Meet the new faculty
Get to know the 21 full-time, tenure-track faculty members who arrived on campus this year.
Jessica Barnack-Tavlaris (psychology) earned her PhD in experimental health and social psychology from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and her MPH in epidemiology from San Diego State University. She recently completed a three-year postdoctoral fellowship at the UCSD/SDSU Comprehensive Cancer Center Partnership where she was trained to conduct community-based participatory research focused on reducing cancer disparities in underserved populations. Throughout this fellowship, she had the opportunity to work with a Latina Community Health Organization on developing an educational curriculum about human papillomavirus and the HPV vaccine. She also collaborated on a photovoice project with the Samoan and Somali communities in San Diego that examined barriers to physical activity. Her research interests include reproductive and sexual health promotion, cancer prevention, coping with stigmatized illnesses, and using community-based approaches to reduce health disparities. She has published in a variety of peer-reviewed psychology and multidisciplinary journals.
Andrew Bechtel (civil engineering) is a structural engineer who is interested in sustaining existing infrastructure through improved analysis methods, strengthening, and repair. During his master’s work at the University of Delaware, he designed, constructed, and tested a 1/5 scale steel bridge to determine how a bridge works as a complete system. He obtained his PhD at the Georgia Institute of Technology where he focused on strengthening of reinforced concrete deep beams with fiber reinforced polymers. He hopes his research will be used to extend the safe useful life of existing structures. His work has been presented at national conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Jean Brechman (marketing) is a 2005 graduate of TCNJ with majors in management and communication studies. She received her PhD in communications from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on narrative processing of communications and how this relates to information processing, knowledge acquisition, and persuasion. Prior to joining the School of Business as a full-time faculty member, Brechman taught as an adjunct with the school and was a research director at Gallup & Robinson, an affiliate of the Gallup Organization specializing in advertising research.
Jill A. Bush (health and exercise science) earned a PhD in kinesiology with an emphasis in muscle physiology from The Pennsylvania State University and a BS in exercise and sport science from Rutgers University. She comes to TCNJ after four years at Towson University and seven years at The University of Houston. She completed her post-doctoral studies in pediatric nutrition at The Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Her research interests include nutrient, protein, and hormonal regulation of muscle growth and degradation under conditions of varying exercise protocols and changes in physical activity in youth. A secondary research interest is strength and conditioning changes of young adults with autism involved in exercise programming. She has served a principal investigator and co-principal investigator on numerous federal and foundation grants and was immediate past vice-president of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She is an associate editor of Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and on the editorial board for Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
William Carter (history) earned his PhD from Princeton University with a dissertation on the Iriquois and British consumer goods from 1550 to 1800. He currently is working on a book project related to his dissertation. Carter most recently held a four-year post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University’s Humanities Center. He is no stranger to TCNJ, having taught here as an adjunct instructor while working on his dissertation.
Wendy L. Clement (biology) is an evolutionary biologist and plant systematist whose research examines the evolutionary history of plant biodiversity. She received her PhD in plant biology from the University of Minnesota and comes to TCNJ from Yale University where she was a post-doctoral associate and lecturer in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. Since her first field studies in Hawaii as an undergraduate at Ithaca College, she has continued to study plants in Colombia, Ecuador, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, and Vietnam. Her work integrates molecular phylogenetics, morphology, biogeography, and pollination ecology to describe the evolution and present-day distribution of plants such as figs. In addition to a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals, her most recent publication in BMC Evolutionary Biology examines the utility of DNA barcoding in woody plants. Clement also is a fellow of the National Science Foundation (NSF)-sponsored Faculty Institutes for Reforming Science Teaching (FIRST-IV) in which she works with a network of post-doctoral scholars to design and teach inquiry-based, student-centered biology courses.
Gary H. Dickinson (biology) is an organismal biologist who specializes in marine invertebrate physiology. He earned his PhD at Duke University and held two postdoctoral appointments, the first at the National University of Singapore’s Tropical Marine Science Institute and the second at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Dental Medicine. Dickinson employs an integrative and highly interdisciplinary approach to study biological adhesion, shell growth, and larval behavior in marine invertebrates. He is especially interested in assessing how environmental stressors, such as ocean acidification and global warming, will affect these biological processes. Dickinson has published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals, has co-authored book chapters, and presents regularly at national and international meetings.
Kathryn T. Elliott (biology) earned her PhD in microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan supported by a Howard Hughes Medical Institute pre-doctoral fellowship. Subsequently, she received a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation to study large genetic rearrangements at the University of Georgia. Her studies focus on rearrangements that lead to increases in the number of copies of a gene. She uses a soil bacterium as a model system to study these rearrangements which occur in all organisms and contribute to antibiotic resistance and the development of many cancers. During her postdoctoral training, she incorporated her research into the classroom in courses at the University of Georgia and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. Elliott was also on the faculty of the Citizen Science Program at Bard College. She has published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international meetings.
Amze Emmons (art and art history) is an artist, illustrator, and curator who received an MA and MFA from the University of Iowa with a focus in printmaking, digital media, and photography. He was recently awarded the 2011 Arts Writers Grant from the Warhol Foundation/Creative Capital’s Arts Writers Program for his blog, Printeresting, which highlights the ways in which print serves art and design and influences popular culture. It engages artists and art enthusiasts while highlighting innovative print work and spreading awareness of developments and happenings in the field. Emmons focuses his artwork on the impact of events on the community, such as flood wreckage, bombed buildings, and refugee migrations. He creates awareness not of tragic events, but rather of the visual elements hidden in plain view. Emmons’ art suggests how interconnected we are to these events that we often overlook. He takes an interdisciplinary approach with his art, and uses his work as a catalyst for further community discussion and engagement.
Lynn Gazley (sociology and anthropology) received her MPH and PhD from Northwestern University. Her research focuses on the participation of diverse scientific actors in the contemporary life sciences, with concentrations in race/ethnicity, gender, and globalization. More broadly, she examines the ways structural inequalities in the distribution of scientific work shape the production and availability of biomedical knowledge. She is a research collaborator with the National Longitudinal Study of Young Life Scientists and has several articles forthcoming in peer-reviewed journals.
Matthew Hall (special education, language, and literacy) is a doctoral candidate in teaching and learning at New York University. He completed his bachelor’s degree in education of the deaf and hard of hearing and his master’s degree at TCNJ. Hall has worked as an elementary school teacher, a reading and literacy coach, and a staff developer in education. He has taught as an adjunct faculty member at Manhattanville College, and he has served as a research consultant for the EXCEL Academy at NYU. His research has examined a variety of issues pertaining to literacy and coaching literacy.
Edward Kim (computer science and interactive multimedia) will earn his PhD from Lehigh University in computer graphics and computer vision. He obtained both his MSE in computer graphics and game technology and BSE in computer science with a minor in fine arts from the University of Pennsylvania. He has held positions at the National Library of Medicine, Wharton Business School, and Moberg Research, a small medical research company outside Philadelphia. His research is in the area of scalable and parallel semantic multimedia analysis and retrieval. Specifically, he focuses on high performance (GPU) computing, medical image analysis, data collection through crowdsourcing, and high-level knowledge representations. He has published in a variety of peer-reviewed conference proceedings, journals, and book chapters.
Tuan Nguyen (physics) received his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. After completing a postdoctoral appointment at Los Alamos National Laboratory working on precision atomic physics experiments, Nguyen entered the field of neuroscience. He recently finished postdoctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh where he studied neural microcircuits. His research focuses on the physics of networks, specifically those formed by neurons. His work relies on interdisciplinary techniques such as laser photostimulation, fluorescence microscopy, and neural modeling to investigate network properties and dynamics of large neuronal populations grown in vitro.
Anne J. Peel (special education, language, and literacy) completed a bachelor’s degree in English literature at Vassar College, a master’s degree in secondary education at the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate in literacy at Rutgers University. For the past eight years, Peel has been an English teacher at Burlington Township High School. She has also worked as an adjunct professor at Burlington County College and as a curriculum designer at the Benjamin Franklin High School in Philadelphia. Her research interests include adolescent students’ in-school and out-of-school writing engagement, educational appropriations of computer-mediated communication, and the assessment of multimodal literacy practices.
Nina Peel (biology) earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow (UK) and her masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Cambridge (UK). Following her PhD work, Peel moved to Bethesda where she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. While at NIH, she taught several courses including one focused on the biology of stem cells, and she also worked with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth Program. Her research focuses on questions about developmental biology and genetics of cell division in several model organisms, including microscopic worms, which has relevance for understanding human cancer.
Stuart Roe (counselor education) completed a bachelor’s degree in biology with a Pennsylvania instructional certificate at Lycoming College and a master’s degree in secondary school counseling and a doctorate in counselor education from The Pennsylvania State University. Roe has extensive experience as a school counselor, and he also has worked as a mentor for exchange students, a family literacy technician, and an AmeriCorps conflict resolution specialist. His research has examined social support for lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents.
Bethany Sewell (library) earned her MLS from Indiana University as well as undergraduate degrees in philosophy and visual arts from the University of Northern Colorado. Prior to coming to TCNJ as the access services/reference librarian, she served as the access services librarian at the University of Denver. Her research agenda is focused on best practices for user-centered access services, and she has presented and published on topics such as interlibrary loan, document delivery, and serving distance education students. Active at the national level in the library profession, she has been both a participant and a mentor in the American Library Association’s Emerging Leaders Program.
Miriam Shakow (sociology and anthropology/history) earned her PhD in sociocultural anthropology from Harvard University. Her research focuses on racial formation, class formation, development, party politics, and social movements in the Andes region of South America, and she is currently working on a book about political dilemmas of the new middle classes in Bolivia for the University of Pennsylvania Press. Shakow previously taught anthropology at Vanderbilt University.
Greg Thielker (art and art history) received an MFA in painting from Washington University in St. Louis. In 2010, he was awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research award, allowing him to live and work in Delhi, India. He is focusing on the Grand Trunk Road, one of India’s ancient highways that recently underwent major renovations. Thielker traveled the road to create drawings and collect information from locals to get a sense of what this road used to be, how it has progressed, what people remember about its past, and how will it continue to affect the people near to it. This is common in his work, as he continuously finds ways to incorporate community and portray different perspectives. In 2010, he created a project at the Arthuna temple site, a protected Hindu temple dating from 1000 AD. Thielker interviewed visitors to the temple and asked them to create a drawing of text and imagery that showed how they traveled to the temple to worship. The drawings were displayed, allowing visitors to view the different paths, thus perceiving the complex and varied ways that people experienced their journey to the temple site.
Nicholas Toloudis (political science) earned his PhD at Columbia University. Prior to coming to TCNJ, he held visiting positions at Bowdoin College, Mount Holyoke College, and Rutgers University. He teaches courses in European politics, comparative politics, international relations, political economy, and social movements. His book, Teaching Marianne and Uncle Sam, is about the origins of public school teachers’ unions in France and the United States and was just published by Temple University Press. His current research is about European governments’ responses to the current financial crisis.
Kathleen Webber (English), who holds a BA from Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, IN, and an MA in journalism from New York University, has spent 20 years as a copywriter, magazine writer, and editor in New York and Philadelphia for such publications as W, Self, and Philadelphia Style, which she helped launch in 1999. Her bylines have appeared in publications like Women’s Health, Martha Stewart Living, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her work focuses on design of all kinds and lifestyle topics and includes a coffee table book about home and design. Prior to joining the faculty at TCNJ, she taught as an adjunct at Temple University. At TCNJ she teaches Magazine Writing and Writing for Interactive Multimedia and serves as an adviser for TCNJ’s branch of the online magazine Hercampus.com.
Posted on November 26, 2012