Tuesday, December 7, 2010

IWSS faculty Jacqueline St. Joan publishes novel

Award- winning writer and editor, lawyer and Metro State adjunct faculty member, Jacqueline St. Joan recently published her first novel, My Sisters Made of Light. This is a fictional account of the extraordinary courage of ordinary women living in the closed society that is contemporary Pakistan. It explores the country’s myriad cultures—from the mystical Sindhis in the South to the noble Pathans in the Northwest Province, the Punjabis in the East and the Balochis of the West.

“This novel is a means for Western readers to learn about Pakistan in a broad sense and at the same time relish the story of a hero's journey, a love outside the boundaries, a travelogue of a diverse, struggling country,” St. Joan stated in a recent email. Though it started out as a non-fiction story, as St. Joan did more research on the lives of women in Pakistan the story transformed. The process took some time, with the re-writes and publicizing. However, she added, it has been worth it.

“At last this story has its own life,” she stated. “It's a cliche, but it is like raising a child who can finally find her own way in this world. People will treat her well, or they won't. She will overcome, or she won't. You can only hope that the thing itself has the stamina to survive and thrive.”

St. Joan was inspired to write the book after meeting a “remarkable” Pakistani woman, who taught in that country for 25 years and who made efforts to prevent honor crimes against her students. The woman, Dr. Tahira Khan, authored the book, Beyond Honour, and also taught classes at Metro State. Kahn commented that St. Joan did a good job blending reality with fiction, telling “stories of realities seen in Pakistani newspapers every other day.”

St. Joan is now the Public Education Chair of the Asian American Network Against Abuse of Human Rights, a non-governmental organization in the U.S. that works to support Pakistani efforts to end human rights violations. Half of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to SOIL, a grass-roots community organization in Pakistan, to pay for the construction of a safe shelter for abused women and children. Copies of My Sisters Made of Light are available at The Tattered Cover, Press53 http://www.press53.com/ and the Auraria Campus Bookstore. To read more about the book, click here.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

What's Up? A New Alumni Relations Executive Director ,

Alumni Relations Executive Director Mark Jastorff weighs in on the changes happening at the Alumni Association and the new benefits we are offering our alumni.

The very best of the holiday season to you and yours. I want to thank the entire Metro State family for the warm welcome to campus.

There is little that I can tell you about our campus that you already haven’t heard. So let me affirm what you know – Metro State is rising. This is a great time to be a Road Runner!

Our goal as an alumni staff is to make sure that we offer you the kinds of opportunities that enrich your life, enhance your professional opportunities and provide you with the chance to meet new friends. In the coming months, you will see your Alumni Association unveil plans for increased professional and career advisory services, a Young Alumni Council, a return of the Student Alumni Association and more opportunities to celebrate Metro State with your family and friends.

For those of your looking to strengthen Metro State – there are lots of “quick ideas” – start with wearing Metro Wear, take the opportunity to talk with your neighbors, relatives and friends about the great things happening here, suggest the College to those who might benefit from the Metro State experience, and of course, chat with your legislators about the importance of higher education in Colorado and of Metro State.

We’re looking for your ideas and suggestions. If you have something that you would like to see from your Association, just drop us a line at alumni@mscd.edu, call or stop by the office.

Beep Beep!

Mark Jastorff
Alumni Relations Executive Director

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