Monday Memo, October 10, 2022

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

Dear A&S Faculty and Staff,

The month of October brings a full harvest of A&S activities, from departments' speaker series, to Homecoming week, to the Black Alumni Summit, of which A&S is a proud sponsor. I hope you will read on to learn more about all the great things that are happening in our College in the next few weeks.

UofL's Day of Giving is also imminent, Oct. 18-19, and our goal is 500 unique donors to A&S programs. With 700 recipients of this newsletter plus tens of thousands of A&S alumni, that should be an achievable number! Remember that every amount helps, and by giving to your own institution, you can feel good about seeing up close the impact of your generosity. Go Cards!


Julie Wrinn, Chief of Staff


Research Agenda

This week's Research Agenda focuses on the research and creative activity of our undergraduate students. Many thanks to Kirsten A. S. Armstrong, Assistant Director of Advising for the University Honors Program, for the following report about A&S students who will be attending the Kentucky Honors Roundtable (KHR) at the University of Kentucky to share their work at the Fall 2022 KHR conference. Congrats to these students and to the faculty who have mentored them!

Poster sessions:

  • Mustafa Almosawi – Honors - Biology major (Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology Track) – “Development and Storage of Freeze-Dried Red Blood Cells”
  • Ethan Mills – Honors - Biology major (Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology Track) & German minor – “Quantifying Hemoglobin Oxidation in Lyophilized Red Blood Cells”
  • Riya Patel – Honors - Chemistry major & Biology minor – “The Effects of Zinc Chromate and Beet Powder on Human Epithelial Cells”

Oral presentations:

  • Eden Baize – Honors Scholar – History major (Humanities Track) & Applied Geography major (Environmental Analysis Track) – “Birth Control in the 60s: a Dialogue Surrounding the First Oral Contraceptive”
  • Alicia Howe – Honors Scholar – Sociology major – “Nontraditional Student Involvement in Honors Communities”
  • Avalon McAffrey – Honors Scholar – Individualized major – “Connecting Students and Nonprofits During a Pandemic”
  • Tobias McDaniels – Honors Scholar – Psychology major & Deaf Studies minor – “Preservation and Perception of Gothic Identity”
  • Nim Singh – Honors Scholar – Neuroscience major & Philosophy minor – “Psilocybin and Neuropsychiatric Disorders”
  • Abigail Stanger – Honors Scholar – History major (Humanities Track), Comparative Humanities major (Linguistics Track), & German minor – “"Moral Panic" in the Sixties: The Rise and Rapid Declination of LSD in American Society”
  • Krasimir Staykov – Honors Scholar – Political Science major (Applied Politics Track) – “Alternative Futures: Speculative Fiction, Structural Critique, and Societal Imagination”

Creative Arts/Expressive Performance:

  • Collin Douglas – Honors Scholar - “gateway: bridges to the heart of lullville”


Hidden Talents


You may not know that the College’s new Web Developer, Rae Stilwell (pictured above with Charlie), is a self-published author of fantasy fiction who has authored 9 novels with her collaborator, Renee Peters. Rae shares that she is living with Bipolar II/ADHD and the importance of representing/destigmatizing these conditions. Rae’s favorite book series of all time is The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix, and her favorite video games are Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask, and the Sims.

Many thanks to A&S Staff Association Parliamentarian Yolanda Demaree for the idea for this Hidden Talents series focusing on what A&S staff do when they’re not working. If you think it would be fun to share your hidden talents in a future edition, please get in touch. –Julie Wrinn


Winter Term Courses


Have you noticed the new yard signs placed around the Belknap Campus for the College of Arts & Sciences's Winter Term courses? Please encourage your students to enroll, especially those who may need a fresh start on a particular course. In three weeks, students can:

  • Take a class they missed while waitlisted.
  • Get a jump start on spring semester important dates.
  • Classes start Dec. 14.
  • Last day to add/drop is Dec. 15.
  • Last day to withdraw is Dec. 26.

For information on available courses, tuition and financial aid details, please visit the webpage.


Alumni Spotlight


Congrats to Kelly Hill (Ph.D. Humanities) on her contract with Penguin-Random House/Vintage Books for her debut novel, A Home for Friendless Women, described by Publishers Marketplace as, "set in a real-life charitable institution in Louisville that took in pregnant, unmarried women from 1876 to 1919, about the privileges afforded by one’s social class, race, and gender in a world that gives women few second chances; the dark deeds done in the name of giving; and what it really means to be ‘fallen.’"

This novel was at the core of Dr. Hill's dissertation project and grew out of research she conducted during an internship she held at the Filson Historical Society. During her time in the Comparative Humanities graduate program, she published short stories and articles in both literary and academic journals and delivered various lectures, including at the Conrad-Caldwell House Museum.

Kelly said, “I’ve been a creative writer for most of my adult life, but this book asked something new and challenging of me, and I have the Ph.D. program to thank for that." Besides her work as a creative writer, Kelly is currently teaching as a Part-Time Lecturer in the Comparative Humanities and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Departments. When she’s not writing or reading about Victorian women, Kelly can be found spending time with her husband and two teenagers. The novel will be published in summer 2024.


DECC Office News


The Annual Community Partnership Reporting System is BACK. UofL is one of only 69 institutions in the U.S. to hold both distinctions as a “Research I” and “Community-Engaged” university by the Carnegie Foundation. To maintain our status, we must report our activities in collaboration with external partners or programs, specifically external communities. Thus, it is particularly important for A&S faculty and staff to capture all activities for our Annual Report. To report your activities, click here:

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT FAIR. Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend this event held on Thursday-Friday, October 13-14, 2022, from 9:00 to 12:00 AM in the 2020 Quad (between the BRB, BAB and Lutz Hall).  For more details, click here:

 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WEBINARS. The Office of the Vice Provost and Office of Community Engagement are sponsoring a professional development series, “Understanding Community-Engaged Scholarship:  A Conversation on Promotion & Tenure”:

FACULTY SPOTLIGHTS. The Office of Community Engagement (CE) wants to feature faculty engaged in CE scholarship. If you would like to share your activities, please email Dr. Henry Cunningham at Dr. Sherri Wallace's message is: "I strongly encourage A&S faculty to reach out and highlight the important and valuable work you do in community engagement. BRAG ABOUT IT!"

GRANTS & RECOGNITIONS. In 2021-22, an estimated $28,626,292 in grants received funding for CE activities. The Annual Report shows that A&S faculty received less than $1 million. Dr. Henry Cunningham, the Director of Community Engagement, wants to see more faculty apply for the internal OCE Gheens Foundation mini-grants ($3,000) available to fund CE research. For more information on how to apply, please visit:

In addition, faculty should pursue the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) grants offered in partnership with Collaboratory. UofL is an institutional member. Dr. Cunningham will collaborate with applicants to prepare for this national funding. The deadline is November 15, 2022.


Business Operations & HR


Do you know where to find UofL’s online Policy and Procedure Library? The online library is a repository of more than 300 university-wide policies and procedures and key governance documents. The library also provides resources and guidance about the university’s policy creation and approval process. For more information, email or visit the webpage.

Open Enrollment began on Monday, October 3, 2022, and continues through October 14, 2022.  For more information and to review 2023 Benefit Plan Rates, please visit  Please remember, this is your only chance to add, drop or change your benefit elections and dependents, unless you have a Qualifying Life Event during the year.  To participate in a health care or dependent care Flexible Spending Account (FSA) ion 2023, you must log into your benefits account and enroll or reenroll, even if you were enrolled in an account for 2022.  FSAs will default to “no election” if you do not re-enroll into an account. 

2022 Annual Leave Adjustment Reminder.  The December 31, 2022, deadline for the annual leave adjustment is quickly approaching.  Staff may not carry forward more than two times the amount of leave they are currently eligible to accrue.  We recommend that you review your accrued leave amount and determine if you are nearing the maximum hours allowed for carryover.  Your balance will need to be below the maximum accrual amount by December 31, 2022. 


Qatar, Debate, & Student Success


Representatives from the QatarDebate Center, Qatar Foundation, visited the Belknap campus on September 29 to explore collaborations with the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program. International debate programs foster student success in numerous ways, including language acquisition, critical thinking, public speaking, and the lifelong bonds that debate students form with each other. Debate instructor Saad Elasad visited several Arabic languages classes (picture above) and facilitated a debate. UofL has an Arabic debate team who will be participating in the Qatar Debate tournament in October. As illustrated below, their visit was a team effort! 

Pictured left to right: Khaldoun Almousily, Program Coordinator for Arabic language and faculty in the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program; Jason Sievers, Interim Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management; Saad Elasad, Qatar Debate Instructor; Interim Dean David Owen;  Abdulrahman I. Al-Subaie, Qatar Outreach Programs Manager; Hanad Sahardeed, Qatar Outreach Specialist; Bradley Bowman, Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program; Julie Wrinn, Chief of Staff; Regina Roebuck, Chair, Department of Modern and Classical Languages; Denise Bohn, Senior Director of Development; and Asma Addarrat-Edwards, Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations.


Day of Giving


Help support the next generation of students and innovation with a gift in support of Arts & Sciences during Raise Some L on Oct. 18-19. This year A&S's focus will be these 5 priorities:

  1. Immediate Impact for Students 
  2. Student Success and Persistence
  3. A&S Student Scholarships and Special Initiatives
  4. Departments & Programs
  5. Institutes & Centers

Whether it is a program you are deeply passionate about, or supporting a student’s ability to remain in college through a trying time in their life, we invite you consider a gift in support of an A&S fund that means the most to you.

Dean Owen has generously agreed to personally match gifts up to $500 if our goal of 500 unique donors to A&S areas is achieved. We are asking faculty and staff to give and to ask their friends and family to add their support. You can do so at this link beginning at 6:02 pm on October 18 through 11:59 pm on October 19, for a campaign lasting 1,789 minutes, in honor of the year of UofL's founding.


Dean Search


The search firm R. William Funk and Associates conducted listening sessions on September 27-28 regarding the qualities sought in a permanent dean. Here is another opportunity to share what you see as the opportunities and challenges for the next dean, and the kind of person you’d like to see in that role. You are invited to use the link below to take a short survey to provide your thoughtful input on this process. There are 5 questions, and it should only take you 3-5 minutes to complete.

All responses are anonymous and will only be shared with the search firm.  Please take advantage of this opportunity to participate in this early part of the search process, and complete the survey by Monday, October 10, at 4:00 pm.


In Memoriam


It is with great sadness that the Department of History announces the passing of Lee Shai Weissbach on September 29, 2022. Following completion of a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University in 1975, Professor Weissbach joined the faculty at UofL in 1978.  Lee Shai began his career as a specialist in modern French History, publishing his first book on child labor reform in nineteenth-century France (LSU, 1989). But he soon shifted his focus to modern Jewish history. His 2005 book, Jewish Life in Small-Town America: A History (Yale), was a groundbreaking look at small town Jewish life across the U.S. Lee Shai also published work specific to Kentucky Jewish history, including a 1995 book on Kentucky Synagogue architecture and a 2012 article on “Kentucky Jewry during the Civil War.”  In 2013, he published an annotated translation of his grandfather’s memoir. A Jewish Life on Three Continents: The Memoir of Menachem Mendel Frieden (Stanford) traces life in Europe, the U.S., and Palestine in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Lee Shai served as Chair of the History Department (1992-1995), Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs (2000-2003), and was instrumental in establishing UofL’s endowed chair in Judaic Studies. He retired from UofL in 2015. Those who knew him remember Lee Shai as a warm and generous colleague and mentor.


Upcoming Events


The Department of Physics & Astronomy's Bullitt lecture will feature Karan Jani, professor at Vanderbilt University and a member of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observator (LIGO) team who detected the first gravitational waves. Read more about Dr. Jani in the flyer above. Many thanks to the William Marshall Bullitt Fund for supporting this series. Oct. 20, 7 pm, Rauch Planetarium.

Join the Department of Geographic and Environmental Sciences for its Fall speaker series. All presentations take place in BAB 130 on Tuesdays at 2:30 unless otherwise specified.

  • October 11: Matt Spalding and Liz Winlock, Olmstead Parks Conservancy, “Using Geospatial Technologies to Inform Management Decisions”
  • October 25: Andrew Mehring, UofL Biology, “Zoogeochemistry and the Effects of Waterbirds and Invertebrates on Wetland Greenhouse Gas Emissions”
  • November 8: Megan Poole, UofL English, “Classroom + Community: University of Louisville Students Serve as “Air Justice” Change Agents”
  • November 16 (Weds): GIS Day in Geographic and Environmental Sciences! Multiple presentations and demonstrations will take place throughout the day related to Geographic Information Systems. Schedule and locations of GIS Day events will circulate prior to the event.

The Latin American and Latino Studies Program enthusiastically invites you the following events that they have organized, in tandem with other departments and programs, to join the University’s efforts to celebrate Latinx and Hispanic cultures. All events are free and open to the public.

  • 20th Annual Heritage Lecture: “The Power Politics of Handicrafts in Latin America,” Wednesday, Oct 12 at 4:30 p.m. at the Elaine Chao Auditorium (Ekstrom Library). Organized by the LALS Program
  • 29th ‘Reel’ Latin America Film Festival. In person:  Oct 6 to Nov 1 (with limited virtual screenings after the live festival ends). Organized by the Department of Classical and Modern Languages with the support of the Modern Languages Fund, LALS program. Hispanic, Latinx  Indigenous Initiatives,  Al Dïa en América,  the Student Activity Board and Pragda Spanish Film Club. 
  • Day of the Dead celebrations: 1) Ekstrom Library (basement) Oct 31 – Nov 3. Altars erected by UofL Students and friends of the Department and LALS program. 2) 4th Streel Live Day of Dead. Nov 2, 2022.  5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Organized by Organized by the City of Louisville Office of Globalization, the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, LALS program. Hispanic, Latinx  Indigenous Initiatives,  Al Dïa en América,  schools from JCPS.

The College of Arts & Sciences is a proud sponsor of the Black Alumni Summit, Oct. 17-22. The Black Alumni Summit aims to provide opportunities for Black alumni to reconnect with old friends, meet new faces, recall memories, and build community. The Black Alumni Summit features an engaging mix of events, from networking with fellow alumni and connecting with current students to social and festive occasions. All programming is designed to welcome the university’s Black alumni and to celebrate their ties to UofL. For more information and to register, visit

In her new book, My Old Kentucky Home: The Astonishing Life and Reckoning of an Iconic American Song, historian Emily Bingham traces the origins and permutations of the state song, from its performances across the continent beginning in the 1850s, through its widespread international renown as the state's "brand," to its 21st-century reassessment. Followed by a Q&A moderated by Brandon McCormack, and a booksigning. See below for the UofL Bookstore display! Wednesday, October 26 at 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Strickler Hall, 101, Middleton Theater2010 S. Avery Court Walk , Louisville, Kentucky, 40208. Free admission.

The 16th Annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Dr. Imani Perry, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University and a faculty associate with the Programs in Law and Public Affairs, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Jazz Studies. Dr. Perry's lecture will be based upon her most recent book, South to America: A Journey Below the Mason Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation. Learn more about Professor Perry and read her latest articles here. Please register for the lecture here: Nov. 3, 6 pm, Strickler 101/Middleton Theatre