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The Thinker Summer 2019

ecause I am a professor at heart,
please indulge me in a brief recap
of what the liberal arts have
meant to humanity, and why the
debate about the value of the
liberal arts is not new at all. In
preparing for this talk, I asked a
few friends and young people inside and
outside of academe what we mean when we
talk about the liberal arts. It was interesting
that so many people did not know that
the liberal arts have nothing to do with a
political persuasion.
The liberal arts were the characteristics,
the preparation, the foundation that would
be required by a liberal or free citizenry.
This is the idea that a democracy is only as
strong as its people and that an educated
citizenry would benefit from learning how
to think, critique, collaborate, and commu-
nicate. From Dubois to Gandhi to Mandela,
one hears the refrain that education is the
key to liberation and to the preservation of
a free as opposed to an enslaved population.
A witty colleague suggested the question
would be less controversial if we dubbed
our studies Conservative Arts.
And today, we find ourselves tasked with
defending the liberal arts in the global econ-
omy. There is a great deal of angst about a
young person going to college to pursue
a liberal arts degree. Parents are worried
about whether the tremendous investments
of time and money will lead to their child
graduating with a college degree that goes
nowhere in terms of a job. Politicians of
every stripe feel compelled based on their
preference or pet peeve, to chide colleges
for churning out too many anthropolo-
gists, or philosophers or graduates of one
language or another. Yet, I believe that a
strong liberal arts education is the best
preparation for addressing the challenges
of globalization. Why? Because a liberal
arts education teaches what the National
Education Association terms the
four C’s
of education – critical thinking, creativity,
collaboration, and communication.
Continued on page 4
The lecture was given as the annual Phi Beta Kappa Lecture presented by the College of Arts & Sciences in partnership with the Phi Beta Kappa
Association of Kentuckiana. Over the years, the lecture series has welcomed several speakers of national prominence covering a broad range of
topics and intellectual interests, all demonstrating the importance of the arts and sciences to society.
2 |
ean-Paul and Simone. Anaïs and
Henry. Mary and Percy Bysshe.
History has given us no shortage
of literary power couples, and continuing
in this grand tradition are Department of
English Professors Ian Stansel and Sarah
Strickley, who manage to balance writing,
teaching, and raising two young daughters.
The two met as graduate students at the Iowa
Writers’ Workshop on the large Victorian
porch of The Dey House, a framed photo-
graph of which now graces a wall in their
home. The fact that this meeting sounds
straight out of a novel seems perfect for the
two “book doctors” – their daughters’ favor-
ite way to introduce them to their friends
– who now return to Iowa every few years
to teach writing workshops.
Stansel and Strickley joined the English
department in 2015. Though Stansel had
never been to Louisville before, Strickley
spent her first five years in the city and has
“very vivid memories of rooting vigorously
for the Cardinals with a tiny pair of red and
black pompoms.” The pair were quickly
charmed by both the University and the city.
“With the colleagues we have in the English
department and the larger College of Arts &
Sciences,” says Stansel, “it really feels like
winning the lottery.
The two have very dierent writing pro-
cesses – Strickley has recently adopted “very
rigorous storytelling structures” and sticks
to scheduled writing time at a desk, while
Stansel’s new project is coming together
“more fluidly and instinctually” as he works
from the dining room table. “I always end up
at the table,” he jokes. “Maybe its the close
proximity to food.” Despite diering creative
approaches, they agree that their schedules
flow nicely around family life, a process
made easier by their colleagues. “One of the
great pleasures of working at UofL is that
we’ve been welcomed into a community of
scholars who are also parents,” says Strickley.
Ian Stansel is the author
of The Last Cowboys of
San Geronimo (2017) and
Everybody’s Irish (2013),
a PEN/Bingham Finalist
for Debut Fiction. He
recently completed a
new story collection and
several screenplays and
is currently working on
a new novel.
Sarah Strickley is the
author of Fall Together
(2018). Her short
story “Dewey Dell: An
American Ghost Story”
was recently awarded
the Copper Nickel
Editor’s Prize for Prose.
She serves as faculty
editor of UofLs award-winning online
literary magazine - the Miracle Monocle -
which can be found at
To support the creative work and teaching
of professors like Stansel and Strickley, go
n May 21, the Department of
Physics & Astronomy inaugu-
rated its powerful new computing
cluster PACER (Physics & Astronomy
Computer for Education and Research),
made possible by a generous gift from the
family of Nathan Shrewsbury Lord and
Rachel Macauley Smith Lord. PACER
will allow faculty and students to engage
in the frontier computational research
areas of astronomy, atmospheric science,
condensed-matter physics, and high
energy physics.
The computing capabilities of PACER will
address the needs of researchers working
on big-data analysis, artificial intelligence,
and development of novel materials.
PACER paves the way for future cut-
ting-edge research with massive, detailed
simulations and will aid the department
with existing research on galaxy evolution
and searching for exo-planets.
Commenting on his familys gift, Sam
Lord states, “In the last few centuries, we
humans have made a dire impact upon the
Earth. For us to repair our planet to health
and live to see it, we need every available
tool. We need computers to create new
materials, biology, artificial intelligence,
and clean energy to sustain this endeavor.
To be a supporter like Sam Lord, go to
The Liberal Arts
in a Global Economy
The Book Doctors
PACER Paves the Way
Breaking 100!
The Liberal Arts
in a Global Economy
The Future
of Policing
Storm Trackers
Student Spotlight
Meet the Professor
Lunch & Lecture
leven recent College of Arts &
Sciences graduates have earned
2019 Fulbright scholarships, a pres-
tigious international award coveted by many
high-achieving scholars. That means all but
one of the twelve 2019 UofL Fulbrights got
their degrees from A&S. Since 2000, A&S
has produced an impressive 101 Fulbright
A&S students and recent alumni also earned
many other competitive awards this year.
There were five Critical Language Scholars,
one Goldwater Scholar, and one Rotary
International Award winner. Three A&S stu-
dents received Boren Award oers, but all
three had to decline this scholarship in order
to accept other awards or for personal reasons.
One such scholar, Ben Anderson of Louisville,
may be the most-awarded student in univer-
sity history. The Brown Fellow, Ali Scholar
and Porter Scholar awardee won, this year,
Fulbright, Boren, and Critical Language
Scholarships. He had to decline the Boren to
accept the Fulbright. (In 2018, he also earned
a Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) but
declined it to accept a Public Policy and
International Aairs Program (PPIA) fel-
lowship.) Ben is in China for two months on
the CLS and then will go on to Taiwan on
the Fulbright.
To see a full list of the 2019 awardees,
including biographies and photos, go to
Adapted from a UofL Oce of Communication & Marketing feature story.
ast April, two standout A&S teams traveled to
Washington, D.C. for the 2019 ACCelerate:
ACC Smithsonian Creativity and
Innovation Festival, a gathering highlighting
the creative exploration and research hap-
pening at ACC universities.
First, Prof. Michael Menze and graduate
student Jonathan Kopechek from Biology,
along with Prof. Brett Janis from the Speed
School of Engineering, exhibited “The
Sweet Way to Preserve Blood,” showcasing
their cutting-edge cross-disciplinary work on
red blood cell de- and rehydration. If you ever
had sea monkeys as a kid, it’s a similar concept…
only this one could save countless lives by stabilizing
the clinical blood supply and increasing accessibility to
blood transfusions around the world.
Second, the Department of Theatre Arts broke
new ground at the Smithsonian when it gave
the first ever dramatic performance in the
National Museum of American History. After
a successful Fall ‘18 run at Thrust Theatre on
UofL’s Belknap campus, the African American
Theatre Program reprised The Mountaintop,
a fictional depiction of Martin Luther King,
Jr. set entirely in his hotel room on the eve of
his assassination. The performance was so well
received that Smithsonian ocials expect this will
be the first of many live theatre performances.
The 2019 student A&S Fulbright awardees are (top row, left to right): Chelsea Flint (Anthropology; Latin
American & Latino Studies), Alexander Kaliannan (Pan-African Studies), Elizabeth Schaaf (English; Spanish),
Seth Drake (Political Science; Latin American & Latino Studies), Miranda Hale (Spanish), Noela Botaka (Biology).
Second row: Samir Kusmic (Physics), Natasha Mundkur (Political Science), Ben Anderson (Political Science),
Ethan Libby Pelletier (Political Science; Asian Studies), Macey Mayes (Political Science)
1. Critical thinking.
Critical thinking allows one to have not just
many jobs but many careers and many roles.
I think about this as living not just the length
of one’s life but the breadth of it. Nearly 200
years ago, The Yale Report of 1828: Liberal
Education and Collegiate Life asserted that
“The two great points to be gained in intel-
lectual culture, are the discipline and the
furniture of the mind; expanding its powers,
and storing it with knowledge. The former
of these is, perhaps, the more important of
the two. Those branches of study should be
prescribed, and those modes of instruction
adopted, which are best calculated to teach
the art of fixing the attention, directing the
train of thought, analyzing a subject proposed
for investigation; following, with accurate
discrimination, the course of argument;
balancing nicely the evidence presented
to the judgment; awakening, elevating, and
controlling the imagination; arranging, with
skill, the treasures which memory gathers;
rousing and guiding the powers of genius.
Why is this ability to think more import-
ant than what you store in memory? In a
February 9, 2019 article in the Wall Street
Journal, our Louisville job market was
ranked #8 most vulnerable to automation
by the Brookings Institution, with an average
of 48% of our jobs at risk. Machines have
memory but not minds. That means both
critical thinking and creativity will be inte-
gral to the jobs of the future.
2. Creativity.
I have been preaching the creativity gospel
at least since 1998. Machines can do pretty
much anything we do faster, cheaper, and
with less attitude. The human ability to
create is our dierentiator.
Daniel Pink declares “The future belongs to
a very dierent kind of person, with a very
dierent kind of mind—creators and empa-
thizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning
makers. These people will reap society’s
richest rewards and share its greatest joys.
He goes on to say, “In a world enriched by
abundance but disrupted by the automation
and outsourcing of white-collar work, every-
one must cultivate an artistic sensibility. We
may not all be Dali or Degas. But today we
must all be designers.” (A Whole New Mind:
Why Right Brainers will Rule the Future,
3. Collaboration.
Often today, teams will be working with mem-
bers from across the globe. There are few lone
rangers anymore. We must come together
quickly, bond as a team, deliver results, and
then be prepared to move on. Most of the
time, when people are let go, it is because they
cannot work well with others. We hire for
hard skills and we fire for soft skills.
Additionally, collaboration is helped when
we have shared metaphors and when we
have empathy for one another. That’s where
storytelling comes in. The activity of telling
or writing stories, can accelerate collabo-
ration while honoring diverse perspectives.
The social sciences and humanities teach us
not only how to tell a story but also how to
listen for one and interpret when necessary.
4. Communication.
In Mortimer Adler’s book How to Speak;
How to Listen, to communicate is to establish
something in common. To communicate, one
must understand the other person, be able to
see the world from their perspective. Oral
and written skills are among the top most
desired in college students and yet they are
areas that are always listed as weaknesses
among graduates.
Many years ago at Ohio State University at a
student show, I heard an audience member
yell to a performer, “I see you.” I had not
heard that before and then I noticed other
people yelling it as well. As I looked into it
more, I learned that it was traceable back to
an African tradition of greeting a person by
saying, “I see you.” It wasn’t just saying “I see
you – your physical presence,” but rather that
“I acknowledge you – the story you bring,
the ancestors that brought you here. I rec-
ognize your presence in this world.” How
very powerful.
The traditional response to “I see you” is “I
am here.” Why is that so important to com-
munication? To be fully present to another
and to their reality, to simply sit with them as
they process a moment in time, is the greatest
gift one can give. That is what we see in the
plaintive and poignant Hebrew declaration,
“Hineni.” Translation: Here I am.
Linguistic competence, cross-cultural com-
munication, empathy—these skills are more
likely to be elicited by a broad-based liberal
arts education.
5. (Connection.)
In closing, I would like to venture a fifth
C— Connection or Connectedness. I firmly
believe that we want to belong to something
larger than ourselves, that we long to see
connection and feel connected. The social
sciences and humanities teach us not only
how to tell a story but also how to listen for
one and interpret it when necessary. So, in
the spirit of transcendentalist Ralph Waldo
Emerson’s The American Scholar, I would
like to end with this 500 BCE non-denomi-
national Sanskrit prayer meant to be recited
together by teacher and student.
Om, may we be protected together
May we be nourished together
May we work together with great vigor
May our study be enlightening
May no obstacle arise between us
Om peace, peace, peace
Continued from page 1
4 |
The future belongs
to a very dierent
kind of person, with
a very dierent kind
of mind—creators
and empathizers,
pattern recognizers,
and meaning makers.
These people will
reap society’s richest
rewards and share its
greatest joys.
—Daniel Pink
To see a video of President’s Bendapudi lecture in its entirety, go to
f you’ve spent even a few moments
watching one of the myriad police pro-
cedurals on television, you’ve likely
heard of Quantico, Virginia, home of the FBI
law enforcement training center. You may
be surprised to learn, however, that UofL’s
Belknap Campus houses an institute that
consistently ranks alongside the FBI in the
top executive development training centers
for law enforcement in the nation, attracting
students from across the US and locales as
far-flung as Lebanon and Japan. This is the
Southern Police Institute.
In continuous operation since 1951, the
Southern Police Institute (SPI) was estab-
lished to oer social, pedagogical, and
technical training to ocers as a means of
addressing issues of race and improving
partnerships with communities. Though
program oerings have since expanded to
include a command ocers development
course (CODC), an administrative ocers
course (AOC), and extensive professional
development courses, the central idea of
partnering with communities remains the
same. “It is crucial for law enforcement
ocers to learn how to place ourselves in
the community,” says director Cindy Shain.
“Issues of critical interest [for our students]
are building trust and transparency with com-
munities, keeping pace with ever-changing
technology, and recruitment and retention of
quality, guardian-minded personnel.
Dwindling budgets create diculties for
departments in underserved communities
to provide professional development, so SPI
works to meet them where they are—literally.
SPI has oered command ocers training in
Florida and New England; homicide inves-
tigation courses in North Pole, Alaska; and
background investigation training in Bamako,
Mali. Shain sees enormous value in diversity
in training settings. “Sharing ideas with col-
leagues from a variety of agency types and
locales allows participants to enlarge their
views and networks to benefit their career
and the profession as a whole.
Donor-funded scholarships have aided in
improving diversity within the program,
especially for women, who are still vastly
underrepresented in the field. Shain’s pas-
sion to create paths to recruit and retain
women is evident, and this mission is buoyed
by the Cynthia and George Nichols AOC
Scholarship, which seeks both to increase
the number of female ocers in command
roles and to encourage law enforcement
agencies to identify and develop more
women for these positions.
As a woman who entered law enforcement
several decades ago, Shain attained many
“firsts” in her career — one of the first
women on patrol in Louisville and, later,
the first female district commander for
the Louisville Metro Police Department.
After retiring from LMPD as Deputy Chief
with 24 years of service, she has shared her
unique expertise around the globe through
her work with the International Association
of Women Police and the International
Association of Chiefs of Police, paving the
way for a more diverse future in law enforce-
ment. “One day,” Shain says, “hopefully there
won’t be so many ‘firsts’ and women will be
represented in equal measure.
Graduating class of the 141st Administrative Ocers Course, May 2019
Southern Police Institute
What do you want to do/
be when you graduate?
I want to become a Sustainable Design
and Development Planner/Specialist.
[I want to] focus on how to improve
our built environment in order to save
resources and the environment for
future generations.
What is it that drew
you to your major?
My love for the outdoors originally
drew me to Sustainability. I want to
protect what we have because so much
has already been destroyed. I also love
how Sustainability can lead into many
dierent fields – economics, govern
ment, policy, and design. It can be
applied to all aspects of how we live.
If you were to recommend
your major to someone, what
would you say about it?
You can go in so many directions with
a Sustainability degree. Sustainability
is something most people don’t really
understand; they assume it just focuses
on National Parks or trees. In fact,
sustainability [meets] the needs of the
present without compromising the
ability of future generations to meet
their own needs.
What is something
you dream of doing?
My dream is to go to Nepal and to
do a service program that focuses on
sustainable agriculture or sustainable
What’s your favorite
thing about UofL?
I love how diverse the University of
Louisville is. I also love all its won-
derful resources – the wide variety of
majors and state-of-the-art facilities
(new athletic buildings, Speed Art
Museum/Cinema, and the Belknap
Academic Building).
6 |
our smartphone beeps a warning
followed by a call from the National
Weather Service notifying you of
another severe thunderstorm in your area.
Powerful storms with damaging winds, heavy
rains, and flash flooding: you know the drill.
What used to be a rare occurrence now seems
commonplace. Both anecdotal and scientific
evidence indicate there are significant changes
to weather patterns as a result of climate
change. But can where you live relative to an
urban core impact the severity of weather?
Professors Dave Howarth and Jason Naylor
(Geography & Geosciences) think so.
Get this: The National Weather Service
issues more severe thunderstorm warnings
for eastern Louisville than any other part of
the city, with weather models showing storms
strengthening as they move over downtown.
This phenomena seems to be true for other
metropolitan areas as well. The possible
cause? The urban heat island eect or UHI.
Howarth and Naylor, along with research
coordinator D.J. Biddle and undergraduate
students Logan Twohey and Brandon Ryan,
seek to understand UHI on weather patterns.
An urban heat island describes when the tem-
perature of the urban area is warmer than its
surrounding rural areas. Scarce vegetation,
impervious surfaces, and the use of dark,
heat-absorbent building materials are just a
few of the reasons why downtown Louisville
can be up to ten degrees warmer than sur-
rounding areas. Elevated urban temperatures
increase energy demand and costs, air pollu-
tion, and greenhouse gas emissions. And as
it turns out, they may also impact a storm’s
To test this theory, the research team is deploy-
ing thirty Davis Vantage Pro-2 weather stations
around Jeerson County to collect data on
temperature, humidity, wind speed, and pre-
cipitation. Their aim is to identify how UHI
impacts the structure and intensity of thun-
derstorms which, according to Naylor, could
“help forecasters issue more timely and accu-
rate severe weather warnings around cities
like Louisville.
Understanding the spatial distribution and
magnitude of the urban heat island could also
identify areas most vulnerable to heat-related
injury, helping policymakers protect the public
during heat waves. “Hopefully we can con-
tinue to provide information relevant to public
health issues to the Mayor’s Oce and other
policy makers,” Howarth says.
To help make climate research like this possi-
ble, go to
Think you know what an
academic advisor is?
Think again.
hink back to your college days.
What, if anything, do you remem-
ber about your advisor? What kind
of support or guidance did you receive in
choosing a course of study? Did anyone
ask about your passions or your short- or
long-term goals? What about guidance on
personal matters that might impact your
If you were a student in the 80s or before, you
likely don’t even remember your advisor(s).
Any memory at all is probably of a stodgy
faculty advisor telling you what courses to
take, signing a paper, and sending you on
your way. If you already knew the classes
you needed to take, advising appointments
felt like a chore, a hoop you had to jump
through in order to be cleared to register.
The process was transactional and highly
prescriptive. The advisor was the doctor, the
authority figure; the student was the patient,
the underling. Advising appointments could
be awkward, impersonal, tedious, intimidat-
ing, or all of the above.
This prescriptive advising experience is
analogous to teaching someone to swim by
throwing them into deep water: If they don’t
drown, bully for them. If they sink, well,
they probably weren’t cut out for swimming
anyway. Unfortunately, this way of thinking
privileges those who already have experi-
ence in or around the water and leaves the
rest behind.
Enter developmental advising.
Developmental advising, an outgrowth of
developmental psychology, views the advi-
sor and advisee as collaborators in a journey
of educational and personal discovery. The
holistic, student-centered approach empha-
sizes process, exploration, and growth, not
just academic achievement.
To set the stage, let’s return to the swimming
analogy. Imagine if, instead of dumping
someone in the deep end and shouting
instructions from the side of the pool, the
instructor got to know the swimmer first.
Perhaps the instructor asked the student to
reflect on their previous experiences with
and around water, helped the student deter-
mine what they wanted out of the learning
process, looked at potential barriers to suc-
cess, and collaborated with the student to
create a plan for learning to swim.
This developmental approach is what
advisors in the College of Arts & Sciences
use today. The A&S Advising and Student
Services website defines advising as “a part-
nership tailored to the individual student by
teaching students how to utilize resources
in order to achieve academic, personal, and
professional success and empowering and
encouraging students to think critically
when making decisions.” Instead of the old
“sage on a stage” notion of advising, the
A&S team prefers the “guide on the ride”
model. A&S advisors want their students
to know that they are on this educational
journey with them and are committed to
their success—through both celebrations
and setbacks.
Since a working partnership is so critical
to the desired growth, good developmental
advising begins with relationship building.
Danielle Dolan, assistant dean for Advising
and Student Services in A&S, encourages
her advising sta to spend the first five
minutes of every student appointment “ice
breaking.” After that, it’s time to dig in and
explore with questions:
“What are you passionate about?”
“What problems do you want to solve?”
“Who do you want to serve?”
“Let’s explore your values. How do
they align with your goals?”
As a long-time advisor herself, Dolan
views the role of academic advising as “not
so much about helping students choose a
major, but rather about helping them choose
a purpose.” How does she convey that lofty
charge to her sta in concise but illustra-
tive terms? She simply states: “I need you to
be the advisor you needed when you were

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