Monday Memo, September 12, 2022

Dear A&S Faculty and Staff,

Newcomers breathe fresh life into our campus community and are an exciting part of the new academic year. This semester the College welcomed 1,526 new students, an increase of 2% over last year, who make up nearly 52% of the 2,944 new students joining UofL this semester. More than 65% are living on campus, which is also great news given that students who live on campus are generally more successful.

We are also delighted to welcome 25 new tenure-track and term faculty to the College. To celebrate them and their contributions to our teaching and research, I’ve launched #NewFacultyFriday, a social media campaign highlighting a different new faculty member each week. These are posted on the College’s social media accounts (@UofLCAS) in Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, linking to the department’s and the faculty member’s own social media accounts where possible.

And finally, I am thrilled to announce that we’ve hired a College-level Web Developer, Rae Stilwell, whose first day will be September 19. I’ll share more about Rae in another message, but suffice to say that “help is on the way,” especially for those of you needing help with updating your websites for the new academic year. Until Rae is onboarded, Josh Boydstun will continue his heroic work as temporary webmaster for the College. We are greatly in his debt for his services!


Julie Wrinn, Chief of Staff

New faculty joined Dean David Owen and Dr. Tom Owen, UofL Community Historian and Associate Archivist, for a “Destination Louisville!” tour on August 27. The group visited the Old Louisville, Germantown-Schnitzelburg, Paristown Pike, Russell, Portland, Park-Duvalle, and Shawnee neighborhoods; the Government Center and Downtown Business District, Main Street Cultural Corridor, Kentucky Center for the Arts (pictured above), Waterfront Park, Nulu, and the UofL Health Sciences and Medical Center; and concluded with a drive from west Louisville along the Olmstead Parkway with views of Chickasaw, Shawnee, and Iroquois Park, to the iconic Churchill Downs and the Woodlawn community.

NSF-INTERN: New Research Opportunity for Graduate Students

Congratulations to biology doctoral student David Grimm (above) in Michael Menze’s lab for receiving a new type of award from the National Science Foundation, the NSF-INTERN. The award will fund Grimm’s internship with the Atlanta-based company Lucid Scientific, which has developed an instrument called Resipher, a non-invasive cell culture monitoring system that measures oxygen consumption in standard multi-well plates. The Menze lab studies biomimetic strategies of cell preservation, and the Resipher device will give insight into cellular responses to preservation.

The NSF recently began offering a supplemental funding opportunity, the NSF-INTERN, to provide graduate students with non-academic research training to prepare them for potential careers outside of academia. Up to $55,000 may be awarded over 6 months to cover relocation and housing costs, research materials, and a stipend equal to the monthly rate of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program stipend. The application requires an established connection with a non-academic group, such as an industry laboratory, start-up company, or government agency, that agrees to take on the graduate student as an intern should the request be funded.

Grimm will begin his internship at Lucid on September 15. “This will be an unmatched opportunity for me to develop as a research scientist and augment my academic research training,” said Grimm. “My primary role with the company will be to design and perform experiments with a variety of cell types to further validate the oxygen-sensing technology. I am very grateful for this opportunity and for all those who helped me achieve it.” Grimm will have the opportunity to engage with the other aspects of the company as well.

Community-Engaged Research

UofL Students Gain Experience, Drive Change in Louisville’s Affordable Housing Arena

University of Louisville social scientist Lauren Heberle, above, has contributed to Louisville’s Metropolitan Housing Coalition’s housing report since 2006. The current report will serve as a roadmap for the new mayoral administration to help advocate for housing changes in the city.

In June the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, Louisville’s affordable housing advocacy group, issued its most comprehensive housing report ever thanks to the authorship of Associate Professor of Sociology Lauren Heberle. Many UofL students in Sociology and Urban and Public Affairs, both undergraduate and graduate, contributed to the report, with several taking a lead on data analysis every year. Read more.

A Tale of Two Roofs

On August 7, the Center for Geographic and Information Sciences and faculty from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, in partnership with the Urban Design Studio, conducted a UAS (unmanned aircraft system)-based thermal imaging study of a two-block radius surrounding Founders Square Park in downtown Louisville. They flew gridded flight plans using a Parrot Anafi Thermal drone at an altitude of 75 meters above ground level, in mostly sunny skies, during the hour preceding solar noon. Local air temperatures during the flight were in the low 90°F range. The resulting raw images were processed in the Pix4DMapper environment to generate a thermal index image depicting surface temperatures in °F. Observations suggest that building design considerations and material selection may significantly impact the thermal environment in urban areas. Future work could see expanded mapping, long term measuring and monitoring of urban heat island effects—all geared towards a future vision of sustaining and increasing the vitality of downtown Louisville. Read more in the Dept. of Geographical and Environmental Sciences Fall Newsletter.

Alumni Spotlight

Kela Ivonye, Bachelor of Applied Science in GIS, Master’s in Urban Planning

Kela Ivonye’s story is all about connections—finding them, building them and nurturing them. As an international student from Nigeria, the connections he found with UofL faculty, staff, and fellow students led him down a path of entrepreneurship and activism. His drive to build connections in the business world resulted in the creation of multiple successful startups.

While earning his master’s degree in urban planning, Ivonye worked at a local restaurant and told his manager that adding delivery would increase the customer base. From that idea grew his first successful startup, Arrow Food Couriers. Ivonye used his undergraduate background in geographic information system (GIS) software and a connection with a UofL law student to help him map out super-localized food delivery and create a viable business plan.

Now, Ivonye ’12, ’15 is using his skills and success to nurture others. His latest venture is Protégé, a nonprofit to support Black entrepreneurs. The 20-week learning experience matches founders with mentors called super founders and asks those super founders to contribute at least $20,000 to their mentees’ ideas. Read more.

Antiracist Agenda

Learn about the Black Six Trial

The DECC Office is pleased to host a panel with members of the Black Six as they discuss the events of 1968 and today’s social justice movement. In 1968, six Black people were accused of orchestrating a racial uprising in the Parkland neighborhood. Each was charged with conspiring to destroy private and public property, until 1970, when a judge threw the case out of court for lack of evidence. September 20, 2022, 1:00pm, UofL Student Activities Center, Floyd Theatre, 2100 South Floyd Street. Register here.

Inclusive Teaching Circles

It’s not too late to sign up for Inclusive Teaching Circles. A reminder that the cohort on How Do We Create Inclusive Classrooms?” will hold its first session on Wednesday, September 14, 11:30-1:00 PM in Belknap SRB, Room 228. The guiding eBook will be What Inclusive Instructors Do: Principles and Practices for Excellence in College Teaching by Tracie Marcella Addy, Derek Dube, Khadijah A. Mitchell, and Mallory E. SoRelle (Stylus Publishing, 2021), available in Ekstrom Library catalog.


Karen Freberg, professor of strategic communication, has been invited to be the opening keynote speaker for NATO’s Strategic Communication Centre of Excellence’s Emerging Trends in Social Media Conference, which will be held in person and online in Riga, Latvia in October. Freberg’s keynote will focus on the global state of social media strategy and best practices.

Congrats to Siddant Issar, a new assistant professor of Political Science, for being named a co-winner of the Leo Strauss Award for Best Doctoral Dissertation in the field of political philosophy. He is now working on a book manuscript, Theorizing Racial Capitalism in the Era of Black Lives Matter. Read more.

With a new debate season under way, we would like to congratulate David Sutherland (below) for receiving the Laurence Tribe Award at the 2022 National Debate Championship. Dave, along with his brother Dan, was the 1982 National Debate Tournament Champion, and he has leveraged those skills to address global poverty. UofL Malcolm X Debate and the College of Arts & Sciences are proud to claim him as an alum. Read more.

Congratulations to Dr. Margath Walker on her recent publication, Spatializing Marcuse: Critical Theory for Contemporary Times. A huge undertaking, the book is a fresh appraisal of philosopher Herbert Marcuse’s work foregrounding the geographical aspects of one of the leading social and political theorists of the 20th century. Margath A. Walker considers how Marcusean philosophies might challenge the way we think about space and politics by drawing on examples from contemporary geopolitics, digital infrastructure, and issues like resistance and immigration. She demonstrates Marcuse’s relevance to individuals and society, and finds this important theorist of opposition can point the way to resisting oppressive forces within contemporary capitalism.

Kudos to Sherri Wallace for her leadership in political science by serving as program co-chair for the 11,000-member American Political Science Association’s annual meeting this week in Montreal, Québec. The conference theme is “Rethink, Restructure, and Reconnect: Towards A Post-Pandemic Political Science.” Wallace is Interim Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, Culture, and Climate and a professor of political science, and many of her political science colleagues will be in attendance at this important event.

Expert Opinion

Many Arts & Sciences faculty serve as key resources for local and national media and were recently consulted for their expert opinions:

Political Science professor Dewey Clayton in The Guardian on racism in the Sesame Street theme park;

Communication professor Karen Freberg in The Drum on Ben and Jerry’s lawsuit against its parent company; and in Ragan on the business skills needed in the future of communications;

Pan-African Studies Chair Ricky Jones on the Race Unwrapped podcast on WFPL discussing the use of the word “riot” to characterize Black protesters; and

The Hite Institute’s Interior Design professor Laura McGarity in Newsbreak on why grey continues to be a popular and versatile living room color.


The Department of Communication is hosting the 91st Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Communication Association on Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 15-17, with all academic presentations held in the Belknap Academic Building. The conference theme is, “The Race Is On: Where Do We Go From Here?” Dr. Tom Owen, UofL Libraries Archivist, will be the featured speaker at the awards luncheon on Saturday at the Red Barn. Visit here more information and to register. Questions: Mary Z. Ashlock, Department of Communication.

Join the department of Geographic and Environmental Sciences for its Fall speaker series, Sept.-Nov. All presentations take place in BAB 130 on Tuesdays at 2:30 unless otherwise specified. Upcoming sessions are:

  • September 20: Brent Fryrear, Partnership for a Green City, “Public Sustainability Partnerships: Collaboration or Collective Impact?”
  • 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”

The UofL Kentucky Author Forum is bringing internationally renowned journalists Josh Chin and Evan Osnos to campus and to the Kentucky Center on September 29. Josh Chin recently co-authored Surveillance State with fellow Wall Street Journal writer Liza Lin, telling the story of how China’s Communist Party is building a new kind of political control. For more than a decade, Chin has covered politics and tech in China for the Wall Street Journal. Evan Osnos joined the New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008 and covers politics and foreign affairs. His book Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China is based on eight years of living in Beijing; it won the 2014 National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Event details:

  • Seminar with Chin and Osnos hosted by the UofL Asian Studies Program, 11am – 12:30 pm, Shumaker 139
  • An evening with Chin and Osnos at the Kentucky Center, 5 pm wine and cheese reception, 6 pm discussion in the Bomhard Theatre, 7 pm Q & A, 7:30 pm dinner at the the Muhammad Ali Center by Chef Peng Looi. $30 package includes all evening events before 7:30 PM; $140 package includes all events plus dinner ($40 tax deductible contribution to non-profit Kentucky Author Forum). Tickets: 502-584-7777 or

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—a resonant changing emblem of America's original sin whose blood-drenched shadow haunts us still. Followed by a Q&A moderated by Brandon McCormack, and a booksigning. Wednesday, October 26 at 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Strickler Hall, 101, Middleton Theater, 2010 S. Avery Court Walk , Louisville, Kentucky, 40208. Free admission, no registration required.