Monday Memo February 24, 2020

Dean's Message

Dear Colleagues,
We all are fortunate to be members of a college of arts and sciences, because we provide what I firmly believe to be the most valuable type of college education. There is no better preparation for today's diverse and rapidly changing society and workforce than a strong foundation in the arts and sciences. For that reason, I want to share this story of student success because it is such a concrete illustration of the intellectual agility I believe comes from learning how to problem solve, communicate, and think on your feet. Below is the text and an image from a Facebook post from Prof. Michael Johmann (Comparative Humanities) regarding this former student. 

Congratulations to former student and U of L graduate Taylor Beisler, who has just been accepted into the PhD physics program at Rice University and is being sent to CERN in Switzerland to assist in upgrades to the Large Hadron Collider and its 14,000 ton, 5 storey tall Compact Muon Solenoid. What does the Solenoid do, you ask? In her words, “it sees the invisible so we’re getting to higher energies which means further back in time to study the beginning of the universe (I.e. new physics happening for us to analyze) and they’re doing stuff like nanotech research and cancer research with proton beam therapy (which is what we’re colliding together at CERN—proton beams)!” Not bad for a Fine Arts grad from U of L—working and studying at the premier particle physics lab in the world. I’m sure she learned it all in my Humanities classes. Give me a shout when you win your Nobel Prize.

Indeed, Taylor, give us all a shout when you win that prize. Until then, we'll be rooting for you and for what your success represents. 


David S. Owen, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, and
Professor of Philosophy


Last call for 2020 A&S Awards nominations!

Please take the time to nominate your faculty and staff colleagues for a 2020 A&S award. Awards will be given at the A&S Celebration of Excellence on April 21, 2020, in the SAC Multipurpose Room. Winners of the A&S Distinguished Faculty Awards and Outstanding Performance Awards for staff will be forwarded to the President's Office as the College's nominations for the University-wide awards of the same name.
Nominations are due February 28, 2020. For more info and to nominate.

Call for Proposals: 2020 Research and Creative Activities Grants and Olorunsola Award

The A&S Research Office is now accepting proposals for 2020 Research and Creative Activities Grants for Faculty and Graduate Students and for the 2020 Olorunsola Endowed Research Award for Young Scholars. Electronic proposals must be received by Prof. Robert Buchanan, Associate Dean of Research by Monday, March 16, 2020. See full requirements at the Research Office website.

Now accepting applications for Faculty Athletics Representative 

Submission deadline is March 6 at 5 p.m.
After 20 years as UofL's Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR), Prof. Elaine Wise (Comparative Humanities) is stepping down. The transition will occur at the end of June so the new FAR will have time to make the transition with Prof. Wise. The application is available online and should be submitted to Jake Beamer from the Office of the President.

The position description is as follows: The Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) provides oversight and guidance in the administration of the University’s athletics programs and is the representative of the University and its faculty in the relationship between the University, the ACC, and the NCAA. The FAR plays a leading role in the areas of academic integrity, governance and commitment to rules compliance, promotion of institutional control of athletics, commitment to diversity and equity, including student-athlete welfare and well-being, and facilitation of the integration of the academic and athletic components of the University community.  

(And if you run into Professor Wise, please be sure to thank her for her two decades of service!)

Great Place to Learn

Malcolm X Debate Team takes top honors

Congratulations to Malcolm X Debate Team members Deontrey Yeargin and Raveen Bryant on going undefeated at the district debate tournament. Bryant was also awarded top speaker honors. The two will move on to the 2020 National Debate Tournament.

Bandido GNAS Fundraiser

Thursday, February 27, 5-10 PM
Stop by Bandido Taqueria Mexicana (423 University Blvd) this Thursday, February 27, to support our grad students. Say you are with UofL and a portion of the profits will directly support the Graduate Network of Arts & Sciences.

Great Place to Work

Professional Development Opportunities

All trainings held at Belknap Human Resources Building, 1980 Arthur St.

Providing Excellent Service to the Cardinal Family
February 25, 2020, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Presented by the Business Operations unit
For more information and to register

Leading from Our Strengths
February 27, 2020, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Presented by Brian Buford, Director of Employee Development & Success. 
Prerequisite: Take the Strengths assessment before class and bring your results with you. Go here for StrengthsFinder 2.0 guide and an access code for your assessment.
For more information and to register

Great Place to Invest

Two A&S Professors nab NSF grants

Congratulations to Prof. Jason Naylor (Geography & Geosciences) and Prof. Fashid Ramezanipour (Chemistry), who received National Science Foundation grants last week. Prof. Naylor was awarded $337,676 for "Understanding the Consequences of Interactions between Deep Convective Storms and large Cities" and Prof. Ramezanipour was awarded $431,406 for "CAREER: Rational Design of Defect-Ordered Architectures in Oxygen-Deficient Perovskites to Control the Oxygen-Evolution Activity."

Diversity & Inclusion

Gottschalk Lecture

March 26, 6 PM, Chao Auditorium
Dr. Ellen Carol DuBois, author of the forthcoming Suffrage: Women's Long Battle for the Vote, will deliver the 2020 Gottschalk Lecture, co-sponsored by the Department of History and the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society.

Dr. DuBois will also participate in a noontime round-table at The Filson Historical Society on Wednesday, March 25, where she will be joined by a number of regional public history professionals and educators for a wide-ranging discussion of how best to present the history of voting rights and women's suffrage to public audiences and students. Both events are free and open to the public.


The Other Side of Our Food System: The Use of Human Waste as an Agricultural Resource

Wednesday, February 26, 4-5 PM, SRB 139

Dr. Nicholas Kawa (Department of Anthropology, Ohio State University) will discuss a collaboration between OSU faculty and students to design and implement a demonstration garden that transforms human waste into an agricultural resource, considering both the limits and possibilities of challenging social taboos surrounding human waste and the implications it has for our food system.

In the News

Weather Smart: All about atmospheric rivers (WHAS 11, 2/20/20) Prof. Jason Naylor, Prof. Wei Song, and DJ Biddle (Geography and Geosciences) joined Great Day Live to talk about research into atmospheric rivers and how large cities could impact the distribution of storms and severe weather.