The Centre College Board of Trustees met on campus April 14-15, 2016, for its annual spring meeting, during which faculty tenure and promotions were approved.
The following faculty members were awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor:
Dr. James Bloom
James Bloom joined Centre’s faculty in 2011 as assistant professor of art history. He was named a Centre Scholar in 2015 and has been awarded fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Belgian-American Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the board of governors for the Speed Art Museum in Louisville. At Centre, Bloom teaches courses on art history and visual culture, from economic histories of the arts to the history of portraiture to intersections of art, science and technology. He has led study abroad programs in Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria. His research addresses the historical advent of easel painting as a tool for domestic decoration, and he is currently completing a book—The Social Image: Essays on the Genealogy of Easel Painting in Early Modern Europe—on this subject. He is also co-authoring an essay on the contemporary market for mass-produced paintings. Bloom received a B.A. in art history and English literature from Dartmouth College, and he earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in art history at Duke University.
Dr. Robert Bosco
Robert Bosco joined Centre’s faculty in 2010 as assistant professor of international studies and was named a Centre Scholar in 2014. Before arriving at Centre, he was a 2009-10 research fellow in religion and international affairs at Harvard University’s JFK School of Government. Bosco’s areas of expertise include international relations theory, religion and international politics, and international law. At Centre, he teaches courses in international relations, religion and international politics, international law, international political economy and European politics. His research focuses on the relationship between religion and the state. He explored these themes in his 2014 book, Securing the Sacred: Religion, National Security, and the Western State (University of Michigan Press). Bosco has also published articles about the study of religion in international relations, critical theory and religion, and Buddhism and politics. He is currently a research associate for the Center for Critical Research on Religion. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, his M.A. in international politics from the School of International Service at American University and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Connecticut.
Dr. Jennifer Goetz
Jennifer Goetz joined Centre’s faculty in 2011 as assistant professor of psychology and was awarded a Stodghill Research Award in 2014. Her teaching and research interests include emotion, altruism and cooperation, and cultural psychology. At Centre, she teaches upper-level psychology courses, including Cultural Psychology, Motivation and Emotion, and Psychology of Race and Ethnicity, and also mentors students doing independent research. Her research has appeared in such publications as Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Science, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Goetz has also published chapters on cultural influences on mixed emotions and self-conscious emotions, and she wrote the introductory chapter of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook on Compassion Science. She previously studied human-robot interaction to examine how humans anthropomorphize robots. Goetz received a B.S. in information and decision systems from Carnegie Mellon University and earned a Ph.D. in social and personality psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa.
Dr. Lee Jefferson
Lee Jefferson joined Centre’s faculty in religion in 2008 and was named a Centre Scholar in 2014. He won Centre’s Kirk Award for excellence in teaching in 2011 and was named a Shohet Scholar by the International Catacomb Society in 2013. His academic interests include the development of the Christian tradition and imagery from Late Antiquity. At Centre, Jefferson led a CentreTerm course to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage in Spain. His latest project concerns the development of the image of Judas, and he has a grant with Professor of Religion Tom McCollough to explore material evidence in the caves of Khirbet Qana in Israel. Jefferson earned his B.A. at Sewanee—University of the South and his M.Div. at Southern Methodist University. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in religion from Vanderbilt University. He has published two books: Christ the Miracle Worker in Early Christian Art (Fortress Press, 2014) and The Art of Empire: Christian Art in Its Imperial Context (Fortress Press, 2015), co-edited with Dr. Robin Jensen.
Dr. Benjamin Knoll
Benjamin Knoll joined Centre’s faculty in 2010 as assistant professor of government (now politics) and was named a Centre Scholar in 2013. Knoll’s area of expertise is American politics with a specialization in public opinion and voting behavior—specifically race and politics, religion and politics, and political psychology. His research has been published in The Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Social Science Research, Research and Politics, Social Science Quarterly, American Politics Research, PS: Politics Science and Politics, Psychological Reports, and International Migration Review. Knoll was a regional finalist for the 2014 Kentucky Secretary of State Outstanding Civic Education Leadership Award. He also serves as the director of the “Boyle County Exit Poll” and “Colonel’s Canvass Survey,” which count as experiential learning projects for students in his courses. Knoll graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in political science from Utah State University, and he earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Iowa.
Dr. Stacey Peebles
Stacey Peebles joined Centre’s faculty in 2011 as assistant professor of English and director of the film studies program. She was named a Centre Scholar in 2014. Before coming to Centre, she was the assistant director of Lloyd International Honors College at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and also worked as a professor and administrator in the honors college of the University of Houston. Peebles’ research areas include the representation of war and violence, film adaptation, Westerns and the contemporary American author Cormac McCarthy. She is the author of Welcome to the Suck: Narrating the American Soldier’s Experience in Iraq (Cornell University Press, 2011) and the forthcoming Cormac McCarthy: Page | Stage | Screen (University of Texas Press, 2017). She also edited the collection Violence in Literature (Salem Press, 2014) and is the editor of The Cormac McCarthy Journal (Penn State University Press). She is currently working on guest-editing a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies devoted to contemporary war and another collection titled Approaches to Teaching the Works of Cormac McCarthy. At Centre, she teaches courses in film and American literature as well as Humanities I and II. Peebles holds a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.
The following faculty members were awarded promotion to full professor:
Dr. W. David Hall
W. David Hall joined Centre’s faculty in religion and philosophy in 2002 and, in 2005, received the Kirk Award for excellence in teaching. He was named a Centre Scholar in 2007 and held the NEH endowed professorship from 2010-13. Prior to coming to Centre, he taught as visiting assistant professor of religious studies at DePaul University in Chicago. Hall’s primary research interest is 19th- and 20th-century European thought. He is co-editor of and contributor to a volume of essays titled Paul Ricoeur and Contemporary Moral Thought (Routledge, 2002) and the author of Paul Ricoeur and the Poetic Imperative: The Creative Tension Between Love and Justice (SUNY, 2007). His approach is broadly interdisciplinary, addressing currents within philosophy, literary theory and the social sciences, as well as their impact on contemporary theology and ethics. His current interests concern questions of political agency within the context of modern notions of state sovereignty. Hall received a B.A. in rhetoric from California State University in Sacramento, as well as an M.Div. and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
Dr. Lori Hartmann-Mahmud
Lori Hartmann-Mahmud joined Centre’s faculty in government (now politics) in 1999, where her scholarly interests have focused on African politics, women and development in West Africa, and the political economy of development. She was awarded the “Rookie of the Year” teaching award in 2000 and a Kirk Award for excellence in teaching in 2003. Since 2009, she has held the Frank B. and Virginia B. Hower endowed chair in international studies. In 2006-07 and 2012, Hartmann-Mahmud was the director of the College’s program in Strasbourg, France. She has also led numerous CentreTerm trips to Cameroon. In 2015-16, she spent the year in Ethiopia as a Fulbright Fellow at Wollo University, where she both taught and conducted a comparative study of Nigerian and Ethiopian literature, with the aim of understanding how that literature reflects a sense of nationalism or national identity. Upon her return in the fall of 2016, she will begin a three-year term as faculty president. Hartmann-Mahmud holds a B.A. from Denison University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Denver. She was an Ambassadorial Graduate Rotary Scholar at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, West Africa, and a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, West Africa.
Lisa Williams is Paul L. Cantrell Associate Professor of English and director of the creative writing program at Centre College, where she has taught since 2001. Williams has published three books of poems: Gazelle in the House (New Issues Poetry and Prose, 2014), Woman Reading to the Sea (2008) and The Hammered Dulcimer (1998). Since 2015, she has served as series editor for The University Press of Kentucky New Poetry and Prose Series. Williams has been a recipient of the Rome Prize, the Barnard Women Poets Prize, the May Swenson Poetry Award and an Al Smith Individual Artist Grant from the Kentucky Arts Council. Her poems have been featured in anthologies and magazines, including Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Orion, The New Republic, Best American Poetry 2009 and on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily. Her essay-reviews of contemporary poets have appeared on The Rumpus.com, on Poetry Daily, in The Cincinnati Review, Orion and The Hollins Critic. Williams received a B.A. from Belmont University, an M.A. from the University of Cincinnati and an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Virginia.
The following faculty members were awarded promotion to associate professor:
Dr. David Toth
David Toth joined Centre’s faculty as assistant professor of computer science in 2014. Prior to joining Centre’s faculty, he taught at the University of Mary Washington (2012–14) and Merrimack College (2008–12), where he won the Edward G. Roddy Outstanding Teacher Award in 2010. 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. Toth is currently working on several research projects and has published his findings in a number of journals, including Grid Computing, Computational Science Education, Concurrency and Computation Practice and Experience, and Computational Biology and Chemistry. Toth received a B.A. in mathematics from Connecticut College and an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. In between his undergraduate and graduate education, he worked as a software developer for companies including Sun Microsystems and Motorola.
Dr. Jessica Wooten
Jessica Wooten joined Centre’s faculty as assistant professor of biology in 2014. Her research interests include molecular evolution, phylogeography and population genetics of vertebrates. At Centre, she teaches courses on genetics, vertebrate physiology and the natural history of vertebrates. She also regularly advises students pursuing pre-veterinary medicine and is a member of the steering and planning committee for the College’s Center for Teaching and Learning. Wooten is currently collaborating on a number of scientific studies and her research findings have been published in such scientific journals as Amphibia-Reptilia, the Canadian Journal of Zoology and the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, among others. Wooten received a B.S. and M.S. in biological science from Marshall University and a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama.
by Centre College News
April 27, 2016