The School of Arts & Sciences announces its new faculty
August 26, 2011
The University of Richmond School of Arts & Sciences is pleased to announce the arrival of 14 new tenured and tenure track faculty and five new directors for the 2011-12 academic year. The faculty’s combined academic and professional experiences and equal emphasis on research, teaching and advising benefit all undergraduates at Richmond, regardless of discipline.
Timothy Barney will join the faculty of the Department of Rhetoric and Communication Studies. He is finishing his Ph.D. in communication at the University of Maryland, where he specializes in rhetoric and political culture. Barney’s research explores the visual rhetoric of cartography in the second half of the 20th century, particularly how mapping constrained the ways in which America positioned itself on the international stage during the Cold War. These interests in issues of space, place and internationalism have also fueled his writing on the democratic transitions of eastern and central European nations and how public memory and visual images come to shape such processes.
Jennifer Barnes Bowie will join the faculty of the University of Richmond as an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science. She earned her Ph.D. in political science from the University of South Carolina in 2008. Her research interests focus on judicial decision making, specifically understanding how U.S. Courts of Appeals judges make decisions. Her work has been published in The Journal of Politics and Political Research Quarterly, and she is currently working on a co-authored book manuscript titled Social Science Theories of Judicial Decision Making: The View from Bench and Chambers in the United States Courts of Appeals. Prior to coming to Richmond, she was an assistant professor of political science at George Mason University.
David Burkman earned his M.F.A. in film production from the University of Southern California. He also holds a master’s degree in education from The George Washington University. Prior to accepting the position of director of film production at the University of Richmond, he taught filmmaking, screenwriting and acting at the HB Woodlawn Program. He helms his own production company, Shadywood Road Productions. He has written, directed and produced dozens of films, including the award-winning Breaking Up With Maggie Moore, which aired on The Independent Film Channel. He is currently in post-production on a narrative feature film titled HAZE.
John Wesley Cain earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Duke University in 2005. Prior to accepting the position of associate professor of mathematics, he served as assistant professor of mathematics and a fellow of the Center for the Study of Biological Complexity at Virginia Commonwealth University. His research lies at the interface of mathematics and medicine, with particular emphasis on cardiac electrophysiology. Currently, he is co-authoring his second textbook on ordinary differential equations and dynamical systems, his primary area of mathematical expertise.
L. Stephanie Cobb joins the Richmond faculty as the George and Sallie Cutchin Camp Professor of Bible in the Department of Religious Studies. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She previously served on the faculty at Hofstra University. She is the author of Dying to Be Men: Gender and Language in Early Christian Martyr Texts. Her teaching and research interests focus on the religious landscape of the Greco-Roman world in the first three centuries C.E.
Christine Davis joined the Department of Biology in December of 2010 as the director of microscopy and imaging. She earned a B.A. in biology from Mary Baldwin College and previously worked as a laboratory and research specialist at the University of Virginia’s Advanced Microscopy Facility and as a biology teacher for Orange County High School. Most recently, she worked as an electron microscopist at the Universidad Central Del Caribe in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Alicia Díaz will join the University of Richmond as assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Prior to joining the Richmond faculty, Díaz was an assistant professor of dance at Kent State University and Hope College. Her research interests include the intersection between somatics, improvisation and choreography, as well as the role that dance plays in Latino culture and society. She is co-founder of Agua Dulce Dance Theater with dancer and choreographer Matthew Thornton. During her career as a dancer and choreographer, Díaz has worked with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theatre, Donald Byrd, Alice Farley, Julio Rivera, Marion Ramírez and Steven Iannacone. She was a founding member of en la brega dance company and Rubí Theater Company in New York City, as well as the leading contemporary dance company Andanza in Puerto Rico.
Jessie Fillerup joins the Richmond faculty as an assistant professor of music, having taught previously at the University of Mary Washington. She received her Ph.D. in music history from the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on Maurice Ravel, music and temporality, and relationships between music and theatrical magic. She has published articles and reviews in the College Music Symposium, Fontes Artis Musicae and the Journal of Military History. Currently she holds an NEH "Enduring Questions" grant, which supports the development and teaching of a course that explores a pre-disciplinary question in the humanities. She serves as review editor for the Journal of Music History Pedagogy.
Mimi Hanaoka received her Ph.D. in religion from Columbia University in 2011 and will join the Department of Religious Studies as an assistant professor. She specializes in Islam and Islamic history with a focus on historiography, sacred space, and piety and authority in the Islamic world. From 2007 to 2011 Hanaoka was a Jacob K. Javits Fellow at Columbia University. Her dissertation, “Umma and Identity in Early Islamic Persia,” examines how and why Persian local and regional histories assert a privileged connection with the prophet Muhammad. Her current research projects are a comparative analysis of Persian and Arab local histories and a study of the use of dreams in historical writing.
Angela Hilliker will join the Department of Biology as an assistant professor of molecular genetics. She earned her Ph.D. in molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Chicago. Prior to coming to Richmond, she was a visiting assistant professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland and then a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arizona. She uses a combination of molecular biology, genetics and cell biology approaches to understand how cells control gene expression at the level of messenger RNA translation. This work has implications for learning and memory, disease and early development.
Shannon Hooker will join the University of Richmond as the assistant director of the Modlin Center for the Arts. She has worked for the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) for the past 11 years, most recently as the director of campus life, arts and programs. In her roles she has supervised a range of student life programming and operations, including the development of a performing arts and lecture series. Hooker earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Winthrop University and a master’s degree in arts administration from the University of New Orleans. She served on the executive board of the North Carolina Presenters Consortium and as a participant with the South Arts Dance Touring Initiative. Prior to going to work for UNCW, Hooker worked for the Atlanta Opera and Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
Laura Knouse earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and her B.S. in psychology from the University of Richmond. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School prior to accepting the position of assistant professor of psychology in the University of Richmond's Department of Psychology. Her research investigates the consequences, correlates and treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults from multiple perspectives. Research topics include metacognition and strategy use in adults with the disorder relevant to academic functioning, personality factors and cognitive-behavioral treatment of adult ADHD. Recent investigations focus on predictors of comorbid depression in this population.
James Lanham joins UR’s Department of Education as the director of secondary education. He holds an Ed.D. from Virginia Tech and most recently worked for the Virginia Department of Education as the director of teacher licensure and school leadership. He served as a principal for New Kent County Public Schools for many years and as an assistant superintendent for Dinwiddie County Public Schools for five years. He has previously taught as an adjunct professor in UR’s School of Continuing Studies.
Lázaro Lima joins the Richmond faculty as the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Chair in the Liberal Arts, with appointments in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Studies and the Program in American Studies. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park, and previously taught at Bryn Mawr College. Among his publications are The Latino Body: Crisis Identities in American Literary and Cultural Memory; Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing (co-edited with Felice Picano); and Sonia Sotomayor: An American Life After Multiculturalism. Lima's interdisciplinary work on inter-American literatures, queer theory and performance studies has also appeared in American Literary History, Revista Iberoamericana, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Hispanic Review and many other journals. He is currently working on two documentary films titled Latino Dixie and Imperial Science: Testimonios from the Puerto Rican Contraceptive Pill Trials. He specializes in Latino and Latin American literary and cultural studies, postcolonial studies, gender and sexuality studies, and American studies research methods.
Ernest McGowen received his Ph.D. in government from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011 and will join the Department of Political Science as an assistant professor. He specializes in political behavior and racial and ethnic politics, with a focus on public opinion and campaigns and elections. His dissertation, The Brave New World: The Social and Participatory Behaviors of the Modern Suburban African American, deals with how the environmental effects of suburban residence, especially heightened feelings of minority status, cause all racial, ethnic, and LGBT minorities to seek out particular social networks, co-ethnic communities and forms of participation that reinforce their identity. He is currently revising the dissertation for publication and researching the effect of partisan redistricting on turnout.
Mariela Méndez was a visitor in UR’s Department of Latin American and Iberian Studies for three years prior to being appointed assistant professor. Originally from Argentina, Dr. Méndez holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature and a graduate certificate in advanced feminist studies from University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar and completed a dissertation comparing the non-fictional prose of Argentinean poet Alfonsina Storni and American feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Méndez is co-editor of a collection of Alfonsina Storni’s essays, Nosotras … y la piel, and she has published and presented on her research, which focuses on transnational feminist approaches to women’s writings from the Southern Cone, Brazil and elsewhere in the Americas.
Tammy M. Milby earned her Ph.D. in education from Virginia Commonwealth University, specializing in instructional leadership with a focus on literacy. Before accepting the position as director of reading in the Department of Education at the University of Richmond, Dr. Milby was a member of the VCU reading faculty. She has published a book on assessment practices and has also published her work in numerous journals such as The Reading Teacher and Language Magazine. Her doctoral dissertation, Understanding the Literacy Practices of Exemplary Teachers within the Elementary Classroom, describes the reading and writing practices of exemplary teachers. Her research focuses on teacher quality/professional development techniques, school-based reading clinics and the influence of studying abroad on teacher dispositions and instructional practices.
Matthew Thornton joins the faculty at the University of Richmond as an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Thornton performed internationally with Pilobolus Dance Theater and is a master teacher of the Pilobolus Method, a technique examining the collaborative creative process. Thornton is co-founder of Agua Dulce Dance Theater with dancer and choreographer Alicia Díaz. Agua Dulce’s creative research involves developing movement for traditional stage performance, site-specific pieces, outdoor improvisations and dance for video. Thornton was previously an assistant professor of dance at Hope College.
Joanna R. Wares earned her Ph.D. in applied mathematics and scientific computation from the University of Maryland in 2008. Prior to accepting the position of assistant professor in UR’s Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mathematics at Vanderbilt University. Her research tackles problems at the forefront of mathematical biology. Two current focal points of study are the dynamics of the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospitals and the efficacy of virotherapy treatment in removing tumors, taking into account cell-cycle dependencies.