New Beginnings, Growth Mark Start of New Year

Dr. Beth Wright, Dean of Liberal Arts
Dr. Beth Wright, Dean of Liberal Arts

Welcome to Fall 2013!

This is an exciting time at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Vistasp Karbhari began as our eighth president on June 1. UT Arlington was recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education as the sixth fastest growing public research university in the United States. And once again our classrooms are full of bright and enthusiastic students.

I hope that your summer was relaxing and stimulating and that you are ready to re-enter our academic community. We’re happy to let you know about several new developments and achievements.

Last month, the UT System recognized 63 faculty members across the state with Regents Outstanding Teaching Awards. Nine of them came from UT Arlington and two of the faculty members recognized are in the College of Liberal Arts: Dr. Rebecca Deen (Associate Professor and Department Chair of Political Science) and Dr. Josephine Caldwell-Ryan (Lecturer in Anthropology). UT Arlington’s students — graduate and undergraduate, majors or majors in other fields — are fortunate to have the opportunity to study with these dedicated, creative, and excellent faculty members.

We began the Fall 2013 semester with MavsMeet Convocation. It’s always an inspiring occasion, and one where the College of Liberal Arts plays an important role. Both the marching band and the World Percussion Ensemble performed (led by Fulbright awardee Professor Michael Varner). The students performed magnificently — after only a few days of rehearsal — a testament to their talent, dedication and professionalism. The keynote speaker was Dr. Krystal Beamon (Assistant Professor of Sociology), whose address incorporated wise counsel, warmth and encouragement. Seeing the arena at College Park Center filled by enthusiastic students cheering College of Liberal Arts faculty and students is a wonderful way to begin the new academic year.

And speaking of beginnings: The Center for Mexican American Studies has a new director, Dr. Christian Zlolniski (Associate Professor of Anthropology). An interdisciplinary minor in Disability Studies, directed by Dr. Sarah Rose (Assistant Professor of History) begins this semester, with courses from History, Nursing, Engineering, Science, Architecture, Social Work.

We hired faculty members last year with degrees from the best programs in the nation and the world – including Oxford University — whose research is receiving international acclaim. These excellent faculty members accepted our offers because they want to work with us and join our activities in digital humanities, convergent media, interpretation and translation, and so many other significant areas.

Meanwhile our friends are providing support for our activities with unprecedented generosity. This past year, the College of Liberal Arts received almost $3 million dollars to support student scholarships, faculty research and creative activity, and programmatic excellence. Their support recognizes the many achievements of the College of Liberal Arts – including yours!

Throughout the year we will continue to be in touch with you, and let you know some of the ways our faculty and our students are using their knowledge and their talents to have an impact in their discipline, their community, and around the world. For now, welcome to Fall 2013. I wish you a wonderful semester.

Dr. Beth Wright
Dean of Liberal Arts

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