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Four UA Little Rock Faculty Members Named Distinguished Professors

Four faculty members are among the inaugural cohort to receive the title of distinguished professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. 

This is a special honor conferred only upon active faculty who are recognized nationally and/or internationally as intellectual leaders in their academic disciplines as a result of extraordinary accomplishments in research, teaching, published works, creative activities in the arts or endeavors of similar merit in other venues.

The new distinguished professors include Dr. Edward Anson in the Department of History, Dr. Juliana Flinn in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dr. Ann Robinson in the School of Education, and Dr. Xiu Ye in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

“This is a historic year for UA Little Rock as we recognize our first Distinguished Professors,” Provost Ann Bain said. “These outstanding faculty have had long standing careers that have been, and continue to be, full of accomplishments. Their dedication to their profession, our university, and our students is commendable. We are thankful to have the opportunity to honor our faculty with these prestigious awards.”

More information about the distinguished professors:

Dr. Edward Anson

Dr. Ed Anson
Dr. Ed Anson

Dr. Edward Anson, a professor of 45 years at UA Little Rock, has been chairperson of both the History and the Mathematics and Statistics Departments, and has also been president of the University Assembly and the Faculty Senate. He has authored or edited 10 books, published over 30 articles in refereed journals, 26 book chapters, and more than 60 encyclopedia articles. His main research areas include the history of the Hellenistic Age, the career of Alexander the Great, and the individuals and issues associated with his history. Anson also researches the nature of ethnicity through studying the complexities of such ancient Greek determinations and the policies used in Antiquity to counter insurgencies and maintain successful associations with conquered populations.

“I felt very honored that my department had recommended me for this promotion,” Anson said. “The older one gets, every such distinction that implies one is still useful is welcome. Hopefully, I will be presenting papers again at international meetings. This past year has proven to me that I would have gone stir crazy as a monk.”

Dr. Juliana Flinn 

Julianna Flinn
Dr. Julianna Flinn

Dr. Juliana Flinn is a professor of anthropology whose research interests include Micronesia, cultural identity, kinship, gender, migration, and dance. Her teaching interests cover cultural anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and ethnographic methods.

In addition to her research in Micronesia, Flinn has conducted fieldwork in the United States exploring traditional American dance. She taught for a year in Grodno, Belarus, where she collaborated with a colleague to compare Belarusian and American notions of home.

Dr. Ann Robinson

As the founding director of the Jodie Mahony Center for Gifted Education, Dr. Robinson serves educators and students through programs in gifted, creative, and talented  education. Under her leadership, the center has garnered millions of dollars in grants to help advance education in the state. This year she received the 2021 Presidential Award from the Arkansans for Gifted and Talented Education (AGATE) as well as the A. Harry Passow International Award for Leadership in Gifted Education.

“Distinguished Professorships support personal curiosity and inspire life-long creative productivity,” Robinson said. “Simply put, this opportunity is good for faculty morale and for scholarly enthusiasm in general. For me personally, it is a great honor to be among the inaugural Distinguished Professors at UA Little Rock.”

Dr. Ann Robinson.
Dr. Ann Robinson

Robinson’s research areas include school intervention research focused on student and teaching outcomes from effective curricular programs and biographical research focused on talent development over the lifespan. She is currently working on two new research projects. The first is a biography of Stuart Tonemah, a leader in gifted and Indian education movements. The second is a new school intervention research project funded by the U.S. Department of Education, STEM+C2, in the Jodie Mahony Center.

“STEM is a familiar acronym, but C2 stands for creativity times computer science,” Robinson said. “Our research team, which includes scholars from North Carolina and Pennsylvania as well as Arkansas, is investigating the effects of integrated science, engineering, computer science, and biographical studies of creative STEM inventors on student achievement and engagement.”

Dr. Xiu Ye

Dr. Xiu Ye, a professor of mathematics, has donated $20,000 to the Department of Math and Statistics to provide professional development opportunities for faculty and students. Photo by Ben Krain.
Dr. Xiu Ye

Dr. Xiu Ye is a prolific researcher in the disciplines of mathematics and statistics. Her research interests include numerical solutions of partial differential equations and finite element methods. She has received more than $800,000 in grant funds for her research and published more than 120 research articles in academic journals.

“I truly appreciate all the support from my colleagues in the math department, especially Dr. Nguyen for his initiation,” Ye said. “I have published 11 research papers in peer review journals in 2020, the most productive year for me. I will keep trying to be a good teacher and a good researcher.”