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: 03/02/19
EXPERT: Peptide-Based Inhibitors and Metal Chelators for Disease Treatment
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 most recent book, Cormac McCarthy and Performance: Page, Stage, Screen (U of Texas P, 2017) explores the author’s work in theater, screenplays, and film adaptations by others. She is also the author of Welcome to the Suck: Narrating the American Soldier’s Experience in Iraq (Cornell UP, 2011), which 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).
Peebles has been editor of the Cormac McCarthy Journal (Penn State UP) since 2010 and is co-editor of the forthcoming Approaches to Teaching the Works of Cormac McCarthy (MLA P). In 2017, she co-edited a special issue of Modern Fiction Studies called “Enduring Operations: The Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq” (Johns Hopkins UP).
Recent essay publications address the use of digital vérité in Iraq War films in The Philosophy of War Films, justice in Western films for The Cambridge Companion to Literature of the American West, and contemporary war memoirs in The Many Faces of War. She is working on superhero films as war stories and a book-length study of post-2012 contemporary war literature.
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 an interview with Dr. Peebles about “The Five Best Cormac McCarthy Books” with the website Five Books, click here.
File last updated: 9/25/19
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, and received the Kirk Award for excellence in teaching in 2019.
Petkus regularly teaches principles of economics, econometrics, and industrial organization. She has also taught intermediate microeconomics, game theory, international trade, mathematical economics, environmental economics, and developed courses for study abroad programs. In 2014 she directed Centre’s study abroad program in Merida, Mexico and has since co-directed two CentreTerm programs to Cuba (2017, 2019). In addition, Petkus has taught on the Kentucky Institute for International Studies programs to Yucatan, Mexico (2018), and Buenos Aires, Argentina (2018).
Her primary research interests are economic education and experimental economics, with publications in the Journal of Economic Education. Her current research examines the impact of socioeconomic differences on social preferences. For her dissertation, Petkus measured the price response of Illinois landfill owners to changes in competition arising from a new environmental regulation.
Before coming to Centre, Petkus was a lecturer at the University of Chicago’s Department of Economics. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in economics and mathematical statistics. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago.
File last updated: 11/18/19
Matthew Pierce joined the Centre College faculty in 2011, and was awarded tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2019. 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: 7/15/19
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