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Honors Faculty

Headshot of Samira Abdur-Rahman.
Samira Abdur-Rahman is Assistant Professor of English. Dr. Rahman earned her MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University and her PhD in English from Rutgers University. Dr. Rahman was a postdoctoral fellow in the Frederick Douglass Institute at the University of Rochester. Her teaching and research interests include: African American Literature; childhood studies; autobiography studies; literary geography; and African Diaspora travel writing.

 

Headshot of Matt Bender.
Matt Bender is Professor of History and Director of the Program in International Studies at TCNJ. Dr. Bender earned his PhD in Sub-Saharan Africa, Agrarian and Environmental History from Johns Hopkins University.

 

Headshot of Keli Fazio.
Keli Fazio is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies, as well as a faculty affiliate in the Department of Public Health. Dr. Fazio received her MA from The University of Delaware and her PhD from Penn State University. She teaches courses on interpersonal and lifespan communication, conflict management, and leadership. With over 30 publications, Dr. Fazio’s work is presented regularly at national and international conferences. Her recent research focuses on communication and social support related to contexts such as infertility, postpartum depression, women’s leadership, and immigration. She offers workshops on professional communication, conflict management, leadership skills, and public speaking. Currently, she serves as a Lead Growth Consultant for Hold the Door for Others (www.holdthedoor.com), a nonprofit devoted to post-traumatic growth and resilience by helping individuals grow through adversity and hardship. Dr. Fazio is trained by the Gottman Institute as a facilitator for the national workshop, Bringing Baby Home, which helps couples prepare and adjust to the transition to parenthood, and has completed Level 1 Training in the Gottman Methodology.

 

Lois Fichner-Rathus is a Professor of Art at TCNJ. She received her MA from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art and her PhD in the History, Theory, and Criticism of Art from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has authored grants, contributed to books, written exhibition catalogues and published numerous articles in professional journals including ARTS Magazine and The Print Collector’s Newsletter. Her textbook, Understanding Art (Cengage) is in its 9th edition and is a national and international best-selling title. Dr. Fichner-Rathus teaches the history of art and interdisciplinary studies and has been on the college faculty since 1982.

 

Headshot of Gary Fienberg holding a trumpet.
Gary Fienberg is Assistant Professor of Trumpet, Coordinator of Brass Studies and Jazz Ensemble Director at The College of New Jersey. He served as Department Chair from 2008 to 2013. Dr. Fienberg earned his MFA in music performance from Carnegie Mellon University and his MA and Ph.D in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Fienberg is a trumpeter whose experiences range from the great concert halls of Europe to the orchestra pits of Broadway. His performance interests cover the complete range of possibilities for a contemporary trumpeter in classical, jazz and commercial music. He has performed with such artists as Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, The Manhattan Transfer, Natalie Cole, Barry Manilow, The Temptations, Toots Thielmanns and many others. During a nine year residence in Europe, he worked for all of the major broadcasting companies in both the Netherlands and in Germany, performed at the acclaimed North Sea Jazz Festival, and worked with both the Big Band and Symphonic Orchestra of the Nord Deutscher Rundfunk. In 1992, Dr. Fienberg was appointed Director of Jazz Ensembles at Carnegie Mellon University and then served as Assistant Head of the School of Music from 1998-2001. During this time he was a member of the acclaimed River City Brass Band, performing in both the Solo Cornet and Flugelhorn positions.

 

Headshot of Leigh-Anne ​​Francis.
Leigh-Anne ​​Francis Leigh-Anne ​​Francis is Associate Professor African and African American Studies and Women and Gender Studies at TCNJ. Dr. Francis obtained a BFA inPainting and Illustration, an MA in U.S. and World History, and a PhD in US and African American History. As a Rutgers graduate student, she was a volunteer instructor at Mountainvew Youth Correctional Facility for Men in New Jersey. Dr. Pfrancis’ article “Playing the ‘Lady Sambo’: Poor Black Women’s Legal Strategies in the Post-Civil War South’s Civil Courts” received Honorable Mention for the 2021 Paula J. Giddings Best Article Award. Her unpublished book manuscript, “Bad Girls: Race, Crime, and Punishment in New York State, 1893—1916,” analyzes the intersections of gender, race and class by exploring crime and punishment, labor and community, through the lens of black women’s experiences while offering comparisons with imprisoned native-born and European immigrant white women.

 

Holly Haynes is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at TCNJ. Dr. Haynes obtained her her PhD. in Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of Washington and specializes in the politics and literature of the early Roman Empire, with a particular interest in historiography.
Holly Haynes previously taught at Dartmouth College and New York University. Her current projects include pieces on memory and trauma in the post-Domitianic period and on Petronius’ Satyricon.

 

Headshot of Wayne Heisler.
Wayne Heisler is Professor of Historical and Cultural Studies in Music and currently Chair of the TCNJ Music Department. Dr. Heisler’s research and teaching interests embrace both art music and popular culture from the late-19th through 21st centuries, including opera, dance, and musical theater; collaborations between composers and choreographers; Gustav Mahler; Richard Strauss; historiography; music ethnography; and gender and sexuality in music and dance performance. Dr. Heisler studied piano in Chicago with Dmitry Paperno and Melody Lord. His performance activities include music of the late twentieth century, especially aleatoric and “minimalist” compositions, as well as gamelan.

 

Headshot of Harriet Hustis.
Harriet Hustis is Professor of English at TCNJ. Dr. Hustis earned her BA in Literary Studies & Classical Studies from Middlebury College, and her MA and PhD degrees in Comparative Literature from Brown University. Dr. Hustis specializes in reader response theory, disability theory, and gothic fiction. In particular, her research focuses on the representation and ethical significance of criminal or transgressive acts in literary fiction and non-fiction. Her scholarship is centered around two, interrelated, critical/theoretical approaches: 1) ethics and intentionality, and 2) reader-response theory. Many of her articles analyze works of Gothic fiction; thus, they focus on a specific genre. Others examine 19th- and 20th-century narratives of crime, guilt and ethical responsibility; thus, they focus on a theme directly related to the study of the Gothic. Dr. Hustis has published articles on a wide range of literary texts, including works by Melville, Poe, Tolstoy, Camus, Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley.

 

Deborah Hutton is Professor of Art History at TCNJ. She has an MA and PhD in South Asian and Islamic Art History from the University of Minnesota. Her specific area of focus is Indo-Islamic art, but she teaches a range of courses covering the arts of Central, South, and East Asia from the Bronze Age to the present. These courses include Arts of South Asia, Arts of East Asia, Arts of the Islamic World, and upper level seminars on subjects such as the history of photography in India. Deborah takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of art history and strives to incorporate innovative assignments into her courses. For example, her students in her fall 2007 Arts of Iran class researched and wrote the catalog to accompany the TCNJ gallery exhibit, Parable of the Garden: New Media from Iran and Central Asia.

 

Headshot of ​​Marla Jaksch holding a book.
​​Marla Jaksch Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Coordinator of Competitive Post-Graduate Fellowships. She attended the Pennsylvania State University where she received a dual-title Ph.D. in Women’s Studies and Art Education. Her research and teaching interests include: transnational feminisms, development, art and microfinance schemes, STEAM, visual culture, cultural tourism, heritage, and preservation, feminist pedagogies and methodologies, and global community engaged learning.

 

Headshot of Richard Kamber.
Richard Kamber is Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Classical Studies and is Coordinator of the Self-Designed Major Program and Interdisciplinary Concentrations at TCNJ. Dr. Kamber received his PhD from Claremont Graduate School and conducted postdoctoral study at Oxford University. His areas of interest include experimental philosophy, aesthetics, existentialism, pragmatism, film, genocide, and educational policy. Dr. Kamber is coordinator of TCNJ’s Experimental Philosophy Laboratory. He currently serves as President of The Association for Core Texts and Courses and is Board Member of The Greater Philadelphia.

 

Headshot of Alma Khasawnih.
Alma Khasawnih is Assistant Professor of Women and Gender Studies at TCNJ. She obtained a BS in Environmental Policy and Behavior from the University of Michigan, an MA in Community Art Education from Rhode Island School of Design, and a PhD in Feminist Studies from the University of Washington. Dr. Khasawnih researches access to the street in post-colonial and settler-colonial nation-states as a site of understanding and articulating access to citizenship. alma’s research projects examine ephemeral visual culture production (graffiti, murals, and other forms of street/public art) as stand-alone material objects that orient, disorient, and reorient feminist debates on social political cultural movements within urban geographies and the phenomenology of erasure, co-optation, and resistance. alma is invested in examining how urban beautification projects and cleansing public spaces are part of authoritarian visual culture and politics of respectability that aim at policing minoritized bodies in public spaces.

 

Rita King is Assistant Professor of Biology and Assistant Director of Math/Science Tutoring at the TCNJ Tutoring Center. Dr. King received her PhD degree in Microbiology from St John’s University. She teaches courses in Microbiology, Introductory Biology, and the FSP The History of Disease. She is author of the textbook, Biology Made Simple.

 

Headshot of Lincoln Konkle.
Lincoln Konkle is Professor of English at TCNJ. Dr. Konkle received his PhD in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, his MA in English (Creative Writing) at Kansas State University, and his BS in English at Indiana University. Dr. Konkle is a Board Member of the Thornton Wilder Society and is also an officer of the Edward Albee Society, which he co-founded with David Crespy in 2013. He teaches the First Seminar, World Drama, Modern European Drama, American Drama, and the English Major capstone course, Seminar in Theory and Research, on topics related to dramatic literature.

 

Headshot of Donald Lovett.
Donald Lovett is Professor of Biology at TCNJ. He received a PhD in Biology from University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Dr. Lovett’s research focuses on osmoregulation in crabs, in light of the fact that crabs live in estuaries, where they must tolerate exposure to a wide range of environmental salinity from fresh water to full-strength seawater. As an integrative biologist, Dr. Lovett studies the anatomy, ultrastructure, cell biology, physiology, and molecular biology of the gill and its role in osmoregulation.

 

Elizabeth Mackie is Associate Professor of Art and Program Coordinator for Graphic Design. She has taught at TCNJ since 1989. In 1996-97 she was an Exchange Professor in the American Studies and Art Departments at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany. She received a BS in Mathematics from Salisbury University and a BA, MFA from the University of Maryland, College Park.

 

Headshot of Mindi McMann.
Mindi McMann is Associate Professor of English at TCNJ. She received her PhD in English from the University of California, Davis. Her research and teaching interests focus on the intersections of literature, politics, ethics, and nationalism, using contemporary British and Anglophone literature as the center point of her work. More specifically, her work addresses the ways in which literature both shapes and represents shifting national identities in a globalized context based on a range of factors such as race, ethnicity, class, and religion. Her work has appeared in Modern Fiction Studies. Currently, both her work and teaching continue to explore perceptions of alterity in South Africa, the Caribbean, and Britain. She teaches classes at TCNJ in postcolonial literature and contemporary Anglophone literature.

 

Headshot of Susanna Monseau.
Susanna Monseau is Professor of Marketing and Interdisciplinary Business at TCNJ and Coordinator of the TCNJ Interdisciplinary Business Program. Dr. Monseau received her LBB from University of Exeter, Exeter, UK and LPC from The University of Law, Guildford, Surrey, UK. She teaches courses international business, including Legal Environment of Business, International Business Law, Doing Business in the European Union, and Globalization, Power and Ethics. Dr. Monseaus’ area of specialization as legal issues relating to the globalization of the world economy and the use of technology, particularly questions of law and policy raised by recent developments in the world economy including the growth of the Internet.

 

Headshot of Janet Morrison.
Janet Morrison is Professor of Biology at TCNJ. Dr. Morrison earned her B.A. in Biology from Oberlin College and her Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolution from The State University of New York at Stony Brook. From 2015-2018, she was the Barbara Meyers Pelson ’59 Chair in Faculty-Student Engagement. A plant ecologist who teaches courses in botany and ecology and conducts research with undergraduate students, Dr. Morrison’s scientific and conservation interests center on biological interactions in nature that can have important ecological/evolutionary effects on plant populations and communities, and most of her work has been on plant-pathogen interactions or the ecology of non-indigenous invasive plants. She is particularly interested in understanding plant ecology in landscapes that are heavily influenced by human activity. Most of her current research effort centers on an NSF-funded project aimed at understanding the ecological interactions between invasive plant species and white-tailed deer in suburban/exurban forests.

 

Headshot of David Murray.
David Murray is Humanities Librarian and Assistant Professor at TCNJ. He holds, in addition to his MS and LIS, a second interdisciplinary masters degree (MA, LAS) with a focus on the art and archaeology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. His research interests include the intersection of print and digital cultures in the humanities; information literacy, particularly in history; and reference services.

 

Headshot of Michele Naples.
Michele Naples is Associate Professor of Economics in the TCNJ School of Business.  Dr. Naples received her PhD in Economics from the University of Massachusetts. She teaches courses in Macroeconomics, the History of Economic Thought
Gender, and Labor Economics.  Dr. Naples research is focused on the impact of financialization on income inequality and the changing structure of workplace management.

 

Headshot of Michael Ochs.
Michael Ochs is Professor of Mathematics at TCNJ. Dr. Ochs obtained a BA in Chemistry at Haverford College, an AM in Celtic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, and an MA and PhD in Physics from, Brandeis University. Prior to his appointment at TCNJ, Dr. Ochs was associate professor at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Ochs studies pattern formation in biological systems, linking statistical models in image measure space to mathematical models of melanocyte formation.

 

Headshot of Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle.
Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle is Professor of English at TCNJ. Dr. Ortiz-Vellarelle received her PhD from Wayne State University. Her work specializes in 20th-century Multiethnic and Inter-American literature and autobiographical studies with specific interest in narratives of exile, immigration, and dictatorship throughout the Americas and their Diaspora. She regularly teaches courses on Latino/a/x literature in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. She is currently completing a book about Latina and Latin American women’s life writing on dictatorship tentatively titled Overwriting the Dictator: Americanas, Autocracy and Autobiographical Innovation.

 

Headshot of Anne J. Peel.
Anne J. Peel is Associate Professor of Special Education, Language, and Literacy at TCNJ. Dr. Peel completed a BA degree in English literature at Vassar College, an MA in secondary education at the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD in literacy at Rutgers University. Dr. Peel was an English teacher at Burlington Township High School before becoming a faculty member at TCNJ. 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.

 

Headshot of Tracy Perron.
Tracy Perron is Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Chair of the Department of Nursing. Dr. Perron earned her nursing degree from Framingham Union Hospital School of Nursing, her BSN and MSN at Kean University and her PhD from Rutgers. She joined the College of New Jersey in September of 2014 and teaches a variety of courses from Wellness and Health Promotion Across the Lifespan, Caring in Community Health Science and School Nursing. She is a certified school nurse and a certified nurse educator with over 18 years teaching experience in higher education. Dr. Perron has an extensive background in community health nursing, school nursing and public health nursing. Her research interests focus on bullying among school-age children, school health, childhood obesity and community health. Dr. Perron is a recipient of the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Nurse/Faculty Scholarship. She is a Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Fellow with over 20 years of school health nursing experience. In 2017 Dr. Perron was the recipient of the March of Dimes Nurse of the Year Award for Community/Public Health Nursing.

 

Headshot of Consuleo Preti.
Consuleo Preti is Professor of Philosophy at TCNJ. Dr. Preti received her BA in Philosophy from the George Washington University and her PhD in Philosophy from CUNY Graduate Center. Her areas of interest include the philosophy of language, the philosophy of mind, the history of early analytic philosophy. Dr. Preti is currently working on the development of G.E. Moore’s early philosophical views (The Metaphysical Basis of Ethics: The Early Philosophy of G.E. Moore, Palgrave/Macmillan, publication forthcoming). Recent works include “Some Problems of Moore Interpretation,” in Preston, ed. Analytic Philosophy: Interpretations (March 2017) and ”How to Read Moore’s ‘Proof of An External World’” (JHAP, March 2016).

 

Headshot of Lee Ann Riccardi.
Lee Ann Riccardi is Professor of Art History and Faculty Fellow for the TCNJ Center for Global Engagements. Dr. Riccardi holds a B.A.(Ohio State University), M.A. (Ohio State University), and Ph.D. (Boston University) in Art History. In her graduate work, she concentrated on Greek and Roman art and archaeology, and spent three and a half years as a member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece. She is also a practicing archaeologist, and has worked on several archaeological projects in Greece, including Isthmia, Nikopolis, and the Athenian Agora, where she was a staff member from 1994-1998.

 

Headshot of Catherine Rosemurgy.
Catherine Rosemurgy is professor of English at TCNJ. She obtained an MFA in Poetry from the University of Alabama. Dr. Rosemurgy is the author of two poetry collections, My Favorite Apocalypse and The Stranger Manual and her work has appeared in places such as Boston Review, The American Poetry Review, and The Gettysburg Review. Dr. Rosemurgy is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Award, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. She teaches courses in creative writing, poetry, and contemporary literature, and is coordinator of the Creative Writing minor.

 

John Ruscio is Professor of Psychology at TCNJ. Dr. Ruscio earned his MA and PhD in Social/Developmental Psychology from Brandeis University. His research interests include behavioral economics, taxometric analysis, modern and robust statistical methods, and citation-based indices of scholarly impact.

 

Headshot of Miriam Shakow.
Miriam Shakow is professor of Anthropology at TCNJ. Dr. Shakow obtained a BA from Swarthmore and a PhD from Harvard University. Her research has centered on how new middle classes in Bolivia interpret and respond to dramatic economic and political transformations. Her book, Along the Bolivian Highway: Social Mobility and Political Culture in a New Middle Class, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2014. Dr. Shakow’s current research project focuses on the ways in which teenagers and young adults in Latin America and the U.S. are coping with widespread unemployment and public fears of young people as criminals. She is particularly interested in exploring how ideas about youth and their roles in society have changed since the late nineteenth century in both countries.

 

Headshot of Felicia Jean Steele.
Felicia Jean Steele is Assistant Professor of English at TCNJ.  She  received her BA from the University of New Mexico and her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches courses in introductory linguistics and the global history of the English language, as well as courses in early literatures and medievalism in British literature. Professor Steele’s main research is in historical linguistics, specifically auxiliary verb change over the history of the English language. She has also published essays in historical phonology (” Grendel: Another Dip into the Etymological Mere,” English Language Notes, 2003) and the uses of linguistic analysis in discussions of literary influence (“Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130, Explicator 2004). Steele will present two papers at the 2004 Modern Language Association Convention: “Encoding Colonial Discourse in a Swahili-English Dictionary” and “Traversing Corpora: Tracking Auxiliary Verb Change in English.” She also maintains research interests in writing assessment, cognitive linguistics, medieval literature, and the literature of the Inklings, particularly J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. She is one of the co-sponsors for Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honor Society.

 

Headshot of Glenn Steinberg holding lesson material.
Glenn Steinberg is Professor of English at TCNJ. Dr. Steinberg obtained a BA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and an MA and PhD from Indiana University. His research focuses on the reception of classical and medieval texts in England during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance with a particular emphasis on the evolving reputations of Virgil, Dante, and Chaucer from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries. He has published essays in Medieval & Renaissance Drama in England, The Chaucer Review, Chung Wai Literary Monthly, English Literary Renaissance, the Modern Language Association’s Approaches to Teaching Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and the Shorter Poems, Refiguring Chaucer in the Renaissance, Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900, Modern Philology, and Forum Italicum. He regularly teaches courses in the history of the English language, Classical Studies, and in medieval and Renaissance literature.

 

Headshot of Michele Lise Tarter.
Michele Lise Tarter is Professor of English at TCNJ. Dr. Tarter received her BA from Roanoke College and her MA and PhD from the University of Colorado/Boulder. Dr. Tarter teaches courses on Early American Literature, The Witch in Literature, Literature of the Prison, and Women’s Autobiographies, Diaries, and Letters. She has established a memoir-writing program in New Jersey’s only maximum-security prison for women, working with TCNJ students in co-teaching an inmates’ 10-week writing workshop each spring semester. Dr. Tarter has also created two summer study-abroad courses in England: in “Literary Landscapes,” students live in a castle, read British texts, and travel to numerous literary sites and bring the literature to life; in “The Magic of Archival Research,” students conduct archival research in Cornwall’s famous Museum of Witchcraft. Professor Tarter’s research interests include transatlantic Quaker women’s prophesying and writing, the body and cultural studies in early American literature, and women’s prison literature.

 

Headshot of Leeann Thornton.
Leeann Thornton is Associate Professor of Biology at TCNJ. Dr. Thornton received a PhD in plant biology from Washington University, where she then continued postdoctoral studies on plant hormones. Dr. Thornton’s research uses molecular techniques to explore how plant growth is regulated. She is studying the biochemical activity of proteins that inactivate growth hormones.

 

Headshot of David Venturo.
David Venturo is Professor of English at TCNJ. Dr. Venturo received his AB from Rutgers University, and AM and PhD degrees from Harvard University. Dr. Venturo is author of Johnson the Poet: The Poetic Career of Samuel Johnson and editor of The School of the Eucharist . . . With a Preface Concerning the Testimony of Miracles. He writes and teaches about 1600-1850 British literature, baseball and American culture, and the Beatles and popular culture. His recent publications include “Baseball and Material Culture” (The Cambridge Companion to Baseball), “Understanding Genre: Epic, Mock Epic, and Some Versions of Heroism from Milton to Pope” (The Blackwell Companion to British Literature, 1650-1837), and “Poems on Poetry” (The Oxford Handbook to British Poetry, 1660-1800). On campus, Dr. Venturo edits TCNJ Journal of Student Scholarship and serves as president of TCNJ’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

 

Headshot of Jeanine Vivona.
Jeanine Vivona is professor of Psychology at TCNJ. Dr. Vivona obtained a BS from Union College and an MS and PhD from University of Massachusetts Amherst. As clinical and developmental psychologies, Dr. Vivona’s research focuses on psychotherapy process, language and identity development, and sibling relationships.
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