Welcome to our first CLAS Research Resource newsletter of the spring semester!

This issue of the CLAS Research Resource is the first since we welcomed Ben Hill, our new Senior Director for Strategic Communications and Marketing, to our College. Ben comes to us from the central Office of Strategic Communications, where he was instrumental in building the university’s brand. I am looking forward to working with Ben to expand the ways through which we communicate the excitement of your research, scholarship, and creative activity within our university and out to the wider world. Please feel free to reach out to Ben ( if you have a great research story to tell! We continue to have much good news to report on the CLAS research front. Seven months into the fiscal year, we have already topped the entire FY21 in grant dollars proposed ($116M) and the entire FY20 in grant dollars awarded ($48M). We are on track for FY22 to be another record year in the latter category, following the 73% increase we saw in FY21. Articles in this issue detail some outstanding arts and humanities fellowship activity, with our outstanding scholars receiving new awards from the NEA, the NEH, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the McNeil Center for Early American Studies. Five of our faculty were named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) this year, an honor bestowed upon them by prominent peers within their disciplines.

CLAS Director of Facilities Eugene Buck and I continue to advocate for improvements to our many buildings, and with the partnership of Campus Planning and Facilities Management, good things are happening. In Eugene’s report, you can read all about the exciting plans for a new home, situated near Dey House and the President’s Residence, for our Nonfiction Writing Program. The 10-year facilities master plan for the university recently approved by the Board of Regents includes many components that will improve CLAS research space as funds become available: modernization of the Pentacrest buildings, beginning with MacLean Hall; renovation of the Old Museum of Art to provide a new home for the Department of Dance; and new construction on the west side of campus that will house our Departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Health and Human Physiology. Finally, substantial funds have been allocated for improvements to Van Allen Hall that will support the impactful work of our pioneering Space Science group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. In parallel with the broader society, our college has faced many challenges over the past two years: the pandemic has impacted our research, reduced enrollments, created staffing disruption, and affected our budgetary outlook. The vitality of your research, scholarship, and creative activity in the face of these headwinds continues to inspire those of us in the Dean’s Office, and we produce this newsletter to disseminate that inspiration far and wide. Enjoy the articles in this issue and stay in touch!

JoshuaWeiner Associate Dean for Research Professor of Biology College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


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