Please consider downloading the latest version of Internet Explorer
to experience this site as intended.
Tools Search Main Menu
New Dean Leads School of Arts & Sciences
inbriefNEW DEAN: Noted biologist Gloria Culver was named dean of the School of Arts & Sciences this spring. (Photo: Brandon Vick)

A former chair of the Department of Biology has been appointed dean of the School of Arts & Sciences. Gloria Culver ’94 (PhD), who joined the faculty in 2007, has served as interim dean since last July.

Her appointment followed a national search for a successor to former dean Joanna Olmsted, who spent two decades in University leadership roles and became dean in 2007.

William FitzPatrick, the Gideon Webster Burbank Professor of Intellectual and Moral Philosophy, chaired the search committee. He noted that Culver combined a strong profile as a researcher with an understanding of and appreciation for the school’s wide range of disciplines.

“It was important to the committee that the new dean have a broad and supportive vision for Arts & Sciences as a whole,” he said, “and Gloria embraces that inclusive perspective, with a commitment, for example, to finding ways to increase the profile of the humanities here in a time of decreasing enrollments nationwide.”

Before coming to Rochester, Culver was a faculty member in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology at Iowa State University. After a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College, she earned her doctorate in biochemistry at Rochester.

Her research has contributed to understanding how infections might be controlled through inhibiting ribosomal assembly, which has implications for reducing harmful bacteria, including so-called “super-bugs.” Her work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, and the National Science Foundation.

University Establishes Center to Enhance the Study of the Humanities

A new center to enhance the study of the humanities at Rochester while strengthening ties to related disciplines has been established.

Gloria Culver, the newly appointed dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, announced the new Humanities Center this spring, noting that it would support multidisciplinary engagement around literature, history, the arts, and philosophies of culture, past and present.

Joan Shelley Rubin, the Dexter Perkins Professor in History and the history department’s director of graduate studies, will serve as the interim director of the center, which will organize research projects, seminars, and symposia around a first-year theme of “Humanities at the Crossroads: Charting Our Future.”

The center will also establish positions for junior faculty fellows, an initiative supported for its first three years by a gift from Jay ’51 and Deborah Last to strengthen the humanities.

The center is the latest in a series of efforts focusing on the humanities, all of which will work with the new center.

In 2006, President Joel Seligman established the Humanities Project to support multidisciplinary work in the humanities in the College.

That same year, the University, along with Syracuse and Cornell, formed the Central New York Humanities Corridor to support interdisciplinary collaboration.

And this spring, the Digital Humanities Center announced a new effort in digital scholarship (see page 23).

Institute Aims to Raise Profile of and Participation in Performing Arts

The River Campus will have a new center for performance programs to bring together the disciplines of music, theater, and dance in collaborative ventures, Dean of Arts & Sciences Gloria Culver announced this spring.

The Institute for Performing Arts is being established to inspire students with and without prior training or experience to explore a broad range of performing arts.

Culver says a majority of students who participate in the performing arts on the River Campus are nonmajors, and she intends the institute to make it easier for students to take part in creative performance and collaboration and to develop their artistic interests.

Housed in the renovated Todd Theater, the institute is also intended to foster faculty collaboration and entrepreneurship in the performing arts as well as to provide resources and space to pursue artistic initiatives.

Home of the International Theatre Program, Todd has undergone recent renovations and improvements, including the creation of new performance and rehearsal space.

The improvements were made possible by support from University Trustee Tom Sloan ’65, ’67 (MS) and his wife, Linda Fisher Sloan ’67.

New Collaborative Space Named for Trustee Evans Lam

A space in Rush Rhees Library will become a central location for library users to do research, collaborate on projects, explore new technology, and unwind, thanks to a $1 million commitment from University Trustee Evans Lam ’83, ’84S (MBA) and his wife, Susanna.

The area will be named Evans Lam Square and will house technology-enhanced spaces that facilitate in-depth research consultations with librarians.

The couple established the Evans and Susanna Lam Library Revitalization Fund, which will support the modernization of the patron services area in Rush Rhees Library.

Evans Lam Square will be located off the Roger B. Friedlander Lobby of the library.

Evans Lam is senior vice president of wealth management and senior portfolio manager at UBS Financial Services Inc. in Pasadena, California. Susanna Lam is a retired CPA, as well as an accomplished Chinese opera singer and performer.

University Launches Center for Renewable Energy

Scholars, researchers, and resources from more than 15 academic departments and multiple schools are coming together to create the Center for Energy and Environment, an effort to improve energy systems and to understand the impacts of energy technologies on the environment and human health.

Carmala Garzione, chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, will direct the center. Existing programs in advanced materials, biotechnology, nanotechnology, and the Goergen Institute for Data Science, as well as the Laboratory of Laser Energetics, will support the center in its mission.

Greene Career Center Has New Director

inbriefCAREER COUNSEL: College career services advisor Joe Testani is the new director of the Gwen M. Greene Career and Internship Center. (Photo: VCU)

A career services advisor with more than 15 years of experience working with college students will take over as director of the Gwen M. Greene Career and Internship Center in June.

Joe Testani, most recently the director of Virginia Commonwealth University’s career center, has earned a reputation for developing and using measures to monitor career patterns and outcomes for graduates.

At VCU, Testani also developed and led the Career Council, an institution-wide collaboration to coordinate career services and resources for a range of constituents. He also was selected last year to participate in a Fulbright International Education Administrators seminar in Germany.

Before heading the program at VCU, he held career services roles at the University of Richmond and at Yale. A graduate of Binghamton University, he received a master’s degree in higher education administration from Indiana University.

The Greene Center focuses on career coaching and counseling, internship and job search planning, and graduate and professional school advising for students and alumni. Testani succeeds Burt Nadler, who is retiring after 16 years as director.

Library Project to Boost Digital Scholarship

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the River Campus Libraries a grant to fund a pilot program designed to strengthen librarians’ skills in digital scholarship.

The program, called “21st-Century Skills: Digital Humanities Institute for Mid-Career Librarians” will begin during the summer.

The pilot institute will provide a three-day residential immersion experience and a yearlong online component for 20 mid-career librarians who will be selected from across the United States and Canada.

Participants will develop proficiency in project management, copyright and fair use, and metadata literacy while also bolstering their technology skills and exploring areas of digital humanities scholarship.

The institute’s instructors will include Rochester faculty, River Campus Libraries staff, University Mellon fellows in digital humanities, and postdoctoral fellows in a program funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources. The full institute is expected to be launched in 2016.

The Digital Humanities Center in Rush Rhees Library has collaborated with faculty in Arts, Sciences & Engineering since 2010.

University Is a Tree Campus USA for Fifth Year

The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the University with a Tree Campus USA designation for the fifth straight year. A national program created in 2008, Tree Campus USA honors colleges and universities committed to effective urban forest management and the engagement of staff and students in conservation goals.

The Horticulture and Grounds Department achieved the title again by meeting the program’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for trees, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning projects.

The University is home to more than 1,400 trees of 116 different species. To view a tree tour video, as well as additional information on the University’s arboretum, visit