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News

2016

Professor of History Luise White Awarded National Humanities Center Fellowship

New work focuses on intricacies of the Rhodesian War.

By Rachel Wayne

In her latest full-length book project, Luise White, professor of history at the University of Florida, explores the troubled lives of white soldiers fighting to preserve rule by the white minority in Rhodesia.

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Two CLAS Scholars to Study at Oxford

Students are awarded prestigious fellowship.

By Rachel Wayne

Two UF students have received the Frost Scholarship, which funds an intensive master’s-level course for graduating seniors in the State University System of Florida to study at the University of Oxford. The scholarship covers 100 percent of tuition and academic fees and includes a grant for living costs. Out of 10 students selected from the state of Florida, Nicholas Pasternack, on the left, and Daniel Aldridge ’16, right, will represent UF to study immunology and neuroscience, respectively.

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A Chemical Bond

UF alum Joseph Hernandez shows $10 million worth of appreciation.

By David Finnerty

A son of Cuban immigrants with three University of Florida degrees has invested $10 million in his alma mater to enhance UF’s chemistry department so future chemists and other alumni will be better positioned to explore solutions to society’s greatest challenges.

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UF Professor Pamela K. Gilbert Named 2016 Guggenheim Fellow

Albert

Pamela K. Gilbert, the Albert Brick Professor in the Department of English, has been awarded a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship for a new book project, Victorian Skin: Surface, Subjectivity, Affect.

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The Center for European Studies Receives NEH Grant to Work with Veterans

Albert

The Center for European Studies (CES) received a large grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities entitled Dialogues on the Experience of War (DEW). DEW supports the study and discussion of important humanities sources about war in the belief that these sources can help U.S. military veterans and others to think more deeply about the issues raised by war and military service.

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UF alum headed to China after receiving Gates Cambridge Scholarship

By Kelli Kaufmann

Albert

For University of Florida alum Yevgen Sautin, near-misses have proved the best teacher.

Sautin, 25, was a finalist for the coveted Truman Scholarship his junior year at UF and a Rhodes Scholar nominee his senior year, but he walked away from both contests empty-handed.

And then in 2012, he graduated from UF with a triple degree in history, economics and political science. He earned a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Chicago followed by a stint at National Taiwan University as a Boren Fellow.

Now, Sautin, who works for the U.S. Bank in Washington, D.C., as a strategic risk analyst, is the recipient of a prestigious 2016 Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The prize was bestowed this year to only 35 applicants from a pool of more than 800.

Awarded for superior academic excellence, leadership potential and commitment to improving the lives of others, it will take Sautin to China, where he will spend three years working toward a Ph.D. in modern Chinese history.

None of his success would be possible, Sautin reflected, without the foundation he received at UF, particularly in the UF Honors Program.

“The University of Florida gave me tremendous opportunities, without which I would not be where I am today,” he said. “I was in a perfect environment to thrive and figure out what sort of subsequent career and academic path I wanted to take.”

Looking ahead, Sautin said he hopes to work in foreign policy development, but he’s open to whatever comes next.

“When facing choices, you should go with what’s most interesting,” he said. “Not the most prestigious, but what you enjoy doing.”

UF Professor Co-Producing PBS Documentary That Explores Hidden History of Nazi Hunter and Entebbe Hostage Michel Cojot

March 16, 2016

Albert

In 1975, Parisian banker Michel Cojot, disguised as a journalist, sat and talked with Nazi Klaus Barbie, with the intent of killing him with the revolver Cojot had brought with him for that very purpose. Decades earlier, Cojot’s father was a prisoner in the Lyons, France, Gestapo that Barbie controlled. The elder Cojot was deported to Auschwitz . Michel Cojot had sought retaliation but could not pull the trigger. The words of Elie Wiesel, “Every murder is a suicide,” haunted him.

A year later, Cojot was a passenger on an Air France flight to Entebbe, Uganda, that was highjacked by terrorists. While Israeli commandos mounted a rescue, Cojot stepped up, serving as a translator and spokesperson.

“Few people get a shot at righting history,” says UF alumnus and director Boaz Dvir, who along with UF professor Gayle Zachmann, is co-producing a documentary about Cojot’s remarkable life. “Michel claimed two. In 1975–76, he was catapulted twice onto the global stage. He certainly made the most of his second chance in Entebbe.”

Slated for public release in 2017, “Cojot” explores the complexity of Jewish identity in post-war Europe. “This is clearly an important project and a very timely one,” says Jack Kugelmass, Director of the UF Center for Jewish Studies. “At once poignant and packed with adventure, the story zooms on difficult questions and issues that call our attention today. It documents a critical moment in the history of French Jews, the third largest population of Jews in the world,” notes Zachmann, “We are very excited about the project.”

Zachmann, who also serves as historical consultant for “Cojot: A Second Chance Only Comes Once,” presented a sneak peek of the project to the Gainesville Community at the Gainesville Jewish Film Festival on March 13. The American Jewish Historical Society also will preview the PBS documentary as part of its program, focusing on France, Jewish identity, and the Holocaust on March 23 in New York City.

For more information about the event and preview screening, including how to buy tickets, visit: http://ajhs.org/france-jewish-identity-and-holocaust-yellow-stars-tolerance-and-cojot.

The UF Center for Jewish Studies is accepting gifts for this exciting film project. If you would like to participate, please contact jkugelma@ufl.edu.

Gravitational waves detected 100 years after Einstein’s prediction

February 11, 2016
Steve Orlando

LIGO opens new window on the universe with observation of gravitational waves from colliding black holes

Albert

For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

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