e-Portal Newsletter, November 2009

Cardinal Battalion Ranger Challenge Team, Department of Military Science, successfully defended its champion title Oct. 24 at the 7th BDE Ranger Challenge Competition at Ft. Knox. Coached by

Vice-President of Ghana to visit UofL, give November 19 public talk

The Vice-President of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, will visit the University of Louisville and give a free, public talk titled “The Challenges of Good Governance in Africa” at 5:30 PM on Thursday November 19 in auditorium of the Speed Art Museum, 2035 South Third Street. Due to limited seating, reservations are required. Free tickets may be reserved at louisville.edu/artsandsciences/vpghana or by calling the A&S Dean's Office at 502.852.6490. The talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Pan-African Studies (PAS) and the College of Arts and Sciences.

During the visit, Vice-President Mahama will meet with UofL President James Ramsey and others to discuss potential joint research initiatives in the fields of medicine, engineering, and social sciences. His visit also highlights the launch of the African Studies Program in PAS.

PAS Department Chair Theresa Rajack-Talley also notes that this visit coincides with the Centennial anniversary of the birth of Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Nkrumah was one of the pioneers of the 20th century Pan-African movement, the anti-colonial struggle on the African continent and the African Diaspora. Nkrumah served as President when Ghana gained independence from British colonial rule in 1957.

Obama & VP GhanaGhana, a country nearly the size of Oregon with a population of 22.5 million, was the first Sub-Saharan African country to gain independence from European colonial rule. It was also the first Sub-Saharan country that Barack Obama visited as President. There, in a July 2009 speech, Obama praised Ghana’s burgeoning multiparty democracy and institutions of good governance.  With recent discoveries of significant crude oil deposits off its southern coast, Ghana is committed to ecologically-responsible development and the judicious use of revenue to meet its human and technological needs for the 21st century.

Reservations are required and seating is limited for Vice-President Mahama's November 19 talk, "The Challenges of Good Governance in Africa."

Reserve free tickets at: A&S Ticket Requests

While in Louisville, Vice-President Mahama will also meet with the local business community to explore economic partnerships in the areas of trade, mobilization of private capital investments, transportation infrastructure, agriculture, sustainable energy and natural resource management (especially water). These discussions, together with meetings with the Louisville-Tamale Sister Cities organization, will also focus on the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) initiative which the office of Ghana’s Vice President has established to engender the economic development of the ecologically fragile Northern regions of Ghana.

The Vice-President is also scheduled to meet with members of the Ghanaian Association of Louisville, an organization focused on educating the Louisville community about Ghanaian culture and economic opportunities in Ghana.

Prior to his election as Vice-President in the administration of President John Atta-Mills, H.E. John Dramani Mahama was a founding member of the Pan-African Parliament where he led a campaign for human rights and justice for the voiceless in Africa.

Theatre Arts Production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It" Opens November 18

Theatre Arts 'As You Like It' PosterWilliam Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” takes on a backdrop of the 1960s in the upcoming University of Louisville Department of Theatre Arts’ production.

Shakespeare’s pastoral comedy will be performed Nov. 18-22 at 8 p.m. nightly plus a 3 p.m. matinee on Nov. 22. All performances will take place at the Thrust Theatre at 2314 S. Floyd Street.

Directed by Rinda Frye, associate professor and the director of graduate theatre program, the play’s characters discover their “real” selves while in disguise under the canopy of the forest.

Frye found that the story and music of the play suggested that Shakespeare’s characters were “hippies” centuries ahead of their time.

"Their escape from tyranny and injustice takes them on a journey into a 'green’ world where the characters find spiritual healing and love. Living a more simple life helps them to shed the trappings of their former selves, to peel away the emotional layers that had disguised them from themselves, figuratively and literally," said Frye.

More: Theatre Arts "As You Like It"

Lebowski Achiever: English professor co-edits book on Coens' cult classic

by Kevin Hyde, UofL Today, November 9, 2009

Aaron Jaffe at Berlin Lebowski bar"The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies," a new book that examines Joel and Ethan Coen's modern cult classic "The Big Lebowski," rolls into bookstores this month.

University of Louisville associate English professor Aaron Jaffe co-edited the collection of essays with Edward Comentale, associate professor of English at Indiana University Bloomington. The book features contributions from five other UofL professors, and already has received Internet buzz from the likes of The New Yorker, Washington Post and Boston Globe.

In "The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies," fans and scholars scrutinize the influences of "The Big Lebowski" -- westerns, noir, grail legends, the 1960s and much more -- and look at the film's connection to the first Iraqi war, boomers, slackerdom, surrealism, college culture and, of course, bowling.

Continue: Lebowski Achiever, UofL Today

Related: Five UofL professors contribute to Lebowski book

The Year in Lebowski Studies Book Cover

 "The Year's Work in Lebowski Studies," a new book that examines Joel and Ethan Coen's modern cult classic "The Big Lebowski," includes essays by five UofL professors.

Contributors include Diane Pecknold, visiting assistant professor in Women's and Gender Studies and a coordinator for the A&S Office of International Programs. Other chapters in the book were written by English professors Thomas Byers, Dennis Hall, Aaron Jaffe, and Andrew Rabin.

Read more: UofL Achievers contribute to Lebowski book, UofL Today


College Kudos

The Cardinal Battalion Ranger Challenge Team, Department of Military Science, successfully defended its champion title Oct. 24 at the 7th BDE Ranger Challenge Competition at Ft. Knox. Coached by Sgt. 1st Class Glenn East, the Cardinal Battalion also fielded an all-female Ranger Challenge team for the first time: the "Pink Lady Rangers" came in third in the women's division. Described as the "varsity sport" of Army ROTC, Ranger Challenge includes demanding physical events as well as testing for infantry skills essential to an Army officer. A total of 48 schools from Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio competed. More: Cardinal Battalion Ranger Challenge Team

Zijiang J. He, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, has been named Distinguished College/University Scientist for 2009 by the Kentucky Academy of Science. A university scholar, Professor He directs the Visual Perception and Cognition Lab, researching how humans perceive visual objects and the spatial environment.

Gennaro Vito, Department of Justice Administration, was an invited panelist at the Northern Kentucky Law Review at the Chase College of Law symposium on "Race and the Death Penalty" Oct. 17. He presented a paper on "The Kentucky Racial Justice Act" that will be published in the NKU Law Review.

Chemistry faculty members Gerald Hammond, Bo Xu, and Francis Zamborini were honored at the university's Fall 2009 Celebration of Faculty Excellence, held November 5. President James Ramsey, Provost Shirley Willihnganz and other administrators recognized 28 researchers for their work that has resulted in receipt of a patent license or option over the past year. More: Fall 2009 Celebration of Faculty Excellence


A&S in the Community

UofL and community celebrate Hispanic holiday, El Día de los Muertos

The University of Louisville celebrated the traditional Hispanic holiday, El Día de los Muertos, with a variety of activities on campus and in the community. The holiday blends indigenous and Catholic traditions to celebrate and honor the lives of deceased family members and friends.

Spanish language classes and campus organizations that focus on Spanish-speaking peoples and cultures displayed authentic altars in Ekstrom Library as part of its ninth annual altar contest. Students dedicated altars to family members and teachers. They also have erected altars to victims of drug cartels, women murdered in Guatamala, Air France flight 447, former NFL player and war casualty Pat Tillman and Marilyn Monroe.

The altars commemorate and celebrate the lives of individuals "who have impacted us culturally and/or personally," according to Lisa Wagner, associate professor of Spanish and linguistics.

"Dr. Manuel Medina, associate professor of Spanish and director of the Brazilian Studies Program, founded these campus events and community partnerships as a celebration of Hispanic heritage and to serve as a bridge of understanding between the University of Louisville, the Latino/a Community and residents of the Louisville Metro Area," Wagner said.

Day of the Dead Altar to Yuma 14Rhonda Buchanan, director of UofL's Latin American and Latino Studies (LALS) program, worked with students to take the holiday to our community partners. As part of the university's Arts and Culture Partnerships Initiative, UofL students collaborated with each other and with community partners to create several altars displayed in such places as the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft (KMAC), 21c Museum Hotel, the Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville Science Center and the Frazier International History Museum.

More: UofL and community celebrate El Día de los Muertos and Campus Altars by Spanish section of languages department.

A&S Alumni and Friends

Lilialyce Akers leaves $500,000 for women’s studies, autism programs

from "Philanthropy Counts," UofL Magazine, Fall 2009 edition

Akers taught sociology and women’s studies at UofL for more than 30 years. She was a prominent women’s advocate, public policy reformer and environmentalist for four decades. A portrait of Akers is on permanent display in the Kentucky Capitol in recognition of her work on behalf of Kentucky women.

When Akers died in June 2008 after a brief illness, she left a legacy of improving the lives of women throughout Kentucky, the nation and the world. She also left a significant portion of her estate to support two programs at the University of Louisville.

Read More:  "Lilialyce Akers" UofL Magazine, Fall 2009 edition

Alumna Mitzi B. Friedlander Honored as the 2009 A&S Alumni Fellow

Friedlander Alumni Fellow 09 Award photoA well-known figure in Louisville's theatrical world, Friedlander has performed with Actor's Theatre Louisville, the Kentucky Opera Association, the Louisville Children's Theatre and the Louisville Ballet. She has taught theater arts at UofL and Indiana University Southeast.

She is perhaps best known for her outstanding work as a talking book narrator at the American Printing House for the Blind, where she has worked for over 45 years. She has narrated more than 1,500 titles for the program, which serves visually impaired individuals worldwide.

Friedlander received her bachelor's degree in English in 1952 from UofL and became the first person to earn a master's degree in theater arts at UofL in 1971.

Nearly 400 alumni and supporters attended the October 8 awards ceremony to honor the ten 2009 alumni fellows and Hank Conn, the alumnus of the year. More: 2009 Alumni Fellows Awards