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College of Liberal Arts & Sciences names associate deans for research

Thursday, May 31, 2018

LAWRENCE — Two administrators whose leadership has produced significant advancements in research development have been named as associate deans for research in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas.

Tamara Falicov will serve as associate dean for research in the arts and humanities and Joy Ward as associate dean for research in the sciences. They served in the same roles in an interim capacity through the 2017-’18 academic year. Falicov is a professor in the Department of Film & Media Studies, and Ward is Dean’s Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology.

During their first year as associate deans for research, they launched funding mechanisms and a variety of programming aimed at enhancing resources for faculty and student researchers and boosting the profile of KU research across and beyond campus.

“Joy and Tamara have brought tremendous energy to the research mission of the College. I am eager to partner with them as they continue to build momentum around research initiatives,” said Clarence Lang, interim dean of the College.

Falicov and Ward will continue to oversee research funding, promotion and development. In the past year, they launched several programs: the Research Excellence Initiative, an internal grant program for faculty, staff and students that is supported through private philanthropy; Sneakers & Scholarship, a regular series of campus tours that feature cutting-edge research; Coffee with a Colleague, a program to connect interdisciplinary researchers; Research Features, a collection of faculty research highlights that will enable donors and students to connect with projects that align with their interests; and a series of research development workshops for faculty in the sciences, arts and humanities. Their fundraising efforts have already helped to secure over $1 million in private support to award through the Research Excellence Initiative.

“It is a great privilege to be asked to serve in this position. Our faculty includes some of the best researchers in their fields, and I am honored and humbled to lead efforts to support them in this capacity,” Ward said.

“It has been rewarding for me to help faculty and students realize their research objectives; I am looking forward to exploring future forms of support to help faculty, students and staff further their research pathway," Falicov said.

Ward has a depth of experience in both research and leadership that spans local, national and international levels. She has been a KU Senior Administrative Fellow and will soon graduate from the Food Systems Leadership Institute, a two-year executive leadership training program through the APLU (Association of Public & Land-grant Universities). She has mentored many successful students at the undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels, and she has been a mentor for several National Institutes of Health programs to enhance diversity in STEM fields.

Ward has long-term funding from the National Science Foundation through her work in plant biology, and she has received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama, the NSF CAREER Award, the University Scholarly Achievement Award, the Thelma and Edward Wohlgemuth Faculty Scholar Award, the K. Barbara Schowen Undergraduate Research Mentor Award and was named a KU Woman of Distinction. She is also a Kavli Fellow and served as U.S. chair for the National Academy’s Frontier of Sciences through the Japanese-American and Arab-American programs. She has been a scientific delegate to Uzbekistan through the American Association for the Advancement of Science through the State Department.

Her research has led to major advances in understanding plant responses to a rapidly changing global environment. By incorporating the fossil record, she has provided novel insights into how plants have responded to long-term environmental changes since the last glacial period, as well as understanding how plants will respond to environments of the future.

Falicov served as chair of the Department of Film & Media Studies from 2009-2015. She was awarded a Docking Young Faculty Fellowship for midcareer scholars at KU (2013-2016). She has previously served as a visiting professor at the University of Medellin in 2010 and 2016.

Her specialty is the study of Latin American film industries, and she is a significant contributor to the KU Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies. She is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to Argentina, the result of which is the book “The Cinematic Tango: Contemporary Argentine Film” (London: Wallflower Press/Columbia University Press, 2007), which was selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, 2008. In addition to her Fulbright award, she was the recipient of an NEH Summer Stipend and was funded by NEH to attend a Summer University Teacher’s Institute in São Paulo, Brazil. Most recently she has been awarded a monthlong summer fellowship to the Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of London. This fall semester she will be giving workshops and serving on the jury of the Icaro film festival in Honduras and giving workshops and talks at the Universidade Lusofona in Lisbon, Portugal, as part of the Fulbright Specialist Program.

Her book on Latin American film industries (British Film Institute/Bloomsbury Academic) is forthcoming (2019). She has written multiple essays on co-productions, the cultural politics of Programa Ibermedia, Cine en construccion (Films in Progress) and the importance of European film funds such as the Hubert Bals Fund and World Cinema Fund, which support Global South filmmakers.

The College is the heart of KU, educating the most students, producing the most research and collaborating with nearly every entity at KU. The College is home to more than 50 departments, programs and centers, as well as the School of the Arts, School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures and School of Public Affairs & Administration.