IWU Adds 24 to Faculty for 2006-07 Academic Year
August 29, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Twenty-four new faculty members have been added for the 2006-07
academic year at Illinois Wesleyan University.
The eight new tenure-track faculty members are Patrick Budelier, instructor of music;
Robert Erlewine, assistant professor of religion; Sven Miller, assistant professor
of theatre arts; Natalie Smoak, assistant professor of psychology; Kevin Sullivan,
assistant professor of religion; Marcia Thomas, associate professor in The Ames Library;
and Brian Walter, assistant professor of biology.
William Brandon, who has served in a visiting role since 2003 has been added as a
tenure-track faculty appointment as assistant professor of physics.
The new visiting faculty members are:
Juan Gabriel Gomez Albarello, visiting assistant professor of political science; Bernadette
Brennan, visiting instructor of theatre arts; Laurine Brown, visiting associate professor
of environmental studies and health; Robert Brown, visiting assistant professor of
religion; Renee Countryman, visiting assistant professor of psychology; Aswini Dash,
visiting assistant professor of chemistry; David Gauthier, visiting assistant professor
of political science; Kathleen House, visiting assistant professor of chemistry; Jean
MacDonald, visiting associate professor in The Ames Library; Andrew Pavelich, visiting
assistant professor of philosophy; Brandi Reissenweber, visiting assistant professor
of English; Sarah Riehl, visiting assistant professor of business administration;
Denise Riggio, visiting assistant professor of business administration; Meg Rincker,
visiting instructor in political science; Xiaofei Tu, visiting instructor of religion;
and Eric Wilson, visiting assistant professor of mathematics.
As previously announced, Ron Rose has joined the IWU faculty as associate professor
of physical education and head men’s basketball coach and Emily Enemark was named
assistant athletic trainer.
For the 2006-07 academic year, Illinois Wesleyan employs 189 full-time faculty members,
up from 188 in 2005-06.
William Brandon—B.A. and Ph.D., University of Tennessee
Brandon came to IWU from Middle Tennessee State University, where he taught inthe
department of physics and astronomy. He has much practical research experience in
atomic physics and in the physics of aeronautical engineering, having worked as an
experimental physicist at Oak Ridge National laboratory and as a physicist/engineer
for Sverdrup Technology at Arnold Air Force Base (Tenn.). Among other things, he has
used lasers to study the properties of negatively charged ions, and has participated
in a number of studies of the aeronautical properties and propulsion systems of high-speed
aircraft. His theoretical physics interests include formulating a hypothesis on the
origin of mass and gravity.
Patrick Budelier—B.Mus., St. Ambrose University, M.M., Indiana University, Ph.D. (forthcoming)
Budelier has taught courses in music theory, aural and keyboard
skills, counterpoint, and analysis at St. Ambrose University, where he also taught
music appreciation and computer programming in the University’s ACCEL division. His
primary research interest is holistic analysis of post-tonal music, particularly that
of Elliott Carter, whose recent works are the subjects of Budelier’s forthcoming dissertation.
His additional research interests include transformational theory, musical form and
proportion, Schenkerian approaches to pre- and post-tonal music, interrelationships
among theory, analysis, performance, and audition, and the teaching of music theory
and aural skills, including computer-assisted instruction. Budelier is also a pianist
with an undergraduate degree in piano performance and further studies with Michel
Block at Indiana University. Budelier is active as a piano performer, teacher, and
adjudicator, and has recently expanded his interests to include organ performance
and liturgical music.
Robert Erlewine—B.A., St. Mary’s College of Maryland; M.A. Boston College (Philosophy);
Ph.D., Rice University (Religious Studies)
Erlewine began his graduate career at Boston College where he studied philosophy,
focusing on the history of philosophy and contemporary German and French thought.
At Rice, he was enrolled in the Religious Studies program, where he primarily studied
philosophy of religion and its intersection with modern Jewish thought. He also has
training in the historical-critical study of the Hebrew Bible and the history of Judaism
and its holy texts. His primary research concerns the tension between the structural
worldview more or less shared by the Abrahamic monotheisms (Judaism, Christianity,
and Islam) and the modern principles of pluralism and tolerance. Erlewine has published
and presented on issues ranging from the Holocaust to the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Sven Miller—University of Freiburg, M.F.A. Carnegie Mellon University
At Illinois Wesleyan, Miller’s first directing project will be Nickel and Dimed, based
on Barbara Ehrenreich's book. At Carnegie Mellon, Miller taught Improvisation, acting
for non-majors, physical theatre, Shakespeare and directing, and was on the School
of Drama's pre-college faculty in 2005. Miller Sven has worked extensively as an actor
in theatre, television, film and radio in New York City and his native Germany. His
professional directing credits include his acclaimed currently-running production
of Edward Albee's The Goat or Who is Sylvia? at the German National Theatre in Weimar
as well as the Young Playwright's Festival at Pittsburgh's City Theatre in October
2005. Miller will return to the German National Theatre in 2007 to direct the German
classic Judith by Friedrich Hebbel, and My God Rides a Skateboard, a community based
devised work, co-sponsored by the German Cultural Foundation. Miller has a state acting
degree from the Performance Arts Zentrum in Munich and is a graduate of the American
Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard.
Natalie Smoak—B.A., Ball State University; M.A. and Ph.D., Purdue University
Smoak is a social psychologist whose primary areas of research include intergroup
bias, implicit attitudes, the impact of romantic relationships on health behaviors,
and gender stereotypes. While at Purdue, Smoak’s research focused on emotion-based
intergroup bias. In particular, in her dissertation, she examined how lessening the
implicit associations between negative emotions and outgroup members would influence
nonverbal behaviors within an intergroup interaction. Additionally, she has examined
the role of relationship commitment in contraceptive behaviors and the malleability
of implicit gender stereotypes. At the University of Connecticut as a post-doctoral
research associate, she examined the role of implicit associations between condoms,
sexuality, and positivity as related to HIV risk behaviors. In addition, she also
meta-analytically examined the effectiveness of HIV interventions delivered through
mass media, the effectiveness of HIV interventions in developing countries and the
role of condom distribution on sexual frequency. Her newest line of research involves
using virtual reality technology to study health behaviors.
Kevin Sullivan—B.A. and M.A., University of Michigan; M. A., University of Notre Dame;
Diploma, Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies; D.Phil. University of Oxford
Sullivan, who specializes in the development of early Christianity, was a visiting
assistant professor in the IWU religion department from 2002-04 before taking a job
at Marquette University As an undergraduate, Sullivan double-concentrated in economics
and Biblical studies and did his doctoral research at the University of Oxford as
a member of Queen's College. His dissertation, "Wrestling with Angels: A Study of
the Relationship between Angels and Humans in Ancient Jewish Literature and the New
Testament" was published by Brill Academic Publishers in 2004. Last spring, he was
one of two recipients of the Catholic Biblical Association's Fellowship Award. He
used that to support his research into his current book entitled, "Spreading the Word:
The First Christian Missionaries," which examines the challenges in travel and communication
that the early Christian missionaries faced. He is also currently the chair of the
Society of Biblical Literature's Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism Group.
Marcia Thomas—B.A., Illinois Wesleyan University; M.S. in Library Science, University
Thomas returns to The Ames Library as director of technical services, a position she
held from 1998 to January 2005. Most recently she was library director at University
of Wisconsin – Baraboo/Sauk County. Prior to 1998, Thomas’s professional career was
in the field of public libraries. In addition to contributing to library publications
on a variety of topics, she compiled an annotated bibliography of works by and about
John Wesley Powell (Praeger Press, 2004). She presented her most recent paper on
Powell last summer at the third International Rivers Conference in La Crosse, Wis.
Brian Walter—B.S., Eastern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Walter has had considerable teaching experience at the University of Illinois in integrative
biology as well as molecular and cell biology. He also has experience with the Merit
Program for Emerging Scholars for undergraduate students at Illinois. Walter’s current
research interests are in cell and structural biology and his recent research has
appeared in Gene Expression Patterns and Molecular Vision.
Juan Gabriel Gomez Albarello—Universidad Externado de Colombia, M.A., Washington University,
Albarello is interested in democratic theory, particularly in the role of impartial
reasoning in deliberative settings. His work covers various aspects of this topic
such as the relationship between democracy and human flourishing; the distribution
of economic and political power and its impact on democratic deliberation; the use
of statistical content analysis to study deliberative exchanges; and the use of formal
models to generate hypotheses concerning communication and decision-making under various
conditions. Before studying political science, Albarello was trained as a lawyer,
worked in the human rights field, and did research on constitutional law and judicial
Bernadette Brennan—B.A., Clemson University; M.F.A. Illinois State University
Brennan was IWU’s recruitment coordinator and lighting supervisor during the 2005-2006
academic year and has held a variety of positions as a scene designer and scene artist
in central Illinois and in Pennsylvania. She was the scene designer and a scene artist
at the Upper Darby (Pa.) Summer Stage and visiting assistant professor of scene design
at Western Illinois University. She has also held positions as scene designer and
scene artist at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
Laurine Brown—B.S., University of Illinois; M.P.H. Boston University; Ph.D. Tufts
Brown has taught at IWU as an adjunct faculty member for a number of years. She brings
a wide range of experiences in environmental studies and public health, including
experience in directing programs in Thailand, Cambodia, and Bangladesh. Brown is also
the co-founder of Living Upstream, a not-for-profit citizen group focused on health
and environmental issues.
Robert E. Brown—B.A, Northern Illinois University, M.A., Indiana University, Ph.D.,
University of Iowa
Brown comes to IWU from the College of Wooster, where he was the Pocock Distinguished
Visiting Professor in Religious Studies. His research is currently focused on religion
in early America, with a specific interest in the colonial American intellectual transition
toward modernity. His book, Jonathan Edwards and the Bible (2002), considers Edwards’s
appropriation of critical historical thought in his interpretation of the Bible.
He is currently editing a volume of Cotton Mather’s Biblia Americana, Mather’s massive
and as yet unpublished notebook of biblical commentary. He teaches broadly in the
field of religion, with an eye toward courses such as New Religious Movements, African
American Religion, American Fundamentalism, and Religion in Early America. Brown has
been a member of the Scholars in American Religion seminar at the Center for the Study
of Religion and American Culture, as well as a visiting professor of religion at Princeton.
Renee Countryman–-B.S. and M.S., Western Illinois University; Ph.D., Tulane University;
Postdoc. Res. Assoc., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
While pursuing her master’s degree, Countryman worked primarily within the field of
behavioral psychopharmacology. Her projects examined the behavioral effects of prenatal
exposure to Fluoxetine (Prozac) throughout the lifespan as well as cognitive deficits
associated with use of Oxybutynin (Ditropan) in rodents. During her studies as a
doctoral student at Tulane University, she was trained in molecular and cellular biology
techniques and physiological psychology. Her research examined expression of immediate
early genes and transcription factors following learning and recall across multiple
brain regions. As a postdoctoral researcher, Countryman has extended her knowledge
of learning and memory and expanded her basic research skills in order to conduct
experiments concerning age-related cognitive decline where she has developed a new
task for studying learning and memory in the aged rodent.
Aswini Dash—B.S., Sambalpur University; M.S. Sambalpur University; Ph.D. Indian Institute
Dash’s research concentrates on the area of organometallic catalysis. In recent years,
he has been a research fellow at Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University
of Rennes in France and Israel Institute of Technology. He has 12 years of extensive
research experience using multidisciplinary approaches in fundamental and applied
research and development in organic, inorganic, organometallic catalysis, polymer
chemistry, and surface science catalysis with an excellent record of publication in
international journals. His works involve the (i) designed synthesis of organic ligand
frameworks followed by synthesis and manipulation of air and moisture sensitive organometallic
complexes using Schlenk line and Glove box techniques for catalysis, (ii) synthesis
of man-made plastic materials of control architecture, (iii) development of a wide
variety of reactions involving functionalization of unsaturated hydrocarbons, and
(iv) surface anchored organometallic species on nano-structured metal oxide surfaces
for catalytic organic transformation reactions.
David Gauthier—B.A., University of Texas; M.A. Baylor University; Ph.D. Louisiana
Gauthier comes to IWU from Slippery Rock University, where he was an instructor for
the 2005-2006 academic year. His doctoral work concentrated on contemporary political
theory with a dissertation focused on politics of dwelling in the work of Martin Heidegger
and Emmanuel Levinas. His current research interests include phenomenology, existentialism,
and other areas of modern political philosophy.
Kathleen House—B.S., M.S. Illinois State University; Ph.D., University of Illinois
House has served as a visiting professor at Illinois Wesleyan since 1994. In 2001,
House and her husband, James E. House (emeritus professor of chemistry at Illinois
State University), published the textbook “Descriptive Inorganic Chemistry”, which
provides a thorough text aimed at sophomore or junior level undergraduates and could
be used as a supplement by students taking general chemistry. The text focuses on
the descriptive and introductory aspects of this subdiscipline. House won four teaching
awards during her graduate career and has done six major presentations on her research
at conventions in the U.S. as well as England and Portugal.
Jean MacDonald—B.A., Saint Olaf College; M.A., Washington State University; M.A.,
the University of Iowa (Library and Information Science)
MacDonald has been working at The Ames Library as a visiting associate professor since
January 2006 and has 11 years of experience working in libraries, including eight
years on the main floor reference desk at Illinois State University’s Milner Library.
Her work there included conducting over 200 library instruction sessions in coordination
with campus faculty, making a detailed analysis of hard-copy periodical use, and participating
in the genesis of a database of faculty publications. In Colorado, she coordinated
reference services for libraries in the public libraries within Weld County. Her current
research interest includes exploring historical library responses to advances in book
technology with respect to modern approaches to information innovations.
Andrew Pavelich—B.A., Fort Lewis College; M.A. Tulane University; Ph.D. Tulane University
Pavelich, a visiting assistant professor at IWU from 2001-2003, comes to IWU from
the University of Houston. His areas of specialization are modern philosophy and the
philosophy of religion. His most recent presentation was at the International Association
for Philosophy and Literature in Helsinki, Finland, for a session entitled, “Education
as Politics: Lyotard and the Intersections of Knowledge, Language, Prescription, and
Brandi Reissenweber—B.A., Purdue University, M.F.A., New York University
A fiction writer, Reissenweber’s stories have appeared in journals like Phoebe, North
Dakota Quarterly and Rattapallax. She was a James C. McCreight Fiction Fellow at the
Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and recent awards for her fiction include
grants from Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and a summer residency at the
Kerouac Project of Orlando. Her writings on the craft of fiction have appeared in
Writing Fiction and in a bi-weekly question and answer column on The Writer magazine's
website. She has taught fiction at New York University, University of Wisconsin, and
University of Chicago as well as in a variety of non-classroom settings, including
the Pediatrics ward at New York Hospital as a Starlight Fellow and at Goldwater Hospital,
working with non-moving, non-speaking writers. She also founded a writing program
focusing on creative expression at SafeSpace, a New York City drop-in center for homeless
teens, and developed a library for recent Sudanese refugees in Chicago through the
Chicago Association for the Lost Boys of Sudan. She is an editorial assistant for
Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope: All-Story and she edits Letterpress, a free e-newsletter
for fiction writers.
Sarah Riehl—B.A., M.A., The University of Nebraska
Riehl has previously been a visiting assistant professor and adjunct professor of
business administration at IWU. She has considerable professional experience as an
accountant, having worked with Hundman and Woodward, CPAs and with Exxon Company USA
as a financial analyst.
Denise Riggio—B.S., M.S.A., Bradley University
While employed in the accounting department of a national retail firm, Riggio received
her bachelor’s degree from Bradley University and passed the CPA exam. She then worked
as a public accountant in the tax department of Clifton Gunderson LLP. Since 2000
she has been an adjunct instructor at several area colleges and universities. In addition
to her CPA duties at CG, academic pursuits and adjunct instructing, Riggio has served
as a volunteer instructor for the IRS-sponsored VITA Program, as a volunteer tax preparer
for military families through the Illinois State CPA Society and as Assistant Financial
Director on the board of the Tazewell County Chapter of Thrivent Financial.
Meg Rincker—B.A., Illinois Wesleyan University; M.A. and Ph.D., Washington University
in St. Louis
The focus of Rincker’s teaching and research has been in the area of comparative politics,
with a focus on women and politics and the region of Central and Eastern Europe.
Her dissertation examines how decentralization, or creation of new sub-national parliaments
in Poland, affects women’s access to and influence within these closer, lower-status
political bodies. She is in the beginning stages of a co-authored project that examines
gendered trends of subnational governance in other new and developing democracies.
In broader terms, Rincker is interested in questions of the relative access of historically
marginalized groups across different levels of government, and across venues of representation,
such as bureaucracies, legislatures and civil society groups. Her other activities
have included a 1998-1999 Dunn Fellowship in Illinois State Government and serving
as a member of the Graduate Health Advisory Council at Washington University.
Xiaofei Tu—B.A., Peking University; M.Div., Harvard University; M.T.S., Yale University;
Ph.D., (forthcoming) Syracuse University
Tu has researched a number of topics in
the general area of Asian religion and philosophy. His work includes studies on the
current situation of Chinese Christianity; contemporary dialogue between East Asian
and Western thought; and the political implications of 20th century Buddhism and Confucianism
Eric Wilson—B.S., The Ohio State University, M.S., University of New Hampshire, Ph.D.,
Wilson has served as an associate instructor at Indiana University and has taught
at the University of New Hampshire. His research concentrates on the study of manifolds
and their relationship to classical lens spaces. Specifically, his work presents examples
of manifolds that are homotopy equivalent to classical lens spaces but are not homeomorphic
to any classical lens space. Among the honors and grants received by Wilson is the
NSF VIGRE Fellowship.
CONTACT: Matt Kurz or Stew Salowitz, 309-556-3181