Hellos, Goodbyes, and In Memoriam

We welcome these newest members of the College family.

Saying Hello

We welcome these newest members of the College family.

Lisa Tamiris BeckerLisa Tamiris BeckerLisa Tamiris Becker has joined the College of Arts and Sciences as the founding Director of the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts (AEIVA).

Becker comes to UAB from the University of New Mexico (UNM), where she was the director of the university’s art museum and was also an associate professor. Before joining UNM, Lisa served as the director of the CU Art Museum at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a position she held for more than 10 years.

Becker received her B.A. (magna cum laude) from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Mathematics and Art History. She completed her M.F.A. in Studio Art and Art Theory from the University of Texas at Austin in 1995, with a focus on experimental sculpture, new media, and installation.

Becker’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of contemporary art, multimedia, and politics in many different cultures, including Korean, Latin American, Scandinavian, Arab, Greek, Jewish, Tibetan, and more. She has published essays in numerous catalogues and edited volumes regularly since 1998.

In her new role, she will expand AEIVA’s programming and extend the Institute’s influence regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Dr. Murali VenugopalanDr. Murali VenugopalanDr. Murali Venugopalan has been named Director of the English Language Institute, a professional resource for English language learning and cross-cultural training in the Birmingham metropolitan area.

Dr. Venugopalan received his B.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana in Economics and International Relations/Political Science. He completed an M.S. in International Relations from Illinois State University and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in ESL from The University of Kansas. He has been an ESL instructor since 1995, when he taught at the Seojin Language Institute in Seoul, South Korea.

Dr. Venugopalan was most recently at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he served as the Director of the English Language Program and Assistant Professor in the university’s Global Education Office. His focus areas are assessment, intensive English program development, comparative global education, and U.S. education policy.

Dr. Venugopalan is a member of The American International Education Association, The Commission on English Language Program Accreditation, and TESOL. His first novel, iKill, was published in November of last year to critical acclaim.

Saying Goodbye

We are grateful for the service of these remarkable individuals.

Three faculty members leave a tremendous impact both in scholarship and as teachers over their long tenures at the university.

Dr. Raymond Mohl, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of History, received his B.A. from Hamilton College, an M.A. from Yale University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from New York University. After 26 years at Florida Atlantic University, Dr. Mohl came to UAB in 1996.

His scholarship focused on urban history, specifically poverty, social welfare, race and civil rights. While at UAB, he published numerous articles and taught several courses on the Latino migration to Alabama and the American South. Dr. Mohl testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and contributed to recent efforts to redesign the Interstate 20/59 expressway through downtown Birmingham.

Department of History Chair Dr. Colin Davis says, “The retirement of Ray Mohl will leave a big hole in the department. Distinguished Professor Mohl has been a mentor to many and his incredible work ethic has been a wonder to witness. His door has always been open for students and young faculty alike.”

The Department of History is also saying goodbye to Dr. Robert Corley, who has been at UAB since 1993. Dr. Corley received his B.A. from Birmingham-Southern College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. For nine years, he was the Regional Director of the National Conference of Christians and Jews. At UAB, he directed the Center for Urban Affairs for 14 years, then served as the founding director of the Global and Community Honors Program from 2007 to 2011. Dr. Corley served two terms on the Birmingham Board of Education. He was a member of the task force that created the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) and was a founding member of the BCRI Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. He has been on the Leadership Birmingham Steering Committee since 1987 and remains a board member today. A board member for the Cahaba River Society since 2004, he was president of the organization from 2004-2010.

Dr. Corley received the Thomas Jefferson Award from the Jefferson County Historical Commission (1995); the Brotherhood-Sisterhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews (1998); and the Distinguished Service Award from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast (2006).

Dr. Davis says, “Bob Corley has been a fixture at UAB for decades. His leadership of the Urban Studies Center ushered in a period of direct engagement with the Birmingham community. He has influenced countless UAB students in the history of Alabama and Birmingham. His compassion and dry humor has left an indelible mark on students and faculty alike.”

The English Department bids farewell to Dr. Mary Flowers Braswell. Department of English Chair Dr. Peter Bellis says, “Dr. Flowers Braswell has for many years been one of the department’s leading scholars and teachers. She is an expert in the work of Geoffrey Chaucer and on law and literature in the medieval period, the author or editor of four books and dozens of scholarly articles. Dr. Braswell has also mentored dozens of graduate and honors students, whose work has in turn won national recognition. She has served both the University and the Birmingham community through her work with Sterne Library and in a series of summer workshops for teachers.”

We wish our colleagues the best in their future endeavors.

In Memoriam

Dr. Nikolai ChernovDr. Nikolai ChernovDr. Nikolai Chernov of the Department of Mathematics passed away on August 7, 2014. A member of the College faculty for 20 years, Dr. Chernov was a consistent contributor, successful researcher and much-sought-after adviser and mentor to students.

His students and friends remember him as a brilliant, humble, and patient mathematician who loved to travel. Dr. Chernov’s immense contributions to the field were recognized by the American Mathematical Society, which will list him as a 2015 fellow posthumously.
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