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Dean's Alumni Newsletter: June 2009

Image of Dean Diehl with COLA seal

Dear Friends,

Summer break is in full swing and there are plenty of exciting developments within the College of Liberal Arts.

As you’ve learned, the college will play an important role in the university’s eight-year capital campaign to raise $3 billion to extend the reach of its research and educational opportunities. A portion of campaign gifts will go toward constructing a much-needed liberal arts building, which will house the departments of Sociology, Geography and the Environment, Linguistics, Anthropology, American Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Religious Studies, Plan II Honors and Liberal Arts Honors. Anchored by the Population Research Center, the 200,000 sq. ft. center will include 30 state-of-the-art multimedia classrooms and a vast array of computer and research labs.

Sustainability and environmental consciousness are major elements at the university, and this building, which we aim to receive Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, is an example of our effort to decrease our carbon footprint.

While some things are changing, the exceptional performance of our faculty, students, staff and alumni remains constant. I hope you enjoy the following update about their most recent honors, events and news and that you will visit our homepage often to stay involved in the life of the college. We wouldn't be in this position without your support. Thank you for making it possible for the college to flourish.

Student and Faculty Awards and Recognition
We have a number of students who have won impressive awards in the last few months. The college honored five incoming freshmen, Katherine Kling, Lindsey Maxon, Nolan Oldham, Natalie San Luis and Michael Wham, with a Dedman Distinguished Scholarship, which provides $13,000 per academic year for four years, as well as supplemental funding for study abroad programs. Two grad students Megan Reid (Sociology) and Jerry Lord (Anthropology) each earned $20,000 fellowships from the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to pursue their research on hurricane-related trauma. Marissa Duswalt (Nutrition and Plan II Honors) has been selected as a 2009 Truman Scholar. See the college’s News section for more about these and other accomplishments of students and alumni.

From our faculty, David Oshinsky, professor of history, earned the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Dean's Medal for significant contributions to the field of public health. James Loehlin, professor of English, and David Crew, professor of history, have been named to the university's prestigious Academy of Distinguished Teachers for outstanding teaching. H.W. Brands, professor of history earned a Pulitzer-Prize nomination for his book "Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt." Denise Spellberg, associate professor of history, has been awarded a two-year grant of up to $100,000 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York for a book project titled "Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders." The university’s Friar Society awarded Sean Theriault, associate professor of government, the 2009-10 Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship for undergraduate teaching excellence. You can read more about what our faculty is up to in The Insider.

Digital Media Spotlight: New Edition of Life & Letters Now Online
In our new issue of Life & Letters, titled “The American Citizen and Modern Democracy,” we introduce you to the researchers and thought-leaders who shape national and international policy issues.

We hope you enjoy reading about the college's community of scholars, whose research, teaching and service will ensure the college remains a competitive resource – and recruiting ground – for the next generation of scholars, business leaders and policymakers.

Staying in Touch
Along with a growing student population, our alumni community is growing as well. That’s why we are committed to developing more and better ways to keep you connected—to each other, to new generations of students, and to your college. Tell us how you are changing the world and share a photo of yourself proudly showing off your “Hook ’em” hand sign by adding a profile to the new alumni Web site Get Your Horns UP (And Say Cheese!).

For more news about the College of Liberal Arts' community of scholars and alumni, become a fan of the College of Liberal Arts on Facebook.

As always, we appreciate your ongoing interest and support and hope that you will keep in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.

Randy L. Diehl, Dean

Supporting Liberal Arts

The generous support of alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the university allows the College of Liberal Arts to recruit and retain outstanding faculty members and provide the best programs for our students.

If you are interested in supporting the college, we invite you to consider making a gift. The college relies on private philanthropy to broaden support for scholarships, study abroad opportunities, faculty and graduate students. Gifts to the college ensure students are able to experience the same life-changing education you enjoyed.

Learn more about how to support the College of Liberal Arts…

Dean's Circle

Become a partner in transforming lives by joining the Dean's Circle. The Dean's Circle giving society acknowledges alumni and friends who have committed to making an immediate impact through unrestricted funds. All members will be recognized on the college's Web site, receive periodic reports from the Dean, as well as the college's magazine Life & Letters. Members will also be invited to attend a number of events, including a special annual Liberal Arts reception.

If you would like to learn more about giving opportunities, including special contribution levels for young alumni joining the Dean's Circle, please email us.