A&S e-Portal December 2012

December 2012 News:

Dean's Message from Interim Dean John Ferré

Students travel to New Jersey to assist Sandy recovery efforts

Fine Arts honors benefactor, dedicates Bill Fischer Art Studios

Recent Graduate Praises the A&S Inclusion and Equity Intern Program

Ken Hohmann named 2012 A&S Alumni Fellow

Audwin and Rae Helton Center for Geographic Information Sciences laboratory

A&S Staff honored with President's Outstanding Performance Awards


Dean's Message from Interim Dean John Ferré

Interim Dean John Ferré in the Anne Braden Institute. Photo by Elmer Lucille Allen
Dean Ferre in ABI by Elmer Lucille Allen

As the fall semester started, I was reminded of a line in Fiddler on the Roof:  “We haven’t got the man we had when we began.”  Back in July, Dean Hudson underwent cranial surgery and then started a medical leave.  At that time, he recommended to the Provost that I step in as Interim Dean of the College, so that’s what I have been doing for the past few months – that and wishing Dean Hudson well as he works on his recovery.

I’m pleased to report that the College is continuing to think ahead.  In September, the University’s Board of Trustees approved the Certificate in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Transformation and the B.A. in Asian Studies, so undergraduates in the College can now receive formal preparation in these two subjects essential in our present context of globalism.  The College faculty replaced the outdated student evaluation forms with a new online questionnaire that focuses on learning and engagement.  And proposals for an MFA in studio art and a graduate certificate in diversity literacy are making their way through committee review.

See Also:
  • Dr. Ferré joined the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Louisville in 1985. Biographical sketch and CV.

There is, of course, so much more work to do.  The College needs to come to terms with our over-reliance on contingent faculty, and our six-year graduation rate needs to continue to improve.  And, as President Ramsey has said in his call for “the 21st Century University” initiative, we need to reassess how we can best serve our students, our community, and the commonwealth in this era of declining state funding and rising student debt, not to mention social, economic, technological, and environmental flux.  If ever there was a time to put into practice the competencies that we teach -- understanding cultural diversity, thinking critically, and communicating effectively -- it is now.

The College, that is to say, is as strong as ever, but it faces tremendous challenges.  Meeting them will require that we match our devotion to the liberal arts and sciences with flexibility, innovation, and will.


Students travel to New Jersey to assist Sandy recovery efforts

from UofL Today, Dec. 12. 2012

A dozen University of Louisville students are volunteering this week in Highlands, N.J., to help restore the Hurricane Sandy-damaged coastal fishing village.

Students in NJ - Sandy In addition to social work students, there are many from A&S, including justice administration, sociology, psychology, and biology students. The students will partner with Monmouth University’s School of Social Work in New Jersey to do a wide range of jobs — cleaning out storm muck from homes, doing repair work, folding donated clothing, participating in grief counseling and whatever else arises, according to Theresa Hayden, a UofL professor who teaches in justice administration and social work.

Hayden, who also volunteered with the Red Cross in New York after 9-11 and who has coordinated social work and health clinics in medically underserved parts of Kentucky, put together the  service-project trip after seeing coverage of the recent hurricane’s devastation in late October and early November. “I watched the news until I couldn’t stand it anymore,” she said. “I knew the towns were going to need a lot.”

UofL Today “They (students) are definitely going to learn a lot about community disasters and the long-term effects on communities,” Hayden said. “It’s a great group of students. I’m really proud.”

The group left by rented van Dec. 9 and will return Dec. 15. The Kent School of Social Work and the College of Arts and Sciences’ justice administration department have contributed to transportation, gas and food for the students, and donations to support the student effort are being accepted by Betty Sallengs, Kent School’s development director, Room 1031, Fairfax Building. The students will sleep in spare rooms arranged through Monmouth, which also made the connections for the volunteer opportunities, Hayden said.

“The response has been tremendous,” she said.

Fine Arts honors benefactor, dedicates Bill Fischer Art Studios

Fine arts students and faculty recently paid tribute during the Hite Art Institute’s 75th anniversary to a benefactor and artist who began his UofL studies the year the department was founded.

They dedicated the Bill Fischer Art Studios — leased studio space the lifelong artist has funded since 2010 in the former Our Mother of Sorrows School, 770 Eastern Parkway near Belknap Campus. Former classrooms there are subdivided so student artists can work on large-scale art and create multiple pieces simultaneously.

Fischer studio artist“That space is just amazing,” said Charlotte Pollack, a Goshen, Ky., student who’ll graduate in December and who received the Bill Fischer senior project grant this spring. “I wouldn’t be able to paint at the size I’m doing (otherwise).”

“It’s truly a gift to be able to go there, have a sense of community and 24-hour access,” said Jordan Lance Morgan, a Louisville senior chosen to represent students at the Fischer ceremony November 16. “It means a lot that you are not just a philanthropist but also an artist.”

Fischer’s 2012 donations and pledges to UofL’s Hite Art Institute totaled $220,000 to help with the studios and student aid. He also endowed grants that go each semester to a 2-D art student and 3-D art student who are preparing their senior-project artwork for exhibition.

Recent Graduate Praises the A&S Inclusion and Equity Intern Program

A recent graduate credits the A&S  Inclusion and Equity Intern Program for helping to launch her career as a diversity and equity practitioner. Jessica Ronald, serves as Diversity Effectiveness Representative for the Sierra Club in San Francisco. She points to her internship and the resources provided by the program as keys to this career move. “As an intern, I was offered numerous opportunities to facilitate dialogue for inclusion both on campus and in the community, and with this experience I was able to secure” the Sierra Club position.

Jessica Ronald

An intern in 2011-12 and the fall 2012 term, she facilitated workshops for JCPS Professional Development, Legal Aid Society, Chauncey Elementary, and Mary Ryan Academy workshops.  She was co-presenter at the 2012 White Privilege Conference in New Mexico, where she spoke about the internship program.

The Inclusion and Equity Internship program, coordinated by the A&S Office of International Diversity and Outreach Programs, is designed to expose a team of students to the scholarship and best practices concerning inclusiveness and equity. The primary goal is to cultivate social justice leadership skills. Interns participate in a series of workshops and guided training to provide a common foundation and to stimulate dialogue and reflection. Interns have also facilitated workshops for Theatre Arts and other UofL organizations, Iroquois High School, and Blue Lick Elementary.

When she landed the Sierra Club job in early December, Jessica wrote a note of thanks to Marian Vasser, the program’s coordinator: “I will definitely utilize the tools I developed through this program in my future endeavors. Your devotion to this program, the University, and the cause are apparent in everything you do. Your enthusiasm in this work is contagious and you have helped me grow as a facilitator and as a person.”

Jessica earned graduate degrees in Women and Gender Studies (2010) and Pan-African Studies (2012), as well as a certificate in Latin American Studies.  Formerly a teacher in the Jefferson County Public Schools system, her research integrates social justice activism and education to showcase “the spaces that transgress ‘boundaries’ of race, class, gender, and sexuality.”

For additional information about the Inclusion and Equity Intern Program or to schedule a session with your department or organization, contact Marian R. Vasser at 502-852-2252 or mrvass01@louisville.edu

Ken Hohman named 2012 A&S Alumni Fellow

As part of this year's Homecoming activities, the UoL Alumni Association paid tribute to one of our most active and committed alumni ambassadors. Ken Hohman, alumnus and long-time supporter of the Department of Mathematics, was selected as the 2012 A&S Alumni Fellow. Hohman and the ten Alumni Fellows of other colleges and schools were honored at the "2012 Alumni Awards Ceremony" held October 18.

Hohmann with trophyKen Hohman received a Bachelor of Arts in 1974 and his Master of Arts in 1976 from UofL’s College of Arts and Sciences. As one of the mathematics department’s most devoted and successful alums, and a former graduate teaching assistant in math, Hohman and his wife Sue have provided fellowships for a number of math teaching assistants. 

Beyond his significant contributions to UofL, Hohman has been a leader in the actuarial profession serving as president of two national actuarial organizations, the Conference of Consulting Actuaries and the American Academy of Actuaries. A web search turns up more than 30 pages of links relating to Hohman’s work and career.

In addition, he has been a professional ambassador for actuaries in South Africa, Australia, Europe, Canada, and Mexico. He serves on the board of the International Association of Consulting Actuaries and is active with the International Actuarial Association.

Hohman has served with the UofL Alumni Association board, the A&S Alumni board, and local philanthropic organizations. He and his wife have three children and five grandchildren.

Hohmann JR SW Ferre

Audwin and Rae Helton Center for Geographic Information Sciences laboratory

Lab puts program on the map by Judy Hughes, UofL Today Dec 5, 2012

UofL faculty and students who study geographic information systems set aside a day this fall to hear from professionals who depend on GIS technology for mapping. They saw such map examples as the Mitt Romney presidential vote in Kentucky, recent Bullitt County train derailment, Lexington bicycle use, Kentucky tornadoes, federal election results by state and a sustainability tour of Belknap Campus.

Earlier in the semester, they dedicated the newly renovated Audwin and Rae Helton Center for Geographic Information Sciences Laboratory, which will both provide better equipment on which to learn and space for more students.

Helton family in the Helton GIS lab“The better the lab is, the better off I’m going to be as a GIS professional when it comes to looking for new team members,” said Audwin Helton, co-founder and president of Louisville-based Spatial Data Integrations Inc. Company co-founder and vice president Rae Helton is a longtime UofL employee who now works with the community engagement office to coordinate the university’s participation in the local 55,000 Degrees initiative to improve educational attainment.

The Heltons’ donation allowed the GIS program to revamp its Lutz Hall lab with 27-inch high-definition monitors and computers with faster graphic and animation processors. It also allowed the program to increase the number of workstations. Now, instead of accommodating 15 students, it accommodates 22, said program director Robert Forbes. The revamped lab is attracting students, industrial users and people from Kentucky interested in learning the GIS technology through continuing education courses.

“The GIS lab in that department is the key to success around here for anyone in the GIS field. It all starts here for training,” Helton said. “It’s been a good kind of connection.”

Easily half of his 35-employee company came through the UofL program although not all were geography and geosciences majors, Helton said. The couple also has funded scholarships for geography and geosciences undergraduates interested in GIS.

Janet Dakan, widow of UofL geography professor Bill Dakan, started a technology fund to upgrade software used in the laboratory and department. She also was honored during the lab dedication ceremony.

“The technology itself is still an emerging technology and has implications across many majors here at UofL,” Forbes said. Beyond geography, he mentioned biology, engineering, business and justice administration as examples. “It’s so visual, so graphic.”

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” Forbes said about the lab. “We’ve had an increase in students who want to come over and take a look at geography.”


A&S Staff honored with President's Outstanding Performance Awards

Two long-time staff members of the College of Arts and Sciences were among 14 honored by President James Ramsey with Outstanding Performance Awards during a ceremony November 8 at Amelia Place. Each award winner received $1,000 and a plaque. Congratulations and sincere thanks for your service, Robert Forbes and Leisa Hillman.

Forbes OPA 2012Robert Forbes, director, Center for Geographical Information Sciences

Forbes came to UofL 15 years ago. His charge was to develop and promote the Center for Geographical Information Sciences (GIS) as a regional and statewide resource, to develop a foundational curriculum, to teach GIS classes and to develop connections to service, research and government institutions within the community.

He has exceeded all goals and brought distinction to the Department of Geography and Geosciences, the College of Arts and Sciences and UofL.

Leisa Hillman, program coordinator, psychological and brain sciences

Hillman OPA 2012

Hillman is her department’s senior program coordinator. She performs a variety of essential functions so effectively that many people have no idea how much work it really takes to keep the department running smoothly.

She has been an excellent role model for all the staff because of her positive, service-oriented attitude of “How can I help you with that?” Hillman doesn’t just get her job done. She does it with efficiency, independence and extraordinary conscientiousness. She creates an ambiance of service and caring, and she is uncomplaining and dedicated.