Campus Currents

September 28. 2020

Don't Ask Me Where I'm From

LatinX Heritage Month: Don't Ask Me Where I'm From

Wednesday, September 30, 2020, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.

First-generation American LatinX Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly all-white school. But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a stand.

Jennifer De Leon is the author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 2020) and the editor of Wise Latinas (University of Nebraska Press). She is a GrubStreet board member and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Framingham State University.

Webinar session link:

This event is sponsored by the Center for Inclusive Excellence, L.U.N.A. (Latinos Unidos N’ Acción), and the English Department.

From Central Park 5 to Exonerated 5: Controlling their own narrative

By Jared Graf, publications intern

More than 30 years ago, Raymond Santana and four other juveniles were taken into police custody, coerced by detectives, and subsequently jailed for the assault and rape of a jogger - a violent crime which they did not commit.

The men, formerly known as ‘The Central Park 5,’ wrongfully served prison sentences ranging from five to 13 years, maintaining their innocence until finally being exonerated in 2002. Now, ‘The Exonerated 5’ have an Emmy Award-winning Netflix special based on their lives and use their ordeal as a teaching opportunity, advocating for those falsely accused by police.

Santana chatted with psychology professor Michael Greenstein and 500 members of the FSU community regarding how the U.S. justice system failed him, via Zoom on Sept. 17.

“How can somebody confess to something they didn’t do?” Santana rhetorically asked viewers before answering his own question.

On the night of his arrest, Santana, along with the other four juveniles, were held in interrogation rooms for up to 30 hours with no food, water, or sleep - “just constant tension.” The questioning gradually became more intense as the night went on, and at one point, a detective intimidated Santana by banging on a table and reaching over as if he was going to grab him.

A second detective intervened, deescalating the situation, and gave Santana an ultimatum: jail or a confession. Only 14 years old at the time, Santana was confused, scared for his life, and didn’t know his rights - so he lied about his involvement.

“I was just trying to get from underneath the pressure, because at that moment the pressure was so great that I didn’t know what to do and I just felt stuck,” said Santana. “To stop the pressure, I lied.”

That detrimental lie is the exact reason Santana stresses the importance of teaching children what to do when stopped by police. He tells parents they don’t have to be lawyers, but should know some basics of the law - such as Miranda rights and the right to an attorney.

The system still needs to advance and be exposed for what it is, according to Santana. “Look beyond just the system. Understand what it is, but then look behind the system. Understand how does it operate, what does it go by, who provides those budgets,” Santana said. “It’s all about statistics, and it’s all about money.”

Santana said the system is partly flawed because police are eager to fill jail cells and meet monthly quotas. “The system wants you to occupy a jail cell, not a college dorm,” he said. “As long as the system operates on punishment and not rehabilitation, then it will keep going in the same direction.”

After spending seven years in prison, Santana said he came home and had trouble functioning in society due to all the changes that occurred while he was away. He wasn’t offered any assistance transitioning into society or finding a job upon being released from jail - which is why he believes education is the starting point for reform. “Not only were we given this five to 10-year sentence, but we were also given a social death,” Santana said.

Despite this, he does believe systematic change can happen from within and encouraged students to pursue careers in the legal field - “occupying all spaces” - whether it be as a police officer, judge, or a prosecutor.

“To that young student in college who wants to be a prosecutor … be the best prosecutor you can be - just don’t cut corners. Don’t cheat the system,” Santana said.

Santana said the Netflix series “When They See Us” was important because it gave him and the others a chance to control their own narrative and shake their label of ‘The Central Park 5.’ “This was our moment to really go in-depth in our story and let it all out,” Santana said.

He credits Oprah Winfrey for giving them the title of ‘The Exonerated 5.’ “We have become that story - that victorious story that people can look to and find hope and inspiration,” Santana said.

Virtual Study Abroad Fairs

The Office of International Education Presents: Study Abroad Fair







Register here for Zoom Links

Questions? Email

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.

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:

Tuesday Talks: Arts & Design Lecture Series

Due to COVID-19, all Fall 2020 Mazmanian Gallery Exhibitions have been postponed.However, in its place, a special Art and Design Lecture Series has been arranged with several exciting artists.

The speakers include: Janine Antoni, Jessica Bellamy, Hernease Davis, Amy Khoshbin, Heidi Lau, and Tim McDonald. After each talk there will be an opportunity to ask questions and interact with the speaker.

These events will be held virtually. All talks are free and open to the public.

To learn more about all the speakers, and to register for the events, click here.

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:

Suitable Solutions Career Professionalism Virtual Program Kickoff, Wednesday, 9/30, on Zoom, 1:30pm-2:15pm

Virtually attend this event to learn about this multi-part initiative, and register for program. Register on Handshake or Ramlink to get the required password. Zoom Link:

“College” Virtual PRE-Career Fair Tutorials/Presentations will be hosted by CSER Career Counselors and will address key components tailored to each FSU College/Career Community: Overview of CSER, Resume Writing Tips & Samples, Cover Letter Writing Tips & Samples, Interview Preparation & Industry Related Questions, & Internship & Job Search Strategies. Although it is tailored to specific “Colleges”, sessions are open to all majors. - Register on Handshake or Ramlink to get the required password.

• STEM College Career Presentation, 9/29, on Zoom, 2:30pm-3:30pm
• Business College Career Presentation, 9/30, on Zoom, 2:30pm-3:30pm
• Arts & Humanities College Career Presentation, 10/1, on Zoom, 2:30pm- 3:30pm
• Social Sciences College Career Presentation, 10/2, on Zoom, 2:30pm-3:30pm

“College” Virtual PRE-Career Fair Employer Advice & Showcase – immediately following the Career Counselors’ Career presentations, the CSER Office will host five sessions with one or two employer partners from hiring organizations that align with the College Fairs who will provide key insight and advice to students about the state of their industry, hiring practices, skills needed, anticipated application and interview process and more. Open to all majors. - Register on Handshake or Ramlink to get the required password.

• STEM College Employer Advice & Showcase, 9/29, on Zoom, 3:30pm- 4:30pm
• Microsoft – Kristen Greene, Education sales and support lead, and Recruiter
• MathWorks – Maria Sarcinelli, Senior Team Lead and Steve Basara, Revenue Accounting and Controls Manager
• Stephanie Gregoire, Ameresco, HR Business Partner

Business College Employer Advice & Showcase, 9/30, on Zoom, 3:30pm- 4:30pm
• Staples, Inc. – Brian Dardy, Manager Talent Acquisition
• The TJX Companies, Inc. – Lauren MacKay, Campus Recruiter / Global Talent Acquisition
• MathWorks – Maria Sarcinelli Senior Team Lead and Steve Basara, Revenue Accounting and Controls Manager

Arts & Humanities College Employer Advice & Showcase, 10/1, on Zoom, 3:30pm-4:30pm
• Downtown Framingham, Inc. – Courtney Thraen, Director
• The Danforth Art Museum – Jessica Roscio, Director and Curator

Social Sciences College Employer Advice & Showcase, 10/2, on Zoom, 3:30pm-4:30pm
• RCS Learning Centers – Theresa Hayes, Human Resources Manager
• The Key Program – Joanna Davis, Regional Recruiter Trainer

Virtual “College/Community” Job & Internship Fairs - October 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9, from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Location: Virtually on Handshake
Students will meet virtually with employers to discuss their career interests. These fairs are open to ALL MAJORS. Students will virtually explore internship, part-time, and full-time opportunities that meet their career goals, though video chats with multiple students and opportunities for one-on-one sessions.
Students must register on Handshake, and registered students can now sign up for and attend available 1:1 and group sessions through Handshake. Share this guide to registering for and attending virtual fairs with students

• STEM Virtual Job & Internship Fair, Monday, 10/5, on Handshake, 12:30pm-2:30pm
• Business Virtual Job & Internship Fair, Tuesday, 10/6, on Handshake, 12:30pm-2:30pm
• Arts & Humanities Virtual Job & Internship Fair, Wednesday, 10/7, on Handshake, 12:30pm-2:30pm
• Social Sciences Virtual Job & Internship Fair, Thursday, 10/8, on Handshake, 12:30pm-2:30pm
• Education Virtual Job & Internship Fair, Friday, 10/9, on Handshake, 12:30pm-2:30pm

Major/Minor Fair, Tuesday, 10/27, on Ramlink from 11:30am – 1:30pm
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

-Professor Bartholomew Brinkman's recent article, “'The Strong Matter of Unknown Names': Modeling Topics and Cross-Reading Poems in The Crisis," was published this summer in The Journal of Modern Periodical Studies' "Special Issue: Investigating Big Magazines" (Vol. 11, No.1).

Dr. Brinkman's work contributes to the methodology of distant reading, a practice which, to cite the abstract, generates readings which "reveal deep, shared, ideological commitments that are less evident in more traditional approaches focusing on individual writers and texts." Here is a link to the full abstract and preview:

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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