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Dean's Alumni Newsletter: January 2010

Image of Dean Diehl with COLA seal

Dear Friends,

As we look back over the past year in the College of Liberal Arts, we have reason to celebrate the achievements of our faculty, students and staff. Some of these accomplishments are highlighted below.

You can read more articles about some of the fascinating research our faculty is conducting as well as a cover story on the new Liberal Arts building in the autumn issue of Life & Letters.

I hope that after reading Life & Letters, you're as excited as I am about the new building and the long-term opportunities it will provide.

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

Alumni, Student, and Faculty Awards and Recognition

Grace Eckhoff, a plan II/Biology senior, has been named a Marshall Scholar, one of 40 people from across the nation who earned the scholarship to study abroad in the United Kingdom.

You can read more about what our students are up to in The Student Lounge.

From our faculty, Marc Musick, professor of sociology and associate dean for student affairs, won the Best Book Award for "Volunteers: A Social Profile" from the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organization and Voluntary Action.

Robert Koons, professor of philosophy, has been elected to the senate of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation's oldest academic honor society.

Liza Shapiro, professor of anthropology, and two fellow researchers,  University of Texas graduate Kathleen Whitcome and Daniel Lieberman, who are both at Harvard won an Ig Nobel Prize dedicated to "achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think"  for a 2007 study on the evolutionary reasons pregnant women don't tip over.

Cynthia Buckley, chair of the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies and associate professor of sociology, has been awarded a $960,345 grant from the National Science Foundation for her project titled "People, Power, and Conflict in the Eurasian Migration System." Learn more about her research.

Carl Blyth, director of the Texas Language Technology Center, has won a two-year award of $263,0000 from the U.S. Department of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education to develop a sustainable publishing model for foreign language instructional materials to combat the rising costs of textbooks.

You can read more about what our faculty is up to in The Insider.

From our alumni, Norman German (English, '79) discusses his new book "A Savage Wisdom," which was inspired by the life, crimes and legends of Annie Beatrice McQuiston, aka Toni Jo Henry, the only woman executed in Louisiana. Visit ShelfLife@Texas to read his Q&A.

Call for Nominations: 2010 Pro Bene Meritis Awards

Nominate distinguished alumni, faculty members and friends of the College of Liberal Arts for the 2010 Pro Bene Meritis Award. Nominations must be received by 12 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11 2010. Download a nomination form.

Research Spotlight

Online social networks such as Facebook are being used to express and communicate real personality, instead of an idealized virtual identity, according to new research from psychologist Sam Gosling. Visit the college's news section for more research updates.

Staying in Touch

Our alumni community continues to grow and we remain committed to developing more and better ways to keep you connected--to each other, to new generations of students, and to your college.

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 you 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.