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Wendy Bellion and James M. Jones

New named professors

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson

CAS faculty members Bellion, Jones appointed to named positions

Wendy Bellion and James M. Jones, faculty members in the University of Delaware College of Arts and Sciences, have been appointed to named positions in recognition of their achievements as scholars and educators.

Bellion has been named the Sewell C. Biggs Chair in American Art History, and Jones was appointed Trustees Distinguished Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Black American Studies.

The appointments, which took effect Jan. 1, were announced by UD President Dennis Assanis and Provost Domenico Grasso, who thanked both faculty members for their “outstanding contributions and service to the University of Delaware.”

Wendy Bellion

Bellion teaches American art history and material culture studies, and her scholarship takes an interdisciplinary approach to American visual and material culture.

She focuses on the late colonial and early national United States, exploring American art within the cultural geographies of the British Atlantic world and early modern Americas.

Bellion is the author of numerous articles and the 2011 book Citizen Spectator: Art, Illusion and Visual Perception in Early National America, which was awarded the 2014 Charles C. Eldredge Prize for Outstanding Scholarship by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. She also is co-editor, with Mónica Domínguez Torres, associate professor of art history, of Objects in Motion: Art and Material Culture across Colonial North America, a special issue in 2011 of the journal Winterthur Portfolio.

A forthcoming book, Performing Iconoclasm, explores the destruction and cultural memory of British political monuments in Revolutionary-era New York, tracing the return of King George III in American visual culture and civic re-enactments from the late 18th century through the present day.

Bellion, who earned her bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan University and master’s and doctoral degrees at Northwestern University, joined the UD faculty in 2004 after teaching at Rutgers University and the College of William and Mary. She has been a visiting professor for the Terra Foundation for American Art/Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art in Paris and has been awarded grants and fellowships from numerous organizations, including the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Antiquarian Society, of which she is an elected member.

She has contributed to exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Newberry Library and the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Bellion currently serves on editorial boards for the University of Delaware Press and the journal Winterthur Portfolio.

At UD, she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses, advises graduate students in American art history and material culture and serves on the Executive Committee of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture.

The Sewell C. Biggs Chair of American Art History was established in 1998 by Sewell C. Biggs '38 and an additional gift from the Choptank Foundation. Mr. Biggs was graduated from the University of Delaware in 1938 and then attended the University of Virginia Law School. He also studied architecture at Oxford and Cambridge universities.

Mr. Biggs was a philanthropist, world traveler and collector of fine and decorative art from the Delaware Valley area. The Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, Delaware, houses his collection, educating its visitors on the valuable cultural legacy of the region.

James M. Jones

Jones is a social psychologist whose research, scholarship and service have focused on issues of racism and diversity, earning him national recognition for more than 40 years of professional accomplishments.

He is a professor in the departments of Psychological and Brain Sciences and of Black American Studies and since 2012 has also served as director of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Center for the Study of Diversity.

From 1977-2005, he was director of the Minority Fellowship Program of the American Psychological Association (APA), where he also was affirmative action officer from 1986-2005.

Jones earned his doctoral degree from Yale University and was a faculty member in psychology departments at Harvard and Howard universities before joining the University of Delaware as a visiting distinguished professor in 1981. In his career at UD, he also has served as director and then chair of Black American Studies.

In 2011, the APA selected Jones to receive the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology, its highest honor. The organization cited his "unparalleled career as a scientist, academic, author, administrator, thinker, innovator and social justice advocate."

He has received numerous other awards, including the 2009 Distinguished Service Award and the 2001 Kurt Lewin Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the 2007 Distinguished Psychologist Award from the Association of Black Psychologists and the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues.

He is past president of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Jones, who is the author of numerous articles, book chapters and technical reports, published the first edition of his book Prejudice and Racism in 1972 and the second edition in 1997. His most recent book, with Jack Dovidio and Deborah Vietze, The Psychology of Diversity: Beyond Prejudice and Racism, was published in 2014.

He has served as a consulting editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, an advisory editor for Contemporary Psychology and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Intercultural Relations; Journal of Black Psychology; Ethics and Behavior; Public Policy, Psychology and Law; and North American Journal of Psychology.

In his research, Jones has developed the idea of diversity competency—the perspective, attitude and motivation to interact in and benefit from diverse contexts and relationships. He is exploring ways in which diversity competency is expressed in problem solving, interpersonal relationships, decision-making and academic success.

Trustees Distinguished Professorships were created by the University’s Board of Trustees to recognize deserving senior members of the faculty.

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