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October 2013 Archives

Accolades October 31, 2013

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Professor Korey Konkol (music) has received the Master Teacher: Studio award from the Minnesota String & Orchestra Teachers Association.

Associate Professor Scott Lipscomb (music) was invited to attend and blog about the World Science Festival's panel discussion on the topic of "The Art of the Score: The Mind, Music, and Moving Images." The panel was facilitated by actor Alec Baldwin and included Joel and Ethan Coen (writers, directors, and producers), Carter Burwell, and Aniruddh Patel (neuroscientist), who mentions Scott's work in his comments. (The video is very entertaining. -ed.)

Professor Gordon Legge (psychology) received the Charles F. Prentice Medal, the highest award from the American Academy of Optometry. His research has been broadly aimed at a number of issues that are central to optometry, from elucidating the sensory and neural mechanisms of normal binocular vision, to understanding the sensory effects of low vision and the factors that limit reading.

Professor Howard Lavine (political science) is the editor of Advances in Political Psychology, the new publication series sponsored by the International Society of Political Psychology.

Emeritus Professors Ed Griffin (English), John Howe (history), and John Adams (geography) are on the editorial board of a new online journal out of the U of M: The Journal of Opinions, Ideas, and Essays. The board of editors invites submissions from any member of the University community, past or present. You may view the inaugural issue online. Ed's article in the inaugural issue is called "Jim's Secrets: What Mark Twain Knew but Huck Finn Didn't."

Professor Emerita Toni McNaron (English) publishes her latest book, a spiritual memoir entitled Into the Paradox: Conservative Spirit, Feminist Politics, as of today through Amazon.com as a paperback or as an e-book.

Professor Emerita Valerie Miner (English) published a new novel Traveling with Spirits. Read the Boston Globe review.

Graduate students Caitlin McHugh and Jessica Appoloni (both English) have won two of the ten fellowships in the inaugural Academy for Advanced Study in the Renaissance program. The fellowships support five weeks in Italy working with a distinguished group of senior scholars representing a broad range of thought about the Renaissance. Each fellow receives a stipend of $10,000 in addition to room, board, and airfare.

Ph.D. candidate Amanda Taylor (English) has been selected for the Center for Renaissance Studies' fall 2013 ten-week graduate seminar, History of Emotions, Medieval and Early Modern, at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Accolades October 17, 2013

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Assistant Professor Alexander Fiterstein's (music) new album Carl Maria von Weber: Clarinet Concertos, with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, was recently released on Bridge Records. This album was funded in part by a Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry and Scholarship from the Office of the Vice President for Research. The San Francisco Chronicle said of the album, "Fiterstein brings out both the economical grace of the slow movements and the athletic virtuosity of the finales." Fiterstein will also give a concert titled Classics to Klezmer on Sunday, October 20 at Adath Jeshurun Congregation (Minnetonka).

Professor Lydia Artymiw (music) was artist-in-residence at the Gulangyu Piano Academy (Beijing's Central Conservatory) in Xiamen, China from September 22 to 26, where she presented four master classes (piano) and performed a solo recital in the Concert Hall of the Academy. She then traveled to Hong Kong where she presented another master class at the Hong Kong Performing Arts Academy on September 27. Artymiw will also headline concerts with the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra under the baton of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski on November 14 and 15 at Ted Mann Concert Hall.

Professor Riv-Ellen Prell (American studies) was elected chair of the Academic Council of the American Jewish Historical Society for a three-year term beginning on January 1, 2014.

Professor Wendy Rahn (political science) is part of a team who will examine public attitudes toward raw milk regulation in four Midwestern states in their project Public Opinion About an Emerging Food Policy Issue: Where Evidence, Policy and Politics Intersect. The project will assess how scientific evidence and political messages compete to shape the public's views toward raw milk. The study, funded by Food Policy Research Center, will provide applied knowledge for food policy stakeholders about a locally-relevant and evolving regulatory issue with significant public health and safety implications.

Associate Professor Andrea Stanislav (art) brought her migratory, interactive performative sculpture/walk, Reflect, to the Moscow subway system and the fifth annual Moscow Bienniale last month. It was the first known performance of an art work in the Moscow subway. In Reflect, Andrea and co-artist Dean Lozow traverse the space wearing clothing covered in one-inch diameter mirrored buttons. They trade the buttons in exchange for portraits taken of passersby with a point-and-shoot camera. The dispersive sculpture comments on ideas of image capture, as each portrait is then digitally printed onto a button and the portraits accumulate on the garments as a reflection and metaphoric "soul collection" of the communities.

Assistant Professor Sophia Beal (Spanish & Portuguese studies) has recently published her first book, Brazil Under Construction: Fiction and Public Works (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Beal's book examines how writers successfully use fiction--with its mystery, contradiction, wordplay, and fantasy--to engage the unprecedented role of public works in shaping perceptions of Brazil's modernization.

CLA Sept. 23 Open Forum Recap

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As a follow-up to this year's State of the College address, Interim Dean Raymond Duvall held an open forum on Monday, September 23rd where faculty and staff were invited to share their comments and questions regarding the 2013-14 collegiate agenda. Dean Duvall began the conversation by asking attendees to share their own sense of collegiate priorities for the upcoming year, and--bearing in mind the objectives laid out during the State of the College address--inquired about what CLA priorities should be. Conversations developed around the following themes:

• The continued relevance of a liberal arts education and the extent to which that is related to professional and career development.
It is essential that we maintain our unwavering commitment to the value of liberal arts education. We must also be vigorous in telling the story--broadly and effectively--of that value. However, we should simultaneously ask whether and how we might do more to equip our students for productive career paths. Is there room for us to be more attentive--both within CLA and in conjunction with other Colleges--to students' needs and interests? Connecting with former CLA students who can speak to the strength of an undergraduate degree in the liberal arts is a key component of the College's communication plan for the upcoming year.
• The necessity of increasing our student retention rates across the College over the next year (and beyond). Are there areas within CLA, specifically in relation to the student experience and the aim of increasing retention rates, where the College could be more nimble? Today's students have different skill sets and interests, and we must be able to engage them in a flexible manner while remaining committed to our core mission. Might it be possible to make it easier for students to graduate with a double major? Can we consider more clearly defined career tracks (health science, for instance)? Are we setting up unnecessary roadblocks to teaching and research? Acknowledging that nimbleness and flexibility can be difficult to achieve in a college of our size, we must be able to meet our undergraduate and graduate students' interests and our faculty's research needs more quickly and efficiently.
• Ensuring faculty participation and support in meeting financial and academic goals. Provost Hanson has charged Dean Duvall with two tasks--one financial, one academic. While we should not seek to draw faculty away from their research, graduate advising, and undergraduate teaching, it is imperative that administration and units work together to meet collective goals. It is the dean's office's hope that there will be sustained conversation between chairs and administrators about how academic units can work together more effectively to help the college move forward with collegiate objectives. Acknowledging that departments tire of bureaucratic systems, encouraging this kind of collaborative thinking will hopefully engage faculty on a deeper level and provide departments with the latitude they and their faculty need to take innovative risks with regard to research and teaching.
• Concern around President Kaler's recent announcement regarding $90 million in future administrative cuts and how this will ultimately impact academic units. Dean Duvall stated that CLA administration will begin distributing further information as it becomes available but doesn't anticipate that the administrative cuts will result in significant additional stress for departments. President Kaler has indicated that this is not a matter of cutting, but rather a reallocation of funds (specifically, allocating additional funds to mission).