New Faculty Join the Davidson College Community
Davidson's history department will offer an in-depth perspective on African-American history this year, thanks to Assistant Professor Daniel Aldridge (ext. 2776).
He will teach "African-American History to 1877" in the fall, followed by "African-American History since 1877-present" in the spring, and a course in African-American intellectual history.
Aldridge comes to Davidson from Ursinus College in Pennsylvania. A New York City native and Michigan State University graduate, Aldridge has a law degree from Northwestern University Law School. After practicing corporate law and criminal defense for five years in Los Angeles, Aldridge returned to academia, and received his Ph.D. in history from Emory University.
His dissertation deals with Franklin D. Roosevelt and the origins of the United Nations. Aldridge's current research expands on his knowledge of the UN, focusing on the efforts of intellectuals and political leaders around the world in the 1940s to give the UN the power to regulate and terminate colonialism. Aldridge lives in Davidson, and enjoys cooking and collecting CDs.
German native Anabel Aliaga-Buchenau (ext. 2245) will bring great personal experience in languages to her courses this fall. As an adjunct assistant professor, she will teach "Intermediate German" and "Intercultural English Communication," a composition course designed for non-native speakers of English.
Born in the northwestern German city of Northeim, Buchenau began her studies at the University of Gottingen. She was a one-year exchange student at UNC-Chapel Hill, and returned to Chapel Hill for her graduate education after completing her staatsexamen (ESL Teaching Degree) in Germany.
She received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in comparative literature, focusing on 19th century narratives the power of literacy. Her dissertation, entitled "The 'Dangerous' Potential of Reading: Readers and the Negotiation of Power in Selected Nineteenth-Century Narratives," examines American and French narratives, exploring the disruptive potential of reading and literacy in the lives of the characters.
Bechenau comes to Davidson from University of Southern Mississippi-Hattiesburg, where she taught German and humanities. She currently lives in Charlotte with her husband, a professor at UNC-Charlotte, and their children Nicki (3) and Julia (16 months). Her hobbies include reading, ice-skating, dancing and, ballet.
Visiting Associate Professor Jack Beasley (ext. 2728) got his first taste of acting in second grade and never looked back.
"I loved it so much I never stopped," he quipped. The newest member of Davidson's theater department, Beasley brings over thirty years of experience in everything from musical theater to Shakespeare to his acting and directing classes this year.
A native of Dickson, Tenn., Beasley received a B.A. degree in theater with a minor in French from Vanderbilt University. He earned an M.F.A. at the University of Georgia, and taught there for seven years. For the past 20 years, he has taught in the theater program at UNC-Charlotte.
Beasley retired from teaching in 1992, but continued to do free-lance work in the Charlotte area, and is eager to help with the program at Davidson. Along with his courses in acting and directing, Beasley will also be directing a main stage production in the spring.
He currently lives in Davidson, and his hobbies are tennis, reading mysteries, and gardening.
When Visiting Assistant Professor Michael Clark (ext. 2270) first came to Davidson, he was extremely impressed by the friendly and intelligent students he encountered. He looks forward to getting to know more of them this year as he brings his knowledge of ancient Greek history to the classics and history departments.
Clark's research focuses on Greek historians, orators, and inscriptions, as well as Athenian society and the Athenian navy. His essay on the date of IG II2 1604 received the Gladstone Prize. Currently, he is working on a social history of the Athenian navy, as well as a commentary on the navy lists.
This year, Clark will be teaching courses in Greek and Roman history, Greek language, a classics seminar on Greeks, Romans and barbarians, and a course on the Greek historian Herodotus.
Originally from Rhode Island, Clark attended Brown University with intentions to major in math, but ended up receiving a bachelor of arts in classics. He pursued graduate studies in classics at UCLA and Oxford University, where he received his doctorate.
Collecting antique 78-rpm records is one of Clark's many hobbies. He lives in Davidson with wife, Jennifer Eastman, who is a freelance editor for the University of California Press.
Because he grew up in San Mateo, Calif., Assistant Professor Russell Crandall (ext. 2283) was exposed to Latino culture from infancy.
He pursued his interest in Latin America and its culture as an academic specialty at Bowdoin College, where he received a bachelor's degree in political science.
After spending a year teaching first grade in Honduras, Crandall returned to the United States to continue his education at Johns Hopkins University. He completed a master's degree and a Ph.D. there, while continuing to travel extensively throughout Latin America. He wrote his dissertation on United States policy in Colombia in the 1990s.
Crandall was attracted to Davidson, because he wanted to work at a liberal arts college with a commitment to academic excellence. He comes here from Lima, Peru, where he recently spent four months working on an economic consulting project.
This fall he will teach courses in international politics, and theory and practice of politics in Latin America. He will also lead a seminar on economic, political and social transformation in the Andes, and teach courses on Mexico and comparative politics in the spring.
Crandall lives in Davidson and enjoys running, fishing, and backpacking.
Milton Crotts(ext. 2356) returns to his home state of North Carolina after fifteen years of living abroad to serve as associate professor of music and director of the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra.
Before coming to Davidson, Crotts was a professor at the University of Guam in the Western Pacific and music director of the Guam Symphony Society from 1984 through 1999. Under his direction, the Guam Symphony grew to be a dynamic and versatile orchestra that became an acknowledged source of cultural enrichment.
In recognition of his continuing contribution to the Western Pacific community, Crotts was awarded three Governor's Arts Awards for Music, and received the Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999 he was nominated for the National Medal for the Arts and is included in the 2000 Who¹s Who Among American Teachers.
Crotts returned to the United States in 1998 to complete the doctor of musical arts degree at the University of South Carolina. He welcomes the wonderful opportunity to come back to an area that he loved and make music with the great students at Davidson, he said.
A Belwood, N.C., native, Crotts received his bachelor and master of music education degrees from the UNC-Greensboro. He will be teaching introduction to Western music this fall, and hopes to teach opera and conducting courses this spring.
Crotts's hobbies include music, spending time with his children, and hiking. He and his spouse, Joanne Tarpley Crotts, formerly an associate professor at the University of Guam, have one daughter, three-year-old Jillian, and a son, Tyler.
Visiting Instructor in Physics Melissa Dancy(ext. 2077) loves teaching, and is fascinated by how people learn. She has combined her interests in education and physics in research that focuses on the use technology to facilitate learning.
Dancy grew up in Charlotte, and attended Furman University for her undergraduate education. She went on to Purdue University to pursue graduate study in physics and education. She comes to Davidson from N.C. State University, where she recently completed her Ph.D.
This fall, she will be teaching physics 220 "General Physics," and leading the laboratory component of physics 120 and 130.
Davidson appealed to Dancy because of the chance to work with high caliber students in small classes where she can have an impact on individuals.
She joins Davidson's physics department along with husband Tom Lipinski, who is working as a lab manager in the department. Her main "hobby" is her two-year-old son, Logan. She also enjoys going out to eat and spending time outdoors.
John Dinan (ext. 2269), visiting professor of political science, decided to come to Davidson from Wake Forest University after discovering which school had the better basketball team last year!
Originally from Alexandria, Va., Dinan developed an interest in political science at a very early age. "Growing up around Washington, you tend to belives that politics is all people think about," he explained.
Dinan completed his undergraduate and graduate education at the University of Virginia. His dissertation, entitled "Keeping People's Liberties," dealt with the history of the protection of rights, and how views on protection of rights has changed throughout American history.
His current research project examines the debates about various governing principles and institutions that have taken place in state constitutional conventions throughout the course of the American regime.
Dinan lives in Davidson and enjoys biking and playing basketball.
Assistant Professor of Economics Mark Foley (ext. 2248) came to Davidson to reconnect with his liberal arts roots. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, Foley was attracted to Davidson by its similar emphasis on teaching and the undergraduate experience.
Originally from the Midwest, Foley has traveled all over the Atlantic coast to complete his education. He attended high school in Franklin Lakes, N.J., studied at William and Mary, then completed his doctorate in economics at Yale University. He comes to Davidson from a postdoctoral fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill.
An applied microeconomist, Foley is currently interested in labor markets and transition economies, particularly the effects of Russia's transition economy on the elderly. His interest in transition economies was sparked in graduate school, where he took classes on "Economic Reform and the Economic History of the Soviet Union," at the same time the dissolution of the USSR and the liberalization and privatization of Russia's economy was taking place.
"One thing I like about economics is the way it blends the dispassionate approach of a science with the study of our society and everyday lives," he said.
Along with introductory economics courses, Foley will be teaching courses at Davidson in labor economics and economics of transition this year.
Foley resides in Statesville with his fiancee, Kristie Long, a research associate and postdoctoral Fellow in the Wake Forest University department of public health sciences. His hobbies reading, traveling, collecting sunsets, and playing basketball and tennis.
Visiting Assistant Professor Christian Grattan (ext. 2308) began his undergraduate education as a pre-med hopeful, but quickly turned to chemistry thanks to the encouragement of an inspiring professor.
As he joins Davidson's chemistry department, Grattan hopes to provide that same inspiration to his own students. He will be teaching courses in introductory chemistry, chemistry principles, and inorganic chemical analysis.
Attracted to Davidson by the college's academic reputation, Grattan plans to make the most of his one-year appointment - an opportunity he felt he couldn't pass up.
He grew up in Pittsburgh, and earned his B.S. degree in chemistry at Allegheny College. He received his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. He is interested in organometallic research, organic synthesis, and inorganic chemistry.
He lives in Davidson, and enjoys running, volleyball, and golf.
Assistant Professor of Biology Karen Hales (ext. 2324) arrives at Davidson following her father's footsteps. She grew up in Claremont, Calif., where her father taught math at a small liberal arts college. "I've always wanted to teach at a liberal arts college, too," she explained.
Hales received her undergraduate degree in biology from Swarthmore, completed her doctorate at Stanford University in 1997, and comes to Davidson from a post-doctoral fellowship at UNC-Chapel Hill.
A geneticist, Hales is particularly interested in the understanding "the molecular details." Her current work involves the study of fruit flies as a means of studying the functions of cells. She will be teaching a course in genetics this fall, as well as an introductory biology course and an upper level seminar this spring.
Hales' hobbies include various forms of exercising. Three years ago she took up orienteering, a sport in which participants are placed in the woods, given a map and a compass, and must race against each other to find their way to various marks on their maps. She also used to play competitive badminton.
Hales resides in the McConnell Neighborhood. Her husband, Chris Lyford, received an MBA from Duke, and is currently working for a small venture capital company in Charlotte.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Laurie Heyer (ext. 2267) arrived at Davidson eager to begin working at a place where, as she stated, "Your conduct and the values you hold are important."
An applied mathematician, Heyer is experienced in modeling and statistics. Her research expertise lies in the area of computational molecular biology, which she describes as the intersection of mathematics, computer science, and biology.
Her doctoral dissertation deals with probabilistic behavior of sequence analysis scores with application to structural alignment of RNA. She looks forward to continuing this line of research at Davidson alongside Malcolm Campbell, a biology faculty member who works in genomics.
A Fort Worth, Texas, native, Heyer received a B.S. degree from the University of Texas-Arlington. She worked for several years in the defense industry doing military operations research before returning to UT-Arlington for her master's degree.
After completing her doctoral degree in applied mathematics at the University of Colorado in 1998, she joined a research group at the Center for Computational and Experimental Genomics at USC.
Heyer enjoys cross-stitch, outdoor activities, and sports. She and her husband live in the McConnell neighborhood.
Assistant Professor of Education Rudy Jackson (ext. 2704) could not have come to Davidson at a better time! Jackson's in-depth knowledge of multicultural education, alternative instructional formats, and mentoring will help strengthen the department as it prepares to offer a new education concentration starting this fall.
A native of Arlington, Va., Jackson studied psychology from Randolph-Macon College. He did his graduate work at James Madison University and Lehigh University, earning his Ph.D. in school psychology.
Jackson's field of expertise is the academic achievement of ethnic minorities, particularly African-American males. His research attempts to isolate factors in the classroom, home, and community that facilitate or hinder a student's academic performance. Jackson will teach courses in adolescent development, educational psychology, and multicultural education for the education department, and courses in African-American psychology and general psychology for the psychology department.
Jackson was attracted to Davidson by the strong academic community and the close relationships between professors and students. "It's the type of environment you want to come teach in, because it's the best context for learning," he said.
Jackson lives in the University City area of Charlotte, and enjoys playing basketball.
Visiting Assistant Professor Jennifer Keith (ext. 2074) comes to Davidson from UNC-Greensboro to join the English department for a one-year appointment.
Keith received her bachelor's degree from Rollins College, and completed her Ph.D. in 18th century British literature at Emory University. She taught at the University of Lille in France before coming to North Carolina.
Keith enjoys 18th century literature because of its sense of humor, particularly in the writings of Jonathan Swift and Samuel Johnson. Keith is also interested in women writers and satire.
This fall, Keith will teach English 100, a 'W' course entitled "Beauty Myths," and a course in British literature from 1660-1900 entitled "Community, Self and the Double."
Keith said she was attracted to Davidson by its wonderful students and the college's liberal arts ethos.
In her spare time, Keith enjoys painting, walking, and yoga. She lives in Davidson with husband, Peter Janssens, director of the college¹s language resource center.
Visiting Assistant Professor Jeffry Kellogg (ext. 2887), a new member of the psychology department, got his first taste of psychology as an undergraduate at Hampden-Sydney College, where he took introductory and developmental psychology to fulfill curriculum requirements.
Originally from Norfolk, Va., Kellogg went on to earn a master's degree at Cleveland State University. He comes to Davidson from the University of Memphis where he recently completed his doctoral studies in experimental psychology.
His dissertation, entitled "Problem, Size and Difficulty in Multiplication and Division," consisted of two experiments that compared the performance (response time and accuracy) and expectation of difficulty of multiplication and division problems.
Cognitive arithmetic, memory processing, process dissociation, and multinomial processing models are among Kellogg's other research interests. This year he will be teaching general psychology, sensation and perception, and the history of psychology‹a capstone course for psychology majors.
Kellogg was attracted to Davidson by the academic atmosphere and particularly its emphasis on teaching. "I love teaching, and wanted to go to a school where teaching was important," he said.
Kellogg enjoys soccer, hiking, and playing with his three dogs. His wife, Shannon, is a market researcher and recently started her own business. The couple resides in Davidson.
Visiting Assistant Professor Ken Krebs (ext. 2347), who comes to Davidson's physics department this year to fill in for Professor Larry Cain, looks forward to enjoying Davidson's small town lifestyle.
A native of Statham, Ga., Krebs received his undergraduate education at the Georgia Institute of Technology. From there, he went on to the University of Georgia to complete a master's degree in education and a Ph.D. in physics. His research deals with luminescent properties and charge transfer states of rare earth ions in insulating materials.
Eager to spend more time focusing on physics education, Krebs was attracted to Davidson by the college¹s emphasis on teaching. He will be teaching Physics 110, "The Physics Around You," in the fall, and Physics 120, "General Physics," in the spring.
Krebs lives in Davidson with wife, Beth, and their two-year-old son Nicolas. His hobbies include motorcycling, martial arts, reading, and playing pool.
Assistant Professor Leonid Livak (ext. 2279) comes to Davidson from Grinnell College in Iowa, bringing his extensive knowledge of 19th and 20th century Russian literature and culture to strengthen the college's Russian studies program.
A native of Kiev, Livak received a B.A. degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. He has a master's degree in French from Middlebury College, where he received the Frieda Derdeyn Bambas Prize in French Literary Studies.
Livak completed a master's in Russian and a Ph.D. in Slavic languages and literatures at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has also studied at the University of Paris and the Kiev Pedagogical Institute.
His main area of interest is comparative literary and cultural study, particularly 20th century Russian and French literature. He is currently studying Russian immigrant literature in relation to French modernist literature. This fall, Livak will be teaching courses in intermediate Russian, the Russian novel and Russian culture.
He lives in Davidson with his wife, Ann Komaroni, and enjoys travelling and weightlifting.
Barbara Lom (ext. 2338), assistant professor of biology, comes to Davidson from the cold winters of Brunswick, Maine, where she spent last year as a visiting professor at Bowdoin College.
Originally from Wisconsin, Lom majored in neuroscience and biology as an undergraduate at Lawrence University. She received her Ph.D. in neuroscience and physiology from the Institute for Neuroscience at Northwestern University, and went on to complete postdoctoral fellowships in developmental neurobiology at University of California-San Diego and UCLA.
Her dissertation, "The role of laminin-1 in cerebellar development," used two-dimensional surface engineering technology and novel cell culture techniques to investigate how the extracellular matrix protein laminin influences the adhesion and guidance of developing cerebellar granule neurons.
In her research, Lom attempts to achieve a better understanding of how neurons in the brain gets wired up, by investigating how a family of molecules called "growth factors" influence the development of neurons in the visual system.
This fall, Lom will be teaching introductory biology. Currently residing in Davidson, she enjoys cycling, sailing, and reading contemporary fiction in her spare time.
Chris Paradise (ext. 2890) conducts his research in places that don't quite live up to his last name. An assistant professor in the biology department, Paradise is interested in aquatic insects and their environments, particularly how humans affect those environments.
For his research, Paradise studies communities in streams and "treeholes" (stumps or trees that have rotted and filled up with water), to determine how acid rain or pollution has changed the environment and the interactions among the insects.
Originally from the Albany, N.Y., area, Paradise studied at SUNY-Albany as an undergraduate. He went on to do graduate work at Binghamton University (formerly, SUNY- Binghamton), and completed his Ph.D. at Penn State University, where he also held a postdoctoral position for one year.
Paradise comes to Davidson from King's College in Wilkes-Barre, Penn., where he served as an assistant professor for two years. He will be teaching invertebrate zoology in the fall, and a general biology course and a seminar in the spring.
He lives in Davidson with his two dogs, Sadie and Sunny. His hobbies include biking and hiking.
Visiting Assistant Professor Kimberley Richards (ext. 2857) creates her artwork to evoke the feeling of a natural history museum inside an art gallery.
The newest member of the art department, Richards uses mixed media in sculptures and installations to raise questions about environmental issues, genetic engineering, genetic mutations, and hybridization.
She researches fish in creating her artwork, because studies in genetics are often done on fish and because of her own background and experience.
"I grew up fishing and hearing fish stories," she said. "The stories are based on fact, but get bigger and more exaggerated as they are retold." Richard's art takes the information from her research in biology and exaggerates it to show people where genetics research might be headed.
A Michigan native, Richards completed her undergraduate education at Northern Michigan University, going on to the University of Colorado-Boulder for an M.F.A. Before coming to Davidson, she taught at the University of Colorado and the Art Institute of Colorado. This fall, she will be teaching three sections of basic studio art.
Richards lives in Davidson with husband, E.J. Harrigan, and their two dogs.
Visiting Assistant Professor Carlos Manuel Rivera (ext. 2037) comes to Davidson from Arizona to be a little closer to his homeland of Puerto Rico. He brings 20 years of experience in Hispanic and Puerto Rican theater to the Spanish department.
Rivera began his acting career as an adolescent in Puerto Rico, where he also pursued interests in literature and drama. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras. He went on to graduate study with a New York University exchange program in Madrid, Spain, and recently completed his Ph.D. at Arizona State University.
He will teach one course in elementary Spanish this fall, and courses in intermediate Spanish, conversation and composition, and introduction to Hispanic literature and culture in the spring.
Rivera enjoys theatre and writing poetry both as professions and hobbies. He is currently living in Davidson.
Interested in election 2000? Assistant Professor Patrick Sellers (ext. 2078) in the political science department can tell you all about campaigning, particularly how it applies to fields outside of politics!
"There are a lot of lessons you can take from politics to other pursuits," he said. Sellers is looking forward to passing on these lessons to his students at Davidson, so they use the skills they learn in whatever field they choose to follow.
Sellers is a native of Hendersonville, N.C., and a 1986 Davidson graduate. Following graduation he went to work for Jamie Clark, a congressional representative from western North Carolina.
After two years on Capitol Hill, Sellers came back to North Carolina to pursue graduate studies in political science at Duke, where he received a master's and Ph.D. His dissertation deals with campaign strategies in congressional elections. He is also interested in politics and the media, and how politicians influence or "spin" their media coverage.
Sellers is returning to Davidson after another stint in Washington, D.C., working with Senate minority leader Tom Daschle. This fall, he will be teaching courses on the U.S. Congress and American politics, along with a seminar in congressional elections. He will also teach about politics in the media and public opinion during the spring semester.
His wife, Kathryn Firmin-Sellers, is also a political scientist specializing in political economy and African politics. Sellers' hobbies include running, tennis, hiking, and playing hide-and-seek with his two-year-old daughter. The family is expecting a new baby very soon.
Assistant Professor of Economics Fred Smith (ext. 2023) first began thinking about his dissertation during his first year as an undergraduate at Kenyon College - after attending a baseball game!
Smith visited Cleveland in 1988 to see the Cleveland Indians baseball team, and came away deeply impressed by the city's urban decay. After receiving a bachelor's in economics from Kenyon, he went on to the University of Delaware and Vanderbilt University for his graduate education.
His dissertation focuses on Cleveland in addressing the topic of urban decay and how it can be measured. Smith's other research interests include urban economics, economic history, and public finance. He will be teaching courses in introductory economics, intermediate microeconomics, public finance, and urban economy.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisc., Smith grew up in the Chicago area. He comes to Davidson ready to re-immerse himself into the liberal arts environment he enjoyed as a Kenyon undergraduate. His hobbies include sports, photography, reading and music.
Assistant Professor Gregory Snyder (ext. 2260) returns to Davidson in a tenure-track position, bringing knowledge of ancient Christianity and ancient texts to the religion department. Snyder was a visiting assistant professor at Davidson during the 1998-99 school year, and spent the past year at St. Mary's College in California.
Snyder, who grew up Colorado, has long standing interests in both science and religion, and majored in physics at Seattle Pacific University. He earned a master's in this subject at Columbia University, then spent several years working on the Voyager spacecraft project.
Then his interests in religion then took him to Yale University, where he attended divinity school and completing a Ph.D. in Ancient Christianity and the New Testament.
His current academic specialty is the diversity of expressions of early Christianity, especially gnosticism. His work includes a treatment of pagan and Christian art in fourth century AD. He recently published Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World, a book about the educational practices of religious and philosophical groups. This fall, Snyder will be teaching "Introduction to the New Testament," and "Jesus and His Interpreters."
He lives in Davidson with wife Motria Procyk and their two children, and enjoys golf, fly fishing, and carpentry.