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Dean's Alumni Newsletter: October 2009

Image of Dean Diehl with COLA seal

Dear Friends,

This is a historic time for the College of Liberal Arts. This fall marks the beginning of the 20th year of the Liberal Arts Honors Program (LAH). Since it began in 1990, the LAH program has attracted first rank students to the university and set them on the path to graduating with an honors degree.

This fall also marks the 100th anniversary of the Graduate School. We celebrated last month with a special event featuring Bob Taylor, a psychology alumnus who helped create the Internet when he worked for the Department of Defense and Xerox in the 1960s and 1970s. He shared his story and his thoughts about the future of computers and society. He is an exceptional example of a liberal arts alumnus who has literally changed the world.

Below are some recent honors, events and news from the College of Liberal Arts.  I hope you visit our homepage often to stay involved with the college.

Faculty, students and Alumni Awards and Recognition

Sociology graduate student Danielle Dirks has been awarded the Donald D. Harrington Graduate Fellowship for her dissertation research on the death penalty. The fellowship is one of the highest honors awarded to graduate students at the university, for the 2009-10 academic year. Learn more about the Harrington Fellows.

Six liberal arts professors earned Outstanding Teaching Awards from the University of Texas System Board of Regents. The awards, ranging from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on level of experience, are among the largest in the country for outstanding undergraduate faculty performance and innovation.

The recipients are:

  • James Cox, assistant professor, Department of English
  • Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, distinguished teaching professor, Department of English
  • Thomas Garza, distinguished teaching professor, Department of Slavic Languages and Literature
  • G. Howard Miller, distinguished teaching associate professor and Friar Centennial Teaching Fellow, Department of History
  • Karl Miller, assistant professor, Department of History
  • Penne Restad, senior lecturer, Department of History

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

From our alumni, the 2009 Texas Exes Distinguished Alumni recipients will be honored at a presentation in Austin on Friday, Oct. 9.

The recipients are:

  • Darren Walker (BS and BA '82, JD '86), vice president of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York.
  • Edward C. Prado (BA '69, JD '72), a distinguished U.S. circuit judge in San Antonio with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Lee Godfrey (BA '66, JD '69), co-managing partner of Susman Godfrey LLP, a firm with offices in Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles, and New York.

Research Spotlight:

Daniel Hamermesh, the Sue Killam Professor in The Foundations of Economics, released new findings in a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research revealing that higher earners snack on food more frequently and stay healthier than lower earners. Read more about his findings. 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. 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 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.