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Faculty profile: Elaine Gale


Elaine Gale has a lot on her plate.

The assistant professor of Communication Studies and Journalism is a writer, journalist, writing coach, editor, dissertation coach, communication trainer, speaker, writing-group facilitator and communication consultant.

Elaine Gale

Elaine Gale

Her latest project, however, is coming to fruition soon and is something all in the greater Sacramento community can enjoy and appreciate. Gale created and developed “U-Nite” at the Crocker Art Museum, a faculty arts showcase that will bring together two prominent Sacramento educational institutions. The event, from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 12 , will be a night of creativity, education and celebration of the arts.

Gale is particularly passionate about “U-Nite” because it will blend town and gown in a special way. “The event will involve 40 faculty members from several academic disciplines, and Sac State students for a wonderful evening,” she says. “We will have the run of the facility to feature our talented folks.” Among the anticipated 1,000 attendees are Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez and Mayor Kevin Johnson.

The energetic instructor’s enthusiasm and prior successes with the Crocker prompted Edward S. Inch, dean of of the College of Arts and Letters, to name Gale as an arts fellow this year. As such, she is Sacramento State’s ambassador to the arts community, which should strengthen that synergetic connection in the years to come.

“I love teaching at Sac State,” she says, “because many of our students are working very hard to become the first in their family to get a college degree.” That love affair seems mutual, as evidenced by her superlative student evaluations. She also views Sacramento as a vibrant community and a great place to live.

Since coming to Sacramento State six years ago, Gale has taught a full load of classes, while tending to many other tasks. She’s Sacramento coordinator for a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization, the Pachamama Alliance, as a change agent and facilitator of Awakening the Dream symposiums. She created the Midtown Sacramento Writer’s Meet-Up in 2009 and has taught women's writing circles for more than 10 years.

Gale decided to switch careers from journalism to academia while teaching journalism part time at the University Of Arizona. She was a religion reporter for the Los Angeles Times and worked as an advice columnist and pop culture reporter for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. She worked for the Boston Phoenix and the Utne Reader and has been a writer for national magazines, including Entertainment Weekly, Good Housekeeping, W, Variety, and Cosmopolitan.

Professor Gale has a doctorate in Communication from the University of Denver and an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her undergraduate degree was in English and Religion from Boston University. She has also studied at Oxford University (St. Catherine's College), and at Grenoble University in Grenoble, France.

– Alan Miller