About HCOM

The Division of Humanities & Communication (HCOM) offers several degree programs:

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Communication is an interdisciplinary program that combines a variety of humanities and communication studies areas into one unique degree. Students also choose an area of concentration including Africana Studies, Chicano Studies, American Multicultural Studies, Creative Writing and Social Action, History, Oral History and New Media, Journalism and Media Studies, Literary and Film Studies, Peace Studies, Practical and Professional Ethics, Pre-Law, English Subject Matter Preparation Program, Women's Studies, or Writing and Rhetoric.

The Bachelors of Arts degree in Integrated Studies Special Major (ISSM), is a self-designed major where students work with faculty mentors drawn from across the campus to integrate various disciplines and fields of study selected by the student.

HCOM also sponsors several minors in Chicana/o Studies, Creative Writing and Social Action, Human Communication, Journalism and Media Studies, Peace Studies, Pre-Law, as well as Writing and Rhetoric.

Event Calendar

Check out this list of coming events for the 2015/2016 Academic Year.

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Spring 2016 Capstone Festival

Flyer for Spring 2016 HCOM Capstone Festival


“Songs for Women Living with War”    

In collaboration with Global Studies and the Visual and Public Art departments, HCOM co-hosted the event “Songs for Women Living with War” on April 5 at the Black Box Cabaret. The event focused on honoring, remembering, and naming atrocities against women committed as acts of warthrough a visual art installation, a community vocal lamentation led bymusician and composer Theresa Wong, and a literary reading by renowned writer M. Evelina Galang. Galang presented work from a forthcoming book Lola’s House: Women Living with War, a project in which over the past decade she has worked to document the stories of the Filipina comfort women who endured imprisonment, sexual violation, and other brutalities during World War II. In Tagalog, “lola” means “grandmother,”and Galang’s presentation emphasized the importance of hearing the experiences of the grandmothers and breaking the silences that they were forced to endure for decades. As survivors, the grandmothers voiced harrowing stories that revealed

not only the cruelty to which they were subjected, but the resilience and strength that enabled them to survive, and the love of friends and family that supported their healing. Galang’s presentation was a moving experience,and attendees were left with the indelible impact of the “lolas’” stories.

Dr. Tomás Summers Sandoval visits CSUMB

Dr. Tomás Summers Sandoval, Associate Professor of History and Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies at Pomona College, visited CSUMB on March 7, giving a lecture titled “The Invisible History of the Vietnam War in Mexican America” to a packed audience of students, faculty, and community members in the University Center. The lecture described research that Summers Sandoval is conducting to analyze the impact of the Vietnam War on Mexican American communities in the late 20th century given that more than 200,000 Mexican Americans fought in the military as part of the U.S. War in Vietnam. Describing the significance of this research, Summers Sandoval writes: “For this generation of ‘brown baby boomers’ and their families, the war altered the course of their lives, reshaping their economic and educational trajectories as well as their notions of identity, nation, and world.” Summers Sandoval shared insights from a recent trip to Vietnam, as well as compelling audio clips from the oral histories he has been collecting for this book project from Chicano veterans and their families. In his introductory remarks, Summers Sandoval shared that he considered the visit a “homecoming,” since he is a former HCOM professor. He is author of the book Latinos at the Golden Gate: Creating Community and Identity in San Francisco (University of North Carolina Press, 2013).

Deb Busman's novel nominated for Lambda Literary Award

HCOM faculty member Debra Busman's novel, like a woman, has been named a finalist for a prestigious Lambda Literary Award. These awards, in multiple categories, "celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2015." Her book has received many accolades already and this just adds to the list. As Sarah Burghauser's review in Lambda Literary concludes, "In prose as lucid and passionate as any manifesto, this contemporary feminist anthem offers us a hero who both charms and challenges readers by way of her acuity, grit and depth. Like a Woman is destined to be a classic." The awards will be announced in June 2016.

Poets Arlene Biala, Diana Garcia and Juan Felipe Herrera at the March 9 event in Washington, DC.

HCOM faculty member and award winning poet Diana Garcia read from her work at the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery at an event on March 9 in honor of civil rights leader and United Farm Worker's co-founder Dolores Huerta. Garcia was one of several poets, including the U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera who participated in the event coordinated with the exhibit "One Life: Dolores Huerta." As Garcia noted, it was the "first time the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress have combined resources to celebrate the life of a Chicana." Read more at this NBC News story about the event.

HCOM Pre-Law participates in Migrant Education Workshops

Jessica Peregrina, Lizzette Ramirez, Jessica Rincon, David Reichard and Rafael Albarran after the High School Migrant Education Day pre-law workshop in February 2016.

This academic year, the HCOM Pre-Law program was invited by the Migrant Education Program in Monterey County to participate in a series of workshops held on the CSUMB campus for students--from middle school through high school--to introduce students to careers in the law and how a college degree is a step in that process. HCOM faculty members David A. Reichard and Diana Garcia participated as well as three HCOM alums Adriana Melgoza, Clinic Manager for the Watsonville Law Center, Rafael Albarran, who attended Monterey College of Law after earning his degree at CSUMB, and recent graduate Jessica Rincon. Two current HCOM students, Lizzette Ramirez and Jessica Peregrina, also participated in one of the workshops. Through a mini mock trial and jury deliberation role play, the HCOM pre-law group gave students the opportunity to think about what lawyers do and what kinds of skills and abilities they would need to develop to reach that career goal. One workshop, for ninth graders, occurred in the fall of 2015 and two during the spring semester, one for middle school students and the most recent for 10th and 11th graders. HCOM offers both a concentration in Pre-Law for HCOM majors and a Pre-Law Minor for students from across the campus.

Maria Villasenor, Diana Garcia, Chris Siders and Deb Busman.

HCOM student has book launch

HCOM student Christopher Siders hosted a packed-house book release party and reading at the UC Living Room on May 1 in celebration of his new book of poetry, Born in the World of. Well known on campus and in the community as a spoken word artist/social justice advocate, author of the Otter Realm column, "Memoirs of a Male Feminist," and performer/director in the MENding Monologues, Chris is an HCOM major with a concentration in Creative Writing and Social Action.

Describing Chris's new book, Professor María Villasenor writes: "Born in the World of exhales the breath of life through poetry and prose that confesses, inspires, and educates. Racism, sexism, and other harsh social realities are revealed and challenged with hope and a youthful vision for the future that the reader will not soon forget."

Chris is donating 45% of all book sales to Youth N.O.W., non-profit after school center for middle and high school students in Watsonville, and has already raised over $300 for the group. Books can be purchased on Amazon or in the CSUMB bookstore.

Big wins for Otter Realm at California College Media Association Awards

The Otter Realm was recognized by a record nine awards in the less than weekly category at the 2016 California College Media Association February 20, 2016, including third place in the national Associated Collegiate Press Best of Show.

First Place Awards

  • Best Non Breaking News story: Otter Romp-Danny Simon, Katie Kishi, Stefan Farhner about CSUMB over payment of water bills on East Campus
  • Best Headlines: Otter Realm-Achelle Reynoso, College of Science beat reports
  • Best Special Section: Otter Romp-for the second year in a row for the Special Investigative Reporting issue

Second Place Awards

  • Best News Series: Otter Romp-Alex Hennessey, Yuri Lara, Caemen Amelio, McKenzie Handy for "Feeding the Future"
  • Best Photo Illustration: Otter Realm-Achelle Reynoso for "Breast Cancer Awareness"
  • Best Podcast: Raquelle Miller and Estella Porras
Professors Estealla Porras and Sam Robinson with students from the Otter Realm at the California College Media Association, February 20, 2016. Back row, left to right, LaMarcus Bailey, Raquel Miller, Achelle Reynoso, Briana Mackey, Katie Kishi

Third Place Award

  • Best Feature Photo: Otter Realm-Andres Hernandez for "Sad little monkey"

Honorable Mention Awards

  • Best Column: Otter Realm-Elizabeth Hensley
  • Best Website: Otter Realm

Mexican-America and the Vietnam War talk March 7

Tomas Summers Sandoval, an Associate Professor of History and Chicana/o - Latina/o studies at Pomona College and former HCOM faculty member will be giving a talk entitled "The Invisible History of the Vietnam War in Mexican America” in the University Center Ballroom on March 7 at 7:00 PM. The event is co-sponsored by HCOM, the Department of Cinematic Arts, the School of World Languages and Cultures, the Office of Inclusive Excellence, and the Columbia Oral History MA Alumni Association

Summers Sandoval is the author of Latinos at the Golden Gate: Creating Community and Identity in San Francisco (University of North Carolina Press, 2013) the first book on the history of Latino community in San Francisco. He is currently at work on a book detailing the experiences of Latino communities in relation to the Vietnam War.

Diana Garcia reading February 9

HCOM faculty member Diana Garcia will read from her poetry at the Cesar Chavez Library in Salinas on February 9, 2016 as part of a collaboration with the Visual and Public Art program at CSUMB in connection with Latino Americans programming supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Journalism and media studies brown bag event 

Join us Wed., Feb. 10 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. in the UROC conference room, (Suite 2150, second floor of the library) for research presentations and discussion.

Dr. Sam Robinson and Elizabeth Hensley will present: Stop the Press: A case study using Critical Race Theory to unpack and challenge the barrier of whiteness in newspapers.

Dr. Estella Porras will present: News from and about situated living bodies: Community Journalism as Embodied Practice.

Bring your lunch and join the conversation about new ways to think and envision journalism.

Book launch

On March 10, 2016 from 4:30 to 7:00 PM in the Alumni and Visitors Center, there will be a book launch sponsored by the Office of Inclusive Excellence for Fostering Habits of Mind in Today's Students: A New Approach to Developmental Education. Co-edited by HCOM faculty member Jennifer Fletcher, the book explores, as its publisher Stylus notes, how these strategies "promote life-long, integrative learning and foster intellectual qualities such as curiosity, openness, flexibility, engagement, and persistence that are the key to developing internalized and transferable competencies that are seldom given direct attention in college classrooms." Contributors include CSUMB faculty Olga Blomgren, Maria Boza, Jennifer Fletcher, Rebecca Kersnar, Sunita Lanka, and Natasha Oelman and former TLA Director Becky Rosenberg.

Contact HCOM

(831) 582-3889


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