ASA Founders Award for Franklin

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ChristineFranklin.jpgChristine Franklin, that is. It seems that every week is awards week for Franklin College faculty, as the American Statistical Association honored one of our best with its most prestigious award:

[ASA] recently presented its Founders Award to Christine Franklin, the Lothar Tresp Honoratus Honors Professor in the University of Georgia Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of statistics.

The ASA is the nation's preeminent professional statistical society, and the honor is presented annually to ASA members who have rendered distinguished and long-term service to the association. Franklin was honored during the presidential awards session at the 2014 Joint Statistical Meetings in Boston.

One of three recipients of the Founders Award in 2014, Franklin was recognized for her leadership in curriculum development and teaching statistics, her research and her professional service in helping grow the field of statistics education. An active member of ASA, Franklin is a longtime leader and champion of national efforts in statistics education, particularly in the area of implementing statistics in K-12 education.

"Statistics integrated into the K-12 curriculum is key for students developing the statistical reasoning skills necessary to make sense of the massive data that surrounds them on a daily basis, much of which students generate themselves," said Franklin, who also serves as the undergraduate coordinator for statistics at UGA.

The era big data is fully upon us and Franklin has recognized the importance of statistics education in the K-12 grades. Educators whose research and teaching identify important refinements for our broader educational system see such outstanding contributions as part of their duty. We are lucky to have Dr. Franklin on campus, an inspiration to students and colleagues alike. Our best wishes to her during her upcoming Fulbright Fellowship in New Zealand, where she will continue to work on this very important issue.

Franklin faculty honored with Regents awards

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Two Franklin College professors along with the First-Year Odyssey program, which if you remember also originated in the Franklin College, were honored with excellence awards from the USG Board of Regents:

• William Finlay, Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Sociology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded the Regents' Teaching Excellence Award;
• Paula Lemons, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology in the Franklin College, is the recipient of the Regents' Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award;
• The university's First-Year Odyssey Seminar program has received the Regents' Teaching Excellence Department/Program Award, giving UGA three of the seven statewide awards.

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Finlay, Meigs Professor and former head of the department of sociology, has received numerous accolades for his work. He has been awarded many of UGA's highest honors for faculty, including the Sandy Beaver Award and the Lothar Tresp Outstanding Professor Award. Finlay also has been named a Senior Teaching Fellow by the Center for Teaching and Learning; a Research Fellow by the Willson Center for Humanities and Arts; and a Wye Faculty Fellow by the Aspen Institute.

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Pavlić awarded National Poetry Series prize

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pavlicv2.jpgProfessor Ed Pavlić is one of our most accomplished faculty members, and even as a star among many, his sterling accomplishments as a poet, critic and cultural interlocutor stand out. His impressive resume recently received another bolded line as a winner of the Open Competition from the NPS for 2014:

The National Poetry Series recently announced the five winners of its 2014 Open Competition, which included "Let's Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno" by the University of Georgia's Ed Pavlić, a professor of English and creative writing in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

The National Poetry Series arranges publication of the winning books, scheduled to be released in summer 2015. The prize also includes a cash award, which has been raised to $10,000 from $1,000 thanks to a grant from the Lannan Foundation, which has awarded literary prizes since 1989.

About 1,200 manuscripts are entered for the open competition each year.

"Since the late 1970s, arguably more than any other American literary institution, the National Poetry Series has helped produce and publicize a portrait of our culture's real diversity, which is also its actuality," Pavlić said. "In a culture in which evidence, everywhere, seems designed, chillingly, to prove that all power is financial power and that all news is, at bottom, financial news, the Lannan Foundation's generous support of the NPS supports one crucial-at times seemingly powerless-need of the culture: that it be empowered, in ways against itself, for itself."

And indeed that is no small thing. In a society where money serves as the great indicator, it is notable that the NPS prize has been pushed into wider recognition with the increased prize purse. The publication of "Lets Let That Are Not Yet: Inferno" by Fence Books is the more important aspect, but if more people pay attention because of the added cultural currency (sorry), then all the better. Great job and congratulations to Pavlić.

 

Imagining America

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Kandinsky-Tension-in-Red_1.jpgConnecting the arts and humanities to a democratic revivial in the United States is more than an intriguing idea - the future of the cultural and political ideals of a diverse nation hangs in the balance. And while that may sound like hyperbole, consider the headwinds of violence, apathy, low-voter turnout, politcal disillusionment and eroding trust in institutions into which American society has turned in recent years. As much as that 'decision' has been driven by choice, short-term corporate self-interest and a certain passive willingness, so to will solutions to re-engage be a matter of choice. And many of the leading voices in American arts and humanities education are making that choice clear: reviving the public square, where the work of democracy takes place, is the focus of Imagining America:

As a growing consortium of over 100 colleges and universities, IA’s central aim is to engage people in the work of democratizing civic culture in the United States and beyond. We place our primary focus on the transformational task of democratizing the culture of higher education institutions through scholars and practitioners who draw on the arts, humanities, and design in their work. As a means to this end, IA’s staff and NAB members have been developing a “Theory of Change” that represents our collective answers to three key questions: (1) What is our assessment of the world as it is? (2) What is our vision of the world as it should be? (3) What strategies can we use to close the gap between what is and what should be?

This is inarguably an effort of which we should be a part. In every crucial sense, the humanities and arts at UGA are fundamental to expanding our students' views of the world and helping them chart a course to engaged citizenship. Across disciplines, our scholars in the classroom take this role quite literally; and when a university education, even at a state flagship as in the case of UGA, equals a rarified, highly-sought experience, our graduates taking responsibility out in the world is a crucial part of the exchange. This elevated sharing of expectations is what the liberal arts learning environment is about - and ours is healthy and robust. What we learn about in literature, history, language, fine arts and all manner of cultural studies is ourselves. We build the world that we will inhabit and bequeath, and this work is never complete.

So UGA would also be an important partner in the concert of IA efforts. It is empowering to think of the future of our country being a product of what is happening right here on our campus, every day.

Because it is.

Athens Photographers at the Dodd

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Lachowski-PhotoTopos1-Canon-AF35ML.jpgFriday evening, September 12 is a big evening for openings at the Lamar Dodd School of Art galleries, which will open four new exhibitions at once with a reception beginning at 6 p.m.:

LDSOA Galleries celebrates the opening of four new exhibitions: Ry Rocklen: Local Color in Gallery 307; Photo Topos 1 featuring Rinne Allen, Michael Lachowski, and Carl Martin in Gallery 101, Zipporah Thompson: Menagerie in the Suite Gallery, and Jessica Machacek + Ella Weber: Suspended Preservatives in the Plaza & Bridge Galleries

The Photo Topos 1 show, curated by Dodd associate director Asen Kirin, is of particular interest as it showcases the work of three prominent Athens photographers and represents a new direction for the Galleries. Lots of great work. See you at the Dodd tomorrow.

Image: Michael Lachowski: Canon AF35ML 1982, 2014

Archeology of the Anthropocene

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anthropocene-small.jpgThe terrific Athropocene Lecture Series continues tomorrow night, Sept. 11, in the Chapel at 7 p.m. with an Archeology of the Anthropocene:

 

We tend to think that the human capacity for changing the face of the planet as a relatively recent development. Often we attribute its beginnings to the industrial revolution. While certainly today humankind is altering the earth on a larger scale and faster pace that is unmatched in our history, our ability to modify large portions of the earth’s ecosystem is by no means a recent phenomenon. In which case, the argument for the start of the Anthropocene is more complicated than previously stated. From fire, to plant and animal domestication, to the extinction of species from around the globe, humans have significantly modified the planet for over 10,000 years. The archaeological record provides important clues to how past people managed entire landscapes successfully and the consequences for societies whose practices were unsustainable. 

Associate professor of anthropology, Victor Thompson studies the societies that occupied the coastal and wetland areas of the American Southeast - specifically the ritual and ceremonial landscapes, subsistence systems, and the political development of the peoples who occupied these areas over extended time frames. This lecture should be great. Remember to get there early.