e-Portal Newsletter, Fall 2010

In the Fall 2010 Edition of the e-Portal:

ArtsBookUSA Artist Directory created in partnership with Arts Council of Louisville

Arts Council LogoOn November 4, the Arts Council of Louisville, a member of the UofL Arts and Culture partnership initiative, hosted a press event and launch party at UofL to unveil an online artist directory that organizers hope will become a “facebook for artists.”

Artsbook USA, the online directory,  is the brainchild of Nana Yaa Asantewaa, founder of Arts Council of Louisville. Her vision was to create the directory as a “one stop arts marketplace” designed to “potentially engage 2000 or more artists and art organizations in Metro Louisville and surrounding areas,” she said.

The College of Arts and Sciences has served as a primary partner in the Artsbook USA project along with Leapfrog Interactive, Gordon Communications, and a host of other Arts Council contributors. Peter Morrin, who leads our Arts and Culture Partnership initiative, served as liaison to the Arts Council and served an advisory role as the project evolved.

Asantewaa says, "The project bridges the digital divide for artists in all categories" and is a reflection of the council's mission to “connect, strengthen and support community arts. We envision arts for everyone, everyday and everywhere because we believe that where there’s art, there’s life.”

Related (external links):

A&S Annual Fall Lectures featured Gretchen Morgenson and Bernice Reagon

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Gretchen Morgenson delivered the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa lecture this October. Morgenson is assistant financial editor of the New York Times where she covers Wall Street and financial news. Her talk, titled "After the Deluge: How Washington, Main Street and Wall Street are Faring Post-Meltdown," was co-sponsored by the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Kentuckiana and the Speed Art Museum.

During her visit, Morgenson spoke to several student groups and classes about business ethics and the financial world. A primary goal of the annual PBK lecture is to expose our students to national and international experts on a broad range of topics. The PBK Lecture series began in 2006 and is free and open to the public. The series provide the campus and local community with access to the expertise and perspectives of the university's distinguished guests. Past speakers have included Harvey Cox, Kathleen hall Jamieson, Ruth Faden, John Churchill, and George Greenia.

For more information on the series and past PBK speakers see: UofL Phi Beta Kappa Lecture Series.

Dr. Bernice Reagon delivered a "songtalk" for 2010 Anne Braden Memorial Lecture

from Amber Booker Duke, Acting director of the Anne Braden Institute

On November 5, 2010, the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research hosted its annual, signature event, The Anne Braden Memorial Lecture. Dr. Bernice Reagon presented “The Civil Rights Movement and Students: Creating a Vital, Transformative Change in the Struggle for American Freedom.”

A  renowned singer/songwriter, Bernice Reagon is a longtime musical and cultural leader in the southern civil rights movement.  For more than 45 years Dr. Reagon has been a major cultural voice for freedom and justice: singing, teaching and speaking out against racism and inequities of all kinds.  She knew Anne Braden as a friend, inspiration and sister in the struggle. She also became one of the founding members of the SNCC Freedom Singers.

So what exactly is a ‘songtalk’?  Here’s how Reagon describes her unique approach:  “These days, I come as ‘songtalker,’ one who balances talk and song in the creation of a live performance conversation with those who gather within the sound of my voice.  As a student leader and activist in the Albany Movement, I sang and stood in the sound of the congregational singing of the freedom songs charging the air we breathed. For the first time, I understood how the singing not only pulled us together, but became our articulate collective testimony to all who stood within the sound.”

This event was part of the Anne Braden Institute's year-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the southern student sit-ins and the birth of SNCC.

For Spring 2011 Lectures, watch the A&S Calendar of Events. Spring events include the Minx Auerbach Lecture in Women's and Gender Studies (March 24), the Naamani Memorial Lecture and Gottschalk Lecture in History, Axton Reading Series, Bullitt Lectures, and more.

Youth Leadership Institute workshops lead by A&S, backed by Kellogg Foundation Grant

Kellogg Foundation logoOctober saw the first of many activities in a program named Reclaiming Our Dreams: Using History to Create Racial Healing and Social Action in Louisville. Backed by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the program is designed to increase community awareness around structural racism issues using history and social action as an empowerment tool.

The program involves a broad range of collaborating partners identified with antiracism work in Louisville. It is being administered through the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness’ Center for Health Equity in partnership with the A&S Office of International, Diversity, Outreach Programs, Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research, community partner Jefferson County Race Community and Child Welfare (RCCW), with support from the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission, and Women In Transition (WIT).

The first round of activities involves the “Reclaiming Our Dreams Youth Leadership Institute,” which brings together young people and adults from the Portland and Shawnee neighborhoods. Activities include teambuilding, leadership development exercises, civil and human rights education, and training on how to use history as a tool for community building.

Five undergraduate UofL students serve as mentors to the youth participants, and the program is being led by Ashley Jackson, Community Outreach Coordinator in our A&S Office of International, Diversity and Outreach Programs.

In October, 45 youth and adults participated in a two-and-one-half day “Undoing Racism” workshop facilitated by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.

This group (along with a second group of December workshop participants) will address social justice and human rights issues.

“The participants will choose issues they want to focus on,” says Program Director Ashley Jackson, “which is important because young people are smart enough to address these issues themselves.”

In January, both workshop groups will come together for a weekend retreat with a theme of building trust and tone. These 40-60 students will then serve as leaders for peers and others in their communities.

“Somewhere along the line we developed an empowering gap.  We stopped encouraging young people to lead movements and make change in their community," says Jackson, " My job is to let them know they can -- and give them tools and support to let them do it.”

A&S Bookshelf: Brian Leung's new novel "Take Me Home"

from UofL Today

University of Louisville professor Brian Leung, author of Take Me Home
Brian Leung

University of Louisville professor and author Brian Leung was ready for a challenge when he wrote his latest novel, "Take Me Home." Leung, who teaches creative writing, stepped away from the present and a world that's familiar to him to write about a young woman who moves in the 1880s from Kentucky to an unfamiliar world of homesteading and mining in Wyoming.

"Take Me Home," his third book, and second novel, came out in October. It's a story about prejudice, societal expectations and history. UofL Today recently talked to him about his writing and about his new book.

Below are excerpts from UofL Today's "20 minutes with Brian Leung" interview. For the full interview see: UofL Today

UofL Today: You drew from your experiences of having lived in Los Angeles and visited China for parts of your first book. Those landscapes were very familiar to you. There's no way to be familiar with a landscape from 1885. Talk about the difference.

Leung: Part of what intrigued me about doing this novel was the opportunity to do a few things that would challenge me as a writer. My friends have kind of poked fun of me at times for being happy, cheery, friendly Brian, and then they read my books and they sound a little somber and serious. So I wanted to write a novel that was serious, but that still had a main character that was feisty — at the least — and compelling in that way.

I wanted, too, to interrogate a new space. I guess, finally, the challenge was I wanted to write a book which in some ways could flash back to the, how do I want to say this, the serialized black and white silent films — if you noticed, the chapters are called 'episodes' — but still be literary. Maybe even the idea of the dime novel, or something — that western genre — without denying the fact that I am a literary writer.

This project allowed me to pursue all of those ambitions.

UofL Today: You actually went to Wyoming?

Leung: Yeah. I had relatives that lived in Wyoming, and for my 8th grade graduation, my mom bought me a train ticket. I took Amtrak from San Diego to Rock Springs and I stayed there for a month. So it was by coincidence that this novel came up. So I did go back. My friend went with me. He's a historian. We went into the state archives and then we went into Laramie and went to the American Heritage Center archives, to the university, to the newspaper archives themselves and then to Rock Springs and the county seat there to do some primary research, as well.

Part of that (primary research) was that I just took my tiny rental car when I wasn't looking at documents and photos and things out into the dirt roads. So much of that is federal land that you have access to. They're not paved roads, but you can get out there.

UofL Today: You mentioned the feisty character, that's Addie. How did you develop your characters? Did you pull from actual people in the past that you read about or did you just pull from human characteristics?

Leung: Because the last novel came from the first-person point of view of two male characters, I knew that primarily that I wanted to stretch myself, to do something different. I wanted to work with a strong female character. In my own life, I have three sisters and no brothers. My mom comes from a family in which there are she and four sisters. In some ways, particularly with my aunts, I really thought about the ways that their lives had progressed. Two of my aunts were born on the family farm in Missouri. No hospitals or anything like that. So we come from a really rural background.

The other thing is that I really wanted the reader to enter Wyoming in a fresh way and I needed a character that was going to have a blank slate in terms of being exposed to Chinese, being exposed to that kind of landscape — she comes from Kentucky which is, by comparison, fairly lush. I was thinking of a character that would drop into that space and we could see with some surprise what she discovers there, because everything there is new to her.

And then that also gave me an opportunity to work with a character who — if you speak about her at the beginning — by virtue of being raised the way she was, she's willing to accept some prejudices. She doesn't even know what Chinese are, but she hears them and assumes they're as bad as she's been told.

That was a really interesting character for me to work with. I wanted to also avoid kind of the trope of this noble character who despite everybody else's prejudices, she rises above it all. At least she's coming from a space — and the truth of it is, in that time and place, no matter how 'progressive' you were, you were still going to harbor some doubt.

I was trying to explore all those difficulties in the novel.

A&S Staff Honored at annual awards presentation

Staff Award trophyThe 2010 A&S Staff Awards were held November 30 and included new categories of awards to reward and recognize the extraordinary efforts of Staff of the College of Arts and Sciences. A special award was created in honor of the late Margie Folden, a long-time staffer in A&S who passed away this fall.  Congratulations to all of the 2010 A&S Staff Award nominees and award recipients:

  • Staff Diversity Champion Award: Narjis Nichole Abdul-Majid, Honors Program
  • GEM Award - “Going the Extra Mile" recognizes a staff member who has gone “above and beyond the call of duty” in a particular situation.
    • Nominees: Keneka Cheatham, Department of Communication; LyShanna Cunningham, Arts and Sciences Dean’s Office; Judy Felli, Department of Biology; Lindsey Brown Ronay, from the A&S Dean’s Office
    • 2010 College of Arts & Sciences GEM Award winner: Lindsey Brown Ronay, A&S Dean’s Office
  • Innovation Award is given to a staff member who has generated novel and valuable ideas and used these ideas to develop new or improved processes, methods, systems, programs or services. The award recognizes creative ideas that have improved the college and have made U of L a better place to work.
    • Nominees: Anne Griner, IESL, Margaret Murray, A&S Advising
    • 2010 College of Arts and Sciences Innovation Award winner : Margaret Murray, A&S Advising Center
  • Outstanding Performance Award is given to a staff member who has exhibited commitment, sustained a high-level of productivity and consistent quality of work; demonstrated a high degree of initiative in the performance of functions; displayed exceptional dependability; maintained effective relationships with others and demonstrated leadership qualities
    • Nominees: William Armstrong, Honors Program; LyShanna Cunningham, Dean’s Office; Robert Forbes, Geography and Geosciences; Shelly Schroll, Mathematics; Rachael Siler, Dean’s Office; Alison Sommers, Psychological and Brain Sciences; Janna Tajibaeva, Liberal Studies
    • 2010 College of Arts & Sciences Award for Outstanding Performance: Alison Sommers, Psychological and Brain Sciences
  • Outstanding Service to the University and the Louisville Community Award is given to a staff member who has demonstrated concern and commitment to fulfill needs and ensure satisfaction when providing services to members of the university community. It will also recognize staff that is known for being active volunteers in the Louisville area community. University community members can be defined as the university's many constituents, including co-workers, peers, and managers, as well as students, parents, faculty, alumni and community members.
    • 2010 College of Arts & Sciences Award for Outstanding Service to the University and the Louisville Community: John Begley, Fine Arts Department
  • “Pat on the Back” Award recognizes a staff member for good deeds, assistance with challenging situations in the office, university, community, etc.
    • Nominees: Karen Axmaker, Dean’s Office; Keneka Cheatham, Department of Communication; Matthew Church, A&S Advising; Rebecca Ledford, A&S Advising
    • 2010 College of Arts & Sciences “Pat on the Back” Award winner: Keneka Cheatham, Department of Communication
  • Rising Star Award is given to an outstanding staff member who has worked at least one year but no more than three years in their current office/department in the College of Arts and Sciences (from initial date of hire).
    • Nominees: Kathryn Adamchik, A&S Advising Center; Paula Hensel, Dean’s Office; Rick VanIttersum, A&S Dean’s Office and A&S Advising Center
    • 2010 College of Arts & Sciences “Rising Star” Award winner: Rick VanIttersum, A&S Dean’s Office and A&S Advising Center
  • Margie G. Folden "STAR" Award (Service, Teamwork, Attitude, Reliability)
    In honor of Margie G. Folden, who worked in the College of Arts and Sciences for 15 years. This award is given to the staff member who has consistently excelled in his or her position; has made outstanding contributions in the area of service and dedication to the college; has promoted teamwork and collaboration across the college and departments; has worked quietly behind the scenes to improve his or her division or department; and who has consistently done so with a positive attitude.
  • Nominees: Linda Baldwin, English Department (Composition); Robin Blackett, University Writing Center; Keneka Cheatham, Department of Communication; Tiffany Dillard-Knox, A&S Debate; Pamela Drake, English Department; Brian Heckel, Dean’s Office; Becky McCandless, Dean’s Office; Doris Meadows, Biology Department; Delores Pierce, Dean’s Office
  • 2010 College of Arts & Sciences Margie G. Folden “STAR” Award (Service, Teamwork, Attitude, Reliability) to: Brian Heckel, A&S Dean’s Office


2010 A&S Alumni Fellow Monica Kaufman Pearson

Ms. Monica Kaufman Pearson
Monica Pearson

Congratulations to Ms. Monica Kaufman Pearson who was named the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Fellow for 2010. Ms. Kaufman received the award on October 4, 2010 at a dinner and ceremony hosted by the University Alumni Association and held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Monica Kaufman Pearson was named the College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Fellow for 2010
Monica Pearson Speach

A Louisville native, Monica Pearson is a 1975 Arts and Sciences graduate of the University of Louisville obtaining a B.A. in English. She leads a distinguished career in broadcast journalism at WSB-TV, Channel 2, the ABC affiliate in Atlanta, Georgia.

Pearson was the first African-American and the first female to anchor a daily evening newscast in Atlanta. During her WSB-TV career, she has received over 28 Emmy Awards for her television reporting and is well known for her work with charitable and community causes. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the Women’s Sports Journalism Award, Broadcaster of the Year Award, Women of Achievement Award, and the Southern Regional Emmy Awards. Prior to joining WSB-TV, Pearson was a reporter and anchorperson for WHAS-TV in Louisville, worked in public relations for Brown-Forman, and reported for The Louisville Times.

Monica Pearson group

Said Dean Hudson of Ms. Pearson, “Monica attended the University of Louisville when I, too, was a student.  I remember her as bright and articulate young woman of the 1960s and was pleased to find her the same. Monica acknowledges how important her liberal arts background has been in her professional life and she has become increasingly aware of its importance as the years have passed.  It was truly an honor to honor her.”

Alumni discounts at UofL Delphi Center

Alumni are eligible for discounts on professional development and personal enrichment classes at UofL's Delphi Center. Looking for a new hobby? Need to brush up on your business writing skills? Look no further than louisville.edu/delphi. Employees and alumni receive a 25% discount on lifelong learning classes priced $89 or higher and a 50% discount on most one-day professional development seminars. To request free catalogs, call 852-6456.

A&S Alumni Ambassador Program launched

alumni ambassadors photoThe new A&S Alumni Ambassador Program (ASAAP-pronounced “A-sap”) kicked off at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium with a “founders’” party in the President’s Suite and a preview tour of the stadium expansion. It was a successful start with over 25 committed A&S alumni in attendance.

The new Alumni Ambassador Program came about as a result of Dean Hudson’s desire to better engage and connect with A&S alumni and to build a broader base of support for the College. According to Dean Hudson, “There is just so much that the College does on a daily basis that can and should involve our alumni community– from lectures and symposiums to theatre productions and art exhibits to book and poetry readings. People need to know that what we are doing here in A&S is not only enlightening but is relevant to life today. But getting the message out about all that we do is a daunting task. That’s where Alumni Ambassadors come in.”

The new Alumni Ambassador program is open to all alumni and friends who recognize and appreciate the central role the liberal arts play in a person’s educational experience at the University of Louisville and beyond. The main goals of the program are: 1) to increase active alumni involvement in college events and programs in order to create a broader base of support for the college; 2) to keep our alumni and friends informed and engaged so that they can serve as ambassadors of the college into their respective communities; 3) to increase networking opportunities for alumni.

Says Cynthia Knapek, a founding member of the A&S Alumni Ambassador Program, “ASAAP is designed to be a simple way to reconnect. It’s a win-win. It’s beneficial to the alum because as an ambassador you are invited to really fun and interesting events where the only thing asked in return is for you to spread the word. It’s great for the college because it will increase alumni involvement. The biggest challenge at this point is to get a really good group of ambassadors who will invest a little extra time up front to help get it off the ground this year.”

If you are interested in getting involved with the Alumni Ambassador Program, please contact Cynthia Knapek (Communication 1994) at UL.AS.Alum@gmail.com