The University of San Francisco: College of Arts & Sciences

Dean’s Scholar Award

The Dean's Scholar Award acknowledges a faculty member's important contribution to their field. Depending on the discipline, this contribution may be a series of articles, a book, an art installation, performance, or other creative, intellectual achievement. The project must have made a contribution of great value and impact. Additionally, this work must have been completed while the awardee has been a faculty member of the College of Arts and Sciences. Dean's Scholars receive a course release and a stipend in recognition of their accomplishment.

 

2014-15

Lois Lorentzen

Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Professor

Professor Lois Lorentzen Lois Lorentzen studies was recognized for her research on undocumented migrants to the U.S. and the complex role religion plays in their lives. She is one of the only scholars in the country examining religion in the lives of migrants, thereby providing a powerful voice to the marginalized and poor.

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Giovanni Meloni

Department of Chemistry
Professor

Professor Giovanni Meloni Giovanni Meloni used state-of-the-art computational research techniques to discover never-before detected molecular species, including peroxy radicals and the simplest Criegee intermediate. He’s also investigating biofuels and their possible applications for reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil sources.

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Susan Steinberg

Department of English
Professor

Professor Susan Steinberg Susan Steinberg was honored for her award-winning and critically acclaimed short fiction. She was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist for her short story collection Spectacle, which explores domestic abuse and gender identify. She’s also a Pushcart Prize winner.

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Stephen Zunes

Department of English
Professor

Professor Stephen Zunes Stephen Zunes was Stephen Zunes recognized for his book Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution. The book is the culmination of 15 years of scholarly work and draws on previously classified U.S. government documents, interviews with government officials, and field research to explain the Western Sahara conflict between Morocco and Algeria. Prominent scholars and policymakers, including the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, have recognized Zunes’ work.

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2013-14

Juliet Spencer

Department of Biology
Professor

Professor Juliet Spencer Dr. Spencer is honored for her research on HCMV, human cytomegalovirus, which can cause serious illnesses for those with compromised immune systems. Dr. Spencer's particular focus on how HCMV affects communication networks in the immune system. This research has assisted Dr. Spencer in securing large grants from the National Institutes of Health, and speaking invitations at major conferences like the World Congress of Virology.

Dr. Spencer's innovative and successful exploratory method to understanding how HCMV can control the host immune system is a critical foundation to advancing the development of vaccine strategies and anti-viral drugs.

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Jacqueline Taylor

Department of Philosophy
Professor

Professor Jacqueline Taylor Dr. Taylor is recognized for her research on the legacy of Hume and the enlightenment period. Dr. Taylor examines what 18th century thinkers called the science of human nature, which calls on scholars to develop a collaborative approach across different academic disciplines. In 2006, she received a fellowship from the National Foundation for the Humanities to work on the early stages of her book, Reflecting Subjects: Passion, Sympathy and Society in Hume's Philosophy.

Her work aims to highlight how emotions and empathy are structured by particular social conditions. Dr. Taylor's research also displays the vital application of timeless humanity concepts to contemporary ethical issues. Her examination leads to one's own responsibility to effectively act as an agent of moral consciousness.

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Bruce Wydick

Professor

Professor Bruce Wydick The College recognizes Dr. Wydick for his innovative research on the effectiveness of anti-poverty programs in developing countries. In a recent research project, he found that alumni of child sponsorship programs were more likely to complete secondary school and hold white-collar jobs in adulthood than their peers who had not participated in sponsorship programs. This project received considerable attention, and was published in the prestigious Journal of Political Economy.

Dr. Wydick's application of new econometric techniques has enabled him to evaluate the striking influence and effectiveness of anti-poverty programs that aim to undermine poverty in developing countries. His extensive research examines the union between those living in poverty and those who seek to help the under-resourced.

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2012-13

Thomas Canvanaugh

Department of Philosophy
Professor

Professor Thomas Canvanaugh The college recognizes Thomas Cavanaugh for his work on the ethics of double-effect. In his book, "Double-Effect Reasoning: Doing Good and Avoiding Evil," (Oxford: Clarendon Press) he presents the first detailed history of double-effect while articulating and defending new criteria for assessing hard moral cases found, for example, in medical, legal and military fora. While prompting consideration by prominent philosophers, his book has garnered praise and numerous reviews in journals such as Mind and The Philosophical Quarterly.

Dr. Cavanaugh, a professor in USF's philosophy department, joined the faculty in 1994. During his tenure at USF, he has served the department as Chair and as the Ethics Coordinator. He received the Ph. D. from the University of Notre Dame and the A. B. from Thomas Aquinas College.

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Robert Elias

Department of Politics
Professor

Professor Robert Elias Robert Elias' book, The Empire Strikes Out: How Baseball Sold U.S. Foreign Policy and Promoted the American Way Abroad, has earned him a 2012 Dean's Scholar award. The Empire Strikes Out examines the longstanding and reciprocal relationship between baseball, and U.S. foreign and military policies. The book has received critical acclaim and has caught the eye of Far West Films, which is hoping to turn it into a documentary. Elias is working on his ninth book, on the civil rights movement, At What Price Equality.

Dr. Elias holds a PhD. in Political Science from Penn State University and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the Politics department at USF in 1989 and has since founded the USF Legal Studies, Criminal Justice Studies, Peace and Justice Studies, and the 4+3 Law Programs. He's the Editor-In-Chief of Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice.

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Aparna Venkatesan

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Professor

Professor Aparna Venkatesan 2012 Dean's Scholar recipient, Aparna Venkatesan, has been chosen for the award in large part for her contributions in theoretical cosmology. Her work is currently being used by others to help detect the first sources of light in the universe and to constrain the physical conditions in primordial galaxies. In 2010, Dr. Venkatesan was awarded a Single Investigator Cottrell College Science Award by the private foundation Research Corporation for Science Advancement, recently extended until 2013.

Dr. Venkatesan holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from The University of Chicago and she joined USF's physics department in 2006. Since then, she has developed a research program in cosmology that has received significant external recognition as well as grants. In May of 2012, she was awarded the USF Jesuit Foundation Grant to develop a new course at USF entitled, "A History of Astronomy: Ancients, Jesuits and Modern Cosmology".

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2011-2012

Marco Jacquemet

Department of
Associate Professor

Associate Professor Marco Jacquemet As a Dean’s Scholar, Professor Jacquemet will share at USF and at other campuses across the country and internationally the findings of his current book project, Transidioma: Language and Power in the Age of Globalization, to be published in Spring 2012. His book is the culmination of more than five years of ethnographic fieldwork supporting his concept of transidioma. Through this concept, Professor Jacquemet assesses the communicative mutations derived from the intersection between mobile people (refugees, migrants, aid workers, etc.) and electronic media, and the resulting social hierarchies and power asymmetries. Focusing on the link between language, globalization, and social justice, his research on refugees and migrants in Mediterranean Europe has already significantly contributed to the fields of refugee studies, language contact, and human rights.

Professor Jacquemet’s research findings have also been widely disseminated through seminars, published articles, plenary lectures in the United States and Europe, and papers presented at national and international conferences. His work has been recognized by such arbiters of academic excellence as Babylon, Tilburg University’s center for the study of language and globalization and by the Max Planck Research Group on Language and Superdiversity. Holding a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, Professor Jacquemet came to USF as an Assistant Professor in 2002 and was awarded USF’s NEH Chair in 2010-11.

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D.A. Powell

Department of English
Associate Professor

Associate Professor D.A. Powell With this Dean’s Scholar Award, the College recognizes Professor Powell as one of the most important, innovative and influential contemporary poets, widely renowned for what critics call his “AIDS trilogy:” Tea (1998), Lunch (2002), and Cocktails (2004), followed by his fourth book, Chronic (2009), a collection of interrelated poems addressing how one endures love’s arc in the midst of chronic illness. Other threats to the wider world, including war and climate change, engage the reader in a dialogue about what it means to live and love at this fraught juncture in history.

Chronic was a Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle and the Publishing Triangle Awards. It also received the Northern California Book Award, the Northern California Book Sellers’ Award, and the California Book Award, and it was named a notable Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star and Publisher’s Weekly. Professor Powell has received wide critical acclaim for his work and many honors, including the Kingsley Tufts Prize from Claremont College and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation.

Professor Powell holds an M.F.A. in Poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa. He joined USF as a Visiting Writer in Spring 2000 and then as Assistant Professor in 2004.

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Manuel Vargas

Department of Philosophy
Professor

Professor Manuel Vargas Professor Vargas has been selected as a Dean’s Scholar because of his project on moral responsibility, which has received extensive national and international recognition. His project concerns the network of practices, attitudes, and beliefs bound up with moralized blaming. His work defends the appropriateness of our holding one another responsible for our actions, against the growing body of skepticism from philosophical and experimental quarters.

Professor Vargas’s project has culminated in his manuscript, Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility, which is under contract with Oxford, the premier publisher of English‑language Philosophy. His work has produced more than twenty publications, including one jointly authored book and Building Better Beings, and he has presented his work in the United States and internationally.

He has been recognized by the Stanford Center for Ethics, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. His scholarship has had a significant impact in his field, including being featured in several sessions at the upcoming 2012 Pacific Division of American Philosophical Association and cited in various professional reference books such as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Professor Vargas holds a Joint-Ph.D. in Philosophy and Humanities from Stanford University and became a member of USF’s faculty in 2002.

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