Dickson Emeriti Professorships awarded to faculty in music, theater arts, and biology

Kathy Foley
Edward Houghton
Susan Strome

Three UC Santa Cruz faculty members have been honored with Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professorship Awards for the 2023–24 academic year.

Kathy Foley, distinguished professor emerita of theater arts, Edward Houghton, professor emeritus of music and former dean of the Arts Division, and Susan Strome, distinguished professor emerita of molecular, cell, and developmental biology, were awarded the Dickson Emeriti Professorships to acknowledge and support their ongoing activities in public service, research, creative works, and teaching.

The awards are given annually and funded by an endowment from the estate of former UC Regent Edward A. Dickson. The professorships make it possible for the university to retain the invaluable services of highly accomplished, retired faculty members for the benefit of its students.

Foley will use the Dickson award to initiate a new research project to study the history and influence of an important San Francisco arts program, founded in 1963 as the American Society for Eastern Arts (ASEA) and later known as the Center for World Music (CWM). The influential program allowed many Americans to study Asian and other performance genres with master artists, primarily of Indonesian and Indian traditions of music, dance, and theater, but also of Japanese, Korean, and African traditions.

ASEA and CWM led to significant globalization of artistic resources tapped by contemporary American artists, dancers, and musicians in creative work and university teaching. Foley’s research will include studying their archives, which are currently split between San Diego, where CWM moved its headquarters in 1979, and the University of Illinois. She will spend time in San Francisco interviewing and visiting studios of the many alumni of the Center for World Music who still live there, and she will study the center’s links to Indian and Indonesian dance and music programs at Wesleyan University and other institutions.

Houghton has spent decades transcribing into modern musical notation the 40 works from the Chigi Codex, a rare illuminated manuscript containing musical masterworks from the late 15th century. The Dickson award will provide support for publication of the transcriptions along with critical commentary on each work, concordant sources, and a historical study of the manuscript and its art. This work will be published by the University of Chicago Press in its Monuments of Renaissance Music series.

The award will also provide support for a concert of works from the Chigi Codex at the international Herrenchiemsee Festival in Bavaria, Germany, on July 19, 2023, and for Houghton to give a presentation on the Chigi Codex at the international Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference in Munich, Germany, July 24-28, 2023.

Strome is active in efforts to support and empower women leaders in STEM and will use the Dickson award to provide partial funding for two CoRE workshops. CoRE (Community of Replenishment & Empowerment) is a group of women supporting women, whose mission is to support, revitalize, empower, and promote networking of women in academia through structured multi-day workshops. Strome is organizing two CoRE workshops, each involving 10 women in positions of leadership in STEM and two facilitators.

CoRE (previously called Nag’s Heart) has offered over 100 workshops to over 500 participants using a well-honed format involving intensive work sessions during which each participant discusses a dilemma of personal importance and strategizes with the rest of the group on approaches and solutions. The workshops also include unstructured time to relax, enjoy each other’s company, share communal meals, and continue discussions, as well as a closing ceremony for participants to share final thoughts and feelings. Strome’s workshops aim to support and empower the participants and to improve the recruitment, retention, and success of many more women faculty in the participants’ circles of influence.

A call for the Dickson Emeriti Professorship Award is sent out to all eligible emeriti faculty early in the Fall quarter. The deadline for submission of applications is early in the winter quarter and one to three awardees are announced each spring, usually at the Emeriti Association Luncheon with the Chancellor. Additional information is available on the Dickson Professorship website.