Hodges Receives Lorayne W. Lester Award
The 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Awards banquet took place Thursday, December 5 at the Holiday Inn Downtown. From Diversity Leadership to awards in research, advising, and teaching, the annual awards banquet honors faculty excellence in all areas of the college mission. “As we recognize particularly outstanding faculty this evening, I want to thank all of our faculty in the college, individually and collectively, for everything you do— your teaching, research, service on college and university committees, thesis committees, and tenure and promotion committees, and service to the public through community engagement,” said Theresa Lee, dean of the college and emcee for the awards ceremony. “A college can be no greater or stronger than its faculty and the College of Arts and Sciences is a college of excellence because each of you has a passion for our profession and you work selflessly to make our students, departments and university the best they can be.” Andy Kramer, associate dean for academic personnel, presented Carolyn Hodges with the Lorayne W. Lester Award. Established by the college’s Board of Visitors, and its faculty, staff, and friends to honor Lorayne Lester, who served as associate dean and then dean of the college from 1991 to 2002, this annual award recognizes a faculty member or an exempt staff member who has demonstrated outstanding service through research, outreach, administration, teaching, or advising to our college, the local community, the state and beyond. Since arriving at UT in 1982, Carolyn Hodges, professor of German, has time and again proven her commitment and dedication to UT. In 1999, she was named head of the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures and continued to climb in leadership positions at UT that include associate dean for academic personnel in the college and vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. In 2016, Hodges became chair of the Africana Studies Program. Under her leadership, the program now has more than 100 majors and minors, and the graduate certificate program is attracting talented PhD candidates. Hodges received the African American Hall of Fame Award during the 2019 Chancellor’s Honors Banquet, which is awarded every five years to an African American who had made important contributions to the university in distinguished service, leadership, and social advocacy. Hodges’s own academic interests are in Afro-German literature and legacy, and under her guidance, the Africana Studies program has expanded its perception of Africa and its diaspora by becoming more globally inclusive. Since beginning her career at UT in 1982, Hodges has broken barriers not only for African-American women, but all women.