Fall 2010 Message from the Dean

Carl Strikwerda, Dean of Arts & Sciences, sent the following beginning-of-year message to members of the faculty on September 7.

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues in Arts & Sciences:

Dean Carl StrikwerdaWelcome back to another exciting year on campus. I hope that you all had some time to relax over the summer and are fully engaged in providing the best education we can for our students and supporting our mission of research, outreach, and service.

Despite the continuing pressures of the budget, Arts & Sciences succeeded in hiring fourteen new tenure eligible faculty members for this year by converting several non tenure eligible lines to tenure eligible lines and by receiving some much appreciated funds from the Provost. Two other faculty members are joining us who were hired the year before. All are listed below.

We are also aggressively searching this coming year to fill the vacancies created by the cancellation of some searches over the last two years. We have 24 authorized TE searches going on this year, one of the highest numbers in our history. Hiring the best possible new faculty members is one of the most important tasks we have as a Faculty of Arts & Sciences. I appreciate the hours of faculty and staff time that these decisions take, including committee meetings, travel arrangements, and interviews.

The upcoming academic year will be a busy one with strategic planning, a curricular review, and a study of our learning environment, in addition to the ongoing work of course scheduling, advising, managing budgets, and meeting with committees. I want to thank all of you for your patience in dealing with the myriad construction projects going on around campus. Besides building the Career Center and renovating and expanding Small Hall, Facilities Management is carrying out a much-needed overhaul of the heating and cooling infrastructure for a large part of the campus. The disruption is temporary, the improvements significant.

While we justly celebrate our faculty’s achievement, I would like to recognize our graduate students. The Arts & Sciences Graduate Student Association has made its annual Spring Research Symposium, held each March, a major event which attracts graduate students from many other universities in the region. Last spring, four Arts & Sciences graduate students also received awards from our Graduate Studies Advisory Board, a group of Arts & Sciences alumni who work with Dean Laurie Sanderson, Dean of Graduate Studies, to promote graduate study in Arts & Sciences. The four winners and their advisors are:

Arts & Sciences Distinguished Thesis Award in the Humanities:
  • Elizabeth Cook, History, “Art, Mystery, and Occupation: Building Culture in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg, Virginia.” Advisor: Prof. Jim Whittenburg
A&S Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Humanities and Social Sciences:
  • Ella Maria Diaz, American Studies, “Flying Under the Radar with the Royal Chicano Air Force: The Ongoing Politics of Space and Ethnic Identity.” Advisor: Prof. Leisa Meyer
A&S Distinguished Thesis Award in the Natural and Computational Sciences:
  • Sara Katherine Kampfe, Chemistry, “Processing and Conversion of Algae to Bioethanol.” Advisor: Prof. Rob Hinkle
A&S Distinguished Dissertation Award in the Natural and Computational Sciences:
  • Steven Robert Gianvecchio, Computer Science, “Application of Information Theory and Statistical Learning to Anomaly Detection." Advisor: Prof. Haining Wang

Congratulations also to Laurel Daen, graduate student in the master’s program in History, who is the winner of the 2010 Dean’s Prize for Student Scholarship on Women. Her winning essay is entitled, “Martha Ann Honeywell and the Art of Self Presentation in America’s Early Republic,” and was written under the direction of Prof. Brett Rushforth.

Special recognition should also go to the graduate students in the Thomas Jefferson Public Policy Program who make up the Editorial Board of the William & Mary Policy Review, an impressive new journal published by the Public Policy Program: Jared Wilkerson, Editor-in-Chief; Jonathan Yost, Managing Editor; Megan Nunley, Submissions Editor. They are assisted by other graduate students serving as articles editors and by Prof. Sarah Stafford, Professor of Economics, Law, and Public Policy, as faculty advisor.

Please do seek out opportunities to greet our sixteen new tenure-eligible faculty members:

  • Michael Cronin, Modern Languages and Literature
  • Wouter Deconnick, Physics
  • Sergio Ferrarese, Modern Languages and Literatures
  • Christopher Freiman, Philosophy
  • Joshua Gert, Philosophy
  • Artisia Green, Theatre, Speech, and Dance
  • Shanta Hinton, Biology
  • Goetz Hoeppe, Anthropology
  • John Lombardini, Government
  • Pieter Peers, Computer Science
  • Jeremy Pope, History
  • Enrico Rossi, Physics
  • M. Mumtaz Qazilbash, Physics
  • Maurits Van der Veen, Government
  • Kristin Wustholz, Chemistry
  • Naama Zahavi-Ely, Classical Studies

Again, thank you for your hard work and dedication to the College of William and Mary.

Best wishes,

Carl J. Strikwerda
Dean, Arts & Sciences