissa West-White at whitec@cookman.edu with questions.


Other Upcoming UGS Events

Mark Your Calendar for these Upcoming Events:
  • Open Mic 
    March 31, 2021 from 4:00-5:00 pm
    Share your creative work and hear your peers' creative work
    Click here for Zoom link  


  • Grad School Workshop
    April 14, 2021 from 4:00-5:00 pm
    Current grad students talk about what grad school is really like and how to get into the program of your dreams
    Click here for Zoom link


  • Thesis Presentations
    April 30, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Hear what students in ENGL 398 and ENGL 399 have been working on all semester
    Click here for Zoom link

Finally ...


Do you have questions or feel like chatting with UGS? Email english@uic.edu to schedule an appointment. 


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