Monday Memo, January 8, 2024

A Message from Dean Dayna Touron

January 8, 2024

Dear A&S Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you rejuvenated and filled with enthusiasm as we embark on a brand new semester. Welcome back! This semester presents us with fresh opportunities to inspire, educate, and make an impact on our students and community. 

I so appreciate our staff, whose dedication, talent, and compassion create an environment where everyone can thrive. A healthy staff culture relies on open channels of communication and regular opportunities for feedback, and I look forward to two more staff listening sessions scheduled for January 23 and April 2. At these next sessions I will share brief updates on the college as well as hear your ideas and concerns.

This semester also continues our series of departmental listening sessions, to which both faculty and staff are invited. We kick off with the English Department on January 19, Urban and Public Affairs on January 22, and Psychological and Brain Sciences on January 29. At past sessions, I have so enjoyed getting to know individual faculty and staff, what makes your departments unique, and how my leadership team and I can best help you embrace the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

In 2024 we must continue to collaborate, support each other, and foster an inclusive and nurturing environment for our students and colleagues. I am so excited to witness the accomplishments and milestones that this semester will bring.

Warm regards,

Dayna Touron, Ph.D., Dean


Research Agenda


Kudos to Michael Menze, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation (above left, with Brett Janis, co-founders of DesiCorp, along with Jonathan Kopecheck, not picture), for being featured in a December 15, 2023, story in Louisville Business First, “‘We Want to be Easy to Do Business With’: How UofL research leaders and city officials are plotting a course to better leverage the university to spur growth in the metro area.” Photo courtesy of Louisville Business First. The first portion of the story is below:

By Joel Stinnet, Louisville Business First Senior Reporter

Michael Menze didn’t come to the University of Louisville to become an entrepreneur. But when a Ph.D. student approached Menze with an idea for freeze-dried blood that can be rehydrated when needed, the professor of biology and his team began researching the concept. Six years later, DesiCorp has worked with the U.S. Department of Defense, has a patent pending and plans for Food and Drug Administration approval.

“I had no idea that I would ever work with blood. I had no idea that I would ever start a company,” Menze said. “And I’m pretty sure I would never have started a company if not for UofL, because the support system at UofL is so great. People really walk you through the process and help. That would not have happened at another university.”

While Menze’s experience may not have happened at another university, UofL and city officials are looking to make this type of success story happen more often here. UofL is not just Louisville’s largest institution of higher learning, with more than 20,000 students. It’s also one of the city’s largest economic engines — and the fuel for that engine is research. UofL is designated by the Carnegie Classification of Institution of Higher Education as an R-1 research institution, meaning it meets the “highest levels” of research activity. Among the nearly 4,000 degree-granting universities in the United States, just 146 (3.7%) are considered R-1 institutions, placing UofL among the likes of Vanderbilt University, Johns Hopkins University and Duke University.

In 2021, UofL recorded more than $200 million in research and development expenditures, according to the National Science Foundation. Those dollars have a direct impact on Louisville’s economy, with each dollar in federal funding for research generating $2.20 for the local and state economy, according to the National Institute of Health. But UofL faces stiff competition for funding and the school is lagging behind many of its local peers in R&D expenditures. Read more (for paying subscribers only).


Community Engagement


Above: Dr. Crothers poses with his students who curated the Eliza Tevis exhibit at the Frazier, December 12, 2023. Credit: Frazier History Museum.

By A. Glenn Crothers, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History

This fall, students in my Introduction to Public History class collaborated closely with members of the Eliza Tevis Society and the staff of the Frazier History Museum to create, design, and mount an exhibit about Eliza Tevis, a formerly enslaved Black woman who helped found the hamlet of Petersburg, now known as Newburg. She Did What She Could: Eliza Tevis and the Origins of Newburg opened at the Frazier on December 12. The experience of creating the exhibit was, in the words of the students, “amazing,” “enriching,” and “transformative.”

The exhibit arises out of fall 2022 meetings with Tevis Society members, who are working to document and share the rich history of Tevis and the Newburg community, and Frazier staff. Learning about Tevis’s incredible life and seeing the enthusiasm of the Frazier team to bring her story to light, I saw an opportunity for students to learn the work of public historians by doing it. They would research a significant historical topic (in this case, the nature and legacy of slavery in Kentucky); work closely with local community groups and organizations to understand that history more fully; identify and research illuminating primary documents and artifacts; pull the evidence together to write a narrative of Tevis’s life; and, finally, transform her complicated story into an accessible and engaging exhibit design and script. The work tested the students (and me) and some of them wondered whether the exhibit could come to fruition in a semester. But drawing on their various skills and talents, they collaboratively worked through and solved the challenges of the project. Gifted and resourceful Frazier staff turned the students’ hard work into a concrete exhibit, which all museum visitors can now enjoy.

This exhibit reflects an ongoing and productive partnership between U of L’s public history program and the Frazier. Collaborating with the Tevis Society has only enriched what was already an important learning experience for students. And the work continues. In spring 2024, students in Dr. Felicia Jamison’s public history class will expand the exhibit, exploring more fully the early development of the Newburg community. The possibilities for future partnerships that explore the rich and often little-known history of Louisville and Kentucky are both rich and bountiful.

WDRB reported from the exhibit's opening on December 12. Save the date on  Sunday, February 18, 2 p.m., for a program on Eliza Tevis at the Frazier in collaboration with the Louisville Historical League.


In Memoriam


It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Biology Professor Emeritus William Dean (Bill) Pearson (above), on December 24 at the age of 82. Dr. Pearson was a professor at UofL from 1975 until his retirement in 2014. He had an enormous impact on the department through his studies of freshwater ecology and caves, teaching ichthyology and other fish related classes. He published over 30 articles in scientific journals, served as the major professor for 28 graduate students, and stayed involved in the department by participating on graduate student committees during his time as Emeritus Professor.

Dr. Pearson was a member of the American Fisheries Society, the American Society of Ichthyology and Herpetology, the Ecological Society of America, the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS), Trout Unlimited, and Louisville Grotto, among others, and was both SCUBA and Cave Rescue Certified. For several years he had his own private consulting business, Lake Management Analysts. He consulted for the U.S. Army Core of Engineers, Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, Falls of the Ohio State Park, Kentucky Speleofest, and the U.S. Forest Service. He was awarded numerous grants and contracts to study the fishes of the Ohio River and the cave fishes of Kentucky and Indiana, including those of the U.S. National Park Service at Mammoth Cave National Park.

His service to the state of Kentucky led to his being commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of Kentucky in 2014. In 2017, he was elected to life membership in the Louisville Grotto and the Kentucky Society of Natural History named him Naturalist of the Year. His contributions to the department and to UofL will always be remembered. Read more about Dr. Pearson in his obituary. 


The Department of Classical and Modern Languages mourns the passing of William Leonard Cunningham on August 24, 2023. Dr. Cunningham was born on July 15, 1939, and grew up in the Cleveland area, earning his B.A. at Oberlin, an M.A. at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and Ph.D. in German Language at the University of Texas in Austin. He taught at the University of Southern California for four years before moving to the University of Louisville, where he eventually retired in 2017. His body was donated to the UofL School of Medicine--always a teacher, even in death. Read more about Dr. Cunningham and his life in his obituary. 


Call for Applications


ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference applications are invited for undergraduate students to participate in the ACC Meeting of the Minds Conference at the University of Notre Dame, April 5-7. Each ACC school will send five students to give presentations on original research in either a poster or oral format. Selected participants will have all travel expenses paid. Abstract submissions are due Jan. 29 through UofL’s ACC Meeting of the Minds application link. For more information and questions, email Paul DeMarco, director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity.


UofL’s Office of Research and Innovation is accepting applications for 2024-2025 Ascending Star fellows. This year-long program is for tenured associate professors who show excellence in research and/or creative activity and who are beginning to build a national presence in their fields. Fellows will receive a course release, extensive mentoring and coaching, and research funding up to $4,500.

Nominations, including self-nominations, should be sent to Susan Ryan ( by Jan. 31, 2024. Please include a CV and a statement (up to one page) outlining the nominee’s current research project(s). An email of support from the department chair should be sent separately (to Susan, by the same deadline)—chairs should articulate the significance and promise of the individual’s research and/or creative work.


Bingham Faculty Fellows in the Humanities and Culture: The Commonwealth Center for Humanities and Society (CCHS) seeks a mix of tenured and tenure-track A&S faculty engaged in humanistic scholarship. People who have received a CCHS fellowship in the past are eligible to apply. Applications consist of a current CV, brief update on results from previous fellowship (if applicable), letter of support from your department chair and a 1,000-word proposal for a project you will pursue and how it fits with the 2024-25 theme, “Stories of Place.” The application deadline is January 12, 2024. For more information, visit the webpage.


Faculty, staff, trainees, and students are encouraged to apply for KYNETIC Product Development Grants (Kentucky Network for Innovation and Commercialization). Cycle 9 pre-application submissions are now open. Pre-applications will be due February 13th, 2024, by 5:00pm ET. Submission portal: If you have questions or need assistance with your pre-application, please contact us to share your product idea at

Funded by the NIH, KYNETIC offers entrepreneurial education and product development grants to accelerate the translation of academic innovations into biomedical products by investigators throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky. KYNETIC is led by the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, and Kentucky Commercialization Ventures (KCV).


NSF CAREER Lunch and Learn: A workshop on applying to the NSF CAREER program. Are you an early-career researcher looking to develop your potential? In this workshop, you will learn the ins and outs of submitting a successful proposal to the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, a prestigious award that could help you build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research. The CAREER Program offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

This workshop is sponsored by the Office of Research and Innovation and J.B. Speed School of Engineering and features consultant Lucy Deckard. Virtual event: Tuesday, Jan. 30, 12 noon to 1 pm. More information and registration. 


Dec. 2023 Commencement


By Janet Cappiello

Hevin Ramsey (above) felt a pressure to succeed as a Black student who was the lone member of UofL’s photography program. She relied on UofL’s resources, faculty and staff to get her through her toughest challenge—a comprehensive review of all she had learned—leading the way to a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Hite Institute of Art and Design.

“UofL helped me pass my review and graduate this fall because of the fantastic people … who played a significant role in who I am as an artist and as a future alumnus of UofL,” Ramsey said.

Asked about her favorite class, she said her experience in a directed study working on a PhotoVoice project with Professor Mary Carothers of the Hite Institute made a profound impact on her. The project focused on a Metro United Way/Russell Place of Promise guaranteed income program called YALift! Ramsey and other artists reflected on the meaning of guaranteed income in their work. Called “Take this!” the project included narratives to go with their imagery.

“Paring narratives with imagery greatly influenced my BFA track,” Ramsey said, “which solidified my love for UofL. If I had not gone here, I would have never met Mary Carothers or participated in the PhotoVoice project. It was an experience I will never forget.”

Ramsey, of Louisville, said her family has close ties to the university and she feels it has evolved along with the city. Being accepted at UofL was a “dream come true,” she said. After graduation, Ramsey plans to open a small business focused on film photography and crochet projects. Read more. 




Last month UofL announced the 2024 recipients of five $100,000 Grawemeyer Awards, all of whom will visit Louisville in April to give free, public talks on their winning ideas. Kudos to the Arts & Sciences faculty who participated in adjudicating three of the five categories, in Psychology, Religion, and World Order; those winners are:

  • Ann Masten, a University of Minnesota child development scholar who won the psychology prize for finding that resilience comes from “ordinary magic” within us and our supportive connections with others, explaining why some people recover quickly from major setbacks when others don’t. 
  • The Rev. Charles Halton, an Episcopal priest in Lexington, Ky., who explained how embracing God as a being with human qualities can inspire us to become better people. (The religion award is adjudicated jointly by A&S and the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.)
  • Neta Crawford, a University of Oxford international relations scholar who won the world order prize for analyzing the Pentagon’s carbon footprint and its effect on climate change.

UofL graduate Charles Grawemeyer created the Grawemeyer Awards in 1984 to honor ideas rather than lifelong achievement, also insisting that laypeople as well as professionals take part in the selection process.


Research by Dr. Nicholaus Noles, Chair of Psychological & Brain Sciences, was recently the subject of reporting in the Daily Telegraph. Noles studies children’s social cognitive development, and the research discussed in this article investigated children’s concepts of gratitude and their understanding of the phrase, “thank you.” He found that both younger (3- to 5-year-olds) and older (7- to 8-year-olds) children see “thank you” as a cue to reciprocity, but only older children see thank you as a cue to generosity. Noles believes that this age-based difference in children’s reasoning about gratitude explains why younger children sometimes resist saying “thank you.” Read more. 


Kudos to the UofL chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) for winning an Outstanding Chapter Award! This is the highest level of distinction from the SPS National Office and the 24th time our chapter has been recognized for its excellence as a top-tier student-led physical sciences organization. This designation was given to fewer than 15 percent of all SPS chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and internationally. All chapter award winners will be recognized on the Outstanding Chapter Award page in the coming weeks.


Call for Nominations


Nominations are invited for the 22nd annual Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Gender Equity Award, which honors the memory of Dr. Mary K. Tachau, a women’s rights activist and nationally recognized constitutional historian who became the first female chair of the History Department. The award will be presented to a member of the UofL community whose work has directly furthered gender equity. The prestigious award will be announced by the UofL Women’s Center and the UofL Commission on the Status of Women at the Women’s Center virtual Empowerment Program on March 21, 2024. The nomination deadline is January 19 by 5:00 p.m. Contact Tami Harbolt at for further details and a nomination form. 


The Employee Success Center is now accepting nominations for the university-wide "presidential" awards through February 15, 2024. For more information and to submit nominations, visit their awards website. 


A&S Events


“We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.” —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The African American Theatre Program at the University of Louisville cordially invites you to: Celebrating Dr. King’s Legacy: Young Changemakers Building Our Future Artivism in Action. Monday, January 15, 2024 at 1:00PM, The Playhouse. 1911 S. 3rd St., Louisville, KY 40208. Free and open to the public.


The first Sustainability Roundtable of the new year will take place on Tuesday, January 16, 4:00pm to 4:50pm, and continue at the same time on alternate Tuesdays (1/30, 2/13, 2/27, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16). The format is a 30-40 minute presentation from a variety of speakers throughout the year, followed by 15-20 minutes of open discussion.

Anyone with an interest in sustainability can give talks at the speaker series and participate in the audience, including faculty, staff, students, practitioners, teachers, government officials, and members of the public. If you would like to give a presentation, or would like to hear a particular speaker, please contact Tamara SlussJoin Microsoft Teams Meeting or dial-in at 502-792-9582 (Conference ID: 266 387 272 198# Passcode: kxhTvM)


B.S. or B.A. in Communication Virtual Info Session: All are invited to register to join our upcoming virtual info session and learn how our online bachelor’s in communication is designed for working professionals who want to earn a bachelor’s degree that prepares them for diverse and vast career opportunities or helps them advance their current career. The Bachelor of Communication (B.A./B.S.) enhances your communication skills to tackle challenges in the modern workplace while simultaneously enhancing your writing and verbal abilities. This program develops your rhetorical, organizational and interpersonal knowledge with a curriculum that emphasizes theories, practices, contexts and perspectives.  Tuesday, January 16 at 6:00pm to 7:00pm. For the virtual link, email


To mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the film, “The Cure for Hate” with Q&A by producer/directer Tony McAleer, will be featured. McAleer, former leader of the Neo-Nazi Aryan Nation, will share the journey and transformation of a former Neo-Nazi from hatred to acceptance of the racial/religious “Other.” Join us Jan. 25, Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, 4 p.m. For more information, contact, 852-3406.


Dan Waterman, editor-in-chief at the University of Alabama Press, will be on campus to give a presentation, “Navigating the University Press Ecosystem,” and to meet one-on-one with full-time faculty members (tenured, tenure-track, and term) at any stage of developing or pitching a book project. This includes scholarly monographs, scholarly editions, and edited collections. You need not be looking at Alabama specifically as a potential press—Dan will be here to offer general advice and feedback on project proposals, project ideas, etc, from his perspective as a long-time academic editor. February 15-16 in Humanities 300, no registration required.

If you’re interested in a 1:1 consultation, email Susan Ryan ( Dan can be most helpful if you submit a CV and a summary of your project in advance (or a full-scale proposal if you have a draft already). Only ten meeting slots are available—and the opportunity will be available to faculty in other UofL units as well, because the provost’s office has provided funding—so respond quickly if you want to secure a meeting. Friday, February 16, noon-1:30 pm, HUM 300


UofL Events


Upcoming Delphi Center Sessions

  • Digital Storytelling with Data. Explore the uses of narration and storytelling as a tool for communicating data and research in academic environments. This webinar will include discussions of the use of storytelling as a pedagogical tool to engage learners and foster a deeper understanding of complex technical processes and concepts. Attendees will leave with a variety of additional resources to support the implementation of digital storytelling and narration for teaching and research. Learn more and sign up at Tuesday, January 23 from 2-3 p.m. via MS Teams
  • Online Teaching Practices Swap Shop. Come together to share your best practices while collectively crowd-sourcing innovative solutions to challenges in your online courses. Moderated by Vice Provost Kelvin Thompson, this informal, virtual session will give instructors a platform to showcase some of their teaching triumphs and innovations, as well as collect advice from the group about ways to approach trials or issues that have been encountered in the online classroom. All online educators, experts or beginners are welcome to attend. Register to attend at Monday, February 5 from 2-3 p.m. via MS Teams

LGBTQ+ Affirming Healthcare Series, Session Four: Queer Eye: A Trans Provider’s Perspective. Facilitated by Jyme Rae Charette, DMD, MSD, Board Certified Prosthodontist (he/him). Presented by the UofL LGBT Center, UofL School of Dentistry, and HSC Office of Diversity & Inclusion. January 25, 12 Noon – 1:00 PM, Hybrid – Zoom link and in-person location emailed after online registration closes. Registration (required):


You are cordially invited to participate in the 2024 Celebration of Teaching and Learning Conference, scheduled for Friday, February 2, at the Student Activity Center (SAC). This year marks a significant change as we bring the conference to the Belknap Campus for the first time. 

This annual event serves as a platform to acknowledge educators at all levels, celebrate teaching excellence, and foster community engagement in the exchange of ideas related to evidence-based teaching practices. This year’s theme, Elevate Equity-Minded Teaching: Design with Intention, Teach with Care, focuses on the meaningful role instructors play in student success and supports efforts to increase equity across all teaching modalities.

Join us as we reflect on these efforts throughout the day during peer-reviewed concurrent sessions and the keynote presentation. This year’s keynote speaker, Flower Darby, associate director of the Teaching for Learning Center at the University of Missouri and contributing author to The Norton Guide to Equity-Minded Teaching, will highlight core concepts supporting equitable teaching practices as well as strategies that you can use to ensure that every student, particularly those who have been historically underserved, is provided an equitable opportunity to succeed. Regardless of your teaching context, be it in-person or online, you can expect to gain practical and impactful strategies for implementation in your class. For more information and to register, visit the Delphi Center's conference website.  We look forward to seeing you there. 


Grant writing workshops: Register now for any of the three remaining grant writing workshops taking place on February 2, March 1, and May 14, 2024, 12 noon - 1:30 pm, from the Office of Community Engagement, Office of the Provost, and Office of Institutional Equity for faculty, staff, and graduate students. Workshops will introduce the basics of grant writing from the lenses of community engagement, present the foundation for developing a letter of inquiry and a full proposal, provide approaches to engage funders, and provide insights into the review process. Register at this link.