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Endowed Chairs

  • Aetna Chair of Writing
  • Brenda Brueggemann
  • Department of English
  • Professor of English
The Aetna Chair of Writing focuses on writing and the teaching of writing at Storrs and the regional campuses. The chair holder does this by leading a number of outreach initiatives at UConn, such as an annual conference on teaching and writing research and the Connecticut Writing Project’s Summer Institute, a professional development workshop for primary and secondary school educators. The Aetna Chair of Writing also hosts a creative writer-in-residence each semester and supports several publications on campus, including the Long River Review, UConn’s award-winning student literary magazine. In addition, the chair recognizes excellence in writing by awarding the Aetna Celebration of Creative Nonfiction and several prizes for students through the UConn Writing Center. The chair supports the work of Brenda Brueggemann, whose research concentrates on disability studies and deaf studies, authoring books such as Deaf Subjects: Between Identities and Places (New York UP, 2009); Lend Me Your Ear: Rhetorical Constructions of Deafness (Gallaudet UP, 1999); and the SAGE Reference Series Arts and Humanities on Disability: Key Issues and Future Directions (SAGE Publications, 2012). She is also co-author of a composition textbook among other publications as co-author, editor, and co-editor.

  • Philip E. Austin Endowed Chair
  • Stephen Ross
  • Department of Economics
  • Professor of Economics
Professor Ross’s research has primarily focused on housing and mortgage lending discrimination, residential and school segregation, neighborhood and peer effects, and state and local governments. He has consulted for Abt Associates, FannieMae, the National Consumer Law Center, the New York State Attorney General’s office, and the Urban Institute. He also edits the Urban and Real Estate Economics working paper announcement service for New Papers in Economics (NEP). Support through the Philip E. Austin Endowed Chair enables him to delve deeper into these areas. Philip Austin was the president of the University of Connecticut from 1996-2007.

  • James Barnett Professor in Humanistic Anthropology
  • Richard Sosis Ph.D.
  • Department of Anthropology
  • Professor of Anthropology
The James Barnett Professor in Humanistic Anthropology was established with a bequest of $750,000 by the late Professor Emeritus Dennison Nash of the CLAS Department of Anthropology. The professorship honors James Barnett, former head of the UConn Department of Sociology and Anthropology, who Nash described as a model University citizen. The professorship honors a nationally recognized researcher, scholar and teacher who has made significant contributions to the field of anthropology, and constitutes a joint appointment with the Department of Anthropology and the Humanities Institute. The first Barnett Professor is Richard Sosis, whose work on human sociality, religion and cooperation draws upon the perspectives in psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, economics, sociology and anthropology to understand the “puzzle of cooperation.”

  • Alan R. Bennett Honors Professorship in Political Science
  • Jennifer Sterling-Folker Ph.D.
  • Department of Political Science
  • Professor of Political Science
Alan R. Bennett, ’69, established the Alan R. Bennett Honors Professorship in Political Science with a $750,000 gift. The honors professorship enhances high-level course offerings and faculty research and honors an outstanding scholar, researcher and educator with a record of distinguished research and publication who is committed to teaching and mentoring students. Sterling-Folker’s work focuses on international relations, and she is the author of Theories of International Cooperation and the Primacy of Anarchy: Explaining U.S. International Monetary Policy-Making After Bretton Wood. Her work also delves into philosophy of science, american foreign policy and international political economy.

  • James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in American History
  • Manisha Sinha
  • Department of History
  • Professor of History
James Draper, ’41, gave $1.5 million to support research and teaching in the history of colonial America and the United States to the middle of the nineteenth century in UConn’s graduate program in history. He endowed the James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair to honor the memory of his wife, Shirley Draper ’41. The chair funds research assistantships, student fellowships, and workshops and colloquia in early American history. The chair also oversees the popular James L. and Shirley A. Draper Graduate Student Conference in Early American Studies. Started in 2007, the conference is the only yearly gathering in the early American field to be run and hosted by graduate students, who choose the theme, issue the call for papers, invite keynote speakers, and select and organize the panels. Manisha Sinha specializes in the transnational histories of slavery and abolition and the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Her latest book, The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition, was published in 2016.

  • Judi and Gary Gladstein Distinguished Chair in Human Rights
  • Richard A. Wilson Ph.D.
  • Department of Anthropology and UConn School of Law
With his most recent $1.15-million gift, Gladstein further expanded resources for UConn’s internationally recognized human rights programming with the Judi and Gary Gladstein Distinguished Chair in Human Rights. The professorship attracts eminent scholars in the humanities, social sciences and law to participate in teaching, research and outreach at UConn. The distinguished chair supports the work of renowned anthropologist Richard Wilson, director of the Human Rights Institute. Gladstein focuses support in higher education because it’s an ideal venue to open a dialog and educate students. He says there is a profound need to increase the pipeline of educated human rights advocates from a broad range of disciplines to become the next generation of leaders in the United Nations, nongovernmental organizations and other groups.

  • Doris and Simon Konover Family Foundation Chair of Judaic Studies
  • Jeffrey Shoulson Ph.D.
  • Department of Literatures, Cultures and Languages
  • Director of the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life, Professor of Literatures, Cultures and Languages
The Doris and Simon Konover Chair of Judaic Studies, funded by a $1.5-million gift, supports teaching and research by an eminent scholar of Jewish life, history and religion. The chair supports a scholar with an international reputation to develop new courses and provide research leadership. The Center for Judaic Studies is dedicated to research, education, public service and outreach. It is home to the Mandell L. Berman Institute North American Jewish Data Bank, the central repository of social scientific studies of North American Jewry. The Center offers an undergraduate major in Judaic studies and one of only four master’s degree programs at public institutions in the U.S. Jeffrey Shoulson, who will be installed as the 2013 Chair, studies Renaissance and early modern studies, Milton; religious and intellectual history of the Bible as literature; Jewish literature and interdisciplinary Judaic Studies.

  • Lynn Wood Neag Distinguished Visiting Professorship of British Literature
The Lynn Wood Neag Distinguished Visiting Professorship of British Literature brings prominent British scholars from British universities to UConn for a visiting appointment. The professorship honors Lynn Wood Neag’s Scottish heritage.

  • Emiliana Pasca Noether Chair in Modern Italian History
  • John A. Davis, Ph.D.
  • Department of History
  • Professor of History
The Emiliana Pasca Noether Chair in Modern Italian History promotes the study of modern Italian history in the United States and offers undergraduate courses and graduate programs in Italian history from the eighteenth century to the present. Thanks to a generous donation from the Aldo De Dominicis Foundation and the UNICO National Association, the EPNC also to support research in Italian American history. The EPNC has close links with numerous leading Italian and European universities, and since 1995 has produced the Journal of Modern Italian Studies, the leading English language peer review scholarly journal in the field of modern Italian studies. Davis studies Italian history from 1700 to the present.

  • Harold S. Schwenk, Sr. Distinguished Chair in Chemistry
  • Robert R. Birge Ph.D.
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor
Harold and Paula Schwenk established the Harold S. Schwenk, Sr. Distinguished Chair in Chemistry in 1996, and the Fund for Innovative Education in Science, which enhances many programs in fundamental science offered through the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The couple also have supported the Robert E. Johnson Scholarship Fund in honor of Professor Johnson. Birge, the winner of the 2009 Connecticut Medal of Science, studies light-producing proteins and the production of artificial retinas, solar energy converters and high-speed sensors.

  • Stuart and Joan Sidney Professorship in Mathematics
  • Jerzy Weyman Ph.D.
  • Department of Mathematics
  • Professor of Mathematics
With a gift of $750,000, the four children of Stuart and Joan Sidney established the Stuart and Joan Sidney Professorship of Mathematics, which support an internationally recognized research mathematician and exceptional teacher at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Stuart was a professor of mathematics and Joan is a poet, writer-in-residence and special research associate at UConn’s Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. Professor Weyman’s research interests include commutative algebra, algebraic geometry and representation theory.

  • Marsha Lilien Gladstein Visiting Professor in Human Rights
  • Search in progress
Gary Gladstein ’66 ’08H began a legacy to honor his late wife in 1998 with the Marsha Lilien Gladstein Visiting Professorship in Human Rights. Marsha was a kindergarten teacher in the Bridgeport public school system and a dedicated supporter of education and human rights.