Faculty News
CLAS Faculty Make Headlines

UF faculty are recognized as experts in their fields of research in both academia and the private sector.  Following is a sampling of the many CLAS researchers whose work has appeared recently in the media. 

Ties That Bind the Lobster World 
The New York Times Book Review cited research by Ron Formisano, professor of history, about the cultural and family ties between vendors and lobster men in Maine. 

Rock Music as Teaching Tool 
The Guardian Newspaper of London ran a story about English professor Robert Ray, who uses rock-and-roll in his classes. 

The Future of Prison Privatization 
Charles Thomas, professor of criminology and law, and an expert on private prisons, was interviewed in USA Today and the Sacramento Bee, regarding the future of the privatization of the industry.  In a related article, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quoted Thomas on the state of the private prison system in Missouri. 

Homo erectus in Indonesia 
The Yugoslav science journal I.Q. featured Susan Anton, anthropology professor, and her work with Homo erectus in Indonesia. 

Democracy on the Rise in Africa 
The political journal Foreign Affairs and the New York Times cited Michael Chege, associate professor and program director of African studies, on the recent wave of democratization in Africa. 

Noise Disrupts Learning 
The Dallas Morning News cited Carl Crandall, audiologist and associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, on how high noise levels in the classroom can hinder learning. 

The Politics of Gay Rights 
The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky and the News and Observer of Raleigh, NC, featured James Button, professor of political science, on gay rights ordinances. 

Elderly Parents Fear Losing Freedom 
An interview with sociology professor Karen Pyke on her parent care research aired in December on NBC affiliates around the country.  Pyke claims that many aging parents would rather take the risks of personal freedom than kowtow to their grown children for help with daily living. 

Innocents on Death Row 
Sociology chair Michael Radelet appeared on "The Sally Jesse Rapheal Show," discussing people convicted of homicide who turned out to be innocent. 

Physics Department Recognized 
For their pioneering work in thermometry at low temperatures, professor Dwight Adams and the UF physics department received much attention in the August Physics Today, one of the most widely circulated physics publications in the world. 

Gators Studied 
The Dallas Morning News featured the work of alligator expert and UF scientist Louis Guillette who is currently studying the effects of pesticides on the alligators in Lake Okeechobee and Lake Apopka. 

The International Impact of El Niño 
While at a conference in Peru, geology chair Cesar Caviedes was featured on national television and interviewed twice for the national edition of the Lima newspaper El Comercio on the effects of the developing El Niño phenomenon.  Back in the US, he has appeared on channels 2 and 20 commenting on El Niño. 

Professor's Books Earn National TV Coverage 
The History Channel included English professor Jim Haskins' forthcoming book, Black, Blue, and Gray:  African Americans in the Civil War on a list of three recommended books at the end of its "Field Trip--The Civil War" program for children.  In addition, Haskins and N.R. Mitgang, co-authors of Mr. Bojangles: The Biography of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (Morrow, 1988), were interviewed on A&E "Biography" in an episode chronicling the life of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. 

Happiness is Forgetfulness 
The New York Times, the Times of London, the Guardian of London, the Boston Globe, and the Miami Herald all mentioned psychology professor Benjamin Karney's research on happy marriages.  Karney suggests that marriages grow stronger with a hint of self-delusion and an incomplete memory of past unhappy events.  CNN, CNN Headline News and Fox News also reported on the study. 

Shame and the Presidency 
English professor James Twitchell appeared live on the Fox News Channel to discuss his book Shame relative to the scandal surrounding President Clinton and to how our national standards have changed. 

"Gunk on Your Car" Continues to Attract Media Attention 
UF entomology Professor Mark Hostetler, who received the Ig Noble prize in entomology for his book "That Gunk on Your Car" (about the remains of insects on car windshields), was a guest on National Public Radio and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." 

Fusion:  Cheap, Clean Energy Source of the Future? 
The Economist  recently reported the work of physics professor Hendrik Monkhorst and his groundbreaking work with fusion.  Monkhorst has theorized a fusion reactor that emits no radioactivity or pollution. 

Pope's Visit Triggers Interest in Cuban Religions 
Adjunct religion professor Miguel Ramirez was interviewed by NPR on the practice of Santeria, the religion of many Cubans, as part of their coverage of the Pope's visit. 

UF Anthropologists Lend Expertise to International Mystery 
In November, "Anastasia: Her True Story" aired on the A&E Network.  The program, which focuses on determining the fate of Russian princess Anastasia, missing since the 1917 Revolution (the rest of the Russian royal family was executed), quotes Anthony Falsetti, Director of the C.A. Pound Human Identification Lab (Anthropology) and features footage of the lab's previous director William Maples.

More Faculty Information

Dr. Rick Knight (left) and his nephew Mark Masters (right) present philosophy professor Marilyn Holly (center) with an alligator foot after their visit to her American Indian Philosophy class.  Knight is executive director of the Native American Cultural Center in Bradford County, where he works to share, preserve and archive national Native American culture.

Russell S. Drago   
1928 - 1997  

    On the 5th of December, 1997, the University of Florida lost one of its most distinguished research scientists and teachers when graduate research professor of chemistry, Russell S. Drago suffered a fatal heart attack.  He was leading a national conference of industrial and academic chemists on environmental chemistry at Palm Coast, Florida, at the time.  He was 69. 
    An internationally known expert in the field of inorganic chemistry, Professor Drago was a leader in the study of catalysis of chemical processes and in the understanding of the theoretical basis for acid-base phenomena. 
    Professor Drago was born in Montague, Massachusetts in 1928.  After receiving his BS degree from the University of Massachusetts, he completed his PhD in chemistry at Ohio State University with Professor Harry Sisler.  He then joined the Chemistry faculty at the University of Illinois in 1955. 
    He was appointed to the Department of Chemistry faculty of the University of Florida in 1982 and was shortly thereafter promoted to the rank of graduate research professor of Chemistry, a position that he held at the time of his death. 
    Aside from the scientific impact of his research, Professor Drago was widely recognized for his unusual success in combining superb scientific research with the training of graduate students to become productive chemists in their own right.  During his tenure at Illinois and Florida, he directed the doctoral dissertations of more than one hundred twenty chemists who now hold positions throughout the Unbited States and the world of higher education or industry. 

Provided by Dr. David Richardson, Chair of Inorganic Division, Department of Chemistry.  

Albert B. Smith Retires 

Al Smith, professor of French, retired recently from the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures.  "Al was as accomplished as an undergraduate advisor as he was as a decade-long graduate coordinator," says Smith's colleague Raymond Gay-Crosier.  "Students and colleagues alike appreciated his warmth and friendliness."  

Smith earned a BA in German and an MA in French from Emory and a PhD in Romance Languages and Literatures at UNC-Chapel Hill.  He began his professorial career in 1961 at the University of Chicago, but quickly accepted an offer from UF later that year, where he rose through the ranks to become a full professor by 1977.  Author of two noted books and many articles, Smith also made it a priority to maintain the links between UF and secondary schools by acting as a judge for nearly 20 years (1968-87) in State High School French Competitions.  

Says Gay-Crosier:  "We hope he'll frequently visit the very halls he just left because his friends and colleagues will find it hard to endure the absence of his infectious laughter."  


Don Williams Honored in Special Program 

At the October conference of the Florida Communication Association, Don Williams, Professor Emeritus (Communication Sciences and Disorders), was honored in a special session featuring participation by five of his former students and a former colleague.  

Williams came to UF from Cornell in 1959.  In his department, he served as founding director of the Communication Studies Division.  Although he retired in 1995, Williams continues to be active in academe.  Last year, he served as visiting professor at The Linguistic University in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia; this year, he presented a research paper at an international conference in Spain; and in 1998, he plans to present a paper at an international conference in Hungary.  Since 1976, Williams has held teaching/lecturing appointments in 16 countries on six continents.