Alumni CLASnotes Spring 2005

Around the College



CLAS Welcomes New Associate Deans
Allan BurnsAnthropology Professor Allan Burns is the new CLAS associate dean for faculty affairs, succeeding Criminology and Sociology Professor Ron Akers. Burns had served as chair of the anthropology department since 1998 and is an affiliate faculty member with the Program in Linguistics and the Center for Latin American Studies.

Burns received his BS in sociology from Iowa State University in 1968 and his MA and PhD from the University of Washington in anthropology in 1970 and 1973. He came to UF in 1977, and his research has focused on the Mayan language and culture in the Yucatán region of Mexico, Chiapas, Guatemala, El Salvador, and among Guatemalan refugees in Florida.

He is the director of the Yucatán program at UF, which sponsors a six-week summer study abroad experience for undergraduate and graduate students in Merida, Mexico at the Universidad Autonóma de Yucatún.


Angel Kwolek-FollandAngel Kwolek-Folland is the new CLAS Associate Dean for Centers, Institutes and International Affairs. This new half-time position includes oversight of the college’s interdisciplinary research institutes and centers, the International Committee, agreements with other institutions outside the United States, and liaison with UF’s International Center on issues of interest to the college.

Kwolek-Folland first came to UF in 2000 to assume the directorship of the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research. She earned her PhD in women’s history from the University of Minnesota in 1987, and before coming to UF taught at the University of Kansas for 13 years.

She teaches courses in history and women’s studies. Her research focuses on US women’s history, women’s labor and business history, gender studies and material culture studies. Currently, she is researching international dimensions of contemporary gender rights categories, particularly sexual rights.


Faculty Receive FBK Awards
During the UF homecoming festivities in November, three CLAS professors were honored for their outstanding service and dedication to the university with a 2004 Distinguished Faculty Award from Florida Blue Key. Psychology Professor Brian Iwata, History Professor Angel Kwolek-Folland and Chemistry Professor Martin Vala were three of four faculty members chosen from across campus to receive the honor.
The winners were recognized at the 75th Annual Homecoming Banquet, the highlight of which was an appearance by former US Senator Bob Graham (BA, Political Science, 1959). They also were honored at a special event, Education Celebration, designed specifically to thank distinguished faculty for their hard work throughout the year, and had the opportunity to ride in the homecoming parade.


Trysh TravisNEH Fellowship Funds Literary History
The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies Trysh Travis a 12-month fellowship. Travis will use the $40,000 award to complete her book, The Persistence of Sentiment: Contemporary American Literature and the Culture of 12-Step Recovery, a work of interdisciplinary literary history focused on the print culture of the 12-step recovery movement, which began with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. It traces the development of the program and explores the material and intellectual influence of the recovery movement on contemporary literary culture.

“As academics, we publish books and articles for each other, and then wonder why the public is skeptical of our ambitions and the legislature wants to cut our funding. I hope to write a book that, I think, the average person will want to read and will be able to understand—one that makes a contribution to the culture at large, not just to scholarly knowledge.”

Travis received her PhD in American studies from Yale University and specializes in 20th-century American reading and publishing history. She joined UF in 2004. Travis received one of 193 fellowships this year out of 1,470 applications, a success rate of 13 percent.


Fulbrights Awarded to CLAS Students
Six CLAS students have been named 2004–2005 Fulbright Scholars by the Institute of International Education. Sponsored by the US Department of State, the Fulbright US Student Program offers opportunities for recent college graduates, post-graduate candidates and developing professionals and artists to conduct career-launching study and research abroad. A total of 10 students were chosen from across campus for their outstanding academic performance, record of community service and interest in international scholarship.

Listed below is each scholar in the college, the country they will study in, and the department in which they either earned their degree or currently are enrolled as a graduate student.

Karen Harmel, Ireland, political science; Stephen Marr, Botswana, political science; Paula Paoli, Honduras, anthropology and political science; Samuel Pierce, Spain, history; Jonathan Smith, Japan, African and Asian languages and literatures; Bryan Williams, Brazil, political science.




Innovative Researchers Named APS Fellows
Three UF scientists have been named fellows of the American Physical Society. Physicists Paul Avery and Peter Hirschfeld and chemist Frank Harris each were elected for their original research and innovative contributions in applying physics to science and technology.

Avery was noted for his leadership in developing grid-computing resources for high-energy physics and other sciences. Hirschfeld was cited for his distinguished contributions to the theory of disordered unconventional superconductors that helped identify d-wave pairs. Harris is a member of UF’s Quantum Theory Project, a group of researchers based in the chemistry and physics departments. His contributions over a 50-year period in developing methods of electronic structure computation for atoms, molecules and solids were honored.

No more than one-half of one percent of the society’s total membership is selected for fellowship status each year.



Hernan VeraCollecting Latin America on Film
The film collections of the George Smathers Library have received a big boost thanks to the pioneering efforts of Sociology Professor Hernán Vera. Armed with a $40,000 grant from the UF Office of Research and Graduate Programs, CLAS and the Center for Latin American Studies, Vera has assembled the university’s first Latin American feature film collection to enhance the research and educational experiences of faculty and students. Comprised of nearly 1,200 titles on VHS and DVD, the collection contains classic Latin American films dating back to the 1920s, as well as contemporary selections. The new collection is unique because half of its contents are films that have never before been imported into the US. Due to the scarcity of Latin American films in the US, Vera traveled to Mexico and Chile to acquire the bulk of the collection. One of the jewels of the collection is an assortment of 22 films by Mario Moreno, better known as Cantinflas, the Mexican comedian who starred in the original version of Around the World in 80 Days.





Department of Homeland Security Awards Scholarship
The US Department of Homeland Security has awarded a full tuition scholarship to Andrew Hoffman, a senior double-majoring in psychology and English, through its Scholars and Fellows Program. The program was started in 2003 to support the development and mentoring of the next generation of scientists as they study ways to prevent terrorist attacks within the US.

Hoffman is one of 105 college students who will receive a tuition voucher and stipend, and he will work as a summer intern at an approved research facility. He is the past president of the CLAS Student Council and is a Student Government senator.



Photos:
Madeline Cajal (Angel Kwollak-Folland)
All Others by Jane Dominguez

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Friday, 13-Aug-2010 14:22:20 EDT