Perspectives: Newsletter of the College of Arts & Sciences

Awards, Honors, and Professorships

A&S Student Wins Grammy Award
Alum Honored for Groundbreaking Ad Campaigns
Other Awards, Honors, and Professorships

A&S Student Wins Grammy Award

When the band Quetzal received a Grammy Award for Best Latin Pop, Rock or Urban Alternative Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards, A&S graduate student Martha Gonzalez, a PhD candidate in the UW Department of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies (GWSS) and 2012-13 Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow, was among the band members on hand to accept the award.

Quetzal performing in East LA
Martha Gonzalez (with microphone) and her band Quetzal performing in East Los
Angeles in February 2013. Photo by Angelica Macklin.

Quetzal was honored for their 2012 album Imaginaries, released on the Smithsonian Institution Folkways Label. Smithsonian's Folkways describes Imaginaries as a creative combination of "East L.A.'s soundscape, traditional son jarocho of Veracruz, salsa, R&B, and more to express the political and social struggle for self-determination and self-representation."

Doctoral advisor Michelle Habel-Pallán describes Gonzalez as a "cultural producer, singer, songwriter, percussionist, and community builder." Gonzalez's work as a recording artist is interwined with her work in academia; Imaginaries was inspired in part by Decolonial Imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History by Emma Pérez—one of the foundational texts of GWSS's Feminist Theory graduate seminar.

Gonzalez's academic scholarship focuses on the translocal/transnational music movement Fandangos Sin
Fronteras and investigates community music making practices that debunk commercial and social pressures
that position women to choose between musicianship and motherhood. She's presented her research at
national and international conferences. She cofounded the collective Seattle Fandango Project and the GWSS series Alma en la Tarima/Soul Dancing, and is a founding member of the GWSS Women Who Rock Collective.


Alum Honored for Groundbreaking Ad Campaigns

When Jim Riswold (BA, philosophy, communication, history, 1983) was inducted into The One Club Creative Hall of Fame in January 2013, he joined an impressive group of past honorees, from advertising legend David Oglivy to design and branding genius Steve Jobs. Honorees are selected for outstanding contributions to the field of advertising.

Jim Riswold
Jim Riswold

Riswold certainly fits that description. Throughout his professional career at Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency, he created numerous cutting-edge ad campaigns, including many for Nike. Among Riswold's most memorable works were "Bo Knows" featuring Bo Jackson, a slew of great spots featuring Michael Jordan, the inspired teaming of Jordan and Spike Lee in the Spike and Mike commercials, "Hare Jordan" featuring Bugs Bunny, "I am Not a Role Model" starring Charles Barkley, Lou Reed selling Hondas, and "I am Tiger Woods."

In an interview in The One Club's online magazine a few years ago, Riswold commented on his use of pop culture in his advertising work. "I always tried to take an element of something that I was interested in, and mix it with something else to create a hybrid that was different," explained Riswold. "You know like, what would happen if you put these opposites in a pot together and shook it up and took it out? That's what I tried to do. A lot of it is instinct; no amount of research would have told you, 'If you put Bo Jackson with Bo Diddly, the kids are gonna love it.' Or if you said you were going to use Bugs Bunny, people would say, 'That's old.' But the idea is, you use it to create something new. And I think that becomes a stronger form of communication because you're creating popular culture, rather than just taking it."

In the same interview, Riswold gave a nod to his liberal arts education and his three majors. "I think the best advertising comes from a combination of solving the problem at hand, but solving it by coming at it through a door that nobody else would have thought of," said Riswold. "And so that eclectic background, as you call it, probably does help, it affects the way you look at the world, makes you see things a little differently."

After being diagnosed with leukemia in 2000 and surviving for five years, Riswold quit advertising to become a full-time contemporary artist, going from "a career of selling people things they don't need to making things that people don't want," as he told AdWeek in 2008. Riswold recently returned to Wieden+Kennedy, where he now heads the agency’s experiential ad school, W+K 12.


Other Awards, Honors, and Professorships

Ann-Charlotte Gavel Adams, professor of Scandinavian studies, has been appointed Barbro Osher Endowed Professor of Swedish Studies.

Fahed Al-Sumait (BA, PhD, Communication, 1998, 2011) received the Dissertation of the Year award through the International and Intercultural division of the National Communication Association. Funding from a Fulbright-Hays fellowship and the Department of Communication Peter Clarke Graduate Research Grant allowed Al-Sumait to do field research in Kuwait, where he interviewed leading politicians and leaders. "As cliché as it sounds, I really did come away with more questions than answers," says Al-Sumait, adding "Getting this award...tells me that the questions I'm interested in also appeal to other scholars. That's inspiring."

Jordanna Bailkin, Giovanni and Amne Costigan Professor in History, was awarded the British Studies Fellowship at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Matt Barreto, associate professor of political science, and Stanford University Professor Gary Segura have been named to a list of Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2012 by Lo Spazio della Politica, an Italian foreign policy blog and think tank, for their research and polling firm Latino Decisions.

Jasmine Bryant, lecturer in chemistry, has been selected as Most Engaging Lecturer by the UW Panhellenic Association. The honor was among the association's 2013 Faculty Awards presented at its Annual Greek Awards reception in March.

Purnima Dhavan, associate professor of history, has been awarded an American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Fellowship, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, to conduct archival research next year for her new book project, Brave New Worlds: Literary and Professional Networks in Late Mughal India.

Michael Gelb, Harry and Catherine Jaynne Boand Endowed Professor of Chemistry, and František Tureček, professor of chemistry, will be presented the Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest for their work in devising methods to detect rare genetic diseases in newborns. The diseases—which include Tay-Sachs, Gaucher, Krabbe, Pompe, Nieman-Pick, Fabry, and Hurler syndromes—affect about one in every 5,000 people and cause serious abnormalities in children, often resulting in premature death. Early detection is important for the best chances of effective treatment. The procedures for newborn screening developed by Gelb and Tureček have proven so reliable and inexpensive that several states now require that every newborn be tested. The award will be presented by the Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society April 4 at Harvard University.

Ellis Goldberg, professor of political science, is the Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government for Spring 2013.

Mark Jenkins, professor of drama, has received ACT Theatre's New Play Award for Red Earth, Gold Gate, Shadow Sky. Jenkins' play is a harrowing tale of a Cambodian family that lives through the American bombing of Southeast Asia, survives the horrors of the killing fields and the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, struggles to adapt as immigrants in modern Seattle, and has to fight for a place in America where incarceration and deportation are a constant threat. ACT has also committed to producing the play in the 2014 Mainstage season.

Curt Labitzke, associate professor of art, has been appointed Hermine Pruzan Endowed Faculty Fellow.

Carole Lee, assistant professor of philosophy, has been awarded a 2013 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The fellowship “allows exceptional junior faculty to pursue scholarly research and writing during the fellowship year in order to facilitate the acquisition of tenure.” 

Liliana Lengua, professor of psychology, has been appointed Earl R. Carlson Endowed Professor.

Jodi Lilley, a graduate student in biology, is the recipient of the 2013 Marshall Sherfield Fellowship. Awarded to only one individual per year, the fellowship enables an American scientist or engineer to undertake postdoctoral research for one to two academic years at a British university or research institute.

Samrat Mondol, a postdoctoral fellow in biology, was awarded the Government of India INSPIRE Faculty Fellowship for the next five years. This grant allows young researchers to return to India and start their own lab in any university or research institute of their choice.

Devin Naar, assistant professor of history and Marsha and Jay Glazer Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies, has been elected to the Academic Advisory Council of the Center for Jewish History in New York City. The only assistant professor on the twenty member Council, he will serve as the representative of the American Sephardi Federation.

Helen O'Toole, associate professor of art, has been appointed Jack and Grace Pruzan Endowed Faculty Fellow.

Guntis Smidchens, associate professor of Scandinavian studies, has been appointed the Kazickas Family Endowed Professor in Baltic Studies.

Ka-Kit Tung, professor of applied mathematics and adjunct professor of atmospheric sciences, has been named a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.

Bo Zhang, assistant professor of chemistry, has been awarded the 2013 Young Investigator Award from the Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry. The award is for researchers within ten years of obtaining their PhD.

Return to Table of Contents, March 2013 issue