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Summer Season Send-off

Dean Theresa LeeThe spring semester is over and as we move into the summer season – taking vacations or diving into research projects we finally have time for – I want to express my gratitude to you for your work and dedication to the college.

At our annual staff appreciation event, I had the honor of handing out awards to several staff members for their outstanding work. As I stood there reading comments from their nominees, I was reminded of the respect we have for each other in the college. I know it has been a trying academic year. The change in leadership at a national level brought with it a sense of unease across the country and the world. Our civility and discourse on campus was challenged, but I’m proud to say we rose to that challenge and embraced the diversity we all have to offer. Thank you for the role you play in our college.

In this edition of Dialogue, we feature two faculty members whose scholarly achievements put our college and the university in the national spotlight this spring. Joy Harjo joined us last fall as the new Chair of Excellence in Creative Writing and recently won one of the nation’s largest literary prizes in poetry. Nate Kelly is an associate professor of political science and the first UT professor to receive a major Carnegie fellowship. Congratulations to you both!

Did you know Payton Miller, the unofficial painter of the Rock, graduated from our college this spring? Her story is included in a short recap of our commencement ceremonies. I hope you enjoy learning more about this talented arts and sciences graduate.

Our college was well represented at the Chancellor’s Honors Banquet this spring. Of the 22 awards given to UT faculty and staff, our college received 13, including the highest honor – Macebearer. I am proud to be dean of a college full of talented individuals who do their best as teachers, researchers, and members of our larger community. Congratulations to everyone who received an award!

Finally, I’m excited to announce that Strong Hall is officially open! Faculty and staff in the Departments of Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, and Earth and Planetary Sciences are moving in and excited to start teaching and carrying out research in the new state-of-the-art facility.

Thank you again for your work and dedication to the college. I hope you have a great summer break, and I look forward to many more opportunities for excellence in the fall!

Theresa M. Lee