CAS - Ampersand E-Newsletter [Vanderbilt University]

May 2015

Dean John SloopDear College of Arts and Science friends:

A few weeks ago, I had the singular honor and pleasure of standing on the stage on Alumni Lawn and shaking the hands of more than 1,000 new Arts and Science graduates as they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas.

This was the first time in my 20 years at Vanderbilt that I had been on the stage during the ceremony -- and I want to stress this -- the view from the stage is breathtaking. I saw row after row of graduating seniors, faculty, staff, graduates from years past, parents and friends of current graduates, and other friends of the university. In short, I saw personified all the elements that make Vanderbilt work and all the groups that have helped put the university on its exceptional trajectory.

As I hand off to our new dean, the extraordinarily talented Lauren Benton, and step down as interim dean, I am thrilled to be part of this larger Vanderbilt. The view from that stage was a reminder that it takes the combined efforts of many groups -- students, alumni, staff, faculty, parents and friends of Vanderbilt -- to make the magic happen. As we work to implement Vanderbilt’s strategic plan, continue the good work of Opportunity Vanderbilt, and integrate traditional and new forms of education (including new technologies and immersion experiences), we need the entire family to pitch in.

My year as interim dean of the College of Arts and Science and my previous years in the dean’s office have taught me many lessons and allowed me to understand the strengths and breadth of our faculty and the generosity of our alumni and friends. So as I get ready to take on different duties at Vanderbilt, I write this both as a letter of thanks and as a call to the entire Vanderbilt family -- let’s continue to help Vanderbilt make strides as one of the nation’s premiere teaching and research centers.

I thank you for your support this year and look forward to continuing to work with all of you in the future.

Dean John Sloop's signature




Dean Sloop and Founder's MedalistCommencement 2015 Highlights

Danielle Jessup Beaujon was named this year’s Founder’s Medalist for the College of Arts and Science. Beaujon majored in history -- her honors thesis was inspired by her experiences studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France. During Commencement, seven retiring faculty members from Arts and Science were honored with the title of emeritus or emerita.

Chiu Man Ho and Tom WeilerArts and Science in the News

Physics professor Tom Weiler went Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman on Discovery’s Science Channel, The New York Times quoted Alice Randall in its toast to “Dirty Pages,” an art project about family cookbooks, and Futurity, PsychCentral and Red Orbit reported that biological sciences’ grad student Noah Green and professor Douglas McMahon located the part of the brain responsible for seasonal affective disorder. In a category all its own, our Latin American Public Opinion Project was referenced in more than 60 news stories in April -- and May looks to be just as busy for LAPOP.

AS logo items

John Geer#AskVU about politics

Tweet questions to Professor John Geer about the Nashville mayoral race and Tennessee politics during a Twitter Q&A Thursday, May 28, noon-1 p.m. Tweet  in advance or live at #AskVU, or email to

Student Nicholas Crowther$200 million milestone

Gifts and pledges to Opportunity Vanderbilt, the university’s ongoing financial aid initiative, have reached $200 million. Sophomore Nicholas Crowther , recipient of the Turner Family Scholarship, is one of more than 7,500 undergraduates who have benefited from the program since its 2008 launch.

Kate DanielsHuge honor

Poet and professor of English Kate Daniels was recently inducted into the distinguished Fellowship of Southern Writers, founded by Robert Penn Warren, James Dickey and other notable authors.



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Ampersand  |  Vanderbilt University College of Arts and Science
301 Kirkland Hall  |  Nashville, TN 37240

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