Edwin and Lenore Williams
Professor of Romance Languages: Dr. Alonso
Dr. Carlos Alonso has been appointed the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams
Professor of Romance Languages. Dr. Alonso received his B.A. in Spanish
Literature from Cornell University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Spanish Literature
from Yale University. Before coming to Penn this year, he served as Professor
and Chair of Spanish at Emory University. He has authored and edited several
books and published dozens of articles and reviews. His most recent book,
The Burden of Modernity: The Rhetoric of Cultural Discourse in Spanish
America, was published by Oxford UP in 1998. In addition to writing
prolifically, Dr. Alonso has lectured and delivered papers throughout the
world. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the
Modern Language Association of America, the Latin American Studies Association,
and the Society for Philosophy and Literature. Dr. Alonso also finds time
to serve as a senior consulting editor for the Latin American Literary
Review, a member of the Radio Committee of the Modern Language Association,
a member of the MLA Division Committee on Twentieth-Century Latin American
Literature, and an editor of PMLA.
The Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Chair in Romance Languages was created
through a bequest of Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams. Dr. Williams, a lexicographer
and top Spanish scholar, served as chairman of the Department of Romance
Languages, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Provost
of the University. Dr. Williams' many accolades include membership in the
Hispanic Society of America and three honorary degrees. Penn recognized
his contributions to the University by naming the new humanities and language
building, Williams Hall, in his honor. Mrs. Williams, a native of Reading,
Pennsylvania, was an active member of University life for more than sixty
years, beginning with her marriage in 1921 to Dr. Williams. She was a founder
of the Faculty Tea Club and was an honorary board member of the Penn Women's
Club until her death in 1984.
M. Skinner Professor of Science: Dr. Yodh
Dr. Arjun Yodh, professor of physics & astronomy, has been appointed
the James M. Skinner Professor of Science. Dr.Yodh received his Ph.D. and
M.S. in Physics from Harvard University, and completed his undergraduate
education at Cornell University. He came to Penn in 1988 from AT&T Bell
Labs, where he had spent two years as a postdoctoral research associate.
His interests include aspects of chemical, condensed-matter and optical
physics. Most of his experiments are oriented towards lasers and the unique
spectroscopies these tools offer. He has been researching the following
areas: diffusing light probes of complex fluids and biological tissues;
colloids and colloidal assembly; nonlinear optical spectroscopy of solid-solid
interfaces; and femtosecond vibrational spectroscopy of adsorbates on metal
surfaces. He has published dozens of articles in many prestigious journals
and received numerous honors and awards. Dr.Yodh was an Office of Naval
Research Navy Young Investigator (1991-94), an Alfred P. Sloan Research
Fellow (1991-94), and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator
The James M. Skinner Chair of Science was established in 1967 by Mrs.
Florence Sayre Skinner to recognize a distinguished scholar for his or her
contributions to science. She generously created a trust that would support,
in perpetuity, one chair in the sciences from her estate. Since her death
in 1974, exceptional professors of science from the School of Arts and Sciences
have occupied the chair.
Dr. Karen Su has been named
director of the Pan Asian American Community House (PAACH), located in ARCH,
and assistant director of the Asian American Studies Program.
Dr. Su's specific responsibilities include identifying and developing
effective and innovative strategies to increase Penn's efforts to advise
students on academic and professional issues; strengthening the Asian American
Studies Program; organizing conferences, symposia, and other public events
on topics of political, social, and cultural importance for Asian American
communities; and providing resource and research materials concerning Asian
American political, cultural and community concerns. She is also be responsible
for helping to recruit and retain Asian American students, expanding alumni
relations, and increasing Penn's local and national linkages with Asian
American communities and organizations.
"We are absolutely delighted to welcome a colleague of Dr. Su's
extraordinary disciplinary breadth and administrative depth as the inaugural
director of PAACH," said VPUL's Dr. Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, .
Prior to joining Penn this fall, Dr. Su was a visiting assistant professor
in the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program at NYU. She also taught English
and Ethnic Studies at Mills College in California. She took her B.A. from
Mount Holyoke, her M.A. from Stanford and her Ph.D. in English with a concentration
on Asian American literature from Berkeley.
"I believe that PAACH will be a vital part of the campus as a resource
center not only for Asian American students, but for the whole Penn community
to learn more about the essential role that Asian Americans have played
in the history and culture of this country. I want to make it a priority
for PAACH to develop programs that play critical roles in forming closer
ties between Penn and the Asian American communities," said Dr. Su.
Dean: Harrison College House
Harrison College House has a new House Dean this fall--Richard Robert
Haavisto. Mr. Haavisto has spent the past ten years at Penn in various roles.
He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology, writing his dissertation
on the social geography of Bufumbira, Uganda.
Since 1974, Mr. Haavisto has taught courses on African societies and
cultures, ethnography, ethnicity, race and gender, and cultural anthropology
at Penn and CCP. He has also taught at Rutgers, Stanford and the Université
Nationale du Rwanda. From 1990-91, he was a research assistant at the University
Museum, working on the refurbishment of the African Gallery.
In 1994, he received Fulbright and Wenner-Gren Fellowships to conduct
ethnohistorial fieldwork in Uganda. Mr. Haavisto also has extensive experience
with the Peace Corps--acting as a consultant in Burundi in 1983 where he
prepared a five-year Country Management Plan. For the past two years, he
has served as a graduate associate in the Perspectives in the Humanities
program in Harrison College House.
Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 9, October 24, 2000
PAGE | CONTENTS
Mural Arts Month | GOVERNMENT
AFFAIRS UPDATE | SAFETY
AFTER DARK | TALK
ABOUT TEACHING ARCHIVE | BETWEEN
ISSUES | OCTOBER at PENN