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Honors Faculty

Dr. John Allison is Professor of Chemistry and Director of Forensic Chemistry at TCNJ.  Dr. Allison obtained a BS degree from Widener University, a PhD in Chemistry from University of Delaware, and conducted Post-Doctoral work at Stanford University  Dr. Allison’s research interests are in the application of mass spectometry and other analytical techniques to forensic science. These include questioned document examination, and the analysis of colorants as used in art.


Dr. Robert Anderson is Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology and former Assistant Provost of Liberal Learning at TCNJ.  Dr. Anderson received in an AB degree in Sociology and History from Rutgers University, and EdM degree in Sociology and Education from Rutgers University, and an MA in Sociology from the New School for Social Research.   Professor Anderson began his career at TCNJ in 1967 in the Sociology Department, became the Director of General Education in 1989, and soon after the Director of Liberal Learning. He was named Assistant Provost in 2006.  Not the retiring type, since stepping down from his position in 2014, Dr. Anderson has continued to teach the FSP, Explorations in Time and Time Travel.  He received the First Seminar Instructor of the Year award in 2017.


Dr. Elizabeth Borland is Professor of Sociology at TCNJ. She obtained her BA degree from Smith College (double major in Latin American Studies and Spanish), and her MA and PhD in Sociology (minor, Latin American Studies) from the University of Arizona. The bulk of Dr. Borland’s research explores social movements, particularly the women’s movement in Argentina. Her work on the Argentine feminist movement appears in Sociological Perspectives, Mobilization, and Research in Social Movements, Conflict and Change, as well as several edited volumes. Dr. Borland is interested in community based research. She teaches Introduction to Applied Sociology, where she supervises student teams doing applied sociological projects for community partners. She and Dr. Bates received a grant to start a summer program at the college from NCUR and the Lancy Foundation. This grant funded an interdisciplinary summer research project with faculty and students studying community and environmental transitions in Trenton.


Dr. Jill Bush is Professor of Health and Exercise Science at TCNJ. Dr. Bush earned a PhD from The Pennsylvania State University and a BS in Exercise and Sport Science from Rutgers University. She completed her post-doctoral studies in pediatric nutrition at The Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. 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. As secondary research interest includes 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 supporting her research.  She also served as the immediate past Vice-President of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. She currently is an Associate Editor of Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and on the Editorial Board for Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.


Dr. Angela Capece is Assistant Professor of Physics at TCNJ. Dr. Capece earned her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University and a PhD in Aeronautics with a minor in Physics from the California Institute of Technology where she conducted research on tungsten cathodes for electric thrusters in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Prior to joining the faculty at TCNJ, she held a postdoctoral position at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory where she used atomic-level diagnostics to understand the surface processes that occur at the volatile edge of fusion plasmas.
Dr. Capece is an experimental physicist specializing in the interactions that occur at the plasma-materials interface. Her research interests are in secondary electron emission from liquid and solid surfaces, the transport of reactive species in plasma discharges, and plasma-liquid interactions for medical applications and nanomaterials synthesis.


Dr. Celia Chazelle is Professor of History and currently chair of the TCNJ History Department. Dr. Chazelle received her PhD in in Early Medieval History from Yale University.

Away from her teaching and research in the field of medieval studies, Dr. Chazelle serves as director of TCNJ’s Institute for Prison Teaching and Outreach. With partners in the NJ Consortium for Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJ STEP), Dr. Chazelle has organized and taught courses leading toward associate degrees to the incarcerated populations of the state’s correctional facilities. Dr. Chazelle is member of the Board of Trustees of the Petey Greene Program. Through this organization, Dr. Chazelle is able to offer at least one NJ STEP courses as a combined college course in which TCNJ students study alongside incarcerated students in the same prison classroom.


Dr. Avery Faigenbaum is a Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at TCNJ. Dr. Faigenbaum received his BS, MS and EdD from Boston University, and previously taught at the University of Massachusetts and Lasell College. His research interests focus on pediatric exercise science, resistance exercise, and preventive medicine. He incorporates years of experience as a pediatric exercise scientist into his classes and strives to “bridge the gap” between the laboratory and the playing field. His pedagogical approach which involves reflection and evaluation challenges his students to put theory into practice and to think about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and how it can be a meaningful and long-lasting experience for the students and patients they will work with in the future. Dr. Faigenbaum was awarded the Boyd Epley Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Strength and Conditioning Association in 2017.


Dr. Ellen Friedman is Professor of English and Holocaust and Genocide Studies at The College of New Jersey.  She has published books with Princeton and Minnesota University Presses, among others, as well as many articles in a range of scholarly and popular journals. The New Jersey Council for the Humanities has appointed her as a New Jersey Public Scholar. She is on several editorial boards including Modern Fiction Studies and Bearing Witness: Joyce Carol Oates Studies.  She is a member of the Faculty Advisor’s Council for the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale University.


Dr. Jo Ann Gross is Professor of History at TCNJ.  Dr. Gross received her BA degree in Art and her her MA and PhD from New York University in Near Eastern Languages and Literature.  Her research interests are Middle Eastern and Central Eurasian History.


Dr. 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.


Dr. Craig Hollander is Assistant Professor of History at TCNJ. Dr. Hollander graduated from Columbia University in 2004 and then received his PhD in 19th-century U.S. history from The Johns Hopkins University in 2013. Professor Hollander was the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships during his time in graduate school, including the Alexander Butler Prize, the Hodson Fellowship in the Humanities, a Doris G. Quinn Fellowship, a Dean’s Teaching Fellowship, and the Barra Dissertation Fellowship from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the TCNJ faculty, Professor Hollander was the Behrman Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History at Princeton University. His dissertation, titled “Against a Sea of Troubles: Slave Trade Suppressionism During the Early Republic”, won both the 2014 C. Vann Woodward Prize from the Southern Historical Association and the 2014 SHEAR Dissertation Prize from the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.


Dr. 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 degress 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.


Dr. Richard Kamber is Professor of Philosophy, Religion, and Classical Studies and os 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.


Dr Mirela Krichten is Assistant Professor of Chemistry and General Chemistry Coordinator of the TCNJ Chemistry Department.  Dr. Krichten received her BS degree from Chestnut Hill College and MS and PhD degrees from the University of California, Irvine.  Dr. Krichten can be found in the classroom teaching Honors Chemistry I and II, and Analytical Chemistry as well as General Chemistry I and II for both majors and non-majors.  Her research interests have included studies in analytical radiochemistry using neutron activation analysis of archaeological and geological samples.  Her industrial experience has involved method development for water treatment applications.


Dr. Lincoln Konkle is Professor of English at TCNJ.  Dr. Konkle earned 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.


Dr. Nathan Magee is Professor of Physics at TCNJ.  After graduating with a BA in Physics, Magee studied at Pennsylvania State University for his PhD in Meteorology. Afterwards, he worked as a professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston on a tenure track faculty position. A year later, he joined his wife at TCNJ as a visiting faculty member, and he became an assistant professor in the Physics Department in 2008.
His current research involves experimental cloud microphysics, “basically trying to understand what is happening inside clouds,” Magee clarified. Specifically, he is looking into cirrus clouds, which are the high thin clouds that are typically located between a 25,000 to 50,000 feet altitude in the air at about -50 degrees Celsius.  “They are so high and so cold that the easiest way to get up there is with a jet.”


Dr. 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.


Dr. Michael Ochs is Professor of Mathematics and Statistics in the School of Science at TCNJ. Dr. Ochs received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Haverford College, his AM in Celtic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University, and his PhD in Physics from Brandeis University.

Dr. Ochs’ research focuses on the intersection of statistical learning and biological systems, with a primary interest in inference on molecular activity in cancer. He is presently developing computational statistical methods for refining our understanding of cell signaling. Methodologies rely on outlier statistics computed from nonparametric distributions and Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation with priors developed from known biology. Dr. Ochs teaches introductory and upper level statistics courses. In addition, Dr. Ochs teaches an FSP on pre-Christian Celtic Civilization.


Dr. Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle is a Professor in the Department of English. She specializes in 20th and 21st century Multiethnic and Inter-American literature and autobiographical studies with specific interest in narratives of colonialism, exile, immigration, and dictatorship throughout Canada, The United States, and Latin America. In her more than two decades at the College, she has taught courses in literary theory, autobiographical studies, and Latinx literature in both the undergraduate and graduate programs.


Dr. Anne J. Peel is Associate Professor of Special Education, Language, and Literacy at TCNJ and currently serves as Chair of the TCNJ Honors and Scholars Council.  Dr. Peel completed 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.


Dr. 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).


Dr. Lee Ann Riccardi is Professor of Art History and Faculty Fellow for the TCNJ Center fpr 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. She continues to work on Agora material and is currently publishing some of the recent finds. The major theme of Dr. Riccardi’s research involves the study of the portraits and propaganda of Roman emperors and their families, particularly as depicted in the Greek world. She has written several articles on different aspects of this topic, and is currently working on a manuscript about the significance and appearance of various wreaths and crowns worn by the rulers of the Roman Empire.


Dr. Margaret (Betsy) Ruddy is Assistant Professor of Psychology and Associate Chair of the Psychology Department at TCNJ. Dr. Ruddy received her PhD in Psychology at Princeton University. Her research focuses on infant and child psychology, with specific interest in attention, temperament, imagination, and play in infancy and early childhood, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, parenting, and psychopathology. Dr. Ruddy oversees the Infant and Child Studies Lab at TCNJ.


Dr. 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.


Dr. Diane Vanner Steinberg is Assistant Profesor of English at TCNJ. Dr. Steinberg received her AB cum laude from Radcliffe and Harvard Colleges, her secondary education certification in history and English from the MAT program at Duke University, her MA in Great Books from St. John’s College (Annapolis campus), and her MA in English with a Medieval Studies certificate from Indiana University–Bloomington. Dr. Steinberg teaches Approaches to Literature, various LNG classes, British and world literary history courses before the Restoration, British Romanticism, and LIT 499’s exploring political theory and British authors such as William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. With Felicia Jean Steele, she created LIT 367: British Theatre, taught in the winter term in London and Stratford-Upon-Avon. She advises TCNJ’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta as well as serves as Historian for the National organization. Sigma Tau Delta is the national honor society for students interested in English and American literature and language.


Dr. 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. She also enjoys taking students to Salem, Massachusetts during Maymester, when students meet historians, museum curators, and local witches, while immersing themselves in the literature and popular culture of “Salem 1692.”  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.


Dr. 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).  Dr. Venturo is editor of ECCB: The Eighteenth-Century Current Bibliography and The Scriblerian, and he is currently    working on a book on epic and mock epic in the long eighteenth century.  On campus, Dr. Venturo edits TCNJ Journal of Student Scholarship and serves as president of TCNJ’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.