14 new full-time faculty members join Centre for 2014-15 academic year
At the foundation of Centre College’s rigorous and deeply engaging educational experience is its outstanding faculty, and the College is proud to welcome 14 new full-time faculty members from across all three academic divisions. Joining Centre are professors of Spanish, English, economics, computer science, chemistry, behavioral neuroscience, psychology, mathematics, biology and physics.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean Stephanie Fabritius commends the wide variety of skills and perspectives the new faculty brings to the College.
“Once again we have an exciting group of new faculty who will not only add breadth and depth within their specific disciplines but also bring interdisciplinary experience to the College,” she says. “They represent a wide range of academic backgrounds and life experiences. I look forward to seeing them make their mark on Centre College.”
Division I: Humanities
Iulia Sprinceana, Assistant Professor of Spanish
Sprinceana received a B.A. in economics and Spanish from Middlebury College and a Ph.D. in romance languages and literatures at the University of California-Berkeley. Her teaching and research interests include Spanish language and culture, 20th and 21st century peninsular Spanish theater and literature, and performance theory.
William Weber, Visiting Assistant Professor of English
Weber received a B.A. in English from The University of the South, and an M.A. and M.Phil. in English from Yale University, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate. His teaching interests include humanities and early modern English drama, and his research examines early modern interpretive practices, specifically the interpretation of Ovidian allusions in Shakespeare.
Division II: Social Studies
Charles Hokayem, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics
Hokayem earned a B.S. in economics and mathematics from Centre College, an M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Kentucky. His research focuses on the causes and impact of poverty, and he has worked for the U.S. Census Bureau in the Poverty Statistics Branch.
Patten Mahler, Assistant Professor of Economics
Mahler received a B.S. in physics from Davidson College, an M.A. in economics from Duke University and a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Virginia. Her fields of interest include economics of education, labor economics and public economics.
Justin Roush, Visiting Instructor of Economics
Roush earned a B.A. in economics and a B.S. in mathematics from Centre College. He earned a master’s degree in economics at the University of Tennessee, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate. His research interests include environmental economics, economics of education and public finance.
Division III: Science and Mathematics
Michael Bradshaw, Associate Professor of Computer Science
Bradshaw earned a B.A. in computer science and mathematics from Centre, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research interests include Cyber Knight, an educational video game that guides students with no background in computational thought to college-level competency. Most recently, he served as an associate professor of computer science at Hanover College.
Emma Downs, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Downs received a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on the development of new transition metal catalysts for the improvement of industrial processes.
Jessica Groves-Chapman, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neuroscience
Groves-Chapmam earned a B.S. in psychology from Wesleyan College, as well as an M.S. in kinesiology and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Georgia. Her dissertation work involved investigating the neuroprotective and neuromodulatory effects of exercise and physical activity in brain regions associated with learning and stress behaviors, like addiction.
Matthew Kassner, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology
Kassner earned a B.A. in psychology at the University of Tennessee, and earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in social psychology at Purdue University. He studies personality and individual differences as predictors of responsiveness to social influence and is particularly interested in what motivates people to engage in reciprocity (returning kindness with kindness) and revenge.
Elizabeth Kelly, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Kelly received a B.S. in mathematics from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Washington. Her research interests include Schubert polynomials, Costas arrays, permutation statistics and cyclic compositions.
Kelly O’Quin, Assistant Professor of Biology
O’Quin received a B.S. in biology from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. in behavior, ecology, evolution and systematics from the University of Maryland. He studies microevolutionary changes in eye development, structure and function, primarily in fishes. He uses genetic crosses and genome sequencing to identify mutations responsible for positive or negative changes in eye development, especially as they relates to retinal and photoreceptor differentiation. Most recently, O’Quin served as a visiting assistant professor of biology at St. Bonaventure University.
Bruce E. Rodenborn, Assistant Professor of Physics
Rodenborn received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Missouri, as well as a B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Texas at Austin. He studies fluid dynamics and nonlinear dynamics using experiments and numerical simulations. Rodenborn was involved in social work for 15 years and most recently served as a lecturer and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas at Austin.
David Toth, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
Toth received a B.A. in mathematics from Connecticut College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His research interests include performance comparisons of computer hardware for parallel computing, parallel computing education and applications of parallel computing and supercomputing to science, including drug discovery. Most recently, Toth served as an associate professor of computer science at the University of Mary Washington.
Jessica Wooten, Assistant Professor of Biology
Wooten received a B.S. and M.S. in biological science from Marshall University and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama. Her research interests include conservation, molecular evolution and the life history and ecology of vertebrates. Most recently, Wooten served as an associate professor of biology at the University of Findlay.
by Caitlan Cole