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Noteworthy Announcements in the College of Arts & Sciences


And the Winner Is ...  (posted 04-24-2019)#

A&S students, faculty and alumni are walking off with some of the University's biggest awards. From Tim Green '86, L'94 receiving The Chancellor's Medal, to Anthropology Professor Hans Buechlers marking 50 years of service, to junior writing major Amelia Lefevre being part of the inaugural cohort of SOURCE awardees, members of A&S are renowned for their commitment to teaching, research, creativity and service. 

In the News (posted 04-24-2019)#

Members of A&S have recently garnered national and international coverage for their research and commentary. TIME, CNN and Science magazine are a few of the dozens of media outlets that, since March, have featured our faculty.

Tim Green

A&S Leads Fight Against ALS (posted 04-24-2019)#

Members of A&S are leading the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. They include Tim Green ’86, L’94 (shown here), a former NFL player, author and commentator, who recently announced his diagnosis on “60 Minutes”; Carlos Castaneda, assistant professor of biology and chemistry, who is overseeing two research projects that could lead to new treatments for ALS and other neurological disorders; and Elizabeth Krisanda ’86 and Monica Shworles ’05, executive director and regional development manager, respectively, of the Upstate New York Chapter of the ALS Association.

Jason Wiles

Dear Science and Religion: We Need to Talk (posted 04-23-2019)#

Biology professor Jason Wiles is part of The Clergy Letter Project, a national organization supporting an interfaith dialogue on science and religion. In recent weeks, he has talked to various outlets, including The Humanist and SparkDialog, about the importance of teaching and learning biological evolution. “In matters where various traditions are in dialogue, humanist voices must be represented,” says Wiles, also a chaplain and celebrant of The Humanist Society. Since its inception in 2004, The Clergy Letter Project has grown to include more than a thousand scientists and approximately 16,300 clergy from different faiths.

Casarae Gibson

Professor Named Lender Center Fellow (posted 04-23-2019)#

Casarae Gibson, assistant professor of African American studies, is the inaugural Lender Faculty Fellow of the Lender Center for Social Justice. She will use the two-year fellowship to explore the impact of social media on social justice trends. The new multidisciplinary center is named for Marvin Lender ’63, an A&S alumnus and a Life Trustee member of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees, and his wife, Helaine (Gold) ’65.

Ariel Chu

Creative Writing Student Wins Soros Fellowship (posted 04-12-2019)#

Ariel Chu, a student in the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, is a 2019 recipient of the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. She will use the prestigious fellowship to complete work on a novel about intergenerational family trauma. “It gives me more time to spend on my projects and to carve out more inclusive spaces in academia,” says the Taiwanese American writer, who also teaches writing and rhetoric in A&S. Chu joins 29 other new Soros Fellows, selected from more than 1,750 candidates.

Kate Lewis

Biologist Awarded Meredith Professorship (posted 04-12-2019)#

Congratulations to Biology Professor Katharine (Kate) Lewis, a recipient of the 2019-22 Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professorship for Teaching Excellence. For her Meredith Project, Lewis will measure the impact of post-exam reflection tools on student learning outcomes. She is director of the Integrated Learning Major in Neuroscience and faculty co-director of the Women in Science and Engineering program.

Tessa Murphy

A&S Dominates Meredith Teaching Awards (posted 04-12-2019)#

All but two of this year's Meredith Teaching Recognition awardees are from A&S. They are Sarah Fuchs (art & music histories); Shannon Houck (psychology); Robin Jones G’02, G’12 (neuroscience/biology); Christa Kelleher (Earth sciences); and Tessa Murphy (history). Kelleher and Murphy (shown here) also are part of Engineering & Computer Science and the Maxwell School, respectively. The award recognizes the accomplishments of a non-tenured faculty member.

Judy Zelisko

Manufacturing Institute Honors A&S Alumna (posted 04-12-2019)#

Judith P. Zelisko ’72, a member of the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Advisory Board, is a 2019 recipient of the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award from the Manufacturing Institute. The Lake Forest, Illinois, resident heads up Brunswick’s Corporate Tax Department, which is responsible for worldwide tax planning and U.S. tax compliance. Brunswick is a market leader in the marine, fitness and billiards industries.

Martin Luther King Jr.

AAS to Mark 50th Anniversary of Black Studies Movement (posted 04-05-2019)#

The Department of African American Studies (AAS) marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Studies movement with The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Public Affairs Lecture on Monday, April 15, from 5:30-7:15 p.m. in Watson Theater. Free and open to the public, the event features panelists Carol Henderson (University of Delaware), Jared Ball (Morgan State University) and Dana Williams (Howard University).

AAS also is behind the inaugural Digital Humanities Research Symposium on Wednesday, April 24, from 4-6 p.m. in 304 Schine. The program highlights student scholarship in AAS, English, and art and music histories.

Wildebeest on the Serengeti

African Ecosystem Endangered, Biologist Warns (posted 04-01-2019)#

Biology Professor Mark Ritchie is part of an international study of the effects of human activity on Africa’s Serengeti-Mara ecosystem—the largest, most protected on Earth. Drawing on more than 40 years of data, he has observed a 400-percent increase in the human population in some boundary areas and up to a 75-percent drop in larger wildlife species populations, particularly on the Kenyan side. “Keeping people out of an area to protect biodiversity is not enough. We need to address human activities and conservation outside the reserves, as well,” says Ritchie, co-author of an article on the subject in the journal Science (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2019).

Big Bang explosion

Pushing the Boundaries of Physics (posted 03-28-2019)#

Two high-energy physics faculty members have made headlines with infinitesimal particles. Distinguished Professor Sheldon Stone has confirmed that matter and antimatter behave differently, possibly explaining why the Big Bang produced matter, not just a burst of energy. Professor Tomasz Skwarnicki has discovered properties of particles called pentaquarks that could help us understand structures such as ultra-dense stars. Both sets of findings involve the CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, and are supported by the National Science Foundation.

Photo of Nancy MacLean

Origins of Radical Right  (posted 03-22-2019)#

Join award-winning author Nancy MacLean as she speaks on the history and impact of the radical right on American society. Her book, Democracy in Chains, has won several awards and has also been named “the most valuable book” of the year by Nation Magazine. The event is free and open to the public.

hawks on Lyman Hall

Live Cam to Capture Hawk Eggs Hatching on Campus (posted 03-14-2019)#

If you are among the thousands of followers of the University’s red-tailed hawk family, you will have a better bird’s-eye view of them, thanks to a new high-definition, pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera system on Lyman Hall. Anne Marie Patti Higgins ’76, G’90 has donated the cameras in memory of her husband, Thomas Higgins L’67, a Syracuse City Court judge and an avid birdwatcher. "I anticipate a clutch of eggs within the next week or two," she says. Click on the University’s red-tailed hawk nest cam to view the family’s activities in real time, including flights to and from their nests.  

Elizabeth Elton and Katherine Rock-Vo

Syracuse Shines at Applied Linguistics Conference (posted 03-13-2019)#

Elizabeth Elton '18 (far left) and Katherine Rock-Vo were among a group of M.A. students in linguistic studies, along with a member of the Certificate of Advanced Studies in Language Teaching program, invited to present their research at the Applied Linguistics Winter Conference at Binghamton University. “Our students showed that linguistics-infused research around technology and media is an integral part of language teaching and learning,” says Amanda Brown, associate professor of linguistics in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. Two M.A. students also presented their findings at the regional workshop of the Language Educators of Central New York.

Scott Freeney

A&S Adviser to be Inducted into Athens Athletic Hall of Fame (posted 03-12-2019)#

Congratulations to Scott Freeney ’97 on his induction into the Athens (Ga.) Athletic Hall of Fame. A four-year letter winner and starter at linebacker and defensive tackle, he helped lead Syracuse football to victory in the Fiesta Bowl (1992), the Gator Bowl (1996) and the Liberty Bowl (1996). Today, the Athens native brings that same winning mentality to academic and career advising in A&S. “Scott’s extraordinary career as a student athlete, followed by his professional success, is inspiring to all students,” says Steve Schaffling, assistant dean of student success.

Sally Cornelison

Florence Graduate Program Awarded Multi-Year Grant (posted 03-08-2019)#

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, a supporter of the Florence Graduate Program in Italian Renaissance Art since 2011, has awarded the distinguished program its first multi-year grant, totaling $125,000. "The five-year award aids recruiting by supporting two M.A. students each year with Kress-Florence Legacy Fellowships," says Professor Sally Cornelison G'89 (shown here), the program's director and the grant's principal investigator. "Kress' support helps defray the cost of traveling to and from Italy, as well as living there." Founded in 1964, the Florence Graduate Program is uniquely structured around three intensive terms of study: the first in Syracuse and the second two in Florence.

Jessica MacDonald

Biologist Awarded Grants to Study Rett Syndrome (posted 02-27-2019)#

Assistant Professor Jessica MacDonald has received two grant awards supporting her ongoing research into Rett Syndrome—a severe, progressive neurodevelopmental disorder, for which there is no cure nor effective treatment. "Rett is caused by genetic mutations in the brain," she says. "The MacDonald Lab is interested in the role vitamin D might play in reducing the symptoms of this disorder, and in understanding the underlying mechanisms." MacDonald's research is jointly funded by a five-year grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and a two-year grant from (a.k.a. The International Rett Syndrome Foundation). 

Student, Alumna Study Abroad at SEA (posted 02-24-2019)#

Kathryn Spencer ’20, a dual major in chemistry and forensic science, and Lindsay Moon ’18, an Earth sciences alumna, spent last fall sailing the world’s oceans aboard tall ships. As participants of the Sea Education Association (SEA), Spencer sailed along the New Zealand coast, exploring the environmental and cultural influences on its islands. Moon traveled in the Caribbean, studying human impact on coral reef ecosystems. Shown here is Spencer's research vessel, the SSV Robert C. Seamans. 

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Universal Pictures Options Faculty Novel  (posted 02-24-2019)#

Universal has optioned rights to the title story in “Friday Black” (Mariner Books, 2018) by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah G’16, a graduate of Syracuse’s top-ranked M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, who teaches English and creative writing to University undergraduates. The New York Times bestseller, which explores themes of racism, violence and consumerism, has drawn comparisons to works by Ralph Ellison, Kurt Vonnegut and Anton Chekov. (Photo courtesy of Limitless Imprint Entertainment.)

Theo Cateforis

Professor Elected President of Popular Music Society (posted 02-24-2019)#

Theo Cateforis, associate professor of music history and cultures, is the new president of the U.S. branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. A specialist in contemporary American music, he also is author of “The Rock History Reader” (Routledge), whose third edition came out in January 2019.

Ph.D. Candidate Named Harvard Junior Fellow (posted 02-24-2019)#

Suraj Shankar, a Ph.D. candidate in physics, has accepted a Junior Fellowship from Harvard University’s Society of Fellows. Upon graduating in May, he may be Syracuse’s first alumnus to join the prestigious society, entitling him to lifetime membership. Only one or two physicists become Junior Fellows each year—five have won The Nobel Prize in Physics. Shankar’s doctoral advisor is Professor M. Cristina Marchetti.

Philosopher Awarded Harvard Fellowship (posted 02-24-2019)#

Christopher Noble, assistant professor of philosophy, is the recipient of a fellowship from Harvard's Loeb Classical Library Foundation for 2019-20. A specialist in ancient philosophy, he will use the award to work on a book about emotions and desires in Neoplatonism, a school of philosophical and religious thought rooted in the metaphysical teachings of Plato and Aristotle.

Emily Baker and Sam Caldwell

Hydrologists Publish Paper in Environmental Science Journal (posted 02-21-2019)#

The U.S. Geological Survey's Sam Caldwell G'18 and Ph.D. student Emily Baker (both shown here) use drone and infrared camera technology to understand the impact of storm water on creek-water temperatures. They, along with Earth Sciences Professors Christa Kelleher and Laura Lautz, have published their latest findings in Science of the Total Environment (Elsevier, 2019). 

Dalton Stevens

Student to Co-Author Paper in Medical Journal (posted 02-20-2019)#

Dalton Stevens G’17, a Ph.D. student in sociology, is the co-author of a forthcoming paper in British Medical Journal Open (BMJ, 2019), an online-only, open-access general medical journal. “The paper details the way the death certificate certification process hides specific causes of death for populations with developmental disability,” Stevens says. His co-authors are Scott Landes and Margaret Turk, professors at Syracuse and SUNY Upstate Medical University, respectively.

Jason Wiles

Professor Argues for Evolution Education Research (posted 02-20-2019)#

Jason R. Wiles (shown here), associate professor of biology, is the senior author of a paper in Nature Ecology and Evolution (Springer Nature, 2019). "We discuss the main factors associated with acceptance of evolution, and chart a path forward for evolution education research," says Wiles, adding that the paper's first author is Ryan Dunk, a Ph.D. candidate in his lab. 

David Kellen

Professor Earns Early-Career Award (posted 02-20-2019)#

David Kellen, assistant professor of psychology, is the recipient of the William K. Estes Early Career Award from the Society for Mathematical Psychology. Kellen uses mathematical concepts and language to explain mental processes, such as memory, perception and learning. 

High school students in lab

High School Students to Get Hands-on Biology Training in A&S (posted 02-20-2019)#

Students from the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central and Solvay High School will visit campus on March 6 and 20, respectively, for High School Biology Apprenticeship Days. Organized by Biology Professor Kate Lewis with support from the National Science Foundation, this annual program enables area teenagers to tour the Life Sciences Complex, participate in biology research and interact with A&S students and faculty.

Greg Hoke

Geologist Awarded Fulbright Scholarship (posted 02-20-2019)#

Gregory Hoke, associate professor and associate chair of Earth sciences, is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship at the University of Wroclaw in western Poland. As a member of the Core Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, he will spend nine months teaching and conducting research abroad. The award supports a study quantifying the amount and rates of glacial erosion in the Carpathian and Sudets mountains in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Jonathan Dee

Carver Series Continues with Jonathan Dee Feb. 27 (posted 02-19-2019)#

The Raymond Carver Reading Series continues with Jonathan Dee on Wednesday, Feb. 27. An assistant professor in Syracuse's top-ranked M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing, Dee is the author of six novels, including "The Locals" (Random House, 2017). The Pulitzer Prize finalist will participate in a Q&A session from 3:45-4:30 p.m. and then read some of his original work from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Both events take place in Gifford Auditorium of Huntington Beard Crouse Hall, and are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Sarah Harwell G'05, associate director of the M.F.A. program, at 315.443.2174 or (Photo by Jessica Marx)

Joeann Salvati

Psychology Alumna to Co-Author Article (posted 02-19-2019)#

Joeann Salvati '18 is the co-author of a forthcoming article with Shannon Houck, assistant teaching professor of psychology, in the "Journal of Applied Security Research" (Taylor & Francis, 2019). A pre-doctoral research fellow in Yale's Fundamentals of the Adolescent Brain Lab, Salvati studies the underlying mechanisms of deviant behavior. The psychology and forensic science dual major previously worked in Syracuse's Moral and Political Decision-Making Lab and Center for Autism Research and Electrophysiology.

Sally Temple

Neuroscience Research Day Accepting Poster Submissions (posted 02-19-2019)#

The Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program is accepting poster submissions for its fifth annual Neuroscience Research Day, taking place Friday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center (801 University Ave.) In addition to presentations by members of the College of Arts and Sciences, the program includes a keynote address by Sally Temple (shown here), scientific director of the Neural Stem Cell Institute. 

Spencer Stultz

CFAC Presents "A Time for Joy and a Time for Sorrow" (posted 02-18-2019)#

The Community Folk Art Center is presenting a solo show by Spencer Stultz '17, a master's candidate in Pan African studies, titled "A Time for Joy and a Time for Sorrow." The exhibit, which runs from Feb. 22-March 23, utilizes portraiture to explore notions of identity, spirituality and experience. 

Leonid Kovalev

Mathematician Awarded NSF Grant (posted 02-07-2019)#

Leonid Kovalev, professor of mathematics, is the recipient of a three-year grant award from the National Science Foundation, supporting ongoing research into metric spaces. “The notion of distance, or dissimilarity of objects, is ubiquitous in geometry, data analysis, image and signal processing, and other disciplines,” says Kovalev, adding that his work draws on the mathematical analysis and differential geometry of Rudolf Lipschitz, a 19th-century, German mathematician. “My project exposes graduate and undergraduate students to these concepts and associated research problems.”