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In Brief

Faculty News

Paul Bracher, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, received the 2016 Nancy McNeir Ring Award for excellence in teaching. The award is named for the University’s first dean of women, who was known for her devotion to the welfare of her students. The students of Alpha Sigma Nu – the National Honor Society of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States – nominated Bracher for the award.

Students described Bracher as a teacher who “cares about his students not only as another organic chemistry class but also as individuals,” and as “intelligent, yet down to earth – a rare, but welcomed combination."

“Receiving a teaching award selected by students is particularly meaningful, because it suggests that you’ve had a really positive impact on at least one student – hopefully, more,” Bracher said.

Bracher runs a popular blog on current events concerning chemistry and chemical research, Chembark. Bracher was named one of the “Top 20 Chemists to Follow on Twitter” by Chemical & Engineering News.

Silvana Siddali, Ph.D., associate professor of history, has been chosen as the recipient of the Hotfelder Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities.

"Dr. Siddali is a wonderful choice for this distinguished professorship,” said Christopher M. Duncan, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “She is a thoughtful and accomplished teacher-scholar whom I believe will be a wonderful representative for the college and an excellent steward of the resources this position provides.”

After Siddali earned her B.F.A. at the Massachusetts College of Art, she taught courses in art and design at several colleges in the Boston area. During that time, she created costumes for local dance and theater companies. She earned an Ed.M. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Ph.D. in American Studies at Harvard. She taught at Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal before joining SLU’s history department in 2004.

Siddali's research focuses on the constitutional, legal and political history of the United States, particularly the role of human rights in the development of democratic and judicial institutions. 

Eleonore Stump, Ph.D., Robert J. Henle Chair in Philosophy, has been invited to deliver the prestigious Stanton Lectures in Philosophy of Religion at Cambridge during the academic year 2018-19.

She also received the 2017 American Maritain Association Lifetime Achievement Award. The association is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to understanding and building upon the philosophy of Jacques Maritain and the members of the realist tradition to which he belongs.

J.D. Bowen, Ph.D., associate professor of political science, received a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to conduct research at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia.

Bowen's research examines how different economic development models influence policy debates and outcomes related to issues of sustainable development. He has been interviewing policy makers and business leaders in Bogotá, Medellín and Cali to understand how they are confronting the combined political, economic and environmental consequences of the recent collapse in commodity prices.

Through his research, Bowen will be able to better understand the factors that impact the adoption and implementation of sustainable development policies.

2016 Retirements

Joe Weixlmann, Ph.D., professor of English, former provost, former dean of SLU's College of Arts and Sciences, and former editor African American Review.

Weixlmann received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, among others.

In honor of Weixlmann’s achievements, an anonymous donor made a $10,000 matching gift pledge to jumpstart a fundraising effort that will assist graduate students in meeting their supplemental educational needs to undertake and present their research. You can make a gift online by visiting and selecting the “English Department Development Fund” under the “Designations,” or contact John Stiles at or 314-977-2218. 

James Bohman, Ph.D., professor of philosophy, professor of international studies and holder of the Danforth I. Chair in the Humanities.

His primary areas of research include political philosophy (deliberative and transnational democracy) and the philosophy of social science (rationality and normativity). He also has done work in German philosophy (critical theory and German idealism). He was director of the Critical Theory Roundtable and co-director of the Philosophy of Social Science Roundtable, both of which meet on a yearly basis. He has had speaking engagements throughout the world, including Brazil and Mexico.

Theodore Wood, M.F.A., professor of art and art history.

Wood, who joined SLU’s faculty in 1975, has shown his work nationally and internationally. He has been commissioned to produce a variety of paintings, including more than 30 portraits that are held in public, private and corporate collections. He also has been an invited speaker and has served as a judge or juror for various arts organizations over the last three decades.

He won a Faculty Excellence Award from the Student Government Association and lived by example – volunteering regularly with Gateway Homeless Services and with Meals on Wheels.