CENTRE COLLEGE DIRECTORY
Use the directory below to find information on faculty, staff, and offices on campus.
The main telephone number for Centre College is 859.238.5200. Calls to this number will be routed to the appropriate extension. In an after-hours emergency, call 859.236.4357.
Christopher Paskewich joined Centre’s faculty in 2009. He is an associate professor of government, and was named a Centre Scholar in 2012.
His teaching interests include political philosophy, political ideology, American political thought, and political economy. He has recently done research in ancient Greek political thought and in Catholic political theology. He is currently researching the Federalist papers, as well as recent Marxist reactions to terrorism.
Paskewich received a B.S. in mathematics and philosophy and a M.S. in economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He earned a M.A and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Connecticut.
File last updated: 8/27/15
Phyllis Passariello retired as professor of anthropology at Centre College in 2017, where she had taught since 1988. She has been Matton Professor of Anthropology since 2007.
She started Centre’s anthropology and sociology program. Equally energetic at teaching, research, and field work, she holds membership in Phi Beta Kappa and was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow during her graduate work at the University of California-Berkeley.
A veteran of extensive field experience with the Maya and other peoples of Mexico, as well as several other areas of Latin America including Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, and Belize, Passariello has developed a strong interest in the anthropology of tourism. She has studied tourism as the basis for sustainable development for indigenous cultures, as well as related topics, including the impact of tourism on native people, the re-creation of ethnicity as a marketing strategy, and the religious pilgrimage as a factor in regional tourism. Currently, she is interested in the anthropology of development and indigenous development issues. She lead a trip to Ecuador in CentreTerm of 2005 to focus on these issues.
Passariello seeks to involve students in field work and advanced research. Since 1990, Passariello has developed and led study-trips all over the world, beginning with the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. By 1997, with colleagues Professor Brownlee and others, Passariello helped to develop Centre’s Mexico and Ecuador semester-abroad residential programs. Passariello led a year-long program in London for Centre, as well as a semester-abroad program in Quito, Ecuador, and the Amazon rainforest. She also has traveled and led field-study trips with students to several locations in The Old World including most of Western and Central Europe, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, and, most recently, several sites in Polynesia and Melanesia.
The quality of Passariello’s teaching is reflected in the fact that Centre students have won top awards for student research from the Central States Anthropological Society where they have presented formal papers consistently for the last 10 years, building Centre’s reputation for excellence in undergraduate anthropology.
Passariello earned a B.A. with high honors from Barnard College at Columbia University. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to joining the Centre faculty, she taught at several branches of the University of Maine and at Bowdoin College, and worked in museums in Maine, Connecticut, and California.
To read about the blog that Passariello’s class created while studying abroad in Mexico, click here.
File last updated: 5/2/13
Ecotourism and cross-cultural tourism issues — Cross-cultural gender issues — Sustainable development — Cultural survival
Extensive research on tourism as the basis for sustainable development for indigenous cultures. Related topics: impact of tourism on native people, the recreation of ethnicity as a marketing strategy, and the religious pilgrimage as a factor in tourism. Field work on these topics with the Maya people of Mexico and the Otavalo group in Ecuador. Has investigated Marian pilgrimage sites throughout the world. Strong advocate of research and field work for undergraduate students. Leader of overseas study programs in Ecuador.
Kerry Paumi, an assistant professor of chemistry, was named a Centre Scholar in 2015. In 2018, she began serving as associate professor. She took on the role of chief health care advisor in 2018.
Before coming to the College in 2009, Paumi taught at Stevenson University and the University of Kentucky (UK) and was a visiting scientist in the Graduate Center of Toxicology at UK’s School of Medicine. Her work has been published in Organometallics, the Journal of the American Chemical Society and Nature.
Paumi earned a B.S. in chemistry at Gettysburg College, and a Ph.D. at Wake Forest University. She continued her post doctoral training at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in the biochemistry department and at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the pharmacology department.
File last updated: 07/05/18
A Danville High School graduate, Kenny joined Centre College in 1988. Prior to working at Centre, Kenny worked for Burke’s Bakery for 14 years. He is a trained Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and has received training from the Public Safety Academy.
Stacey Peebles came to Centre in 2011. She is associate professor of English and director of the Film Studies program, and was named a Centre Scholar in 2014. She holds a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin.
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.
Her research areas include the representation of war and violence, film adaptation, Westerns, and the contemporary American author Cormac McCarthy. Her book, Welcome to the Suck: Narrating the American Soldier’s Experience in Iraq (Cornell UP, 2011), addresses stories about this recent conflict in literature, film, and new media, and she is editor of the collection Violence in Literature (Salem P, 2014). She is finishing a book tentatively titled Cormac McCarthy: Page / Stage / Screen (University of Texas Press) that explores the author’s work in theater, screenplays, and film adaptations by others.
Peebles is editor of The Cormac McCarthy Journal (Penn State UP) and is currently co-editing a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies called “Enduring Operations: The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq” (Johns Hopkins UP).
Her most recent essay publications address the use of digital vérité in Iraq War films in The Philosophy of War Films, (2014) and Larry Heinemann’s seminal Vietnam novel Paco’s Story in The Vietnam War: Topics in Contemporary North American Literature, (2015). She recently completed an essay on justice in Western films for The Cambridge Companion to Literature of the American West.
At Centre, Peebles teaches courses in film and American literature, as well as Humanities I and II.
To read about Dr. Peebles’ book on the Iraq war, click here.
To read about Centre’s production of Cormac McCarthy’s The Sunset Limited, click here.
To read about Dr. Peebles’ course covering sound in film, click here.
To read about publishing internships with The Cormac McCarthy Journal, click here.
To read a 20 Questions profile of Dr. Peebles, click here.
File last updated: 6/22/15
John Perry is an Associate Professor of Economics and Economics Program Chair. He joined the Centre faculty in 2007, and has served as the economics and finance chair.
Perry is an applied microeconomist with an active research agenda whose primary areas of expertise are labor and health economics. His most recent papers investigate the labor market impacts of non-physician practitioners receiving greater practice authority, the impact of medical malpractice reform on health labor markets, sports economics, and economics education. In the past, he’s written and published on topics ranging from expanded legalized gambling to college admissions. In 2012 Perry won the National Association of Business Economists’ Abramson Award for his work on medical liability’s impact on the physician labor market.
Perry regularly teaches core courses in economics including principles of economics, intermediate microeconomics, and econometrics. He has taught a wide array of field courses including labor economics, public policy economics, and risk management and insurance, as well as signature courses in health economics and personal finance.
Before coming to Centre, Perry was staff economist for the Legislative Research Commission of the Kentucky General Assembly where he performed non-partisan research and policy analysis for policy makers and staff. Perry was the General Assembly’s economist with duties over labor, health, and gaming issues.
Perry graduated from Centre in 2000 with a degree in economics. He worked as an actuary with Milliman USA, returning to full-time studies at the University of Kentucky where he earned an M.S. (2003) and Ph.D. (2007) in economics
To read about Perry’s monthly finance column in Lexington’s Herald-Leader, click here.
File last updated: 10/17/13
Marie Petkus joined Centre’s faculty in 2008 as assistant professor of economics and was named a Centre Scholar in 2011. She was appointed Ewing T. Boles Associate Professor of Economics in 2016.
Before coming to Centre, Petkus was a lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Department of Economics and Business School. Her primary research interests are industrial organization and environmental economics. For her dissertation, Petkus measured the price response of Illinois landfill owners to changes in competition arising from a new environmental regulation.
She graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in economics. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in economics as well, from the University of Chicago.
File last updated: 5/2/13
Matthew Pierce joined the Centre College faculty in 2011. Before coming to Centre, he spent extensive time in the Middle East and Central Asia, including living in Egypt, Yemen, and Iran. He was named a Centre Scholar in 2016.
Pierce specializes in medieval Islamic history and thought. His current research focuses on classical Arabic and Persian biographies, analyzing the production of cultural symbols related to gender, authority, and identity. His 2016 book, Twelve Infallible Men: The Imams and the Making of Shi’ism (Harvard), won international recognition when selected for the Iran’s Book of the Year Award. He is presently writing a biography of the eighth century scholar, Ja’far al-Sadiq (under contract with Oneworld Publications). Pierce has also contributed to The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought (2012) as well as an edited volume on Women, Leadership, and Mosques: Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority (Brill, 2012). His work has also appeared in the Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies.
In addition to his regularly-taught course, “Western Religious Traditions,” Pierce teaches a variety of upper-level courses on topics related to Islamic Studies. He serves on the gender studies program and frequently teaches courses abroad during winter terms. In the spring of 2017 he served as co-director of the Centre-in-London program.
Pierce holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Boston University’s Division of Religious and Theological Studies. Prior to that, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Bryan College and received a Fulbright Fellowship (2002-2003) to research Qur’anic religious education in Sana’a, Yemen. From 2003 to 2006, he participated in an inter-faith dialogue program while studying in Qom, Iran.
To read about his course on “Islam in America,” click here.
To read about his course on “Rock, Rap, and Religion,” click here.
File last updated: 8/30/17
Plummer joined the Centre faculty in 1996. She teaches Practicum & Introduction to Education, The Autism Puzzle, The Superhero: A Moral Model, and Voices of Diversity in the Classroom. She has also served as chair of the education program. Plummer retired in 2018.
She was the longtime faculty advisor for the LIFT program (“Learning Is Fun Together”), in which Centre’s education majors prepared and facilitated an evening enrichment program for local fourth- and fifth-grade students. She has also served as the teacher educator for the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program committees of numerous first-year teacher interns in Boyle County and Danville, Kentucky elementary/middle schools. Her invited book chapter, “Line Graphing Skills and Attitudes of College Biology Nonmajors” was published in the international book, Fostering Scientific Habits of Mind: Pedagogical Knowledge and Best Practices in Science Education. Her work with a local elementary teacher and Centre student teacher, “Linking Science and Literacy” on the integration of science with children’s literature was published in Science Activities.
Plummer holds a B.S. in biology from Texas Wesleyan University, an M.A. in biology and a life teaching certificate for biology, physical, and life/earth science from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a Ph.D. in science education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
File last updated: 09/13/18
EXPERT: Science education
Extensive experience teaching science at the junior high, high school and college level. Teaches introductory classes on education, autism, and diversity. Served as faculty sponsor for the L.I.F.T. program (“Learning Is Fun Together”), in which Centre’s education majors taught an evening enrichment program for designated fourth- and fifth-grade students. Publications in Science and Children, Science Activities, and Reading Horizons.
Prayat Poudel joined the Centre College faculty as assistant professor of mathematics in 2017.
Poudel’s research interests include gauge theory and low-dimensional topology.
Poudel earned a B.A. in physics and mathematics from Hanover College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Miami.
File last updated: 6/21/17
Stephen Powell is professor of art at Centre College. He has taught at Centre since 1983. He was named 1999 and 2000 Kentucky Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Counsel for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He has held Stodghill Professorship since its inception in 2004. In 2004, he was awarded the Acorn Award for outstanding professor at a Kentucky college or university.
Beyond the campus, Powell is an internationally known artist whose elaborately colored glass vessels are held in permanent collections throughout the world. He has been featured on CBS-TV’s Sunday Morning and Kentucky Educational Television and in print media including American Style, Glass, Ceramics Monthly, and Kentucky Monthly, which named him one of Kentucky’s top 20 artists of the 20th century. Powell was one of eight Americans chosen for Venezia Aperto Vetro 1998, a prestigious glass exhibition in Venice. He demonstrates his technique around the country, including at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In contrast to his delicate, almost unworldly art, Powell is a hard-working, down-to-earth teacher. He puts in long hours in intense small-group instruction to insure that students master the technical aspects of hot glass. Powell also teaches the business aspects of art and gives his students hands-on opportunities to learn about kilns, ovens, and other equipment essential to ceramicists and glass artists. He secured extensive donations that made it possible for Centre students to build a 30-foot anagama kiln that is hand-fired two or three times each year for instructional purposes. Powell also secured donations and then supervised student construction of a state-of-the-art hot glass studio in Centre’s new visual arts center (opened in 1998).
The quality of Powell’s teaching was evident when a 1997 exhibition featuring Kentucky glass artists was dominated by artists who have graduated from Centre during his tenure here.
During sabbatical leaves from Centre, Powell has been a guest teacher and artist in the Soviet Union, Australia, and New Zealand.
Powell holds a B.A. in painting and ceramics from Centre, and an M.F.A. from Louisiana State University.
To read about Powell’s receiving The Artist Award by the Governor’s Awards in the Arts, the commonwealth’s highest honor in the arts, click here. To view a video about his artwork that connects mathematics with blown glass ornaments, click here.
File last updated: 8/6/13
Glassblowing and ceramics — Apprenticeships for artists — Kiln construction
Internationally known artist whose elaborately colored three-foot glass vessels are held in permanent collections throughout the world. One of eight Americans chosen for 1999 show in Venice. Appearances on CBS TV’s Sunday Morning and Kentucky Educational Television. 1999 Kentucky Professor of the Year (CASE-Carnegie). Vigorous advocate of art apprenticeships to give aspiring artists a firm grounding in the techniques of art as well as marketing and sales. Successful at securing corporate donations for a new student-built hot glass studio (opened in 1997) as well as a 30-foot outdoor anagama kiln.
Mandy Prather began her position at the Norton Center in June 2011. Her career in arts administration started in marketing at the Tony-award winning LORT Theatre, Arena Stage, in Washington, DC, and continued in the office of Corporate & Foundation Relations at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. While in Washington she held the position of Director of Corporate Giving at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, where she was responsible for raising over $1.2 million annually. Originally from South Carolina, she holds a B.A. in English from Clemson University. Mandy has served as a volunteer with Somerset’s Master Musicians Festival, as a grant reviewer for the Kentucky Arts Council, and on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road Council and Lake Cumberland Performing Arts. In 2012 she was selected as a participant in the Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Emerging Leaders Institute.