Published: Sept. 1, 2017

In Sept. 21 event, professors of art and art history, classics, geography and linguistics will give public lectures on their areas of expertise

Three members of the University of Colorado Boulder faculty have been named 2017 Professors of Distinction by the College of Arts and Sciences in recognition of their exceptional service, teaching and research.

The new professors of distinction are Mark Amerika of art and art history, Martha Palmer of linguistics and Mark C. Serreze of geography.

This revered title is reserved for scholars and artists of national and international acclaim whose college peers also recognize as exceptionally talented teachers and colleagues. Honorees of this award hold this title for the remainder of their careers in the College of Arts and Sciences at CU Boulder.

The trio will be honored on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 3:30 p.m., in the Old Main Chapel on campus. At the free and public event, each will give a 20-minute public presentation based on his or her research or scholarly work.

Additionally, Carole Newlands of classics, who was named professor of distinction in 2015 but was unable to deliver her lecture that year, will give join the 2017 honorees and deliver her lecture on Sept. 21.


From left to right, Amerika, Palmer, Serreze and Newlands.

A reception in the CU Heritage Center Museum on the third floor of Old Main will follow the presentations.

Amerika’s artwork has exhibited internationally at venues such as the Whitney Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and the Walker Art Center. He will speak on “The Artist as Fictional Persona.”

Palmer is a professor of linguistics and the Helen & Hubert Croft Professor of Engineering in the Computer Science Department. She is also an Institute of Cognitive Science faculty fellow, a co-director of CLEAR and an Association of Computational Linguistics fellow. Her lecture is titled “Capturing Meaning.”

Serreze is a professor of geography, a fellow of the CU Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, and director of the CIRES National Snow and Ice Data Center. He specializes in Arctic climate research, including atmosphere-sea ice interactions, synoptic climatology, boundary layer problems, numerical weather prediction and climate change. He will speak about “Shifting Priorities: A Personal Journey.”

Newlands has been a professor of classics at CU Boulder since 2009. Prior to that, she was an assistant professor at Cornell University, an associate professor at UCLA and a full professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, serving four years as the department chair. Her lecture is titled “Confronting the Classics: Ovid in the Caribbean.”

For a full listing of previously named professors of distinction, click here