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Spring 2011 | By THiNK Staff. Photo by Andrew Hancock.

Distinguished Company

duvallProfessor John Duvall has distinguished himself internationally as one of the leading scholars on Nobel Prize-winning novelists William Faulkner and Toni Morrison. He’s now earned another distinction.

In February, the Purdue Board of Trustees approved Duvall’s appointment as the Margaret Church Distinguished Professor of English. A member of the Purdue faculty since 1998, he has written four books and edited or co-edited six other books that explore American fiction from the latter half of the 19th century to the present.

Since 2002, Duvall has served as the editor of Modern Fiction Studies, the English department’s journal of literary criticism, which focuses on modernist and contemporary British, American, European, and postcolonial fiction. He’s also been recognized by the English department’s excellence in teaching committee and is the department’s nominee for the College of Liberal Arts Teaching Award.

Duvall notes that, given his work at Modern Fiction Studies, he is particularly honored to hold this professorship named in the memory of Margaret Church, who was one of the original advisory editors of the journal when it was founded in 1955. “I’m sure she would be pleased with the prominence the journal has achieved,” Duvall says, “as well as with the range of topics we now address. At present, we’re putting together an issue that explores the fictional response to 9/11.”


Life-giving Information

morganAn estimated 7,000 people die each year while waiting for an organ donation, and only 35 percent of American citizens are registered donors. Susan Morgan, professor of communication, says this reflects a lack of information among donors more than a lack of willingness.

“Deep down, many people feel that signing up to be an organ donor is a noble thing to do, but they have fears and they feel silly sharing them,” Morgan says.

Morgan has found that many fears and misconceptions are related to compelling but false storylines on TV and in movies. She now works with a media advocacy group in California to share the truth about organ donation with Hollywood writers and producers.

In addition, Morgan and her research team have led several campaigns focused on intervention through the workplace. “When a person sees a co-worker sign up to be an organ donor it often makes him or her feel better about approaching the topic,” she says. “This is the principle of social proof in action.”

To read more about Morgan’s research, which has received more than $9 million in funding, visit www.purdue.edu/differencemakers/morgan.html

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