Indiana University Bloomington
IUB College of Arts and Sciences

September 1, 2008

Bennett I. BertenthalWelcome to the start of a new year!  I hope to see you at the College's opening reception tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 5 p.m. in the Auditorium lobby.

It has been an intensely busy and productive summer in the Dean's Office.  As you know, we are initiating a new strategic planning process this year and will begin preparing for the first "Themester".   We anticipate that the coming academic year will be extremely exciting, and we look forward to working with all of you to make this year the best that it can be.

Bennett I. Bertenthal
James H. Rudy Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Dean, IU College of Arts and Sciences

News and Initiatives for 2008-2009:

  • Three new associate deans have started work; the College has begun a national search for an assistant dean for advancement.  Three offices have been consolidated and will report to the new dean: Development, Alumni Programs, and Communications and Marketing into the Office of Advancement.  The staff have begun moving into vacant space in the Von Lee building on Kirkwood Avenue.
  • Next year, in fall 2009, the College will launch the first themed semester - or "Themester" - project, and planning for this has begun as well, under the direction of Jean Robinson, associate dean for undergraduate education.  Themesters will encourage academic and extracurricular work across many departments, and will include bundled classes, colloquia, student research projects, and other elements.  Please contact Jean with your suggestions for semester themes or with any questions.
  • Associate Dean Steve Watt has begun work on the College’s strategic plan, and will be seeking faculty and staff input on a variety of issues as he works with the strategic planning committees.
  • Sean McGuire has accepted the position of Director of Undergraduate Recruiting and Exploratory Student Advising.  He will report to Kirstine Lindemann, Director of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and Senior Academic Assistant Dean.

Scott Sanders Congratulations to Scott Sanders for receiving the 2009 Mark Twain Award “for distinguished contributions to Midwestern literature.” The award is given annually by the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature, which supports the study and dissemination of work in Midwestern literature, art, film, and scholarly study. Previous winners include Toni Morrison, Jim Harrison, Wright Morris, Jack Conroy, Harriet Monroe, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ray Bradbury, William Maxwell, and Jonis Agee. The award will be presented in May at the Society’s meeting, which will also feature a panel devoted to Scott’s work.

Martin F. JarroldJarrold and collaborators in Chemistry receive $2.9 million NSF grant
Martin F. Jarrold, Bogdan Dragnea, Stephen C. Jacobson, Peter J. Ortoleva, James P. Reilly, and their collaborators at the IU Nanoscience Center and Indiana University's Center for Cell and Virus Theory have been awarded $2,925,000 from the National Science Foundation to study how viruses pull themselves together. Complete story.

Prof. Christoph Irmscher A National Endowment for the Humanities Institute on John James Audubon, proposed by and to be co-directed by Prof. Christoph Irmscher, has been chosen for full funding ($180,000) by the NEH. To take place here in the summer of 2009, mostly at the Lilly Library, it will be co-directed by Alan Braddock, an art historian and associate curator of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe. The Institute will give 25 teachers from around the country an opportunity to study Audubon’s art and literary work, as the proposal, states, “in a location close to key settings of Audubon’s life,” while representing his work “in its full cosmopolitan splendor and complexity.”

College, Faculty in the news

Sporns group creates images of brain’s core
American Studies offers undergraduate degree
PBS post-doc’s study sheds light on brain rhythms
AAADS announces PhD degree
Wrapped campus bus celebrates the arts

Faculty publications and awards

  • Deborah Cohn’s (Spanish & Portuguese) Mississippi Quarterly article titled “Combating Anti-Americanism During the Cold War: Faulkner, the State department, and Latin America” was featured in the Summer 2008 issue of the Wilson Quarterly.
  • Roger J.R. Levesque, professor and chair of Criminal Justice, published Adolescence, Media and the Law: What Developmental Science Reveals and Free Speech Requires as part of the American Psychology-Law Association Book Series (Oxford University Press, 2007).
  • Jeffrey Gould, professor of History, published To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1920-1932 (Duke University Press, 2008) with coauthor Aldo Lauria-Santiago.
  • Andrew Miller, professor of English, published The Burdens of Perfection: On Ethics and Reading in Nineteenth-Century British Literature (Cornell University Press, 2008).
  • Alvin Rosenfeld, professor of English and Jewish Studies, edited The Writer Uprooted: Contemporary Exile Jewish Literature (Indiana University Press, 2008).
  • Emeritus professor of Chemistry Edward Bair published Connecting the Dots to Future Electric Power (Authorhouse, 2007).
  • Bronislava Volkova, professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, director of the Czech program, and adjunct professor of Comparative literature and Jewish Studies, was profiled by a former student, Mathew Konieczny, in a journal of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, Kosmas: “Bronislava Volková: Scholar, Artist, and Teacher”, Kosmas, Fall 2007, Vol. 21, No. 1, p. 70-73. Czech version appeared in “Bronislava Volková: vědkyně, umělkyně a učitelka”. České listy is a journal of the Czech Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Sara Scalenge, assistant professor of History, received the 2008 Harold N. Glassman Dissertation Award for her dissertation on "Being Different: Intersexuality, Blindness, Deafness, and Madness in Ottoman Syria."  This award honors the most distinguished dissertation in the Humanities completed at Georgetown University.

Student honors

  • Mayumi Hoshino, Department of History, has been selected by the Organization of American Historians (OAH) to receive an  OAH/Immigration and Ethnic History Society John Higham Travel Grant for graduate students to be used toward costs of attending the OAH/IEHS annual meeting. 
  • Linguistics graduate student Traci Nagle was named a Presidential Member at the American Dialect Society's 2008 annual meeting.  Traci also received the Laurence Urdang/Dictionary Society of North America Award in Lexicography, $2,500
  • Paula Dias, an undergraduate student majoring in Anthropology, has been selected as a 2008 Beinecke Scholar. The $34,000 award supports graduate study in the arts, humanities or social sciences.

College raises graduate student funding

Graduate students are the core of IUs instructional workforce, teaching classes, managing discussion and lab sections, grading and doing research. This Fall, the College reaffirmed its commitment to graduate student employees by raising stipends for hundreds of graduate student associate instructors and grading assistants to a minimum of $11,000 for a 10-month, half-time appointment. Combined with health insurance and fee remissions, this represents a minimum compensation package worth more than $38,000 / year. The increased stipends make IU a more appealing place for students to pursue advanced degrees and thereby improves the ability of College programs to attract the very best graduate students in the country.
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