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In Focus: 1/24/2013

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Faculty Authors

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The five faculty members who published books in 2012 gathered recently to discuss their work. Shown here from left to right are Eric Selbin, professor of political science and University Scholar; Francis Mathieu, assistant professor of French; Alison Marr, assistant professor of mathematics; Terry Johnson, assistant dean for student multicultural affairs; and Herbert Genzmer, visiting assistant professor of German.

Top News

SOUTHWESTERN LAUNCHES NEW INITIATIVE FUNDED BY HHMI GRANT

Last May, Southwestern received a $1.3 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) that is part of a nationwide $50 million science education initiative.

This year, Southwestern students are starting to learn what this new initiative will mean for them. In January, Southwestern officially launched the HHMI-Southwestern Inquiry Initiative.

Over the next four years, this initiative will help Southwestern overhaul its science curriculum to make it more engaging and enriching for students through a technique known as inquiry-based learning, or student-centered learning.

Chemistry professors Emily Niemeyer and Maha Zewail-Foote are co-directors of the new program, and Alexis Kropf, a 2012 Southwestern graduate, has been hired to serve as program coordinator.

Read more here.

SOUTHWESTERN PROFESSOR IS AT THE FOREFRONT OF NEW RESEARCH ON CHINESE ART HISTORY 

China’s booming economy and the resulting construction has had an unexpected side effect – the unearthing of many previously undiscovered archaeological sites. These sites contain a wealth of treasures, including solid jade coffins and body suits in which the deceased were buried. Even the burial sites themselves are providing new clues into Chinese history.

Allison Miller, an assistant professor of art history at Southwestern, is at the forefront of research on these newly discovered tombs and treasures.

Miller, who specializes in Asian art, has been interested in the burial sites of the Chinese ruling elite since she wrote about the topic for her Ph.D. dissertation at Harvard. As a result of contacts she made while she was at Harvard, Miller has been one of the first Western scholars to see items from some of the most recently discovered tombs.

“Right now is very exciting time to work in the field of Chinese studies,” Miller said. “Every year new texts and objects are coming out of the ground and they are changing everything we know about ancient China.”

Read more here.

Events

ART EXHIBIT OPENS JAN. 28

An exhibit featuring paintings by Austin artist Michael Mogavero and art from the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Sexuality and Reproduction will open in the Fine Arts Gallery Jan. 28 and run through March 3. The gallery is open from 1-5 p.m. daily.An opening reception for the exhibit will be held Jan. 28 from 5:30-7 p.m.

The exhibit is being held in conjunction with Southwestern’s 35th annual Brown Symposium, which will be held Jan. 28.

CELLIST TO GIVE FACULTY RECITAL FEB. 4

Cellist Hai Zheng and pianist Koyoshi Tamagawa will give a faculty recital on Monday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theater. The program will include works by Robert Schumann, Alexander Tcherepnin, Robert Kritz and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

The concert is free and open to the public. For more information, call The Sarofim School of Fine Arts at 512-863-1504.

FACULTY AND GUEST ARTIST RECITAL SET FOR FEB. 5

Pianist Chuck Dillard and soprano Dana Zenobi will give a guest and faculty recital on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7 p.m. in the Alma Thomas Theatre. The two will perform Clairières dans le ciel (“Clearings in the Sky”), a 13-song cycle composed by Lili Boulanger and based on poems by Francis Jammes.

Dillard is on the faculty of the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas at Austin and Zenobi is an assistant professor of applied music at Southwestern.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, call 512-863-1504.

Media Coverage

The Williamson County Sun did a story about the three presidential finalists.

The Cedar Park-Leander Statesman covered Southwestern students who volunteered for the National Day of Service on Martin Luther King Day. Read the story here.

The Williamson County Sun did a preview of the upcoming Brown Symposium.

Notables

Bob Bednar, associate professor of communication studies, and Joshua Long, assistant professor of environmental studies, were both asked to provide articles for the first issue of The End of Austin project, a new online publication devoted to examining Austin’s shifting identity.  Read Bednar’s piece here. Read Long’s piece here.

Melissa Kravetz, visiting assistant professor of history, presented a paper titled “Building the Volksgemeinschaft: Women Doctors working for the BDM and Reichsmütterdienst” at the American Historical Association meeting held Jan. 3-7 in New Orleans. The presentation was part of a panel she organized titled “Everyday Effort: Promoting Positive Population Policies within Nazi Organizations.”

Tim O’Neill, professor of political science and holder of the Tower-Hester Chair in Politics, had his review of Cardonnel, et al (eds), Constitutionalising [sic] The EU Judiciary System, published in the Law and Politics Review, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 30-33 (January 2013).

Patricia Schiaffini, part-time assistant professor of Chinese, published a chapter titled “On the Margin of Tibetanness: Three Decades of Sinophone Tibetan Literature” in the book Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader edited by Shu-mei Shih, Chien-hsin Tsai and Brian Bernard (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013).

Maha Zewail-Foote, associate professor of chemistry, co-authored a paper titled “Science for the ‘Haves’” in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, which was published this month.