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Mack Social Science Building (MSS), Room 120
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University of Nevada, Reno NV 89557-0151
The Core Humanities program welcomes two new faculty members this semester: Dr. Adriana Varga, who joins us as a lecturer, and Dr. Stephen Lazer, our new postdoctoral fellow. Congratulations also to Dr. Barbara Walker (History) and Dr. Katherine Fusco (English), who have been named as Distinguished Professors in the Core Humanities program for 2015-2017, and to Jeffrey Jowett (History), Jonathan Katalenic (English), and Frank Merksamer (English), who are this year's Distinguished Teaching Assistants.
Nevada Humanities honored the Core Humanities Program with an award for Outstanding Teaching in the Humanities at a ceremony held at the governor's mansion in Carson City on March 26. The program and the university were praised for recognizing the importance of the humanities disciplines in providing students with "an intellectual framework and context for thriving in a changing world," at a time when many other universities are cutting liberal arts programs. Core Humanities faculty member and former director Phil Boardman was also honored for his lifetime achievements as a scholar, teacher, and supporter of the humanities. Professor Boardman received the Judith Winzler Award for Excellence in the Humanities, the organization's top award.
Chemistry professor Loretta Jackson-Hayes argued in the Washington Post recently that studying humanities disciplines makes people better scientists. "If American STEM grads are going to lead the world in innovation, then their science education cannot be divorced from the liberal arts," she writes.
In this article from Good magazine, Mark Hay explains how mud homes are making a comeback in Mali. Mud bricks are less expensive, more environmentally sustainable, and better suited to the region's climate than many modern building materials, and they can endure for centuries with little maintenance. As Hay observes, "the basic approaches of our ancestors were actually more efficient than the flash prestige that has become the norm," proving that sometimes looking back to the past can help us to imagine a better future.
UNR's Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. Reginald Stewart, recently gave an informative and inspiring Tedx talk emphasizing the importance of learning about cultures other than our own—one of the central objectives of the Core Humanities program and an important thread throughout the core curriculum at this university.
Congratulations to Hannah Smith, winner of the 2014 Core Humanities Essay Prize. Hannah's essay, "Woman: Both the Oppressed and the Oppressor," was written in Dr. Marc Oxoby's CH 202 class.
Crowley Distinguished Professor Charles Tshimanga-Kashama will give a public lecture titled “Shades of Blue: Examining the French National Soccer Team, Understanding Contemporary France” on Wednesday, November 5, at 4:00 pm in MS 215. The lecture is free and all faculty, students, and interested community members are welcome to attend.
A recent Washington Post article points out that the CEOs of tech companies seek graduates who are trained in a variety of disciplines, not just writing computer code. Mozilla executive Mark Surman says coding is just the "tip of the iceberg," and that below that must be a strong foundation in "participationg, critical thinking and being able to collaborate." Similarly, Tesla founder Elon Musk (whose recent decision to locate a lithium battery factory in northern Nevada may create new employment opportunities for UNR students) recommends arts and sciences courses for the thinking skills they develop in this interview.