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The College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Ovations is three-time CASE award winner
Ovations, Vol. 5, 2010, won the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education District IV Grand Award (Gold) in the Magazines—Four Colors Throughout category. Ovations photographer extraordinaire, Patrick Dunn, also won a special award (Honorable Mention) in the Color Photography category for his work on the Ovations cover story “Gregory Elliott: Man of Steel.” Ovations is a three-time CASE award winner.

COLFA Colleague and Friend Retires
Frank Segura, who worked in the UTSA Department of Publications for many years, retired this year. Frank was part of the team that raised Ovations to the award-winning professional level it now occupies. He will be missed.

Humanities and Social Sciences Building Renamed
The Humanities and Social Sciences Building (HSS), home to the COLFA Dean’s Office and many of the college’s classes, is now the McKinney Humanities Building. The building was renamed in appreciation for the largest single private gift to the University, given by former student Mary E. McKinney.

Sculpture and Ceramics Graduate Studio Opens
The newly constructed 13,550-square-foot Sculpture and Ceramics Graduate Studio is now open. The studio is a teaching venue for the Department of Art and Art History. It houses office and classroom space, 18 studios including a 3-D design studio, welding areas and a critique gallery.

Department of Communication Receives Top Ten Distinction
The Department of Communication has been identified as a “Top Ten” department in one or more areas of disciplinary research focus by the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship’s ComVisata/ComAnalytics system. The system tracks article publication by faculty at more than 700 programs in the U.S. and Canada. A Top Ten designation indicates a department with faculty who have collectively published a minimum of three articles on a tracked subject.


Congratulations to Melvin Laracey and Daniel Engster, associate professors in the Department of Political Science and Geography, who were awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowships for 2011-2012.

The following COLFAbulous faculty members were presented The University of Texas Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award: Mark Allen, Professor, Department of English; Karen Dodwell, Senior Lecturer, Department of English; Daniel Engster, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Geography; Amy Jasperson, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Geography. BRAVO!

The following COLFAbulous faculty members were presented the President’s Distinguished Achievement Award: David Hansen, Lecturer, Department of History; David Heuser, Associate Professor, Department of Music; Richard Gambitta, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and Geography; Kirsten Gardner, Associate Professor, Department of History. CONGRATULATIONS!

James Balentine, Professor, Department of Music, was chosen as an American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) 2010-2011 award recipient. Awards are based on the unique value of a writer’s catalog of original compositions and recent performances in areas not surveyed by the society.

Additionally, Dr. Balentine was the featured composer at the Conservatorium aan Zee in Ostend, Belgium. The title of the concert, “The Red Poppy and the Yellow Rose,” symbolized the cultural link between the people of Belgium and the people of Texas. A CD of the concert was recorded.

Marian Aitches, Senior Lecturer, Department of History, was selected for a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholars Seminar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The five-week seminar, “Ethnohistory of Indians in the American South,” was led by eminent scholars in the field. Dr. Aitches was selected in part based on her proposal for research on the persistence of Cherokee/Choctaw/Chickasaw communities in East Texas.

Renee Cowan, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, was the Hauser Lecturer at The University of Texas—Pan American. She co-presented the lecture, titled “Walking the Tightrope or Singing in Harmony? Communication Approaches to Understanding and Improving Work-Life Balance.”

William McCrary, Associate Professor, Department of Music, directed Puccini’s Gianni Schicci and Act II from The Magic Flute by Mozart for the first annual Yunnan Music Festival in Kunming, China. The program included 25 students from the U.S., 10 from Taiwan, and five from China.

Anne Hardgrove, Associate Professor, Department of History, has been awarded a grant for 2011-12 from the University of Texas South Asia Institute and the Department of Education to develop UTSA’s curriculum on the history of South Asia.

Myrriah Gomez, Ph.D. student in the Department of English, has been awarded a 3-year Pre-Dissertation Fellowship by the Ford Foundation for her project, “Reading Between the Borderlines: Biopower, Scientific Colonialism, and Polyphonic Reactions to Los Alamos.” Three other Ph.D. students in the Department of English earned awards from the Ford Foundation: Christina Gutierrez and Roberta Hurtado received Pre-Dissertation Honorable Mention Awards and Patricia Portales received a Dissertation Honorable Mention Award.

Pursuing dual COLFA majors in history and anthropology, Andrew Nicholl won the Jane C. Waldbaum Archaeology Field School Scholarship. The scholarship, established to help students planning to participate in archaeological fieldwork for the first time, allowed Nicholl to participate in a UTSA faculty-led Belize Archaeology Field School. Andrew’s trip to Belize was also supported by his award from the nationally competitive Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship program.


Department of Psychology students Albert Castillo, Aruba Hussain, and Brettany Johnson presented their research at the 12th annual University of Maryland College Park National Conference for McNair Scholars and Undergraduate Research in Washington, D.C.

Research topics:

Albert Castillo: “Humor, Social Support and Life Satisfaction” -- mentor Mary McNaughton-Cassill, Associate Professor of Psychology

Aruba Hussain: “Factors in Gender Differences in the Emotion of Guilt” -- mentor Ann Eisenberg, Associate Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the Honors College

Brettany Johnson: “The Effect of Study Modality on False Recall: A Comparison of Written and Spoken Recall” -- mentor Rebekah Smith, Assistant Professor of Psychology


Frauke Steinmeir, 2006 Art graduate, has received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship and will teach English at The University of Luxembourg in the 2011-2012 school year.

Department of Music 2003 alumnus and musician Jake Owen appeared on CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman.” A composer and producer, Owen spent this year playing and touring the country with several bands.

Christopher D. Littlefield, a 2004 Department of Music graduate, has had great success in his career. Christopher moved to New York shortly after graduating from UTSA where he worked with The Juilliard School and collaborated with such talents as BD Wong, Cyndi Lauper, and the late Rue McClanahan. This year, he was the associate conductor for the touring company of “9 to 5: The Musical”, which performed at the San Antonio Majestic Theatre during its tour. He now holds the same position for the first national tour of “The Addams Family: The Musical” and appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Network as Music Director/Arranger/Pianist for the premiere episode of Oprah’s new reality TV show, “My Time.”

Department of Communication 2003 alumnus Catherine E. Jung was named 2010 Air Force Public Affairs Civilian of the Year in her category for the third time in six years. As secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs Engagement Division, Jung was given the “Outstanding Communication Intermediate Level Grade Civilian Award” for “outstanding leadership and management in planning and executing efforts that leveraged all communication functions to achieve measurable effects.”

Mary Reilly-Magee, B.A. ‘90, M.A. ‘00 in English, the owner and founder of Love to Swim and Tumble School in San Antonio, won a Stevie Award for Best Entrepreneur in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business. This international competition recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding women executives and entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run.

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