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Spring 2010

Faculty Departures and Deaths

Sadly, the College of Arts and Sciences lost Dr. David Mitchell, professor of sociology, and Dr. Henry Levinson, professor of religious studies, this spring. Read about their remarkable accomplishments below.

Dr. Henry Levinson

After 26 years of faithful service to UNCG, Dr. Henry Levinson passed away at the beginning of January. During his tenure he was a creative and productive scholar, an inspiring teacher and mentor, and an endearing colleague. Henry served the university as head of the Religious Studies Department and as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He was responsible for creating the Center for Critical Inquiry and worked hard to raise the scholarly profile of the College and the university. He was instrumental in creating the Jewish Studies Program, which includes the Henry Samuel Levinson Program Fund and The Levinson Lecture in Jewish Studies. Despite severe health challenges, Henry lived with grace and considerable fortitude.

Dr. David Mitchell

Dr. David Mitchell was a member in the UNCG Sociology Department for almost 40 years. An invaluable colleague and devoted teacher, Mitchell was an urban sociologist and demographer. He completed his PhD at the University of Kansas, arriving at UNCG in 1971. He co-authored a series of Directories of Unpublished Experimental Mental Measures and conducted research on intra-urban migration, family patterns, student academic success and urban transportation systems. While at UNCG he chaired two interdisciplinary programs and held almost every administrative position in his department. His greatest legacy is the thousands of students whom he nurtured through some of the most difficult courses in the curriculum. Endlessly patient with and supportive of students and colleagues, he was truly the “heart and soul” of the UNCG Sociology Department.


This spring, the College of Arts and Science is saying good-bye to several faculty members who are retiring after years of service to the university.

Dr. Tony DeCasper, psychology

How would you like to be someone who published one of the 10 most important studies in psychology in the past 50 years? How would you like your former graduate students to earn national and international reputations for their research in developmental psychology? How would you like to be perceived by your colleagues as a modest and nice guy despite such success? That's Tony DeCasper. UNCG Psychology has long enjoyed an international reputation for scientific quality and it will continue to do so. However, we will miss the wisdom and companionship of a colleague who contributed so much to that reputation.

Dr. Walter Salinger, psychology

Developmental neuroscience is an essential perspective for understanding psychological phenomena. Dr. Walter Salinger has been the keystone for behavioral neuroscience at UNCG Psychology. His graduate students have attained impressive careers of high recognition in the field of sensory physiology. Whether serving in the department (e.g., department head) or the university (e.g., Senate president), Salinger always operates in a manner reflecting principled and rational judgment. He made every effort to ensure UNCG, in general, and the psychology department, in particular, maintained the qualities of a research institution. His knowledge of the history of UNCG and the department will be sorely missed.

Joyce Ferguson, communication studies

Joyce Ferguson is retiring from UNCG after a long and distinguished career that focused on communication pedagogy. She spent 15 years as the director of the basic course and mentor to all teaching assistants in the department. She was a constant source of support and inspiration to those TAs — and an excellent teacher in her own classes. She also served on the CAC and Speaking across the Curriculum Committee and was recently honored at a conference for her work in this area.

Dr. Ken Caneva, history

Ken Caneva received his PhD from Princeton University in 1975 and joined the UNCG faculty in the spring of 1979. Caneva has been active as a scholar in his major field, the history of science, throughout his career. His most notable scholarly achievement was a book on Robert Mayer, published in 1993 by Princeton University Press. Caneva has always devoted a good deal of time and energy to his teaching. He managed to make his history of science courses accessible to our undergraduates while maintaining rigorous standards. He has also been extremely wide-ranging in his teaching, regularly volunteering to teach Freshmen Seminars, Honors courses, MALS courses, and most especially, writing-intensive courses.

Dr. Mary Floyd, history

Mary Floyd, a historian of Latin America, received her PhD from Indiana University in 1982 and began her career at UNCG in 1983. As a teacher, Floyd always displayed an exemplary commitment to improving her students' writing skills. She was also a pioneer in two important departmental initiatives. When the department launched a departmental advising system, Floyd took a leading role in making it successful. She also was among the first in the history department to develop online courses. Though many faculty members were hesitant to put the considerable up-front time required to develop an online course and were perhaps a bit intimidated by the technical aspects of online teaching, Floyd eagerly made the transition to this new method of delivering course content.

Dr. Karl Schleunes, history

Karl Schleunes, a historian of modern Germany, received his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1966 and came to UNCG in 1971. Schleunes has enjoyed a truly distinguished career as a scholar. His “Twisted Road to Auschwitz,” a groundbreaking book when published in the early 1970s, has become a classic in the field of Holocaust studies. His career as a teacher has been no less distinguished. In a department that prizes good teaching, his courses have regularly been among the most popular in the department. His German history courses and, more recently, his Holocaust course never seemed to be in classrooms big enough to handle the demand.

Dr. John Lee Jellicorse, Media Studies

John Lee Jellicorse earned his AB degree from the University of Tennessee and his doctorate from Northwestern University.

In 1974 he came to UNCG as professor and head of the drama and speech department. By 1991, when he took leave to work in Hong Kong, the small drama and speech department had become the Department of Communication and Theatre with multiple undergraduate and graduate programs in six different disciplines. Subsequently these divisions became separate departments with Jellicorse serving as the first regular head in the Department of Broadcasting and Cinema.

In the course of his long and distinguished career, Jellicorse served on and/or chaired numerous university and College committees, ending with the creation of a program to promote the development of arts entrepreneurship. He taught more than 60 different courses in journalism and mass media, communication theory, broadcasting, cinema, fundamentals of speech, communication studies and theatre.




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