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Theatre department welcomes new faculty member

Monday, September 15, 2014

LAWRENCE – The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Kansas has hired 32 new faculty members for the 2014-2015 academic year. All faculty and staff are invited to welcome the group at a reception Wednesday, Sept. 17.

The College will host the reception at 3:30 p.m. in The Commons of Spooner Hall. The program will include the presentation of the 2014 Career Achievement Award to Donn Parson, professor emeritus in the Department of Communication Studies.

The recognized new faculty members:

Rafael Acosta, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, assistant professor. Acosta specializes in Mexican literature, Latino literature in the U.S., postcolonial theory, cultural studies and creative writing.

Tamara Baker, Department of Psychology, associate professor. Baker researches health disparities and health outcomes in pain management among older adults from diverse race and ethnic populations.

Jane Barnette, Department of Theatre, assistant professor. Barnette specializes in adaption for the stage, dramaturgy, connections between railroad/train culture and theatre culture, roleplay as teaching methodology and directing/devising site-specific and/or immersive theatre.

Catherine Batza, Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, associate professor. Batza specializes in the history of sexuality, politics and public health.

Christopher Beard, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology/Biodiversity Institute, Foundation Distinguished Professor/senior curator. Beard researches evolutionary origins of primates, determining the fundamental biogeographic principles that govern how organisms achieve and maintain their geographic distributions.

Michael Blum, Department of Geology, Ritchie Distinguished Professor. Blum researches fluvial and coastal sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy of continental and shallow-marine successions, evolution of continental drainage and sediment routing to the oceans, and global to regional sea-level changes. 

Joseph Brewer, Environmental Studies Program, assistant professor. Brewer researches natural resources management and energy sovereignty for American Indian tribes and Alaskan natives, Indian land tenure and how local/regional indigenous knowledge informs state/federal natural resource management offices.

Samuel Brody, Department of Religious Studies, assistant professor. Brody specializes in theopolitics/political theology, German-Jewish thought, Judaism, Christianity, Islam in conflict and conversation, comparative scriptural hermeneutics, and religion in comics, sci-fi and fantasy.

Marco Caricato, Department of Chemistry, assistant professor. Caricato researches molecular quantum mechanics, electronic structure theory, and excited states and electronic transitions.

Patrizio Ceccagnoli, Department of French & Italian, assistant professor. Ceccagnoli specializes in futurism and European modernism, late style in Italian literature and cinema, the theoretical notion of fetishism and the practice of personification in modern Italian literature and culture.

Josephine Chandler, Department of Molecular Biosciences, assistant professor. Chandler researches cell-cell communication systems in quorum-sensing bacteria.

Devon Dear, Department of History, assistant professor. Dear specializes in the history of the late imperial China and inner Asia, including social and economic histories of trade, exchange and production.

Elizabeth Esch, Department of American Studies, assistant professor. Esch’s work addresses the dynamic relationships between domestic and foreign policies in U.S. history, exploring themes of capitalism as both national and transnational, militarism, and production and labor.

Kelsie Forbush, Department of Psychology, assistant professor. Forbush researches eating disorders and obesity.

Angela Gist, Department of Communication Studies, assistant professor. Gist specializes in social mobility, social class, social identity, stigma and organizational culture.

Mary Hill, Department of Geology, professor. Hill specializes in using hydrologic and environment data, computer modeling, and uncertainty assessment to inform resource management and public policy.

Lesa Hoffman, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing/Life Span Institute, associate professor/associate scientist. Hoffman specializes in quantitative psychology, cognitive psychology and human development.

Ariel Linden, Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures, assistant professor. Linden specializes in aesthetic and political stakes of German-language satire in the 20th century through Viennese satirist Karl Kraus.

Corey Maley, Department of Philosophy, associate professor. Maley specializes in the philosophy of computation and mind, philosophy of science and moral psychology.  

Rachel McDonald, Department of Psychology, assistant professor. McDonald examines social psychological influences on sustainable behavior and responses to climate change.

Noah McLean, Department of Geology, assistant professor. McLean researches earth and planetary sciences, focusing on measuring the tempo and duration of earth system processes.

Heba Mostafa, The Kress Foundation Department of Art History, assistant professor. Mostafa specializes in early Islamic architecture and urbanism with a focus on the palace, mosque and shrine in Islam.

Sandra Olsen, Department of Museum Studies/Biodiversity Institute, professor/senior curator . Olsen specializes in old-world archaeology, horse domestication and the horse in human cultures, bone artifact manufacture and use, and the application of advanced imaging techniques to Saudi Arabian rock art.

Magali Rabasa, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, assistant professor. Rabasa specializes in Latin American cultural studies, transnational feminist theory, ethnography, subaltern and postcolonial studies, and communication and media studies.

Christopher Ramey, Department of Psychology, assistant professor. Ramey specializes in high-order cognition, spanning the cognitive and brain sciences.

Daniel Reuman, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology/Kansas Biological Survey, associate professor/associate scientist. Reuman researches quantitative population and community ecology, statistical and computational methods in ecology, climate change and other human effects on ecosystems.

Reginald Robinson, School of Public Affairs & Administration, professor and director. Robinson is past-president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents and currently serves as chair of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which advises the president regarding youth justice policy and funding.

David Roediger, departments of American Studies and History, Foundation Distinguished Professor. Roediger specializes in African-American history, history of labor, literature and history, radicalism in the U.S. and the history of race.

Armin Schulz, Department of Philosophy, assistant professor. Schulz specializes in the philosophy of science, the mind and social science.

Joanna Slusky, Department of Molecular Biosciences/Center for Bioinformatics, assistant professor. Slusky specializes in membrane protein folding using computational and experimental methodologies.

Terry Soo, Department of Mathematics, assistant professor. Soo specializes in probability and ergodic theory.

Pamela Sullivan, Department of Geography, assistant professor. Sullivan specializes in ecohydrology, hydrogeology, catchment hydrology, biogeochemistry and isotope geochemistry.

The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences encourages learning without boundaries in its more than 50 departments, programs and centers. Through innovative research and teaching, the College emphasizes interdisciplinary education, global awareness and experiential learning. The College is KU's broadest, most diverse academic unit.