College of Liberal Arts


The Office of Research and Graduate Studies strives to advance the educational mission of the College of Liberal Arts by providing the infrastructure that faculty, graduate students, and academic units within the College need in order to fund, conduct, and disseminate compelling and innovative research. Research by College faculty and students exemplifies our contribution to the people of Texas, to the academic community in the nation and beyond, and to the development of human knowledge in the humanities and the social sciences. Strong research is critical to the education we provide to our undergraduate and graduate students; indeed, a successful research mission is inseparable from our educational mission.


Esther Raizen, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for Research • 232-2094 • GEB 3.212

Esther Raizen was born in Israel and came to the US in 1982. She holds an M.A. in Jewish History from Tel Aviv University (1982) and a Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas at Austin (1987). She has been invested in language pedagogy and technology-enhanced instruction since the early 1990s. At UT Austin she has taught Modern and Classical Hebrew language courses and occasional Hebrew literature courses. Dr. Raizen has served as undergraduate and graduate advisor for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and as Chair of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies from 2006 to 2010. She was Principal Investigator on a number of grants, among them the ROTC Language and Culture Project grant and the Flagship Zero to Two grant, both of which involve instruction in critical languages.

Erica L. Whittington, Ph.D., Executive Assistant • 232-2094 • GEB 3.208

Erica Whittington supervises Liberal Arts Grants Services and conducts institutional research for the Office of Research and Graduate Studies. She administers initiatives associated with the dissertation boot camp, TA training, graduate student parental and other accommodations, and gender equity. She also coordinates the Humanities Research Award competition and symposium and handles all aspects of decentralized and other graduate fellowships. She holds a Ph.D. (2012) and an M.A. (2003) in History from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in History and Public Policy Studies (1999) from Duke University. Dr. Whittington co-founded the Gender Symposium, served as co-chair of the Graduate Student Assembly, and taught courses in American history and writing at UT Austin. She worked in public history and grants administration at educational nonprofits for five years and has over ten years experience in higher education. 

Vanessa Lopez, CRA, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist • 232-0716 • GEB 3.310

Vanessa Lopez provides faculty and graduate students with the necessary tools and resources to successfully prepare and submit federal, state, and foundation research projects.  She offers assistance with other pre-award activities, including funding searches.  Vanessa and her colleague, Brook prepare and provide educational tools, workshops, and individually meet with researchers.  Vanessa holds a B.A. in Political Science and History from Texas Christian University.  She has worked for the University for more than nine years as a research administrator. She is a Certified Research Administrator (CRA) and a member of the National Council of University Research Administrators and Society of Research Administrators International.

Brook Davis, Grants and Contracts Specialist • 232-0760 • GEB 3.310

Brook Davis joined the College's grants services in 2016, and assists faculty and graduate students with federal and foundation grant submissions. A native of Austin, she holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from Texas State University. Prior to joining UT, Brook worked at Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, for fourteen years and supported the administration of the grants program. 



Office Location:

Dorothy L. Gebauer Building (GEB), 3rd Floor

Mailing Address

College of Liberal Arts
Office of the Associate Dean for Research
116 Inner Campus Drive Stop G6000
Austin, TX 78712-1257