College of Liberal Arts

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Irkutsk State University

“Siberia by Southwest”: New Summer Study Abroad Program at UT Austin

Thu, Aug 17, 2017

The program will provide 20 K-16 educators, undergraduate and graduate students from across the American Southwest with 10 weeks of study at Irkutsk State University in South Central Siberia next summer


PTSD, a disorder characterized by the inability to discriminate threat from safety, affects about 8 million adults every year.

Stress Heightens Fear of Threats from the Past

Wed, Aug 9, 2017

Recognizing threats is an essential function of the human mind — think “fight or flight” — one that is aided by past negative experiences. But when older memories are coupled with stress, individuals are likely to perceive danger in harmless circumstances, according to a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


David Buss is a professor in the Department of Psychology.

APS Recognizes Psychology Professor's Superior Mentorship

Thu, Aug 3, 2017

By establishing a community of scholars through training dozens of doctoral students, University of Texas at Austin psychology professor David Buss has been recognized for his superior counsel with the 2017 Association for Psychological Science (APS) Mentor Award.


More than 60 percent of sharks are threatened or endangered by human activity.

Predators Turned Prey: A History of Human and Shark Entanglements

Fri, Jul 21, 2017

Shark Week brings all sorts of shocking—and horrifying — spectacles to viewers. This year, viewers have been promised the first-ever man versus shark swim off, where 23-time gold medalist Michael Phelps will face off against “one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet,” a great white.


The Humanities Institute at The University of Texas at Austin has been granted matching funds from the Office of the Vice President for Research in support of their 2018 Pop-Up Institute.

Humanities Institute Receives Funding for "Health and Humanities" Pop-Up Institute

Mon, Jul 17, 2017

The Humanities Institute at The University of Texas at Austin has been granted matching funds from the Office of the Vice President for Research in support of their 2018 Pop-Up Institute, "Health and Humanities: Narrative Medicine, Equity and Diversity, and Community Practice."


Research was based on interviews with 1,700 new mothers in eight Texas hospitals.

Research Shows Unmet Demand for Long- Acting Contraception After Delivery in Texas

Wed, Jul 12, 2017

New research from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) at The University of Texas at Austin identifies unmet demand for long-acting, reversible (LARC) and permanent contraception among recent mothers in Texas.


Illustration by Jenna Luecke

Bullying and Bias Can Cost Schools Millions in Lost Funding

Thu, Jun 29, 2017

When children avoid school to avoid bullying, many states can lose tens of millions of dollars in funding, and California alone loses an estimated $276 million each year because children feel unsafe.


Aedes aegypti, known as the yellow fever mosquito, carries the Zika virus.

Poorer Brazilian Women Feel Less in Control of Reproductive Decisions Amidst Zika Outbreak

Thu, Jun 22, 2017

Brazilian women of low socio-economic status face more barriers preventing or postponing pregnancies than women of high-socioeconomic status, heightening their risk of having a child with congenital Zika syndrome and microcephaly— a neurological defect in which an infant’s head is abnormally small, according to research at The University of Texas at Austin.


Graphic by the Texas Politics Project, June 2017.

UT/TT Poll: Weak Overall Job Approval Ratings in Texas Mask Continuing Trump Support Among GOP Voters

Thu, Jun 15, 2017

As controversy continues to swirl around the White House, 43 percent of Texas voters approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president, and 51 percent disapprove, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.


Photo by Edgardo Latrubesse.

Hydroelectric Dams May Jeopardize the Amazon’s Future

Wed, Jun 14, 2017

Hundreds of built and proposed hydroelectric dams may significantly harm life in and around the Amazon by trapping the flow of rich nutrients and modifying the climate from Central America to the Gulf of Mexico. These findings, published in Nature, emerge from a multidisciplinary, international collaboration of researchers from 10 universities, led by scientists at The University of Texas at Austin.


PACE Peer Mentors. Photo credit: Phil Butler

PACE Program Recognized with Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award

Tue, Jun 13, 2017

The University of Texas at Austin’s Path to Admission through Co-Enrollment (PACE) program has been recognized with a 2017 Outstanding Institutional Advising Program Award from NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising.


Leonard N. Moore

Liberal Arts’ Moore Named Interim VP

Tue, Jun 6, 2017

Professor of History Leonard N. Moore has been named interim vice president for diversity and community engagement at The University of Texas at Austin. Moore has been the senior associate vice president for Diversity and Community Engagement since 2013 and will serve in the interim role as the university conducts a national search to fill the position, President Gregory L. Fenves announced in a letter to campus.


Adobe Stock image

Improving Adolescents’ Social and Emotional Lives Must Go Beyond Teaching Them Skills

Tue, Jun 6, 2017

School programs designed to educate children and adolescents on how to understand and manage emotions, relationships and academic goals must go beyond improving the skills of the individuals to create a respectful climate and allow adolescents more autonomy in decision making, according to psychology research at The University of Texas at Austin.


Julie Maslowsky

Population Researcher Named William T. Grant Foundation Scholar

Wed, May 31, 2017

When Julie Maslowsky was 15, she was a counselor at a summer camp for children and adolescents with severe mental health problems. The experience was so profound she chose a career in academic research, focusing on reducing inequality by improving adolescent health.


The UT Ranger Challenge team at the 2017 Sandhurst competition. Photo by Captain Harold Hamblet

ROTC Receives $1.5 Million for Student Scholarships and Success

Tue, May 30, 2017

A $1.5 million gift will fund seven scholarships, with plans to expand, and tutoring for students in all three branches of the Reserve Officers Training Program at The University of Texas at Austin.


Christina Breitbeil

English and Plan II Senior Awarded $18,000 Diehl Prize to Help Serve Others

Thu, May 25, 2017

Christina Breitbeil, a Plan II Honors and English senior from Houston, Texas, has been awarded the 2017 Randy Diehl Prize in Liberal Arts.


CLA building

Liberal Arts Faculty Honored With Teaching Awards, Fellowships

Thu, May 25, 2017

The College of Liberal Arts has recognized eight professors for excellence in teaching with the following awards and fellowships:


Janet Davis (left) and James Cox

Liberal Arts Faculty Inducted into Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Wed, May 24, 2017

Two faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts have been inducted into the prestigious Academy of Distinguished Teachers at UT Austin have been named.


Shirley Thompson, photo by Alcalde

Texas 10 Shows the Influence of Liberal Arts Faculty

Wed, May 24, 2017

Three faculty from the College of Liberal Arts have been nominated by alumni and selected by Alcalde magazine to be a part of the 2017 Texas 10, an annual list of inspiring professors at The University of Texas at Austin.


Leah Hampton

Michener Fellow’s Short Stories on Political Catastrophe Selected for $50,000 Keene Prize

Fri, May 19, 2017

“Boomer,” a short story by Leah Hampton that illustrated the impact of Trump’s election against the backdrop of destructive Appalachian wildfire, won the $50,000 Keene Prize for Literature at The University of Texas at Austin.


David Yeager

UT Researcher Awarded for Transformative Work in Developmental Psychology

Fri, May 19, 2017

David Yeager will receive the American Psychological Association’s 2018 Boyd McCandless Award for his substantial early career achievements in developmental psychology at The University of Texas at Austin.



A check ceremony of a previous Philanthropy: The Power of Giving class.

After Lesson in Philanthropy, UT Freshmen Give $75,000 to Charity

Wed, May 10, 2017

Freshmen at The University of Texas at Austin were given the task of designating $75,000 to nonprofit organizations who they believed needed it most — an annual assignment that teaches students the impact of philanthropy.


Nicole Wen

Finding the Right Fit: Psychology Graduate Student Discovers Her Calling in Cognitive Development

Thu, May 4, 2017

Nicole Wen always knew she wanted to work with children, but she wasn’t quite sure where that might lead. After exploring various career paths, she switched her major to psychology and discovered a newfound passion in cognitive development.


Drea Brown

Black Studies Celebrates First Doctoral Dissertation Defense

Thu, May 4, 2017

Drea Brown made University of Texas at Austin history this spring as the first doctoral candidate to defend a dissertation in the Department of African & African Diaspora Studies.


UT Army ROTC field training (1992).

Army Strong: UT Army ROTC Celebrates 70 Years

Mon, May 1, 2017

It's been 70 years since UT first established the Army ROTC program on campus, but getting the unit here wasn't easy.


The study published in

Hormone-Influenced Social Strategies Shape Social Hierarchy, Study Shows

Mon, Apr 24, 2017

In a game of chicken, the most aggressive players are fueled by testosterone and are more willing to harm others; and while it may be easy to demonize such hawkish behaviors, psychology researchers from The University of Texas at Austin say there is sound evolutionary reason for their existence.


LLILAS Benson director Virginia Gerrard will serve as the project director.

LLILAS Benson Receives Mellon Grant to Pioneer Archival Projects in Latin America

Mon, Apr 24, 2017

A $700,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will fund a project that will help preserve vulnerable human rights documentation from Latin America and create a digitally accessible archive within LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections at The University of Texas at Austin.


Gabryella Desporte tells Dean Randy Diehl about her research.

Investigations on Display: Undergraduate Research Week 2017

Thu, Apr 20, 2017

On April 19, 16 liberal arts student researchers presented their projects to faculty and staff members, college administrators and Dean Randy Diehl at the Dean’s Research Reception.


The full report is available at monetarysanctions.org.

Research Team Tracks Complex Web of Monetary Sanctions in Nine States

Thu, Apr 20, 2017

The phrase “criminal justice system” may conjure images of courtrooms, juries and prison. But when justice is doled out, it can have a harsh impact on a person’s pocketbook, depending on where he or she lives, according to a cross-state analysis.


Sera Bonds (left) and Cameron Allen.

Humanities Institute Awards Local Non-Profit Professionals with Community Sabbaticals

Wed, Apr 19, 2017

The Humanities Institute at The University of Texas at Austin has announced the 2017 recipients of the Community Sabbatical program, which provides paid flexible leave time, faculty collaborators, and access to library resources to selected staff members of non-profit organizations in central Texas.


The new central Austin Public Library

Humanities Institute Community Sabbatical Grant Helps Shape Austin's New Public Library

Tue, Apr 18, 2017

Central public libraries in the 21st century are transforming to benefit modern communities through cultural programing, access to digital materials, providing more public space and educational partnerships.


Richard Flores and Esther Raizen.

UT Austin Receives $2 Million Grant for Interdisciplinary Training of Future Humanities Scholars

Thu, Apr 13, 2017

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded The University of Texas at Austin a $2 million, 4½-year grant to support a program that will provide specialized training and research skills to doctoral students in the humanities.


New research from the Human Brain Stimulation and Electrophysiology lab illuminate the fabric of the human memory and spatial navigation.

Human Cognitive Map Scales According to Surroundings

Wed, Apr 12, 2017

A new study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences refines our understanding of a human skill — the ability to instantaneously assess a new environment and get oriented thanks to visual cues.


Madison Gehler, an international relations and global studies senior, flashes a

UT Austin Army ROTC No. 1 in the Nation at Annual Sandhurst Competition

Tue, Apr 11, 2017

After two days of traversing 25 miles of mountainous, heavily wooded terrain with full packs, Army cadets from The University of Texas at Austin can now relax as the No. 1 ROTC team in the nation after the 50th annual Sandhurst Military Skills Competition.


kihana miraya ross is an IUPRA postdoctoral researcher.

Ford Foundation Awards Fellowship to Advance the Study of Black Student Activism and Identities

Fri, Apr 7, 2017

The Ford Foundation has awarded a postdoctoral fellowship to UT Austin Black Studies researcher kihana miraya ross for her research on black student identity development and the conflict between widespread student activism and the current sociopolitical environment.


The study showed high impostor feelings were a positive predictor of anxiety and worsened the impact of perceived discrimination on depression.

Impostor Feelings Fuel Negative Mental Health Outcomes for Minority Students, Study

Wed, Apr 5, 2017

While perceived discrimination on college campuses compromises the self-esteem, well-being and mental health of ethnic minority students, new psychology research from The University of Texas at Austin suggests the impostor phenomenon may worsen these effects.


Image courtesy of Elena Poiata.

New Approach Developed by Humanists and Scientists Maps Evolution of Literature

Wed, Apr 5, 2017

A classicist, biologist and computer scientist all walk into a room — what comes next isn’t the punchline but a new method to analyze relationships among ancient Latin and Greek texts, developed in part by researchers from The University of Texas at Austin.


Dean Randy Diehl

2017 Dean's Distinguished Graduates Announced

Tue, Apr 4, 2017

Twelve graduating seniors have been named Dean’s Distinguished Graduates, the highest award offered by the College of Liberal Arts.


Rudy Ramirez (director), Jeffery Johnson (actor), Lisa B. Thompson (playwright) and Marc Pouhe´ (actor). Photo credit: Errich Petersen.

Original Play "Underground" Premiers in Austin

Wed, Mar 29, 2017

“Underground,” a play written by African and African Diaspora studies associate professor Lisa B. Thompson, considers the ways in which African American activists, artists and intellectuals have responded from the civil rights movement to the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond.


Alina Tonu

Wise Wanderer: Alina Tonu Travels to Cambodia

Wed, Mar 22, 2017

Studying abroad is central to a liberal arts education, allowing students to experience culture and perspectives that differ from their own firsthand.


From left: Nate Powell, John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

MEDIA ADVISORY: MARCH! Authors to Discuss Memoir on Civil Rights

Tue, Mar 21, 2017

Co-authors of the graphic memoir “MARCH,” which exposes the fear, fight and freedom won through political engagement during the civil rights era, will visit The University of Texas at Austin for a book talk. The conversation will follow a screening of the newly released film “Get in the Way: The Journey of John Lewis.”


James Henson interviews Speaker Joe Straus (right), 2015. Photo by Ryan Miller, Texas Politics Project

Texas Politics Speaker Series Presents a Live-Streamed Conversation with House Speaker Joe Straus

Tue, Mar 21, 2017

Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus will address policy issues facing the 85th Texas Legislature, including state’s budget, public education, as well as the implications of the 2016 election for Texas, in a live-streamed interview, lead by James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project.


Comparison of the positioning of the foramen magnum in a bipedal springhare (left) and its closest quadrupedal relative, the scaly-tailed squirrel (right).

Human Skull Evolved Along with Two-Legged Walking, Study Confirms

Fri, Mar 17, 2017

The evolution of bipedalism in fossil humans can be detected using a key feature of the skull — a claim that was previously contested but now has been further validated by researchers at Stony Brook University and The University of Texas at Austin.


Photo by Christina S. Murrey

Black Studies Professor Inducted into Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Thu, Mar 16, 2017

Director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis Kevin O. Cokley has been selected as a Fellow in The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers.


College of Liberal Arts building

U.S. News Ranks Two UT Liberal Arts Programs Among Nation's Top 10

Tue, Mar 14, 2017

The Latin American history and sociology of population programs landed No. 1 spots on this year’s list of “Best Graduate Schools” by U.S. News & World Report, released this morning.


Image by Dawn Hudson.

Conformity is not a universal indicator of intelligence in children, study says

Thu, Mar 9, 2017

Because innovation is part of the American culture, adults in the United States may be less likely to associate children’s conformity with intelligence than adults from other populations, according to research from developmental psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin.


Image by Marines from Arlington, VA, United States.

PTSD Risk Can Be Predicted by Hormone Levels Prior to Deployment, Study Says

Tue, Mar 7, 2017

Up to 20 percent of U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan developed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder from trauma experienced during wartime, but new neuroscience research from The University of Texas at Austin suggests some soldiers might have a hormonal predisposition to experience such stress-related disorders.


Photo by Christina S. Murrey

Caring for Black Male Students Requires More Than Good Intentions

Mon, Mar 6, 2017

Earlier this year, a video of English teacher Barry White Jr.’s unique handshakes with each of his students went viral. In the video, White, who is black, greeted each of his students at the predominately black elementary school with elaborate high-fives that he said were based around each student’s personality and helped him connect with each child.


Evan Osnos

Evan Osnos to Deliver Ho Distinguished Lecture on China and the “Age of Ambition”

Mon, Mar 6, 2017

Using his years of experience as the New Yorker’s Beijing correspondent, Evan Osnos will share his 360-degree perspective of the most talked about country in the world — China — at this year’s Paul and Mary Ho Distinguished Lecture at The University of Texas at Austin.


Photo by Vic, Flickr.

New Research Examines Barriers to Texas Clinics Providing Vasectomy

Thu, Mar 2, 2017

New research from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) at The University of Texas at Austin provides insight into why vasectomy is not more widely available at family planning clinics in Texas.


Photo by Brian Birzer

Unveiling Stories of the Black Diaspora through Art Collecting

Tue, Feb 28, 2017

It all started with a limited edition print, titled “Carnival Clown” — a colorful depiction of a clown leaping with his whip in the air — purchased from an artist from Saint Kitts.


Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Gov. Abbott Receives Top Job Approval Ratings Among State Leaders in Latest UT/TT Poll

Thu, Feb 23, 2017

Texans gave Gov. Greg Abbott top ratings among the major statewide elected officials in results from the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll released today.


New research shows the efficacy of if-then action plans.

New Research Shows How to Motivate Students While Fostering Their Autonomy

Wed, Feb 22, 2017

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin may have some help for parents and educators attempting to locate that sweet spot between giving students just enough direction to succeed and allowing them the autonomy to set and follow their goals.


Helen Heston visiting the Pyramids of Giza

Wise Wanderer: Helen Heston Visits Egypt

Tue, Feb 21, 2017

Studying abroad is central to a liberal arts education, allowing students to experience culture and perspectives that differ from their own firsthand.


In the poll, Texans favorability of Trump improved by 14 points since October.

UT/TT Poll: Support for Trump Increases, Divisiveness Remains

Mon, Feb 20, 2017

exas voters’ opinions of President Trump have improved since he took office, though nearly half of Texans still think the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.


Photo by Sam Fentress.

Food Revolutions: Latin America’s Food System

Tue, Feb 14, 2017

Latin America might be the canary in the coal mine for the world food system.


Beach, Sluyter (far left) and others from the Department of Geography and the Environment at the 2017 CLAG meeting

Professor and Alumnus Receive Back-to-Back Awards for Latin American Geography

Mon, Feb 13, 2017

The Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers (CLAG) presented the 2016 and 2017 awards for significant contributions towards Latin American geography, honoring both a professor and an alumnus from the Department of Geography and the Environment at The University of Texas at Austin.


Photo by Intel Free Press.

A Trust Gap May Hinder Academic Success for Minorities

Wed, Feb 8, 2017

Middle school students of color who lose trust in their teachers due to perceptions of mistreatment from school authorities are less likely to attend college even if they generally had good grades, according to psychology research at The University of Texas at Austin published in the journal Child Development.


Miles Wilson, LAC president

Liberal Arts Council President Reaches Out: Q&A with Miles Wilson

Thu, Feb 2, 2017

Miles Wilson is a Middle Eastern language & cultures and religious studies senior. He’s also the president of the Liberal Arts Council, an organization of students who “serve as the official student voice and governing body for the College of Liberal Arts.”


Erika Bsumek is an associate professor of history. Photo by Kirk Weddle.

Four Liberal Arts Faculty Receive President’s Teaching Award

Thu, Jan 26, 2017

Four faculty members from the College of Liberal Arts received the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, which recognizes great teaching of undergraduates in the core curriculum and a record of engagement with curriculum reform and educational innovation.


The Death of even one close family member has lasting adverse consequences for health, researchers said.

Blacks Experience more Family Member Deaths than Whites, On Average

Mon, Jan 23, 2017

African-Americans are more likely than whites to experience the loss of a parent during childhood and more likely to be exposed to multiple family member deaths by mid-life, according to a study by the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin.


In the study, counties where the distance to the nearest facility increased at least 100 miles saw a 50 percent decline in abortions.

Study: Increased distances to nearest clinic in Texas associated with declines in abortions

Thu, Jan 19, 2017

New research from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) exploring the impact of House Bill 2 (HB 2) – the restrictive Texas abortion law that was struck down by the Supreme Court – found that increases in travel distance to the nearest abortion clinic caused by clinic closures were closely associated with decreases in the official number of abortions.


John Lewis, as depicted in

“March ON!”: A Chronicle of the life of Congressman John Lewis, on display at UT

Tue, Jan 17, 2017

Illustrations from the National Book Award-winning graphic novel series “MARCH,” a chronicle of the life of civil-rights activist and U.S. Rep. from Georgia John Lewis, is the focus of a new exhibit in the Christian-Green Gallery at The University of Texas at Austin.