Monday Memo, July 25, 2023
July 24, 2023
A Message from Dean Dayna Touron
Dear A&S Faculty and Staff,
I am very glad to write to you as your new Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences! I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you and support the important work that you do for our students and community. Thank you for putting your trust in me. We are embarking on an exciting new chapter together!
My top priority in getting started at UofL is to learn more about you. I will be working with the Dean's office leadership to schedule listening sessions with each of our departments, programs, and centers. I will be back in touch with all of you soon with more information as these plans develop.
I hope that you are each having a rejuvenating and enjoyable summer and very much look forward to seeing you on campus soon.
Dayna Touron, Ph.D.
Chemistry doctoral student Christine Burgan (above) has received a prestigious grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) to study novel ways to remove greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. The grant will allow her to spend the fall semester conducting her dissertation research at the DoE’s Pacific Northwest National Lab in Washington state. She’s one of just 87 students selected from among the nation’s top schools.
“This award is such a treasure to me because it offers me the opportunity to fill in some holes in my thesis project,” Burgan said. “[When I was accepted,] I had to read the email three times because I couldn’t believe it.”
Burgan’s research focuses on molecular complexes that excel at capturing dilute carbon dioxide, including direct air capture, which will be an important part of decarbonizing the atmosphere. She said this program and working at the national lab will allow her to further that research by doing high-pressure Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and electrochemistry experiments, which would allow her to confirm some observations and potentially publish in high-impact journals.
“Hands down my favorite part of the PhD adventure has been seeing my dissertation come together after these 4 years,” said Burgan, whose advisors are Robert Buchanan and Craig Grapperhaus, professors in the chemistry department. “I never would’ve thought the start of my fifth year would’ve been at a national lab. I’m very excited to talk to new people about what they do and sharing what I do. Science is best when it’s collaborative.” Read more.
Last month Alycia C.R. Lackey (above), Assistant Professor of Biology, published a first-author paper in Ecology Letters on how insects' delicate interactions with plants and other insect species may be thrown into chaos by the effects of man-made climate change and temperature changes, possibly causing widespread pest outbreaks. Entitled “Simulated climate warming causes asymmetric responses in insect life-history timing potentially disrupting a classic ecological speciation system,” the paper was subsequently covered by Newsweek, who quoted Prof. Lackey: “There are certainly some species that do better under warmer temperatures as these conditions could allow faster development, more generations of offspring produced in a single year, or more food available. Species with wide tolerances for temperature variation and those able to withstand higher mean temperatures or hotter heat waves will be more resilient to climate warming." Read more. Below: Image of an Apple Maggot Fly.
Frank Nuessel, Professor Emeritus, Department of Classical and Modern Languages, presented a paper entitled “Michael Lettieri’s Remarkable Achievements During His Two Terms as Editor of Italica (2014-21)” in the opening session at the Cross-Disciplinary Dialogues Conference in Honor of Michael Lettieri held on June 8, 2023 at the University of Toronto Mississauga.
Hannah Skaags (below), an undergraduate student in Biology, presented her research at the Protein Society in Boston recently. She received a travel award from the Protein Society, allowing her to attend the meeting, and scored an Honorable Mention award in the graduate and undergraduate student poster competition.
Research by Jennifer Westerfeld, Associate Professor of History and Director of Graduate Studies, was recently featured on the podcast "Byzantium and Friends," where she spoke with host Anthony Kaldellis (University of Chicago) about her book Egyptian Hieroglyphs in the Late Antique Imagination (University of Pennsylvania Press 2019). They discussed scripts that were used to write ancient Egyptian, especially hieroglyphs, whose last attested use was in the 390s AD. You can listen to their conversation here.
A&S was well represented at the inaugural bell hooks symposium, "Dissident Feminisms," held in Berea, KY, June 16-18, 2023. Below, left to right: M.A. student Katie Cross Gibson, Shelby Pumphrey (Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Pan-African Studies), Katherine Marklein (Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology), Hilaria Cruz (Assistant Professor in Linguistic and Native American Religions, Comparative Humanities), Catron Booker (Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts), Cara Snyder (Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies), and Luz Huntington-Moskos (Associate Professor and Director of the Community Engagement Core for the Center for Integrative Environmental Health Sciences). Cruz, Huntington-Moskos, Marklein, Pumphrey, and Snyder presented a panel on "Community Engaged Research and the Legacy of bell hooks," where they discussed their work with communities in Kentucky around themes of indigenous language, environmental health literacy, cemetery work, Black herbalist tradition, and LGBTQ+ houselessness. Booker presented her exhibition, "Fugitive Freedom Dreaming."
The following A&S faculty who were among nine recipients from four schools awarded the Ascending Star Fellowship from UofL’s Office of Research and Innovation:
- Amanuel Beyin, College of Arts and Sciences, whose work focuses on the anthropoligical origins of humans in East Africa;
- Adam Enders, College of Arts and Sciences, whose work focuses on political science and conspiracy beliefs;
- Farshid Ramezanipour, College of Arts and Sciences, whose work focuses on chemistry solutions in renewable energy.
- Jianhua Zhao, College of Arts and Sciences, whose work focuses on anthropological study of the Chinese fashion industry.
This program aims to accelerate scholarship and promote the national reputation of exceptional mid-career researchers. During the year-long program, fellows work with an external mentor and are coached through an ambitious project that moves their scholarship to the next level of development. To be considered for the program, faculty must be associate professor rank, must be nominated by their unit, and must show a “consistent record of scholarship with the passion and desire to achieve greater national recognition.”
Sustainability Leadership Grant for Honors Program
Above: Students planting trees on Arbor Day
The UofL Honors Program is participating in a nationwide collaborative called “The Justice Challenge: Engaging Students in the Future of Food, Climate, and Sustainable Agriculture,” aimed at training future leaders in the fields of food, climate and sustainable agriculture. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded the project a three-year, $750,000 grant.
“In this project, we are leveraging the nimble and innovative framework of honors education,” said Joy L. Hart, executive director of UofL’s Honors Program and co-chair of the project’s advisory board. “We hope to empower students with systems thinking and career readiness tools essential for the future workforce in food, agriculture, natural resources and human sciences (FANH) fields.”
More than 500 undergraduate students from 14 universities across the country are expected to take part, at host institutions South Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University, and fellow ACC member Virginia Tech.
“Our project is expected to result in many positive outcomes," Hart said, "but the ultimate hope is that honors participants will both widen and deepen their understanding, better equipping them to enter workplaces and civic life well positioned to address society’s most pressing challenges." Read more.
A&S Open House, part of the university-wide Welcome Week, is an opportunity for departments and programs to showcase their co-curricular activities and engage with new students. Dean Dayna Touron will also attend. Departments are invited to host tables covering topics such as:
- Undergraduate research
- Mentoring and peer advising
- Academic clubs such as the Philosophy Club
- Honors societies like TriBeta Biology Honors
- Student publications like the Louisville Political Review
Friday, August 18, 10 am - 12:30 pm, BAB lobby. Departments and programs can register at this link.
Accolade 2023 is an exclusive, on-campus event for academically talented prospective students, who will have the opportunity to tour campus, meet with faculty and academic advisors, learn about the Honors Program, admissions, and scholarship programs, and more. Students can one of two sessions:
- Session 1: 11:00 am - 11:30 am
- Session 2: 11:40 am - 12:10 pm
Faculty interested in participating can sign up at this link.
Above: photo courtesy of J. Tyler Franklin, Louisville Public Media
Thousands of people have been laid to rest at Louisville's Eastern Cemetery, but decades of mistreatment and mismanagement have left the burial grounds in disarray. Community volunteers are working to make sure that history isn’t reburied.
Associate Professor of Anthropology Angela Storey will be working with students in the coming months to speak to the family members of people buried at Eastern to record their stories. “I got fascinated in this group of volunteers that come out every week, and sometimes multiple times a week to manage this land in the absence of anyone else caring for it,” Storey said. “It's not easy work. There's the sense of accomplishment and pride that people feel, and I think the fact that people don't have to do this, everyone's a volunteer, no one has to do this, but they want to they start getting connected to the site and they feel this responsibility to it.”
Affluent and influential families bought up plots at Cave Hill, keeping many people with lower socioeconomic statuses and other marginalized identities out. Because it was more accessible than other burial sites at the time, Eastern Cemetery began to fill quickly. The people running it took unethical measures to meet the demand.
“The oldest burial record that we have that is indicating they were already reusing graves was from 1854. And this cemetery opened in 1843,” explained anthropology graduate student Codi Goodwin. Based on the research Goodwin has done alongside fellow graduate student Jacqui Zaczek, the cemetery’s managers changed the layout to avoid getting caught.
Goodwin and Zaczek have been digitizing the cemetery’s maps and records to help locate the people buried there, but it’s not been an easy task. “We actually have to make layers and rebuild maps to figure out where this person was,” Goodwin said. “We almost have to reconstruct parts of the cemetery just so someone can have a general area of where their loved one may be buried.”
A spokesperson with Mayor Craig Greenberg’s office said the administration is in the early stages of trying to address the issues seen at Eastern and other abandoned cemeteries. The city has supported the addition and improvement of specific graves on the property, but volunteers say they’ve been the largest provider of maintenance for those plots.
Former Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration worked with groups to get grave markers placed at previously unmarked resting places. Felton Snow, Negro Leagues baseball player, got a headstone in 2022 nearly 50 years after his death (pictured above). His grave was previously unmarked. Read more in Louisville Public Media.
Above: A National Science Foundation-funded archaeological dig at the Lapa do Picareiro cave site in central-western Portugal. Hominin occupation at the site has so far been dated to c. 55,000 years ago (Photo by A. Beyin, July 10, 2023).
Archeological Dig in Portugal
Anthropology Department Chair Jonathan Haws has been doing archaeological fieldwork in Portugal since 1993, focusing on prehistoric human land-use and decision-making as part of a socio-natural process. Excavation of the Lapa do Picareiro cave in central Portugal is designed to address the fundamental question: do temporal variations in Neanderthal land use, demography, technology, and diet represent responses to extreme climate shifts during the last ice age? The ultimate goal is to determine why Neanderthals went extinct and were replaced by modern humans. Lapa do Picareiro is a unique site, with about 10m of sediments spanning 50,000 years of human history. He is now expanding the excavation to dig deeper into the Neanderthal occupation layers, work that will continue through 2025.
Associate Professor of Anthropology Amanuel Beyin recently visited the dig and reports, "What I’ve witnessed was an amazing field operation, involving 24 crew, of whom ~50% are our students, including two former students. Hats off to Jonathan for offering our students such enriching study abroad and research experiences. Our students are thriving there in all respects."
Below: UofL’s Anthropology MA students (left to right) Allison Sherman, Cenetria Crockett, and Jordan Durham, who are participating in Dr. Haws’s archaeological dig in Portugal (Photo by A. Beyin, July 8, 2023).
Panama Undergraduate Program
The Panama Undergraduate Program is a non-degree curriculum that offers students from Panama the opportunity to complete coursework fulfilling the General Education requirements at UofL, preparing students for a wide variety of majors available at UofL's Belknap Campus, known as the 2+2 program. Courses at the Quality Leadership University (QLU) campus in Panama City are taught by UofL faculty and QLU faculty credentialed to teach as UofL instructors.
At the invitation of Interim Associate Dean Sherri L. Wallace, Dean Maria Alejandra Quintero of Quality Leadership University visited the UofL campus to meet with A&S senior staff, department chairs, faculty, and international center staff to discuss the long-standing UL-QLU Partnership and explore ways to expand our program offerings in A&S. Dean Quintero is the primary liaison between UofL and QLU, overseeing the undergraduate programs, study abroad, and the 2+2 program. At the lunch meeting, Prof. Wallace presented Dean Quintero with a proclamation from Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg establishing June 29, 2023, as “Quality Leadership University Day.” Thank you to all who attended and a special “Thank You” to Clest Lanier, who was instrumental in getting the proclamation.
Pictured below, L-R: Connie Martinez (International Center), Sherri Wallace (Interim A&S Associate Dean, DECC), and Dean Quintero, QLU, with the proclamation establishing June 29, 2023 as “Quality Leadership University Day” from Louisville Metro Mayor Craig Greenberg.
Congratulations to four students from the College of Arts & Sciences who were among six from UofL awarded prestigious Fulbright Scholarships. Top row, left-to-right: 1) Madison Chicha of Cherry Hill, NJ graduated in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and minors in Arabic and Biology. Madison was president and co-founder of UofL’s Undergraduate Research Club and former two-time captain and member of the Women’s D1 Rowing team; 2) Eli Cooper of Owensboro, KY graduated May 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies, with a focus on political science and human rights; and 3) Christie Kremer of Fort Thomas, KY graduated May 2023 with a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design. Bottom row, middle: 4) Lucas Threlfall graduated in May 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in political science, pursuing a career in diplomacy and foreign affairs. Congrats to Madison, Eli, Christie, and Lucas for their outstanding accomplishments. We know you will represent Louisville Alumni extraordinarily well! Read more.
Kudos to Carrie Bohnert for receiving this year’s Outstanding Educator award from the Association of SP Educators ("SP" refers to "simulated patient," a person trained to portray a patient in realistic and repeatable ways). Bohnert is a PhD student in the Dept. of Sociology and is the Director of Standardized Patient Program within UofL’s Office of Medical Education at the Medical School. In the award announcement, Bohnert was described as someone who has "enthusiastically mentored newer educators”; been “a champion of SP Methodology”; “pushed our field to new lengths with research, innovation, and continued willingness to show up for each new generation of SP educators”; was "a leading contributor to the ASPE Standards of Best Practice, which set a framework for how human simulation is approached across the world”; has "contributed significantly through publications and presentations”; and whose “research shows passion for the work and the impact it can have on all, especially through an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens.”
In this episode of the Blacker Berries series hosted by Von Barnes of the Community Farm Alliance podcast, Dr. Thomas Wayne Edison, Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, talks about returning to his childhood home in Louisville to start a community garden. His desire to put locally grown food in the neighborhood helped build Changó Gardens, and he is full of excellent advice for those aspiring to grow their own food.
A huge shout-out to OCM, the Office of Communications and Marketing, and its advertising partner BVK for winning the Grand Gold Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for the “Here and Beyond” broadcast advertising campaign. Grand Gold is the highest award bestowed, given to one winner among more than 4,000 entries from 583 institutions in 22 countries. The CASE judges remarked, “The campaign stood out for its comprehensive rebranding efforts, successfully capturing the essence of the university and overcoming internal challenges. The strategic use of integrated media across various platforms, combined with a cohesive brand narrative and creative expressions, showcased UofL's distinctiveness and impact. The inclusion of original musical composition further added to the campaign's uniqueness. The campaign's ability to generate brand awareness, drive positive perception, and engage key audiences made it a deserving recipient of this recognition.” How wonderful to see the expertise of our OCM colleagues recognized for their impact.
Staff Heritage Luncheon
By Sherri Wallace
Many thanks to the ULASSA Heritage Celebration Committee for a successful Immigrant and Caribbean American Heritage luncheon on June 26, with delicious catering from Open Caribbean Kitchen. We send a big hug and a thank you to our two guest speakers—who are also my good friends/colleagues—Dr. Henry Cunningham and Dr. Thomas W. Edison, who are pictured above with the committee.
Dr. Henry Cunningham, Director of Community Engagement in the Office of Community Engagement, shared his story as a native transplant from Belize, an independent peaceful country with a racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse population—roughly the size of Louisville—which is known for its political and economic stability as well as its rich mahogany wood, second longest coral reef in the world, beaches, rain forest and Mayan pyramids. Dr. Cunningham provided us with an overview of this only English-speaking country in Central America that has been shaped by the blending of traditions and cultures from Africa, Caribbean, Central America, India, and its British colonizers, where lunch is the main meal of the day. We learned about the unique customs and contributions of the Creole, Mestizo, Mayan, Garifuna, East Indian, and Mennonite people to a Belizean society that is ever adapting to change, because as Dr. Cunningham stated, “it’s hard for culture to be stagnant” because each generation brings change.
Dr. Thomas W. Edison, Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, provided us with a broad overview of the Caribbean and “Ni-Caribe Identity,” the African descendants in Nicaragua, a country colonized by the Spanish and British before its independence and unification under the Somoza Dynasty with Daniel Ortega (1979-1990). We learned about the Black West Indian poet, Carlos Erlington Rigby Moses (1945-2017) and how his poetry played a central role in uniting the Spanish- and Creole- with the English-speaking people, who lived on opposite coasts of Nicaragua. Dr. Edison demonstrated his love for this country and its blended traditions and customs that emanate from European colonialism, ethic mixing—the Miskito, Garifuna, Caribs, Arawaks, and shipwrecked Maroons to name a few—to its connection with nature, rhythm/beats and (African) drums and to African spirituality. We learned the distinction between the sacred spiritual practice of “Vodun” and its universal marketing as “Voodoo.” We also learned how children’s stories highlight and pass on traditions from the famed “Nancy the Spider” to “Brer Rabbit,” a well-known African fable and inspiration for the American “Bugs Bunny.”
A reminder that the French American Heritage Month celebration takes place tomorrow, Tuesday, July 25, 12:00-1:00 pm in Bingham Humanities room 300.
Above: Then What Did She Say?, by Robert Douglas, 1964. Loan courtesy of the artist. Image credit: Bill Roughen for the Speed Art Museum
Louisville’s Black Avant-Garde: Robert L. Douglas. A beloved professor emeritus in the Hite Art Institute who passed away earlier this year is the subject of a new exhibit at the Speed Art Museum. Robert L. Douglas (1934 – 2023) was a prolific visual artist and longtime resident of Louisville’s West End, a former community organizer, and a teacher and mentor to generations of artists and thinkers. Featuring more than 30 paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures, the exhibit presents rarely seen work from throughout Douglas’s career, demonstrating the breadth of his practices and the continued relevance of his work in examining and reflecting the Black community in Louisville.
Under Douglas’ leadership, alongside other prominent artists such as Sam Gilliam, G.C. Coxe, Ed Hamilton, Johnny Richardson, Fred Bond, and Kenneth Victor Young, the Louisville Art Workshop publicly debuted in January 1967 in a converted West End Louisville storefront, becoming a creative hub in the city with a variety of educational workshops, artistic critiques for artists to hone their craft, and group shows for emerging talents.
Despite his talents and experience as an artist, Douglas was denied work in the arts early in his career due to discriminatory hiring practices, and he turned to serving the community through social work and political organizing. Douglas brought this perspective to his work with the Louisville Art Workshop. Inspired by revolutionary art theory and the ongoing Civil Rights movement, Douglas and his contemporaries embraced the concept of artists using their creations to liberate oppressed people, while acknowledging that the mainstream art industry would deny them resources and platforms to showcase their work.
Louisville’s Black Avant-Garde is intended as a four-part annual series spotlighting leading artists of the Louisville Art Workshop. Louisville’s Black Avant-Garde: Robert L. Douglas is organized by the Speed Art Museum and curated by Dr. fari nzinga, Curator of Academic Engagement and Special Projects at the Speed, with support from Sarah Battle, Coordinator of Academic Programs and Publications, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, whose oral history research project, Painting a Legacy: the Black Artistic Community in Louisville, 1950s-1970s, provided a scholarly foundation for the exhibition. June 30 - Oct. 1, 2023, 2nd floor, Chellgren Gallery. Read more on the Speed Museum's website and in this review by Forbes magazine.
Sara Noori, Program Coordinator Senior in the Hite Institute of Art & Design, and Louisville artist Braylyn Resko Stewart created a first-of-its kind, site-specific mural in the Speed Art Museum’s gallery surrounding Amy Sherald’s portrait of Breonna Taylor. Sherald’s portrait of Breonna Taylor, “In the Garden,” runs through November 26 at the Speed Art Museum. The exhibit is comprised of a collection of artworks partially inspired by “Breonna’s Garden,” a virtual reality experience co-created by Ju’Niyah Palmer, Breonna Taylor’s younger sister. For more information, please visit the website.
The Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning offers these upcoming trainings:
- Video Storytelling Production with Adobe Premier. Learn how to use Adobe Premier software to create videos during this virtual workshop on Thursday, July 27 from 12-1:30pm. Attendees will get hands-on experience using this exciting tool as well as ideas for how it can be used by students. Learn more and sign up at /uofl.me/Video-Storytelling.
- Academic Podcasting with Adobe Express and Audition. Learn how to use Adobe Express and Adobe Audition software to create audio recordings in this hands-on virtual session Wednesday, August 2 from 12-1:30pm. This is also a great workshop for those interested in receiving ideas for how these tools can be used by students. Register to attend at uofl.me/Academic-Podcasting.
- Teach in the Digital Media Suite. Reserve class time in the Digital Media Suite and empower your students to create multimedia creative projects using cutting-edge equipment or request an instructional session on digital media production for your class. Learn more at uofl.me/Teach-DMS.
- Teaching in the Era of ChatGPT: Designing Assignments. The Delphi Center is partnering with faculty and staff across the institution to consider how the rise of generative AI such as ChatGPT is shifting the landscape of teaching and learning. The next workshop in our series will showcase examples of how UofL faculty and students are using ChatGPT and AI in coursework and help participants brainstorm how they may engage with AI such as ChatGPT in their courses. In this workshop, participants will design or revise an assignment for the next term thinking about the implications of ChatGPT on student work. Participants will leave with ideas for how to frame assignments that produce original, meaningful student work and incorporate ChatGPT in assignment design in ethical ways. Sign up to attend Thursday, August 10 from 12 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. via MS Teams at uofl.me/chat-gpt.
Fall 2023 New Graduate Student Resource Fair & Social: Meet other new graduate students as well as Graduate School staff, and learn about Louisville and UofL resources available to Graduate Students! Representatives from campus offices, student organizations, and Louisville businesses and organizations will be present to share information with graduate students. Thursday, August 10 at 3:00pm to 5:00pm. Student Activities Center (SAC). 2100 S. Floyd Street , Louisville, Kentucky 40208
History Department New Grad Orientation Breakfast. There will be an orientation session for incoming MA students in the History Department on Friday, August 18 at 9:30am to 11:00am, Gottschalk Hall, 2226 W. Centennial Walk , Louisville, Kentucky, 40208
30th Anniversary of the UofL African American Theatre Program: Black Light Awards Gala, “Changing the World One Performance at a Time." We will produce a dynamic large-scale event to highlight the African American Theatre Program alumni who have built lifelong careers in the theatre and film industry and have made a significant impact both locally, nationally, and internationally. The gala is a black-tie affair and will feature a keynote speaker anticipated to be a celebrity and/or nationally recognized theatre artist. Our vision is to host an evening full of powerful celebration and honor for the three decades of groundbreaking accomplishments which have led to this special 30th anniversary. In so doing, this gala presents an invaluable opportunity to serve as a fundraiser to continue fortifying this legacy and ensuring the expansive growth of the program. Saturday, September 30, 2023, 6:00–10:00pm, Louisville Central Community Center, 1300 W. Muhammad Ali Blvd, Louisville, KY 40203. For more information contact LaShondra Hood at firstname.lastname@example.org. RSVP by August 31. Tickets