Despite a challenging year, the College is still #COLAStrong

Friday, December 18, 2020
Dean Michele Dillon

Michele Dillon, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Dear College of Liberal Arts community,

I hope that you and your families are keeping well. As we come to the end of an extraordinary year of disruption and loss, I want to convey my deep appreciation of the dedication, adaptability, resilience and hard work that I have witnessed over the past several months on the part of our students, faculty and staff. Everyone associated with UNH can be proud of the success with which we pivoted to remote learning in mid-March due to the pandemic and then planned for and successfully executed a residential fall semester that comprised a mix of face to face, hybrid and remote teaching and learning. I have been touched by the demonstrated commitment of our alumni and friends to the mission of the College and for their ongoing support of UNH.

I am very pleased to share The College Letter with you; it is an opportunity to keep you updated on College news and to highlight just a few of the many positive things happening here.

The College of Liberal Arts is deeply committed to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and to ensuring that our curriculum, co-curricular, research and service activities will be effective in advancing the realization of those values both on campus and in the many sectors of society to which our students will contribute. Helping to lead the College’s DEI efforts is Professor Kabria Baumgartner of English and American studies, whom I have appointed as our College’s very first faculty fellow for equity and inclusion. Professor Baumgartner will be drafting a college social justice course requirement, coordinating pedagogical workshops on inclusivity, and working with students and faculty to study race-based topics. I encourage you to review this list of ways in which diversity is at the forefront of College activities.

In other recent news, our innovative, donor-supported Civil Discourse Lab continues to receive accolades, and most recently was singled out for its accomplishments at the annual meeting of Presidents of American Public Land Grant Universities. I am also excited that nine new faculty members have joined our College this year. I am certain you will be impressed with their experience and scholarly focus. Our internationally renowned Crimes Against Children Research Center continues its strong record of external funding, having recently secured over $2M in new grants from the National Institutes of Justice. I am also excited that three of our faculty were recently awarded Spencer Foundation grants for their research activities; Meghan Howey, professor of anthropology, is currently on a research leave funded by the Carnegie Foundation; and Josh Lauer, associate professor of communication, is the recipient of both a Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship. We also continue to productively use our generous grant from the Mellon Foundation for our collaborative engagement with students and faculty in New Hampshire community colleges (see the fall newsletter of the New Hampshire Humanities Collaborative for details).

I wish you and yours a joyful holiday season. Thank you for your continued commitment to and support of the College of Liberal Arts.

Warm regards,

Michele Dillon
College of Liberal Arts

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