Ready for Re-Entry Curricular Community

ready for re-entry graphic

This opportunity is now closed - however, please check out the winning student submissions as well as the 2023-2024 public programming offered by the College of H&A that focuses on this theme. 

Following the success of last year’s Pandemic Pandemonium and the Inclusion Initiative, the College of Humanities and the Arts has instituted student curricular engagement with current issues as an annual initiative of H&A in Action with awards for best student creations selected by a committee. The broad goals of the H&A student initiatives are:

  • to offer the opportunity for students to explore a common experience (e.g., COVID-19) in an academic setting;
  • to reinforce in students the value of the arts, humanities, critical thinking, reflection, and expression in the face of a crisis, all essential tools for life, through course materials and assignments that explore various current themes;
  • to create an intellectual, artistic, and creative community among our students;
  • to provide a platform for showcasing to the SJSU community and beyond student creations that result from signature assignments;
  • to provide students with an opportunity for professionalization in presenting their work to audiences beyond their professor and class; and,
  • to showcase the pedagogical innovations by faculty in leading their students’ work.

This year’s theme is Ready for Re-Entry.

Two-and-a-half years ago we were propelled into a sphere none of us had much experience with. A pandemic was unprecedented in our lifetime and only relegated to the books of history. In our social interactions, we learned to negotiate the virtual world and, two-and-a-half years later, we’re re-entering the physical, gravity-defined world. How have we changed? What did we learn? Are we ready to step back into the familiar world? 

The pandemic experience touched all aspects of our lives and those of our students and it’s time once again to take advantage of these experiences to learn, to understand, and to move forward empowered. As in the past, we’re continuing our Curriculum Community and we now extend a call to faculty to design assignments that will address once again the current challenge of building back the emotional, rational, and social “bone” that our students may have lost during the seeming weightlessness of the pandemic years. Here are some questions that come to mind that address the personal and the social:

  • How can we re-imagine the pandemic?  Are there historical parallels that our students could explore?  Such as comparisons with previous epidemics or pandemics and how it changed society, and was recorded in art, literature, or in philosophical reflections?
  • What did the pandemic expose about our society that we couldn’t see without this lens?  
  • What did we learn about communicating about danger, especially invisible danger such as a virus, and how can we prepare for future dangers?
  • How do we allow our students to process the experience they have just been through?  How has it reconfigured their relationships with their family or their friends?
  • What did we learn from the “great resignation” in the midst of the pandemic and how can we help our students understand their unique skills and talents as humanities and arts thinkers and practitioners in finding a path for a place in the workforce? 

We invite you to engage with this effort in two ways:

  1. Submit a signature Assignment from one of your courses that addresses re-entry. Signature assignments could lead to student creations that include artistic creations (paintings, sculptures, ceramic artworks, jewelry, digital media representations), design solutions for social equity, artistic expressions (poetry, short stories, multimedia creations), performances (musical compositions and reinterpretations, dance interpretations and choreographies, films, skits, and animated stories), and analyses (research on the language, texts, and narratives, on media coverage of racial issues, in English and other languages). We ask for submission of just the assignment at this point so you can be notified of acceptance and can prep your students when you submit their creations towards the conclusion of the semester. (Faculty with accepted assignments will receive $150)
  2. Self-Nominate for the Awards Committee to serve as a member of the Re-Entry Awards Committee. The committee of faculty representing each department/school will judge the student creations nominated by their instructors using a set of criteria and will award prizes in each of the five disciplinary categories (analytical scholarship, literary arts, visual arts, performing arts, and media arts). The College is supporting this competition with a generous grant to student winners of $5,000 to be divided equally among the five disciplinary categories. (Faculty on this committee will receive a $250 stipend)

See below for the timeline for submitting your assignment, self-nominating for the awards committee, and submitting your student creations.

This year’s contest will include student works from both Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters. Awards will be decided in May 2023. 

Timeline & Submission Links

Fall '22 Deadline
Spring '23 Deadline
Dec 1 Feb 22 Submit your assignment through the Google Form using the required assignment template. Each deadline represents each semester.
  Feb 22 Self-nominate for the Awards Committee here. Self-nominated faculty will be notified about participation by Mar. 1, 2023
Dec 5 Mar 1 Faculty notified about their assignments being selected
Dec 16 April 27 Submit up to 3 student creation selections here accompanied by student permission form (for each student)
  April 28 Student creations made available to Awards Committee
  May 1 During week of May 1, Awards committee meets to select winners
  May 12 Selected student showcase participants are notified
  May 15 Digital showcase of selected showcase participants goes live
  May 19 Showcase Opening Event (in-person, if possible) & winners in each category from these showcase selections announced
  May-Sept All faculty assignment prompts archived in ScholarWorks

Review Committee

Associate Dean, Roula Svorou, is leading the review committee and invites faculty to self-nominate (via this Google Form). Those serving on the committee may not submit to assignment for this opportunity. Faculty on this committee will receive a $250 stipend

Archiving Your Assignments

Because we think that the work and innovation that goes into creating new pedagogy and particularly pedagogy that brings together our college’s multiple disciplines around a theme needs to be recognized and shared, we have created a structure that will permanently archive the assignment prompts and the nominated student creations in SJSU ScholarWorks with a Creative Commons license so that they can be shared globally (See the 2021-2022 faculty assignments from The Inclusion Initiative).


We sincerely hope that you will consider serving our students by participating in this college initiative either by creating a signature Inclusion Initiative assignment or by being a member of the awards committee. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Associate Dean, Roula Svorou ( or Director of Public Programming, Katherine D. Harris (email or Open Office Hours), who is responsible for making your pedagogical work visible and accessible to the larger academic community.