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Eckerd College Welcomes New Faculty Members

posted on 10/01/2012

By Matt Thompson '13

With the start of the 2012–2013 academic year last month, Eckerd College welcomed 18 new faculty members in disciplines ranging from creative writing to chemistry.

Michael Mario Albrecht, Assistant Professor of Communication
Michael Albrecht received his Ph.D. in Media and Society from the Department of Communications Studies at the University of Iowa. He has been a professor at the University of New Hampshire since 2009, teaching various courses on media studies in their department of communications. Albrecht teaches Communications and Media Studies with particular interest in popular music, political communications, and consumer culture. As a graduate student at the University of Iowa, Albrecht was awarded the Carol Schrage Award for excellence in building and facilitating community. He has been a reviewer for journals such as Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, Popular Music and Society, and the Journal of Popular Music Studies, and he has presented at many international and national conferences on topics including modern discourses of politics, comfort levels with new media, and the influence of popular music on various cultural subjects.

Jonathan Chopan, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing
Jonathan Chopan received his Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Ohio State University, where he then began teaching a workshop-based, first-year writing course, as well as courses on fiction and nonfiction. Chopan has published many fiction and nonfiction works in literary journals, as well as his own book entitled, Pulled From the River.  He received the Creative Writing Alumni Award from SUNY Oswego, where he earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees.  He also received a nomination for the Pushcart Prize, an annually awarded fellowship for excellence in writing for small presses. At OSU, Chopan served as a supporting member of the Literary Magazine Committee, and a reader for the William Allen Creative Nonfiction Prize.

Sara Cline, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
Sara Cline received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University with a specialization in Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology. Cline has been a co-designer and lecturer of Molecular Genetics at Central State University in Ohio and has been a lecturer at Ohio State University in their Center for Life Sciences Education, where she received the Graduate Associate Teaching Award in spring 2012. She served as a lab mentor for undergraduate students at OSU and was the President of the Plant Cellular and Molecular Biology Graduate Student Committee during the 2009-10 academic year.

Craig Colbeck, Continuing Part-Time Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies
Craig Colbeck recently received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Modern Japanese History. Colbeck was a teaching assistant at Harvard in courses ranging from general Japanese history to more specific courses entitled "Lady Samurai," "Manga Lit," and "Japan Pop!" His teaching and research interests are Japanese history, East Asian history, gender & sexuality, and the history of science and medicine. Outside of teaching, Colbeck was a coordinator of International Relations at the Japan English Teaching Exchange Programme in Kitakyushu, Japan. Colbeck is fluent in Japanese and has reading knowledge of Korean. He is a member of the Association for Asian Studies and the National Women's Studies Association.

Shannon Collins, Continuing Part-Time Assistant Professor of Human Development
Shannon Collins has completed two years of her Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago in the School of Social Service Administration. As a professor, she has taught courses at the University of South Carolina in Women's Studies as well as Health Education. Additionally, she has performed social service work at both Georgetown University and the University of South Carolina, holding positions as the Sexual Assault and Health Issues Coordinator and the Program Director of Relationship Violence Services, respectively. At Georgetown, Collins was awarded the University's Rookie of the Year Award, recognizing outstanding professional service in the first year of employment. Collins has also done work locally, working as a volunteer on special projects at St. Petersburg's Community Action Stops Abuse (CASA) as a liaison between CASA and Eckerd students engaged in service-learning.

Alicia Davis, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Alicia Davis received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2010. Since then, she has spent time as an adjunct assistant professor at UC Boulder, teaching courses like "Frontiers of Cultural Anthropology," "Regional Cultures of Africa," and "Race, Gender, and Class in the Global Context." Davis lived in Anchorage, Alaska, where she was involved with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an acting Native American liaison and data management for the National Resources Damage Assessment. Davis is fluent in Swahili, and has a basic knowledge of Maa, Iraqw of Tanzania, and Spanish. She is a member of the American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology.

David Dixon, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics
David Dixon received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of New Mexico in 2011. He has taught Economics courses in Macro and Microeconomics, Introductory Statistics and Econometrics. His primary teaching interests lie in the areas of theoretical microeconomics, mathematics for economics, environmental and natural resource economics, and modeling and simulation in economics. Dixon has done work with ARES Software as a Senior Scientist, working on developing agent-based simulation software and modeling tools. Dixon is fluent in Italian, Spanish, and has an intermediate level of the French language. Dixon is also a reviewer for the Natural Resources Research, and a member of the American Economic Association and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.

Hilary Flower, Continuing Part-Time Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Hilary Flower received her Master's degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara in the area of Geological Sciences. She has spent the past five years in the St. Petersburg area, as an Adjunct Instructor of Earth Sciences at St. Petersburg College. Flower has also been very involved in various communities as a social service worker. In Santa Cruz, Calif., Flower helped to develop and run the Women's Crisis Support Sexual Assault Program, which later became the statewide model for the sexual assault branch of the social services department. Similarly, she has had an impact in the Tampa Bay area. As a workshop facilitator, Flower has organized 25 workshops on topics like anti-racism, sexual harassment and parenting. Flowers also wrote a successful $30,000 grant for the YWCA Tampa Bay to do a community-building project in south St. Petersburg.

Adam Guerin, Assistant Professor of History
Adam Guerin earned his Ph.D. in History from the University of California-Irvine in 2009. Since then, he has been a professor at Occidental College, Claremont Graduate University and the University of California-Riverside. Guerin's expertise includes modern Europe, French colonies, modern Middle East and Northern Africa, as well as global politics and economics. Guerin was an adjunct professor at the Arab International University in Damascus, Syria, early in his career. Guerin speaks English, French, Arabic and Spanish, and has been awarded several grants from the International Center for Writing and Translation for work in foreign languages and dissertation research. As a presenter and special lecturer, Guerin has traveled internationally to speak about politics and the historical power struggle in Northern Africa. Guerin is a member of the American Institute of Maghrebian Studies, French Colonial History Society, and Middle Eastern Studies Association.

Sara Hoffman, Continuing Part-Time Assistant Professor of Psychology
Sara Hoffman received her Master of Arts degree from Clark University in Worcester, Mass. The majority of Hoffman's teaching experience has been in the high school classroom. At Strawberry Crest and Lehigh Senior high schools, she taught Advanced Placement Psychology and World History, IB theory of Knowledge, and Human Growth and Development. However, Hoffman has had experience working in a college setting as well. She was an adjunct professor at Edison College, where she taught introductory Psychology courses. In 2009 and 2010, Hoffman was one of 30 finalists out of a group of over 5,000 teachers for the Golden Apple Teacher Awards. She is currently a member of the Psi Chi National Psychology Honor Society and the American Psychological Association.

Dea Dea Huffstutler, Continuing Part-Time Assistant Professor of Spanish
Dea Dea Huffstutler is currently in the process of attaining a Ph.D. in Adult Education from the University of South Florida. Huffstutler has most recently been involved with Españolito, a Spanish program for children from six months to five years old, as well as adult intensive courses. Bilingual in English and Spanish, she has had international work experience in translation and transcription, and in international human resources. She has consulted multi-million dollar international businesses, conducted international market research, and developed multi-unit operations in 56 countries.

Joseph Larkin, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Joseph Larkin received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Georgia in 2006. Since then he has been an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Bloomsburg University, and the Intramural Research Training Award Fellow in the Laboratory of Computational Biology at the National Institutes of Health in Md. As a researcher, Larkin has worked in the area of development and refinement of multi-scale simulations and molecular dynamics of biological systems. As a student, he was awarded the Academic Achievement Award in Science from Philadelphia University and was later awarded the American Institute of Chemists Award in Chemistry. He also received the Bloomsburg University President's Fund for Academic Initiatives while teaching there. Larkin is a reviewer for the Journal of Molecular Structure and Computational and Theoretical Chemistry. Larkin's work has been published in many journals, most recently in the Journal of Physical Chemistry and the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.

Abdullah Lux, Visiting Assistant Professor of Arabic
Abdullah Lux received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah in Islamic Studies and Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language.  He taught as an adjunct professor at Queens College in New York, directing courses in Islamic History & Civilizations, as well as the Arabic Language. Outside of teaching, he has also been a Director of Translation at the Center for Arab unity Studies in Beirut, Lebanon. Lux is the Executive Editor for the journal Contemporary Arab Affairs, responsible for editing and translating all articles of the quarterly journal. Lux recently published his own original book entitled Requiem for the Jamahiriyah: the Green Book and the Arab-Islamic Thought of Mu'ammer al-Qadhafi.

Lorena Mihok, Continuing Part-Time Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Lorena Mihok is currently working on her Ph.D. in the Department of Anthropology from the University of South Florida. Her research interests lie in culture contact studies, historical anthropology, ethnohistory, and Central American art history. As a professor, Mihok has taught the Introduction to Anthropology course at the University of South Florida, as well as art history courses at the University of Tampa.  Mihok has also worked at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Fla., as an assistant curator of education to public programs.  Mihok has received the American Society for Ethnohistory travel award and a graduate fellowship from the University of South Florida.

Christina Petersen, Assistant Professor of Film Studies
Christina Petersen received her Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the University of Chicago in 2010. Since then, she has been a lecturer at both the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis. Petersen has taught on general film topics like the history of American and world cinema, as well as specific subjects such as youth culture in visual media, media aesthetics, and the work of Alfred Hitchcock. At Washington University, Petersen was a nominee for the Faculty Associates Program, which strengthens the interaction between faculty, resident advisors and first-year students. She has traveled nationally as a conference presenter, speaking on film subjects like action and suspense, and flappers and American youth culture in the 1920s. Petersen has been a member and researcher for the Society for Cinema and Media Studies since 2005. She did work as a graduate student representative for the Committee on Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. 

Ashley Scheu, Assistant Professor of French
Ashley Scheu recently received her Ph.D. in French from Duke University in 2011. She most recently taught at both George Washington University and American University in Washington D.C., teaching both advanced and introductory courses. Her teaching and research interests are in French language, French literature, philosophy, French existentialism, feminism and women writers. From 2006 to 2010, Scheu spent nonconsecutive years studying in the Francophone countries of France, Switzerland and Cameroon, and she achieved a near-native fluency level in French. Scheu has published works in the Journal of Feminist Philosophy and Romance Quarterly. She has also been a member of the Modern Language Association as well as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Daniel Spoth, Assistant Professor of Literature
Daniel Spoth earned his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Vanderbilt in 2009. Spoth most recently taught classes at both Hendrix College and the University of Central Arkansas, after two years of full-time teaching at the University of Vanderbilt. His teaching and research interests are modern and postmodern American poetry, American literary regionalism, Southern literature, ecocriticism and globalization, and digital writing and new media. Spoth's written work has been published in the Journal of Ecocriticism and the European Journal of American Culture. He has participated in conferences on subjects in American studies, and southern literature and society. Spoth holds professional affiliations with the Modern Language Association, American Studies Association, and the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment.

George "Bud" Wynn, Visiting Assistant Professor of Management
George Wynn received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in Management, Research and Organization Development.  As a professor, Wynn most recently taught courses at Loyola University in Chicago, conducting courses on Global Business, Performance Management, and other Management-related topics. He has also been involved at local Florida schools, a visiting assistant professor at the University of Tampa, and a leader in the office of Organization Development and Training at the University of Central Florida. Wynn has taught both graduate and undergraduate students, centering most often on management topics of Organizational Management, Human Resource Management, and Leadership. Wynn is also a reviewer in the Academy of Management for the International Journal of Scholarship in Teaching and Learning.

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