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College of Arts and Sciences Recognizes Its Award-winning Faculty

By Gail Hairston, Whitney Harder

(April 22, 2015) — The University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences will honor its faculty at 4 p.m. today at the William T. Young Library Auditorium.

The recipients of this year's college faculty awards are:

Charles Carlson, psychology, 2015-16 Distinguished Professor. For more information, visit

Beth Guiton, assistant professor of chemistry ‒ Distinguished Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award

Guiton leads a materials chemistry group in the Center for Advanced Materials, investigates chemistry at the nanometer length scale, working at the intersection between solid state chemistry and advanced characterization. The group's focus is to combine the synthesis and design of new nanostructured materials, with their characterization using advanced transmission electron microscopy techniques ranging from atomic resolution imaging, to more exotic techniques such as plasmon mapping on the nanometer length scale.

Shaunna Scott, associate professor of sociology ‒ Distinguished Service or Engagement Award

Scott is the past president of the Appalachian Studies Association. Her interests center upon social inequality, gender, the politics of identity and commemoration, theory, qualitative methods, participatory action research and social movements in Appalachia and Northern Ireland. She is an affiliate of the UK Appalachian Center, Center for Poverty Research, Social Theory Committee and Gender and Women Studies. Her research takes a feminist critical theoretical approach to understanding politics, commemoration, community and economic development and planning, identity construction and community dynamics. She is particularly interested in understanding and promoting democratic practices and social justice projects in conflictual, stratified, rural contexts.

Joseph Straley, professor of physics and astronomy ‒ Distinguished Service or Engagement Award

Straley’s research interests include the electrical behavior of extremely inhomogeneous systems (the percolation problem), the phase diagram and dynamical behavior of a Josephson array in a magnetic field, one-dimensional many-body quantum systems, and phase transitions of the Kosterlitz-Thouless class. In recent years he has been interested in the Casimir effect. Straley is also engaged in many outreach activities throughout the field of physics, including serving as a Physics Spectacular presenter, curator of the Physics Petting Zoo, co-director of the Hands-on Virtual Workshops in Physics for Elementary and Middle School Teachers, and instructor in online physics courses for middle school and high school teachers. Straley has also been involved in developing the Physics Question Board and science kits marketed by Lab-Aids, Inc.

Christia Brown, associate professor of psychology ‒ Outstanding Diversity and Inclusion Award

As part of the Children at Risk Research Cluster, Brown examines children who are at academic, psychological, and social risk because of social inequality. She focuses on children’s and adolescents’ perceptions of gender and racial/ethnic discrimination, perceptions of discrimination by teachers and coaches, sexual harassment experienced by girls and discrimination faced by immigrant children and their parents. In addition, the research cluster is examining the sexual harassment and the sexual objectification of middle school girls. She is also examining the development of gender and racial/ethnic identity, the development of gender and racial/ethnic stereotypes, and how children understand social inequality

Joseph Brill, professor of physics and astronomy – Outstanding Graduate Mentoring Award

Brill’s research group, part of the Condensed Matter Group, has developed probes to study the properties of very small crystals of interesting materials. Experiments include electro-optic measurements of organic semiconductors and charge-density-wave materials using infrared diode lasers, thermal measurements (specific heat and thermal conductivity) using ac-calorimetry, and electromechanical measurements of charge-density-wave materials using RF techniques. The Condensed Matter Group is currently collaborating with the lab of UK chemistry Professor John Anthony to research organic semiconductors.

Thomas Janoski, professor of sociology and director of the Quantitative Initiative in the Policy and Social Science – Outstanding Graduate Mentoring Award

Janoski's interests include political economy and unemployment, citizenship and civil society, lean production and the sociology of work, the welfare state, volunteering and social policy, immigration and naturalization, complex organizations and industrial relations, and comparative and historical methodology. His current research has focused on the intersection of global and American political economy. In “Dominant Divisions of Labor: Models of Production that have Transformed the World of Work,” Janoski and Darina Lepadatu from Kennesaw State University assessed eight different models of global production that have largely replaced Taylorism (scientific management) and Fordism (mass production). His research interests also focus on immigration and naturalization in advanced industrialized countries.

Linda Worley, associate professor of German studies and director of graduate studies in modern & classical languages, literatures & cultures, with an association with gender and women’s studies ‒ Outstanding Graduate Mentoring Award

Much of Worley’s research focuses on 19th and 20th century women, pedagogy and travel literature. Her writings have addressed maximizing the development of teaching assistants through teacher-scholar projects and mentoring, gothic horror literature and fairy tales, and German women’s writings of 18th and 19th centuries. She has led efforts to re-envision the division’s graduate program in response to the challenges of dwindling employment opportunities. Her vision and collaboration with colleagues across the UK campus resulted in many students finishing a concurrent degree with other departments in and outside her college. She has also helped graduate students across the disciplines sharpen their career readiness.

The College of Arts and Sciences has also announced the recipients of this year’s college teaching awards. They are Renee Fatemi, physics and astronomy (Outstanding Teaching Award); Moisés Castillo, Hispanic studies (Outstanding Teaching Award); Charley Carlson, psychology (Outstanding Teaching Award); Anna Voskresensky, MCLLC (Outstanding Teaching Award), Michelle Sizemore, English (Teaching in Large Classes), and Ruth Brown, Hispanic studies (Innovative Teaching). For more information, visit