Foreign Languages and Literatures Academic News

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences will welcome 26 new tenure-track and tenured professors in the fall of 2017.

Joining the college as assistant professors are Aaron Brantly, Political Science; Cara Daggett, Political Science; Matthew Fullen, School of Education; Edward Gitre, History; Katherine Haenschen, Communication; Benjamin Katz, Human Development; Karin Kitchens, Political Science; Ashley Landers, Human Development; Evan Lavender-Smith, English; Christopher Lindgren, English; Gonzalo Montero, Foreign Languages and Literatures; Shaily Patel, Religion and Culture; Ashley Reichelmann, Sociology; Patrick Ridge, Foreign Languages and Literatures; Micah Roos, Sociology; Donna Sedgwick, Sociology; Eonyou Shin, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Lee Vinsel, Science and Technology in Society; and Chelsea Woods, Communication.

Hired as tenured faculty at the rank of associate professor are Shannon Bell, Sociology; Su Fang Ng, Cutchins Chair in the Department of English; and Bonnie Zare, Sociology.

Joining the college at the rank of professor are Kenneth Hodges, English; Sylvester Johnson, Religion and Culture (as well as director of the Center for the Humanities and assistant vice provost for humanities); Carmen Giménez Smith, English; and Paul Steger, director of the School of Performing Arts.

The following College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences students accepted the invitation to become members of Phi Beta Kappa this semester: Caroline Amodeo, Music and Spanish; Karina Bakhshi-Azar, Political Science and Public Relations; Caroline Buscaglia, Political Science; Kelly Cooper, History; Kirsten Corbman, Literature and Language and Creative Writing; Jessica Craig, Professional and Technical Writing and Literature and Language; Samantha DiBiaso, Public Relations and Religion and Culture; Amelia Dirks, Creative Writing and Literature and Language; Kelsi Faley, Literature and Language and Creative Writing; Casey Foley, Political Science; Madeleine Gallo, Literature and Language and Creative Writing; Kayleigh Green, Professional and Technical Writing, Creative Writing, and Literature and Language; Kirsten Jersild, Literature and Language and Creative Writing; Benjamin Kodres-O’Brien, Philosophy; Katherine Leal, Political Science; James Lineberry, Political Science; Jessica Lull, Literature and Language; Timothy Maloney, Spanish and Finance; Robert Morrison, Political Science; Jenna Mortweet, International Studies; Skyler Mueller, Literature and Language; Rachel Palermo, International Studies and Spanish; William Patton, Political Science and Economics; Jared Rogers, History; Mollison Ryan, Creative Writing and Professional and Technical Writing; Jessica Savage, History; Andrew Snell, Political Science; Katelyn Toms, Classical Studies; Paul Wasel, Professional and Technical Writing and Literature and Language; Hannah Winston, Spanish and Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise; Bonnie Woodward, Criminology and Sociology; and John Wright, Philosophy. The initiation took place on May 11.

The College awarded Diversity Departmental Grants to the following projects during the 2016–2017 academic year: María del Carmen Caña Jiménez, an assistant professor of Spanish, and Vinodh Venkatesh, an associate professor of Spanish, in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, for arts and foreign languages session for Explore VT; Tom Ewing, History and Associate Dean, for session on Virginians and VPI in World War I for Explore VT; Dennis Halpin, an assistant professor, and Paul Quigley, the James I. Robertson, Jr. Associate Professor of Civil War Studies in the Department of History, for Legacies of Reconstruction; Bertranna Muruthi, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science, for psychoeducational therapy for Latino families; and Daniel Wodak, an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, for the Diversity Speaker Series in the Department of Philosophy.


College faculty who received Global Partnership Sustainability Awards during the 2016–2017 academic year were: Toni Calasanti, a professor in the Department of Sociology, for research on aging in the United States and Finland; and Aarnes Gudmestad, an associate professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures/Spanish, for “Crosslinguistic Influence and Grammatical Gender Marking in Second-Language Spanish.” Calasanti partnered with colleagues at the University of Tampere, and Gudmestad with a colleague at the University of Paul-Valéry in Montpellier, France.

Stefanie Hofer, an assistant professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures/German, published “Out of the Box: Television, Documentary Fiction, and the Art of Healing,” American Imago 74.1 (Spring 2017): 41–73, in the special issue titled “Psychoanalysis and Cultural Criticism.”

The following faculty and staff members in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences were winners of 2017 University Faculty/Staff Awards. Additional details regarding these award winners can be found here.

Mark Barrow, the chair of the Department of History, received the Diggs Teaching Scholars Award. He has enhanced the curriculum by developing and teaching eight new courses in his own department as well as other academic units and has collaborated with colleagues to create online modules for U.S. history classes. He has fostered undergraduate research through co-creating of a senior research seminar around the construction of a class book and through mentoring individual students as they pursue research projects.

Glenn Bugh, an associate professor of history, garnered the William E. Wine Award for his teaching excellence. He was recognized for his encouragement and mentoring of students on the Blacksburg campus as well as his role in the development of Virginia Tech’s Center for European Studies and Architecture, now the Steger Center for International Scholarship, in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland, where he taught on numerous occasions. His hands-on approach is also reflected in the part he played in creating the American Research Center in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Allison Craft, Administrative Assistant to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs in the Office of the Dean, was the recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence. She was recognized for her efforts in creating a transition from the Curriculum for Liberal Education to the Pathways curriculum, which has necessitated the revision of almost 200 courses. She also manages the revision of departmental checksheets for major and minors, working with each academic unit to assure accuracy and completeness.

Edward Gitre, an assistant professor of History, received the XCaliber Award, which recognizes integration of technology in teaching and learning, for his development of HIST 3544 World War II: A Global History. He provides hands-on instruction in the use of digital history, which allows each student to contribute to The American Solider, a digital history project dealing with handwritten survey responses of World War II soldiers. Through the course students increase their understanding of the war, engage in humanity-based research, and contribute to meaningful public work.

Robert Jacks, the coordinator of Advising in the Department of English, was the recipient of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Advising. Having joined the department in 2015 and been appointed to his current position in 2016, Jacks already implemented initiatives such as advising procedure videos for faculty, online office hours for students, and peer mentoring to connect transfer students with upperclassmen. He serves as the co-instructor of the First-Year Experience course and leads the summer orientation sessions for the department.

Kathleen Jones, History, was recognized with the Alumni Award for Excellence in Graduate Academic Advising. She has been an active member of the Department of History Graduate Committee and served on committees of numerous students completing the master’s degree with the thesis and non-thesis option. She was instrumental in implementing reforms to the graduate program and introducing workshops to prepare students for post-graduation opportunities such as pursuit of a doctoral degree or a career in teaching.

Christine Labuski, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology/Women’s and Gender Studies, received the Diggs Teaching Scholars Award. She has developed two gender studies courses at the undergraduate level and one at the graduate level. Her experiences as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner served as the basis for a set of guidelines she created to assist teachers in promoting inclusivity in the classroom. Her interaction with students in the classroom is supplemented by her role as Associate Faculty Principal of West Ambler Johnston Residential College.

Nyusya Milman-Miller, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures/Russian, was the recipient of the Alumni Award for Excellence in International Education. She worked to develop the Russian minor into a curriculum for majors and for many years organized and led a study abroad program in Moscow. The last four years she has directed Project Global Officer, a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Defense to support critical language training to Reserve Officer Training Corps students and to enhance language offerings in Arabic, Chinese, and Russian.

Janell Watson, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures/French, garnered the Alumni Award for Excellence in Research. Her scholarly focus is contemporary French theory and often features the ideas of intellectuals from a variety of traditions, such as gender theorist Judith Butler, philosopher Felix Guattari, and psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Her transdisciplinary books and articles span the humanities and the social sciences. A member of the editorial board of Deleuze Studies, she currently serves as editor of the minnesota review.

The following students were awarded scholarships from the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences in support of study abroad participation. For Summer 2017 Session I: Patricia Blackmon, Human Development, Spain; William Chenault, Spanish and Economics, Spain; Rachel Dougherty, Spanish and Psychology, Spain; Abigail Dunn, Multimedia Journalism, Switzerland; Alison Inderrieden, Human Development, Spain; Kate Karau, History and Political Science, France; Gabrielle Lozama, Public Relations, Spain; Eric Luu, Multimedia Journalism, Switzerland; Aubrey Medina, International Studies, Oman; Caroline Ritchey, National Security and Foreign Affairs and History, France; Megan Sharifi, International Studies and Spanish, Spain; and Emily Webb, Multimedia Journalism, Switzerland.

For Summer Session II: Garrett Whitlock, History, China. For Fall 2017: Jessica King, Communication Studies and International Studies, Germany; Tara Lackey, Human Development and Psychology, Switzerland; Ira Long, Political Science, Switzerland; Molly Maurin, Human Development and Psychology, Switzerland; Danielle Ratliff, Theatre Arts, Switzerland; Meagan Stacy, Political Science and Philosophy, Japan; Madison Sweezy, Literature and Language and Professional and Technical Writing, Switzerland; and Lauren Wong, Human Development, Switzerland.

Two College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences faculty members were honored with a 2017 Sturm Award. Stefanie Hofer, an assistant professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures/German, received this year’s Sturm Research Award for her creative research on post-traumatic recovery, namely a collection of three articles: “Lockout: Spacing Trauma and Recovery in the Aftermath of the Virginia Tech Shootings,” American Imago 72.3 (2015): 231-83; “Memoirs and Healing: Howard Reich’s The First and Final Nightmare of Sonia Reich Read through the Lens of a Trauma Victim,” Women in German Yearbook, 31 (2015): 99-121; and “Out of the Box: Television, Documentary Fiction, and the Art of Healing,” American Imago 74.1 (2017): 41-73.

Jason Crafton, an assitant professor in the School of Performing Arts/Music, was the recipient of the Sturm Creative Arts Award for his recording, Another Reason to Celebrate: The Music of Don Pullen, which celebrates the contributions to American jazz by an artist from Southwest Virginia; the recording also features the Virginia Tech Jazz Ensemble. The winners were recognized at the Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony on May 11.

The unveiling of Volume IX of Philologia, the undergraduate research venue of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, took place April 25 in the Multipurpose Room in Newman Library. The print version of the magazine includes creative scholarship as well as articles written by Philologia editorial staff that discuss research by undergraduates in the College; the research articles themselves are found in full in the online journal.

This year’s staff consisted of: editor-in-chief Emily Walters, Literature and Language and Professional and Technical Writing; managing editor Rachel Moore, Literature and Language and Creative Writing; associate managing editor Lindsey Flowers, Public Relations; associate editors: Carson Bartlett, Political Science, Multimedia Journalism, and Psychology; Rachel Beisser, Literature and Language; Taylor Bennett, Multimedia Journalism; Samantha Drew, Professional and Technical Writing, Literature and Language, and Political Science; Becky Felter, Public Relations; Kara Heuple, Fashion Design and Merchandising; layout editor Ryan Waltz, Multimedia Journalism and Spanish; and chief layout editor Elizabeth Howe, a master’s student in English.

Volume IX consists of the following articles and creative scholarship: “Hail to the Thief” by Paul Veracka, Literature and Language, article by Becky Felter; “Summer in San Francisco,” a poem by Alison Miller, Creative Writing, Professional and Technical Writing, and Literature and Language; “Stitches: The Relationship between Women and Short Legal Fabrication” by Alec Masella, Literature and Language, article by Rachel Beisser; “Arthurian Influence on Lord of the Rings” by Daniel Nozick, Professional and Technical Writing, article by Samantha Drew; “The God Committee: Likeness and Dichotomy” by Courtney Judd, Sociology and Psychology; “The Star of the Psalms: Geometric Structure of Psalm 136” by Rachel Sutphin, Religion and Culture, article by Rachel Moore; “Fueling the New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration and Racial Bias” and “An Independent Kurdistan: A Benefit to U.S. Foreign Policy” by Carson Bartlett, articles by Taylor Bennett and Grayson Lewis respectively; “Language, Violence, and Nonviolence” by Elizabeth Howe, article by Rachel Moore; “‘A Socialist Theory of Privacy in the Internet Age” by Scott Confer, Political Science and Economics, article by Kara Heuple; “An Exercise in Futility,” a poem by Michael Cisneros, Creative Writing; “The Digital Age,” a poem by Alison Miller; “Gender and Its Perception of Certainty with Clause-Initial Falsetto” by Emily Walters, article by Lindsey Flowers; and “Refusing to be Silenced and Demanding Respect: A Case Study about Black Female Sexuality in Popular Culture Focusing on Beyoncé Knowles” by Human Development major Lea Trageser, who graduated in 2016, article by Carson Bartlett.

Walters acknowledged the faculty leadership of Monica Kimbrell, Assistant Dean; Joseph Pitt, Philosophy; Robert Stephens, History; Debra Stoudt, Foreign Languages and Literatures/ German and Associate Dean; and Daniel Thorp, History and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs.

Also providing assistance throughout the year were the Faculty Review Board members: Patricia Fisher, Apparel, Housing, and Resource Management; Kee Jeong Kim, Human Development; Nancy Metz, English; Luke Plotica, Political Science; Emily Satterwhite, Religion and Culture; and Debra Stoudt.

Rachel Moore will assume the role of editor-in-chief for the 2017–2018 academic year.