Campus Currents

October 12, 2020

Homecoming Week 2020 - Here and There

Homecoming Week 2020: Oct. 12-17

Homecoming Week 2020: Ram Pride Here and There

This week! Learn more at:

For a complete list of alumni specific events, visit:

Given the ongoing pandemic, and recognizing the need to be socially distanced and safe, it probably comes as no surprise that we cannot hold our traditional Homecoming Week this year. During this time, however, we feel that it is more important than ever for us to find ways to connect as a community. So we’ve partnered with student clubs and other groups on campus to pull together some virtual and (safe) in-person events.

Our hope is to provide a full(er) spring Homecoming and Family Weekend program, should restrictions be lifted and we can safely do so. But in the meantime, we hope you’ll consider taking part in some of the fun we have lined up – such as a chance to play mini golf on Larned Beach, pumpkin painting, and a drive-in movie in Salem End parking lot.

Let’s take this opportunity to come together as a community, have some fun, and show off our Ram Pride!

Jennifer De Leon discusses new book ‘Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From’

By Jared Graf, publications intern

Growing up as a teenager with Guatemalan roots, author and creative writing professor Jennifer De Leon felt like she was “moving between worlds” at her predominantly white school. During the week, De Leon would play lacrosse and volleyball with her white friends, and on the weekends, she’d go home to her abuela and tíos.

“I felt like I was in white spaces a lot of the time. … Constantly straddling two worlds, but never fully feeling like I belonged in either one,” she said.

De Leon’s own childhood experience battling racism and microaggressions at school serves as the premise of her debut young-adult fiction novel, “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From.” On September 30, she welcomed over 100 members of the FSU community to a virtual Zoom discussion of the book.

The event, sponsored by the Center for Inclusive Excellence, Latinos Unidos N’ Acción (L.U.N.A.), and the English Department, was hosted by three student moderators - Emely Costa, Johan Perez, and Corrin De Leon (no relation).

“Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From” is the story of Liliana, a first-generation American Latinx teenager, who faces the same problems De Leon did at school. Liliana has just been accepted into a desegregation program called METCO, the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, where she has a hard time fitting in as a minority.

METCO is a real program that enrolls students of color into predominantly white schools in the Boston area. The program was meant to be temporary, but over 50 years later still exists, De Leon said.

Although De Leon was never enrolled in the METCO program, she decided to put Liliana in it to represent the character “literally and figuratively moving between worlds,” she said.

According to De Leon, the book dramatizes her own experiences in order to spark much needed conversations and give Latinx teens a voice to be heard. She hopes her book serves as a mirror for readers who see themselves in Liliana’s position and feel validated by her story.

“This is the book I really needed as a younger person,” she said.

“One of the things I really wanted to do in the novel is to subvert expectations and challenge stereotypes that people might have about the Latinx community, and one is surrounding education,” De Leon said. She credited her father and mother for instilling the importance of education in her and said she wanted Liliana’s parents to be the same way.

When asked by Corrin De Leon what her writing process for this book was, De Leon described it as a long work-in-progress.

Liliana was originally a character in a short story De Leon had worked on for years and submitted to multiple magazines. “It was always rejected, but I would get a nice note from the editor saying, ‘Send us something else, keep writing,’” she said.

According to De Leon, “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From” was first written in third person and set in the ‘90s, until an editor suggested she try writing it in first person contemporary instead. After seven full revisions of the book, it was finally published on Aug. 18, 2020.

When asked by Perez where the title came from, De Leon said it was based on a common question Liliana faced - ‘where are you from?’ While writing a six-word memoir at school one day, Liliana pens the phrase ‘don’t ask me where I’m from’ - resulting in the book’s title.

When Costa asked if the book would be made into a movie or Netflix series, De Leon said she couldn’t say much, but her film agent is currently in negotiations to make a T.V. series based on the book.

“I have lots of stories left in me to write, so I feel like this is just the beginning,” she said.


As part of Massachusetts STEM Week, the MetroWest STEM Education Network and the McAuliffe Center for Integrated Science Learning present the following events:

Friday, October 16 at 7:00PM
AstroNights LIVE! - Mars Mania
Speaker: Dr. Jeff Hoffman, Former Astronaut and Professor in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Recommended for: General Public
For more information:
Register Now:

Wednesday, October 21 at 4:30PM
Technology, Seems Neutral, But Is It?
Assimilationism vs. Intersectional Antiracism in Technology Design
Speaker: Dr. Katlyn Turner, Research Scientist at Space Enabled, MIT Media Lab
Recommended for: Grades 9-12, College Students, Educators and Other Adults
For more information:
Register Now:

Thursday, October 22 at 4:00PM
STEM Thinking to the Rescue – Pandemic Tent Prototype
Speakers from: Paul Lukez Architecture / PLASES; Norian / Siani Engineers; Hirsch Construction Corp.; Sparks; Acentech.
Recommended for: Grades 9-12, College Students, Educators and Other Adults
For more information:
Register Now:

Saturday, October 24 at 12:00PM
BIPOC See Yourself in STEM + Mentorship - Navigating the Road to Success
Speakers: Aliyah Nisbett, Mechanical Engineering and Sustainable Community Development at UMass Amherst; Jessica Sanon, CEO/Founder, sySTEMic flow and Youth Employment Coordinator, Waltham Partnership for Youth
Recommended for: Grades 9-12, College Students, Educators and Other Adults
For more information:
Register Now:

In addition to the events above, the following three Astronomy Programs will be offered during STEM Week:

Solar System Explorers
Monday, October 19 at 4:30PM
Recommended for: Grades 1-3
For more information:
Register now:

The Star Factory
Tuesday October 20 at 4:30PM
Recommended for: Grades 6-8
For more information:
Register now:

Your Place in the Universe
Friday, October 23 at 4:30PM
Recommended for: Grades 9-12
For more information:
Register now:

The Alan Feldman Week of Poetry

The English Department's Alan Feldman Week of Poetry will be held during the week of Oct. 19-23 and feature a special reading and Q&A with Poet January Gill O'Neil.

January Gill O'Neil, Tuesday, Oct. 20th, 7 p.m.

Register here:

January Gill O'Neil is an associate professor at Salem State University, and the author of Rewilding, Misery Islands, and Underlife all published by CavanKerry Press. From 2012-2018, she served as the executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, and currently serves on the boards of AWP, Mass Poetry, and Montserrat College of Art. The recipient of fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Cave Canem, and the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, O'Neil was the 2019-2020 John and Renée Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, Oxford. She lives with her two children in Beverly, MA.

In June, she was chosen as one of six guest curators for the Academy of American Poet’s Poem-a-Day series. In solidarity with the June 2020 protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, she edited the work of 10 Black poets throughout the summer.

Poetry Reading with Poets from the English Department, Thursday, Oct. 22, 4:30 p.m.

Zoom link:

Open Mic with FSU Student Poets, Friday, Oct. 23, 7 p.m.

Zoom link:

Linda Vaden-Goad Authors and Artists Series

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020, 4:30 p.m.

Zoom Link:

Dr. Nicholas Racheotes (History, Emeritus) will discuss is book, The Life & Thought of Filaret Drozdov, 1782-1867 The Thorny Path to Sainthood, and Dr. Xavier Guadalupe-Diaz (Sociology) will discuss his book, Transgressed.

Tuesday Talks: Tim McDonald

In this webinar artist Tim McDonald will discuss his artistic practice.
Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020

Register Here

Tim McDonald treats painting as a sensorial language and sees paintings as the signs that translate experience. Form, color, and improvisatory mark-making act in tandem to create evocative paintings that aspire to an ambient, allover ecstatic sort of song.

This talk will start promptly at 7 p.m. Please plan to log in at least 10 minutes before the talk, by 6:50pm.

Please be advised that this event will be recorded for educational purposes.

Building A Civic Community

Programs sponsored by Henry Whittemore Library and the Civic Engagement Center.

Zoom RSVP:

Unraveling the Truth: Fake News and the Election Monday, October 19 at 1:30 p.m.

What is Fake News? How can you tell what you are reading is not false information and what is a trusted news source? How does this relate to the upcoming presidential election and how you make your voting decisions? Journalist Emily Sweeney from the Boston Globe and Professor Laura Saunders from Simmons University will address these issues. Moderator: Sandra Rothenberg is Senior Librarian and Coordinator of Library Instruction at Framingham State University.

Democracy in Crisis Tuesday, October 27 at 5 p.m.

Dr. John Ambacher, Professor Emeritus of Framingham State University, will present on the current state of democracy. Dr. Ambacher argues that America was in crisis well before the presidential election of 2016. The crisis centered on the state of our democracy itself. A representative democracy should guarantee that every citizen has equal worth. That can only be accomplished if every citizen is guaranteed an equal freedom to vote. This is no longer the case. Dr. Ambacher will explore how we arrived at this state of affairs and what we can do to restore a representative democracy.

Federal funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered by the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners supported these programs, which are sponsored by the Henry Whittemore Library and the Civic Engagement Center.

Careers in Nutrition and Wellness: Virtual Speaker Series

Monday, Oct. 19th, 5-6:30 p.m.
Register Here

Vivien Morris, MS, RD, MPH, LDN is a registered dietitian and public health professional with extensive work in Boston’s communities. She has been a community activist throughout her life and gets the greatest joy from seeing the coming together of community members of all ages to strengthen relationships and use their collective power to improve our village. She is a founder and chair of the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition, an organization that she is most proud of. She is a founder of the Boston Organization of Nutritionists and Dietitians of Color (BOND of Color), which is a professional organization devoted to increasing the number of African American and Afro Caribbean nutritionists and dietitians and providing nutrition education in the community. Vivien coordinates the Kennedy Community Garden and Edgewater Neighborhood Association, serves on the steering committee of the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative, and is Community Relations Manager – Mattapan for the Boston College Corcoran Center for Real Estate and Urban Action. All of this work is fueled by her passion to make her local community and the state of Massachusetts a healthy and wonderful place to live.

Pink Patch Project

Partner with Framingham State University Police in the fight agaisnt Breast Cancer! The Pink Patch Project raises awareness and funding during the month of October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Learn more and purchase your Pink Patch Here.

Why Pink Patches?

Breast cancer affects both men and women.

We have the simple goal of increasing awareness about the life-saving benefits of early detection and early intervention in the fight against breast cancer. In addition to our public education efforts, we have the added goal of raising funds from the sale of Pink Patch Project patches and other items to go directly to fund the research, treatment and education needed to help find a cure.

To learn more about breast cancer, breast cancer symptoms, breast cancer risk factors and diagnosis, breast cancer research and breast cancer in men, click here.

The program centers on vibrant pink versions of the public safety employee's uniform patch. These bright pink patches have been specially designed by each participating agency specifically for their Pink Patch Project participation. Public safety employees at each of the participating agencies wear their pink patches on their regular duty uniforms each year for the entire month of October during “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.”

The pink patches are intended to stimulate conversation with the community and to encourage public awareness about the importance of early detection and the on-going fight against this disease.

Career Services Virtual Events

Virtual Employer Showcase Series, every Wednesday, on Zoom, 12:30-2:30pm, 10/15 through 12/9

The CSER Office traditional Wednesday Employer Showcase is currently a “virtual networking” platform, for hosting our Showcases on Zoom, through the end of the fall 2020 semester. As we are socially distancing and staying home, networking has never been more important. The Virtual Showcase gives students an opportunity to informally network with local employers who are hiring for full-time and/or internship opportunities, and also provides insight into the spotlighted company, offering advice on the trends in their market and industry.

Virtual Employer Showcase, Wednesday, 10/15, on Zoom, featuring The Washington Center Internships, 12:30-2:30pm
The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC) provides the experiential education opportunities to students of the Massachusetts public state university system. TWC uses the resources of the nation's capital to provide high-quality learning experiences to enhance student's academic, civic, and professional development, and in this way, seeks to promote future leadership for the public, private, and non-profit sectors of society. TWC's internship placements include positions in government offices, communication organizations, law firms, trade and professional associations, human rights groups, and a variety of companies and other organizations. All majors welcome. Internships are coupled with required academic courses. Register on Handshake or Ramlink to get the required password. Zoom Link:

Major/Minor Fair, Tuesday, 10/27, on Ramlink from 11:30am – 1:00pm
On Ramlink:
Undergraduate students are invited to explore the many majors and minors FSU offers. The Major Minor Fair provides all undecided, re-deciding, and exploring students the opportunity to speak with faculty and student representatives from all academic programs and campus resources and learn about specific requirements for majors, minors and career options.

Suitable Solutions Career Professionalism Virtual Program Mock Interviews, in October, with assigned mentors, on Zoom or by phone
Practice and receive feedback from professionals remotely. Zoom link provided by employer mentor.

Suitable Solutions Virtual Program Networking & Mocktail Mixer Graduation Ceremony, Thursday, 12/3, on Zoom, 4:00pm-5:00pm
Network virtually with employer partners while learning about proper networking techniques that help you stand out, from our Networking Navigator. Discover how to start and wrap up a conversation, or keep a conversation going, and more! - Register on Handshake or Ramlink to get the required password.

Notable Accomplishments

-Dr. Bernard Horn, Professor Emeritus (English), recently published a new book of poems, Love's Fingerprints, which investigates the deep imprints made on us by those we love, living and remembered: mother and father, wife/lover, children and grandchildren, ancestors known only through stories passed down, homes long lost and homes holding us today, and two nations—the United States and Israel. You can learn more about the book here:

Upcoming events

Habitat Earth Screening for Young Learners with Dr. Margaret Carroll

Monday, April 12, 2021

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Organized by: McAuliffe Center & Challenger Learning C

The Unraveling of the World: What Climate Change Has to Teach Us by Dr. Vandana Singh

Monday, April 12, 2021

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


Organized by: McAuliffe Center & Challenger Learning C, Dept of Physics & Earth Science

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