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TO: University Senate

FROM: Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

DATE: October 1, 2012



I am pleased to announce the 2012-2013 call for nominations for the Provost’s Outstanding Lecturer Award. The complete guidelines for the preparation of nomination files, as well as a list of all Provost’s Outstanding Lecturers, can be found at:
The nomination file, including all required documents, must be submitted to the Provost’s Office no later than January 28, 2013. Please send the file electronically to Ann Ozelis at


On November 8, 2012, we are hosting a Faculty Achievement Dinner at the Old Field Club. This event, established in 1992, recognizes faculty who received prestigious national and international fellowships, honors and awards during the period from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. The Stony Brook faculty is a remarkable group that, year upon year, brings home remarkable honors. This event is a celebration of the renowned researchers and educators who call Stony Brook their home. These awardees are an embodiment of our great university and of our community of scholars. This year’s honorees will join the already distinguished group of faculty such as Nobel Prize winners, a Fields medalist, many winners of United States Presidential medals and awards, MacArthur Foundation “genius” awards, and Members of the National Academies and the Royal Society.


On November 16, 2012, we will host an Academic Achievement Banquet to honor students who have demonstrated extraordinary competence, and have excelled in their academic and extracurricular pursuits here at Stony Brook; students who achieved a 4.0 GPA in the spring 2012 semester and who hold at least a 3.85 cumulative GPA. Many of the students who will be recognized at this event, in addition to academic demands, have jobs or familial responsibilities, and are involved in innovative research, creative activities and service.


The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. These programs underscore SUNY’s commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction, and serving the public good. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians, and professional and classified staff across its campuses. The awards provide SUNY-wide recognition in five categories: Excellence in Teaching, Excellence in Faculty Service, Excellence in Librarianship, Excellence in Professional Service, and Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities. Nomination files must be received by the Provost's Office by November 8, 2012.


On Thursday, October 4, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. in the Humanities Building, Room 1008, the Provost’s Lecture Series will feature a lecture by Robyn Wiegman entitled “Eve’s Triangles: Queer Theory Without Anti-Normativity.” Robyn Wiegman is Professor of Literature and Women’s Studies at Duke University and former Director of Women’s Studies at both Duke and UC-Irvine. Wiegman's research interests include feminist theory, queer theory, American Studies, critical race theory, and film and media studies. This lecture is co-sponsored with the Department of Cultural Analysis and Theory (Program in Women’s and Gender Studies), the Humanities Institute and the Department of English.

On Friday, October 5, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. in the Wang Center Theater, we are pleased to host a talk by Dr. Frances Colón entitled “Reinventing Diplomacy Through Science and Technology.”
Dr. Frances Colón is the Deputy Science and Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State at the US Department of State. The Office of the Science and Technology Advisor (STAS) promotes global scientific engagement; innovation as an engine of economic growth and development; science diasporas as a diplomacy tool; evidenced-based policy-making and the advancement of women in science around the world. This lecture is co-sponsored with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, the Center for Inclusive Education, and the Graduate School.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 4:00 p.m. on the Staller Center Main Stage, we will feature a talk by Ben Cohen entitled “True Champions Stand Up.” Ben Cohen is an England Rugby World Cup champion, second in all-time scoring for his country and first among straight athletes to focus his philanthropic efforts for the benefit of LGBT people. In May 2011, Mr. Cohen created the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, the world’s first foundation dedicated to raising awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying. Mr. Cohen has reached millions of people with his message through global media coverage, films and nearly 300,000 followers on social media. With his leadership, cities across the US have passed StandUp declarations, calling for an end to bullying. Working with the UK Home Office, he has led the charge for the StandUp Charter to end homophobia across sports in the UK, including broad adoption to date in soccer, rugby and tennis. This lecture is co-sponsored by the Stony Brook University Department of Athletics and the America East Conference.
On Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. in the Humanities Building, Room 1006, we will host a lecture by Andrés Di Tella entitled “Narrative and Intimacy in the Documentary.”
Andrés Di Tella, Argentinean filmmaker, professor and writer, studied literature at Oxford. His work is intimately related to Argentinean contemporary history, to the large migrations of the 20th century and to the exploration of subjectivity and private life in the documentary genre. Family plots, the intersection between private and social issues, the political value of personal experiences, and a critical reflection on the documentary as a genre are the distinctive traits of his work. This lecture will explore how first-person narratives have transformed the documentary in Latin America, bringing a new political meaning to intimacy. The talk will be illustrated with clips from the work of Andrés Di Tella and others. This lecture is co-sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center, the Humanities Institute, the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature, and the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action.

On Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. in the Wang Center Theater, we will feature a talk by Jason Kilmer entitled “Placebos, Pavlov, & Perceptions: The Science of College Substance Use.” Jason Kilmer is a Research Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the University of Washington and works in both a student affairs and research capacity. He serves as an investigator on several studies evaluating prevention and intervention efforts for alcohol and drug use by college students. In this lecture, Kilmer will ask the question of whether alcohol makes people funnier, talkative, outgoing, and friendly. Research from the University of Washington's "BARLAB" using a balanced placebo design will be described. Studies discussing the role of classical conditioning on the development of tolerance to substances will be reviewed, and implications for the college setting will be discussed. Additionally, information about ways in which alcohol, marijuana, and non-prescription stimulant use can impact student health and academic success will be reviewed, followed by a discussion of implications for education, prevention, and intervention.

On Monday, October 15, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. in the Wang Center Theater, we will feature a talk by Georges Didi-Huberman entitled “Mapping the World of Images: On Malraux's Museum Without Walls.Georges Didi-Huberman is a professor at the Centre d’Histoire et Théorie des Arts at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Didi-Huberman is one of the world’s foremost art historians and philosophers of aesthetics. A recipient of the College Art Association’s Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing on Art, Georges Didi-Huberman is the author of thirty five books whose range of subject matter defies quick characterization. In this lecture, Georges Didi-Huberman will discuss the illustrations in André Malraux’s Museum Without Walls [Le Musée imaginaire]— a work explicitly inspired by Walter Benjamin’s ideas about "technical reproducibility" and "the author as producer." This lecture is co-sponsored by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

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