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Campus Briefs

By Brooke Garbisch
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday Mar. 21, 2002

New director appointed to the Africana Studies program

An experienced professor, author and documentary producer recently became the director of the Africana Studies Program.

College of Humanities Dean Charles M. Tatum appointed Julian E. Kunnie the permanent director of the University of Arizona Africana Studies Program.

"Julian Kunnie is an inspiring and creative leader as well as a first-rate scholar and gifted teacher," Tatum said.

The Africana Studies Program teaches students about the African-American and African world.

Kunnie joined UA in 1996, after serving as director of Africana Studies and an assistant professor of religion at Kalamazoo College.

From 1990-1994, Kunnie taught at Valparaiso University's department of theology and chaired the Intercultural Studies department from 1991-94.

Kunnie's most recent project is a DVD on South Africa's indigenous churches that required about 15 years of field research.

"Professor Kunnie's record as a scholar in Africana Studies and related areas is highly regarded nationally," Provost George Davis said.

"One of Julian's most recent leadership accomplishments has been creating an impressive network of affiliate faculty from across campus which enriches the program."

UA Honors College senior wins prestigious scholarship

A senior in the Honors College is the first UA undergraduate and one of about 50 students nationwide to win a prestigious scholarship to study at the University of Cambridge in England.

Johanna Schmidtke, a mathematics and biochemistry senior who is also a Flinn Scholar and principal tubist in the UA Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, was recently named a Gates Cambridge Scholar.

Schmidtke has received a slew of other awards during her undergraduate study at UA.

Her honors include: the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (for students pursuing careers in math, science or engineering), an Honors College Undergraduate Research Grant to pursue European tuba studies, and the Graesser Foundation Scholarship for Outstanding UA Undergraduates in Mathematics.

Schmidtke has also maintained a 4.0 grade point average.

Schmidtke had planned on majoring in music but chose to pursue mathematics and biochemistry. She continued to focus on music despite her separate majors.

She is involved in Mortar Board Senior Honorary and the Lutheran Campus Ministry.

Schmidtke has also worked with the Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS network.

In addition, she studied in Costa Rica for a summer teaching English to elementary school children.

Survey will study UA workplace

As the second phase of the Millennium Project, non-faculty UA employees will be asked to fill out surveys to assess workplace satisfaction.

More than 8,000 non-faculty employees will be asked to spend about 30 minutes to complete the survey. The survey will be translated into Spanish and confidential assistance will be offered due to issues of disability or literacy.

"Participation in this study is completely voluntary. People can complete all or part of the survey, or they can choose not to participate," said Kathleen Miller, Co-chair of Millennium Project, Phase II.

The first phase of the project, which was conducted by the Commission on the Status of Women, concluded that women and minority faculty earn significantly less than their white, male counterparts. That project sparked a campuswide discussion on diversity and led to a short-lived proposal to create a vice provost for diversity who would have coordinated university efforts to improve the climate for minorities.

Project coordinators are hoping at least half the employees participate in the survey, Miller said.

"The more people we hear from, the better we can understand the needs of our campus and identify a plan to improve our community," said current chairwoman of the Commission on the Status of Women and director of the SALT Center, Diane Perreira.

Phase II, which began in September, is expected to take approximately 15 months.

Students move closer to Fulbright scholarship

Twenty-one UA undergraduate and graduate students advanced to the next level in the competition for the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.

Those students' applications were sent to the country of application, and the students will be notified later this spring about whether they will be named Fulbright Scholars.

Nearly 1,000 students from across the country will win the award, which enables students to spend 10 months studying, doing graduate research, public service or teaching in elementary schools in over 120 countries.

Students who qualify will be able to begin their Fulbright term in the fall.

The Fulbright Program was established at the end of World War II to promote understanding between the United States and other countries.

The Department of State is the principal administrator for the Fulbright Program.

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board works with the Department of State to create the criteria for the scholarship. The board also selects the winners of the scholarships.

The Department of State provides the budget and staff for program support.


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