Newly appointed faculty bring wealth of knowledge to campus

Seven new tenure-track faculty members were appointed at Gettysburg College for the 2013-14 academic year.

With outstanding academic backgrounds and a diversity of experiences, Gettysburg College has hired faculty members that bring unique perspectives to their academic areas. With an array of research interests and specialties, ranging from bird conservation to how college students determine a major, these professors are sure to further engage students and add depth to their departments.

Read more about the new tenure-track faculty appointments’ educational backgrounds, their current research, and why they are excited to be teaching at Gettysburg College.

BatzaCatherine Batza

Assistant professor of women, gender, and sexuality studies
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, history (concentrations in gender and women's studies and work, race, gender, and the urban world)
B.A. and M.A., Johns Hopkins University, history

Batza previously taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is working on a book that examines gay community health activism in the period before AIDS. Her research focuses on the history of sexuality in the U.S. in the 20th century and how it intersects with politics and social movements.

“I am thrilled to be part of the Gettysburg community because of the opportunity to work closely with bright students, many of whom have global experiences that they can bring into the classroom. I get to be a part of a faculty that are engaged and vibrant in their teaching as well as their research. The town also serves as a great space for community building, allows for easy access to outdoor activities, and has close proximity to many major cities. As a trained historian, being surrounded by so much history and appreciation of historical events is a real treat,” said Batza.

CisnerosNatalie Cisneros

Assistant professor of philosophy
Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, philosophy
B.A., Seattle University, philosophy with minors in Spanish and women and gender studies

Cisneros was an assistant professor of philosophy at Allegheny College for one year before coming to Gettysburg. Her research is at the intersection of Feminist and Critical Race Theory, Contemporary Continental Philosophy, and Latin American Philosophy. Her book project draws from these areas to suggest a new approach to political and ethical questions surrounding immigration. She is also working on a project on prisons and imprisonment that examines philosophical and political implications of mass incarceration in the U.S.

“I love Gettysburg's commitment to promoting engaged citizenship informed by critical thinking and self-reflection. I share this commitment, and I'm thrilled to be in a liberal arts environment where teaching and learning transcend disciplinary boundaries to engage our larger communities and world,” said Cisneros. 

DoddRyan Dodd

Assistant professor of economics (promoted to a tenure-track position)
Ph.D. candidate, University of Missouri-Kansas City, economics
M.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City, economics
B.A., The Evergreen State College, political economy and philosophy

Dodd’s teaching interests are in the areas of the history of economic thought, political economy, and macroeconomics. His current research interests are in the areas of income distribution theory and contemporary income inequality.

“I am excited to be continuing on at Gettysburg College after being a visiting instructor for the past two years. I very much enjoy being in a department and at an institution that values critical inquiry and multiple perspectives,” said Dodd.

JohnsonRyan Johnson

Assistant professor of physics
Ph.D., Dartmouth College, physics
B.S., University of New Mexico, astronomy and astrophysics

Johnson spent the past three years as a visiting professor in the physics department at Denison University. His research revolves around the study of galaxy clusters, and he is specifically interested in how often galaxy clusters merge and whether this merger rate has varied significantly with time. He also studies the dynamics of the galaxies within the clusters, with an eye towards comparing two-dimensional projections of cluster mergers with actual images of clusters in the process of merging.

“I'm excited about meeting the students and spending time at the Gettysburg College Observatory,” said Johnson.

MastrianStacey Mastrian

Assistant professor of voice in the Sunderman Conservatory of Music (promoted to a tenure-track position)
D.M.A., University of Maryland, voice performance
M.M., University of Maryland, opera performance
B.M., The Catholic University of America, vocal performance

Mastrian is a soprano who performs a diverse repertoire from the late Renaissance to the present. She has performed in operas and concerts around the world – from Teatro La Fenice in Venice to major venues in New York. She has taught at American University, Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, and privately. Her dissertation focused on progressive Italian composers of the twentieth century, and she is a frequent lecturer and recitalist on this and related topics. Mastrian is also a staunch proponent of vocal health.

“I am a firm believer in lifelong learning, and am deeply committed to ongoing self-education, and to sharing knowledge as both a teacher and a performer, to ensure that the next generation may continue such work into the future,” said Mastrian.

RuffChloe Ruff

Assistant professor of education
Ph. D. candidate, Virginia Tech, Educational Psychology
M.A., Mary Baldwin College, teaching
B.A., University of Georgia, English

Ruff spent her entire career in some form of education. She worked as a librarian, taught environmental education as a field trip coordinator, taught English as a middle school special education teacher, and helped support faculty developing and teaching in the Pathways to Success First Year Experience program at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on student motivation in terms of how college students develop an interest in and identification with the field of their college major and how faculty support (and can better support) students’ emerging interest and identification.

“Having spent much of my time in college and grad school at very large universities, I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the community of Gettysburg College and to be researching and teaching in a liberal arts college,” said Ruff.

WilsonAndrew M. Wilson

Assistant professor of environmental studies (promoted to a tenure-track position)
Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, ecology
B.Sc., Sheffield Hallam University, applied statistics

Wilson worked as a research assistant in health economics at York University in the United Kingdom, and fused his career with a lifelong interest in birds and conservation when he worked at the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). He was heavily involved in the Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas project during six years of fieldwork and was lead editor on the Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Pennsylvania.

“I will maintain a research program focused on large-scale bird conservation issues, but as the environmental studies department’s ‘wildlife ecologist’ I’m looking forward to broadening my horizons to animals without feathers! I’m excited to have the opportunity to build a research program that complements my classes and provides plenty of opportunities for undergraduate research,” said Wilson.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Nikki Rhoads, senior assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Thu, 29 Aug 2013

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