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New faculty a bonus to campus

In an informal reception following the year’s first divisional meetings, Mills College faculty welcomed three new professors.

The Mills Hall lobby was transformed into a mingling space Monday, Sept. 23 as faculty members trickled in from their hour-long divisional meetings (fine arts, letters, social sciences, and natural sciences and education). They were greeted with sushi, wine and cheese.

Intending to leave economic, academic, and other concerns at the door, nearly 30 full-time professors welcomed one another back from summer break.

“This is one of the times faculty from different divisions can meet in a casual way,” said Ajuan Mance, professor of English.

The reception provided an opportunity to introduce three new professors and their contributions to Mills course offerings.

Michael Thompson, currently filling in for Professor Julia Sudbury who is on sabbatical, brings a new ethnic studies course, the black atlantic: cultural traces of the african diaspora.

He is also teaching this semester’s research methods in ethnic studies.

Ananda Davis, a former Yale University professor, promises to add dimension and variation to the creative writing program here at Mills.

Davis, who spent two and a half months traveling with a side show style circus as research for her current book, joins the community to teach craft of fiction and the graduate fiction workshop this semester.

She is slated to run both undergraduate and graduate fiction workshops next semester.

Margo Okazawa-Rey, whom many had previously met as the new director of the Women’s Leadership Institute, is currently teaching social policy and U.S. women of color.

This semester’s course on criminalization, immigration, and poverty issues will be extended next semester when Rey teaches women redefining security, an examination the oppressive implications of “homeland security” on women.

Rey is currently organizing a school wide protest rally of the U.S. war on terrorism and the attack on Iraq, which she says are related.

The communal event, which will include music and a speak out will take place Oct. 7 on Suzanne Adams Plaza.