Teaching Fellow in Religious Studies, 2014
B.A., Smith College; M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology, 2014
B.S., Victoria University; M.Sc., University of Canterbury; Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
"During my teaching career my primary goal has been to help young people develop their ability to think creatively and analytically and develop morally and intellectually. I strive to not only be a teacher, but a mentor, role model, and friend to my students. For example, I supervised many independent studies and internships. Several of the directed studies have resulted in research that has been presented at professional meetings and/or published in professional journals. I also strive to involve students and business leaders in an interactive learning environment by bringing real world experiences into the classroom. For instance, I regularly schedule partners from accounting firms in Jackson to present cases drawn from their current practice to my Advanced Financial Accounting Theory and Problems class.
"I have been very active in the Accounting Residency Program helping place our students in positions that allow them to gain professional work experience before graduation. These activities are critical for expanding partnerships between the College and the regional and national business community. We have had an almost 100 percent placement rate for students who graduate from our MAcc Program during the past 20 years.
"Globalization of business requires accounting educators to take on the challenge of preparing our students to be much more than merely technically competent accountants. We as educators we must foster and nurture an entrepreneurial spirit in our students and motivate them to strive to achieve life goals that go beyond ordinary endeavors. By offering an academically challenging, innovative curriculum we must provide students a strong foundation in fundamental business skills as well as general abilities such as critical thinking, communication, quantitative thinking, historical consciousness and multicultural awareness. Of growing importance is the need to create a focus on global awareness and cultural sensitivity, we must educate our students to the reality that globalization of business is a fact of life and that its' increasing importance in business and in society will impact them personally. Business educators must convey these lessons with a sense of urgency. The future is now and we must broaden accounting education so that our graduates can help lead the economy of this country as we compete beyond our local, state, and national borders. To accomplish these objectives we as educators must take a personal interest in out students' entire professional life. We must be available to serve as role models, mentors, and advocates for our students. We must create programs and connections that will place our students into the broader world. If you strive to create leaders for the future of accounting and business you can no longer simply stay in the classroom and teach your students the technical elements of accounting. We must commit to travel with students for extended periods to introduce them to the broader world, local, regional, national and beyond to the international business community."
"I'm James Bowley and I've been running around here at Millsaps since 2002. I'm the chair of the Religious Studies Department, and some people think that teaching Religious Studies must be boring. They're crazy! Religion is the most powerful social force on the planet, and studying religions is never dull. What's not to like about spending the day with great colleagues and students thinking and conversing and researching about religious traditions, reading beautiful or even shocking texts, and investigating intriguing religious practices?
"I teach a lot of courses in ancient religious texts and history that are related to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and courses like Women in the Ancient World or Ancient Poetry. In the modern world, I teach World Religions and How to Study Them and classes like Sex and Religions/Death and Religions. I've also led travel courses in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Europe, and Yucatan.
"I've published several books and I love being a teacher and scholar. But what I really am is a student—a student who gets paid! My real job is to be with other students and to ask questions about texts and religions and history and then to devise meaningful and enjoyable ways of exploring in the directions that those questions point. We explore and learn together, and on most days I can't think of a more enjoyable way to spend time than to be leading students into the fascinating ways of religions and cultures of the world, which turns out to be a very practical course of study for getting interesting jobs too."
Connie M. Campbell is a professor of mathematics and teaches mathematics courses at all levels. She enjoys teaching upper level courses where the majority of students enrolled are excited about mathematics, but also has a real passion for teaching entry level classes where it is not uncommon to work with students who have a great deal of anxiety about mathematics. Connie enjoys breaking concepts down and explaining how mathematical principles work. She likes to help students see that mathematics is accessible, logical, relevant, and fun.
The hallmark of Connie's classroom presence is her sheer delight in teaching. She has a love of mathematics that is contagious, and students often comment that she is enthusiastic and obviously enjoys working with them. She views the most important goal of teaching as helping students develop as more critical thinkers. Connie's teaching style is very conversational as she facilitates a dialogue in which students learn to ask key questions and uncover new ideas. This process of discovering the solution together helps students develop their own problem solving skills.
Perhaps the course Connie is most well known for is Math 2310: Introduction to Advanced Mathematics. This course serves as the gateway course to the mathematics major and is where students are formally trained in logic and mathematical writing. Connie wrote Introduction to Advanced Mathematics: A Guide to Writing Proofs, which serves as the textbook for this class. She has also worked under two National Science Foundation grants to develop teaching resources to help students develop proof writing and problem solving skills.
Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, 2008
Kelly Gene Cook, Sr. Chair of Business Administration
Director of the MBA Program
B.A., Lewis Clark State College; M.B.A., Ph.D., Washington State University
"I teach applied topics in the professional school of business (i.e., Information Systems, Analytics, and Survey of Management). The rewarding issue with my style of teaching involves the high balance of teaching the requisite explicit knowledge as well as offer ways for students to gain as much tacit knowledge as possible in a contrived academic setting. "Tacit knowledge is subconsciously understood and applied, difficult to articulate, developed from direct experience and action, and usually shared through highly interactive conversation, storytelling, and shared experience." (Zack 1999) With this type of knowledge, experts are able to know what they don't know, when rules don't apply, as well as make fine distinctions, recognize patterns, recognize context, extrapolate, and make decisions quickly. (Leonard and Swap 2005) This type of knowledge is difficult to teach and subsequently assess in a classroom. "In contrast, explicit knowledge is more precisely and formally articulated, although removed from the original context of creation or use." (Zack 1999) This type of knowledge is fairly commonly encountered in standard classrooms (e.g., reading a textbook and taking a standard exam). However, when challenged to apply explicit knowledge (e.g., complete a case analysis) students soon find it requires an unanticipated level of mastery and tacit knowledge. Thus explicit knowledge is prerequisite in many instances to gaining tacit knowledge. In my classes, I try to give them as much OJT (On-the-Job-Training) as I can by putting students in as many real world (or closer to real world) situations as I can."
Curtis came to Millsaps in 2009 to direct the Communication Studies program. In this program, Curtis teaches the introductory course, the senior capstone course, Journalism, Communication Ethics, Media History, Intercultural Communication, American Popular Culture and Public Rhetoric. When possible, he also leads a study abroad course on media and tourism in the Yucatan entitled Sun, Sand … and the Cult of the Dead. Finally, on occasion, he teaches courses on media and religion and on superheroes in American cinema.
Curtis joined the Millsaps faculty because he was committed to engaging the field of communication studies within a liberal arts environment. This approach allows students to develop media production skills within a deeper context of media theory, history and ethics. "It's not enough to just develop skills," he noted. "Skills must be honed in a deep exploration of history, theory and ethics. This allows students to do things while also learning why they are doing them, how the skills have developed historically, and whether they should do certain things in certain contexts."
Curtis takes a conversational approach to teaching. He said, "I try to create an environment where the student is teacher and teacher is student. We learn from one another. We engage one another. Students are not interested in hearing my voice drone on and on about material they should have read. And I'm not interested in seeing bored, disengaged or distracted students. The better approach is to engage one another, to interact, to invest in creating the learning environment."
Dr. David Culpepper holds B.S. degrees in chemistry and accounting, an M.B.A., and a Ph.D. in accounting, with minor in statistics, from the University of Alabama. He has been employed by Ernst & Young as well as the U.S. Treasury Department. During the last 25 years, he has served numerous clients in various financial, valuation, and capital deployment related engagements. A Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) since 1995, Culpepper has been involved in private equity evaluation, financial damages and other litigation support, and the valuation of closely-held businesses for the purposes of mergers and acquisitions, estate planning, etc. He has been qualified as an expert witness to testify on business damages in both the Southern District Federal Court and the Northern District Federal Court. He has also conducted evaluations resulting in fairness opinions for the Mississippi Attorney General’s office for various hospital and healthcare entity acquisitions.
Culpepper has coordinated and participated in numerous private equity investments by various investor groups. These investments have ranged from early stage seed capital to later stage mezzanine financing rounds, and include a variety of industry sectors: medical devices, wireless technology, network routing technology, oil and gas exploration, commercial/residential real estate development, renewable energy technology, natural gas pipeline technology, among others. He also serves as managing partner of a hotel development/management firm that has acquired or developed ten hotels, and a construction firm that specializes in hotel construction.
Culpepper is a professor of accounting and eEntrepreneurship for the Else School of Management at Millsaps College, and serves as chair of ELSEWorks, the College’s entrepreneurial initiative, as well as on the Board of Midtown Partners, Inc. He has also held the Kelly Gene Cook Chair of Business Administration, and has taught various courses in accounting, tax, finance, and entrepreneurship at both the undergraduate and graduate level. He has published numerous articles in both academic and professional journals including the Journal of Applied Business Research, CPA Journal, Journal of European Business, Journal of International Taxation, Journal of Accounting and Finance Research, Journal of Accountancy, Journal of Accounting Theory and Practice, Journal of State Taxation, and the Mississippi Business Journal.
Gayla Dance came to Millsaps College in 1989 and teaches in the Mathematics Department. Dance stresses class interaction as a way of getting students to engage with their math classes. She says, "I have been known to say, "It is too quiet in here. I seem to be the only one talking." I encourage, applaud, and beg students to join in the class discussion. I continue to look for ways to motivate my students, and I'm shameless with what I will try. I always try to keep my presentations energetic and interactive. Also, I want to create an environment where students are comfortable enough to say that they do not understand. I do this by telling them that our classes are conversations, not lectures, and I encourage them to ask questions in class. To alleviate some of the anxiety found in many students in freshman level mathematics courses, I encourage group problem solving and extended guided practice.
"I love mathematics in its pure and abstract form, but some of my students have difficulty seeing its beauty. However, most of them respond very well to the applied side of math. I try to convey that math is the language of science and, as such, it can be a tool used for understanding our world. While their eyes might glaze over during the delta-epsilon definition of a limit in calculus, the students perk up when I show them using calculus that the B-2 Stealth bomber was built exactly wrong - it should be a flying fuselage instead of a flying wing. Because of the students interest in applied situations I have overhauled all of my projects. One class calculated the amount of stone and labor needed to build the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza, while another class used the Hoover Dam in a similar project. Yet another class had to prove for the defense that the McDonald's customer could not have been burned by the spilt coffee, using Newton's Law of Cooling. I could have asked them to work the same math problems in the abstract, but the context brought it to life and made it relevant to them."
My passion for history developed in high school as I explored slave forts and castles along the coast of Ghana and listened to the stories told by the drummers in the northern regions of that country. The pursuit of this passion has led me on adventures from the Poverty Point mounds of Louisiana to the temples on Bali in Indonesia. My approach to teaching the history of Africa and the Middle East is to try and bring some of those places and faces into the classroom through the “artifacts” left behind by the very folk who lived out those events. The texts they wrote, the weapons they crafted, and the textiles they wove tell us about their world and invite us to share that world. It is from these pieces of evidence that historians ply their craft and try to answer some of the enduring questions of the human condition.
Writing Center Coordinator, 2014
B.A., University of Chicago; M.F.A., George Mason Unversity
Louwanda Evans joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 2012. In the program, Louwanda teaches Introduction to Sociology, Research Methods & Statistics, The Many Dimensions of Poverty, and numerous other courses that focus on social inequality and criminology. Her newest course on poverty is directly connected to the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty, an interdisciplinary program housed at Washington & Lee University that focuses on the eradication of poverty. This course also serves as the gateway course through which several Millsaps students enter a summer internship housed throughout the nation.
Louwanda joined Millsaps because of the great opportunities it offers students to learn and grow though community engagement. Her teaching philosophy is one in which everyone takes responsibility for learning. Her courses center on conceptual discussions in which students engage the material in a way that creates deeper connections between sociological concepts and the real world. At Millsaps, "I have the opportunity to bring students into the local community to understand the connections between our social lives and our social outcomes." In the classroom, Louwanda believes in the reciprocity of learning and that all students have a voice."I believe that everyone has a responsibility in the classroom and that all perspectives and voices are valued, not just my voice."
Dr. Laura Franey specializes in the literature of Victorian England, but she enjoys teaching a range of classes – from Sex Comedies of the 18th Century to Mysteries of Human Behavior (Freshman Seminar) to Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies.
Intrigued by questions of how literature both reflects and creates social values and hierarchies, she encourages students to ask questions about what they read and see, to form connections between the different classes they are taking, and to appreciate all genres (prose fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction) by learning how to analyze individual cultural texts. As students who have taken her classes know, she believes students learn best when engaged in creative, interactive activities; for that reason, she has students write dialogues between characters from different books or imagine how they would change a famous novel's plot for a movie adaptation.
Franey earned her Ph.D. in English at UCLA in 1999 and began teaching at Millsaps immediately afterward. She is the author of Victorian Travel Writing and Imperial Violence: British Literature on Africa, 1855-1902, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2003. Four years later, working with Edward Marx of Ehime University, she brought out the first annotated, scholarly edition of the first novel ever published in the United States by someone of Japanese descent—Yone Noguchi's The American Diary of a Japanese Girl (originally published in 1902). She is currently engaged in a book project in which she looks at how women are portrayed traveling by train, boat, and horseback in Victorian novels and narrative paintings.
Assistant Professor of Theatre, 2014
B.A., Santa Clara University; M.F.A., American Conservatory Theater
Millsaps Scholar of Maya Studies, 2000
Licenciado de Antropologia, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, México: M.A., Tulane University
"My current interest in philosophy and the academy is interdisciplinary, and interdisciplinary work is at the core of my Philosophy of Happiness course. Many think they know what happiness is, but classic philosophers and contemporary scientists continue to disagree about it. Some questions my happiness course raises and explores include: Is happiness an emotion or feeling (the viewpoint of many current investigators)? If so, does it mean the joyous insane person is happy? Is the pleased serial killer happy? Or, is happiness the activity of a flourishing life of moderation, as some Greek philosophers believe? Or something else? Why?
"In Philosophy of Violence we look at war theory and at pain theory and we apply them to current world problems. Students single out plausible theories and discern how they fare in explaining pertinent issues. Dilemmas we study include the ethics of drone technology and the psychological effects of combat violence and domestic violence.
"In all classes I welcome current research and empirical data. We read texts by psychiatrists, anthropologists, and journalists, in addition to philosophers. We ask broad questions. Students are asked to apply largely framed ideas to narrowed fields of reasoning and data. For example: Is post-traumatic stress syndrome a cross-cultural fact? The results might surprise you."
Sabrina Grondhuis came to Millsaps College in the fall of 2013. Grondhuis brings a developmental approach to the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience where she teaches a variety of courses including Introduction to Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Theories of Personality, and Adulthood & Aging. In the future, she also hopes to offer courses that mirror her research focus on persons with developmental disabilities and issues in intelligence.
Grondhuis is committed to the ideals of a liberal arts education by taking psychology out of the classroom and helping her students incorporate the concepts discussed into everyday situations. Class discussions often encourage students to come up with their own "real world" examples to help internalize the material and make the topics more salient than only reading a textbook or taking notes during a lecture.
Grondhuis also aims to correct underlying misconceptions about psychology as a science and help students understand that it is a discipline that is based on research as well as theoretical foundations. During lecture, she presents classic studies that were influential in the field and pairs them with more current research to juxtapose the differences in methodology and interpretation throughout the relatively short history of psychology.
Kathryn S. Hahn, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at Millsaps College. She received her B.A. in psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and earned in M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. She regularly teaches applied courses such as Abnormal, Social, Test and Measurements, Personality, Clinical Psychology, and History and Systems in addition to enjoying even more specialized courses such Worry/Anxiety-Related Disorders and Clinical Reasoning (Science vs Pseudoscience).
Hahn's clinical specialty and teaching focus on the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral intersect of psychopathology. She has authored several articles and professional presentations related to the role of information processing biases and emotional dysregulation in the development and maintenance of anxiety and depression. She enjoys inspiring and guiding student interest in both the science and application of psychology.
Assistant Professor of Biology, 2014
B.A., Illinois Wesleyan University; Ph.D., Loyola University of Chicago
Teaching Fellow in Art History, 2014
B.A., University of Redlands; Ph.D., University of California, San Diego
"I teach everything from freshman to advanced courses. My philosophy is simple: Let students' questions guide the teaching and have several different explanations of some of the tougher, abstract concepts. Thinking of 'outside the box' ideas to help present material in class has helped my research, too. At the lower level, "Mark Lynch's Construction" is in the text Real Analysis: The Theory of Calculus, 2nd edition, my "Paradoxical Paint Pail" is in The Calculus Collection: Resources for AP and Beyond, and at the upper level, "Lynch's Theorem" is in the text Hyperspaces: Fundamentals and Recent Advances. Other ideas have made their way to websites. Ultimately, it would be cool to have some of my work become part of the undergraduate mathematics curriculum."
Dr. Anne C. MacMaster's areas of teaching-interest include modernist fiction, drama, and poetry, as well as the art of adaptation--turning fiction into film. Courses that she has offered recently include Homer's Odyssey and Joyce's Ulysses, Twentieth-Century African American Fiction, and Faulkner, Film, and Social Justice, and authors whom she has published on include Wharton, Woolf, James, Keats, and Milton.
Debora Mann serves as chair of the Biology Department and director of the Environmental Studies Program. She currently teaches Botany, Ecology and Environmental Studies Seminar, as well as a science a course for non-science majors, Explore the Natural World. In May she teaches a course for both science majors and non-science majors in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. After visiting Quito on the mainland of Ecuador, her class travels on a 16-passenger vessel for a week, exploring various islands of the Galapagos archipelago and the surrounding marine reserve.
Whether at home or abroad, Mann enjoys exploring the world of living things with her students. She explains, “There is so much to learn about the organisms whose lives are playing out all around us. It’s a 3 1Ž2 billion-year-old legacy on which we all depend and yet understand so little about.”
Dr. Robert S. McElvaine is the author of ten books and has four more in the works. He is considered one of the world’s leading historians of the era of the Great Depression. His specialties include cultural and political history and sex and gender. He teaches courses in American history and interdisciplinary courses on segments of twentieth century America. Currently he is completing a comprehensive history of America in the year 1964. He travels abroad extensively and teaches a course in Vietnam and Cambodia on the American War in Vietnam.
“Several of my passions come together in the classroom. I love to teach, write, and travel. I write in a conversational tone and consider my writing as teaching to a larger audience. In the classroom this means much interaction and discussion with students. My objective is always to talk not to students, but with students.
What I write about often finds its way into the classroom, and most of my foreign travels produce insights that are useful in class. I also love music and film and these media are featured prominently in my classes. My courses on The Great Depression, The 40s and 50s, The Sixties, and The 70s and 80s all utilize literature, films and music and involve students in much discussion.”
Zach joined the Geology Department at Millsaps College in 2007. He teaches Geosystems, Plate Tectonics and Earth History, Sedimentary Geology, Processes Geomorphology and the Junior/Senior Geology Seminar. His field courses include The Greater Yellowstone Geoecosystem, Earthquakes and Volcanoes of the Pacific Northwest, Folded Rocks – Crossing the Appalachia, and the Department's capstone field experience in southwest Montana.
Zach joined the Millsaps faculty because he is committed to engaging undergraduate students in research and sharing the learning process in the field. Research and teaching within the field are crucial components to understanding most aspects of the earth system. Learning and studying volcanoes becomes more interactive when you are standing on a hotspot in Yellowstone or looking at the flank collapse of Mt. St. Helens. Placing the enormous amount of energy glaciers have in context is much more appreciated when you are looking out over a U-shaped valley from the lateral moraine of Nisqually Glacier on the snowcapped side of Mt. Rainier. It is these sensational experiences that make the earth sciences exciting, and what Zach appreciates the most about engaging his students.
"I find teaching to be quite fun and rewarding. The job of a math professor is to both teach the material and demonstrate to the students why it is interesting and convince them that they are capable of learning it. I want all students to leave my classroom understanding the basic concepts covered in the course, but I see further opportunities to assist them in their evolution as critical thinkers and problem solvers. To this end, I am incorporating more learner-centered techniques than ever before.
"I strive to create a relaxed classroom atmosphere and make sure that student responses are always given merit – because right or wrong, they are valuable and we can all learn from them. My goal as a teacher is to foster the desire to learn and encourage learning by opening my own mind to let the students teach me new ways to reach them.
"While at Millsaps, I have taught Elementary Functions, Elementary Statistics, Calculus I, Calculus II, Introduction to Advanced Math, Linear Algebra, Graph Theory, and Number Theory. Hopefully new adventures await me in other courses as well! I plan to continue to find ways to connect with students and help them to connect with the material."
"I teach courses in Religious Studies, and Christianity is my specialization. I love studying people's particular religious beliefs, how those beliefs are intertwined with other ideas and contexts, and how people's lives and practices reflect (or not!) their theologies. Religious beliefs and/or reactions against them are deeply embedded features of most people's lives on this planet. By studying religions—both one's own tradition, if applicable, and others' traditions—we learn that they are complex, various, and have capacities for self-criticism and change. By studying religions, those who are part of a religious tradition may become active shapers of their religious beliefs and practices in the present and future, and all of us can develop greater respect for our religious and non-religious neighbors. Students are wonderful conversation partners in the study of religions, and I am delighted to be part of students' learning processes.
"I take a learner-centered approach to teaching, which means that I focus on helping students achieve their particular goals for the course and I provide opportunities and assistance for them to develop their own reflections and reasonings. We pay attention to the ways that the course material and processes relate to other aspects of students' lives, both inside and outside the classroom. Here are some examples of the courses I teach: Modern and Contemporary Theology, Feminism and Religious Traditions, Chaos and Community in Medieval Christianity, Religion and Economics, Feminist Theology, and Faith and Reason. I look forward to learning with you."
"I have great passion for my chosen field of study, which I try to demonstrate in every class session. My marketing profession, too, provides me with many avenues for displaying an enthusiasm for learning that makes for an interesting classroom experience. We are surrounded by marketers' creations in the form of advertisements, websites, and brand images competing for our attention and our dollars. Marketers filter much of what we learn about the world, such as when we see images of rich or beautiful people in TV commercials or magazines. Ads show us how the mass culture expects us to act and what merchandisers hope to convince us to purchase.
To involve my students with the subject matter requires a curriculum design that emphasizes the use of experiential learning. I often employ class projects that require the students to "get out in the real world" to solve marketing-related problems. My teaching strategy is based upon the fundamental premise that the classroom can be a rewarding and exciting place. Emphasizing participation provides an environment that encourages creative thought and convergence of ideas with marketing skills. Class participation provides the students with the opportunity to develop skills in presenting points of view and in listening; these skills are as valuable as the "techniques" discussed during the course."
Stephanie Rolph, assistant professor in the Department of History, is a native of Jackson and a Millsaps alumnus (1999). She earned her M.A. in 2004 and her Ph.D. in 2009 from Mississippi State University, where she specialized in the history of the American South. Since arriving in fall 2010, Rolph has offered a variety of courses including Mississippi History, Civil War, Colonial America, Gilded Age and Progressive Era, Masculinity in the Twentieth Century, Women and Men in America, and Afro-American Heritage, in addition to Core Curriculum courses. Rolph also serves as the internship coordinator for the History Department and faculty director for Community Engaged Learning. Her expertise in southern history, her Jackson roots and her commitment to Millsaps as her alma mater make active, experiential learning a priority for Rolph. Her students are likely to find a rigorous exposure to the discipline's traditions and are challenged to consider innovative ways that historians can make contributions to their communities through preservation, memory, educational outreach, and the construction of identity. Rolph is currently writing her book,Whiting Out the Movement: The Citizens' Council and Civil Rights in the South.
Assistant Professor of Education, 2014
B.A., Taylor University; Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington
Before arriving at Millsaps in fall 2014, Nathan Shrader served successively as legislative aide and deputy director of communications to Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll, legislative aide to Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter in the Virginia General Assembly, and research analyst at Abrams Learning and Information Systems under General John N. Abrams (retired). He most recently worked from 2009 to 2014 at the Center on Regional Politics at Temple University and was an adjunct professor at Drexel and Neumann Universities. Shrader earlier served as legislative intern in Washington for United States Senator Arlen Specter, legislative intern to Pennsylvania State Representative Rod E. Wilt, and as a clerk under Westmoreland County (PA) Recorder of Deeds Tom Murphy. He has worked as a consultant, manager, staffer, and volunteer on more than two dozen campaigns for federal, state, and local candidates.
Through his own unique experiences both studying and practicing the art of politics and governance, Shrader encourages his students to build bridges between the theoretical and the real-world application of political science. His main areas of academic interest include state and local government, political history, the presidency, political marketing, campaigns and elections, political parties, and public policy.
Elise Smith is a professor of art history and the Sanderson Chair in Arts and Sciences, and she also serves as the chair of the Art Department. She has taught a wide array of art history courses, including all of the major periods from Ancient to Contemporary as well as certain specialized subjects such as Women Artists, Images of Women in Art and Literature, History of Architecture, and Topics in World Art. As the founder of the Museum Studies program at Millsaps, she teaches the introductory Museum Studies course and oversees all of the student internships. In addition to giving many of the Heritage art lectures, she has also offered a number of Core humanities courses, including the freshman Core 1 seminar (Art Talk: Controversies in the Visual Arts and Social Justice and the Arts: Images of Race and Gender) and interdisciplinary premodern and modern Topics courses (Self and Community in the Sixteenth Century and Art and Revolution: Visual Propaganda during the French Age of Revolution).
Dr. Smith explains, "I have been profoundly influenced by my years of teaching at a liberal arts college that values interdisciplinary thinking. I approach art in a very different way than I used to, now seeing it in the larger context of other cultural developments." She adds that she particularly values open discussion in the classroom: "I love seeing what questions students come up with and how they approach art works from different perspectives. Teaching should always be surprising and invigorating."
"I have the good fortune to belong to two great departments, philosophy and religious studies. There's an endlessly interesting interaction between the things I learn in these two fields, but my purposes are quite distinct: in philosophy I want to see what can be figured out just by the free exercise of reason, while in religious studies I deal with the experiences, practices, and spiritually potent thoughts of actual individuals and historical communities.
"My specialty is philosophy of religion, but in the liberal arts college context I've had the opportunity to explore and teach in many related subjects, including the history of Western philosophy; philosophy of human nature; ethics; aesthetics and philosophy of film; religion and science; religious ethics; and the history of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim thought. My historical and cultural awareness has grown immensely as a result of teaching in the Millsaps humanities core, both in the Heritage program and in the Topics course sequence.
"I teach because I want to learn and be in conversation, especially about viable ideal standards of realness and goodness. (Platonic Forms? Perhaps!) Outside of active inquiry, knowledge isn't alive. Outside of conversation, ideas are dull and untrustworthy. One has to test one's understanding of anything by trying to share it with others. Together we have to test the way we live by trying to apply our best ideas. For me, every class is a fellowship dedicated to these principles."
William Kelleher Storey is professor of history at Millsaps College, where he has taught since 1999. Storey teaches classes about the British Empire, South Africa, the First World War, and the Second World War, often with a focus on environment and technology. He has also taught for British Studies at Oxford. His classes are typically discussion-based seminars in which students learn about the past by means of direct engagement with source materials.
Storey hopes to build a community of writers at Millsaps College and often shares his own research and writing with students.
He is the author of four books, all of which have been drafted and revised in dialogue with students. Two books are based on research about environmental and technological aspects of imperialism: Guns, Race, and Power in Colonial South Africa (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and Science and Power in Colonial Mauritius (University of Rochester Press, 1997). He is also the author of two textbooks that draw on his teaching at Millsaps: Writing History: A Guide for Students (Oxford University Press, 4th ed. 2012) and The First World War: A Concise Global History (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009). Storey is currently writing a biography of Cecil Rhodes.
For his commitment to teaching and writing, Storey has been recognized as the Mississippi Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He has also won the Millsaps Distinguished Professor Award and the Mississippi Humanities Council Teacher Award. His writing has won the prizes for the best journal article and best scholarly book from the Society for the History of Technology. His research has been sponsored by grants from Fulbright; the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Markus Tellkamp joined the Department of Biology at Millsaps in 2007. He teaches Introductory Cell Biology, General Zoology, Ornithology, Tropical Ornithology, Tropical Ecology and Conservation, Conservation Biology, and Comparative Animal Physiology. He teaches the two courses on tropical biology in Yucatan, on the college's Kaxil Kiuic Biocultural Reserve and the entire peninsula of Yucatan.
Interested in conservation of the planet's resources, Markus became an environmental educator and naturalist guide to the Andes and Amazonian floodplains early on in his career. As a guide he interacted with varied groups of people, from school children living in the poor town hoods of Quito (Ecuador's capital) to adventurous foreign tourists seeking a meaningful nature experience. Markus became interested in Millsaps College because of its liberal arts approach to education and its Kaxil Kiuic Biocultural Reserve in Yucatan, Mexico. Being able to apply his experience as a naturalist to learning/teaching in an open-minded academic environment in a tropical setting was an immediate draw.
In his classes at the Millsaps campus, Markus tries to take students outside as much as possible. It is here that experiential and inquiry-based learning is the most intense for field-based courses. It is here that many students can connect to their natural environment in a way they have not experienced before. Markus tries to include a community engaged learning experiences in his courses. For Conservation Biology students have volunteered at the Mississippi Museum of Natural History, the Jackson Zoo, and the Clinton Community Nature Center.
"As someone trained as a behavioral neuroscientist, I often am asked why I teach in a Psychology Department.
"The answer to that question is straightforward: The connection between our brain and our behavior is something that can be assessed in a variety of ways. Having previously worked in both physiological research facilities as well as behavioral research programs my preference is to examine behaviors directly. Psychology focuses on behavior so it is a natural fit for my interests.
"Working within the area of psychology we can address specific behavioral questions such as:
"What leads to hunger and satiation? Are drug addictions just bad choices or are these behaviors governed by neurological changes? How does learning occur and how can you measure it? Are the brains of men and women different with respect to how they respond to sex?
"My classes focus on measurable behaviors and the underlying brain areas that regulate and modify such behaviors. By looking at both the neural substrates as well as accompanying overt behavior, students can make the direct connection between what they do and how the brain is controlling it all. Our students end up in a variety of professions (physicians, clinical psychologists, physical therapists, neuroscientists, etc) and having an understanding of how the body and brain work together is an integral part of their education and servers them well in any field of study they pursue."
Assistant Professor of Art, 2014
B.F.A., University of Massachusetts Dartmouth; M.F.A., Alfred University
A 2004 graduate of Millsaps College, Kenneth Townsend returned to his alma mater in 2012 to serve as Assistant Professor of Political Science and to work as Special Assistant to Millsaps President Rob Pearigen.
With graduate degrees in law, religion, and political theory, Kenneth teaches courses in political and legal theory, ethics, and constitutional law. His academic research and writing concern the role of religion in a democracy and the moral foundations of law. Kenneth loves teaching and has been known to offer one-on-one directed study courses for students who develop out-of-the-ordinary interests.
Committed to connecting theory and practice, Kenneth regularly brings judges, elected officials, and community leaders to speak to his classes. Kenneth also serves on the board of directors for various local, national, and international non-profit organizations, and every semester he helps connect students with jobs and internships in government, political consulting, economic development, and private law in Jackson and beyond.
Kenneth is also charged with helping make Millsaps Jackson's "public square" by organizing discussions and debates on matters of public significance. Recent public forums have included prominent local and national leaders and have explored topics such as the role of religion in public life, public education reform, the shift from print to electronic media, and the Affordable Care Act's impact on Mississippi.
A recipient of the Truman Scholarship for Public Service and the Rhodes Scholarship, Kenneth chairs the National Fellowships Committee at Millsaps and works closely with students who apply for these and other fellowships.
"Having attended a small liberal arts college, I knew that I wanted to teach in one. I enjoy getting to know students personally and maintaining contact with many of them after they graduate. Classes at Millsaps College are small enough to allow students to explore issues through discussion as well as through creative projects that often take them into the surrounding community. Thus, my main role is to pose questions that facilitate students' exploration within the classroom and to arrange for opportunities beyond the classroom. Because I want students to understand that professors do not have all the answers, I often present problems about which I am curious. This allows all of us to experience the excitement and wonder of discovery together.
"When I was an undergraduate, I was browsing the library's bookshelves in the religion section and thought, "I could read every book here." That's when I knew that becoming a professor of religious studies would satisfy me in a way that no other career could.The field is so deep that it can never be exhausted, which makes teaching continually fresh. My regular offerings include classes on the various religions of South and East Asia. One of my degrees is a Master of Liberal Studies, which I earned after reading the major literary and philosophical classics of western civilization.This degree serves me well now since I also contribute to Millsaps' core humanities program."
Assistant Professor of Spanish, 2014
B.A., Brigham Young University; M.A., California State University, Sacramento; M.A., Louisiana State University; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles
Jennifer Lewton-Yates is an instructor of Classics and coordinator of the Latin Pedagogy Initiative at Millsaps College. She teaches in the beginning Latin sequence, an intermediate Latin course on Catullus, advanced language courses in Greek and Latin (recent authors include Sophocles, Lysias, Euripides, and Apuleius), Classical Mythology, Roman Legacy, Greek Tragedy and a course on Medieval Women for the Core. She also organizes the annual Mississippi Junior Classical League Convention at Millsaps and serves on the board of the Mississippi Foreign Languages Association. If you see hundreds of high school students racing chariots and wearing togas on campus, she won't be far away.
Lewton-Yates did her undergraduate degree at Ohio Wesleyan University and is currently completing her Ph.D. at Brown with a dissertation focusing on the relationship between the Ancient Novels (fabulous stories about lovers separated by shipwrecks and men who get turned into donkeys) and Greek Tragedy (more fabulous stories about wives who have been replaced by ghosts and heroes who rescue their friends from the clutches of Death). "Having thrived on small classes and personalized attention from my professors as an undergraduate, I love being able to offer my students the same type of experience here at Millsaps," she said. "I like to keep the format of my language classes as flexible as possible to maximize student interest. When students ask to read a particular Catullus poem or a little bit of Latin Harry Potter the answer is almost always yes."