e-Portal Newsletter, Spring 2010

Celebrating the College of Arts and Sciences

The end of the academic year brings Commencement, awards ceremonies, class reunions, and a host of activities celebrating the accomplishments of students, faculty, staff and alumni. This spring 2010 edition of the e-Portal celebrates those who help to make our college great.

In the Spring 2010 edition:

College Celebrates Faculty Excellence at A&S Faculty Awards 2010

On April 16, Dean Blaine Hudson hosted the A&S Faculty Awards, an annual college event recognizing faculty excellence in teaching, research, service and other categories. A list of faculty award winners is below. For full descriptions of awards and winners, please see: A&S Faculty Awards 2010.

UofL Arts and Sciences' 2010 A&S Faculty Awards photosetUofL Arts and Sciences' 2010 A&S Faculty Awards photoset

Distinguished Teaching Awards

  • Robert D. Luginbill, Classical and Modern Languages (award for full time instruction)
  • Robert Urekew, Department of Philosophy (award for part time instruction)

Outstanding Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity

  • Gamini Sumanasekera, Department of Physics and Astronomy (Award in Basic and Applied Sciences)
  • Michael Cunningham, Department of Communication (Award in Social Sciences)

 Distinguished Service

  • Lundeana Thomas, Department of Theatre Arts (Award for National and International Service)
  • David Brown, Department of Physics and Astronomy (Award for Service to the Profession)
  • Thomas Byers, Department of English (Award for Service to the University)

Faculty Diversity Champion Award

  • Dewey Clayton, Department of Political Science
  • Gabriela Nuñez, Department of English (Honorable Mention)

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Department Leadership

  • Susan M. Griffin, Department of English

For full descriptions of A&S Faculty Awards, please see: A&S Faculty Awards 2010


 A&S and University Honors Program pay tribute to outstanding graduating students

On May 7, A&S and the University Honors Program hosted the annual Honors Convocation. Roughly 200 guests attended the event to pay tribute to the high achievements of outstanding graduating students.

Students honored at the event included University Honors Scholars and candidates for graduation, Summa Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude. Dr. Patricia Condon, Director of National and International Scholarship Programs, introduced our Fulbright scholars, Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship recipient Robert Works, and Lelia Rechtin, who was awarded the prestigious Mary Churchill Humphrey Graduate Fellowship.

Three graduating World Scholars -- Joseph Kern, Jessie-Leigh Thomas, and Boris Yelin -- were honored by Dr. Gregory Hutcheson who directs the World Scholars Program. Established in 2006, the World Scholars Program provides select undergraduate students with funding to support a significant study experience in a country or region of the world whose principal language is not English. Several past participants of the World Scholars program have later earned prestigious Fulbright awards.

Dean Blaine Hudson commended three students -- one from each of the college's three academic divisions -- for preparing an "outstanding college honors thesis." The Dean also recognized Greer Waldrop, recipient of the 2010 Phi Beta Kappa of Kentuckiana Award, and Robert Works, who was award the 2010 Woodcock Medal, the highest academic honor bestowed by the College.

UofL Arts and Sciences' 2010 Honors Convocation photosetUofL Arts and Sciences' 2010 Honors Convocation photoset

Twenty-one University of Louisville students participate in annual Study Abroad Program in Panama.

UofL Today, May 17 2010

Twenty-one students participated in the eighth annual Study Abroad Program in Panama at UofL's branch campus, the Quality Leadership University, in Panama City.

Participants earn six credit hours and take courses in communication, Spanish language and Panamanian culture.

They also go on excursions to such places as the Panama Canal, the presidential palace, the Emberá indigenous community in the Gamboa Rainforest, and Portobella and Isla Grande; so service learning projects; and have fun.

Rhonda Buchanan, director of UofL's Latin American and Latino Studies program, directed this year's program with assistance from Al Futrell, chair of the communication department, Frank Nuessel, Spanish language professor, and staff from UofL in Panama, including professor Ricardo Acosta, who teaches the course on Panamanian culture, Mary Bella del Mar, Virginia Campo and Christiam Conte.

LALS and the Department of Communication are sponsors of the Study Abroad Program in Panama.

See photos from the trip by clicking on the photos to the right (link to external Flickr site) and on Facebook: LALS group on Facebook.

Mathematics alumnus establishes McSweeny Diversity Endowed Fellowship in the Natural Sciences

The UofL College of Arts and Sciences now has a meaningful tool with which to recruit and retain diverse graduate students in the natural sciences thanks to a $500,000 commitment from Joseph McSweeny, a 1971 UofL graduate in mathematics, and his wife.

mcsweeny quoteThe new Joseph and Joan McSweeny Diversity Endowed Fellowship in the Natural Sciences will help UofL recruit high-caliber graduate students from underrepresented ethnic groups within the natural science disciplines.

The university has found it difficult in the past to attract minority graduate applicants to the natural sciences. Although, there is an adequate supply of well-qualified students, the best gravitate to institutions that offer attractive support packages. UofL officials feel the university now has just that in the form of the McSweeny Diversity Fellowship.

Dean Blaine Hudson discusses the impact of the McSweeny Fellowship: "By providing generous support for advanced graduate students from underrepresented groups, the McSweeny Endowed Fellowship will contribute to building greater excellence and greater diversity in the next generation of American scientists.  Offering this award will add distinction to the University, the College of Arts and Sciences and our science programs.  We are extremely grateful to the McSweenys for their incredible vision and generosity."

83 year-old earns dual A&S degrees

Barbara McClain and Dean HudsonIn a Commencement week tradition, the Class of 1960 returned to campus for their 50-year "Golden Alumni Reunion." Among the many reunion activities is the annual Golden Alumni Luncheon with the Dean. Each year, Dean Hudson invites several graduating seniors to attend the luncheon, creating an opportunity for 50-year alumni to learn about the modern UofL student experience and to welcome these new graduates into the A&S alumni family.

This year's luncheon included a special guest: octogenarian Barbara McClain. The 83 year-old is a graduating student of the class of 2010 -- not 1960. Barbara McClain didn’t take her first college course until the summer of 2005, at the age of 78. This year, she graduates with a BA in Anthropology and a BA in Psychology. Dean Hudson presented a certificate of recognition to Ms. McClain, whose "story is an inspiration to all ages."

Quiz Bowl Team finishes successful first season

UofL Today, April 29, 2010

In its first season in league play, the University of Louisville Quiz Bowl team made a big impression.

In Kentucky Collegiate Quick Recall League competition, the Division II team, consisting of students with fewer than 60 hours, finished in first place for the year, well ahead of runner-up Georgetown College. The team Division I team, made up of students with more than 60 college credit hours, finished in second place.

The Quiz Bowl team was started four years ago by UofL graduate and Rhodes Scholar Monica Marks. This is the first year the team competed in league play, challenging 10 teams from Kentucky and southern Ohio. The quick-recall style game has opponents answer questions ranging in topic from physics to pop culture.

"It's really impressive since this is the first year in league play," said the team's sponsor, Matthew Church of the A&S Advising Center.

"I'm so happy for their success," Church said. "They've sacrificed a lot of time for this."

Matt Ball was named to the All-League Team for Division I and Colton Wilson was named to the All-League Team for Division II.

Team members and their majors:

New Books by Political Science Professors examine Congress, Obama campaign

Jasmine Farrier Congressional Ambivalence book cover

Jasmine Farrier's book "Congressional Ambivalence: The Political Burdens of Constitutional Authority" was published in April 2010 by the University Press of Kentucky. Description from University Press:

Is the United States Congress dead, alive, or trapped in a moribund cycle? When confronted with controversial policy issues, members of Congress struggle to satisfy conflicting legislative, representative, and oversight duties. These competing goals, along with the pressure to satisfy local constituents, cause members of Congress to routinely cede power on a variety of policies, express regret over their loss of control, and later return to the habit of delegating their power. This pattern of institutional ambivalence undermines conventional wisdom about congressional party resurgence, the power of oversight, and the return of the so-called imperial presidency.

In Congressional Ambivalence, Jasmine Farrier examines Congress's frequent delegation of power by analyzing primary source materials such as bills, committee reports, and the Congressional Record. Farrier demonstrates that Congress is caught between abdication and ambition and that this ambivalence affects numerous facets of the legislative process.

Explaining specific instances of post-delegation disorder, including Congress's use of new bills, obstruction, public criticism, and oversight to salvage its lost power, Farrier exposes the tensions surrounding Congress's roles in recent hot-button issues such as base-closing commissions, presidential trade promotion authority, and responses to the attacks of September 11. She also examines shifting public rhetoric used by members of Congress as they emphasize, in institutionally self-conscious terms, the difficulties of balancing their multiple roles. With a deep understanding of the inner workings of the federal government, Farrier illuminates a developing trend in the practice of democracy.


Dewey Clayton's book ""The Presidential Campaign of Barack Obama. A Critical Analysis of a Racially Transcendent Strategy" was published in March 2010 by Routledge. The description from the publisher:

In the early twenty-first century, race still occupies a dominant role in American politics. Despite this truism, presidential candidate Barack Obama was uniquely poised to transcend both race and party as the first African American to have a realistic chance of winning the presidency. Previous contenders running in the traditional mode of the Civil Rights Movement based their appeal primarily on African American voters. Obama, on the other hand, ran a deracialized campaign in an effort to appeal to voters of different backgrounds and political parties. Clayton examines how race in American politics has changed over time and offers an explanation for why Obama’s candidacy offers a different roadmap for the future.

"The Presidential Campaign of Barack Obama" provides students of politics, inside and outside of the classroom, a unique opportunity to explore the institutional and structural challenges an African American faces in becoming the president of the United States. This guide to major issues in Black politics and the ins and outs of the 2008 campaign provides the necessary contours for understanding how the highest elected African American official won office.

Dewey Clayton book cover



A&S Notables

  • UofL Army ROTC (in our Department of Military Science) was the top ROTC team at the Sandhurst Military Skills Competition April 9-10 at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, NY.

UofL ROTC Sandhurst competition photo

  • Biology Graduate Student Meghan Langley has been awarded a prestigious grant from the Society of Wetlands Scientists in a worldwide competition. Langley's research proposal ranked in the top 15% of "many excellent proposals from around the world" evaluated by a panel of esteemed wetland scientists. Congratulations to Meghan Langley and her faculty advisor Margaret Carreiro.
  • The University Honors Student Council organized the highly-successful "Book & Media Sale" in the Red Barn in early April. Over the course of five days, the council doubled its original goal of $5,000 and raised $10,000 for the Kosair Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Luke Buckman, Assistant Director of the University Honors Program, says that the Honors Student Council will have another sale in two years.
  • The Society of Physics Students (SPS) at UofL has been named an "outstanding chapter" by the group's national organization, the Society of Physics Students. SPS is a professional physics association explicitly designed for students. With over 600 active chapters of SPS at colleges and universities nationwide, approximately 6,000 students take part in chapter activities, making SPS the fourth largest physics society in the country.

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