Murphy, Thomas H. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 86, Number 4 (May 1985)
The news, pp. 5-6
The News continued American Studies department and in 1970, the regents approved its establishment. To- day it is thriving. Says its chairman, Prof. William L. Van Deburg, "We enroll 600 to 1,000 students per semester." The average class contains about half Afro-American students, and the most popular are courses in black literature, history, economics and the Afro-American family. "We speak to black students' need to know about their heritage and culture, and we try to better prepare them for survival in a society that does not always recognize black contributions," he said. "We also try to sensitize and introduce non-black stu- dents to the valid aspects of black culture and to counter racist attitudes. "Our approach to black history is Pan- African. We study the black experience not only in the U.S. but also in West Africa, South America and the Caribbean. That differs from some other programs that fo- cus on art or culture in general." Enroll- ment peaked in the mid-'70s when interest was at its height nationwide and has re- mained stable ever since, Van Deburg said. The discipline added its first master's de- gree three years ago. Eight Profs Win National Research Awards Eight professors, including three from one department, have won the National Sci- ence Foundation's Presidential Young In- vestigator Awards. Each award provides a base grant of $25,000 annually, with an ex- tra $37,500 possible in matching grants from NSF and industry. Winners may re- ceive research support of up to $100,000 a year for five years. Cited were professors Deborah A. Jo- seph, Udi Manber and Mary K. Vernon, computer sciences; Michael Renardy, mathematics; Sangtae Kim, chemical engi- neering; Thomas F. Kelly, metallurgical and mineral engineering; William Darasov, wildlife ecology; and Paul Ahlquist, plant pathology and biophysics. UW Designated 'Center Of Excelience' In Land Information Science The UW has been named one of three North American centers of excellence in land information science in recognition of our teaching and research leadership in the field. The designation, made on the recom- mendation of the National Research Coun- cil, came from the Institute for Moderniza- tion of Land Data Systems. Cited were the College of Agriculture and Life Science's work on the automation of highway and electrical transmission loca- tions; the Land Tenure Center's efforts on land registry and property systems as part of agrarian reform in Central and South America; the nationally recognized output of the geography and cartography depart- ments; and the Institute for Environmental Studies' environmental remote sensing pro- gram to assess land use patterns in Wiscon- sin. Biotech Center Could Attract $30 Million Over Next Decade Using the UW's international reputation in the biological sciences as a springboard, the new Biotechnology Center could draw an additional $30 million in federal grants over the next ten years, according to its director, Richard Burgess. Already the third most successful grant-getting institution in the nation, the UW is expected to increase its federal biotech funding by several million dollars a year despite a restricted climate. In addition to increased federal money, pri- vate grants and contracts are also likely to grow substantially as the center evolves and can more actively support scientists. Biotechnology, based on several spec- tacular advances in molecular biology and genetics, describes a spectrum of new tech- niques such as gene-splicing, embryo ma- nipulation and transfer and the growing of living cells outside of their host organisms. Once developed, the new technology could result in disease- and frost-resistant plants, improved lines of cattle, faster growing continued on page 20 6 / THE WISCONSIN ALUMNUS Jerry isock jppie i-euerer Joyce Carol Oates HONORARY DEGREES at spring commencement on May 18 will go to Jerry Bock x'49, composer of the musical scores of Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello!; Eppie Lederer (Ann Landers); novelist Joyce Carol Oates MA'61; and George Tipler, executive secretary of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.
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