New Collegiate Masters to carry on teaching traditionsBy Josh Schonwald
Two University faculty members have accepted appointments to serve as Masters of Collegiate divisions. Constantin Fasolt, Professor in History, will succeed John Kelly, Professor in Anthropology, as Master of the Social Sciences Collegiate Division, and Mario Santana, Associate Professor of Romance Languages & Literatures, will succeed Larry Norman, Associate Professor in Romance Languages & Literatures, as Master of the Humanities Collegiate Division.
Both appointments are for three-year terms. “These distinguished scholars and teachers demonstrate particular dedication to the College by accepting the positions of Collegiate Master,” said John Boyer, Dean of the College. “We’re very pleased to have Constantin and Mario leading these two important collegiate divisions.”
Fasolt, who has been teaching at Chicago for more than 20 years, will simultaneously serve as Associate Dean of the Social Sciences Division and Associate Dean of the College during his tenure as Master.
A historian who specializes in political thought in late medieval and early modern Europe, Fasolt has taught classes in the Social Sciences and Western Civilization sequences, as well as Classics of Social and Political Thought. The University honored him in 1989 with the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Fasolt said he looks forward to his new responsibilities as Master. “My goal is to contribute to a great tradition in undergraduate teaching, and to ensure faculty enthusiasm for teaching in Core classes in the social science and civilization sequences,” he said. He credits his predecessor Kelly with helping to strengthen and redesign two popular sequences: Mind and Democracy and Social Sciences.
Fasolt said he will encourage faculty members to continue to develop innovative general education classes that inspire their intellectual passions and those of their students. Currently, he is conceiving a new way of teaching World History, which he hopes to teach in the next several years.
“We want to continue to encourage faculty to experiment with their ideas,” he said.
Santana, who joined the Chicago faculty in 1994, will serve as Associate Dean of the Division of the Humanities and Associate Dean of the College during his tenure as Master.
A native of Spain’s Canary Islands, Santana’s research focuses on contemporary Spanish literature, as well as non-Spanish literatures of Spain, such as Catalan, Basque and Galician. Santana, who helped the College establish a study abroad program in Barcelona in 1996, received a 2002 Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for his teaching in the Humanities core sequence, Readings in World Literature.
Santana said he hopes to build on the work Norman began by continuing to strengthen the University’s international offerings and broaden the College’s offerings in music, drama, the visual arts and creative writing.
Santana also is eager to develop the University’s foreign language offerings by providing more support for the teaching of critical thinking skills in foreign language study.
“This would be similar to the Little Red Schoolhouse training, but it would be offered in foreign languages,” he said.