St. Lawrence Appoints New Faculty for 2019-20 | St. Lawrence University

St. Lawrence Appoints New Faculty for 2019-20

St. Lawrence University appointed 11 new tenure-track faculty, who will begin teaching in the Fall 2019 semester. The new teaching faculty bring with them areas of expertise that include biology, chemistry, theater design, environmental studies, data science and statistics, Canadian studies, global studies, sociology, government and economics. Three visiting assistant professors and two visiting instructors also were appointed.

Joe Wilkins was appointed this year’s Viebranz Visiting Professor of Creative Writing and comes from Linfield College in Oregon. He is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, and three poetry collections, including When We Were Birds, winner of the 2017 Oregon Book Award in Poetry. His debut novel is titled Fall Back Down When I Die. He will teach creative writing courses and a course on the literature of contemporary rural America.

Classes begin at St. Lawrence University on Wednesday, Aug. 28.

Newly Appointed Tenure-Track Faculty

Jennifer Baker comes to St. Lawrence as an assistant professor of design for the Department of Performance and Communication Arts. She earned her MFA in Theatrical Design and Scenography from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2007 and was a visiting assistant professor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Her research focus involves professional work in theater, opera and film, incorporating visual arts elements and techniques. She will be teaching introductory courses in aspects of theatre ranging from theatrical design to stage makeup design.

Neil Forkey has been a member of the Department of Canadian Studies since 1998. He offers courses in Canadian history and on Quebec and Canadian-American relations. A specialist in North American environmental history, he is the author of two books and eight articles in the field. His most recent book, Canadians and the Natural Environment to the Twenty-First Century (University of Toronto Press, 2012) was recognized by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title. He is currently working on a history of environmental activism in the St. Lawrence River watershed from the 1950s to 2000s. He is the current department chair and serves on Faculty Council.

Sandhya Ganapathy joins St. Lawrence as an assistant professor in the Department of Global Studies. She is a cultural anthropologist by training and was previously a member of the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Her research and teaching interests examine reproductive justice, human-environmental relationships and the ways that bodily and terrestrial landscapes are shaped by settler colonial pasts and presents. Ganapathy's scholarship has been supported by grants from the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Institute for Research in the Humanities (UW Madison), and the Mellon Wide Angle Learning Grant in Health Humanities, and she has published her work in top-tiered journals, including American Anthropologist and Social Analysis.

Matt Higham earned his Ph.D. in statistics from Oregon State University in 2019 and will join the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics as an assistant professor in statistics. Higham enjoys research problems in the field of ecological statistics and will teach courses in statistics at St. Lawrence.

Aaron Iverson comes to St. Lawrence University as an assistant professor in environmental studies, after working as a postdoctoral associate at Cornell University. Iverson earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan in 2015. His research focus is in agroecology, where he is interested in how agricultural systems can be managed for biodiversity conservation and human livelihood. He will teach Sustainable Agriculture, Ecology of Agroecosystems and Intro to Environmental Studies.

Mert Kartal earned his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014 and served as an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for five years. Earlier this year, he was a guest researcher at the University of Gothenburg’s Quality of Government Institute. Kartal’s research focuses on international organizations and good governance. As assistant professor of government at St. Lawrence, Kartal will teach a number of courses on international relations as well as a research seminar on political corruption.

Sookyoung Lee joins St. Lawrence as an assistant professor of English from a postdoctoral fellowship at Connecticut College followed by a lectureship at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea. Lee earned her Ph.D. in English from University of California, Berkeley, in 2015. She works on British and Anglophone literatures throughout the 20th century. She teach survey and methods courses as well as a seminar on global modernism at St. Lawrence.

Erica Morrell comes to St. Lawrence as an assistant professor of sociology from postdoctoral and visiting positions at Middlebury College in Vermont. Morrell earned her Ph.D. in public policy and sociology from the University of Michigan in 2016. Her research focuses on environmental justice, activism, and knowledge production. She will primarily teach environmental sociology courses in the Department of Sociology and will support the sociology-environmental studies major.

Amanda Oldacre comes to St. Lawrence as an assistant professor of chemistry, after her postdoctoral research at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Oldacre earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from SUNY Buffalo in 2018. Her research focuses on using supramolecular structures at catalysts for small molecule activation and to degrade organic pollutants. She will teach general and environmental chemistry.

Alice Tarun joins St. Lawrence as an assistant professor of biology after faculty positions at SUNY Alfred State College of Technology and the University of Pittsburgh. Tarun earned her Ph.D. in comparative biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focus is on the analysis of soil and plant root microbial community (microbiome) and development of bacterial biosensors. She will teach a two-semester course in general biology and a major- level course in genomics.”

Shuwei (Jolly) Zhang comes to St. Lawrence as an assistant professor of economics. Zhang earned her Ph.D. in economics from Auburn University in 2019. Her research focus is fiscal and monetary policy and time series. She will teach money and banking as well as co-teaching the Fed Challenge course.

Visiting Faculty and Scholars

Mark Anders comes from George Mason University, where he was an associate professor. Previously, he was a professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point a professor at Columbia University for 26 years. He is a geologist who works on faulting and earthquake mechanics and holds a 1989 Ph.D. in geology from the University of California, Berkeley. He will serve as visiting assistant professor of geology at St. Lawrence.

Sarah Beck is coming to St. Lawrence as a visiting instructor in the Department of Performance and Communication Arts. Beck will earn her Ph.D. in communication with an emphasis in rhetoric and culture from University of Colorado Boulder in late summer of 2019. Her research focuses on worldmaking within queer communities. She will be teaching several introductory courses as well as a seminar focusing on queer everyday life this fall.

Dorcas Dennis will begin as assistant professor in religious studies from a research stint at Florida International University. Dennis earned her Ph.D. degree in religious studies from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, in 2017. Her research area is African and African diaspora religions. She focuses on the trans-continental flows African/African diaspora religions are involved in, their historic and contemporary expressions, and their roles in identity creation and performance in communities in Africa and her diasporic extensions in North America and the Caribbean Islands. 

Lucia Pawlowski hails from Minnesota, where she earned her Ph.D. in rhetoric and composition from the University of Minnesota in 2012. After serving as assistant professor of English at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, she begins this fall as the director of the Munn Center for Rhetoric and Communication, known on campus as the WORD Studio, where students can seek support in writing, reading, research, oral communication and visual design.

Jacqueline Pinkowitz comes to St. Lawrence as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Film and Representation Studies, having recently completed her doctorate in media studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research centers on cultural and industrial histories of popular media in relation to identity and difference, focusing especially on race, region and gender. She will teach several introductory film studies courses as well as a course on blackness in American film and television.

Niu (Christine) Qingqing joins St. Lawrence as a Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant Chinese instructor from Henan University of Economics and Law in Zhengzhou, China. She earned her master’s degree in English literature and linguistics from Henan University in 2014. Her research focus is English linguistics, and she will teach several advanced courses on Chinese.

Rebecca Terry joins St. Lawrence as an instructor in the Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics. Terry earned here master’s degree in 2016 and is completing her Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Utah. Her research interests are in applied mathematics, particularly in the areas of mathematical biology and the mathematics of planet earth. She will teach a variety of mathematics courses, including calculus, this fall.