A Letter from the Director
Dear Faculty, Students, Teaching Assistants, and Friends,
As the new director of the School of Religion, I would like to offer each of you a warm welcome back to campus. Before launching into announcements, I would like to open by expressing my gratitude to Prof. Duncan Williams for his years of exceptional service to our program. His is an impossible act to follow, but I look forward to serving the department to the best of my ability.
And now for the announcements: First, the department is delighted to announce that we will be launching a Ph.D. program. The new program will offer doctoral degrees in three tracks: Comparative Christianities, Global Islam, and Asia Pacific Religions. We will begin accepting applications this fall and are currently working on promotional materials. Prof. Sherman Jackson has kindly agreed to serve as Director of Graduate Studies. We will be releasing more detailed information on the application process, as well as promotional materials, in the weeks to come.
Secondly, I am thrilled to welcome several new members to our faculty. This fall Profs. Cavan Concannon and Jessica Marglin will be joining our department. You will find short features on them in an upcoming newsletter. I would also like to mention Prof. Rongdao Lai, who joined us last spring. You can find out more about Profs. Concannon, Marglin, and Lai here:
Third, I am happy to share that Prof. Lynn Dodd has agreed to serve as Director of Undergraduate Studies. Please send news of events, recent accomplishments, new courses, research and fellowship opportunities, etc. to her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your contributions help us keep this newsletter robust, so please don’t forget to keep us informed. (You needn’t be a faculty member to send us news: we encourage everyone on the list to send updates!) Also, a big thanks is due to Prof. James McHugh, who served as Director of Undergraduate Studies last year. Prof. McHugh earned tenure in the spring and is now on a research leave, having won fellowships from both the NEH and the ACLS.
Next, a few words about upcoming events. As you can see below, there are a number of talks and events planned for September: a major conference on Muslims in Public Service (Sept. 5), organized by Prof. Jackson; a talk by Fr. Peter Phan (Sept. 10), organized by Prof. James Heft; and a conference on yoga, meditation, and integrative health (Sept. 20-21), organized by Dr. Rita Sherma (details to be posted soon).
We also have several upper-division courses that are under-enrolled. If you have advisees or friends who are looking for REL courses, please ask them to consider REL 331, 339, or 442. We need to get a few more students in these courses in order to keep them from being closed. These small courses offer a great opportunity for students to work closely with our faculty.
And finally, please remember to check our tumblr blog and Facebook pages from time to time:
Many thanks for your continued support. I look forward to a fruitful and engaging year.