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The political science professor was named a Piper Professor of 2024 for the state of Texas by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation. He joins an elite group of only 14 TCU professors to receive this prestigious honor. 

Read the Full Story On TCU News

The 2024 LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Symposium on War, Conflict and Society will feature leading historians, scholars and policy makers to discuss the legacies of the Korean War.

Far from a “forgotten war,” the Korean War inaugurated police action as a new kind of warfare, made the Cold War hot and began a series of “forever wars” that continue to shape international politics and diplomacy.

  • Friday, March 22 — Dawn Alexandrea Berry, Ph.D., will deliver the keynote address about the efforts of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to find, identify and repatriate the remains of servicemembers killed in the Korean War. 
  • Saturday, March 23 — A panel will feature experts from across the social sciences and the policymaking world, who will discuss the causes, experiences and long-lasting consequences of a war that has yet to officially end. 

Free and open to the public
Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center / Cox 
Register Here

Visit the Schmidt Symposium webpage to learn about giving opportunities and the history of the Symposium. 

The State of the Economy Speaker Series will take place Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 11:30 a.m. in the Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center. Presented by keynote speaker John Harvey, Ph.D., Hal Wright Professor of Economics at TCU, this year's topic is "Horned Frognostications: An Analysis of Current Economic Conditions and a Look Toward the Future."

While open to the public, a ticket or sponsorship is required to attend and can be purchased on the offical event webpage.

The event is made possible by the generous support of title sponsor Mitsubishi UFG Financial Group, Inc., and platinum sponsor Cadence Bank, Fort Worth Stockyards Branch.

Professor of Economics Stephen Quinn, Ph.D., has been selected to present as part of a panel at the Kaufman Policy Conference 2023 — Recent Turmoil in Banking Markets: Evidence, Causes, Regulatory Response, Lessons, and Future Needs. The session, “The Fed and Its Shadow: A Historical View,” will take place in Chicago on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Chip Burns holding awardRonald "Chip" Burns, PhD., professor of criminology & criminal justice, was awarded the Felix Fabian Founder's Award at the 2023 annual meeting of the Southwestern Association of Criminal Justice (SWACJ). The award is given to SWACJ members who are deemed deserving of special recognition for their outstanding contributions to the association and to the profession.

Horned Frogs in the News graphicA video discussing safe travel tips from criminology and criminal justice adjunct faculty member Tracy Walder was picked up by multiple national and international media outlets including The Independent, HuffPost, New York Post and Daily Mail

In the video, the former FBI and CIA agent discusses which apps to use while you travel, which hotel floor to stay on, and items to bring to protect yourself and luggage. 

Horned Frogs In the News graphic
As the impeachment trial of suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton continues, James Riddlesperger, Ph.D. sat down with NBC5 Lonestar Politics to discuss the rare occasion.
"It's really been a historical footnote until the impeachment of Attorney General Paxton of course," Riddlesperger said. "The scarcity of those impeachments tells the story." 
Large "HOME" letters in the commons in front of Scharbauer Hall.

Dear AddRan Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Welcome back to campus for what I am sure will be a productive and exciting academic year!

I am excited to celebrate TCU’s and the AddRan College of Liberal Arts’ sesquicentennial. The theme for AddRan’s Sesquicentennial is AddRan is Everything. AddRan is the heart of Texas Christian University and touches on every aspect of the institution, the community, and the students. Whether a student majors in the liberal arts or takes courses in AddRan stemming from TCU’s core curriculum, liberal arts form the core of the student’s educational background and foundation.

In celebration of 150 years of humanities and social sciences at TCU, AddRan has a number of events to engage everyone. To kick off the celebration we will host an AddRan is Everything Welcome Back Celebration on September 6 featuring a t-shirt designed by AddRan alum Stephanie Treviño ’23 (Criminology & Criminal Justice), who was the first-place winner of the AddRan is Everything contest held in the spring. Please drop by to receive your complimentary shirt during the event! Limited quantities are available!

Thank you and Go Frogs!

Sonja Watson, Ph.D.

Dean, AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Upcoming Events: 

  • AddRan Welcome Back Party & Information Fair - September 6, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Frog Fountain
  • AddRan Sesquicentennial Lecture Featuring Dana A. Williams - September 21, 12:30 p.m., Frog Fountain 
  • AddRan Family Weekend Open House - September 22, 2 - 4 p.m., Scharbauer Debate Chamber and Lobby
  • AddRan Research Showcase - September 22, 1 - 3 p.m., BLUU Ballroom
  • Triple D: Data Analytics, Digital Culture, Digital Technology Panel Discussion - September 27, 2 - 3:30 p.m., BLUU Beck & Geren
  • Premier Green Chair: US Poet Laureate Ada Limón Keynote Lecture - November 15, 6 p.m., BLUU Ballroom

AddRan faculty are well-represented among the list of academic awards and accomplishments for Spring 2023 released by the Office of the Provost. These awards celebrate the love of learning that unites us as a university community and the outstanding scholars and teachers who personify this passion for inquiry and growth. Congratulations to all of our AddRan recipients!

The Deans’ Awards are among the highest honors bestowed to faculty at the university level. The awards originated in 1982 as the Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Awards and were given in alternate years. Currently, TCU bestows three Deans’ Teaching Awards and the three Deans’ Awards for Research and Creativity annually. Each school or college nominates one faculty member for each award, with AddRan College of Liberal Arts nominating two, one from each of its divisions, Humanities and Social Sciences. All TCU deans vote to determine the six winners.

Hanan Hammad headshotDean's Award for Research & Creativity - Hanan Hammad, Ph.D.
Professor of History and Director of Middle East Studies

Hanan Hammad has developed a national and international reputation through her scholarship on the history of gender and sexuality in the Middle East. Her book, Industrial Sexuality: Gender, Urbanization, and Social Transformation in Egypt, won five national awards. Hammad has received prestigious international fellowships and the honor of presenting keynote and public talks in numerous universities, including Chicago, Duke, Cambridge, Leiden and NYU.
"This award confirms TCU’s commitment for high-quality research and scholarship in the framework of the teacher-scholar model," said Hammad. "Thanks to scholars who frequently use my publications in their graduate seminars, I currently serve as a committee member for several students inside and outside TCU, including students at the University of Texas at Austin, Duke and Swarthmore College."

The Outstanding Graduate Research, Teaching and Service awards winners are selected by each school or college to recognize students who demonstrate excellence in those areas.

Dissertation Award - Angela Mack

Graduate Student Teaching Award - Nataly Dickson

Graduate Student Research & Creative Activities Award - Cecilia Hill

Graduate Faculty Mentor Award - Kara Dixon Vuic, Ph.D.

Senior Scholars are a highly select group, identified by faculty as the most outstanding students in their departments or programs. To be eligible, students must:

  1. be a senior (including graduates from the previous December)
  2. be a major in one of the unit’s programs
  3. have an overall GPA of 3.50 or higher

Departments or programs with larger numbers of majors are allowed to choose one additional Senior Scholar per 300 majors.

AddRan Senior Scholars

  • Julieta Martinez (Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies)
  • Rachel Baniewicz (Criminology & Criminal Justice)
  • Amelia Boatwright (Economics)
  • Madeline Felice Neufeld (Economics)
  • Adrienne Stallings (English)
  • Carson Nicola (Geography)
  • Holly Harris (History)
  • Samantha Ritz (Modern Languages)
  • Ulrika Shragge (Philosophy)
  • Amelia Boatwright (Political Science)
  • Lisa Ann Johnson (Political Science)
  • Maya Miller (Sociology & Anthropology)
  • Olivia Egloff (Sociology & Anthropology)
  • Molly Nagel (Spanish & Hispanic Studies)
  • Amanda Peterson (Women & Gender Studies)

The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 151 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential.

McNair Scholars 2022-23

Name Major Faculty Mentor Title of Presentation
Victoria Holmes Psychology & Sociology Dr. Amina Zarrugh W.O.K.E. American: Analyzing the Framing Effect of Political Social Media from a Terror Management Perspective
Julieta Martinez Gonzalez Political Science & Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies Dr. Luis Romero (Un)Healthy Migrants?: An Analysis of Media Coverage on Title 42
Somiari Tobin Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies Dr. Brandon Manning Opening the Flood Gates: Illuminating Men of Color Experiences with Hurricane Katrina

Founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society. To be considered for membership, students must have excellent grades in courses with a liberal education emphasis. Most initiates are juniors and seniors. TCU's Phi Beta Kappa chapter also bestows the annual James W. Newcomer Senior Scholar in Liberal Studies award, honoring the senior initiate who best exemplifies a commitment to excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and to the society’s motto, “Love of learning is the guide of life.”

2022 Phi Beta Kappa Senior Scholar - Amelia Boatwright (Economics & Political Science)

2023 Phi Beta Kappa Initiates from AddRan


Robert Bryan Benafield III (Biology & English)

Breann Decontee Borlay (English & Sociology)

Olivia Claire Dugger (Geography & Italian)

Tessa Jacklyn Harmon (Philosophy & Political Science)

Ella Julia Johnson (Political Science & Religion)

Isabella Alexandria Marrin (Political Science & Spanish)

Madison Elizabeth Milligan (Psychology, Spanish & Writing)


Rachel M. Baniewicz (Psychology & Criminal Justice)

Peter Thomas Christopherson (Political Science & History)

Catherine Rylee Cunningham (Political Science & English)

Robert Allen Fruend III (Political Science & Economics)

Nena Mai Jamison (Computer Science & Religion)

Jacqueline T. Leon (Biology & Spanish)

Anthony Justin Lucido (History)

Maya Olivia Miller (Anthropology & Geography)

Bridget Claire Mulloy (Political Science)

Thi Hue Truc Nguyen (Accounting & Economics)

Wyatt Philip Reiter (English & Political Science)

Samantha A. Ritz(Childhood Development & French)

Benjamin Hodges Smoke (Religion, Spanish & Anthropology)

Caledonia Juliet Strelow (Political Science)

Morgan Elise Washington (Environmental Science & Political Science)


Elizabeth C. Holton (Political Science & French)

Hawley HeadshotAssociate Professor of economics Zackary Hawley, Ph.D., was named the 2023 Professor of the Year at the annual John V. Roach Honors College banquet. Hawley teaches “Intro to Microeconomics,” and his area of focus includes urban economics, housing, discrimination, public finance and experimental economics.

"This course is my absolute favorite to teach, primarily due to the students," said Hawley. "Honors courses develop personalities, and mine might best be characterized by the many experiments in the course. Together, we negotiate over invisible granite, construct and fly paper airplanes and watch society fall apart over red playing cards. As this award comes directly from the students, its significance to me cannot be surpassed."

Finalists are nominated and voted on by Honors students. Along with Hawley, the AddRan finalists included: 

Ross HeadshotThe Honors Professor of the Year award dates back to 1957, and it is tradition that the winner delivers the keynote address at the following year's Honors Banquet. Assistant professor of religion and 2022 Honors Professor of the Year Samuel Ross, Ph.D., presented his keynote address at this year's event.  

Ross teaches the Honors Cultural Visions course Understanding Religion: Text and Ideas – The Qur’an.” His areas of focus include Islamic studies, Qur'anic studies and Muslim-Christian relations. Ross's current research includes a forthcoming book-length history of Muslim engagement with the biblical text and a digital humanities project to convert the largest union catalog of Arabic Qur’an commentary manuscripts into a searchable and geo-tagged database.

Learn more about the award recipients at the 2023 Honors College Banquet.

Horned Frogs in the news graphic.
Horned Frogs in the News

In an article with Bloomberg's Businessweek, economics professor Stephen Quinn, Ph.D. discussed how curious and engaged students from his financial history class were when Silicon Valley Bank collapsed. Quinn studies the past to understand financial panics, including the Panic of 1763 in Amsterdam, which he has written about in the Journal of Money, Credit and Banking. Quinn's area of focus is the monetary and financial development of early modern Europe, and he teaches other courses, including Economics of Financial Markets and Law and Economics. Read the full article from Bloomberg.

Beginning Fall 2023, sophmores, juniors and seniors with an AddRan major are invited to enroll in a brand new research and competition-based course: Liberal Arts in Action. In this course, students will conduct appropriate research using a variety of humanities and social science approaches in order to arrive at a deep understanding of the benefits and consequences of social media. Students will work in small groups on various problems in the global and local community with social media as an overarching concern. Topics could include:

  • Immigration
  • Envrionment/climate
  • Impact of AI

Based on this research, each group will then develop a plan to address or ameliorate a problem. At the end of the semester, each group will present their research and conclusions in an open forum and compete for cash prizes. 

This course will be team-taught by a variety of AddRan faculty members including: 

  • Dr. Tatiana Argüello, Department of Spanish and Hispanic Studies
  • Dr. Sam Arnold, Department of Political Science
  • Dr. Tish Duncan, Department of Religion
  • Dr. Stephen Quinn, Department of Economics
  • Dr. Peter Worthing, Department of History

Course Information

  • Course Number: ADRN 30970
  • Course Title: Problems in Interdisciplnary Studies: Liberal Arts in Action
  • Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday 9:30 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
  • Credit: 3 Hours

For questions about the course, contact Dr. Peter Worthing (

Dr. DeNapoli headshot
Antoinette DeNapoli, Ph.D.

John F. Weatherly Professor of Religion Dr. Antoinette DeNapoli has been selected to participate in the Women in Buddhism: Religion, Politics, and the Arts 4-week residential institute program beginning June 5, 2023 at the East-West Center campus in Honolulu, HI. Made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, this multidisciplinary program will explore the evolving relational agencies of women from the origins of Buddhism into the modern era through deep and context-rich engagement with key traditions, practices and primary texts. The program is designed to meet the needs of undergraduate educators addressing issues of diversity at the intersections among religion, gender, power, globalization and cultural pluralism.

Dr. DeNapoli notes: "This fellowship offers me the opportunity to engage scholars across disciplinary fields seeking to bridge teaching and research about Asian religious cultures, such as Buddhism, with the study of gender, ethnicity, class, sexuality, language, and politics, to understand the role of religion on women’s lives, their struggles to live as they see fit, and the strategies they develop to unlock innovative opportunities for women’s authority and greater freedom. I plan to use the fellowship to organize in consultation with the other participants a collaborative book project and symposium that focuses on the challenges of teaching about Asian religions in higher education, while providing tools for instructors to use in the classroom to enhance student learning and global and cultural awareness."

Three people at a table hugging and smiling.
Ramadan Iftar

Happy Ramadan to our Muslim Horned Frogs! The College of Education, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Middle East Studies hosted a Ramadan Iftar in the Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center on April 4, 2023. This event supported Muslim students who are fasting during the month of Ramadan.  

For more information about Middle East Studies, visit our website.

Clark Lecture flyerA. A. Bradford Chair and professor of religion Dr. David Moessner will speak at Duke Divinity School's 2023 Kenneth W. Clark Lectures on March 21-22. His first lecture will be entitled “The Gospel of Luke: ‘The Christ Must Suffer’," followed by a second lecture, “The Acts of the Apostles: Paul as the Suffering Christ to the End of the Earth." Both lectures are free and open to the public.

Established in 1984, the Kenneth Willis Clark Lectureship Fund honors the life and work of Kenneth Willis Clark, a Divinity School faculty member for 36 years. Each year this fund enables the Divinity School to offer a program with special emphasis on New Testament studies and textual criticism. For more information, contact Kristi Spencer (

Dr. John Harris, associate professor and department chair of philosophy, has been selected to participate in the Council of Independent Colleges' New Currents in Teaching Philosophy Institute in Baltimore, Maryland on July 23-27, 2023. Participation in the institute includes a supplemental grant up to $1,000 to support new curricular activies at TCU. 

Hanan Hammad headshotDean Watson is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Hanan Hammad as the Department Chair for Women & Gender Studies. 

Dr. Hanan Hammad is a social and cultural historian of the modern Middle East whose work focuses on gender, sexuality, working classes and popular culture. She has authored many academic publications, most notably Industrial Sexuality: Gender, Urbanization and Social Transformation in Egypt from the UT Press 2016 and Unknown Past: Layla Murad, the Jewish-Muslim Star of Egypt just out from Stanford University Press. Hammad has received national and international recognitions, including fellowships from Fulbright-Hays, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Germany), and Woolf Institure in Cambridge (UK). Her research won prizes from the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA), the Association for Middle East Women's Studies, the Middle East Studies Association, the Arab American Book Award and the Journal of Social History. Her appointment begins June 1, 2023. 

Headshot of Stacie McCormickDean Watson is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Stacie McCormick as the Department Chair for Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies. 

Dr. Stacie McCormick is an Associate Professor of English, serves as core faculty in CRES and WGST, and specializes in representations of the body (biopower, biocapitalism, disability, etc.), land, sexuality, and the ongoing resonance of slavery in contemporary Black writing and performance, all from Black feminist and intersectional lens. She is currently writing a book that examines Black storytelling and reproductive justice from the perspectives of those often marginalized out of the conversation. Her appointment begins June 1, 2023.

Dr. McCormick notes: "I am truly excited to lead CRES and to work with the dynamic students and community within the department. Ethnic Studies plays such an important role in the academy because it not only offers a socially transformative curriculum, but also serves as an important site of community building in the work of justice. I look forward to advancing these legacies within CRES."

AddRan SignageAddRan Community,

Welcome back to campus for the 2023 semester. After a well-deserved holiday break, I look forward to seeing students, faculty, and staff take full advantage of an exciting spring semester at AddRan College.

As the AddRan community reflects on the legacy of our liberal arts education and research, we look forward to celebrating TCU’s 150th anniversary this year. Join us as we commemorate our past, shape our future and show the world what Horned Frogs can do when we’re empowered to Lead On – together. Visit TCU150 to learn more.

In collaboration with the John V. Roach Honors College, AddRan College also looks forward to hosting Poet Laureate of the United States Ada Limón as a Premier Green Honors Chair. I strongly encourage all students, faculty, and staff to attend! More details are forthcoming.

As we enter another semester of learning, remember that all community members can visit Protect the Purple and take advantage of free vaccination and testing resources. Faculty members can visit the Provost’s FAQ page for instruction-related questions.

Finally, please be aware of TCU’s Guide to Winter Weather Procedures in case of inclement weather events or changes to university status in the coming semester.

Thank you and Go Frogs!

Sonja Watson, Ph.D.

Dean, AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Kyle Walker, Ph.D., associate professor of geography and director of the Center for Urban Studies, recently received the Spatial Data Scientist of the Year 2022 award from CARTO, one of the world's leading location intelligence platforms. Walker's area of focus is population geography, cities and suburbs and demographic data visualization.

Kyle Walker Spatial Data Scientist of the Year 2022

Emily Farris, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science, has been awarded a  grant of more than $70,000 grant to examine when and how reforms might work to increase the accountability sheriffs have to their local communities. The resulting white paper by Farris and Mirya Holman, Ph.D., associate professor of political science at Tulane University, will examine what interventions have worked, which ones have failed and why. It will also investigate how some sheriffs have played a role in subverting attempts at reform and what can be done to change that pattern.

AddRan College of Liberal Arts is proud to recognize and celebrate several faculty members who have won or have been nominated for awards recognizing research, teaching and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) excellence.

“The AddRan College of Liberal Arts winners and nominees of these prestigious university awards illustrate the high caliber of teacher-scholars that we have in the humanities and social sciences across the college and university,” said Sonja Watson, Ph.D., dean of AddRan College.


  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award — Scott Langston, Ph.D., Instructor of Religion and Native American Nations and Communities Liaison
  • Maryrose Short Teaching Excellence Award — Tatiana Argüello, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Spanish & Hispanic Studies
    • The Maryrose Short Teaching Excellence Award recognizes excellence in teaching by exceptional untenured (tenure-track or nontenure track), full-time faculty members with five years or less at TCU. Since joining the university in 2017, Professor Argüello’s teaching has exhibited global diversity and engagement by introducing students to Latin American culture, art, cinema, literature, politics, economics, art and more.


Visit to see the full list of nominees.

AddRan Dean Sonja Watson (left) with Scott Langston, Ph.D. (right) after being awarded the TCU DEI Award. Credit Sonja Watson
AddRan Dean Sonja Watson (left) with Scott Langston, Ph.D. (right) after being awarded the TCU DEI Award. Credit Sonja Watson
Assistant professor Tatiana Argüello lectures to her Cinema of Latin America class in Scharbauer Hall in 2022. Credit James Anger | TCU Marketing & Communication
Assistant professor Tatiana Argüello lectures to her Cinema of Latin America class in Scharbauer Hall in 2022. Credit James Anger | TCU Marketing & Communication

As Hispanic Heritage Month Begins, join AddRan College of Liberal Arts, TCU Magazine and TCU Alumni for “TCU Presents: Little Mexico” on Thursday, Sept. 22 at 3 p.m. CST on Zoom. A panel moderated by Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to the Chancellor and Chief Inclusion Officer will discuss Fort Worth’s “Little Mexico” neighborhood and the rich history of the city’s Latinx community. All members of the TCU Community are welcome to attend.

TCU Presents: Little Mexico
TCU Presents: Little Mexico

Panelists will include:

  • Fort Worth civic leader Rosa Navejar,
  • TCU history doctoral candidate Cecilia Sanchez Hill
  • Tarrant County College history professor Peter Martinez, Ph.D.

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Brandy Jolliff Scott, Ph.D., instructor of political science and a specialist in British politics, gave her thoughts on the role of the monarchy in the British system, the legacy of Elizabeth II and the impact of her death has on British political and social life.

Queen Elizabeth II smiling (Photo by Kirsty O’Connor-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kirsty O’Connor-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

What role does the monarch play in the British system of government? What powers does the monarch have?

The monarch in the British system has a constitutional, limited role. Queen Elizabeth II, and her successor King Charles III, serve as head of state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as monarch and head of state for fifteen other independent countries, including such states as Canada, Australia, the Bahamas, Jamaica and New Zealand.

As head of state, the monarch embodies the unity, history and tradition of the nation and serves a symbolic function representing the U.K. (and the realms) both at home and abroad.

The monarch also retains some prerogative powers, such as appointing prime ministers, summoning and dissolving Parliament and giving royal assent to bills. However, the monarch generally does not act on their own but acts on the advice of the government. There is very little political power still present in the institution of the monarchy.

How did Queen Elizabeth II carry out her role as part of the British political system?

She carried out her role as monarch with steadfastness, dignity and tireless devotion to service to her realm. She reigned for 70 years, the longest reign of any monarch in British/English history and had 15 prime ministers serve under her. Additionally, she reigned during the tenures of 14 U.S. presidents, having met 13 of them.

The nature of a constitutional monarchy such as that of the U.K. is an apolitical one. For the monarch to be a unifying figure in their role as head of state, they must stay out of politics and keep their personal political views private. The Queen excelled at this throughout her reign and only very rarely gave glimpses on her political views on any issue.

In her role representing the U.K. at home and abroad, she traveled to over 100 countries, and both met and received foreign heads of state at key moments in international politics. Highlights include her state visit to South Africa in 1995 in support of the new presidency of Nelson Mandela, and her well-received state visit to the Republic of Ireland in 2011, a trip which many thought could never happen given the state of British-Irish relations over the past 100-plus years.

What impact does the Queen’s passing have on politics and social life in the United Kingdom?

It is much too soon to speak of the impact the Queen’s passing will have on British politics and social life, although the impact will be monumental.

Only about 20% of the current British population were alive before she became queen in 1952. As recently as May 2022 a YouGov poll indicated that 83% of Britons viewed her as doing either a “very good job” or a “fairly good job” during her time on the throne.

Support for the monarchy declined in recent decades, and it remains to be seen what effect the Queen’s death will have on these attitudes. We may see one or more of the other realms elect to become republics and replace the British monarch as their head of state with an elected president.

No doubt there is and will be a very large public outpouring of grief in the coming hours, days and weeks. Some of the emotions people in the U.K. and abroad will no doubt be complicated. But the Queen’s impact on modern British politics and society is undeniable, and the country will have to grapple with what comes next during a period of increased insecurity due to Brexit, Ukraine, an ongoing energy crisis and the continual reshaping of the British role in the world.

What is Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy as a monarch?

Her legacy is one of constancy, service and steadfastness to her country. While the monarchy itself and some members of the royal family have been subjects of criticism and scandal, the Queen herself has stayed above the fray and conducted herself with dignity and grace.

Her sense of duty has been tireless since before she even became queen. As a teenager she served the British war effort in World War II. She reigned for 70 years, leading the country through the decline of the British Empire, periods of crisis and growth, and the recent tumult of COVID-19 and Brexit.

In the end, she will always be remembered for her commitment to her country and her service to her people during the second Elizabethan age.

AddRan College is a cosponsor of the annual Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers (TACWT) conference, taking place from Sept. 15 to 17 in the Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center. TACWT brings together creative writing teachers from across Texas. John V. Roach Honors College professor of humanities Dan Williams, Ph.D., is the organization’s current president.

“I look forward to sharing ideas and learning from other creative writing instructors and having my writing galvanized by hearing the outstanding work that other writers will share at the conference,” said Alex Lemon, MFA, a professor of English and director of the Master of Liberal Arts program.

Associate professor of English and Director of Undergraduate Studies Matthew Pitt, Ph.D., said the COVID-19 pandemic presented all faculty challenges, but creative writing was an especially difficult experience. “The main challenges, for me, involved maintaining a sense of community, and safe space for expression, when we were all Zooming in from scattered spots. Smaller breakout groups were helpful, and I tried to design prompts that offered student writers opportunities to channel the anxiety and disorientation of the health crisis into something generative, hopeful, even playful,” Pitt said.

The full schedule for the conference is available at

In an op-ed for the Dallas Morning News, criminology & criminal Justice department chair Brie Diamond, Ph.D. and assistant professor Brae Young, Ph.D. highlighted the severe staffing issues with Texas Department of Juvenile Justice (TDJJ) residential facilities, leading to cuts in rehabilitation programs and officials locking youth in isolation for up to 22 hours.

Horned Frogs in the News
Horned Frogs in the News

"...Isolation of youth is extremely damaging. Incarcerated people who experience isolation are at risk for long-term psychological distress and suicide," the professors said. "Such mental health issues, which may or may not have existed before isolation, can increase behavioral violations in the facility and increase youths’ chances of reoffending after release," they added. 

The staffing crisis and dire conditions in TDJJ facilities speak to larger problems with the agency, according to Diamond and Young, including staff burnout, low pay and a lack of advancement. To address the crisis, Diamond and Young cautioned against sending youth to adult facilities because "research finds that exposure to the adult criminal justice system can be harmful in similar and even more traumatic ways to isolation."

They concluded with the warning: 

"During times of crisis, our justice system tends to reduce inmates’ liberty and access to the very programs that help reach its mission. We have seen this decision play out time and again in reduced safety, exacerbated mental and behavioral health issues, and increased recidivism. We implore the state to look beyond these simple 'solutions' and to instead address the organizational issues that are likely to be behind this disturbing trend."

Keith Gåddie, Ph.D., has been named the inaugural holder of the Al and Dawn Hoffman Chair of the American Ideal, a newly endowed position at Texas Christian University. A leading national scholar of American politics, Gåddie will assume the chair in the fall 2023.

Keith Gåddie, Ph.D.
Keith Gåddie, Ph.D., Inaugural Al and Dawn Hoffman Chair of the American Ideal

The Al and Dawn Hoffman Chair of the American Ideal was recently established by former U.S. ambassador to Portugal, Al Hoffman, and his wife, Dawn, to bring a renowned scholar to TCU’s AddRan College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Political Science. The Hoffmans’ vision is to support a teacher-scholar who will study and strengthen a culture of political discourse and shared ideological understanding, and foster vigorous and respectful discussion in the free marketplace of ideas — all in support of TCU’s mission of developing ethical leaders.

“For the past several years, we have been deeply concerned about the lack of resilience and faith in our country and system of government,” the Hoffmans said. “So many Americans seem to have lost their way — conservatives, liberals, constructionists and revolutionaries. This was the driving motive to help establish the Hoffman Chair at TCU. We believe it holds great promise for future generations here and for people from all over the country," they concluded.

Gåddie expressed his gratitude to the donors for making the opportunity possible:

“My thanks to the Hoffman family for their generous gift that created this platform to study and promote political civility and the greater, general values that make the American nation and represent our aspirations as people. My goal is to enable an inclusive conversation about the ideas and ideals of America and how they take form in our public spaces and shape how we lead our communities. I’m looking forward to continuing my career mission, in and out of the classroom, of working with smart, capable, curious students and engaging active alumni.”

Gåddie comes to TCU from the University of Oklahoma, where he worked for more than 25 years. In addition to duties as a political science faculty member, Gåddie held numerous college and university executive leadership positions, including interim associate dean of the Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture and Executive Faculty Fellow, an advisory position to the president of the university.

As a scholar, Gåddie focuses on issues of built environment and democratic values. He is the author of “Democracy’s Meanings: How the Public Understands Democracy and Why It Matters” (2022, Michigan) with Nick Davis and Kirby Goidel, which explores the question of how Americans conceive of democracy and tests the fragility and resilience of the American civic experiment. “The U.S. Supreme Court’s Democratic Spaces” (2021, OU Press), written with research partner Jocelyn Evans, explored the evolution of the Supreme Court’s physical spaces, its institutional evolution, and its changing culture as a political and social organization.

“Professor Gåddie is an accomplished teacher and scholar who studies aspects of American democracy that fit the vision Al and Dawn Hoffman had when they created the Hoffman Endowed Chair of the American ideal. His research covers some of the most important issues currently facing American democracy,” said Carrie Liu Currier, Ph.D., political science department chair. “The issues he explores — from the South and democracy to how Americans think about democracy and the problems of conflict and legitimacy in American democracy — are among some of the most pressing we have today and are fundamental to the study of American politics,” Currier said.   

“We are fortunate to have the generous support of Al and Dawn Hoffman, who are dedicated to providing a top-notch education and experience to students in AddRan College and TCU,” said Sonja Watson, Ph.D., dean of AddRan College of Liberal Arts. “As the inaugural holder of the Al and Dawn Hoffman Chair of the American Ideal, Professor Gåddie will expand students’ awareness, critical thinking and critical inquiry in the area of American politics,” Watson said.

Gåddie’s hiring represents AddRan College and TCU’s ongoing commitment to recruiting teacher-scholars who can mold students into passionate leaders and conduct field-leading research.

Endowed chairs like the Hoffman Chair of the American Ideal are made possible through generous philanthropic contributions, including those to Lead On: A Campaign for TCU. The most ambitious fundraising campaign in TCU’s almost 150-year history, the campaign aims to raise $1 billion to strengthen TCU’s people and programs. To date, it has raised over $845 million from more than 51,900 donors. 

The TCU AddRan College of Liberal Arts has named Bonnie A. Lucero, Ph.D., as the next Neville G. Penrose Chair of Latin American Studies and History. Lucero takes over the endowed chair from Susan Elizabeth Ramirez, Ph.D., who has retired and transitioned to emerita status. Lucero will continue a nearly 40 year-long tradition of excellence in Latin American scholarship and education.

Bonnie A. Lucero, Ph.D., Neville G. Penrose Chair of Latin American Studies and History
Bonnie A. Lucero, Ph.D., Neville G. Penrose Chair of Latin American Studies and History

Lucero comes to TCU from the University of Houston-Downtown, where she was an associate professor of history and director of the Center for Latino Studies. Her research focuses on the intersection of race and gender in colonial and post-colonial Latin America and the Caribbean, with an emphasis on Cuba.

“I look forward to working with my distinguished colleagues to build an exciting future for our Latin American history program,” said Lucero. “I am particularly thrilled to connect our students to the histories and cultures of a region that has been and remains so central to our experience in Texas and the United States.”

Lucero is one of six new faculty members joining TCU in fall 2022 as part of the college’s DEI Cluster Hire Initiative. Launched last year by Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D., the Cluster Hire Initiative has the goal of diversifying the college faculty and hiring teacher-scholars whose scholarship centers on race, ethnicity and social justice.

“Associate Professor Lucero brings her rich experience as a mentor to students from a variety of backgrounds,” said William Meier, Ph.D., chair of the Department of History. “She is a distinguished scholar of Cuba and Latin America whose research on health, inequality, crime, urbanization and political activism will expand opportunities for TCU students to examine major issues confronting the world today.”

Lucero’s hiring represents AddRan’s and TCU’s ongoing commitment to recruiting teacher-scholars who can build students into passionate leaders while also conducting field-leading research.

“Professor Lucero’s scholarship is cutting-edge and timely as it also examines race and reproductive justice in the Americas,” said Dean Watson. “She joins a department with other well-renowned historians. Her scholarship, along with that of others, will further raise the academic profile of the department, college and institution.”

Endowed in 1983, the chair is named for Neville G. Penrose, who served as a TCU trustee from 1968 to his passing in 1977. Penrose developed an interest in Mexico and Latin America through his involvement in the Mexican oil industry. A well-known political activist in the 1940s and 1950s, Penrose advocated for civil rights, spoke out against prejudice toward Mexican Americans, and in 1949, was appointed by Texas Governor Allan Shivers as chairman of the Good Neighbor Commission, a state body dedicated to fostering dialogue between the state and Latin American nations.

The endowed chair that bears Neville G. Penrose’s name is dedicated to “commemorate and honor a lifelong interest in Latin America on the part of Mr. Penrose and, at the same time, to make a significant impact on TCU.”

Endowed chairs like the Penrose Chair are made possible through generous philanthropic contributions, including those to Lead On: A Campaign for TCU. The most ambitious fundraising campaign in TCU’s almost 150-year history, it aims to raise $1 billion to strengthen TCU’s people and programs. To date, the campaign has raised over $843 million from more than 51,800 donors.  

The TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library, in partnership with the TCU AddRan College of Liberal Arts, announced their selection for induction into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame. The authors will be honored at the official induction ceremony on October 19, 2022.

Mary Couts Burnett Library in Spring 2022. Taken by James Anger. Credit James Anger | TCU Marketing & Communication
Mary Couts Burnett Library in Spring 2022. Taken by James Anger. Credit James Anger | TCU Marketing & Communication

The Texas Literary Hall of Fame was established to celebrate and encourage the state’s rich literary heritage by honoring its foremost authors, whose original writing reflects enduring cultural relevance and artistic creativity. The Texas Literary Hall of Fame honors inductees every two years.

The 2022 Texas Literary Hall of Fame honors the following inductees:

Jerry Craven’s published books include creative non-fiction, short stories and books for children: Dancing on Barbed Wire; Women of Thunder; The Wild Part; Saving a Songbird, and Searching for Rama’s Spear. He currently serves as press director for Ink Brush Press and is active as founding editor for the international literary journal Amarillo Bay. He is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, Texas Association of Creative Writing Teachers and Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. His most recent book is a collection of ekphrastic stories and poetry written with Andrew Geyer and Terry Dalrymple: Magic, Mystery, Madness.

Patrick Dearen is the author of novels and nonfiction books, focusing on the Pecos River region. His environmental study, Bitter Waters: The Struggles of the Pecos River, won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, while Devils River: Treacherous Twin to the Pecos, 1535-1900 received a San Antonio Conservation Society Publication Award and the Rupert Richardson Award of West Texas Historical Association. His novel, The Big Drift, received five awards, including the Spur Award of Western Writers of America and the Peacemaker Award of Western Fictioneers, and When Cowboys Die has been honored numerous times by several Texas Associations.

Richard Bruce Winders served as historian curator at the Alamo for twenty-three years before leaving to become an independent scholar and historical consultant. He is a noted authority in the area of Mexican-United States Borderlands and is the first ever Visiting Scholar to the Texas Center at Schreiner University in Kerrville, TX. Winders is well-known for his ability to bring history to life and has worked with everyone from British rock stars, foreign dignitaries, American politicians and public educators. He is the author of Panting for Glory: The Mississippi Volunteers in the Mexican War, Firearms of the Texas Frontier: Flintlock to Cartridge, Sacrificed at the Alamo: Tragedy and Triumph in the Texas Revolution, Davy Crockett: The Legend of the Wild, Frontier, Mr. Polk’s Army: The American Military Experience in the Mexican War, and Queen of the West: A Documentary History of San Antonio, 1718-1900.

Tim Madigan is an award-winning newspaper journalist and the author of three critically acclaimed books, I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers; See No Evil: Blind Devotion and Bloodshed in David Koresh’s Holy War; and The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race of 1921.

Jodi Thomas is an American author of historical romance novels, most of which are set in Texas. She is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, and Publishers Weekly calls her novels distinctive, refreshing and memorable. In 2006, Romance Writers of America (RITA) inducted Thomas into the RWA Hall of Fame for winning her third RITA for The Texan’s Reward. She also received the National Readers' Choice Award in 2009 for Twisted Creek and Tall, Dark, and Texan. Other writings include The Wishing Quilt, Dinner on Primrose Hill and Sunday at the Sunflower Inn.

ReShonda Tate Billingsley is a journalist and author, publishing her first book in 2001 My Brother’s Keeper. Billingsley #1 nationally bestselling novels include Let the Church Say AmenI Know I’ve Been Changed, and Say Amen, Again, winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Her collaboration with Victoria Christopher Murray has produced four hit novels, Sinners & SaintsFriends & FoesA Blessing & a Curse, and Fortune & Fame. BET released a movie in 2013 based on ReShonda’s book Let the Church Say Amen in which she had a minor roleShe also had a role in the made-for-TV movie The Secret She Kept based on her book of the same title.

Martha Wells has been a science fiction and fantasy author since her first fantasy novel, The Element of Fire, published in 1993. Her work includes The Books of the Raksura series, The Death of the Necromancer, the Ile-Rien trilogy, The Murderbot Diaries series, media tie-ins for Star Wars, Stargate: Atlantis, and Magic: The Gathering, as well as short fiction, young adult novels and non-fiction. Her work has appeared on the USA Today Bestseller List and the New York Times Bestseller List, and has been translated into twenty-two languages.

“We are excited to welcome this stellar group of writers into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame,” says Tracy L. Hull, Dean of the TCU Library.

“The Texas Literary Hall of Fame showcases top literary writers across the nation. This group of inductees follows a long list of others who demonstrate how Texas has shaped the cultural landscape of their writings,” said Sonja Watson, Ph.D., Dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts.

AddRan College of Liberal Arts announced its next College Diversity Advocate and four new department chairs, including a newcomer to TCU, ahead of the fall 2022 semester.

Brandon Manning, Ph.D.
Brandon Manning, Ph.D.

Brandon J. Manning, Ph.D., will serve as AddRan’s College Diversity Advocate for the 2022-2023 academic year, taking over from Dawn Elliott, Ph.D. Manning is an expert on Black masculinity and popular culture.

The College Diversity Advocate is responsible for assisting in fostering diversity and cultivating an inclusive learning and work environment in each college and school. The Advocate focuses on hiring and promotion efforts, recruitment and retention of faculty, staff and students, and serving as a resource and consultant to the Dean, Associate Deans, chairs and directors on DEI issues.

Sharon Aronofsky Weltman, Ph.D., joins AddRan College as English department chair and a professor of English. Aronofsky Weltman takes over from Peter Worthing, Ph.D. and Jodi Campbell, Ph.D., who served as the department’s co-chairs. Weltman, who comes to TCU from Louisiana State University, is a scholar of 19thcentury literature and theater.

Dawn Elliott, Ph.D., associate professor of economics, assumes the role of economics department chair from John Harvey, Ph.D. Elliott’s research specializes in the economics of the Caribbean and developing nations. She founded More Than Budgets, a program that provides financial education to Fort Worth residents .

Kyle Walker, Ph.D., director of the Center for Urban Studies and professor of geography, takes over as geography department chair from Benjamin Tillman, Ph.D. Walker is a scholar of demographics and a leading expert on data visualization.

Nicholas Albanese, Ph.D., steps into the role of chair in the department of modern language studies from Muriel Cormican, Ph.D. Albanese is an associate professor of Italian and scholar of Italian literature and cinema.

Dawn Elliott, Ph.D.
Dawn Elliott, Ph.D.
Sharon Aronofsky Weltman, Ph.D.
Sharon Aronofsky Weltman, Ph.D.








Nicholas Albanese, Ph.D.
Nicholas Albanese, Ph.D.
Kyle Walker, Ph.D.
Kyle Walker, Ph.D.

Political Science Faculty Member and Undergrad Work to Create First Comprehensive Database of Confidentiality Programs

Millions of Americans experience intimate partner violence (IPV) every year. An ongoing concern that many IPV victims have is that their abuser might be able to find them through public records, like voter registration, and begin the cycle of abuse again. Several states have implemented address confidentiality programs (ACPs) to shield the public records of IPV victims from being accessed by their abusers.

Emily Farris, Ph.D., an associate professor of political science, and undergraduate research assistant Caledonia “Cal” Strelow ’23 have been spending the summer break compiling a comprehensive website for information about ACPs.

Here, they talk about the purpose of ACPs, which states perform well and which do not, and the value of undergraduate research experience.

A map from Emily Farris, Ph.D., showing the adoption of ACP programs across the country. Credit: Emily Farris
A map from Emily Farris, Ph.D., showing the adoption of ACP programs across the country. Credit: Emily Farris

What is an address confidentiality program?

Farris: ACPs attempt to provide both safety for survivors of IPV and restore survivors’ rights to take part in society. These programs anonymize survivors’ addresses in public records, thereby balancing the requirements of government transparency with the needs of IPV survivors. Some states call their ACPs “Safe at Home” programs.

There is a strong need for ACPs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 10 million people experience IPV each year, and one in four women have experienced sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

For survivors, the fear that their abusers may find them prevents them from creating public records with their addresses on them, such as registering to vote. The accessibility of survivors’ addresses on public records, which can also include other records such as getting a driver’s or marriage license or a child’s school registration, poses a real threat to individuals seeking protection from abusers.

How long have address confidentiality programs been around?

Farris: The first ACP was initiated in Washington State in 1991 for victims fleeing domestic abuse. Today, approximately 42 states have instituted ACPs.

Based on the research and data you’ve gathered, what are the common features of an address confidentiality program?

Cal: While states’ legislation on ACPs varies, there are a few standard features of these programs, which have expanded over the past thirty years. For example, most ACPs provide a participant with a substitute mailing address (i.e., a P.O. Box), to which important identifiable mail can be sent. A participant in an ACP usually registers to vote, obtains a driver's or marriage license, and registers themselves or dependents for school using this fictitious address. In legal proceedings, including custody agreements between a survivor and an abuser, the substitute address serves as an added layer of protection—a way to ensure a survivor’s paper trail does not reveal where they truly reside.

"On the personal side, given the current climate in which issues of gender and gendered violence permeate so many of our lives, I’ve found it fulfilling as a young woman in the South to work with a strong female mentor on a project that will bring light to an issue of deep importance and improve people's lives."  - Caledonia “Cal” Strelow ’23

In your opinion, are there some states that conduct their programs better than others? Are there states that could improve their programs?

Cal: Among those with programs, states with little to no digital footprint or contact information—coupled with administrative burdens placed on applicants—tend to yield low enrollment numbers.

As one example of the many states with considerable room for improvement, Mississippi has several barriers to entry for survivors seeking services: no interactive website and applicants must meet with a private, third-party “application assistant” and demonstrate proof of eligibility, such as a police report or a character witness. Following a Freedom of Information Act Request, we learned that Mississippi serves only 23 participants, despite the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence’s finding that 39.7% of Mississippi women experience intimate partner physical violence, sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.

Several states serve as strong examples of how to run far more effective ACPs. Minnesota, Washington, California, Wisconsin and others service thousands of survivors annually by rolling back the steps needed for applicants to enroll, expanding the viable uses of substitute addresses and emphasizing a holistic approach to protecting survivors.

Screenshot of information on Texas' ACP compiled by Emily Farris, Ph.D., and undergraduate research assistant Caledonia “Cal” Strelow.
Screenshot of information on Texas' ACP compiled by Emily Farris, Ph.D., and undergraduate research assistant Caledonia “Cal” Strelow.

Describe how you’ve put your research of ACPs into a comprehensive form.

Farris: With the support of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers (which helped me compensate Cal for her time), we have created the first comprehensive accounting of these programs. We collected data on how the programs vary in who is eligible, the process for applying for the program, the degree of protection offered by the program and the administration of the programs by states. States vary in the amount of information available publicly on these programs, and states are expanding their programs to cover more survivors, such as those who have been sex trafficked.

With this information, we are putting together a public website for survivors to better understand their options and for program administrators to see how states compare in their programs.

Talk about your experience working with Prof. Farris as an undergraduate research assistant. How has this added to your undergraduate academic experience?

Cal: Working with Prof. Farris on ACP research presented an excellent opportunity to hone my interests as I approach graduation and lean into graduate school. This project was empowering for academic and personal reasons.

From an academic standpoint, working with data, combing through legislation, building a website and contacting offices across the country pushed me to apply those theories and discussions from the classroom into a real-world environment where I’m certain my work matters beyond getting credit or earning a grade.

On the personal side, given the current climate in which issues of gender and gendered violence permeate so many of our lives, I’ve found it fulfilling as a young woman in the South to work with a strong female mentor on a project that will bring light to an issue of deep importance and improve people's lives. 

Would you encourage other undergraduates to gain research experience, if possible? If so, why?

Cal: I would urge my peers and future TCU students to consider research a fulfilling, viable and worthwhile aspect of your degree path. The research I’ve been working on with Prof. Farris will ultimately serve as the foundation for my senior thesis and has already positively impacted my skill set and career opportunities.

I would not have been able to assist Prof. Farris without funding from a grant from the Center for American Women and Politics. Organizations like these make student research possible and accessible to students from all backgrounds. I would highly recommend that students pursue research, but not at the expense of putting their financial security at risk. 

Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.

If you are interested in research funding opportunities, visit or speak with your school or college Dean’s Office.

With a poll showing a tightening in the Texas governor race, the events of the past few weeks, including the mass shooting in Uvalde, deaths of immigrants in San Antonio and the end of Roe v. Wade, are weighing on voters’ minds, said James Riddlesperger, Ph.D., during an interview with NewsRadio 1080 KRLD. Still, the longtime political science professor said most Texans would cast their vote according to feelings on the economy.

Horned Frogs in the News
Horned Frogs in the News

A recent poll by the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin found that the gap between incumbent Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke has narrowed to six percentage points

“There’s some volativity in the electorate at this point as people figure out what to make of the recent activities, as well as the inflation that’s going on and the uncertainty in the economy,” said Riddlesperger.

While abortion particularly motivated voters, Riddlesperger said the November elections would come down to perceptions of the economy.

“A lot of voters take in multiple factors when they vote. I still think at the end of the day, their perception of the performance of the economy will be a major factor and these other issues will sort out as secondary issues or tiebreakers in the minds of some voters,” he concluded.

Riddlesperger is an expert in American and Texas politics and is frequently called upon to comment in media on political events by local, national and international. He is the co-author of several books, including Texas Politics (14th edition, Cengage, 2022), Lone Star Leaders (2011, TCU), and The Austin-Boston Connection (2009, Texas A&M Press).

This June, faculty from the AddRan College of Liberal Arts brought their expertise and passion to two TCU summer camps, Pathways to Success: Careers in the Chinese-speaking World and The Atatiana Project. Now that the camps are over, faculty reflect on outcomes and the memories campers and educators built together.

Learning Chinese Language and Culture
Pathways to Success faculty and attendees pose after a speech competition. Credit TCU Marketing & Communication | Glen E. Ellman
Pathways to Success faculty and attendees pose after a speech competition. Credit TCU Marketing & Communication | Glen E. Ellman

Attendees of the Pathways to Success spent two weeks immersed in learning the Chinese language and culture.

“Our program brought in students from as close as Keller and as far as Washington D.C., Florida and South Dakota. In a jam-packed, extraordinary two weeks, they lived in Chinese in and beyond the classroom, built relationships, sang, danced and played,” said Muriel Cormican, Ph.D., associate dean, professor of German and Pathways to Success program director.  

Cormican credited instructional lead and Associate Professor of Chinese Gunagyan Chen, Ph.D., Chinese Instructor I Junyu Zhang and other staff members with the program’s success. “I feel lucky to work with such dedicated teacher-scholars and with the visionary support of Dean Sonja Watson,” she concluded.

Chen was encouraged by the diverse group the camp attracted. “I met a group of highly motivated Chinese learners and had the chance to work with the most dedicated colleagues, including the program director, instructors and facilitators. This precious experience will be an unforgettable memory,” Chen said.

Pathways to Success was funded by a grant from the National Security Agency’s STARTALK grant program, which aims to move students forward in their Chinese language proficiency and intercultural competency, increase student enrollment in Chinese courses and enhance Chinese-related workforce development.

Cormican said that Pathways staff would continue to work with attendees on “individual projects” until April 2023. She hopes to reapply for STARTALK funding and conduct another immersion camp in 2024.

Expression Through Comics and Code
Jason Helms, Ph.D. and doctoral candidate Kit Snyder instruct Atatiana Project attendees. Credit Jennifer Casseday | TCU College of Science & Engineering
Jason Helms, Ph.D. and doctoral candidate Kit Snyder instruct Atatiana Project attendees. Credit Jennifer Casseday | TCU College of Science & Engineering

While based primarily out of TCU’s College of Science and Engineering, a faculty member and graduate student from the Center for Digital Expression (CDEx) taught campers from The Atatiana Project how to express themselves through comics and coding.

CDEx director Jason Helms, Ph.D., instructed students in “Making Comics,” while rhetoric and composition doctoral candidate Kit Snyder led “Game Design with Twine.” Twine is an open-source tool for creating interactive stories and games. 

“It was a really rewarding experience. I loved sharing my enthusiasm for comics and coding with the campers. Their interest and excitement made the whole room come alive,” said Snyder.

The Atatiana Project introduces local students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts, the passions of the late Atatiana Jefferson, who was killed in her home by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean in 2019. The project was created by Jefferson’s sister, Ashley Carr.

The Atatiana Project hopes to have another camp next year.

Polley Poer '19 on Poetry Recognition and How Coming Out Was Like “Diving into Wonderland”

Polley Poer '19
Polley Poer '19

In the citation for the Ohio State University-Academy of American Poets Arthur Rense Prize, contest judge Quintin Collins, an accomplished poet, said Polley Poer’s '19 submission, “The Hawaiian Sky Teaches Me the Story of Abraham,” left him “feeling elucidated by the speaker's argument and imagery.”

Poer, currently a Master of Fine Arts student at Ohio State, spoke about their experience of “coming out,” poetry, and how their time at TCU moved them to become a writer.

Can you describe your connection to TCU?

I graduated in 2019 with a double major in Strategic Communication and Writing. I started in Strategic Communication and added a writing major after taking my first creative writing workshop at TCU—it was a creative nonfiction workshop with Alex Lemon.

I have a long history of family members who attended TCU: my father, his parents, a great grandmother, and a great-great-aunt. I was raised in purple and white—TCU was the only place I wanted to go when I graduated high school.

What is the Arthur Rense Prize?

The Academy of American Poets sponsors poetry prizes, the Arthur Rense Prize, at colleges and universities across the nation to recognize outstanding student poets. The prizes are awarded at the institutional level.

Can you describe the work or works of poetry you submitted to win? What did the judge or judges say about your winning work?

Quintin Collins was the judge for this year's Academy of American Poets Award at Ohio State. Quintin is a writer, editor and Solstice MFA Program assistant director. His work appears in various publications, and his first poetry collection is “The Dandelion Speaks of Survival.” His second collection is “Claim Tickets for Stolen People,” winner of the “Charles B. Wheeler Prize.”

About the poem that won the award, titled “The Hawaiian Sky Teaches Me the Story of Abraham,” Quintin said: "The poem's reflective approach leverages subtext well, which delivers all the intended force of the gut punch at the close. After reading it, I walked away with a feeling elucidated by the speaker's argument and imagery."

I believe all the poems I submitted, as well as most of what I’m currently working on, deal with the changing of adulthood, and the new ideologies that form when moving on from one’s family and becoming an individual. I grew up in a somewhat sheltered environment in a small town in Texas where my family has been for nearly 100 years (if not longer). I love where I come from, but my current prose and poetry have allowed me to challenge preconceived ideas I used to have about the world and myself, particularly before attending TCU. The poems I submitted spawned largely from the experience of leaving home and moving across the country to a new region for the first time in my life.

What was the connection between your work and Pride Month?

I don’t know that the specific poems I wrote for this award have to do with my gender/sexual orientation specifically, but again, they largely deal with the changes in ideology I’ve had over the last several years.

My entire “coming out” experience happened at TCU and frankly, I was terrified. I tested the waters by telling a few trusted professors and advisors who made me feel safe and protected.

Coming out was something of a revelation for me, and when I finally did, creative work spilled out of me. It was total, unleashed freedom, like diving into Wonderland. I never realized how much I held back creatively before coming out. I think much of my work reflects that—a sort of newfound power, wonder, and individuality.

How will you be marking Pride Month?

I hope to attend Pride in Columbus, OH this summer. But I’m also a complete nerd when it comes to paper crafts and card-making. Since the pandemic began, it’s been a way for me to send love to my friends across the country. I’ll be crafting and sending Happy Pride cards to my friends in the community and LGBTQ+ allies.

Visibility is critical. I also currently have a stack of poetry collections by queer poets on my desk.

What are your future goals, post-MFA?

I hope to teach creative writing at a university after completing my MFA. I’ve always believed that even if I were the most prolific or successful writer/poet, it would mean nothing without being in a classroom and empowering young writers.

My own experience as a writer would not have been possible without the professors and mentors I had at TCU who truly convinced me that I could do anything. I may forever be indebted to Alex Lemon for calling me a writer in the first place—a word I would never have used to describe myself early in college.  

Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.

The AddRan College of Liberal Arts continues be a leader and learning resource for the Fort Worth community through hosting and participation in two summer camps: Pathways to Success: Careers in the Chinese-speaking World and The Atatiana Project. Both camps will begin on June 13 and attendees will stay on TCU’s campus.

Guangyan Chen, Ph.D.
Guangyan Chen, Ph.D.
Pathways to Success: Careers in the Chinese-speaking World

TCU and local students will learn Chinese through a special language immersion program called Pathways to Success.

Funded by the National Security Agency’s STARTALK grant program, Pathways to Success is open to TCU first-years and sophomores, as well as secondary school juniors and seniors.  TCU faculty will teach the courses.

The program’s goal is to move students forward in their Chinese language proficiency and intercultural competency, increase student enrollment in Chinese courses and enhance Chinese-related workforce development.

“I look forward to supporting my colleagues as they guide students to learn and live in Chinese for two full weeks. While I don’t speak Chinese, I have led total immersion programs in the past and am aware of the joys and stresses of the same for both students and instructors,” said Muriel Cormican, Ph.D., professor of German and Pathways to Success program director.

“In these two weeks, I hope to encourage students to use the Chinese language to explore Chinese culture within the context of work settings. I expect our team to create an immersive Chinese learning experience in a challenging but supportive environment,” said Guangyan Chen, Ph.D., associate professor of Chinese and Pathways to Success' instructional lead.

 The Atatiana Project

While focused on introducing local students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), the upcoming Atatiana Project will also include opportunities for camp attendees to express themselves digitally through AddRan’s Center for Digital Expression (CDEx).   

Atatiana Jefferson was killed in her home by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean in 2019. The Project was created by her sister, Ashley Carr, and will primarily operate out of TCU’s College of Science and Engineering.

Jason Helms, Ph.D.
Jason Helms, Ph.D.

CDEx will offer two electives to camp attendees: “Game Design with Twine” and “Making Comics.” Rhetoric and composition doctoral candidate Kit Snyder and CDEx Director Jason Helms, Ph.D., will lead the respective camps.

“We're excited to partner with the Atatiana Project and work with kids in the Fort Worth community. In addition to the great STEM courses the camp offered last year, we're bringing some arts and humanities, and we think the kids are going to have a blast,” said Helms.

After 21 years of service as Senior Associate Dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, Michael Butler, Ph.D., will return as a faculty member of the economics department effective June 1.

Outgoing Senior Associate Dean Michael Butler, Ph.D.
Outgoing Senior Associate Dean Michael Butler, Ph.D.

As Senior Associate Dean, Butler was responsible for overseeing undergraduate studies in AddRan College, serving all TCU students who come through the college via the TCU Core Curriculum and AddRan majors. Since 2009, Butler served as Director of the General Studies program and served for 15 years as Chair of the TCU Undergraduate Council. 

Butler joined TCU in 1986 as an assistant professor of economics and became a tenured associate professor of economics in 1992. In addition to his leadership and teaching responsibilities, Butler is an accomplished scholar of economics, with a particular interest in economics education and sports economics.

“In the short time that I have been at TCU, I have learned that Dean Butler is not only an invaluable resource for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, but also for the broader TCU community on everything related to curriculum and process,” said Sonja Watson, Ph.D., dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts.

“We are fortunate to have had him serve the College and University in an administrative capacity for the last 21 years. Moreover, we are grateful that he will continue as a full-time faculty member in the department of economics in fall 2022,” Watson concluded.

“It has been a pleasure serving under three outstanding, yet very different, deans in Dean Volcansek, Dean Schoolmaster, and Dean Watson,” said Butler.

“My favorite description of my role as Associate Dean came up a couple of years ago. I was in a Zoom meeting with Andy Fort, emeritus professor of religion. In introducing me, he said that I was ‘an enabler, but in a good way.’ I’ve had the opportunity to work with outstanding faculty colleagues to improve our curriculum, among other projects, and assist students through their academic careers,” he continued.

“I am looking forward to returning to the economics department and concentrating on teaching and advising. I hope I can continue to serve as a helpful resource to my faculty colleagues and, of course, to Associate Dean Cormican as she assumes her position,” Butler concluded.

With Butler’s departure, Muriel Cormican, Ph.D., will assume the role of Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. For the past three years, Cormican served as chair of the modern language studies department. She is a professor of German and a scholar of German cinema.

Incoming Associate Dean Muriel Cormican, Ph.D.
Incoming Associate Dean Muriel Cormican, Ph.D.

“I am looking forward to working with my colleagues in the Dean’s Office and across AddRan to promote the liberal arts and to represent all our disciplines. Through the liberal arts, we learn to examine and challenge rather than simply reinhabit norms. I’m excited to be part of a diverse, college-wide team that encourages positive innovation and change,” Cormican said.

“Mike’s shoes are big shoes to fill, for sure, but I hope I can carry on his tradition of service and make the transition as painless as possible for everyone who, I know, will miss him and the continuity he has provided,” she concluded.

In addition to her scholarship, Cormican and associate professor of Chinese Guangyan Chen, Ph.D., recently received a six-figure grant from the National Security Agency's STARTALK program. Pathways to Success: Careers in the Chinese-speaking World is a Chinese language and culture immersion program. The goal of the program is to move students forward in their Chinese language proficiency and intercultural competence, increase student enrollment in Chinese and enhance Chinese-related workforce development. TCU and local secondary school students will attend the residential program on TCU’s campus between June 13 and June 24, 2022.

During its annual “I/O” developer conference, Google demonstrated glasses that can translate speech to text and display spoken speech as text in real-time. The glasses use augmented reality (AR) technology, which has been praised for having numerous future applications.

However, translating across languages is more than translating words from one language to another. Muriel Cormican, Ph.D., chair of the department of modern language studies and a professor of German, spoke on the opportunities language translation technology presents, and why learning a language is the best way to expand your world.

Muriel Cormican, Ph.D., professor of German and chair of the modern language studies department, instructs students in the Center for Languages and Cultures in Scharbauer Hall. Credit TCU Marketing & Communication (2022)
Muriel Cormican, Ph.D., professor of German and chair of the modern language studies department, instructs students in the Center for Languages and Cultures in Scharbauer Hall. Credit TCU Marketing & Communication (2022)

What are your thoughts on the AR glasses Google recently demonstrated with real-time translation?

They are fascinating, and language translation technologies have come a long way in the last fifteen years. Ten years ago, feeding one language into an online translator generally resulted in a lot of gobbledygook in another language. I’ve read some hilarious sentences generated by online translators over my years of teaching German and, for a time, French and Irish. This is no longer the case though. Online translation engines tend to be quite good.

Translation technologies and the AR glasses seem to be designed to bypass the process of learning a language. While I see the practical sides of translation technologies or services, I also think it’s important to not overestimate what they can do.

Language learning promotes, both directly and indirectly, intercultural understanding and sensitivity—knowledge of appropriate behaviors, connotations of words and familiarity with historical and cultural traditions. The glasses, though potentially helpful for those venturing temporarily into other language areas/cultures, can’t achieve any of that.

I’d love to have a pair to play with though!

What role do translation services like Google Translate and Deepl play in language learning?

That’s a great question because they can play a role in learning. I sometimes use translation engines as learning tools in my classes, especially at the advanced level. I’ll invite students to transcribe something they hear in German in a film, for example, run the text through a translation engine, and then compare the results to what the English subtitles in the film offered. Our analyses even extend beyond the language and culture itself to formal concerns such as the constraints on subtitles. Learners love this activity, partly because it gives them a real sense of what they can do that the translation engine can’t. It also underscores how language learning is so much more than learning words.

As language, literature, and culture professors, we’re not teaching verb conjugations and foreign words; we’re helping learners find new perspectives and, to invoke Nelson Mandela, speak better to other people’s hearts. Even a learner who makes numerous grammatical mistakes can bring a deep understanding of people and social and cultural contexts to interpersonal interactions. From my perspective, one semester of a language in college gives you things that these services cannot provide.

Why is learning a language better than relying on translation services or other tools?

I don’t see it as an absolute binary. Translation services rely on people who can speak more than one language to both develop and assess the output of the machine behind the service. Google Translate and Deepl can be used as learning tools. But learning a language yourself is better in the long run because translation services will always include delay or loss.

I find the comparison between lossy and lossless file compression useful for understanding how these language tools function. Unquestionably, they offer something of value, just like a lossily compressed file—audio or other—offers something of value. It can be transmitted faster, for example. But lossy compression results in an irretrievable loss of quality. What has been lost cannot be regained; important aspects of the quality of the communication cannot be reconstituted. When you know, I mean really know, a language, there’s nothing like this. While you’re learning, yes, there is the equivalent of what is called lossless compression, but lossless compression, while still compression, allows for re-expansion: what was removed can be regained.

A student draws Chinese characters
A student draws Chinese characters

Learning languages has additional benefits. First, numerous studies have shown that it’s not how perfectly you speak another language that matters to keeping your mind fit and healthy and staving off diseases like Alzheimer’s but whether you do and continue to try. Second, learning a foreign language teaches humility and respect for otherness like very little else. It teaches us that we can’t always expect everything to be on our terms.

We might want to be wary of the desire for the kind of instant gratification that the Google glasses and translation services offer. It’s not that they are bad. It’s just that we ought not, in my opinion, come to think of them as enough. A foreign language isn’t just a tool. It is one, but it is also much more than that.

What is the best way to learn a language?

That’s a huge question. I’d say that it varies. It helps if the experience involves adventure and fun, but to become good communicator in a language, you have to do some hard work too.

The best way to learn depends on your starting point, and expectations should be set accordingly. People who already know one or more other languages can probably quickly learn through immersion, living where the language is spoken, hearing, reading, and trying to speak it regularly.

People who have never had much exposure to language structure, whether in their own or another language, will often need more guidance early on. For them, I still believe that the best way to learn is to take classes, to persist, to do something with the language every day, to speak to anyone—not just native speakers—to speak even when they might make errors, to risk things they can’t quite say, to repeat, to, in the words of Samuel Beckett, “try, fail, try again, fail better.”

Most language technology companies will have you believe that they have discovered the silver bullet. The gamification of Duolingo is attractive; the convenience of Babel is enticing; Rosetta Stone’s advertising can seem convincing. But I mostly think these things are gimmicky. They all claim to work magic, but they work for a very small percentage of those who use them, and the bottom line is still mostly a matter of commitment, persistence and long-term goal setting.

How does learning a language assist learners’ ability to understand a culture?

I will be pretty absolute here, something I don’t otherwise tend toward. I don’t believe that you can fully understand another culture if you do not learn its language.

In concrete terms though, if you don’t know the language that shapes and shores up a culture—if you do not attempt to learn it and think you can always study it through the lens of your language—then you remain an outsider looking in and you will miss vital nuances. Some techniques can be taught, especially in anthropology, that mitigate this outsider-ness. However, language is the tool used to construct our social realities, and so understanding those realities depends to a large degree on understanding the specifics of the language used to construct them. It's been my experience that people outside of my discipline—broadly defined to include all non-English language studies—often separate language and culture and believe that instructors of foreign languages only teach language. For me and most of my similarly trained colleagues here at TCU and across the country, however, there is no way to only teach language. There is a way to only teach culture, perhaps, but it is impossible to teach a language and not simultaneously teach its culture. If you learn the language, you will know the culture.

Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.

In light of recent reports of severe overcrowding in the Tarrant County Juvenile Detention Center, criminal justice department chair Brie Diamond, Ph.D., commented on the crisis in the op-ed pages of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Horned Frog in the News logo
Horned Frog in the News

Diamond said “tough-on-crime policies” cause more harm than good, especially in the cases of young offenders in the juvenile justice system. She said overcrowding and understaffing at the detention center were “harmful to the detained youth and our community, as well as unnecessarily costly to taxpayers.”

The criminal justice associate professor outlined how the evidence shows overcrowding can increase violence among young offenders. Crowded conditions can also be considered violations of the Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment. The system also keeps low-risk juvenile detainees in custody for long periods, increasing the cost to taxpayers. The national average of juvenile detention stands around $400 per offender per day.

“It is fiscally irresponsible to spend hundreds of dollars per day to detain kids for behaviors such as getting in fights, shoplifting or possessing small amounts of marijuana,” Diamond said.

She warned against calls to add more juvenile detention beds. Instead, Diamond suggested limiting detention to high-risk offenders and sending those with a lower risk of reoffending to community supervision. Community alternatives often cost less than $100 per offender per day.  

With low-risk offenders in community supervision and out of harmful detention conditions, more resources would be available for Tarrant County to hire more staff and “provide more social and therapeutic services for youth in custody, which was the original intent of having a separate juvenile system,” Diamond concluded.

Congratulations to all honorees from last month's Festival of Undergraduate Scholarship and Creativity!



Traditional Presentation, 1st Place

Matthew Dena: The Presidential Pendulum: Why It Is So Rare that a Political Party Holds the Presidency for Three Consecutive Terms

Traditional Presentation, 2nd Place

Emily Jackson: Queerness, Métissage, and Empire in Marguerite Duras’s L’amant and Kim Lefevre’s Métisse Blanche

Poetry Presentation, 1st Place

Olivia Fannon: Poetry you write when your dad dies

Poetry Presentation, 2nd Place

Leah Marut: Far from Bittersweet

Paper, 1st Place

Jillian Verzwyvelt: ''Counterfeit Currency and the Collapse of the Confederacy During the American Civil War''

Paper, 2nd Place

Asher Hagemeister: ''Viability of Charlotte For Relocation of Cleveland Indians''

Paper, Honorable Mention

Libby Maack: "Decoloniality and Transcendental Identity in Harriet Martineau’s The Hour and the Man and Émeric Bergeaud’s Stella''

Creative Writing, 1st Place

Erica Harkins: Untitled: An Unrequested pamphlet of personal musings

Creative Writing, Honorable Mention

Anthony Lucido: Homeward Bound

The Lane Schmutz Award for Best Econ Submission

Jillian Verzwyvelt: ''Counterfeit Currency and the Collapse of the Confederacy During the American Civil War''

Best Middle East Studies Submission

Pati Carlos: Hoda Barakat’s The Stone of Laughter: Has Queerness Has Always Been Queer?

The Lane Schmutz Award for Best Sociology Submission

Matthew Winnek: "Vulnera Sanentur" - A Sociological Study and Application of Healthcare and Healthcare Systems in the Wizarding World

Reaching Across the Disciplines Award

Ja Curria Allen: I can't breathe

Lizzy Harris ‘22, a political science major and student in the John V. Roach Honors College, was recently selected by the Fulbright Program to teach English in Taiwan.

AddRan and Honors student Lizzy Harris '22
AddRan and Honors student Lizzy Harris '22

Harris is the second student from TCU to receive a Fulbright award to teach in Taiwan. She is also the first TCU student to receive final notification from Fulbright since 2019. While in Taiwan, Harris will serve as an English Teaching Assistant.

“I am so honored to have received a Fulbright award! I have always wanted to teach, and I am excited to be able to do so in Taiwan next year,” Harris said. “The Fulbright program prioritizes cultural exchange through the program, and I expect to engage in this aspect fully. I am passionate about education, and after completing the program, I hope to apply everything I’ve learned in a future career in education. I would like to thank everyone who helped me through the application process and believed in me,” she concluded.

“This is awesome news for TCU; it gives evidence of not only Lizzy’s work ethic and talent, but also the dedication of TCU’s faculty and staff — many of whom supported her application — in preparing her for this experience,” said Ron Pitcock, Ph.D., dean of the John V. Roach Honors College.

After her Fulbright experience, Harris plans to apply for Teach for America, with the goal of being assigned to an under-resourced school in Mississippi or New Mexico. After completing two years of Teach for America service, she plans to make a career in education advocacy.

Named after Sen. J. William Fulbright, the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s premier cultural exchange program, with the goal to increase mutual understanding between Americans and people around the world. TCU has a long and rich history of Fulbright Scholars, many of whom participated in the recent Fulbright 75 commemorations.

This past week saw several AddRan faculty members recognized for their teaching and research abilities in the form of award nominations and promotions.

Scharbauer Hall facing the Campus Commons, Spring 2021. Photo credit: Jeffrey McWhorter | TCU Marketing & Communication
Scharbauer Hall facing the Campus Commons, Spring 2021. Photo credit: Jeffrey McWhorter | TCU Marketing & Communication

Earlier this week, the Office of the Provost announced the following AddRan faculty members were finalists for the 2022 Deans’ Awards:

2022 Deans’ Award for Teaching Finalists

Alex Lemon, MFA

Professor of English – Humanities

Amina Zarrugh, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology – Social Sciences

2022 Deans’ Award for Research and Creativity Finalists

Sage Elwell, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Religion and Art, Chair of the Department of Religion

Michael Strausz, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Asian Studies


In their meeting earlier this week, the TCU Board of Trustees approved promotions, including to positions with tenure and emeritus status, for the following AddRan faculty members:

Promoted to Associate Professor and Tenure

Brandon Manning, Ph.D. – English

Benjamin Hiramatsu Ireland, Ph.D. – French

Amina Zarrugh, Ph.D. – Sociology

Promoted to Professor

David Colòn, Ph.D. – English

Hanan Hammad, Ph.D. – History

Adam Schiffer, Ph.D. – Political Science

Michael Strausz, Ph.D. – Political Science

Promoted to Senior Instructor

John Lovett, Ph.D. – Economics

Promoted to Instructor II

Keith Whitworth, Ph.D. – Sociology

Awarded Emeritus Status

David Grant, Ph.D. – Religion

Ed McNertney, Ph.D. – Economics

Susan Ramirez, Ph.D. – History

Jeffrey Roet, Ph.D. – Geography

Three students minoring in Spanish—Fernanda Huerta, Damaris Sifuentes and Lilly Wilson—are putting their language skills to work  at the Cornerstone Clinic in Fort Worth, a nonprofit dedicated to helping those without health insurance afford treatment for nonemergency illnesses. As part of a class taught by Karla O’Donald, Ph.D., the students act as Spanish interpreters for clients at Cornerstone. Wilson and Sifuentes shared their experiences in service learning.

Spanish minor Lily Wilson
Spanish minor Lily Wilson

How did you come to work at the Cornerstone Clinic?

Wilson: Professor O' Donald approached me in class wondering if I was interested in an opportunity to volunteer as an interpreter. I am an avid supporter of giving back to my hometown community, Fort Worth, so I accepted.

Sifuentes: Profesora O'Donald mentioned the opportunity to be translators for a clinic here in Fort Worth to me and a peer. Since I am in the nursing program here at TCU, this was a great opportunity to go out into the community to help more.

How are you using your skills with the patients at Cornerstone Clinic?

Wilson: Being a native Spanish speaker and having taken the Spanish for Health Professions course, I was able to interpret common medical terms in hopes of a clear line of communication between the patients and TCU Nursing students.

Sifuentes: I was able to translate to Spanish-speaking patients the information that senior nursing students presented and make sure that patients had all their questions answered before they left Cornerstone Clinic.

What has been the most rewarding part of your experience?

Wilson: Growing up, I often had to translate for my mother at doctor's appointments, and I would see how difficult and stressful it can be for someone who does not speak English as their first language to try and communicate with other professionals. The most rewarding part was being able to ease some of that stress for the patients while ensuring that they are being listened to and cared for by the professionals.

Sifuentes: There are many rewarding things about volunteering at Cornerstone Clinic, but the one that stood out to me the most was that we were able to help our community and be able to see patients be excited about new ways to better their health.

What kind of help did Professor O’Donald or other Spanish & Hispanic Studies faculty provide during this experience?

Wilson: Professor O'Donald has been amazing throughout the whole experience. She would come to the clinic between her classes so we would know that she was there in case we ever needed her. She always encouraged us and told us how well we were doing, and it is because of her that I have fallen more in love with the health care field— especially the part where I get to give back to my Hispanic community.

Sifuentes: Profesora O'Donald would check up on us during our Spanish class to see if we had any concerns or questions, and on Wednesdays during the presentation, she would go to the clinic make sure that we didn't have any questions while we were there.

Anything else you wish to share about your experience?

Wilson: I loved every minute of my time at Cornerstone volunteering. If anyone is presented with the opportunity to use their skills as a bilingual speaker as an interpreter, I encourage them to do it. You will not believe how much patients appreciate being able to communicate in their language.

Sifuentes: This was an incredible experience, and it is something that students who are wanting to pursue nursing, premed, etc., should consider doing if given the opportunity.

Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been edited for length and clarity.



AddRan faculty members have been going to boot camp for the past 10 years. However, instead of ropes courses, the AddRan Writing Boot Camp aims to assist faculty members to jump-start their research and writing. Facilitator Charlotte Hogg, Ph.D., spoke about the Boot Camp’s history and mission.

Charlotte Hogg, Ph.D.
Charlotte Hogg, Ph.D.

Where did the idea for the Writing Boot Camp come from?

I learned of it from my friend Erin Flanagan, a professor at Wright State University in Ohio, who did this informally with colleagues. I used much of their program design, and former AddRan Dean Andy Schoolmaster, Ph.D. was receptive to the program to support faculty in their research endeavors.

Do other colleges at TCU do this?

Right now, it’s just for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, but I shared information about our program with the Provost’s Council a few years ago and spread the word that way.

What are your goals for this boot camp, especially one post-COVID-19?

Great question! Anecdotally, I’ve heard that people feel behind on their work, and I know that caregiving and so many other COVID changes have left me behind. The goal is to have an intense, immersive experience to get some motivation back, and then I work to help people make realistic, sustainable goals during our “normal” schedules. Between the May Boot Camp, those who participated can be a part of an accountability group in the fall or spring semesters.

AddRan Writing Boot Camp Facts

  • From 2013 to 2021, 53 AddRan faculty members have participated and 10 departments have been represented.
  • 2021 Boot Camp Demographics
    • 8 of 13 women [62%]
    • 4 of 13 faculty members of color [30%]
    • Rank:
      • 1 Instructor [7%]
      • 4 Assistant [31%]
      • 4 Associate [31%]
      • 4 Professor [31%]
    • Departments: Economics, English, History, Modern Languages, Sociology and Anthropology, Political Science

Editor’s Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

TCU students, faculty, staff and community members heard from a Holocaust survivor and experts on antisemitism and the Holocaust during three days of events on and near TCU’s campus.

Dr. Michael Berenbaum addresses "The Reality of Human Dignity" at University Christian Church on April 4, 2022. Photo credit: Heath Einstein
Dr. Michael Berenbaum addresses "The Reality of Human Dignity" at University Christian Church on April 4, 2022. Photo credit: Heath Einstein

The Hate, Holocaust, and the Search for Humanity Symposium, held over March 31, April 4 and April 5, was a collaboration between the Department of Religion, Brite Divinity School, the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum.

“Our symposium delivered on a promise to engage participants in documenting the history of antisemitism, the horrors of the Shoah and how we are compelled to serve as upstanders to prevent future genocides,” said TCU Dean of Admission Heath Einstein.

Event participants heard from:

  • Holocaust survivor Rosian Bagriansky Zerner
  • Michael Berenbaum, Ph.D., an expert in Holocaust history
  • David Patterson, Ph.D., an expert on antisemitism and Commissioner for the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
  • Julie Kohner, founder and CEO of Voices of the Generations, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the stories and memories of Holocaust Survivors

As Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (also known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month) begins, Assistant Professor of French and incoming Director of Asian Studies Benjamin Ireland, Ph.D., spoke about his upcoming lecture, “Asian American-Indigenous Pacific Solidarities: Engaging Global Histories at TCU.”

Benjamin Ireland, Ph.D., will lecture on "Asian American-Indigenous Pacific Solidarities: Engaging Global Histories at TCU" on April 12
Benjamin Ireland, Ph.D., will lecture on "Asian American-Indigenous Pacific Solidarities: Engaging Global Histories at TCU" on April 12

Describe your research and teaching background and how it intersects with APA Heritage Month.

At TCU, I currently teach two very different languages—French and Japanese—within AddRan College’s Department of Modern Language Studies. These two languages and cultures, although seemingly different, are facets of my identity that have long shaped my teaching and research interests. Having been educated in Japan, France and the United States, I offer my students a breadth of unique courses that explore transnational topics from the various experiences that I encountered in these three countries.

These academic topics have included exploring the intersections of queer studies and postcolonial studies in French, Asia Pacific, and U.S. contexts. My current manuscript examines World War II Japanese interment in French Pacific islands and Australia, centering on the interactions between Japanese and Indigenous Pacific Islanders, their mixed-race children and the racialization of colonial juridical practices. A large portion of my book also brings transnational Japanese incarceration in dialogue with Japanese internment in the United States and the brutal internment of Algerian Jews in North Africa during the same time.

Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month commemorates the first immigration of Japanese settlers to the United States on May 7, 1843. I have taken a keen interest in exploring how Japanese—and more largely Asian—diasporas have contributed to the various representations, visibilities and invisibilities that Asian Americans, Pacific Islander Americans and Native Hawaiians have faced. As a mixed-race person having experienced marginalization in France, Japan and the United States, I approach this heritage month through this lens of introspective inquiry, solidarity and the desire to share its history with a new generation of thinkers, activists and leaders. I want to add, finally, that my academic and personal interests in Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month have always sought to address and include the “PI” portion of “AAPI” that often is neglected: Pacific Islanders and Native Hawaiian communities have histories that are far too often eclipsed by the designation “Asian American.”

What kinds of AAPI communities have come to call Texas home over the years?

A Japanese rice farm outside Houston, Texas in the early 1900s. Credit: Jenkins Garrett Texas Postcard Collection, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
A Japanese rice farm outside Houston, Texas in the early 1900s. Credit: Jenkins Garrett Texas Postcard Collection, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Historically, the first wave of Asian immigrants arrived in Texas in 1870 as Chinese laborers tasked to build the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. This history of racialized Asian indentured labor at the turn of the twentieth century was seen on a global scale and was not limited to the United States. In the United States, when we talk about the “Free Frontier” or the “Wild West,” we cannot forget about Asian and Native populations, as well as the tribulations to which they were subjected. These also include the mass uprooting of Native communities, which is a history that is often rendered invisible. AAPI month allows us to revisit these histories and to begin reflecting on their relevance as we confront the specters of our state’s and nation’s pasts.

Finally, to close the loop on this Texan episode, I would like to mention that other Chinese immigrants arrived in Texas in 1881 to finalize the Southern Pacific railroad, and Japanese immigrants also arrived in Harris County in 1902. The collapse of the rice market after World War I prompted many Japanese to leave Texas, and those who stayed joined many Japanese coming from California who moved into different farming sectors. Increased hostility against Asians continued until World War II, when many Japanese were subjected to internment camps. Some camps were located in Texas and—in fact—one was just an hour away from TCU in south Dallas. Several decades after, large waves of Vietnamese immigrants arrived in Texas, especially after the Vietnam War. Vietnamese refugees predominately called Houston their new home. 

What are parts of AAPI history that many Texans may not know?

Considering this AAPI and Native Hawaiian history largely built on roots of racialized labor, exploitation, territorial dispossession and diaspora, I’ve always reflected on how far we have come since the turn of the twentieth century. In a spirit of reconciliation, I’ve pondered these elements in my own work and teaching.

Saigon Plaza in Houston's Chinatown neighborhood. Credit: WhisperToMe, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Saigon Plaza in Houston's Chinatown neighborhood. Credit: WhisperToMe, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today, we can consider the Lone Star State as a unique and vibrant gateway to the Asia Pacific. From our state’s demography of nearly two million Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Americans to billion-dollar investments from numerous Asian industries in Texas, our state presents an incredibly diverse landscape to explore AAPI and Native Hawaiian identities.

One of the most remarkable considerations to mention is that Asian Americans comprise about five percent of Texas’ population. Just behind Hispanic Texans, our Asian Texan community has been the fastest-growing ethic voting group, with over a million voters added in just the past two years. This is significant growth, and with it comes more active political engagement and representation for Asian Americans.

Harris, Dallas and Tarrant counties have the highest Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations in our state at nearly 21,000. Although this number is growing, accurate representation in censuses has always been a difficult subject because of the unevenness in resource access and visibility that Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders have in relation to other minority groups.

The vibrancy of AAPI heritage and history can be most appreciated by nuancing the historical progressions, unevenness and individualized complexities of AAPI and Native Hawaiian identities across time. I think this is what we as global citizens should exemplify in our engagement with AAPI Heritage Month, especially as we stand in solidarity, condemning racism and xenophobia in all forms.

What is the chief message you wish to communicate in your lecture?

In a global history of AAPI—one that is not simply localized to the United States—TCU has made a significant impact in promoting and valuing the histories, agencies and lived experiences of our Asian America, Native Hawiian and Pacific Islander students, faculty, staff and community members.

In my lecture, I will explore the ways in which TCU has made AAPI heritage and history a remembrance not only once a year, but, in fact, a movement valued each day in its Lead On mission.

I will share my story as a half-Japanese, half-Franco-American who grew up in New Orleans and spent his childhood nestled in the Japanese countryside, while slowly understanding what it means to be a Japanese American in three very different educational environments in Asia, Europe and the United States.

It is my sincere hope that my story can inspire and ignite a curiosity to explore what AAPI meaningfully represents, blending history and personal episodes. I am very indebted to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion for this opportunity to share my story and for me to learn from those whom I have the pleasure to meet on April 12.


Learn more about the lecture on

Kristy Mordhorst, an international relations officer with the U.S. State Department, is scheduled to speak with Middle East Studies students on Tuesday, April 12, 2022. Mordhorst will discuss her career in the U.S. Foreign Service, including service in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as advice for those interested in a career in diplomacy.

Kristy Mordhorst, an international relations officer with the U.S. State Department, is scheduled to speak with Middle East Studies students on Tuesday, April 12, 2022.
Kristy Mordhorst, an international relations officer with the U.S. State Department, is scheduled to speak with Middle East Studies students on Tuesday, April 12, 2022.

The event is open to all in the TCU community but participants must register. Those interested in the event should register on Those with questions about the event or the Middle East Studies program at TCU should email Hanan Hammad, Ph.D., Director of Middle East Studies, at

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson praised the virtues of liberal arts education and provided her views on the national political scene for the 2022 Robert D. Alexander Lecture.

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson address the 2022 Robert D. Alexander Lecture in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom on TCU's campus
NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson address the 2022 Robert D. Alexander Lecture in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom on TCU's campus. Photo credit: Glen Ellman

The veteran reporter cited her own experience as an American history major at Brown University for the merits of a liberal arts education. Critical thinking skills, rhetoric and written communication were all skills that Liasson said she learned as a liberal arts major and uses to this day.

Liasson also provided her views on the current state of American politics. While national politics is hyper-polarized, she said the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine had provided a “rare moment of somewhat bipartisanship” in the nation’s capital. Liasson said that the U.S. should study a variety of policy solutions, such as ranked choice voting, top-two primaries and nonpartisan redistricting commissions to combat hyper-partisanship.

“I am grateful to Mr. Denny and Mrs. Carol Alexander for the establishment of The Robert D. Alexander Endowment for the Liberal Arts funded by the Robert D. and Catherine R. Alexander Foundation,” said Sonja Watson, Ph.D., dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts.

“The AddRan College of Liberal Arts is the heart of TCU and the lecture series showcases the preeminent role of a liberal arts education in contemporary society,” the dean concluded.

NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson (far left) with Denny (second from left) and Carol Alexander (second from right), and AddRan Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D. (far right).
(From left to right) NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson with Alexander Lecture founders Denny and Carol Alexander and AddRan Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D., at a reception for AddRan faculty, students and community supporters. Denny Alexander is son of the lecture's namesake, Robert D. Alexander. Photo credit: Glen Ellman

The Dee J. Kelly Alumni & Visitors Center was the site of a two-day event dedicated to discussing the consequences of Afghanistan’s wars, up to the recent American withdrawal. L.Cpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Symposium on War, Conflict, and Society featured multiple speakers on the effects of the recent Afghan conflict on Afghans themselves and the foreign soldiers who fought there.

Dr. David Schmidt (second from left), L.Cpl. Benjamin Schmidt's father, receives an honorary Bachelor of Art in History degree after the Keynote address at the 2022 Schmidt Symposium. Alongside Dr. Schmidt are (from left to right): Sonja Watson, Ph.D., dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts; Kara Dixon Vuic, Ph.D., LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in 20th-Century America; TCU Provost Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg, Ph.D.
Dr. David Schmidt (second from left), L.Cpl. Benjamin Schmidt's father, receives an honorary Bachelor of Art in History degree after the Keynote address at the 2022 Schmidt Symposium. Alongside Dr. Schmidt are (from left to right): Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D., AddRan College of Liberal Arts; Kara Dixon Vuic, Ph.D., LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in 20th-Century America; TCU Provost Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg, Ph.D.

On Friday night, Keynote speaker Elliott Woods delivered powerful remarks on his personal experience in Afghanistan as a freelance journalist embedded with a group of Marines.

“Sharing stories about people who've experienced life at the extreme margins of the human condition helps us become more empathetic, more resilient and more creative and our approaches to solving problems, big and small, as individuals and as a society,” Woods said during his remarks. “That's what I choose to believe anyway and there's more than a little hope in the possibility,” he concluded.

On Saturday, the Symposium heard from various panels covering not only wars in Afghanistan, but also the perspectives of former service members as historians and how the costs of the most recent Afghan War.

“Perhaps one of the best symposiums I have attended on a topic that we're too often too willing to minimize, if not uncomfortably forget. Immense thanks to @KaraDixonVuic for a masterful job in organizing and leading these discussions at @TCU,” tweeted Gregory A. Daddis, Ph.D., one of the panelists and Director of the Center for War and Society Director and the USS Midway Chair in Modern U.S. Military History at San Diego State University.

“This year’s symposium on the Afghanistan Wars far outpaced any hopes I had for a successful event. Friday’s keynote address by Elliott Woods and Saturday’s panels on history, the work of historians, and the costs of war each highlighted the skillful and thoughtful work of some of the nation’s leading scholars and writers on the war,” said Kara Dixon Vuic, Ph.D., L.Cpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in 20th-Century America.

“The subject of war is delicate, especially when the wounds are so fresh, and our speakers deftly spoke the truth and demonstrated great care and respect for those who heard it. They were gracious, generous with our students and audience, and they each honored the memory of Benjamin Schmidt in doing so,” Vuic concluded.

In addition to the serious discussion of war and conflict, the Symposium played host to a celebration. Dr. David Schmidt, L.Cpl. Benjamin Schmidt’s father, received an honorary Bachelor of Arts in History on Friday night. Provost Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg, Ph.D., and AddRan College of Liberal Arts Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D. were on hand to present Dr. Schmidt with his honorary degree. TCU rarely bestows honorary degrees, except to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to TCU and/or the wider community. Dr. Schmidt’s support for TCU’s History department, through the Benjamin W. Schmidt Memorial Scholarship, the endowed faculty chair that bears L.Cpl. Schmidt's name and the Symposium have enriched our common understanding of war, and its effects on society.

Learn more about L.Cpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt’s story and the amazing legacy he created at TCU by visiting this webpage.

NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson will be the featured speaker at the 2022 Robert D. Alexander Lecture in the Liberal Arts. The event will take place on March 30, 2022 at 7 p.m. in the Brown-Lupton University Union (BLUU) Ballroom. All are invited to attend.

2022 Robert D. Alexander Lecture in the Liberal Arts featuring NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson
2022 Robert D. Alexander Lecture in the Liberal Arts featuring NPR National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson

Liasson’s lecture, “An Evening with Mara Liasson: Reflections on Democracy and a Path Forward” will cover the state of our democracy and the road ahead. She will answer questions related to her career, the current political climate and the state of our nation.

“The Robert D. Alexander Lecture in the Liberal Arts explores the relevance of a liberal arts education and its role in contemporary society,” said Sonja Watson, Ph.D., dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts. “Mara Liasson’s talk will highlight the role of the humanities and social sciences through reflections on democracy and a path forward,” Watson concluded.

Liasson’s reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines All Things Considered and Morning Edition. She provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.

The Robert D. Alexander Lecture in the Liberal Arts aims to bring speakers to campus who can share how the liberal arts have impacted their careers, education and personal development. Past speakers include Sir Ken Robinson, Manuel Lima, and Denis McDonough.

UPDATE: The Reality of Human Dignity, held at University Christian Church on 4/4 at 12 p.m., will be catered (including vegetarian options). Please RSVP to to RSVP by 3/28/22. 

The Department of Religion, working with partners from Brite Divinity School and in collaboration with the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County and the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, will present the Hate, Holocaust, and the Search for Humanity Symposium, a series of events across March 31, April 4 and April 5 concerning the Holocaust and antisemitism. Programming is affiliated with the Green Honors Chair program.

Program Flyer
Program Flyer

Across the three days, five events will feature lectures and panels from scholars of antisemitism, Holocaust historians, a daughter of a Holocaust survivor and a Holocaust survivor.

“Antisemitism manifests in new ways but always to the same effect, pushing Jews to society’s margins. Our program helps TCU live its mission to educate ethical leaders who can combat this insidious truth,” said TCU Dean of Admission Heath Einstein, who is on the committee overseeing the events.

“This Symposium will give us the opportunity to listen, learn and educate ourselves not only about the Holocaust, but to better grasp what has and can result from unchecked hatred. It is my fervent hope that it will cause us to strive to prevent hatred and bias toward groups of people from becoming accepted or the norm,” said Howard L. Rosenthal, Associate Director of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County. “By adding to our knowledge through programs such as this Symposium, it is my desire that we can start to better understand that hate is often manifested out of ignorance and anger or some misguided fear of a threat to our own existence,” he concluded.

“To me, learning about the Holocaust is much more than an academic endeavor. We can only confront hate when we remember what a terrible price humanity had to pay for it,” said Ariel Feldman, Ph.D., Rosalyn and Manny Rosenthal associate professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Jewish Studies Program. “I look forward to the reflections of our guest speakers and the stories of the Holocaust survivors, so that I can learn more about what it means to be a better human being after the Holocaust,” Feldman concluded.

The Cecil H. and Ida Green Honors Chair program brings scholars and artists of national and international stature to campus for short residencies to stimulate new ideas, enrich intellectual exchange and nurture relations with surrounding communities.

Schedule of Events

Valet parking will be available. Register:

The Southwest Commission on Religion Studies honored professor of religion David Grant, Ph.D. with the 2021-2022 John G. Gammie Award, recognizing Grant’s contribution to the study of religion in the southwestern United States.

David Grant, Ph.D.
David Grant, Ph.D.


“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the 2022 John G. Gammie Distinguished Scholar Award,” Grant said. “Previous recipients include persons who were my mentors in college and graduate school, as well as several emeritus/emerita professors from TCU’s Religion Department. It is a privilege to be included among those professors of religion so recognized over the years in our four-state region,” he concluded.

Grant is a scholar of modern Christian theology and interactions of religion and science. In addition to his considerable academic accomplishments, Grant is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church.

The annual John G. Gammie Award honors “noted scholars in the field of religious studies in the Southwest and to recognize their work.” Winners receive a $1,250 prize.  

Long-time Sociology and Anthropology faculty members  Angela Thompson, Ph.D. and Keith Whitworth, Ph.D. saw a problem: students were not connecting with traditional printed textbooks and instructors were struggling with teaching, in addition to their other duties and home lives. They sat down to talk about their innovate textbook SociologicalYOU, which tries to help students and teachers by having work-life balance built in.

Angela Thompson, Ph.D.
Angela Thompson, Ph.D.

Q: What was the inspiration for making SociologicalYOU?

Thompson and Whitworth: We had been teaching Introductory Sociology for more than 25 years, and at the time, we saw that the traditional print textbook was not connecting with our students. We also felt that textbooks were overpriced and did not provide resources and value to students. As a result, we decided to create SociologicalYOU (SY), an affordable and innovative digital textbook that connects with Gen Y and Z students. We wanted to increase engagement, create a sense of achievement and motivate students while reducing learning fatigue. We also felt that instructor resources were always an afterthought and many instructors were burned out. We designed SociologicalYOU with a plethora of resources to help instructors save time and engage their students.

Q: Was the decision to make SociologicalYOU an online resource one made from the beginning? Was this an asset during COVID-19 lockdowns? If so, how?

Thompson and Whitworth: Initially, we thought we could achieve our goals and objectives with a printed textbook, but we soon realized that there were too many limiting factors. We transitioned to a digital textbook to maximize student engagement with annually updated and interactive content. Being digital allows us to provide instructors with instant access to resources that help support teaching and learning, whether in person or online. It was serendipitous that SociologicalYOU was already online when the pandemic hit. We had students who were away from campus on spring break when the university closed and could not return to pick up their textbooks. Since SociologicalYOU is online, this did not interrupt their learning experience. We were immediately able to adapt the textbook to include a feature that applied sociology to the circumstances of the pandemic. Being digital makes us nimble.

Keith Whitworth, Ph.D.
Keith Whitworth, Ph.D.

Q: You have cited wanting to improve work-life balance for instructors and students as a major part of the design of SociologicalYOU. How does having that awareness of work-life balance improve outcomes for instructors and for students?

Thompson and Whitworth: We know that it takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication to be a good instructor—and even more to be a great instructor. Not to mention, instructors still need to research and write, serve on committees, and attend conferences to fulfill their departmental obligations. That’s more than enough to fill 40 hours. But instructors shouldn’t have to feel exhausted by their job. There is life outside of work, and we wanted to enjoy it ourselves. And we knew other instructors wanted the same. One of our core values is focusing on thriving and happiness. That’s why we developed an Introductory Sociology textbook with resources that help instructors reclaim their time.

In addition to helping instructors, we help students thrive and flourish by understanding the science of learning, achievement, and happiness. These are important for success in a sociology course and in college and beyond. We believe education is more than just learning course content; education should create learning and understanding throughout the life course.

Q: What do you see as next steps in development for the SociologicalYOU platform?

Thompson and Whitworth: We recently added gamification to actively engage students in the learning process and overcome learning fatigue. Following our core values of embracing and driving innovation, the next feature we are rolling out is the 1-Click iLearning System.

Recently, one of the largest publishers publicly acknowledged and apologized for not prioritizing customer service. This has only strengthened our dedication to supporting the community of SY instructors. This summer, we will be introducing our new instructor blog that provides resources for instructors to enhance their work-life balance.

The Texas State Historical Association recognized AddRan College of Liberal Arts alum Nancy Baker Jones, Ph.D. ’69 (MA ’70) with a second-place prize in its recent 2021-2022 cycle of awards.

Tower of the Americas in San Antonio | Credit Henry Becerra
Tower of the Americas in San Antonio | Credit Henry Becerra

Jones received the Randolph B. “Mike” Campbell Award, Second Place, for her profile of the Women’s Pavilion at HemisFair ’68 in San Antonio. The Campbell Award is given annually to the authors of the best new entries published in the Handbook of Texas.

First Place winner was fellow Horned Frog Todd Camp ‘88 for his entry on the history of the LGBT community in Fort Worth.

Jones is a historian of women in Texas and serves as president of the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation for Texas Women’s History.

UPDATE: Schmidt Symposium events will be streamed over Zoom.  

Friday’s keynote:    

Saturday’s panels:      

After a hiatus of three years, the LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Symposium on War, Conflict, and Society returns to TCU at the Dee J. Kelly Alumni and Visitors Center from March 18 to 19.

2022 Schmidt Symposium Poster
2022 LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Symposium on War, Conflict, and Society

Award-winning academics, journalists and veterans will discuss the history of wars in and for Afghanistan up through the recent American withdrawal, including the costs, human and financial. The symposium will include a keynote presentation and diverse panels.

The Schmidt Symposium will feature some of the world's leading experts on the history of Afghanistan, its many wars, its peoples and the many foreign forces tasked with fighting there.

The keynote speaker will be veteran and photojournalist Elliott Woods. Photographs from Woods’ experience as an embedded reporter in Afghanistan in 2011 will be featured.

“The History Department is looking forward to the annual LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt symposium, focused this year on the wars in Afghanistan,” said Kara Dixon Vuic, Ph.D. LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in 20th-Century America. “In light of the 2021 American withdrawal from Afghanistan, we are now looking back on one of the nation’s longest wars, as well as a very long history of international intervention in Afghanistan. Elliott Woods’s keynote address will consider some of the most difficult, yet important, questions about the nature and experiences of the war through an up-close look at some of the U.S. Marines who fought in Sangin province in 2011,” she continued.

“We are, as always, deeply honored to be able to bring such noted scholars to TCU and to consider the relationships among war, conflict, and society. We can do so only because of the generosity of Dr. David and Teresa Schmidt, who have graciously funded the symposium in memory of their son, LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt, who was killed in Afghanistan in October 2011,” Vuic concluded.

All events are free and open to the public; registration is required.

Schedule of Events

Speaker and panelist bios can be found on the History Department webpage.

FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 2022

7:00 p.m. - Keynote Address by Elliott Woods, host and co-creator of Third Squad podcast

8:15 p.m. - Dessert Reception and Book Signing


8:00 a.m. – Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – Panel: Wars in and for Afghanistan

9:40 a.m. – Break

10:00 a.m. – Panel: Historians and Military Service

11:10 a.m. – Break

11:30 a.m. – Panel: The Costs of War

Economics Professor Dawn Elliott, Ph.D., Talks About Financial Literacy Program She Started That’s Helping Fort Worthians in Need.

Dawn Elliott, Ph.D.
Dawn Elliott, Ph.D.

 As the COVID-19 pandemic lessens, a unique financial literacy program has returned to Fort Worth. More than Budgets is the brainchild of economics associate professor Dawn Elliott, Ph.D., and recently started classes offered by the City of Fort Worth at the Como and Martin Luther King Community Centers, and most recently, at the YMCA McDonald in southeast Fort Worth. We spoke to Elliott about the program’s beginnings and where she hopes it will go in the future.

Q: What is More than Budgets? How did the program begin?

Elliott: More than Budgets is a five-to-six week long program that uses insights from behavioral economics to help people develop strategies for opening bank accounts, establishing a pattern of savings, setting and meeting saving goals related to emergency or unplanned life events and improving credit scores.

The program emerged from an extra credit assignment in my Development Theory class. The field of development economics had shifted focus from per capita growth to a more people-centered focus, with a priority on how people live, and the power they exert over their own lives.

My students worked with local nonprofits of their own choosing to learn about what it means to be poor in our community. The common thread in the resulting student reports and presentations to the community partners included issues related money management education. With the help of a few very interested students, I reached out to the CEO of Union Gospel Mission to offer to develop a money management education program targeted at low-income individuals and families.

Q: TCU Magazine profiled More than Budgets in 2015. How has the program changed and evolved over that time?

Elliott: More than Budgets has changed in a couple of ways. First, we have moved from the exclusive domain of homeless shelter partners to partnerships with the City of Fort Worth. The city leverages their relationships with other organizations to teach the program and provide the follow up sessions with trained financial coaches.

The relationship with the city is important because I knew from very early on we needed partners who could support the participants once the program was over. Without community partner support, More than Budgets would have a limited impact.

Another way More than Budgets changed was evolution from student involvement to professional leadership. Getting students involved to assist with the program was great because they were learning themselves while we were trying to determine if the whole concept of More than Budgets might work. Over time, we tried to get to a place where the program became standardized and capable of use by others. I wrote a workbook and training materials, along with guidance on how to forge partnerships with organizations able to offer financial coaching after the program ends. We went from students helping program participants change their financial habits to case managers employed by the organizations we held classes, and then shifted to trained coaches with partner organizations.

Despite the changes, the focus of More than Budgets was and remains changing behaviors in ways that realize savings and better credit scores. At the start, I had no idea if persons living in homeless shelters could be encouraged in this way, or how to do it. The answers came by listening, experimenting, and modifying our teaching methods.

Q: How do you think TCU students who aided in the program benefited from their participation?

Elliott: For several years, More Than Budgets was embedded in the classroom, and many students volunteered with the program once they completed my class. The service-learning model shaped how I blended this developing program in the classroom and the community.

Students gained a great deal from the program and I shared student experiences with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and individuals. These learning outcomes overlapped with lessons TCU is trying to impart through the promotion of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the core curriculum. Many students were working for the first time in their lives with very poor people. I found that students came to understand how diverse the "poor" are. Students discovered barriers and coping strategies that low-income individuals and families have to resort to, such as the routine selling of plasma or the dazzling costs of being underbanked. Students developed empathy with those they worked with in the program, and any fears they may have held of low-income people lessened.

Finally, students learned the more formal steps of project management, i.e., understanding a problem, and how to systematically work toward evidence-based solutions without causing harm.

Q: What sort of feedback from More than Budget graduates, community partners and other have you received?

Elliott: More than Budgets is loved! In the summer of 2021, Sonia Singleton, an assistant director with the City of Fort Worth, reached out with an interest in using More Than Budgets. We agreed on a strategy of helping city staff develop the skills to use the program, in partnership with other stakeholders such as Pathfinders.

Shauna Sheperhed of the City of Fort Worth was instrumental in this new stage of More Than Budgets that has taken us into neighborhoods like Como and Stop 6. The program began again on Feb. 17 with city employees in a leadership role and partner stakeholders also involved.

Q: Did the COVID-19 pandemic impact More than Budgets? If so, how?

Elliott: Not directly. Before the pandemic, I was deliberating next steps. At that time, more than 500 persons had participated in the program, and I had recurrent funding from Comerica Bank, and was in the process of pursing a second round of grant financing from Wells Fargo.

There were changes to program participants financial habits, and I considered going in a more academic direction with the program. I decided to pause the program to decide on how to proceed, but decided to continue after discussions with our credit guru D. Newkirk with City Credit Union in Dallas and Thomas Shaji, who has been key in the overall management of the program.

Then COVID-19 hit and the decision to resume was halted. Sonia Singleton and her team, most notably chief organizer Shauna Shepherd, gave More than Budgets a post COVID-19 rebirth. This rebirth has introduced some amazing city leaders and community residents, including TCU Alum whose commitment to the people of Ft. Worth fills me with hope.

Q: Now the with backing of the City of Fort Worth, what do you think are natural areas of expansion or progression for More than Budgets?

Elliott: The commitment of Fort Worth city employees on financial empowerment for residents allowed me to dream that more of is possible. The city and its relationships with other local governments, the nonprofit and private sectors (especially the financial services industry) have the potential to take More than Budgets and bring it to more communities. I would like to see more of this collaboration going forward.

UPDATE (2/24/22 9 a.m. CST): Video recordings of yesterday's Criminal Justice Green Honors Chair events are available: Grant Writing in Social Sciences | Deadly Mass Shootings in America

NOTE: As of 11:30 a.m. CST, Wednesday, February 23, 2022, Criminal Justice Green Honors Chair events will now happen on Zoom due to weather conditions in the Fort Worth area. Grant Writing in Social Science will happen at 2 p.m. ( Deadly Mass Shootings in America will start at 5:30 p.m. CST (

The Departments of Criminal Justice and Economics will hold Green Honors Chairs events over the next two weeks on TCU’s campus.

Departments of Criminal Justice and Economics
Departments of Criminal Justice and Economics

The Cecil H. and Ida Green Honors Chair program bring scholars and artists of national and international stature to campus for short residencies to stimulate new ideas, enrich intellectual exchange and nurture relations with surrounding communities.

Tomorrow, February 23, at 5:30 p.m., the Department of Criminal Justice will host Jillian Turanovic, Ph.D., of Florida State University, as she delivers “Deadly Mass Shootings in America,” a discussion of her research into mass shootings. The lecture will take place in the Brown-Lupton University Union (BLUU) Ballroom.

The Department of Economics will host Melinda S. Morrill, Ph.D., from North Carolina State University, as she delivers remarks on Monday, February 28, and Tuesday, March 1, on her research into the impact magnet schools have on student outcomes. The February 28 lecture, “The Attraction of Magnet Schools: Evidence from Embedded Lotteries in School Assignment,” will be held at noon in Reed Hall Room 223. The March 1 lecture, “Using Natural Experiments to Measure Cause and Effect: The Case of Magnet Schools,” will be held in BLUU Ballrooms A and B at 5 p.m.

Details for the Department of Religion’s Green Honors Chair activities will be made later in March.

Gregg Cantrell’s, Ph.D. recently published book, The People’s Revolt: Texas Populists and the Roots of American Liberalism, was named 2021 Nonfiction Book of the Year by the Philosophical Society of Texas.

Gregg Cantrell, Ph.D.
Gregg Cantrell, Ph.D.

“I am very honored by this award,” said Cantrell. “Recognition is always nice, but coming from the Philosophical Society of Texas—the state’s oldest learned society—and being an award not just for history but for the best non-fiction book of the year really makes this award special. My thanks go out to the members of the Society’s award committee for this special honor,” he concluded.

In The People’s Revolt, Cantrell charts how the rise of the Texas People’s Party in the 1880s would go on to influence not only Texas politics in its time but the New Deal and the Great Society reforms of Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Texas’s own Lyndon Johnson.

The Philosophical Society of Texas dates back to 1837, shortly after the foundation of the Republic of Texas, as a learned society dedicated to research and promotion of “literary, scientific and philosophical studies in Texas and elsewhere.” Winners of the Society’s annual book prizes are awarded $2,500 each.  

Horned Frogs in the News
Horned Frogs in the News

With 2022 gearing up to be a major election year locally, TCU political science professors James Riddlesperger, Ph.D., and Joanne Connor Green, Ph.D., spoke with media outlets this week on the importance of getting out to vote and highlighting the important issues that voters face in our region and across the state.

Riddlesperger spoke on the dynamics of Republican party primaries for Fort Worth’s Congressional District 12 in the Fort Worth Report, and in the Texas Legislature in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News. He also spoke to News Radio 1080 KRLD on the Fort Worth mayor and city council asking voters for a pay raise in a May referendum.

Green spoke to TCU News Now about the importance of student voters making their voices heard in the March 1 primary elections. “When you go out to vote, it makes politicians pay attention to young people and the agenda that’s important to young people,” Green said.

James Riddlesperger, Ph.D.
James Riddlesperger, Ph.D.
Joanne Connor Green, Ph.D.
Joanne Connor Green, Ph.D.

Three English PhD. candidates were recently published in a prominent academic journal focusing on issues of gender.

Susannah Sanford McDaniel, Sofia Prado Huggins and Preeshita Biswas contributed to the fall 2021 issue of “ABO: Interactive Journal for Women in the Arts, 1640-1830.” In addition to writing essays for the latest edition of the journal, McDaniel and Huggins served as co-editors with Mona Narain, Ph.D.

McDaniel, Huggins and Biswas’s essays featured in a special “Visions” issues of the journal dedicated to featuring work from emerging writers. Inspiration for "Visions" came from the 2020 British Women Writers Conference (BWWC), which occurred at TCU and featured over 100 participants.

“ABO” is a peer-reviewed, open-access, digital scholarly journal, which has a readership in over 150 countries. AddRan College is a part sponsor of "ABO." The journal lives online at

Ph.D. candidate Preeshita Biswas
Ph.D. candidate Preeshita Biswas
Ph.D. candidate Sofia Prado Huggins
Ph.D. candidate Sofia Prado Huggins

Two AddRan faculty members, known for their leadership skills and their commitment to colleagues and students, were recently recognized.

TCU nominated Ariane Balizet, Ph.D., AddRan associate dean of faculty and diversity, equity and inclusion, and a professor of English, as its candidate for the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation’s Piper Professors of 2022 award. Colleagues said Balizet’s “mentorship of students of color, guidance of doctoral students, work in gender studies, and leadership in the college place her among the very best teachers and scholars at TCU.”

The Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable corporation established for the benefit of postsecondary education in Texas. Colleges across the state nominate one faculty member for the recognition, with 10 selected as winners. Winners receive a prize of $5,000 each. In 2014, political science professor Ralph Carter, Ph.D. was recognized as a Piper Professor. Piper Professor winners will be announced in May.

Not to be left out, associate professor of religion Santiago Piñón, Ph.D., was named an MSI Aspiring Leader by the Center for Minority Serving Institutions (CMSI). CMSI, a division of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, hosts the Aspiring Leaders program as a platform for connecting education professionals with the training and mentorship necessary to be the next generation of leaders at Minority Serving Institutions (MSI).

Piñón and other cohort colleagues will meet with current and former university leaders, as well as learn essential aspects of university leadership.

Santiago Piñón, Ph.D.
Santiago Piñón, Ph.D.
Ariane Balizet, Ph.D.
Ariane Balizet, Ph.D.

As part of AddRan College’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative, the Department of Geography is seeking a DEI Scholar Fellow in medical or physical geography. The postdoctoral Scholar Fellow would join the faculty beginning with the Fall 2022 semester.

Xiaolu Zhou, Ph.D., instructs geography students in 202.1
Xiaolu Zhou, Ph.D., instructs geography students in 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges of climate change have brought into sharp relief the disproportionately negative health and environmental outcomes faced by marginalized communities. The ideal DEI Scholar Fellow will be a specialist in studying health disparities or environmental justice issues using geographic information systems (GIS).

The AddRan DEI Initiative was created by Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D. According to Dean Watson, “Increasing the diversity of our faculty benefits not only students of color but all students and prepares them for an increasingly diverse and globalized world.”

The Scholar Fellow would be responsible for instruction an upper-level undergraduate course that incorporates instruction on medical geography and environmental justice issues. The position also includes opportunities for interdisciplinary work across the college and with other TCU colleges and schools.

Interested parties should visit to learn more about the position and apply.

Gene Allen Smith, Ph.D., professor of history and director and co-founder of the Center for Texas Studies, was named as Class of 1957 Distinguished Chair in Naval Heritage at the United States Naval Academy (USNA) for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Gene Allen Smith, Ph.D.
Gene Allen Smith, Ph.D.

Established by the USNA Class of 1957, the Distinguished Chair in Naval Heritage is a 10-month appointment to the Academy’s history department and is responsible for developing future Navy and Marine officers’ appreciation for naval history.

“I am excited about my return to Annapolis, MD to return as the Class of 1957 Distinguished Chair of Naval Heritage,” Smith said.

Smith, who previously served as Distinguished Chair for 2013-2014, brings decades of experience as a scholar of naval history, the War of 1812 and early American territorial expansion.

The Scholars for the Dream Travel Awards recognized José Luis Cano, Jr., a rhetoric and composition Ph.D. candidate, as one of 20 2022 awardees.

José Luis Cano, Jr.
Rhetoric and Composition Ph.D. candidate José Luis Cano, Jr.

Given by the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), a constituent organization within the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the annual Scholars for the Dream Travel Award to meant to “encourage scholarship by historically underrepresented groups.” Winners receive travel awards of $1,000 and the opportunity to work with career mentors who are CCCC members. Recognition of Cano and the other award winners will happen at the virtual 2022 CCCC Annual Convention later this year.

Cano’s winning project was a case study on the rhetoric of U.S.-Mexico border checkpoints and the implications for anti-racial profiling. In an analysis of U.S. Border Patrol signage, language and photographs, Cano described the checkpoint as a “metonym and manifestation of the contentious yet symbiotic relationship between citizenship and criminality.”

“It’s great to join a community of scholars working toward similar goals,” Cano said of his recognition.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Scholars for the Dream award than José Luis Cano, Jr.,” said Carmen Kynard, Ph.D., professor and Lillian Radford Chair of Rhetoric and Composition. Dr. Kynard serves as Cano’s doctoral thesis adviser. 

“This award was created on the tails of the Freedom Movements of the late twentieth century. Today, the award continues to recognize the unique and critical contributions of early-career BIPOC teacher-researcher activists in the study of rhetoric and composition. José Luis brilliantly continues this legacy,” Kynard concluded.

“José Luis Cano’s receipt of the award speaks volumes to his cutting-edge doctoral research and to the English department’s Ph.D. program in rhetoric and composition,” said Sonja Watson, Ph.D., dean of AddRan College of Liberal Arts.

Se le ha otorgado una beca de viaje José Luis Cano, Jr., un candidato de doctorado de retórica y composición, uno de veinte recipientes de 2022.

José Luis Cano, Jr.
José Luis Cano, Jr., un candidato de doctorado de retórica y composición

La beca anual Académicos por el Sueño (Scholars for the Dream Travel Award), otorgada por la Conferencia sobre Composición y Comunicación Universitaria (CCCC), constituyente del Consejo Nacional de Maestros de Inglés (NCTE), sirve para fomentar investigaciones académicas realizadas por grupos históricamente subrepresentados. Los recipientes reciben becas de viaje de $1.000 y la oportunidad de trabajar con mentores de carrera que son miembros de la CCCC. Se reconocerá a Cano y a los demás recipientes virtualmente en la convención anual este año.

La investigación de Cano es un estudio monográfico sobre la retórica de los puntos de control fronterizo y las implicaciones que tiene esa retórica para la prevención y el combate de la elaboración de perfiles raciales. En un análisis de la señalización, el lenguaje y la fotografía, Cano describió el control fronterizo como “la metonimia y la manifestación de la relación polémica y a la vez simbiótica entre ciudadanía y criminalidad.”

“Me enorgullece formar parte de una comunidad de académicos cuyas metas son semejantes a las mías,” dijo Cano sobre este reconocimiento.

“No se me ocurre nadie que merezca la beca Académicos por el Sueño más que José Luis Cano, Jr.,” dijo Carmen Kynard, Ph.D., profesor y Cátedra Lillian Radford de Retórica y Composición. El Dr. Kynard sirve como asesor de tesis de Cano.

“Se creó esta beca tras los movimientos de liberación del final del siglo veinte. Hoy en día, la beca sigue reconociendo las contribuciones críticas y singulares de académicos activistas en el estudio de retórica y composición. José Luis continúa este legado de una forma brillante,” concluyó Kynard.

“El hecho de que José Luis Cano ha recibido esta beca dice mucho sobre su investigación avanzada y sobre el programa de retórica y composición del Departamento de Inglés,” dijo Sonja Watson, Ph.D., decana de AddRan College of Liberal Arts.

Alex Hidalgo, Ph.D., associate professor of history and Director of Undergraduate Studies, received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Fellowship for the 2022-2023 academic year. The $60,000 fellowship will support Hidalgo’s latest book project, “Mexican Soundscapes of the Colonial Era.”

Alex Hidalgo, Ph.D., sitting with the TCU Special Collection texts
Alex Hidalgo, Ph.D., associate professor of history

“It is an honor to have been selected among this year’s recipients The opportunity to devote a full year to writing is a rare privilege,” said Hidalgo. “I am especially grateful to my colleagues in the History Department, and across the university, who have encouraged and supported my research,” he added.

History department chair William Meier, Ph.D. said Hidalgo “truly embodies what it means to be a teacher-scholar.”

Meier went on to praise Hidalgo’s scholarship and work inside the classroom, saying “…he (Hidalgo) has found new and innovative ways to bring his research on maps and material culture into the classroom, and this prestigious award from the National Endowment for the Humanities will support him as his scholarship continues to break new ground in investigating the history of sound in colonial Mexico.”

“Dr. Hidalgo has received one of the most prestigious awards in the humanities and social sciences which speaks volumes to his forthcoming project, ‘Mexican Soundscapes of the Colonial Era,’ and to the caliber of his scholarship,” said Sonja Watson, Ph.D., dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts.

AddRan Community,

I am happy to welcome you back to campus for the Spring 2022 semester. After a much needed holiday break by all, I look forward to seeing students engaging with the liberal arts education that can take them anywhere. I am also excited to see what our discoveries and important research AddRan faculty members conduct in the coming semester.

Reed and Sadler Halls in 2019
Reed and Sadler Halls in 2019

We look forward to hosting NPR’s Mara Liasson as she speaks at the annual Alexander Lecture in March. I strongly encourage all faculty, staff and students to attend!

Just as we look forward to a coming semester of learning, we must be aware of the challenges we are facing as a campus community. The Campus Readiness Task Force continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 within our community and region. I strongly encourage all AddRan faculty, staff and students to take advantage of free vaccination and testing resources that are available.

All community members can visit Protect the Purple to learn more. Additionally, faculty members can visit the Provost's FAQ page for instruction-related questions.

As was the case last semester, face masks will be required indoors in all TCU buildings.

Finally, please visit this page to learn more about how TCU will handle any inclement weather events or changes to university status in the coming semester.

Thank you and Go Frogs!

Sonja Watson, Ph.D.,

Dean, AddRan College of Liberal Arts

Sarah Ruffing Robbins, Ph.D., Lorraine Sherley Professor of Literature, will review proposals to the National Writing Project’s (NWP) “Building a More Perfect Union” grant program, a National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) and American Rescue Plan effort to support humanities institutions and organizations recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sarah Ruffing Robbins, Ph.D.
Sarah Ruffing Robbins, Ph.D.

As Lead Facilitator, Robbins will lead a team of over a dozen scholars reviewing competitive proposals to select 50 projects to receive funding. Each funded project is eligible to receive up to $50,000.

Robbins will also help facilitate ongoing support for the selected projects, conduct periodic assessments and manage the team of scholars conducting final evaluations.

“Working with the team of educators at the NWP is always a great privilege, bringing unparalleled opportunities to learn along with colleagues who are committed to linking teaching with public scholarship and community engagement,” said Robbins. I feel especially fortunate to have a role in an initiative supporting over four dozen public humanities projects around the nation to capitalize on the power of the humanities during this challenging pandemic era,” she said.

“Thanks to Dean Sonja Watson, the English Department, and AddRan College for their sustained commitment to projects like this one, viewing the humanities as a path to participatory civic engagement,” Robbins concluded.

Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D., said “Dr. Robbins’ role with the NEH/National Writing Project grant-funded initiative, 'Building a More Perfect Union: Pandemic Recovery Grants for Humanities Organizations,' is not only emblematic of her work as a teacher-scholar, but also her commitment to serve humanities-oriented organizations that have been disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic.”

“Her work is truly enhancing the community in which we live and preserving the liberal arts,” Watson concluded.

AddRan Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D., addresses AddRan Ambassadors during their annual retreat in the BLUU. Credit: Eric Sasadeusz | TCU Marketing & Communication
AddRan Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D., addresses AddRan Ambassadors during their annual retreat in the BLUU. Credit: Eric Sasadeusz | TCU Marketing & Communication

AddRan College of Liberal Arts raised $61,021 during TCU Gives Day 2021, which ran from October 26 to October 27. The total amount raised from 161 gifts, represents a new record, both in dollar amount total and number of gifts, for AddRan fundraising in the eight-year history of TCU Gives Day.

Included in the $61,021 is a $15,000 challenge gift from Michael Kerner ’89, whose gift challenged AddRan to have 100 donors for TCU Gives Day.

“I am so grateful to the 161 donors, including our challenge donor, Michael Kerner ‘89, for making TCU Gives Day a successful one for AddRan,” said Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D. “Their support proves the value of a liberal arts education that prepares students to be critical thinkers, to engage globally, and think analytically,” she concluded.

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma citizen and TCU student Haylee Chiariello and Native American Nations and Communities Liaison Scott Langston, Ph.D., spoke with Deborah Ferguson ‘87 about how TCU is listening to and learning from the Native American community on NBC 5’s 4 p.m. broadcast on Tuesday.

Horned Frogs in the News
Horned Frogs in the News

The conversation was part of NBC 5’s “Conversations: Calls for Change” series and highlighted TCU’s ongoing engagement with Native American communities, including the TCU Native American and Indigenous Peoples Monument and Native American Land Acknowledgment.

With the efforts TCU is making in outreach to the Native American community, “I am living my ancestors’ dreams,” said Chiariello.

Chiariello serves in multiple roles on campus that focus on Native American and justice-related issues, including Native American Advisory Circle, Race and Reconciliation Initiative Committee and Native and Indigenous Student Association. She is also a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Scholar and the Feature Twirler for the TCU Horned Frog Marching Band.

Summarizing TCU’s engagement with the Native American community, Langston said “We still have a long way to go, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but I am optimistic because of the work of so many people on our campus.”

The full, 28-minute discussion can be found on

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma citizen and TCU student Haylee Chiariello
Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma citizen and TCU student Haylee Chiariello


Scott Langston, Ph.D.
Scott Langston, Ph.D.



AddRan faculty members James Riddlesperger, Ph.D., and Max Krochmal, Ph.D., made appearances on Texas radio stations on back-to-back days this week.

Horned Frogs in the News
Horned Frogs in the News

On Monday, Riddlesperger, a professor of political science, spoke with News Radio 1080 KRLD to discuss President Joe Biden’s popularity and agenda before Congress. Riddlesperger said that the President’s agenda was having trouble passing the Democratic-controlled Congress because of the “fine margins” for Democrats have in each chamber. “It is an exceedingly difficult process that sifts the sand very finely,” he said.

Contrary to media coverage, the passage of the infrastructure bill showed “President Biden taught the progressives something about the legislative process with all his experience,” Riddlesperger remarked.

On Tuesday, Krochmal, a professor of history, joined discussed his new book, “Civil Rights in Black and Brown,” on the Texas Standard with co-author J. Todd Moye, Ph.D. Krochmal noted that the book covered civil rights activism not only in Texas’s cities but in rural East Texas, the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso. “We hired students who hopefully had some connection or expertise in that geographic area, in many cases, and we began workshopping the different chapters together so that they would speak to one another and cover some common themes,” Krochmal said.

According to Krochmal, Black and Hispanic activists had both different and similar goals. “We saw examples in which the African American and Chicano movements were really proceeding on parallel or diverging tracks. But particularly in the urban areas, groups came together, and it was often that they identified some common enemies,” he said.

Max Krochmal, Ph.D.
Max Krochmal, Ph.D.
James Riddlesperger, Ph.D.
James Riddlesperger, Ph.D.

Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D., named Ariane Balizet, Ph.D., a professor of English and associate chair of the English department, as associate dean of faculty and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies (SIS).

Associate Dean of Faculty and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ariane Balizet, Ph.D.
Associate Dean of Faculty and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ariane Balizet, Ph.D.

As associate dean of faculty and DEI, Balizet’s responsibilities will include supporting DEI initiatives throughout AddRan and SIS. Additionally, she will support AddRan and SIS faculty development, and advise AddRan and SIS leadership on DEI and faculty advancement initiatives.

Balizet will work with incoming SIS Dean Reginald A. Wilburn, Ph.D., to determine strategic priorities related to recruitment and retention initiatives for SIS faculty, staff and students.

An accomplished scholar of English Renaissance literature and Shakespeare, Balizet has a long record of support for and involvement in DEI initiatives at TCU. She serves as co-chair of the Chancellor’s DEI Subcommittee on Curriculum. Balizet received the English department’s DEI award in 2019 and was a finalist for the inaugural campus-wide DEI award the same year.

“I am honored to serve as an advocate and resource for the exceptional faculty in AddRan and SIS, who embody TCU’s mission to educate students beyond individual thought to responsible actions within a global context,” said Balizet. “As Associate Dean of Faculty and DEI, I will work to build a sustainable model for faculty mentoring, provide unit-specific support to promote equitable policies and inclusive pedagogy, and advocate for the intellectual work of teacher-scholars in AddRan and SIS,” she concluded.

“In addition to being a fantastic teacher-scholar who embodies the TCU experience, Dr. Ariane Balizet brings a wealth of experience to the role as associate dean of faculty & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for AddRan and SIS and will move forward DEI college-wide initiatives in both units,” said Dean Watson.

TCU alumna Ann Tran ’20 received the American Historical Association (AHA)’s 2021 Raymond J. Cunningham Prize. The AHA awards the prize for “the best article published in a journal written by an undergraduate student.”

TCU alumna Ann Tran ’20
TCU alumna Ann Tran ’20

Tran published “A Bloody Solidarity: Nguyen Thai Binh and the Vietnamese Antiwar Movement in the Long Sixties,” about Vietnamese American antiwar activist Nguyen Tai Binh, in The Boller Review, TCU’s undergraduate research journal. After graduating from TCU, Tran joined the University of Southern California history Ph.D. program.

“I feel grateful and honored to be the recipient of the Raymond J. Cunningham Paper Prize from the AHA, but I know this would not be possible without the relentless support, advice, and constructive feedback from my adviser, Dr. Kara Vuic,” said Tran.

“This paper and the award would not have been possible with her first and foremost, and also the meaningful advice I received from Dr. Peter Worthing and Dr. Joseph Darda. I also want to thank the TCU Department of History and the Honors College for being my backbone during college and providing me with the financial and methodological tools to do the archival work necessary for this project,” she continued.

“This was not an easy paper to write because my sources were not always readily available, but through writing it I learned the importance of writing history from the voices of the marginalized and the power of pursuing a trace. I am extremely proud to be a graduate of the TCU History program and will continue to implement the training I had at TCU to my new position as a Ph.D. Student at USC," Tran concluded.

Kara Dixon Vuic, Ph.D., LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in Twentieth-Century America and Tran’s faculty advisor, said the following of Tran’s award:

“All of us in the History Department are so proud of Ann’s most recent award. The AHA’s Cunningham prize is a significant accomplishment that highlights the impressive work that Ann completed while an undergrad here at TCU. Her research and writing about Nguyen Thai Binh places this little-known anti-Vietnam War activist at the center of historical narratives about the war itself, the history of immigration, the creation of diasporic communities, and the merging of various antiwar efforts in the early 1970s. Her article is a page-turner and an important piece of scholarship. We all know that it’s only the beginning of Ann’s work, and we’re eager to see what she does next.”

Winning authors and journals of the Cunningham Prize receive a $500 prize.

Johnny Nhan, Ph.D., (center) stands with Fort Worth Police Department officers after graduating as a reserve police officer.
Johnny Nhan, Ph.D., (center) stands with Fort Worth Police Department officers after graduating as a reserve police officer.

Johnny Nhan, Ph.D., professor of criminal justice and associate dean of graduate studies, recently graduated from the Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) Academy to become a FWPD reserve police officer. Nhan will volunteer a minimum of 15 hours per month with FWPD, likely on patrol duties.

“I thought it was important professionally that I gain a perspective and legitimacy that was missing despite my academic accomplishments. I have written two books on policing and numerous articles,” Nhan said of his decision to become a reserve police officer. “The students I teach who are law enforcement supervisors and officers appreciate what I've done and it's already opened up new opportunities to bridge academics and practitioners,” he concluded.

The AddRan College of Liberal Arts is pleased to announce a new MLA for Teachers pilot program that will allow current Fort Worth ISD high school English teachers to obtain credit toward a Master of Liberal Arts from TCU.

The program will serve high school English teachers who seek personal and professional development and substantive expertise and credentials to support dual credit course offerings. The MLA for Teachers pilot program is a collaboration between AddRan College, the TCU College of Education, Fort Worth ISD and Tarrant County College.

Select FWISD teachers in the MLA for Teachers program will have the opportunity to complete 18 hours of graduate-level English course work in liberal arts from TCU.

The cohort-based program will begin in Spring 2022, with new cohorts starting each subsequent fall. All courses for this track will be offered online. Certificates may be be earned as quickly as one year with use of a summer term, and the full master’s degree in two years.

Quotes from AddRan College Leaders on the MLA for Teachers Pilot Program

Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D.: “The partnership between TCU and Fort Worth ISD is the product of collaboration between the AddRan College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education, led by Dean Frank Hernandez, to enable teachers deliver top-notch education to high school students in FWISD. This partnership is important because it impacts the educational experience of students around us to make them more prepared for a four-year college."

Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research Peter Worthing, Ph.D.: “This is an exciting opportunity for TCU and AddRan College to strengthen ties to the broader Fort Worth community and to support local students and teachers.”

MLA Program Director James Scott, Ph.D.: “We are delighted to partner with Fort Worth ISD to provide this exciting avenue for FWISD English teachers to expand their substantive mastery and pursue this professional development opportunity. We look forward to welcoming the first cohort of teachers in the Spring 0f 2022.”

For Those Interested in Applying

Fort Worth ISD English teachers interested in applying to the pilot MLA for Teachers initiative do so through the regular TCU MLA Application webpage.

In the MLA application, applicants should mark the checkbox for inclusion in the MLA for Teachers cohort. Applicants will also complete an application process through Fort Worth ISD.

On Wednesday, October 6, the TCU History Department honored LCpl. Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt, a Horned Frog who left TCU to enlist in the Marine Corps and passed away in Afghanistan, with a service to mark the 10th anniversary of his passing.

Retired Sgt. Major Keith Williams (USMC) addresses the Benjamin Schmidt Ceremony.
Retired Sgt. Major Keith Williams (USMC) addresses the Benjamin Schmidt Ceremony.

Schmidt, who was a sophomore history major when he enlisted, decreed that half of his life insurance should go to benefit TCU in the event of his passing. Schmidt’s generosity, along with the assistance of the Schmidt family, continues to have enormous impact on history education at TCU, including:  

  • The establishment of the Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt Memorial Scholarship Fund for TCU history graduate students.
  • The raising of more than $1 million for the Lance Corporal Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt Endowed Professor in History at TCU, currently held by decorated historian Kara Dixon Vuic, Ph.D.
  • An annual history symposium named in Benjamin’s honor.

The ceremony featured remarks from Vuic; TCU Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr.; Peter Porsche, TCU history Ph.D. candidate and LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Dissertation Fellow; Eric Freedman ‘20, a friend and Marine mentee of Schmidt; and retired Sgt. Major Keith Williams (USMC), who was the Sargent Major for Schmidt’s unit at the time of his passing.

Finally, Schmidt’s mother, Dr. Becky Whetstone Cheairs, spoke alongside Schmidt’s sister, Casey Schmidt, and stepfather, Dr. John Cheairs.

Vuic, who presided over the ceremony said, “I am so grateful to the many TCU community members who came out to commemorate the life and legacy of Benjamin W. Schmidt. I know that his family was deeply moved by everyone’s presence, and it was really wonderful to see so many people gathered to remember Benjamin. So many things that we do in the History Department, we can do because of the generosity of Benjamin and his family and friends. I hope that Wednesday’s service allowed more people to learn about his incredible life and the lasting legacy he has left at his beloved TCU.”

AddRan Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D.: "I was greatly moved by the service and want to thank everyone, faculty, staff and students, for attending. Benjamin Schmidt continues to have a lasting impact on AddRan College and TCU. It is up to all of us in AddRan and in the TCU Community to continue Benjamin’s legacy going forward."

Invitation to Ceremony honoring LCpl. Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt
Invitation to Ceremony honoring LCpl. Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt

The History Department will honor the life and legacy of Marine Lance Corporal Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt with a ceremony on October 6, 2021 on the TCU Veterans Plaza. The ceremony coincides with the 10th anniversary of Schmidt’s passing in Afghanistan.

Schmidt, a history major before he left TCU to serve his country, decreed that half of his life insurance policy go to benefit TCU. His generosity, and the assistance of the Schmidt family, has allowed TCU and the History Department to:

  • Establish the Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt Memorial Scholarship Fund for TCU history graduate students.
  • Create the Lance Corporal Benjamin Whetstone Schmidt Endowed Professor in History at TCU, after a $1 million fundraising campaign. The endowed professorship is currently held by decorated historian Kara Dixon Vuic, Ph.D.
  • Host an annual history symposium named in Benjamin’s honor.

Reflecting on the occasion, Vuic said, “Benjamin left an indelible legacy here at TCU, one that surrounds us every day in the History department. Although Benjamin never had the opportunity to become the history professor he dreamed of being, he has ensured that our students will always have the opportunity to study the relationships among war, conflict, and society.”

Vuic concluded by saying, “The anniversary of his death reminds all of us of the profound costs of war, as well as the selflessness of a young student who loved this university.”

All members of the TCU community are encouraged to attend the event. Additional details can be found at


The Organization of American Historians’ (OAH) announced that assistant professor of history Max Krochmal, Ph.D., will join 23 historians named in the 2021 class of its Distinguished Lectureship Program. OAH Distinguished Lecturers are a group of 600 historians nationwide committed to educating Americans on all aspects of our national history.

Max, Krochmal, Ph.D.
Max Krochmal, Ph.D.

The OAH Distinguished Lectureship Program is one of the organization’s most important outreach initiatives, and lecturers agree to donate one free lecture per year over a three-year term. Krochmal joins colleague Steven Woodworth, Ph.D., in this special group.  

“I’m honored to be included in this year’s cohort of new OAH Distinguished Lecturers! I join an illustrious group of U.S. historians who are uplifting long-neglected voices and writing new, more inclusive, and, above all, accurate narratives of our nation’s past,” Krochmal said. “I look forward to representing the OAH by sharing our cutting-edge research with the general public,” he concluded.

“Congratulations to Dr. Max Krochmal for being appointed as one of 23 historians to the Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lectureship Program,” said Sonja, Watson, Ph.D., dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts. “His appointment demonstrates his expertise in the fields of African American history and American history,” Watson added.

Krochmal is a scholar of civil rights and social movement history, as well as of Chicanx-Latinx, African American and labor movement history. He was previously honored by the OAH in 2016 with the Frederick Jackson Turner Award for his book Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era.

In addition to his teacher-scholar work at TCU, Krochmal is active in the Fort Worth community, having served as co-chair of the Fort Worth Independent School District Racial Equity Committee, among other civic engagements.

Johnny Nhan, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and professor of criminal justice, was named as one of two finalists for the Michael R. Ferrari Award for Distinguished University Service. The Ferrari Award was established by the TCU Board of Trustees to honor the former chancellor and recognize the extraordinary situational leadership accomplishments above job or position expectations of a faculty or staff member.

Johnny Nhan, Ph.D.
Ferrari Award finalist Johnny Nhan, Ph.D.

"I am honored to even be considered for the Ferrari Award given all the incredible service and leadership by TCU staff and faculty that occurs daily," Nhan said. "I am thrilled and in disbelief that I am a finalist," he concluded.

Dean Sonja Watson, Ph.D., on Nhan's status as a Ferrari Award finalist: “I am not surprised that Dr. Nhan is a finalist for this prestigious award. He is the preeminent teacher-scholar. Further, he has taken this model to engage the broader Fort Worth community by partnering with the Fort Worth Police Department to enhance leadership in law enforcement. Clearly, Dr. Nhan excels with his engagement with the community and service bridging the artificial divide between academia and the community, which is especially important in the field of criminology and criminal justice.”

AddRan has been home to numerous past winners of the Ferrari Award, including:

Rachel Anne Hopper, associate director of Residence Life, is also a finalist for the Ferrari Award. The two will be honored at a luncheon and the winner formally announced by Chancellor Victor J. Boschini, Jr. at the Welcome Home Celebration on August 23. 

For more on the Ferrari Award, visit the chancellor’s webpage.

The AddRan College of Liberal Arts is pleased to announce a multi-position diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) hiring initiative in the thematic areas of race, ethnicity, and social justice across humanities and social science disciplines.

The first cluster hire of the initiative includes positions in the Religion, History, Sociology and Anthropology, and Political Science departments.Sonja Watson, Ph.D., Dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts

“It is our desire in AddRan to increase the academic pipeline to include a diverse community of scholars, and build a cohort of teacher-scholars across disciplines and areas of specialization interested in teaching and conducting research on race, ethnicity and social justice, thereby enhancing the liberal arts experience of all TCU students,” said Dr. Sonja Watson, Dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts and professor of Spanish.

The cluster hire serves to:

1) recruit and retain a diverse community of scholars;

2) create a network and support system for a diverse community of scholars;

3) strengthen the college’s course offerings in race, ethnicity and social justice that enhances a university-wide core curriculum with a DEI component; and

4) attract students from diverse backgrounds to major and minor in AddRan College of Liberal Arts disciplines.

The following positions are part of the first DEI cluster hire:

Those interested in applying for these positions can visit

The National Archives Foundation selected Kara Dixon Vuic, Ph.D., LCpl. Benjamin W. Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict, and Society in Twentieth-Century America, to be one of two inaugural recipients of the Cokie Roberts Women’s History Fellowship. The National Archives Foundation is the nonprofit partner of the National Archives and Records Administration.

The Fellowship is supported by the Cokie Roberts Research Fund for Women’s History in honor of Cokie Roberts, the legendary journalist and author who dedicated much of her career to highlighting the role of women in American life. The National Archives Foundation launched the Fund in 2019 after Roberts’ passing. Kara Dixon Vuic, Ph.D., Roberts Fellowship Winner

Vuic and her fellow recipient, Dr. Loris Leveen, will receive an award of $7,500 each to support their research at the National Archives.

“I am so honored to have been named a Cokie Roberts Women's History Fellow. This fellowship will allow me to access critical records that I need for my book project Drafting Women, which examines the many debates that Americans have had about conscripting women for military service,” Vuic said. “With the help of the fellowship, I’ll be able to conduct research at the National Archives, as well as the Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Libraries.”

“Cokie Roberts did so much to educate Americans about women’s history, and I am humbled that the fellowship committee thinks my work will continue that important legacy,” Vuic concluded.

National Archives Foundation full announcement here.

In recent appearances on CBS 11 and WFAA, James Riddlesperger, Ph.D., discussed the ongoing standoff between Texas’ Republican-controlled Legislature and Governor, and Texas House Democrats, who left the state for Washington, DC, over a Republican-sponsored voting and elections bill. 


James Riddlesperger, Ph.D., Interviewed by Cleo Greene of WFAAJames Riddlesperger, Ph.D., interviewed by Jack Fink of CBSN DFW


James M. Scott, Ph.D., Herman Brown Chair and professor of political science, has received the International Studies Association’s Distinguished Scholar Award. 

James Scott, Ph.D., winner of the International Studies Association's Distinguished Scholar Award.

The award was created by the Foreign Policy Analysis Section to honor outstanding scholarship contributions in the area of foreign policy analysis.

Scott is the 32nd recipient of the award and the first winner whose professional career was in undergraduate programs and not principally in Ph.D. institutions. Scott will be honored at a reception at the 2022 annual ISA convention.

“When I learned of my selection for this award I was overwhelmed with gratitude. The Foreign Policy Analysis Section of the International Studies Association has been my professional home and the foundation of just about every good thing that has ever happened to me professionally,” Scott said.“To receive its highest honor for my efforts as a scholar, teacher, and member of the association is remarkable and particularly meaningful for me. I have been blessed with outstanding mentors, wonderful colleagues and co-authors, and excellent students over my career, and this recognition is truly a reflection of all we have accomplished together.” 

Alicia Smith-Tran, Ph.DAlicia Smith-Tran, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology was awarded the Career Enhancement Fellowship by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars.

The Career Enhancement Fellowship, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Citizens & Scholars, seeks to increase the presence of underrepresented junior and other faculty members in the humanities, social sciences and arts by creating career development opportunities for selected Fellows with promising research projects.

“It is an honor to be part of a community of underrepresented faculty who are working on research related to social inequality,” Smith-Tran said. “I will primarily be working on a project about the Black middle class and experiences at work. Using qualitative interviews, I aim to describe how Black middle-class workers navigate workplace interactions that are laced with problematic assumptions about race and age.”

Sonja Watson, Ph.D., dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, is delighted for the professor’s opportunity.

“I am thrilled that Dr. Smith-Tran received this prestigious award,” Watson said. “Her research will go a long way to advance conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.”

The program provides such Fellows with a six-month sabbatical stipend; a research, travel, or publication stipend; mentoring; and participation in a professional development retreat.

“The fellowship also provides me with the formal opportunity to work with a mentor whose work and career I admire, and I am thrilled that Dr. Jenifer Bratter at Rice University has agreed to serve in this capacity,” Smith-Tran said.

The Institute for Citizens & Scholars named 39 new Career Enhancement Fellows for the 2021–22 academic year. They work in such disciplines as African American studies, English, women’s and gender studies and sociology and come from a variety of institutions from across the country. Selected from a highly competitive pool of applicants, according to a press release, “Fellows represent unique perspectives within their disciplines and are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion on campus through service and research.”

Smith-Tran is already looking beyond her fellowship.

“In addition to this project, I also hope to start laying the groundwork for some other projects surrounding racial inequality in health,” she said. “In particular, I plan to focus on how marginalization and racism affect Black women's well-being and illness experiences.”

TCU’s AddRan College of Liberal Arts presents

The 14th Annual AddRan DistinguishedAddRan Distinguished Lecture: Gregg Cantrell Faculty Lecture Series:

The People’s Revolt: Texas Populists and the Roots of American Liberalism

By Gregg Cantrell, Ph.D., Professor and Erma and Ralph Lowe Chair in Texas History

In the public imagination, Texas has long been regarded as a bastion of conservatism. In recent times, that conservatism has morphed into enthusiastic support for Trumpian “populism.” In this lecture, Gregg Cantrell explores the historical roots of Texas populism, discovering that not only were the original Lone Star Populists far from Trumpian, but they actually made a signal contribution to the development of American liberalism.

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History professors, Alex Hidalgo and Kara Dixon VuicTwo faculty from the Department of History landed summer stipends from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Alex Hidalgo, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies, and Kara Dixon Vuic, Benjamin W. Schmidt Professor of War, Conflict and Society in 20th-Century America.

“This is a major accomplishment. The National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipends are prestigious awards, said William Meier, associate professor and chair of history. “Dr. Vuic and Dr. Hidalgo are two of just six scholars in the state, and of 92 nationally, who won these grants this year, and their achievements bring national recognition to the Department of History, the AddRan College of Liberal Arts and TCU.”

“Mexican Soundscapes of the Colonial Era” is Hidalgo’s research leading to a book on the history of sound in colonial Mexico City. Vuic’s “Drafting Women” is research for a book on the history of public debates about gender and military conscription in the United States.

“It is work like that of Drs. Vuic and Hidalgo that showcases the incredible work underway at TCU and assists in bolstering our academic profile,” said Sonja Watson, dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts. “We are extremely proud of their accomplishment.”

The NEH grants support a diverse range of humanities projects across the country. The summer stipends are enabling archival research for more than 90 publications.

Stacie McCormickStacie McCormick, Ph.D., associate professor of English and co-director of African American and Africana studies, has been awarded a prestigious 2021-22 Mellon/American Council of Learned Societies Scholars and Society Fellowship. She will conduct research on “Notes on Creating Livable Futures: Black Motherhood, Medical Inhumanity and Reimagining Care” at The Afiya Center, a reproductive justice organization in Dallas.

“This award means a great deal to me because it gives me the opportunity to connect my scholarship and research to the communities dear to me,” McCormick said. “I research, write and teach about Black motherhood and reproductive justice so getting to work with an organization like the Afiya Center, which is doing this work in so many important ways, is a dream realized. The Scholars and Society Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to connect with various publics and gain tools to support graduate students in doing similar work. So, this is just the kind of work I want to be doing.”

Funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society program provides opportunities for faculty who teach and advise doctoral students to engage significant societal questions in their research, serve as ambassadors for humanities scholarship and deepen their support for doctoral curricular innovation on their campuses. The fellowship supports one year of research in residence at a U.S.-based cultural, media, government, policy or community organization as well as provides funding for fellows to develop on-campus and off-campus programming that draws on connections developed during their fellowship year.

Bringing together her work in literary, performance studies and Black feminism, McCormick’s interdisciplinary project will focus on Black women’s voices regarding their experiences in childbirth and mothering.

“Black maternal mortality rates are still among the highest of any demographic, and my work seeks to shine a light on how Black women are using their creative and cultural production to speak to this dire matter. I also explore how Black women writers and thinkers are opening up paths for new understandings on how to provide more just and equitable care for Black women patients and for all patients,” McCormick said.

This research spotlights Black women’s voices on issues directly impacting them in the health care system.

“I experienced stillbirth and preterm labor on my journey to become a mother, and there weren’t many spaces I could turn to in order to get insight on my own experience. So, it is my hope that my work not only raises up the creative and critical work of Black women on this subject, but also provides comfort and insight for anyone going through something similar and needing perspective,” McCormick said.

“I hope to produce compelling community programming in partnership with The Afiya Center and to offer scholarship that is innovative in showing the possibilities for work situated at the intersections of humanities-based work and public scholarship,” McCormick added.

James M. Scott, Ph.D., Herman Brown Chair and Professor of Political Science, will be the next director of the Master of Liberal Arts program effective June 1, 2021. Scott will succeed the outgoing director, Darren Middleton, Ph.D., the John F. Weatherly Professor of Religion, who led the MLA program to a successful one, which includes its growth to 120-plus students, its engagement on campus and its 50 new courses over the last five years.

“Thank you, Darren, for your service,” said Sonja Watson, Ph.D., dean of the AddRan College of Liberal Arts. “Dr. Scott has been at TCU since 2011 and brings a wealth of administrative experience to the role. Please join me in congratulating Jim!”

Scott’s areas of specialization include foreign policy analysis and international relations, with particular emphasis on U.S. foreign policymaking and the domestic sources of foreign policy. He is author or editor of nine books; more than 50 refereed articles and chapters in highly reputable outlets; and over 120 other chapters, review essays, conference papers and other works.

Scott served as department chair for Political Science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (1999-2003) and Indiana State University (2003-2006) and as department head for Political Science at Oklahoma State University (2006-2011). He has been conference organizer and president of both the Foreign Policy Analysis section of the International Studies Association and the International Studies Association–Midwest, and he has served on several governing committees in each association. He is a two-time winner of the Frank J. Klingberg Award for Best Paper Presented by a Faculty Member at the ISA–Midwest annual meeting.

Since 1996, he has received more than two dozen awards from students and peers for his outstanding teaching and research, including his institution’s highest awards for research in 2000 and 2001 and for research mentoring in 2002. He is the recipient of the 2012 Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award and the 2018 Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Award from the ISA–Midwest and the 2018 and 2019 AddRan College of Liberal Arts Division of Social Sciences Award for Distinguished Achievement as a Creative Teacher and Scholar from TCU. 

From 2005 to 2014, he was director of the Democracy, Interdependence and World Politics Summer Research Program, a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates, and he has been the coordinator for undergraduate research for TCU’s Department of Political Science since 2016.

He was associate editor of Foreign Policy Analysis from 2009-2015, co-editor of Political Research Quarterly from 2015-2018 and is currently lead editor of International Studies Perspectives. 

Gregg CantrellGregg Cantrell, the Erma and Ralph Lowe Chair in Texas History and director of graduate studies, was recognized for his manuscript, The Peoples Revolt: Texas Populists and the Roots of American Liberalism. He received the Kate Broocks Bates Award for Historical Research at the recent meeting of the Texas State Historical Association. The Bates Award is given annually for a significant piece of historical research dealing with any phase of Texas history prior to 1900.

Cantrell’s work chronicles the establishment of the Texas People’s Party and the rise of the related Populist movement in the 1890s, as reported in the latest issues of TCU’s Endeavors.

“It was a national movement. But its principal strength was in Texas as well as the Plains states and Mountain West,” he told the magazine. “It was really born on the frontier, a place where government at all levels was weak and people often had to take matters into their own hands.”

The Kate Broocks Bates Award was established in 1976 in the name of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas by her children, Kate Harding Bates Parker and C. Elisabeth Bates Nisbet. The award honors Bates, a dedicated member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas who was committed to the study of Texas history.

Our online M.S. in Criminal Justice and Criminology Program was recently ranked #6 in the United States by US News and World Report. The relatively new program has consistently risen in the ranks since its creation in 2014.

The program, which is geared towards working professionals in the field of criminal justice and potential doctoral students, aims to provide students with continuing education that focuses on both theory and practical skills. Students apply analytic skills developed in the courses to examine contemporary criminal justice issues, analyze existing research and inform policy. The goal is simple: to equip each cohort with the skills and competencies to be ground-breaking leaders in their field.

Notably, the program offers classes that are recorded and archived to help students learn at their own convenience and makes continuing education possible for working professionals. A small but dedicated group of expert faculty teach courses that range from Advanced Criminology to Applied Research and Policy. Most importantly, the program prides itself on the personal attention it gives each student from the moment they submit a request for information to the program director, Dr. Kendra Bowen. Like all programs at TCU, students are valued above all else and given the resources, mentorship and opportunities they need to succeed.

Learn more about this top-ranked program by visiting

Students in our MLA program have unique opportunities to publish, present and research unique topics that span the many disciplines of the liberal arts. Recently, three outstanding students received accolades and publications for their work.

Clare Shaffer (“The Other/La Otra”) and Dana McKnight (“The Incredible Hulk: Monster, Man, Hero”) recently published their research in the Fall 2020 issue of Confluence, the peer-reviewed journal of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs. Dana's work originated during her time in Professor Johnny Miles' class: "Superheroes in Global Context". Clare's work was inspired inspired by her time in a class on translation and society with Dr. Kurk Gayle, who plans to retire this month.

Clare Shaffer (“Intersections of Feminist Identity in Poetry and Translation”) and Trisha Spence (“Unconventional Fashion for Unconventional Musicians”) presented their work at the annual and virtual conference of the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs, October 8-10, 2020. The Association awarded Clare Shaffer their Best Student Presentation Prize. Trisha completed her work while taking a class on music and fashion from Dr. David Buyze.

Congratulations to all of our students and faculty members on their accomplishments!

We are so proud of everything our latest graduates have accomplished.

Dr. Melanie L. Harris, Professor of Religion and Ethics, has been selected as interim Associate Dean of Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts and School of Interdisciplinary Studies effective immediately. As Associate Dean of Faculty Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Harris will provide leadership and administration for procedures and practices related to faculty diversity and inclusion, recruitment, development and mentoring, retention, and help implement a number of DEI initiatives that promote inclusive excellence.

History professor Gene A. Smith was recently quoted in a New York Times article about Mount Rushmore and its controversial history. Read the full story below.

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Texas Christian University has named Sonja S. Watson, Ph.D., its new dean for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts. Watson will work to further the mission of the college and advance the university’s Vision in Action: Lead On strategic plan. She will begin her new role at TCU May 29, 2020. 

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Max Krochmal, associate professor of history and chair of comparative race and ethnic studies, has been awarded a Fulbright fellowship for the spring 2021 semester. Krochmal will serve as the Fulbright-García Robles U.S. Studies Chair at the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico, where he will teach two courses on North American multicultural history and politics.