University News

Introducing the Anne Powell Riley Endowed Professorship

Environmental Studies Provost's Office
May 14, 2020

Denison University announces the inaugural appointment of the Anne Powell Riley Endowed Professorship for Environmental Studies. The faculty chair will be held by Professor of Environmental Studies Abram Kaplan, for a five-year term, beginning the fall 2020 semester.

As holder of the Riley Professorship, Kaplan will receive an additional professional development stipend and is expected to make public contributions to the Denison community during his tenure in the chair. Kaplan teaches core courses in the ENVS major as well as a variety of topical seminars that span social science and artistic perspectives. His primary scholarship includes arts-based research including fine art photography and photography based mixed-media artwork. The latter includes direct printing techniques on metal, wood and other materials to create immersive works that encourage viewer participation. He has exhibited 2D work in more than 40 regional and national juried exhibitions, with jurors from leading contemporary art museums. His six solo exhibitions have examined social and cultural themes connected to the U.S. food system and the generation of electricity.

Philanthropist, educator and community volunteer Anne Powell Riley, a member of the Denison Class of 1953, supports organizations that work for sustainability, social justice, and quality of life. Following her Denison degree, Riley earned an M.A. in education at Syracuse and taught in San Diego before continuing her family business of providing housing to middle-income families. She later served as chairman of the board of halfway house organization Alvis House and coordinated elementary school volunteers in the Columbus Public Schools, presented travelogues, and became known as the “Pioneer Lady.” For many years, Riley was on the board of World Neighbors, helping communities “at the end of the road” identify the root causes of their problems and work together to become healthier and more self-sufficient.

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