Monday Memo, February 13, 2023

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of the College of Arts & Sciences

February 13, 2023

Dear A&S Faculty and Staff,

February has come to be a month overflowing with great events, and this year is no exception. For a curated list of happenings with ties to A&S, scroll to the end of this edition, where you'll find 8 flyers plus many more listings.

First up is a discussion of ChatGPT. Concern about the use of Artificial Intelligence tools in higher education has been on the rise after the explosive growth of ChatGPT, released in November 2022. The Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society responds with a roundtable discussion, “ChatGPT and Generative AI in Higher Education,” Tues., Feb. 14, 12 noon. ChatGPT recently set a record of 100 million users a mere two months after its launch, making it the fastest growing internet app ever.

Last Thursday we completed a four-week stretch of ten days’-worth of visits by five candidates for permanent dean. Whew! It was a lot. Many thanks to all who invested many hours in bringing quality candidates and enabling meaningful interactions with faculty, staff, students, and alumni: Kitty De Voogt in the Provost’s Office, who crafted the candidates’ itineraries; Candyce Woodard, who assisted with reserving venues; Daniel Brian and Greg Rudd for technical support; and last but not least to the hard-working members of the Search Committee. Today until 11:59 pm is your last chance to submit feedback on the candidates at these links:

A reminder that candidates’ application materials, CVs, and formal presentation recordings can be found on the provost’s website.

In sessions I attended, every dean candidate was asked at least once about the so-called enrollment cliff coming in 2025, when the number of college-aged students is expected to decline. Inside Higher Ed recently published this thoughtful column on what colleges can do to counteract that trend and maintain a robust, even a growing enrollment by focusing on their mission (credit to the OCM Daily Report for discovering this piece).


Julie Wrinn, Chief of Staff


Research Agenda


The University of Louisville is one of nine institutions, along with Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Purdue, selected by NASA to develop space technologies for flight testing to advance innovations that address mission needs for both the agency and the commercial space industry.

With UofL’s $750,000 grant, researchers will refine mechanisms for rehydrating red blood cells in a space environment. Such technology could be used to offer transfusion therapy for astronauts on long-duration space missions and is planned to fly on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo system. The collaborative project involves faculty from three Colleges and four departments, including the following key players: George Pantalos (Professor, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery), Jonathan Kopechek (Associate Professor, Bioengineering), Thomas Roussel (Associate Professor, Bioengineering), Michael Menze (Professor, Biology), and Charles Elder (Graduate Student, Biology). The project's anticipated start date is April 2023, and the grant will provide additional opportunities for student involvement from all four laboratories. Read more.


Two interdisciplinary teams in the College were among the eight projects selected for funding from the Kentucky Network for Innovation and Commercialization (KYNETIC).

  • “Novel copper complexes as cancer-selective therapeutics,” a collaboration between Profs. Craig Grapperhaus and Robert Buchanan in the Department of Chemistry and Prof. Levi Beverly in the Department of Medicine and Prof. Haixun Guo in the Department of Radiology. The team is developing treatments for advanced non-small cell lung cancer using a novel class of copper complexes that were designed and synthesized by the Grapperhaus and Buchanan research groups. The complexes display potent cytotoxicity and are highly selective for solid tumor cancer cells over leukemia cells and normal cells. 
  • Psychology post-doc Christina Ralph-Nearman (PI) and psychology professor Cheri Levinson (Co-PI) will develop and refine eating disorder therapeutics. As Ralph-Nearman explained, “Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, are among the highest of deaths of all psychiatric illnesses, and have doubled in hospitalizations and ER visits over Covid-19. I am so thankful to be able to work each day toward making therapeutics that target this serious, deadly issue.”


Robert Douglas: In Memoriam


Dr. Robert Douglas, Emeritus Professor of Art History and Pan African Studies, at The Ali Center’s birthday party for Muhammad Ali in 2015. Credit: Louisville Courier-Journal, Marty Pearl

Robert Douglas, Ph.D., a Black artist who played an instrumental role in shaping the Department of Pan African Studies (PAS), died on February 8 at the age of 88. Department Chair Ricky Jones, quoted in the Louisville Courier-Journal, said, “Without Bob Douglas, there would be no Pan-African Studies Department as we know it. He was just such a good, committed and loving man."

Douglas enrolled at UofL in 1958 to pursue a fine arts degree. After graduating in 1963, he held a series of positions, including as an organizer with the West End Community Council and an artist at the Courier-Journal, before seeking his master’s and doctorate degrees at UofL in the '70s and '80s. Roberts was recruited from Ohio University to teach in Pan-African Studies at UofL, which initially focused on African American studies. Douglas argued to broaden its scope to worldwide. Douglas also hired Blaine Hudson, former dean of A&S.

Established in 1973, the Department of Pan-African Studies is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023. Read more for further remembrances of Douglas by Ricky Jones and PAS faculty Brandon McCormack.


Alumni Spotlight


Elizabeth McCall (B.A. psychology '07, M.A. psychology '09) is no stranger to firsts. Hailed as one of the youngest Assistant Master Distillers in the U.S., she was just named Woodford Reserve’s new Master Distiller, the third in the brand’s 26-year history. McCall's training in psychology has been fundamental to her preparation for this role. In a 2018 interview with Style Blueprint, McCall described her first position at Woodford Reserve:

I began working in the sensory department with the research and development team. I focused on quality. For any product any human interacts with, you first do a sensory test, whether it be on the color, the taste, the aroma — all those things. We are looking at it from a very scientific standpoint. Psychology plays a strong role, and I had that basic understanding of human experimentation and testing and physical analysis, and we were applying those principles to alcohol interaction with people.

McCall's milestone appointment has been heavily covered in both the industry and mainstream press: here is just one example.


Student Opportunities


The Woodcock Medal is considered the most prestigious recognition of accomplishment by an undergraduate student in A&S, awarded each year to “an outstanding senior whose personal characteristics and superior scholarship give promise of constructive leadership in society.” The A&S Honors Thesis Committee selects the nominee on the basis of a student's record and at the recommendation of members of the faculty.

While not a requirement, students completing summa projects are often strong candidates. Both Dec. 2022 and May 2023 graduates are eligible. Letters of nomination should be emailed to by March 8.


The Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research is sponsoring its 16th Annual Social Justice Research Paper Awards and is introducing its new Social Justice Multimedia Awards. Students from ALL disciplines are encouraged to apply here. Awards are:

  • $250 for best multimedia submission - due March 20
  • $250 for best undergraduate essay - due April 24
  • $500 for best graduate essay - due April 24


Math Alum Honored in 40 Under 40


One of the five UofL alums recently named to Louisville Business First’s 40 Under 40 honoree list is Benjamin Donlon, B.A. mathematics, Chief Analytics and Operations Officer at Metro United Way. He is joined by four other College of Business alumni for a panel discussion on Tues., Feb. 21, 4:30 – 6:30 pm, Horn Auditorium, Frazier Hall, with free pizza! For more information and to register, visit the webpage.


Alumni Awards


The UofL Alumni Association is currently accepting 2023 Alumni Awards nominations. If you know an outstanding graduate who deserves to be recognized for their career accomplishments, philanthropic endeavors, and contributions to their community, nominate them at Nomination categories include:

  • Alumni Fellow awards designated for each school/college
  • Emerging Leader
  • Diversity Leadership
  • Wilson Wyatt Alumnus(a) of the Year
  • Military Alumni Award: New this year, this award allows UofL to celebrate its military-connected alumni.

The nomination deadline is February 17. For more information, please contact or call 502-852-0750.


Human Resources


We are pleased to announce that Kenneth Allen recently joined Gardiner Hall as the Unit Business Manager, Sr. for Research. Kenneth has been with UofL since 2002, performing financial and budgetary duties at Upward Bound and most recently at CEHD. Please give a warm welcome to Kenneth, who is located in room 320 in Gardiner Hall.


Candy Kudos! Has someone been especially helpful to you in navigating Workday? Nominate your colleague here.


Performance evaluations, due by March 6, are an opportunity to set meaningful goals, discuss employee development, celebrate success, and provide constructive feedback for the year ahead. This year’s process will be the same as in 2022. For more information, visit the Performance Evaluation webpage for trainings, timelines, and other resources.




Hilaria Cruz, Assistant Professor of Comparative Humanities, was interviewed by Duolingo on how the Chatino writing system developed.

Bruce Horner, Professor of English in the Department of English, co-edited the collection, "Towards a Transnational University," which examines how approaches to postsecondary writing instruction travel to transform the character of universities worldwide. The book has been released as an open-access book.

The Courier-Journal reported the wonderful news that:

A new middle school in western Louisville will be named after the late J. Blaine Hudson, which several audience members clapped and cheered for upon approval. Hudson grew up in the West End and was a dean and longtime University of Louisville professor. Prior to working at U of L, Hudson was a student leader within its Black Student Union in the 1960s, when he was arrested for occupying an administration building as part of a call for creating a Black studies program, according to the university's website. His work as a professor focused on African American history, particularly the underground railroad. While the new middle school's location has not been selected, it will be the first one built in the predominantly Black area since the 1950s.

Steven G. Koven, Professor of Urban and Public Affairs, was featured on WalletHub’s Cheap Car Insurance Study. He answers in detail why car insurance rates and even providers vary so much from state to state and if cheap/inexpensive car insurance is bad car insurance. Read his expert opinion here.

A new edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, edited and with an introduction by Susan Ryan, Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professor of English, will be published by Norton in July 2023 and is available for pre-order. As Norton describes it, “A bestselling novel widely credited with helping fuel the abolitionist movement that precipitated the Civil War, Uncle Tom’s Cabin aimed at the heart of white, Christian America with its sensational depiction of fugitive slaves and their struggle for freedom . . . [This edition] features the text of the 1852 book version and an introduction that discusses the work’s historical and religious contexts, its influence and political efficacy, the limits of white allyship, and what it means to read this novel—with all its conflicts and controversies—today.”


Upcoming Events


"ChatGPT and Generative AI in Higher Education," a roundtable discussion on Tues., Feb. 14, 12:00 noon, with Roman Yampolskiy, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Speed School; Tiffany Calvert, Associate Professor, Art and Design; Bronwyn Williams, Director, University Writing Center; and Liz Soule, Assistant Director, University Writing Center. The potentially transformative impact of these technologies on higher education will be explored, from current uses to ethical considerations and pedagogical responses. Presented by the Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society, in collaboration with the Delphi Center and the University Writing Center. Hybrid event: in person at the TILL, Ekstrom Library, 3rd floor, or on Teams: register here to receive the Teams link.

Tricia Gray, Chair of the Department of Political Science, will lead a virtual information session on the new Online BA in Political Science, Wed., Feb. 15, 11:00am to 12:00pm. This new degree program is designed for working professionals looking to start or advance their career in political science by gaining expertise in areas related to policy, politics, and governments in the U.S. and worldwide. Register here.

The Department of Biology is collaborating with the LGBT center to present, “You’ve Got the Wrong Man: Exposing the Real Culprit of HIV in the Black Community," featuring LGBT Center Interim Director Byron Terry. Wed., Feb. 15, 1-2 pm, Shumaker Research Building 139. See 1st flyer below.

Join a cross-generational and transdisciplinary panel of researchers for “Mentoring Across Generations and other Lines of Difference,” a discussion of questions such as: Why and when do you need mentoring? What makes a good mentor? What is co-mentorship and why should I care? Panelists include Dr. Aishia Brown, SPHIS, Center for Social Justice Youth Development; Dr. Cate Fosl, Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; and Tanisha Howard Lewis, Ph.D. candidate, SPHIS, Health Equity Innovation Hub. Thurs., Feb. 16, 4pm–5:30pm, online. Join via MS Teams Meeting ID: 233 577 823 514 Passcode: wZYjMQ. This event is organized by the Consortium, established as UofL’s Cooperative Consortium for Transdisciplinary Social Justice ResearchSee 2nd flyer below.

UofL Department of Theatre Arts Presents: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, by Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn. A musical comedy directed by Ari Calvano, part of the 2022–23 mainstage season. Remaining performances are Fri-Sat., Feb. 16-18 at 7:30 pm; and Sun., Feb. 19 at 3 pm, at The Playhouse, 1911 S. 3rd Street, Louisville 40208.

A&S Yearlings Club Forum presents: “White Allies of Civil Rights,” a panel discussion with Mary Furlong Coomer, activist; Carla Wallace, community activist and daughter of Henry Wallace; Mike Ward, political consultant and son of Lukey Ward; and Bill Allison, attorney. The program will be moderated by Cate Fosl, associate professor and co-founder of the Anne Braden Institute. The exhibit “White Allies of Civil Rights” recognizes 39 white Louisvillians who made contributions to the civil rights movement from 1950 to the present, focusing on the period in the 1960s. Sun., Feb. 19, 4-6 p.m., Roots 101, 124 North First Street. Registration required. For more information, contact Clest Lanier, 852-3042. See 3rd flyer below.

The 50th annual Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture Since 1900 (LCLC) takes place on February 20-25. Free for all UofL faculty, staff, and students: register here. The conference’s website provides details about dozens of sessions. Keynotes and other highlights include:

  • Mon., Feb. 20, 8 pm, “By Parties Unknown: Lynching in America,” a conversation with Josh Niedwick (Producer/Director at WYU/PBS), Laura Vrana (University of South Alabama) and Michael Morro (Archivist & Curator at West Kentucky African American Museum & Research Center) on the documentary By Parties Unknown and 20th-century lynchings in Kentucky. You are encouraged to view the documentary in advance.
  • Tues., Feb. 21, 8 pm, “New Mutants!” a conversation about comics and poetry with Stephanie Burt and Ben Saunders on the occasion of the 2023 publication of Burt's poetry collection, We Are Mermaids.
  • Seminar I, Thurs., Feb. 23, 1:30 to 3:30pm, Bingham Humanities 205: A celebration of Annette Allen, a beloved professor of humanities at UofL. Inspired by her life and her teaching, students of Dr. Allen's will announce and celebrate the winners of a poetry contest held in her honor.
  • Thursday keynote: Feb. 23, 5pm, “Poetics of the Future,” Chao Auditorium, with Harvard professor, critic, and Guggenheim poetry fellow Stephanie Burt
  • Seminar II, Fri., Feb. 24, 1:30 to 3:30pm, Bingham Humanities 205: A presentation of “Poet’s Theatre: Variations in the Dream of X" featuring Lee Ann Brown, Fred Moten, V. Reibel, Mark Scroggins, and Ken Taylor
  • Spanish keynote: Fri., Feb. 24, 3:15 p.m., “Poesía y memoria,” with poet, critic, historian, and University of Virginia professor Fernando Operé Santillana, Ekstrom Library, Bingham Poetry Room
  • Friday keynote: Feb. 24, 5:00 pm, Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan, Middleton Theatre, Strickler Hall 101
  • Seminar III, Sat., 1:30 to 3:30pm, Bingham Humanities 205: creative community building across the arts, moderated by Joy Priest (editor of the Louisville Poets Anthology) and Kristen Renee Miller (director and editor in chief for Sarabande Books)
  • Saturday keynote: Feb. 25, 5:30 pm, “Post-Discipline: Literature, Professionalism, and the Crisis of the Humanities,” Oxford University professor Merve Emre, Middleton Theatre, Strickler Hall 101


In effort to recognize and celebrate our collective heritage and histories among A&S staff, the DECC office will sponsor monthly staff heritage luncheons. The Black History Month staff heritage month luncheon will be held on Tues., Feb. 21, 12:00 to 1:00 pm in Humanities 300. RSVP by Feb. 16 @ 12:00 noon. See 4th flyer below.

“Judicial Races: Why Are They Important?” Join the Anne Braden Institute, UofL NAACP, and UofL Young Democrats for an informative event on Tues., Feb. 21, 5pm in Shumaker 139. Professionals and students with expertise in the justice system who are passionate about advocating for judicial importance will lead the discussion, including UofL Political Science professor (and ABI Faculty Affiliate) Dr. Laura Moyer and Jefferson County Division 5 Circuit Court Judge Tracy Davis (@diversitydavis1913). Part of the Our Vote Is Sacred Initiative with @interfaithamerica.

The McConnell Center welcomes Ricky Jones, Ph.D., Chair of Pan African Studies, speaking on “The Criminalization of Black History,” centered on how he sees anti-Critical Race Theory (CRT) laws as not being about CRT at all, but the maintenance of white supremacy in American education. Feb. 21, 6 p.m. online, part of the McConnell Center’s “Variety – Left and Right” series, designed to foster civil discourse and promote open dialogue across the political spectrum. 

“BLatinX: Puerto Rico” luncheon on Thurs., Feb 23, 12 – 1 pm. “BLatinX: Puerto Rico” is an innovative, experiential approach to recognizing Black History Month globally. An initiative of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, its genesis is to play a role in the Black Lives Matter Movement by underscoring the connection between communities of African ancestry beyond the borders of the United States. Guests are welcome to dine in or take their lunch in food containers. Admission is by conference badge for the Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture. Free reservations are required by Feb. 16 at: Questions to: thomas.edison@louisville.eduSee 5th flyer below.

The Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies will host the 2023 Auerbach Lecture  featuring Treva Lindsey speaking on “Lindsey's America, Goddam, and the Importance of the Protection of Black Women and Girls: Reproductive Justice within Black Communities,” Feb. 23, at 5:30 pm, Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium. Lindsey is Professor of the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Ohio State University. She is the founder of the Transformative Black Feminism(s) Initiative in Columbus, Ohio. Her most recent book is America, Goddam: Violence, Black Women, and the Struggle for Justice (University of California Press, 2022). See 6th flyer below.

“A Culinary History of Collapse, Conquest, and Cultural Identity in Ancient Perú,” a lecture by Dr. Robyn Cutright (Centre College). How do archaeologists use food to tell the story of the past? Presented by the Kentucky Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. Thurs., Feb 23, 6:00 p.m., Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, 1606 Rowan St., Louisville. Register at the UofL Event Calendar site. For more information, contact Dr. Jennifer Westerfeld at jennifer.westerfeld@louisville.eduSee 7th flyer below.

NSF CAREER Workshop: Developing and Writing Your CAREER Proposal: An intensive full-day interactive workshop on developing a competitive proposal for the NSF CAREER solicitation. Mon., Feb., 27, 9:00am to 3:00pm, 218 Belknap Academic Building, 201 E. Shipp Street Walk, Louisville, KY 40208

The Liberal Studies Program presents, “The Crypto Revolution: Investing in Digital Assets,” a presentation and Q&A with Professor Dereck Barr-Pulliam of the UofL College of Business on blockchain technology in cryptocurrency and financial literacy. March 2, 2023, 12 – 1 pm, Belknap Academic Building 218. Questions: janna.tajibaeva@louisville.eduSee 8th flyer below.