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DEAN OF FACULTIES TEAM SPOTLIGHT


 
Katz Named Associate Dean of Faculties

Dear Colleagues,
 
I am pleased to announce that Dr. Claire Katz has been appointed Associate Dean of Faculties, with a focus in operations, in the Office of the Dean of Faculties, effective July 16, 2019.  

Dr. Katz is the Murray and Celeste Fasken Chair in Distinguished Teaching in the Liberal Arts and Professor of Philosophy. She is an affiliate of the program in Religious Studies and she currently convenes the Working Group in Jewish Studies. A member of the Faculty Senate since 2015, she served on its Executive Committee for two years and as secretary for one year. From 2010-2014, she served as the Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program. Most recently, she inaugurated and now directs the Program in Philosophy for Children, a pre-college philosophy program for 7th-12th graders, which just completed its fourth session in June 2019.  

In her role as Associate Dean of Faculties, Dr. Katz will be instrumental in the proactive planning for the Office of the Dean of Faculties, representing faculty needs and issues. She will manage and/or collaboratively manage administrative aspects key to faculty success, such as recruiting, hiring, evaluation, tenure and promotion, and grievances. Her oversight of various operations within the office will facilitate a university environment in which each faculty member can achieve his or her maximum potential.  

Dr. Katz earned her bachelor’s degree in 1986 from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, an M.A.T. in the Philosophy for Children program in 1987 from Montclair State University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Memphis. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas A&M in 2006, she was an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Studies at Penn State University.  

Informed by contemporary French philosophy and in particular her work on the 20th century French, Jewish philosopher, Emmanuel Levinas, Dr. Katz conducts research and teaching at the intersection of Jewish Philosophy, Feminist theory, and Philosophy of Education. She is the author of three monographs: Levinas, Judaism, and the Feminine: the silent footsteps of Rebecca (Indiana 2003); Levinas and the Crisis of Humanism (Indiana 2013); An Introduction to Modern Jewish Philosophy (I.B. Tauris, 2014) and the editor, with Lara Trout, of Emmanuel Levinas: Critical Assessments vols 1-4 (Routledge, 2005). Publishing on diverse themes, including feminist theory, phenomenology, philosophy of education, ethics, technology, and modern Jewish philosophy, her articles have appeared in Telos, Jewish Thought and Philosophy, The Journal of French and Francophone Studies, and Shofar. She is completing Growing Up With Philosophy Camp, an edited collection of essays from various organizers of pre-college philosophy camps run in the US and abroad (Advanced Contract, Rowman and Littlefield). She is currently working on a monograph tentatively titled, Unrepentant Women: Gender, Justice, and the Limits of Forgiveness (Advanced contract with Indiana UP).  

Dr. Katz has received numerous honors, recognitions and awards throughout her career. From 2011-2015 she was a Liberal Arts Cornerstone Faculty Fellow; from 2011-2012, she was a Copeland Faculty Fellow at Amherst College; and in 2017 she was appointed the Murray and Celeste Fasken Chair in Distinguished Teaching in the Liberal Arts.  In 2019, she was awarded an AFS University Level Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching.  She serves on the board of PLATO: Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization, as an ambassador to Philosophy Ireland, and on the Pre-college Teaching Committee of the American Philosophical Association. She serves on the editorial board of New Directions in Jewish Philosophy (Indiana University Press) and Levinas Studies.  An advocate for the faculty, she has been a member of the AAUP since 2005 and started an AAUP chapter at Penn State.

Please join me in congratulating Claire as she assumes this leadership role.
 
Best Regards,
Blanca
Blanca Lupiani, PhD
Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost
Professor, Veterinary Pathobiology
979-845-4274
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Werner Named Director of ADVANCE

 
werner_headshot_2012.JPGDear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Cynthia Werner has been appointed Director of ADVANCE in the Office of the Dean of Faculties. Her appointment, effective July 1, was based on the recommendation of an internal search advisory committee and was confirmed by Provost Carol A. Fierke.

Dr. Werner, a professor of anthropology, has served as department head since 2011. She is also an active member of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Texas A&M, and she previously served on the Internal Advisory Board for ADVANCE.

In her new role, Dr. Werner will coordinate efforts to institutionalize and to expand programs formerly associated with Texas A&M’s ADVANCE Center. Established in 2010 with an Institutional Transformation grant from the NSF ADVANCE Program, the ADVANCE Center supported a host of programs and activities on campus aimed at supporting the success of women faculty in STEM disciplines. Under Dr. Werner’s leadership, the scope and mission of ADVANCE will be extended to address necessary institutional changes to support equity and inclusion for a diverse faculty in all disciplines. As the Director of ADVANCE, Dr. Werner will be responsible for directing and evaluating faculty programs focusing on recruitment, retention, climate improvement and leadership development. Although this position will be housed in the Office of the Dean of Faculties, Dr. Werner will also work closely with the Office for Diversity.

Dr. Werner earned her bachelor’s degree in 1989 from Texas Christian University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Indiana University Bloomington. She held visiting appointments at the University of Iowa and Pitzer College prior to joining Texas A&M University as an assistant professor in 2001.

Dr. Werner’s research is geographically based in the region of Central Asia, an area that includes the former “Muslim republics” of the Soviet Union. From the 1930s to the 1990s, the region was radically transformed by Soviet rule, yet closed to ethnographic research. Dr. Werner was among the earliest cohort of “Western” anthropologists to conduct ethnographic research in the region, beginning in the early 1990s. Her publications cover a variety of topics, including rural household survival strategies, memories of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan, the repatriation of ethnic Kazakhs from Mongolia to Kazakhstan and the unusual marriage practice of bride kidnapping. These different areas of inquiry are united by an interest in how relatively marginalized groups have adapted to changes brought about by Soviet and post-Soviet states. In her publications on bride kidnapping, she argues that institutions can and do have an influential role in changing cultural attitudes and practices towards gender equity.

Dr. Werner has received numerous honors, recognitions and awards throughout her career. She received fellowships and grants from the National Research Council, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Science Foundation and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. She is the past president of the Central Eurasian Studies Society. She currently serves on the editorial board of the journal Central Asian Survey and the book series Research in Economic Anthropology. She has been a reviewer for numerous scientific journals and funding agencies. She has also been appointed as an SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellow.

I wish to thank the members of the search committee for their thorough review of candidates, and I am grateful to the applicants for offering their leadership to our university.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Werner as she assumes this leadership role.

Sincerely,

Blanca
 

Blanca Lupiani, PhD
Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost
Professor, Veterinary Pathobiology
979-845-4274