Dear CRES community,
As we wrap up our first semester as a department, and as I end my term as your interim chair, please indulge me in celebrating our successes:
We’ve grown from 9 to 16 CRES majors, 41 to 46 minors and emphasis students, and 4 to 7 African American and Africana Studies/Latino Studies minors/emphasis students. Nearly 200 students took a section of CRES 101 or our 200 level seminar in Critical Race Theory. We offered new classes for the first time, including our Interdisciplinary Inquiry class, and two special topics upper level classes taught by our new lecturers, Ryan Sharp and Sylvia Mendoza, who we are glad to have join us this year. And many, many more students took one of our 30+ CRES attribute courses offered this fall. CRES classes are making an important impact on campus, particularly as TCU considers a new diversity addition to the Core.
Nearly 700 folks across campus and community joined us through the 16 events we sponsored or cosponsored with AAAS/LTNO Studies, WGST, and other programs and departments throughout the semester. A few events to highlight: we held a new Pedagogy Breakfast for faculty teaching CRES department classes and began a new CRES Conversation series for our community. We also created a new monthly luncheon series, Power Hour, for students to learn more about CRES and help shape our future, and we successfully held two sessions of CRES Open Office Hours for student advising and one CRES Graduate Certificate Info Session. We couldn’t have done any of this without our new department assistant, Toni Taylor and graduate assistant, Cecilia Hill.
As a department, we submitted an ambitious budget request needed for us to continue our growth and satisfy the continued demand for CRES. We formalized opportunities for student engagement in our governance structure. We also successfully wrote and passed Tenure and Promotion documents – an important step in our search for our first two tenure track positions in Black Studies and Latinx Studies. The search committee reviewed over 130 applicants and narrowed the search down to a few impressive candidates to bring to campus early in Spring semester. More details to come on those searches soon!
Looking forward, I’m excited to see the future growth and progress of CRES as a department.
- Currently, there are over 100 students signed up for CRES 101 this spring, with not an empty seat in any section. We are offering two sections of our 200 level Gateway to Critical Race Theory for the first time ever.
- Our upper levels continue to grow and expand. We’ve doubled the number of students enrolled in our Interdisciplinary Inquiry course, and we have our first two students enrolled in pursuing CRES departmental honors. There’s two brand new upper division CRES classes for undergraduates this spring (Color of Money and Women of Color Feminisms), on top of the two special topics we are offering again from the fall. We have developed a new internship program and class that is already maxed out with a full roster of community partners eager to host our students. There were 26 students in CRES 300+ classes this fall, and this spring we are expecting to more than double that. Thanks to the Curriculum Committee who vetted courses, there will be even more attribute courses available for CRES students in future semesters.
- We have a brand new CRES graduate certificate, with 9 students enrolled in the new graduate course and 10 overall in the program, thanks to our CRES Graduate Committee.
- Thanks to our Research, Creative Activity, and Community Engagement and Publicity, Planning, and Outreach committees, we have lots of events planned for the spring, too many to list. A spring calendar will come soon, but a few events to keep an eye out for: a CRES Op-Ed workshop, Brown Bag lunches focused on Faculty Research, a CRES Student Research Symposium, a student organizing workshop, and more community conversations, open mics, and Power Hours.
Join me in celebrating our community, and in giving thanks for all we’ve given to CRES this semester. We have more to do, and I’m eager to see us continue the success.
Emily Farris, Ph.D.
Interim Chair, Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies
Assistant Professor, Political Science