Wednesday, October 25

Arts And Sciences



Featured Stories

Message from Dean Richard Holz

Characterized by diversity of academics, scholarship and our student base, the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences is making great strides this semester. We’ve added two new majors this year, Cognitive Science and Applied Physics. By launching the interdisciplinary Cognitive Science major, we are showing academia a new way forward. We are the first Jesuit university in the nation to offer the study of this emerging new science of the mind. Not to be outdone, the new major in Applied Physics represents a partnership between the Department of Physics and the Opus College of Engineering, with collaboration and input from industry and aimed at preparing students for careers in research and industries such as manufacturing, aerospace, or medical imaging. These students are taking their knowledge of how the universe works and using it to make it work better for them, their employers and the world at large.

Improvements we’ve made in several areas led to Arts and Sciences enrollment increasing to 677 freshmen this fall, up 8 percent from 627 freshmen a year ago and an increase of nearly 17 percent from the 581 freshmen in 2015 . Across the university, 31 percent of the freshman class of 2,021 were students of color. We are delighted to see a nearly 9 percent increase from a year earlier reflecting the emphasis we are making to further diversify our student body. In addition, 23 percent of the freshmen class are first-generation college students, another demographic that we are targeting.

The college hosted the annual Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) national Arts and Sciences and Graduate Deans Conference in September. Colleagues from our fellow Jesuit institutions came to campus for a two-day working session. Productive discussions were had on topics ranging from the future trends in graduate education, resource management, and initiatives to expand undergraduate high-impact experiences such as internships. The group also got to hear about the exciting things happening with our Center for Peacemaking and the Center for Community Engagement.

With these increases in areas of study, enrollment and diversity, and our leadership among Jesuit educators, our alumni can be even prouder of a degree from the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences.

New faculty welcomed to the College

Researchers who study the connection between sleep and obesity, applied mathematics and social justice are among the great new tenure track faculty members in the college this fall. They are Drs. Deanna Arble and  Sofia Origanti, biological sciences;  Dr. Nicholas Reiter, chemistry; Dr. Robert Smith, history; Dr. Hyunyi Jung, mathematics, statistics and computer science; Dr. Brian Palmer-Rubin, political science;  Dr. Andrew Kim, Dr. Alexandre Martins, Rev. Aaron Pidel, S.J., Dr. Kate Ward, theology .

New center opens in the college

The Center for the Advancement of the Humanities was created this semester and will be operated out of the college. Dr. James South, professor of philosophy and associate dean for faculty, is the director of the humanities center. The center will support teaching and research in humanities that is forward looking while seeking new approaches to traditional humanistic disciplines. It also will develop faculty and student affinity groups across disciplinary boundaries.

Seven faculty members receive awards

Dr. Leah Flack, associate professor of English, Dr. Timothy McMahon, associate professor of history, and Dr. Martin St. Maurice, associate professor of biological sciences, each received the university’s highest teaching honor, the Teaching Excellence Award. Recipients are nominated by colleagues and students for demonstrating excellence as teacher-scholars. In addition, four faculty members were the recipients of awards through the Way Klingler Faculty Development Program. Dr. Nicholas Heck, assistant professor of psychology and Dr. Jier Huang, assistant professor of chemistry received the Way Klingler Young Scholar Award. Dr. Albert Rivero, professor of English, received the Way Klingler Fellowship AwardDr. Qadir Timerghazin, associate professor of computational chemistry, received the Way Klingler Sabbatical Fellowship Award.

Marquette professor leads development of first Wisconsin standards for computer science instruction in K-12 schools

Dr. Dennis Brylow, associate professor of math, statistics and computer science, was co-chair of the committee that developed Wisconsin’s first standards to guide K-12 school districts in their computer science instruction. Brylow notes that computer science has become a foundational skill that all students need to have access to during the formative K-12 years regardless of their occupational path.  The committee developed the first template for Wisconsin schools to implement computer science academic standards for K-12 districts. It calls for computer science content and concepts to be integrated throughout the curriculum in elementary schools. This story made statewide news when announced and has had great implications for nearly all K-12 students in Wisconsin.

Doctoral student and faculty members awarded significant fellowship and research grants

David Defilippis was earning great pay at a large mining machinery manufacturer in Milwaukee. But, the former diesel mechanic turned metal fabricator saw the physical toll his co-workers faced once they reached their 40s and 50s. Unwilling to follow in their footsteps, Defilippis decided to make a change. At the age of 24, he gave up this career, enrolled in college and started studying biology. That key decision paid off for the doctoral student in our Department of Biological Sciences. Defilippis was awarded a three-year, $144,000 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, becoming only one of a handful of graduate students at Marquette to receive it. More information on Defilippis and his story can be found online. Meanwhile, a pair of faculty members received outstanding grants to continue their research. Dr. James Kincaid, chair and professor of chemistry, received a $1 million National Institute of Health grant to continue to his research that could aid a better understanding of steroid biosynthesis, drug targets for prostate cancer and atherosclerosis. Dr. Edwin Antony, assistant professor of biological sciences, received a $510,845 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to continue research that could help researchers in many areas, including aiding efforts to conduct space travel to Mars.

Marquette chemist teams with high school student to illustrate his latest research

A new collaboration between Marquette and Milwaukee’s High School of the Arts (MHSA) begins with heart — an expressionist oil painting of a heart by MHSA senior Caroline Kenwood. It illustrates the research led by Dr. Qadir Timerghazin, associate professor of chemistry, and was published as the main art on the front cover of “ChemBioChem,” an international academic journal on chemical biology published in Europe. Together, the research and painting reach an international audience. Cover art and other graphics help research to stand out, so academic journals like to publish it. Yet, most scientists are not adept at art, Timerghazin said. More information on this collaboration can be found online.

English professor debuts Hamilton course at Marquette

Hamilton has come to Marquette University, but not the actual artistic performance. An Honors course on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hugely popular Broadway show is being offered this fall. Dr. Gerry Canavan, assistant professor of English, is teaching the course. Students in the class look at the play from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including literary studies, history, cultural studies, theater studies and fine arts. The class initially studied the musical in its entirety and is now moving through it track-by-track. The Marquette professor says he wants students to understand formal characteristics of musicals, apply critical analysis of plays, understand the cultural and historical contexts in which the play was written and produced, and discuss the play’s relationship to the actual history of the Founding Fathers and its relationship to current political debates and events.

ROTC ceremony honors a fallen soldier

The Army ROTC Golden Eagle Battalion held a touching ceremony during reunion week with graduates from the Class of 1967 honoring a classmate, 1st Lt. Richard Fox, who died in Vietnam. Members of the Ranger Challenge squad were given patches with Fox’s name to wear during the annual competition at Fort McCoy in Tomah. “His spirit is something that we try to embody as future leaders and officers in the Army,” Cadet John Clancy said. Fox’s roommate at Marquette, Thomas Casey, laid a wreath in memory of those who died in service to the country. “He was the very essence of a southern gentleman,” Casey said of Fox. “He had a sense of duty and honor and fair play.”

Nobel Prize winner in physics heads impressive roster of lecturers

Dr. John C. Mather, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics, discussed the history of the universe during the annual Coyne Lecture earlier this week. Mather, a senior astrophysicist in the Observational Cosmology Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, won the Nobel Prize for his precise measurements of cosmic microwave background radiation used to confirm the Big Bang. He wasn’t the only impressive speaker brought to campus through the college. Christian Ziegler, a world-renowned nature photojournalist from Germany, discussed his photo projects to celebrate our recently launched Environmental Studies Major. Ziegler was named this year’s Outstanding Nature Photographer by the North American Nature Photography Association, and won four World Press Photo contest awards from 2013-16. Dr. Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, emeritus professor of plant ecology at the National University of Ireland-Galway, discussed her famous family and her own fight against gender discrimination earlier this week. And, next week Dr. Kathleen Brown, the David Boies professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss her current project, Undoing Slavery: Abolitionist Body Politics and the Argument over Humanity, at the annual Frank L. Klement Lecture

Conferences highlight philosophy, cyber security, poverty and gerrymandering

The college is hosting several important conferences this semester. A colloquium on cyber security awareness was held last week sponsored by our Center for Cyber Security Awareness and Cyber Defense. National leaders on this important topic were on campus to share knowledge and effective activities to understand risk, avoid problems, prepare for incidents and respond to issues. With the U.S. Supreme Court hearing oral arguments in the Wisconsin case Gill v. Whitford earlier this month, professors in the departments of political science and mathematics, statistics and computer science held an event to discuss partisan gerrymandering earlier this week. A national expert on the subject attended to discuss the landmark Wisconsin case. In addition, two interesting conferences are set for next month. There will be a panel discussion on how Milwaukee is addressing physical sickness and trauma felt by residents due to poverty, and a conference on the value of philosophy in today’s careers.


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