Writing program has new director
Posted Dec. 12, 2008

The fall semester has brought a personnel change to the University of La Verne’s writing program, with the naming of Sean Bernard, assistant professor of writing, to the additional position of interim director.

As interim director, Bernard is responsible for hiring and managing the part-time teaching staff for the various general education writing classes.

Bernard replaces former director Kirsten Ogden, who left ULV during the summer for a another teaching post. Previously, she spent several years dedicated to the ULV writing program and the art of the written word.

Ogden had many close relationships with students and was reported to have positively affected many ULV students.

This is one thing Bernard said he admired most about Ogden.

He said he took notice of how well Ogden got along with the faculty and students, as well as how hard she worked.

“I am curious to see how the new director compares to [Ogden.] It is hard to imagine someone as nurturing as she. I was impressed with her production of last year’s launch party for the Prism Review and was able to witness her care and conditioning for young poets,” Michael Lopez, supporter of Prism Review, said.

“I have no doubt that she is the reason for the success of La Verne’s writers. It’ll be interesting to see the new director replace what [Ogden] established at La Verne,” Lopez added.

This is Bernard’s third year as a member of ULV’s faculty.

He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, his master’s degree from Oregon State University and his master’s of fine arts from the University of Iowa.

During his years at ULV, he believes that he has definitely been able to acclimate himself well with the students in the writing program.

According to Bernard, not many changes will be made to ULV’s writing program.

He said he puts much faith in how Ogden left the curriculum.

“There are a few things set in motion from last year that [Ogden] implemented,” Bernard said.

Currently, creative writing falls under the department of modern languages.

A minor is offered in creative writing, and a major is available through the ULV special major option.

Additionally, students can earn a bachelor’s degree in theater arts with a focus on performance writing.

Bernard would like for creative writing to stand up and hold weight on its own.

He said he would like to see the program not be so “iffy.”

ULV has already seen the positive impact of Bernard’s leadership in regards to its literary magazine, Prism Review.

Bernard is establishing a new look and feel for Prism and has the potential to create something big for ULV’s literary scene.

He fully believes in the publication and deems it to be “super great.”

“I hope to make Prism greater than what it already is,” Bernard said.

For more information about Prism Review submissions, visit their Web site at clubs.ulv.edu/~pmag/submissions.htm.

Past issues of Prism Review are also available for purchase.

Victoria Farlow can be reached at victoria.farlow@laverne.edu.

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