DU’s first emerita/us faculty panel will take place on Thursday, January 21st from 4:00 – 5:30 pm. Chaired by former Chancellor Rebecca Chopp and organized by the Tenure-Track Faculty MOARS committee, it will feature four emerita/us professors from different divisions and schools across the University. The event aims to create a forum for past and present DU faculty to discuss pathways through and beyond retirement.
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William Cross, Professor Emeritus, Morgridge School of Education
Across his career, Dr. Cross conducted research and taught courses that synthesized Africana Studies and psychology, stressing the sub-fields of developmental, social and educational psychology. Dr. Cross is the author of Shades of Black: Diversity in African American Identity (Temple), coeditor of Meaning-Making, Internalized Racism, and African American Identity, and coauthor of Dimensions of Blackness: Racial Identity and Political Beliefs. He is the recipient of the 2020 Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Application of Psychology, awarded by the American Psychological Foundation. Dr. Cross remains active and recently submitted his new book-length manuscript to Temple University Press titled, Black Identity Viewed from a Barber’s Chair, scheduled for release in June of 2021. In addition, he has several journal articles currently under review, along with a book chapter. Dr. Cross lives in Denver as this is close to his daughter, Tuere Binta Cross, who lives in Broomfield, where she is a therapist social worker.
Margaret Whitt, Professor Emerita, Department of English and Literary Arts
While in the English Department at DU, for 17 years, Dr. Whitt directed the first-year writing program. Dr. Whitt taught American literature courses, core courses on the civil rights movement, courses with an emphasis on literature of the American South, particularly Flannery O’Connor. She wrote books on O’Connor, Gloria Naylor; edited a collection of short stories of the civil rights movement (one of the winners of the Best of the Best of University Presses from the American Library Association, 2007) and co-authored a composition textbook, The Civil Mind. For 16 years, Dr. Whitt edited the handbook for the First-Year Writing program, which included a grammar book and expectations of good writing with samples of excellent essays. (All the royalties from this required text went to the winners of the Essay Contest.) Won the Driscoll Master Teacher Award, the Distinguished Teacher Award, and co-recipient of the United Methodist Scholar-Teacher Award.
In retirement, Dr. Whitt leads civil rights tours to Alabama, especially the new lynching memorial in Montgomery, and I teach in a seniors program (where some of the participants are so old that their parents knew and tutored William Faulkner as a boy) each year at Montreat College–southern literature folks: Faulkner, O’Connor, Capote, Naylor, and in the spring will do Faulkner with Zora Neale Hurston.
Arthur Jones, Professor Emeritus, Departments of Psychology and Music
Dr. Jones is a clinical psychologist and interdisciplinary teacher, scholar, and singer. Dr. Jones has spent the majority of his career in higher education, including nearly three decades at the University of Denver (DU), in a variety of faculty roles and leadership positions. His official retirement from full-time teaching was finalized in July, 2020, after serving for a year as DU Interim Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Dr. Jones is currently Professor Emeritus of Music, Culture and Psychology in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. He is also the Founder and Chair Emeritus of The Spirituals Project, which works to preserve and revitalize the music and teachings of the sacred folk songs created and first sung by African women and men enslaved in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Dr. Jones has had the privilege of presenting concerts and workshops on spirituals throughout the United States.
Throughout his career — in his teaching, scholarship and community work — Dr. Jones has focused on issues of culture, power, and privilege, with an early specialty in African American and multicultural psychology. Dr. Jones’ work on the spirituals, begun in the early 1990s, with an expanded interdisciplinary reach, grew naturally from his early work in psychology. Dr. Jones has been inspired by the power of the music and teaching passed on to us through song by his enslaved ancestors, and particularly the lessons these songs offer for building an inclusive, compassionate world. Long before our twentieth and twenty-first century focus on the idea of a “beloved community,” women and men in bondage passed on to us a clear blueprint for the building of such a community!
In recent years, Dr. Jones has been exploring the contemplative foundations of early Christianity and their meanings for effective social action. He has encountered multiple parallels to the teachings embedded in the African American spirituals tradition!
Jeffrey Jenson, Professor Emeritus, Graduate School of Social Work
Dr. Jenson is the Philip and Eleanor Winn Endowed Professor Emeritus at the Graduate School of Social Work, University of Denver. His research and teaching focus on the application of a public health approach to preventing child and adolescent health and behavior problems and on the evaluation of preventive interventions aimed at promoting healthy youth development. Dr. Jenson has published seven books and numerous articles and chapters on topics of child and adolescent development and prevention science. His books include Preventing child and adolescent problem behavior: Evidence-based strategies in schools, families, and communities (2014) and Social policy for children and families: A risk and resilience perspective (2016), a recipient of the Best Edited Book Award from the Society for Research on Adolescence.
Dr. Jenson is co-chair of the Coalition for the Promotion of Behavioral Health and a co-author of Unleashing the Power of Prevention, a comprehensive framework published by the National Academy of Medicine that helps communities and states implement tested and effective preventive interventions for behavioral health problems. He is the recipient of the Aaron Rosen Award from the Society for Social Work and Research and the Distinguished Scholar and University Lecturer awards from the University of Denver. Dr. Jenson is a former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research and previously served on the boards of the Society for Social Work and Research and the Society for Prevention Research. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare and the Society for Social Work and Research. Dr. Jenson’s appointments as a professor in the Graduate School of Social Work included associate dean for research and director of the doctoral program. He was appointed an emeritus professor at the University of Denver in June 2020.