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This article was originally published in the August - September 2005 issue of CLASnotes.

In Memory

James Haskins
James Haskins
(Photo by Jane Dominguez)

Merle Meyer
Merle Meyer
(Photo courtesy Donald Dewsbury)

English Professor James Haskins, who taught at UF since 1977, died on July 6 of complications from emphysema. He was 63. Author of more than 100 books on African Americans, including Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali and Stevie Wonder, Haskins is probably best known for his book The Cotton Club, which was the basis for the 1984 movie starring Richard Gere, Diane Lane and Laurence Fishburne. He recently published Delivering Justice: W. W. Law and the Great Savannah Boycott.

The African American Studies Program has established a fellowship for visiting scholars in Haskins’ name. The Smather’s Library also has created the James Haskins Collection, comprised of his personal library and papers, housed in Special Collections.

A memorial service for Haskins will be held in the University Auditorium on September 19 at 3 pm.

Merle Meyer, a professor and former chair of the psychology department, died on June 28 after suffering from a short illness. The 76-year-old had served the university for 33 years.

Meyer received his PhD from the University of Washington in 1963 and served as chair of the psychology departments at both Whitman College and the University of Western Washington. In 1972, he became UF’s psychology chair, a role in which he served for 16 years.

Meyer returned to full-time teaching in 1988, and until his death continued to teach a full course load. He was in the process of writing a General Psychology undergraduate textbook.

Graham Promotes New Center

Senator Graham is working with UF and the University of Miami to create two centers that will initially focus on public leadership, the Americas and national security Retired US Senator Bob Graham
(Photo by Jane Dominguez)

Retired US Senator Bob Graham held an open forum on campus in July with more than 100 faculty, staff and students to discuss the proposed Bob Graham Center at UF.

Senator Graham is working with UF and the University of Miami to create two centers that will initially focus on public leadership, the Americas and national security. The specific mission of the Graham Center at UF will be to provide students with the broad training necessary for careers in the public sector.

Other proposed components include new degree programs and certificates in public policy and public affairs, a statesman-in-rresidence program and a leadership institute.

Graham is a native of Miami Lakes and earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UF in 1959. He retired from the US Senate in January after serving for 18 years and also served as Florida’s governor for two terms from 1979 to 1987.

UF Community Campaign

The UF Community Campaign, themedGators Give in a Million WaysThe UF Community Campaign, themed “Gators Give in a Million Ways,” kicks-off September 26 and runs through October 7 with the goal of raising $1 million for local charities. With a campus community of more than 12,000 faculty and staff, each of us has the opportunity to fund the critical services extended by the 76 charitable agencies that work to improve the lives of all Alachua County residents.

Once you receive your pledge card, please take a moment to complete it and return it to your coordinator. Supporting the UF Community Campaign couldn’t be easier with payroll deduction, and you can even designate which organization you want all or part of your donation to go to.

$1 a week for one year in our community can provide:

This year, CLAS Dean Neil Sullivan is the UFCC Leadership Chair, and College of Dentistry Dean Terry Dolan is the Campaign Chair. In CLAS, Associate Dean for Minority Affairs Terry Mills and Executive Secretary Carolyn James are coordinating the college’s overall efforts. Each college unit also has a coordinator, and you can visit for a list. Training for coordinators will be held on Tuesday, September 13 from 2–3 pm in the Keene Faculty Center. For more information, please contact Carolyn James at or 392-0788.

Department News

African American Studies

Faye Harrison, who has a joint appointment in anthropology, gave a keynote address on the importance of multicultural and global awareness in building minority student engagement at a summer academy in Snowbird, Utah, sponsored by the Institute for Higher Education Policy. She also gave one of four keynote lectures at an inter-congress on “Racism’s Many Faces,” which was organized by the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences in Pardubice, Czech Republic.

Asian Studies

Joseph Murphy, in cooperation with the history department, has received a three-year grant of $99,000 from the Japan Foundation to seed a permanent position in modern Japanese history at UF. The new faculty member should be on board by fall 2006.

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Patricia B. Kricos has been elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors of Sigma Phi Omega (SPO), the national honorary and professional society in gerontology. Housed in the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, SPO was established in 1980 to recognize the excellence of those who study gerontology/aging and the outstanding service of professionals who work with or on behalf of older persons. The board of directors consists of eight elected directors and an appointed student representative.

Dial Center for Written and Oral Communication

Ed Kellerman presented a paper at the International Association of Intercultural Researchers biannual conference at Kent State University titled “Updating Cultural Factors in the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis.” This updated version of Kellerman’s work was an outgrowth of a grant he received in 2003 from UF’s International Center that allowed him to revisit Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore to see if attitudes on authoritarianism, collectivism, and power-distance and belief in a powerful elite had changed as a result of the post-crisis era.

Germanic and Slavic Studies

Keith Bullivant (German) was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of German Studies during the spring 2005 semester at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India.


Brian Ward has received two awards for his recent book Struggle for Civil Rights in the South. The American Library Association gave it a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award, and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication selected it as the best book of 2004 on the history of journalism and mass communication.

Political Science

The American Political Science Association’s section on State Politics and Policy has selected “Winners, Losers, and Perceived Mandates: Voter Explanations of the 1998 Gubernatorial and 2000 Presidential Elections in Florida” as the best paper on state politics presented at the group’s 2004 annual meeting. The authors of the winning paper are Stephen C. Craig, Michael D. Martinez, Jason Gainous, and James G. Kane. The award will be presented at the section’s business meeting during the upcoming APSA meeting in Washington, DC.

Ken Wald’s book, The Politics of Cultural Difference: Social Change and Voter Mobilization Strategies in the Post-New Deal Period, has received the 2005 Best Publication Award from the American Political Science Association’s (APSA) Religion and Politics Section. The award will be presented at the group’s annual meeting.

Wald also has received the Jack Shand Research Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion and the Warren Miller Fellowship in Electoral Studies from the APSA to support his residence this fall at the APSA’s Centennial Center in Washington.


Franz Epting presented a keynote address at the International Congress on Personal Construct Psychology held in Columbus, Ohio on July 18. The Constructivist Psychology Network, in collaboration with The Ohio State University and Miami University, hosted the meeting. His address, “An Audacious Adventure: A Biography of George Kelly—The Early Years,” chronicled the life of George Alexander Kelly, the founder of personal construct psychology, on whom Epting is currently writing a full-length biography.

Romance Languages and Literatures

Libby Ginway’s (Portuguese) recent book, Brazilian Science Fiction, has been translated into Portuguese, and Ginway traveled to Brazil in July to promote its launch. She held a roundtable discussion and a book signing at a local bookstore in Rio de Janeiro.


Bob Holt has received a 2005 Ecology Institute Prize for his research in terrestrial ecology. The International Ecology Institute annually gives the award to an ecologist distinguished by outstanding and sustained scientific achievements. Holt was honored at a ceremony in Germany in August and received more than $7,000 and the opportunity to have a book published in the Excellence in Ecology series.

Doug Levey’s paper, “Effects of Landscape Corridors on Seed Dispersal by Birds,” which is on how plants benefit when birds use wildlife corridors, appeared in the journal Science and garnered substantial media coverage. Levey was interviewed for a story that aired July 1 on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” and was the subject of a National Geographic story.

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