e-Portal Newsletter, February 2010

In the February 2010 edition:

A&S to induct four to A&S Hall of Honor at February 25 event

Four new members will be inducted into the A&S Hall of Honor on Thursday, February 25, 2010. The 6 p.m. induction ceremony in the Speed Art Museum Auditorium is free and open to the public, but reservations are required by calling the A&S Dean's office at 502-852-6490. Following the induction ceremony, Dean Hudson will host a reception in the Speed Museum Sculpture Court with live music.

The 2010 honorees:Hall of Honor 2010 Graphic with all inductees

  • Lucy M. Freibert, English professor emerita. A champion of gender equity and racial equality, she taught UofL's first women's studies course and helped establish the women's and gender studies department and UofL's Women's Center. She received the Trustees Award in 1991 for her impact on students. Full bio: Lucy M. Freibert, A&S Hall of Honor
  • Eliza Atkins Gleason, former head librarian, teacher and library department founder at UofL's segregated Louisville Municipal College, later was absorbed into the College of Arts and Sciences. The first African American to earn a library science doctorate, she died in 2009. Full bio: Eliza Atkins Gleason, A&S Hall of Honor
  • Gerhard Herz, professor emeritus and music history department chair for 22 years. The renowned Bach scholar was a founding member of the American Bach Society and Louisville Chamber Music Society and a 20-year board member of the Louisville Orchestra. He died in 2000. Full bio: Gerhard Herz, A&S Hall of Honor
  • Phil Laemmle, former political science and liberal studies chair and professor emeritus. He also served as university ritualist, presiding over more than 30 commencements and two UofL presidential inaugurations. He got UofL's first Trustees Award in 1989 for his impact on students. Full bio: Phil Laemmle, A&S Hall of Honor


Up on the roof: Greenhouse studies tackle climate change, cancer

This article first appeared in UofL Today, February 2, 2010

Outside the temperature was a chilly 22 degrees, but on the roof of the Life Sciences Building, it was nice and toasty as senior biology major Keera Lowe set up a study to determine if a fungus can help American beach grass survive and grow. Lowe's research is one of several studies growing in the biology department's greenhouse.

American beach grass is a dune builder, said Sarah Emery, the professor with whom Lowe is doing her independent research seminar this semester. "It's one of the first plant species to colonize sandy areas and holds sand in place with its root system."

Biology greenhouse student photoEmery's research interest is restoration of Great Lakes sand dune plant systems.

"I have a big project that's just getting started to see whether this fungus can help with the tolerance of these plants to potential climate change scenarios. In the Great Lakes region predictions are increased drought stress, increased summer temperatures and increased storm activity over the next 50 to 100 years," she said.

Lowe's work is designed to help her professor know the effects of what scientists believe to be a "beneficial" fungus on the grass, and also to know whether nitrogen availability affects how beneficial the fungus is to the plant. The fungus, an endophyte, lives within the grass.

Just in the beginning process of setting up her experiment, Lowe spent the morning transplanting small beach grass plants into tall containers that will permit a strong root system to develop. She counted the leaves, measured them and recorded the data. Then she trimmed off the dead leaves-the only time she'll do that, she said.

Every week, Lowe explained, she'll count the number of leaves and measure them. She'll fertilize half of those plants over the course of the semester with water-based nitrogen fertilizer and then look to see whether the benefits of the fungus disappear.

Emery and Lowe's work takes up the majority of the greenhouse space right now, but it is not the only research growing in the greenhouse.

Biologist David Schultz is extracting anacardic acid from geraniums for research in several areas: pest control, cancer treatment and petroleum replacement. Anacardic acid is a natural pest control for the geranium plant, protecting it from aphids and spider mites. Schultz said he has found that it also is effective against larger pests, such as the Colorado potato beetle and tobacco horn worm.

He also has found, with Carrie Klinge, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, that purified anacardic acid can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells without affecting normal cells.

And, in a project just in its beginning stages, he is looking at how to produce fatty acids that may be used as a replacement for petroleum and also at whether plants that do not normally produce anacardic acid can be modified to do so.

Schultz's research also takes place outside the greenhouse in rooftop pots and in controlled environment chambers. There he is growing blueberry plants for a project he has undertaken with pharmacology and toxicology professor Ramesh Gupta to identify factors that can aid in prevention and/or treatment of breast and lung cancers.

Braden Institute maps a self-guided tour through Louisville civil rights history

This article first appeared in UofL Today, February 10, 2010

Braden Tour of Louisville Civil Rights HistoryWhen Anne and Carl Braden bought a Louisville home in early 1954, then signed the deed over to World War II Navy veteran Andrew Wade and his wife, Charlotte, they really didn't expect that within six weeks the house would be ripped apart by a dynamite blast.
Braden Institute driving tour focuses on Louisville's civil rights history

But it was.

The violence put the street on the map for local civil rights history. And that's why it is among 21 stops on a new self-guided driving tour developed by the University of Louisville's Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research (ABI).

The Wades were African Americans. They had one small child and another on the way, and wanted a home with a yard where their children could play. While they had come close to purchasing a nice, suburban ranch home before, the deals had fallen through when their race became known. At the time, deed restrictions and lending practices in Louisville kept black families from being able to buy homes in much of the city, according to UofL associate history professor Tracy K'Meyer in her book "Civil Rights in the Gateway to the South: Louisville, Kentucky, 1945-1980." The Wades needed help to purchase the home of their choice and turned to a white couple, the Bradens, activists in Louisville's civil rights movement.

Since the Bradens worked with the black community to end segregation and with other like-minded white friends and colleagues, however, they were out of touch with the pervasive support in Louisville for segregation, wrote UofL associate professor and ABI Director Cate Fosl in her book "Subversive Southerner: Anne Braden and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Cold War South."

Braden Institute Logo
Braden Institute marks 50th anniversary of sit-ins on Twitter

In February 1960, four African American students sat at a segregated lunch counter in the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth's store. Within weeks, sit-in protests were being staged throughout the South, and the civil rights movement gained national attention.

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the sit-in protests, the Anne Braden Institute is using Twitter (@ABIatUofL) to share historical notes on the events and students that forever changed our country.
Contact: Amber Duke of the Anne Braden Institute, at 852-6142 or AGDUKE01@louisville.edu

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And even though there was an African American neighborhood a quarter of a mile away from the home they purchased, they had crossed a line - so much so that authorities shifted blame from the perpetrators of the violence to the Bradens and Wades, Fosl said in "Subversive Southerner."

The people who threw rocks through the Wades' windows, shot into the house, burned a cross in the yard - and bombed the house - never came to justice, Fosl said. Instead the legal system accused the Bradens of being Communists. Carl was tried for sedition and sentenced to 15 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. His conviction was reversed in 1956 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that all sedition laws were unconstitutional.

Louisville has yet to realize the integration it might have experienced if the movement to more fully integrate its neighborhoods had progressed uninterrupted, both Fosl and K'Meyer said.

"There are few better instances in all of U.S. history that so dramatically demonstrate how Cold War 'McCarthyism' -- that anticommunist hysteria that made all dissent seem suspicious" -- helped white southerners who wanted to uphold legal segregation at the same time that federal actions were in the process of slowly dismantling it, Fosl said.

"McCarthyism propped up racial segregation by questioning the loyalty of those who opposed it," she said.

The Wade home never was rebuilt, but motorists can learn of its role in Louisville's civil rights movement from a historical marker on the street. Markers provide information at several stops of the ABI driving tour.

One goal of the tour, Fosl said, is to provide "a wider understanding of our local history and how it connects to regional and national experience."

Louisville's civil rights movement was similar to those in other communities in the type of participants it drew. Their tactics - direct action, boycotts, use of the political system and persuasion - also were similar to those used in other communities, K'Meyer said.

But in Louisville, she continued, "there was no one dominant organization, strategy or personality."

Fosl said tour developers also want those who take it to understand more fully what life under past racial restrictions was like and "why and how African Americans and their white allies organized together to change laws and practices." It is a way "to more solidly anchor" the events and places in local memory and "to give visitors a fuller picture of what Louisville was and is today."

"We want to honor the movement's leading participants in particular, but also to lift up the importance of collective struggle in bringing about needed improvements to our city, she said. And, as in the case of the Wade dynamiting, to come to terms with what Fosl said the civil rights movement did not achieve. "We still have a lot of work to do to achieve true racial justice in the United States and in Louisville today," Fosl said.

Brochures of the driving tour are available at ABI, on the second floor of Ekstrom Library on Belknap Campus. More information on the Wade incident, including books confiscated from the Braden home and used as evidence of their Communist involvement, are on display at the institute.

See also: "Paths to the Past," Louisville Courier-Journal, January 12, 2010

Naamani Lecture: "When Gendered Divisions Empowered Jewish Women" coming March 11

This article by Prof. Lee Shai Weissbach first appeared in the Feb 12 edition of "Community"

Professor Paula Hyman of Yale University has been selected to deliver the Naamani Memorial Lecture at the University of Louisville this year.  The lecture will be presented in the Chao Auditorium of the Ekstrom Library on the U of L campus at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 11, 2010.

Paula Hyman photoProfessor Hyman’s lecture, entitled "When Gendered Divisions Empowered Jewish Women: Social Activists and Public Health Nurses in Early 20th Century America and Palestine" will examine the interactions between assumptions about gender roles, on the one hand, and social realities, on the other.  “Gender assumptions in different places facilitated the engagement of women in activism for social change,” Professor Hyman explains, “and public health nurses both in America and in early 20th century Palestine played a large part in this engagement.”

Paula Hyman is the Lucy Moses Professor of Modern Jewish History at Yale, with appointments in both the departments of History and Religious Studies. She is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Women's Faculty Forum. A graduate of the Hebrew College of Boston and of Radcliffe College, she received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, where she also taught Jewish history for several years. She has been on the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, as well, and she served there as dean of the Seminary College of Jewish Studies.  In the early 1970s, she was a founding member of Ezrat Nashim, one of America’s most influential Jewish feminist organizations. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals and has received numerous awards and honors.

A specialist in the modern period, Professor Hyman has published mainly on the history of French Jewry and on Jewish women's history. Among her many books are From Dreyfus to Vichy: The Remaking of French Jewry, 1906-1939 (1979); Gender and Assimilation in Modern Jewish History (1995); and The Jews of Modern France (1998). She also co-edited, together with Deborah Dash Moore, the two-volume Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia (1998).  One expert in the field has observed that “if you want to trace the progress of Jewish women's history, you couldn't do much better than to follow the career of Yale University's . . . Paula Hyman.”

The Naamani Memorial Lecture, named in memory of Professor Israel Naamani, a respected and beloved member of U of L’s Political Science Department who died in 1979, is free and open to the public.  Limited free parking for the lecture will be available on Third Street near Ekstrom Library, and paid parking will be available in the Speed Museum parking structure. Those interested in more information about the Naamani Lecture may contact Professor Lee Shai Weissbach in the History Department at the University of Louisville at 852-3755 or by e-mail at weissbach@louisville.edu.

Two from A&S earn Provost's Awards for Exemplary Advising

Matthew Church, professional/administrative adviser in the A&S Advising Center, and Pamela Beattie, undergraduate faculty adviser in the Division of Humanities, are among those to receive the 2009-10 Provost's Award for Exemplary Advising.  A reception honoring the award winners and nominees is planned for mid-April.

Dr. Tomarra Adams, Assistant Dean of Advising and Student Services in A&S, said "We have a number of A&S faculty and staff who were nominated and deserve recognition for the hard work and dedication they put forward in guiding students towards their academic, and oftentimes, personal goals."

Nominees in the College of Arts and Sciences:

Staff Advisors

  • Ms. Virginia (Ginger) Brown - Dept. of Justice Affairs
  • Ms. Margaret Murray - A&S Advising Center
  • Ms. Alison Sommers - Dept. of Psychological & Brain Sciences

Graduate Faculty Advisors

  • Dr. Craig Grapperhaus - Chemistry Department
  • Dr. Wendy Pfeffer - Dept. of Classical/Modern Languages
  • Dr. Laurie Rhodebeck -Dept. of Political Science

Undergraduate Faculty Advisors

  • Mr. Garry Brown - Dept. of Theatre Arts
  • Dr. Ronald Fell - Dept. of Biology
  • Dr. Tricia Gray -Dept. of Political Science
  • Dr. Christine Rich -Chemistry Department
  • Dr. Kandi Walker - Dept. of Communication
  • Dr. Tamara Yohannes - English Department

A&S Kudos

Sociology Professor Melissa Evans-Andris' new book, Changing for Good: Sustaining School Improvement was published by Corwin Press.

Linda L. Wilson, associate director for diversity initiatives, Dean's Office, College of Arts and Sciences, will be honored Feb. 27 as the adult achiever of the year by the Chestnut Street Family YMCA.  An active volunteer there for more than 15 years, Wilson has served on the board and on the Black Achievers Steering Committee and coordinates the Scholarship Orientation for Black Achievers' high school juniors, seniors and their parents.

John Gilderbloom, professor of urban and public affairs, ranked among the Top 100 Urban Thinkers on a Planetizen poll conducted between August and September. The website is a public-interest information exchange for the urban planning, design, and development community. The poll asked people to name the greatest urban thinkers of all time - past and present. Gilderbloom was cited for his five books, 35 refereed articles and millions of dollars in competitive research grants.