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Dean's Alumni Newsletter: March 2007

Photo: Judith Langlois, Dean ad interim

Dear Friends,

The university presented its highest honors at an awards dinner on Jan. 22. It was a banner night for the college, as nine of the 12 award recipients are from Liberal Arts. I was deeply honored to be included as a recipient, along with Paul Woodruff (Philosophy), of the Civitatis Award for my commitment to the university. I am proud to serve alongside such talented and devoted colleagues.

As you may know, a national search for a new dean of the college began after Richard Lariviere, dean since 1999, announced he would leave his post to become provost and executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas. The search committee narrowed the candidates to four accomplished finalists who are currently visiting campus to meet with administrators, faculty, staff and students. This is an exciting time for Liberal Arts and we look forward to welcoming a new dean to take the helm of this robust and diverse college.

Please enjoy a glimpse of the tremendous work of our faculty members, and I thank you for your continued interest and support.

Judith Langlois,
Dean ad interim, College of Liberal Arts


Itty Abraham (Asian Studies) is the new director of the South Asia Institute.

The Institute for the German Language (Institut fuer Deutsche Sprache) in Mannheim, Germany, awarded Hans Boas (Germanic Studies) the 2007 Hugo-Moser Prize for Germanic Linguistics. He will receive the prize in March at the institute's annual meeting.

Cynthia Buckley (Sociology) will serve as a senior resource faculty member for the regional policy symposium on "The Former Soviet Republics of Central Asia and the Contemporary Silk Road" in April.  The U.S. Department of State is sponsoring the policy development workshop.

Don Graham (English) received the Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching.

Mark Lawrence’s (History) book, "Assuming the Burden: Europe and the American Commitment to War in Indochina," won both the George Louis Beer Prize and the Paul Birdsall Prize from the American Historical Association. The History News Network also named him one of the nation's "Top Young Historians".

David Oshinsky (History) and Robert Solomon (Philosophy) (posthumously) were named winners of the 2007 Pro Bene Meritis awards.

Emilio Zamora (History) earned a research fellowship from theJ. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board for 2007-08 to study early 20th century bi-national relations between Mexican communities on both sides of the international border.


Hina Azam (Middle Eastern Studies) spoke with the Austin American-Statesman about the Web site

The Houston Chronicle profiled Larry Carver's (Liberal Arts Honors) class "Reacting to the Past."

Jason Casellas and Gary Keith (Government) spoke about the 23rd District Congressional runoff race in an Associated Press article that ran in news outlets across the globe, including the Boston Herald, San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post.

The Christian Science Monitor interviewed Tom Palaima (Classics) about soldiers' experience of war.

Jacqueline Woolley (Psychology) wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times about children's ability to distinguish fact from fiction.

The Jan. 1 issue of Psychology Today featured research from four different Liberal Arts faculty: Robert Josephs, James Pennebaker, Sam Gosling and David Buss.


The College of Liberal Arts lost a talented and valued friend this year. Robert C. Solomon died Tuesday, Jan. 2 at the age of 64. He was the Quincy Lee Centennial Professor of Business and Philosophy and a Distinguished Teaching Professor.

Solomon published more than 40 books on ethics and the history of philosophy. He was also a lecturer and consultant world-wide for a variety of institutions and corporations and appeared in the 2001 film "Waking Life."


The support of alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the college allows us to recruit outstanding faculty members and provide the best programs for our students. You can learn more about how to make a gift to the College of Liberal Arts at

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