Volume 17 | Sept. 2, 2020
Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni and Friends,
 
I would like to welcome you to a new academic year by expressing my gratitude to every member of the University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences community. Navigating the last few months has demanded dedication, flexibility, empathy and innovation as we have come together to face an unprecedented moment in our history. Each member of our college community is appreciated and your spirit has provided great encouragement as we contemplate the challenges ahead.

I realize returning to the university in the context of our new normal is challenging. The adjustments we are making require us all to learn new skills, develop new habits and connect in new ways. The college is here to support you all as we make this transition, and I encourage you to visit OU Together for the most up-to-date announcements, resources and information.

We are one college with a shared mission to master existing human knowledge, create new knowledge through our research, scholarship and creative activity and put the new understanding we’ve gained to work to advance our fields of study, strengthen communities and improve society. Although there is still much work to be done, the college is proud to be a leader in research, educational affordability, student access and success, and in nurturing, sustaining and championing diversity and inclusion. We must continue to do more to ensure our mission is properly met.

Our newsletter has been a place to celebrate the excellence of the college because at the center of a robust public research institution like the University of Oklahoma there must be a thriving arts and sciences college like ours. In our first newsletter of the 2020-21 academic year, you can read about OU’s recently announced strategic plan, “Lead On, University.” This plan will change lives, and our college is excited to help implement the university’s vision. Each of you are an important piece of helping us fulfill that purpose. In addition, we have also included updates on groundbreaking research and scholarship and highlighted the achievements of our students, faculty and staff.

Again, I want you each to know how grateful I am, both personally, and on behalf of the college, for your extraordinary efforts in support of our community. I am honored to be your dean. Please stay safe, stay well, and stay connected to our college.


Sincerely,
David Wrobel
Dean, OU College of Arts and Sciences

OU LAUNCHES ‘LEAD ON, UNIVERSITY’ – A STRATEGIC PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
For the first time in over a generation, the OU Board of Regents approved a Strategic Plan for the OU Norman campus. “Lead On, University” sets forth future and comprehensive strategies to establish a path toward long-term sustainability and success. The Strategic Plan draws upon 130 years of history and the feedback of thousands of students, faculty, staff and alumni. "About a year ago, the OU Board of Regents charged us with developing a Strategic Plan that articulates how we aim to unlock our potential as one of the nation’s top public research universities,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. upon the OU Regents’ action. “This invigorating and highly collaborative process, which sought input from all OU constituencies, culminated today with the Regents officially approving ‘Lead On, University’ – a dynamic, living and breathing roadmap to our future.” The plan is built upon five overarching pillars that stem from OU’s core traditions of providing a world-class, affordable education; creating a welcoming place of belonging; and harnessing innovation and pathbreaking discoveries to advance society. Each pillar is supported by targeted strategies and specific tactics to help achieve them. The complete plan is available at ou.edu/leadon.
WELCOME, NEW FACULTY MEMBERS
The college is pleased to welcome and congratulate 28 faculty members who will join the university this year. We work hard to identify and recruit the most gifted scholars and teachers from around the country and across the world. Each one brings accomplishments to our university, and we look forward to their contributions to our community for many years to come. Please visit the college website to view a complete list of new faculty members.
SUPPORT THE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Your support allows the college to enhance our mission of preparing students to make communities stronger. Student scholarships and fellowships, faculty support, and general unrestricted funds are just a few of the ways you can help us as we continue to provide the best educational experience to our students.
COLLEGE SPOTLIGHT
UNIVERSITY-WIDE INITIATIVE TO MARK 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE TULSA RACE MASSACRE
In 1921, Tulsa’s Greenwood District – also known as “Black Wall Street” – was one of the most affluent Black communities in the United States. Yet during the evening of May 31 and the early-morning hours of June 1, 1921, Tulsa exploded. Enraged by rumors that a black youth had raped a white girl, a mob of several thousand white Tulsans orchestrated a violent attack on the Greenwood District. To commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the massacre, plans for a yearlong educational initiative across the University of Oklahoma’s three campuses are underway. The project is being coordinated by professors Kalenda Eaton and Karlos Hill of the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies, along with Daniel Simon, assistant director and editor-in-chief of World Literature Today. Together, they are leading the OU Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Coordinating Committee, which will serve as the project’s central point of contact. Several commemoration projects have already been planned for the Norman campus next spring. The university’s primary commemoration event will be “Reflecting on the Past, Facing the Future: The Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Symposium.” The symposium will be held April 8-9, 2021, on the Norman campus and will feature keynote and plenary talks by Tracy K. Smith, Scott Ellsworth and Hannibal B. Johnson, as well as a dance performance, with original choreography, by students from the OU School of Dance. Click here to learn more about how OU is commemorating the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre. The website includes information about programs, resources and a schedule of events. 
COLLEGE ESTABLISHES STUDENT SUCCESS CENTER
In the spring, the college launched its new Student Success Center, the mission of which is to expand opportunities for experiential learning and professional development for undergraduate and graduate students in the college. This work will take many forms as we continue to build infrastructure, with an initial focus on growing our programs in Service Learning, Undergraduate Research, Internships and Study Abroad. Although the current situation around COVID-19 has impacted some of this mission, the work of helping students to connect the skills and knowledge they gain from Arts and Sciences coursework to real-world contexts and careers remains more critical than ever. As our work at this time remains virtual, we invite students, faculty, staff and community partners to review some of our digital resources until we can connect in person. 

We have collected a set of online career and internship resources for Arts and Sciences students here.

Examples of faculty and student experiences with experiential learning are available here.

Recordings of our virtual brownbag presentations on service learning in the era of social distancing are available here.

A COVID-specific list of student academic, financial and wellness resources is available here.

And please follow us on twitter for more updates, events and opportunities daily.

Alumni, employers and other community partners who would like to connect with College of Arts and Sciences students through the Student Success Center: we would love to hear from you at ssc@ou.edu. We look forward to working with you. 
FACULTY AND DEPARTMENT NEWS
Bayram Saparov, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was selected for a 2020 Early Career Research Award from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Saparov’s project explores metal halide materials that could lead to more efficient and lower-cost solar panels and energy-saving light emitting-diodes (LEDs) technology. Saparov was one of 76 researchers from 50 universities to receive this award. Under the program, university-based researchers will receive at least $150,000 per year, with research grants spanning five years. The Early Career Research Program is described as working to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during crucial early career years, when many scientists perform their most formative work.
Georgia Kosmopoulou, associate dean for research in the college, recently received a Special Service Award from the National Science Foundation in recognition of the hard work and extraordinary results in assisting the funding agency as an Intermittent Expert during the pandemic. Kosmopoulou was recognized for handling exceptional challenges created by the pandemic, requiring adaption, patience and time management while maintaining excellent performance processing SBE proposals and funding science about COVID and other societal matters.
A newly published book by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers(professor of English), titled The Age of Phillis, was recently reviewed by Elizabeth Winkler for the The New Yorker. Jeffers has published widely in poetry, fiction and essays, and she has five poetry collections. Her most current book project imagines the life and times of the Revolutionary-era poet Phillis Wheatley Peters, a formerly enslaved person who was the first woman of African descent to publish a book in North America. 
A book by Karin Schutjer (professor, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Linguistics) titled Goethe and Judaism: The Troubled Inheritance of Modern Literature (Northwestern UP, 2015) came out in German translation in May with Wallstein Press: Goethe und das Judentum. Das schwierige Erbe der modernen Literatur (translated by Ulrike Bischoff). Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) has often been characterized as Germany’s national author because of his formative impact on German culture. His complex representations of Jews and Judaism are a crucial but long understudied aspect of his legacy. Schutjer’s literary study is concerned not simply with accusing or acquitting Goethe of prejudice, but rather with discerning the function and logic of his relationship to Judaism within his work. Her premise is that Goethe’s conception of modernity — his anxieties as well as his most affirmative vision concerning the trajectory of his age — are deeply entwined with his conception of Judaism. Schutjer argues that behind his very mixed representations of Jews and Judaism stand crucial tensions within his own thinking and a distinct anxiety of influence. Indeed, she contends, Goethe paradoxically wrestles against precisely those impulses in Judaism for which he feels the greatest affinity, which most approach his own vision of modernity. Schutjer's book has recently been reviewed by the Frankfurter Allgemeine and the Süddeutsche Zeitung, two of the top daily newspapers in Germany. In a review, Gustav Seibt said "the book opens a new approach to Goethe, from which there is no going back."
Tewa Worlds: An Archaeological History of Being and Becoming in the Pueblo Southwest, by Sam Duwe (assistant professor, Department of Anthropology) is now available through the University of Arizona Press. The book tells a history of eight centuries of the Tewa Pueblo people, set amidst their ancestral homeland in northern New Mexico. Anthropologists have long trekked through Tewa country, but the literature remains deeply fractured among the present and the past, nuanced ethnographic description and a growing body of archaeological research. Duwe tries to bridge this divide by drawing from contemporary Pueblo philosophical and historical discourse to view the long arc of Tewa history as a continuous journey. The result is a unique history that gives weight to the deep past, colonial encounters and modern challenges, with the understanding that the same concepts of continuity and change have guided the people in the past and present, and will continue to do so in the future. Focusing on a decade of fieldwork in the northern portion of the Tewa world — the Rio Chama Valley — Duwe explores how incorporating Pueblo concepts of time and space in archaeological interpretation critically reframes ideas of origins, ethnogenesis and abandonment. Click here for an excerpt from the book.
The Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center has received multiple awards for several recent initiatives.
 
On Aug. 8, the center hosted the Oklahoma Voting Summit, which brought together students and administrators from across the state for a one-day, nonpartisan event to learn about campus best practices in the area of civic engagement. The summit was funded from a $25,000 grant from Young Invincibles and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition.
 
The center has also recently been awarded a $17,000 grant from Ask Every Student to create a canvas module to share across campus that will provide students with information about how to register to vote and then cast their ballot. This award also provides civic engagement fellowships to students with the hope of creating a campus-wide civic engagement working group and to institutionalize access to voter registration and voting information for students.
 
Lauren Schueler, director of N.E.W. (National Education for Women’s) Leadership and Civic Engagement and former Carl Albert Graduate Fellow, and current Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University Director Karen Kedrowski recently discussed how to engage students in the 2020 election with Forbes Magazine
RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS
DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS TO OKLAHOMA’S ‘WICKED’ CHALLENGES
Oklahoma researchers are innovating a new approach to develop and test science-based solutions for complex problems at the intersection of land use, water availability and infrastructure through a $20 million National Science Foundation grant to support this interdisciplinary research through Oklahoma EPSCoRCarol Silva and Hank Jenkins-Smith, co-directors of OU’s National Institute for Risk and Resilience, are the science leads for the project. They described the central idea of the project as identifying many of the most pressing challenges facing Oklahoma over the next couple of decades, and to building the science teams and the social science framework to address those problems. During the five-year award, a team of 34 researchers from seven Oklahoma universities and institutes will work together to explore sustainable solutions to solve “wicked problems,” which they define as complex problems where there is not widespread agreement on what the problem really is, or if a problem even exists.
LAURA-ISOBEL MCCALL HONORED BY C&E NEWS
Laura-Isobel McCall, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has been named one of C&E News’s 2020 Talented 12. The group of rising stars were selected for fearlessly taking on some of the most daunting problems in the chemical universe. This is a prestigious recognition of McCall's leading work in molecular cartography and metabolomics research at OU to address critical heath issues. Click here more information on McCall's research and the selection.

"I am truly honored by this award," McCall said. "It reflects the exciting work being done by my research group right here at OU, our unique perspective on disease, and the significant impact of our research. I look forward to continuing this work."
RESEARCHERS RECEIVE $3 MILLION NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION GRANT TO UNDERSTAND THE RULES OF LIFE THROUGH MICROBIOME RESEARCH
A research team led by the University of Oklahoma has received a $3 million National Science Foundation grant to “understand the rules of life” through microbiome research. Microbiomes, a collection of microbes in a specific habitat or environment, are “among the most diverse life forms on our planet, inhabiting almost every imaginable environment, playing integral and unique roles in various ecosystem processes,” said Jizhong Zhou, the OU director for the Institute for Environmental Genomics, George Lynn Cross Research Professor in the OU College of Arts and Sciences and an adjunct professor in the Gallogly College of Engineering.
OU PHYSICISTS AWARDED DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE RESEARCH GRANT TO INVESTIGATE APPLICATIONS OF EINSTEIN’S “SPOOKY ACTION AT A DISTANCE”
Arne Schwettmann and Grant Biedermann received a research award to investigate applications of what Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” from the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a program within the Department of Defense. The $584,814 grant will be awarded over three years starting in the fall. Schwettmann, a professor in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, said their research uses nearly 20,000 atoms within a gas cooled to extremely low temperatures to study quantum entanglement and that the study has implications for quantum-enhanced sensing applications. The collaborative research effort through OU’s Center for Quantum Research and Technology combines Schwettmann’s expertise in manipulating ultracold gases with the project’s co-principal investigator and associate professor in physics, Biedermann. Biedermann’s expertise is in using light pulses to investigate novel schemes of atom interferometry.
GALAXY SIMULATIONS COULD HELP REVEAL ORIGINS OF THE MILKY WAY
Ferah Munshi, assistant professor in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy, was part of a collaborative group whose research could reveal the nature of dark matter using computer simulations of the Milky Way and the smaller dwarf galaxies around it.
"This work is a leap forward in galaxy formation simulations, both scientifically and computationally,” said Munshi. "All previous simulations of such faint, small galaxies (ultra-faint dwarf galaxies) have focused on their formation and evolution in isolation. Being able to simulate them around a massive galaxy like the Milky Way will pave the way for scientists to understand the plethora of ultra-faint dwarfs found in our neighborhood, as well as those waiting to be discovered by telescopes like the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. Simulating the Milky Way at the same time as these ultra-faint dwarfs --- which can be millions of times smaller --- hasn't been possible until now, representing a step forward in the way we harness supercomputers to simulate the universe. I am thrilled to be a part of this work, bringing OU to the forefront of cutting edge astronomical research. Since these tiny galaxies are mostly dark matter, I look forward to using these simulations to explore the nature of dark matter.”
For more information click here and to watch simulations of the visit click here.
JOAN HAMORY'S FINDINGS FEATURED BY NPR
Joan Hamory, assistant professor of economics, co-authored Twenty Year Impacts of Deworming, and the findings were featured by Vox and by NPR. This study recently reinterviewed individuals who participated in a health intervention conducted in rural Kenyan primary schools starting in 1998 to study the long-term economic impacts of improved child health. The program provided treatment for parasitic intestinal worms, which the World Health Organization estimates infect approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide. In the Kenyan study area, 90% of youth were infected prior to the launch of the program. Treatment was phased in to schools using a randomized methodology, allowing researchers to use an experimental approach in estimating impacts. Hamory and coauthors have conducted a series of interviews of individuals who attended these primary schools since 2003, following them through adolescence and early adulthood. The study finds that individuals who received more years of deworming treatment during childhood have substantially better jobs and earnings as adults. Given deworming's extremely low cost (at approximately 50 cents per year), the researchers estimate that deworming is a cost-effective way for governments to improve the living standards of local populations in areas where worm infections are widespread.   
A NEW SPECIES OF DRAGONFLY NAMED FOR LOCAL CONSERVATIONIST
Brenda "Bee" Smith, OU conservation biologist and heritage zoologist with the Oklahoma Biological Survey, recently discussed the discovery of a rare sub-species of dragonfly with KFOR, Channel 4 TV. The research team named their finding "Howery’s Clubtail" in honor of a local conservationist, Mark Howrey. Howery is a non-game biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. When Smith and her team confirmed they had a new sub-species on their hands, they couldn’t think of a better friend and collaborator to attach a name...His whole life has been about conserving plants and animals. Continue reading via KFOR or the Tulsa World.
OU RESEARCHERS RECEIVE INTERNAL FUNDING
Several projects led by researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences received internal funding to study topics that address inequities in academic research and creative activity.

“The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships on the OU Norman campus is funding these short-term projects that position OU faculty and their collaborators to effectively compete for significant external funding opportunities related to the impact of social inequities on knowledge creation and dissemination,” said Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia.

The awarded research projects are expected to produce findings or outcomes that have direct impact on this critically important issue while positioning the researchers to be competitive for extramural funding from the federal and state governments and private foundations. Engaging student researchers was also encouraged.

In 2020, the college also had several faculty members fund research through the Norman Campus Research Council funding portfolio. In addition, the college also announced recipients of senior faculty summer fellowships, junior faculty summer fellowships and support for data scholarship initiatives.
OU GROUP'S FINDINGS ON CHAGAS DISEASE PUBLISHED BY SCIENCES ADVANCES
Understanding where disease happens is a key step toward understanding why disease happens and how it does. In a study published by Science Advances, OU faculty, staff and students map the spatial distribution of small molecule metabolites across the intestinal tract in relationship to the intestinal distribution of the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, cause of Chagas disease. Chagas disease is associated with highly localized damage in the heart, large intestine and esophagus. They found that infection persistently perturbed the metabolome in the esophagus and large intestine, clinical sites of Chagas disease. Infection also perturbed the large intestine microbiome. By modulating specific metabolic pathways affected by infection, they were able to prevent acute mortality by re-setting cardiac metabolism and reducing heart strain. Overall, these results lead to promising new avenues for Chagas disease treatment and patient monitoring, and present an approach with great potential to help us understand infectious disease processes.
RAINA HEATON - NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES

$49,495 - NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

COLLABORATION AND DEVELOPMENT FOR DIGITAL ACCESS TO THE NATIVE AMERICAN LANGUAGES COLLECTION

The Native American Languages collection at the Sam Noble Museum has received an NEH Foundations grant to plan the development of a digital platform that will make all unrestricted recordings, manuscripts and other materials in the NAL collection freely available online. The NAL supervisory board is hosting workshops with archival and tech professionals, depositors, and tribal and community stakeholders to collaborate and design an interface that will serve the needs of all parties. This one-year grant will produce detailed mock-ups of a new user-oriented interface for NAL that will best serve the needs of our communities, which lays the foundation for a subsequent development/implementation grant. 
DEBRA GREEN - OKLAHOMA ARCHEOLOGICAL SURVEY

$29,579 - STATE OF OKLAHOMA HISTORICAL SOCIETY

ARCHAEOLOGICAL TESTING OF SITE 34KA535 AND GEOARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS ALONG LITTLE BEAVER CREEK, KAY COUNTY, OKLAHOMA

The proposed project involves archaeological testing of a newly recorded precontact site (34KA579) in Kay County and an intensive geoarchaeological reconnaissance of terraces along select portions of Little Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Arkansas River. Geoarchaeological assessment of the sediment-soil packages and chronologic dating of the landforms provides the basis to study the environmental impacts on prehistoric and historic utilization of the project area. Of particular concern are the effects of the severe flooding of the Arkansas River and its tributaries that occurred in the spring of 2019. Climate change is causing severe fluvial erosion along portions of the major drainages in Oklahoma. The only indication that flood erosion has impacted the cultural resources along the Little Beaver Creek is at this newly discovered site, 34KA579.  
RICARDO MENDES - MATHEMATICS

$176,373 - NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

FOLIATIONS, INVARIANT THEORY, AND SUBMANIFOLDS

Differential geometry is a branch of mathematics that studies spaces of arbitrary dimension called manifolds. A hallmark of abstract mathematics is that the generality of concepts allows them to be applied to many apparently diverse situations. A manifold can describe a physical object, like the two-dimensional surface of an asteroid, or the space of all configurations of a robotic arm. Moving away from physical objects, any data set can be seen as a finite set of points in a manifold, in which case the dimension equals the number of quantities measured -- for example, height, weight, age, etc., in a population. This project focuses on the study of "symmetry" of manifolds, which can be finite, like the one exhibited by a butterfly or a starfish, or infinite, such as the rotational symmetry of a round object like a planet. Symmetry leads to a notion of equivalence between points (for example, the five tips of a starfish are equivalent), which naturally gives rise to a decomposition, or "Foliation," of the manifold into sub-manifolds called "leaves," which are sets of points equivalent to each other. Symmetry also yields the notion of "invariant functions," meaning functions constant on the leaves. The main goal of this project is to study the interplay between the algebraic study of invariant functions and the geometric study of the "leaves."
ALLEN WU - MATHEMATICS

$163,999 - NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

STRATIFIED FLUIDS AND COMPLETELY INTEGRABLE PARTIAL DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS

The PI will develop mathematical theories for longtime behavior of the two-layer fluid problem. Such models arise in internal ocean waves layered by water of different salinity, as well as atmospheric waves layered by air of different densities. To study the underlying equations mathematically, special solution methods were proposed in the 1980s. These methods attempt to transform the complicated nonlinear dynamics in the original equations into well predictable linear dynamics. However, rigorous mathematical analysis of the feasibility of these methods is missing. By carrying out a combination of research and educational activities, the PI will explore the power of these methods for constructing general solutions, and make connections to other problems in related fields.
DEBORAH MOORE-RUSSO - MATHEMATICS

$501,336 - NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

TESTING A MODEL OF INSTRUCTOR FEEDBACK TO IMPROVE COLLEGE STUDENTS' SUCCESS IN CALCULUS

This project aims to study and implement specific instructor feedback strategies that are expected to increase student learning and success in introductory college calculus courses. Using survey methods, researchers will first investigate current norms, practices and experiences surrounding feedback in introductory college calculus courses. Next, using experimental methods, students in introductory calculus courses will receive different types of feedback to determine which are most beneficial, and whether aspects of the feedback provider and student status matter in shaping the outcomes. 
GRANT BIEDERMANN - PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY

$422,609 - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

EXPERIMENTAL ROBUSTNESS VS. COMPUTATIONAL COMPLEXITY IN A NEUTRAL ATOM BASED NISQ INFORMATION PROCESSOR

This project seeks to illuminate whether and how a Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum device can achieve "quantum supremacy" over a "classical" supercomputer. In collaboration with the University of New Mexico, the team will blend key elements of complexity theory, atomic physics and quantum information science to pursue this goal. They will put their ideas to the test on a newly designed platform consisting of arrays of individual ultracold cesium atoms, trapped in "optical tweezers," and manipulated with lasers and microwave fields to perform quantum logic. 
KIMBALL MILTON - PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY

$80,000 - NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

ADVANCES IN CASIMIR-POLDER INTERACTIONS BETWEEN ATOMS AND SUBSTRATES

Quantum physics provides the force that holds geckos to ceilings and may also result in the accelerated expansion of the universe. Casimir physics is the name given to macroscopic and microscopic phenomena resulting from quantum fluctuations, typically those of the electromagnetic field. Milton's diverse group, consisting of students of all ages and researchers of various seniorities scattered around the world, is currently exploring novel aspects of these phenomena in situations where time variation plays a crucial role, such as the quantum friction between a moving atom and a background, which could even be the vacuum, described by blackbody radiation. The role of disorder and the achievement of repulsive forces, which could prove crucial in nanotechnology, are areas the group is actively exploring.
JEREMY ROSS - OKLAHOMA BIOLOGICAL SURVEY

$138,144.68 - NATIONAL FISH AND WILDLIFE FOUNDATION

ADVANCING GRASSLAND BIRD STOPOVER AND WINTERING HABITAT MODELS TO INFORM LANDSCAPE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS
Oklahoma grasslands do not empty of migratory birds in the winter but, rather, they seasonally host a new collection of avian species that center their non-breeding distribution on our state. With the additional support of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Laboratory of Ecology and Conservation in Extreme Climates is expanding on an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife conservation study on the habitat use, flocking dynamics and thermal tolerances of an understudied and, in some cases, declining group of grassland-wintering songbirds known as the “longspurs.” This work will aid in better understanding the importance of Oklahoma prairies for conserving longspurs, as well as expand an automated telemetry network that the LECEC and other researchers will be able to use to track animal movements through Western Oklahoma.
HAYLEY LANIER - BIOLOGY

$160,524 - NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: SQUIRRELING AROUND FOR SCIENCE: INCORPORATING SCIURID BEHAVIORAL RESEARCH INTO THE UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM
This NSF-funded award provides support for Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences, an approach that provides students with authentic research experiences during their undergraduate coursework. While undergraduate research opportunities can offer important chances for students to build their scientific understanding, their availability is often limited by both the number of available faculty mentors and by student financial needs/time. By incorporating research into classes, CUREs can help bridge this gap, providing opportunities to a greater number and wider range of students. As part of this project OU students will develop their own research questions and collect data on the ecology and habitat use of squirrels. Because squirrels can be easily seen and are abundant in a wide range of habitats, they can be an accessible way for students to apply what they have learned, develop new questions and test their own hypotheses. Students will contribute their data to a nationwide network, joining students at other universities and colleges in sharing research results and building a comparative database on a variety of squirrel species and locations. More broadly, this grant will allow us to assess the effectiveness of networking CUREs to help students build knowledge and develop scientific skills and abilities and faculty implement these approaches in their courses. The photo, which was provided by Hayley Lanier, is of Vic Hutchinson, an emeritus faculty member from biology, feeding the squirrels outside Richards Hall.
OKLAHOMA ARCHEOLOGICAL SURVEY

$1,472,819 - STATE OF OKLAHOMA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

FY21 ODOT CULTURAL RESOURCES PROGRAM
This project is for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation’s Cultural Resource Program. Under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, any construction project that includes federal funds must conduct a study to determine what types of cultural and historical resources will be impacted by that project. ODOT must do these studies for all of their construction projects, since they almost always employ some sort of funds from the Federal Highways Administration. Since sometime in the 1970s, the Archeological Survey has facilitated this work for ODOT via a grant/contract program. Initially, this was only one or two archaeologists working part time, but for FY2021, the program has grown to include 13 staff members, including six archaeologists; four architectural historians; a public involvement specialist, who oversees public meetings; a laboratory technician; and an administrative assistant. The ODOT Cultural Resource team conducts their own field work and also oversees the work of private contract firms hired by ODOT to conduct larger cultural resource projects. ODOT CRP projects involve surveys for both archaeological sites and standing buildings within project areas and evaluating whether the sites and buildings merit additional archaeological work or preservation. 
ANGELA PHARRIS - SOCIAL WORK
RICKY MUNOZ - SOCIAL WORK
CHAN HELLMAN - SOCIAL WORK

$117,356 - STATE OF OKLAHOMA, DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

HOPE CENTERED DHS
The group will investigate the strategic adaptation and use of the science of hope as an organizational framework for state human service agencies. Oklahoma Human Services is committed to becoming the first Hope Centered and Trauma-Informed state agency. Hope is the belief that the future can be better than the past, and that we have the power to make this future a reality. Hope is both a coping resource and a psychological strength that promotes well-being, protecting us from the impact of ongoing stress and adversity. Over a decade of research at the OU Hope Research Center has demonstrated hope is an important component of organizational effectiveness, showing significant relationships between hope and collective hope with job satisfaction, burnout, intention to leave and performance. Hope is the mindset that drives resilient behaviors. This multi-year project will provide consultation and evaluation to the agency in the pursuit of their efforts to infuse the science of hope into policy, practices and structures. The project will contribute knowledge about the impact of hope with a trauma-exposed workforce within human service organizations. 
MARC LEVINE - ANTHROPOLOGY
ASSOCIATE CURATOR OF ARCHAEOLOGY, SAM NOBLE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

SUSAN FISHMAN-ARMSTRONG ARCHAEOLOGY COLLECTIONS MANAGER, SAM NOBLE MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

$90,000 - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, NATIONAL PARKS SERVICE

2020 SAM NOBLE OKLAHOMA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY NAGPRA DOCUMENTATION/CONSULTATION

This grant will support work on collections at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History that are subject to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Passed in 1990, NAGPRA is a federal law establishing the rights of Native American tribes and their lineal descendants to claim the remains of their ancestors, associated funerary objects, sacred objects and other objects of cultural patrimony from federally funded museums and institutions. This is the sixth consecutive NAGPRA grant awarded to Associate Curator of Archaeology Marc Levine and Collections Manager Susan Fishman-Armstrong, totaling over half a million dollars. 

"Repatriation is an important issue for Native American tribes and OU,” said Levine. "We now understand that NAGPRA is human rights legislation, enacted to ensure equal protection under the law. Prior to NAGPRA, the inadvertent discovery of Anglo-White burials on federal land would be reburied, whereas Native American remains were typically sent to museums to be held in perpetuity, analyzed and sometimes displayed in exhibits. Native American activists, such as Oklahoma’s own Suzan Shown Harjo, worked to redress this situation and explained how these practices were deeply injurious to Native American people. For most tribes, the repatriation of ancestors, associated objects and other objects of cultural patrimony is an imperative. There are deeply religious reasons for this, but it also bears mentioning that repatriation can also promote community healing for both tribes and OU. Our university community is stronger when we take action to redress historical injustice and demonstrate our commitment to equality today."

This work has been carried out in collaboration with several Oklahoma tribes, including the Caddo Nation, Cherokee Nation, Chickasaw Nation, Cheyenne and Arapahoe Tribes, Choctaw Nation, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Osage Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and Wichita and Affiliated Tribes. 
STUDENT NEWS
OU GRADUATE STUDENTS SELECTED FOR JOHN E. ROVENSKY FELLOWSHIPS
University of Oklahoma graduate students Misty Penuelas and Mark Boxell recently were awarded 2020-21 John E. Rovensky Fellowships by the University of Illinois Foundation. This marks the first time the fellowships were awarded to doctoral candidates at the same university. Each year, two $9,500 fellowships are presented to doctoral students writing their dissertation in U.S. business or economic history. The fellowships are available largely through the generosity of the late John E. Rovensky and are administered by the University of Illinois Foundation. The Rovensky Fellowship Selection committee is composed of seven scholars in American economic and business history from a wide range of institutions. Penuelas and Boxell are both graduate students in the OU Department of History.
DEADLINES AND EVENTS
Sept. 17 (Deadline to Apply)
Each fall, the Sooner Parents organization recognizes the All-Around Outstanding Senior at the University. Additionally, Sooner Parents presents an Award of Merit to the Outstanding Senior of each undergraduate college as selected by the college dean. To be eligible for consideration, a student must be full time, have earned a 3.25 grade-point average and be scheduled to receive their first bachelor’s degree in December 2020, May 2021 or summer 2021. Students can apply only one time for this recognition. Recipients will be recognized, with their college dean, at a reception and ceremony tentatively scheduled for Friday, Nov. 6. Norman campus students should submit an application here.

Sept. 20 (est.)
Deadline to make changes to Fall 2020 OTIS.

Sept. 25 
Sabbatical leave reports from Spring 2020 only or both Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 (two-semester sabbatical) are due to the Dean’s office.

Sept. 28 
Deadline for academic units to finalize and freeze tenure and promotion dossiers in the TPS system for faculty review.

Sept. 28
Deadline to submit new graduate degree programs or graduate certificates (using State Regents forms) to the Dean’s office.      

Sept. 29
Chairs and Directors meeting, 9 a.m. 

Sept. 30
CASFAM Staff meeting, 10 a.m. 

Oct. 5 
Deadline to submit new undergraduate degree programs (effective Fall 2021) to the Dean’s office.

Oct.9
Deadline for academic units to submit nominations for college faculty teaching awards to the Dean's office.

Oct. 16
Deadline for academic units to submit nominations for university faculty and advising awards to the Dean's office.

Oct. 26 
Deadline to submit graduate program modifications (using State Regents forms) to the Dean’s office.

Oct. 27
Chairs and Directors meeting, 9 a.m. 

Oct. 28
CASFAM Staff meeting, 10 a.m.

Oct. 30 - Nov. 30
Deadline for academic units to submit winter intersession course proposals to Renee Williams in the Intersession office. They can also be scanned and emailed to reneewilliams@ou.edu. For any proposals submitted after Oct. 30, applicants must agree not to cancel the course.