Keith Clarke Goes Out in a Blaze of Glory

Keith Clarke passes the baton of department leadership to Oliver Chadwick on July 1st, ending his 5 1/2 year marathon as Chair. Keith will spend the next academic year on sabbatical, but certainly not an ordinary one—he’s been awarded both a UK Leverhulme Trust award and a Fulbright Distinguished Scholarship.

The Leverhulme award will provide funding for travel, living, and research in the UK. Keith will be based at the world renowned City University of London’s School of Information Science and will visit several UK university departments, as well as delivering two Leverhulme Lectures. Only 27 Major Research Fellowships are awarded annually to “enable well-established researchers in the Humanities and Social Sciences to devote themselves to a single project of outstanding originality and significance appropriate for a period of concentrated research and capable of completion within the duration of two to three years.”

The award is made possible by the Leverhulme Trust which was established in accordance with the will of William Hesketh Lever in 1925 in order to grant awards for the support of research and education. A Victorian businessman and entrepreneur, Lever developed the manufacture and marketing of Sunlight Soap which, only a decade after its launch, was being sold in 134 countries. His achievements were recognized in 1922 when the title of Lord Leverhulme of the Western Isles was conferred upon him. He went on to found Lever Brothers which became a cornerstone of Unilever, one of today’s major multinational companies.

Keith will take a break from his Leverhulme Research Fellowship activities from March to May 2007, during which time he will be a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at the Department of Geography, University of Trieste, Italy, teaching a graduate class on land use change and conducting research on the depopulation of Italian urban areas. Only 2-4 Fulbright Distinguished Scholar awards are offered annually, and candidates are chosen from applicants who are “established or future leaders in their chosen fields.” Well, Keith certainly fits the description, and we wish him all the best on his “busman’s holiday”!

P.S. Keith would like to assure his grad students that he will continue to work with them while away and will welcome grad student visitors while in London. Keith will be back at UCSB in the Summer Quarter of 2007.

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