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From the outside, the tiny white building between Second and Third streets, The Playhouse, almost looks like a sanctuary.

Solving Problems through Partnerships

Solving Problems through Partnerships

Dr. Riedel and Dr. Bay-Williams

Math Department teams up with Education to teach exceptional high school students

Dr. Grzegorz Kubicki had taught freshman in his classes before the fall 2014 semester. Just not high school freshman.

“I was surprised to have high school students in a Calculus 301 class,” Kubicki said. “It’s an advanced math course, even for college students.”

But when several high-performing students topped out of math courses at South Oldham High School, Oldham County Public Schools (OCPS) Chief Academic Officer Anita Davis, a former Math major herself, sought a partnership with an area university to challenge the young mathematicians. Working with the College of Arts & Sciences Department of Mathematics and the College of Education, Davis secured ten seats in a fall 2014 calculus course.

Unlike dual credit courses taught by high school teachers in high school classrooms, this new course was taught by a tenured faculty member on campus and the remaining seats were filled by 15 UofL students.

“When the high school students realized they were on the same level as the UofL students, it became a competition of sorts,” Kubicki said. “It made all the students very enthusiastic and engaged. It was one of the best classes I’ve taught.”

And Kubicki “immediately offered to teach the class again,” said Dr. Thomas Riedel, Mathematics Department Chair.

Riedel and Davis were connected by Dr. Jenny Bay-Williams, chair of Middle and Secondary Education in the College of Education and Human Development, after Davis reached out about partnering with UofL. Bay-Williams and Riedel then got approval from the deans of the College of Arts & Sciences and Education. The project received temporary funding from Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs Dale Billingsley.

“This project was successful first and foremost because there was a willingness on the part of Oldham County educators and faculty in Arts & Sciences and Education to problem solve the situation. Dr. Riedel worked with the registrar to figure out how to get students enrolled, Oldham County figured out how to get the student’s schedules to work, and I worked with Dr. Billingsley to secure internal funding,” said Bay-Williams.

The class was conceived as a one-time, trial-run program, but it was so successful that it will be offered again in fall 2015. The College of Arts & Sciences is looking at expanding the program to include courses in the Departments of Biology, English, History, Humanities and Communications, in addition to more classes in Mathematics.

“This partnership will offer some of the best and brightest in our immediate area an incredible behind-the-scenes look at college and college life as high-school seniors – they will take UofL classes with UofL students and interact with UofL’s faculty,” said Dwain Pruitt, assistant dean for curriculum and governance. “This obviously allows UofL a unique recruiting opportunity, but its most important contribution will arguably be helping talented young people interested in STEM launch their academic careers.”

Through this project there is the potential for great benefits – stronger ties between a local school district and the University, a potential new route to recruit top seniors, and new relationships built across departments and Colleges for future collaborations.

“It was our partners at UofL that made this happen for these students,” Davis said. “When we began we were solving a problem for seven kids and now we have a prototype for future partnerships between local school districts and the university.”

Prof. Gregorz Kubicki teaching calculus class                                                                                                                                              Photos courtesy of Luke Seward

Kentucky-born Halpern ‘Dad’ to read from novel

March 20, 2015
Judy Hughes 502-852-6171

Kentucky-born Halpern ‘Dad’ to read from novel

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Before he became infamous as a blunt advice-sharing father to a writer, Sam Halpern was a Kentucky farmer, a graduate of Kentucky universities and a professor of nuclear medicine in California. Now retired, he has added author to his resume and will give a free, public reading from his novel March 31 in Louisville.

The reading from “A Far Piece to Canaan: A Novel of Friendship and Redemption” will begin at 7 p.m. at Carmichael’s Bookstore, 2720 Frankfort Ave. The humanities and Jewish studies programs at University of Louisville and Jewish studies program at University of Kentucky are co-sponsoring Halpern’s visit.

Halpern’s 2013 novel centers on a retired college professor who returns to his native Kentucky, where he grew up in a family of Jewish sharecroppers. Halpern’s relatives also were Jewish immigrants and sharecroppers near Georgetown who acquired their own farm when he was a teenager. The author earned his UK undergraduate degree and his UofL medical degree and served on the faculty at University of California-San Diego.

Halpern also is known as the father from the popular Twitter feed and best-selling book “Sh*t My Dad Says” by his son Justin Halpern. A CBS television comedy series based on the book aired in 2010-11.

For more information, contact Shelley Salamensky at 502-852-0457 or


Speaker to describe Afro-Cubans’ quest for cultural identity

March 16, 2015
Judy Hughes (502)852-6171

Speaker to describe Afro-Cubans’ quest for cultural identity

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Author and literary scholar Antonio Lopez will discuss the cultures of Afro-Cuban America during a March 25 lecture at the University of Louisville.

His free, public talk about “Finding ‘Ofa’: Cuban Identity and the O’Farrills of Havana, Harlem … and Louisville” will begin at 7 p.m. in W104 Ekstrom Library on the Belknap Campus.

Ofa is a nickname for Alberto O’Farrill, who came to the United States from Cuba in 1925. He was a theater performer in New York City and an editor, writer and cartoonist for the illustrated weekly tabloid newspaper Grafico in the late 1920s; later, he worked in film in California and as a traveling performer with his wife in several Latin American countries. O’Farrill’s wife later moved to her native Louisville to raise their family.

Lopez, associate professor of English at George Washington University, wrote about O’Farrill, racial identities and the scattering of Cubans to the United States in his 2012 book “Unbecoming Blackness: The Diaspora Cultures of Afro-Cuban America.” The book received an honorable mention in the Modern Language Association’s 2013 publication competition. Lopez earned his doctorate from Rutgers University.

Sponsors are the vice provost for diversity and international affairs, Liberal Studies Project, Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society and Pan-African studies department.

For more information, contact Manuel Medina at 502-419-6114 or


Unheard Tales of the Vietnam War: A South Vietnamese Perspective From Kentucky

Unheard Tales of the Vietnam War: A South Vietnamese Perspective From Kentucky

VNAF Huey with evacuees

“Unheard Tales of the Vietnam War: A South Vietnamese Perspective From Kentucky”
South Vietnamese veterans and refugees will share some of their stories of war and displacement, and how they later remade their lives in Louisville and Kentucky

March 31 at 6 p.m. in Ekstrom Library on UofL’s Belknap Campus

The University of Louisville is a proud partner in the federal effort to honor Vietnam veterans and their service. Over the next two years, the Vietnam War Commemoration Committee will organize a series of events to commemorate these men, women, and their families.

For more information on this event and on the Vietnam War Commemoration event series, contact Prof. Daniel Krebs at


SFC Norman A. Doney, 5th Special Forces Group with ARNV soldiers 1968.

“Selfies in Art History” in Bridwell Art Library.

“Selfies in Art History” in Bridwell Art Library.

“Selfies in Art History” is an exhibit in UofL's Bridwell Art Library. Art history major Blake Schreiner wanted to expose the modern “selfie” theme in past artworks. Sarah Carter, the director of the art library, says the idea is to demonstrate how the “selfie” was utilized by artists throughout history to portray their physical state as well as their psychological state.

Prof. Elaine Wise receives 2015 National Girls and Women in Sports Award

Prof. Elaine Wise receives 2015 National Girls and Women in Sports Award

UofL Athletic Director Tom Jurich presented Prof. Elaine Wise (Chair, Humanities) with the 2015 National Girls and Women in Sports Award during halftime at the Women’s Basketball game February 8. UofL’s women athletes joined Wise on the floor for the presentation and a video of her work with student-athletes. Also, Prof. Mary Ashlock received the first-ever Faculty Mentor of the Year Award as part of the annual Red & Black Banquet. The banquet began as a way to celebrate faculty mentors whose teaching and advising have had an impact on the best and brightest of the university’s student-athletes.


Mary Ashlock receives student-athlete Faculty Mentor of the Year Award.

Nasby practices ‘green’ stage management

Nasby practices ‘green’ stage management

Charles Nasby, technical production manager for theatre arts, who is passionate about reducing the department's environmental footprint.

by Bria Staten-Favors, communications and marketing last modified Feb 26, 2015 04:26 PM

From the outside, the tiny white building between Second and Third streets, The Playhouse, almost looks like a sanctuary.

Inside, it’s a different story.

Charles Nasby, technical production manager for the department of theatre arts, plies his trade amid a jungle of lumber, welding materials and scraps from past stage sets. He builds scenery, handles building maintenance, helps out with lighting, sound and costumes – and mentors students while he does it.

He’s also passionate about reducing his department’s environmental footprint, a trait that recently helped him earn a 2015 UofL Outstanding Performance Award.

Nasby strives to build high-quality, durable stage props and scenery that can be reused for future productions because finding many uses for a single prop cuts down on waste.

“A lot of my uncles were welders,” said the Underwood, Ind., native. “I kind of grew up around seeing people reuse. I was always around men and women creating.”

In his department’s recent production of “Othello,” most of the platforming and many of the small props were reused and repurposed from previous shows.

“I am in awe of Charles Nasby,” said Justin Mog, assistant to the provost for sustainability initiatives. “What most of us see as a problem he sees as an opportunity. He’s simply made sustainability part of what he does here.”

Nasby, who started working at UofL as a scenery technician in 2000, earned a bachelor’s degree in fine arts while working full-time.

When he’s not at his UofL job, Nasby does volunteer work for the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and Assumption High School. He also enjoys playing volleyball at Ohio Valley Volleyball Center.

One day, Nasby hopes to share his ideas on how to make stage management more sustainable with others in his profession.

“I want to move the idea of sustainable theater to the rest of the world,” he said.

Matt Hasenjager: the Mark Zuckerberg of the Guppy World

Matt Hasenjager: the Mark Zuckerberg of the Guppy World

Matt Hasenjager, photo courtesy of Luke Seward

Biology graduate student Matt Hasenjager presents his research on social networks as part of TEDxUofL 2015


Imagine a Michelin-starred chef opens a restaurant in Louisville. You want a reservation, but the location is closely guarded by the city’s dining elite. There are no ads in

The Courier-Journal, no phone book listings and no Yelp reviews.

How do you get a seat at the table? Your social network.

Social networks are simply put, relationships between friends, family and colleagues. The better connected you are, the easier it will be to find the latest hidden gastronomic gem. The same goes for a particularly scenic hiking trail or sought-after physician.

Even fish depend on social networks.

Matt Hasenjager studies the social networks in guppies to determine how individuals influence the group and each other. He is also interested in social learning and how the structure of the social network influences the transfer of information.

“How fast does information – like a novel behavioral technique or the location of a hidden food source – spread?” he said.

Apparently, as with humans, it all depends on who you know.

A doctoral candidate in the College of Arts & Sciences Department of Biology, Hasenjager presented his research at “TEDxUofL: Interconnectedness” on February 28, 2015.

“Interconnectedness matters not just for humans, but for animals as well,” he said. “You can study social networks and learning on a simpler level to gain insight into how interconnectedness works on a more complex level.”

Networks can be global and high tech – like Facebook or Twitter – or local and no tech – like a small village in East Africa. And in the last 15 years, there has been a growing interest in studying networks in non-humans as a means to study groups in nature and a way to look at those concepts across the natural world, said biology professor Lee Dugatkin.

“Networks exist in a variety of forms. By studying them across fields and contexts, we can better capture the complexities of our world,” Hasenjager said. “Network-based approaches offer a more realistic vision of how nature truly is compared to earlier methods that ignored the implications of interconnectedness.”

Whether observing guppies in Prof. Dugatkin’s biology lab or presenting on a public stage, Hasenjager’s research offers insight not only into a common fish, but into an even more common phenomenon to which we are all connected.

For more information, visit TEDxUofL.

Phi Beta Kappa Lecture 2015, The Honorable Romano L. Mazzoli

Phi Beta Kappa Lecture 2015, The Honorable Romano L. Mazzoli

The Honorable Romano L. Mazzoli

Join the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Kentuckiana and UofL's College of Arts & Sciences for the 2014-15 Phi Beta Kappa Lecture "Politics à la Carte: A Survey of Issues Local, National and International" presented by The Honorable Romano Mazzoli, U.S. House of Representatives, 1971-1995

Lecture sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Kentuckiana and UofL’s College of Arts & Sciences. A reception hosted by UofL’s Office of the President will immediately follow the lecture

Free and open to the public but seating limited; registration recommended.

For more information and to register, go to or 502.852.8977

The Honorable Romano Mazzoli is a Louisville native and 1960 graduate of UofL’s law school who served 24 years as the state’s 3rd District representative in Congress until his 1995 retirement. The Democrat served on the House Judiciary Committee, for which he chaired the Immigration, International Law and Refugees Subcommittee; he and Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming wrote the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (Simpson-Mazzoli immigration act), which was enacted into law. Mazzoli also served Congress on the House Education, Labor, Small Business and Intelligence committees. Before his congressional service, he served as a Kentucky state senator from 1968 to 1970 and in active Army duty from 1954 to 1956.


Besides his UofL law degree, he earned an undergraduate degree from University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also has served on the UofL Board of Overseers and as a visiting UofL professor and distinguished fellow in law and public policy. His papers were donated in 2011 to the UofL Libraries’ Archives, where the collection includes items from his political career and personal life.

Modern family: Author analyzes shifts in women’s roles

Modern family: Author analyzes shifts in women’s roles

Stephanie Coontz

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Historian Stephanie Coontz, who writes about marriage and modern families, will talk about the evolution of women’s roles since World War II during a March 10 talk at the University of Louisville.

Coontz’s free, public talk is “From the Feminine Mystique to the Supermom Syndrome: Women, Work, Marriage and Motherhood from WWII to the Present.”

Her lecture will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Floyd Theater, Swain Student Activities Center, with a reception afterward. Coontz’s talk is the annual Minx Auerbach lecture in women’s and gender studies, which UofL’s women’s and gender studies department sponsors during Women’s History Month.

Coontz teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., and is director of research and public education for the Council on Contemporary Families.

She wrote “A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of  the 1960s” and “Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage.” Other books include “The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap,” “The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America’s Changing Families” and “The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families.”

She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from University of California-Berkeley and master’s degree in European history from University of Washington.

For more information, contact Nancy Theriot in women's and gender studies at 502-852-8160 or

Literature-culture conference features authors in free keynote sessions

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Writers and scholars from around the globe are expected when the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900 convenes Feb. 26-28 at the University of Louisville.

UofL's English and classical and modern languages departments sponsor the 43rd annual event featuring presentations that represent all literary forms and diverse languages.

The conference keynote addresses listed below are free and public:

--Joseph Lease, poet and director of the California College of the Arts Master of Fine Arts program in writing. His reading will begin at 11 a.m. Feb. 26 in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library.

--Jean-Michel Rabate, University of Pennsylvania English and comparative literature professor and Vartan Gregorian humanities professor. He will discuss “The ‘Pathos of Distance,’ from Nietzsche and Benjamin to Klein and Beuys” at 5 p.m. Feb. 26 in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library.

--Micah Dean Hicks, Florida State University graduate student and winner of UofL’s 2014 Calvino Prize. He will read from his prize-winning “Flight of the Crow Boys” at 11 a.m. Feb. 27 in Bingham Poetry Room, Ekstrom Library.

--Michael Handelsman, author and University of Tennessee distinguished professor of humanities and director of the global studies interdisciplinary program. He will discuss “Reading Literature from the Center of the World: The Elusive Case of Ecuador” at 3:15 p.m. Feb. 27 in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library.

--Tracie Morris, interdisciplinary poet, recording artist, multimedia performer and Pratt Institute humanities and media studies professor. She will read at 5 p.m. Feb. 27 in 102 Strickler Hall.

--Fred Moten, University of California-Riverside English professor, poet and critic. He will discuss “(Black) Poetry and the White Critic,” at 5 p.m. Feb. 28 in Cressman Center for Visual Arts, 100 E. Main St.

For more information, check or contact Alan Golding, conference director, at 502-852-5918 or

The 2015 Naamani Memorial Lecture

The 2015 Naamani Memorial Lecture

Teddy Abrams

The University of Louisville Humanities & Jewish Studies Programs

Warmly Invite You to




Conductor, Louisville Orchestra



Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts

Sunday, March 29th

2-4 p.m.


Free & Open to the Public

Refreshments Provided


Online Reservations Recommended:


Garage Parking, Limited, $6

Disability Accessible

Questions & Phone Reservations: 502-852-0457

The Naamani Memorial Lecture Series was established in 1979 to honor the memory of Professor Israel T. Naamani, key educational figure, scholar and teacher at the University of Louisville, and beloved Jewish community member. The series is supported by donations to the Naamani Memorial Lecture Fund.

Veteran to reflect on Vietnam 40 years later

Veteran to reflect on Vietnam 40 years later

Michael Moryc

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Forty years after his service there, U.S. Army veteran Michael Moryc returned to Vietnam to try to reconcile his memories. The nature photographer will share his story and images during a Feb. 17 talk at the University of Louisville.

The free, public talk, “Return to the Land of the Dragons: A Veteran’s Quest for Freedom from the Past, Emotional Liberation, Mutual Forgiveness,” will begin at 4 p.m. in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library.

Moryc, based in Nashville, Tenn., has wrestled with post-traumatic stress disorder and participated in group and individual therapy to deal with wartime memories that began with his 1968 arrival in Vietnam at age 20. He returned to the country decades later with longtime friend David Horvath of Louisville and documented the visit through photography.

The talk sponsors are the Honors Student Council; Peace, Justice and Conflict Transformation Program; Social Change Program; Center for Asian Democracy; Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research; Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice; Department of History; McConnell Center; Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society; Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs; and the Office of Military and Veteran Student Services.

For more information, contact the University Honors Program at 502-852-6293 or

Video: Underground Railroad 2015: Life of a Freedom Seeker

"Underground Railroad 2015" showcases the work of Mark A. Priest, fine arts professor at the Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville. The exhibit features four series of paintings and drawings focusing on historically significant people or places associated with slavery in America prior to the Civil War: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Charles Nalle, and the building of Joseph Stewart’s Canal. The exhibit is on display at the Schneider Hall galleries and the Cressman Center through Feb. 28.

A&S Shines at this Year’s Celebration of Teaching and Learning

  • The 2014-15 Paul Weber Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching was given to the Department of Biology. The primary objective of this award is to recognize the established and ongoing teaching excellence of departments and small units.
  • A&S professor Raymond Chastain from the Department of Physics and Astronomy was honored as one of the “Top 4” Faculty Favorites at the  Feb. 6 Celebration of Teaching & Learning. Watch this video of Prof. Chastain.Working third shift is a struggle, and it may be hard to concentrate in class sometimes, but I never wanted to miss a physics class because it was the best class I had ever taken,” one student said. Another said, “Professor Chastain will be one I will never forget just because he made me want to learn, without him knowing it.”

A whopping 178 A&S faculty, staff and graduate teaching assistants as Faculty Favorites in 2013-14. Each received a formal letter of recognition from the Provost, along with a certificate, and were invited to attend the Faculty Favorite Reception, that was held during the lunch program at the 2015 Celebration of Teaching and Learning. See list of all A&S nominees here.

SELMA Panel Discussion

Wednesday, February 4, 6:30pm-8:30pm in the Chao Auditorium
SELMA Panel Discussion


Dr. Shirletta Kinchen (PAS Department)


  • Leon Bates (Master's Graduate Teaching Assitant)
  • Ryan Herring (Editor in Chief of
  • Tisha Norman (Doctoral Graduate Assistant)
  • John Schuscke (Master's Graduate Teaching Assistant)

Contact Byron Terry for more information.

Volunteer instructors needed

The Office of Communications and Marketing is looking for volunteers to lead a course during our annual College for a Day program Saturday, May 16.

College for a Day is a partnership with Learning for Life and Explorer Clubs, Boys & Girls Club, Louisville Metro Parks, the Mayor’s Office for Youth Development and several other youth groups in the area. It is a one-day event that brings several hundred middle and high school students to campus to join in several different sessions taught by UofL faculty volunteers on various subjects. This year, sessions also will focus on career possibilities for each subject and will include merit badge curriculum for Boy Scouts in attendance who wish to work on merit badge programs.

The subjects for the 2015 event are listed below.

  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Citizenship in the Community
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Computers
  • Communication
  • Crime Prevention
  • Dentistry
  • Electricity
  • Engineering/Electronics
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Environmental Science
  • First Aid
  • Journalism
  • Medicine
  • Nuclear Science
  • Personal Fitness
  • Personal Management
  • Public Speaking
  • Robotics
  • Space Exploration
  • Sustainability
  • Swimming
  • Weather

UofL volunteers will be partnered with a community volunteer who will serve as a merit badge counselor for scouts. We will connect both volunteers several weeks in advance of the event in order to plan session details.

Faculty volunteers will need to be able to commit either a full-day (8 a.m-4 p.m.) or a half-day (either morning or afternoon) session. Anyone interested in volunteering should email Erica Walsh, Communications and Marketing Specialist for OCM, at or call her at 852-6430.

Engaged Scholarship in Action series, Spring 2015

A series of conversations across disciplines and communities

The purpose of this series of Spring 2015 conversations is to showcase and support community-engaged scholars at UofL. Meet one another, find new community partnership opportunities, discover how community engagement turns into scholarship!

Each of the programs includes brief presentations by panels of community-engaged faculty on aspects of a shared topic. Then we will consider how our varied efforts might lead to more and more effective collaborations, publications, and positive community outcomes. If you are an engaged scholar or want to become one, or if you are merely interested in the topic, please join us. This series is organized by Cate Fosl, Special Assistant to the Provost for Engaged Scholarship. For more info, contact or call 852-6142.

Infectious Disease and Globalization: From HIV to Ebola and Beyond

Friday, January 30, 12:30-2:00 PM
Humanities Room 300
Panelists: Stephen Hanson, Muriel Harris, Mark Rothstein, Riann Van Zyl
Light lunch served

Signature Partnership Initiative: A Forum for Engagement

Tuesday, February 3, 12:00-1:30 PM
Shumaker Research Building Room 139
Panelists: Craig Blakely, Anita Barbee, Laura Rothstein, David Simpson
Light lunch served

Engaging Metro Louisville for Violence Prevention

Friday, February 13, 12:30-2:00 PM
Miller Information Technology Center Room 201
Panelists: Anthony Smith, Monica Wendel, Jason Immekus, more TBA
Light lunch served
Cosponsored by Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research

From Parkland to Ferguson: The Persistence of Racial Disparities

Friday, March 6, 12:30-2:00 PM
CTR Room 124, Health Sciences Campus
Panelists: Vicki Hines-Martin, more TBA
Light lunch served

Leveraging Your Digital Scholarship for Community Engagement

Friday, April 24, 10:30 AM -12:00 PM
Location TBA
Panelists: Lara Kelland, Fannie Cox, James Chisholm, Mary P. Sheridan


From Engagement to Scholarship:  Challenges and Opportunities for Community-Engaged Scholars

Two follow-up conversation cafés – one on Belknap and one on HSC



Sponsored by

University of Louisville Office of the Provost

Co-sponsored by

Offices of the Dean of the College Arts & Sciences, Dean of the Brandeis School of Law, Dean of the Kent School of Social Work, Dean of the College of Education and Human Development, Dean of the School of Medicine, Dean of the School of Nursing, Dean of the School of Public Health and Information Sciences

4 A&S staff members receive President’s Outstanding Performance Award

Congratulations to our talented and dedicated staff members Luke Buckman (University Honors Program), Annelise Gray (English), Lori Cotter (A&S Dean’s Office), and Charles Nasby (Theatre Arts) for being among this year’s Outstanding Performance Award recipients.They each received a plaque and monetary award at an awards luncheon in their honor on Friday, January 30, 2015.

Luke Buckman, assistant director, student programming and development, University Honors Program

One of Luke’s chief job responsibilities is to advise honors students, a role in which he excels. He is not only adept at guiding students through course selection, he is able to uncover student interests and help them map out courses that will maximize their undergraduate experience, as well as identify important co-curricular experiences that will enhance their academic and civic learning. He has also taken considerable initiative in creating new programming for students, as well as engaging students in this programming and other campus activities. Largely due to his efforts, UofL has a vibrant and engaged honors student population. He has also played pivotal roles in the Service Living Learning Community, the Marin Luther King Jr. Scholars Program and the Board of Overseers Mentoring Program.

Lori Cotter, administrative specialist, A&S dean's office

Lori has been at UofL since 2004 and in the A&S dean's office since 2011. As an administrative specialist in the A&S Budget and Finance Office, some of her duties include reconciling A&S accounts with university financials, processing travel forms and managing procurement card reconciliation and purchases made from dean's office funds.  A number of her responsibilities span the entire college, which is made up of more than 400 full-time faculty, more than 70 degree programs in 24 departments and more than a dozen centers and institutes. She manages 125 active ProCards in A&S and works hard to ensure others in A&S abide by ProCard policies. Her work is consistently accurate and timely in meeting deadlines, and she negotiates very complex and ever changing rules and regulations with ease and diplomacy.

Annelise Gray, program assistant senior, graduate programs (English)

Annelise often seems less a program assistant and more a program quarterback—the team member who makes sure everyone else is where they need to be, and that they also know what they need to do. In the fall, she makes sure the third-year PhD students have rooms, committees and questions for their qualifying exams. She also coordinates the collection of prospectus and committee documents from PhD and MA students in candidacy, rolling admissions for our MA program and any special circumstances requiring a program variance. In the spring, Annelise will be responsible for compiling admissions materials from well over 100 students seeking entrance to our MA and PhD programs. In coordinating recruiting weekend, she makes sure everything runs on time and within budget. Her initiative has led to a number of key improvements in the graduate program that have greatly improved the manner in which students approach and conduct graduate work. She also developed internship courses into a more solid program, compiling an internship handbook, creating assessment options and approaching potential community and corporate partners.

Charles Nasby, technical production manager, Theatre Arts

Charles is responsible for managing operations of the scenery production shop for the Theatre Arts Mainstage shows, supervising all scenery and properties construction, working with the lighting and sound areas, occasionally assisting the costume shop and maintaining production and performance facilities in two buildings, all under the pressures of tight deadlines and tighter technical resources. He fulfills these duties with the assistance of mostly inexperienced student crews. Students learn the principles of theatre in the classroom; Charles introduces the students to the practical application of these principles. He is an uncredited teacher of technical skills to would-be actors and technicians, guiding them safely through their first exposure to scenic production and carpentry. He is also dedicated to making Theatre Arts the campus benchmark for sustainability, exploring new ideas of reducing the department’s environmental footprint through redistribution and recycling.

Award-winning writer offers insight on his Arab-Israeli life

Award-winning writer offers insight on his Arab-Israeli life

Sayed Kashua

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Novelist, journalist and screenwriter Sayed Kashua will talk about his life as a Palestinian-Israeli writer during a University of Louisville event Feb. 12.

Kashua’s free, public lecture and discussion about “The Foreign Mother Tongue: Living and Writing as a Palestinian in Israel” will begin at 3 p.m. in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library. A book sale and signing will follow the talk at 4:30 p.m. UofL’s Jewish studies program presents the event, which also is part of the university’s Axton Reading Series.

Kashua, currently a visiting teacher at University of Illinois, earned the Prime Minister’s Prize for Literature in 2004 and the Israeli literary Bernstein Prize in 2011. He has published three novels: “Dancing Arabs,” “Let It Be Morning” and “Second Person Singular.” The film adaptation of the autobiographical “Dancing Arabs” opened the Jerusalem Film Festival last year.

Kashua also is known for the popular, groundbreaking “Arab Labor” television series that provides a comedic look at a Palestinian journalist living in Israel and searching for identity. His satirical weekly personal columns in Hebrew run in the newspaper Haaretz. A 2009 documentary “Sayed Kashua -- Forever Scared” chronicled his family life during seven years.

Although his talk is free, reservations are requested at For reserved parking information, email Ranen Omer-Sherman, the Jewish Heritage Foundation for Excellence endowed chair in Judaic studies, at

Other support for the College of Arts and Sciences event comes from the Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence, English department, humanities division and Middle East and Islamic studies program.

For more information, contact Omer-Sherman at 502-852-6842 or