Eight new faculty welcome Class of 2012

September 02, 2008

McDaniel College’s eight newest faculty members bring years of experience and expertise developed inside the classroom and beyond the walls of academia.

Their wide-ranging academic and professional journeys have led one to volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in the Honduras to spur agricultural conservation efforts, another to explore connections between exercise and diabetes, and another to trace the social and cultural history of imperial China.

The new tenure-track faculty are:

Jacqueline Couti, assistant professor of French, who recently completed her Ph.D. in French Language and Literatures at the University of Virginia, where she wrote a dissertation (translated from the French) on: “The Archaeology of Sexuality: The Recolonization of the Black Female Body in Antillean Discourse.”  She brings with her a broad range of teaching experience that runs from introductory French to 20th-century culture and literature. Couti earned her undergraduate degree from the Universitédes Anitilles-Guyane, Martinique, and her M.A. in French Language and Literature from the University of Virginia.

Qin Fang, assistant professor of History, recently completed the doctoral program at the University of Minnesota and a dissertation titled “Creating Landscape: Locality, Identity, and Culture in Qing China.” She earned her bachelor’s degree from Anhui Normal University, China, and her M.A. in history from Fudan University in Shanghai. She also worked for four years as a research librarian in the Historical Documents Research Center in the Shanghi Library, one of the best research libraries on late imperial China.

Scott D. Hardy, assistant professor of Environmental Policy and Science and a member of the Department of Political Science and International Studies, completed a Ph.D. in 2007 in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources at The Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources. His dissertation is titled: “Not So Eerie Anymore? The Promise of Collaborative Watershed Management in the Lake Erie Basin.”  Hardy says his most influential experience as an educator came while serving as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, where he spent two years focusing on a variety of conservation-based topics. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Geography from Ohio University’s Department of Geography and his master’s of Professional Studies in Environmental Management from Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources. He was recently a senior lecturer in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Akron.

James L. Kunz, associate professor of Social Work, most recently was assistant professor of Social Work at Millersville University in Pennsylvania where he taught classes in the areas of social welfare, social policy and macro practice. Kunz says that his teaching philosophy is to make the topics relevant to students’ field and volunteer experiences and to draw connections between academic topics and social work practice. He earned a B.A. from the University of Virginia, and a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Maryland. He went on to earn a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Michigan and completed a Ph.D. in Social Work and Economics (a joint degree) at the University of Michigan. He has an extensive and impressive publication record.

Jennifer A. McKenzie, assistant professor of Exercise Science, officially completed her Ph.D. in Kinesiology at the University of Maryland, where she wrote a dissertation on “The influence of visfatin and visfatin gene polymorphisms on glucose and obesity-related variables and their responses to aerobic exercise training.” Her specializations include concentrations in  glucose and insulin metabolism, pre-diabetes, obesity and gene-environment interactions. McKenzie received her B.A. in Chemistry and Exercise Science from McDaniel College. She went on to earn the M.A. in Kinesiology from the University of Maryland.

Brett A. McMillan, assistant professor of Biology, served as a visiting member of the faculty last year. In his own words, McMillan says his liberal arts education “inspired me to go to graduate school and prepare for a career teaching at a small liberal arts college.” McMillan earned his B.A. from Berea College, his M.S. from the University of Florida, and his Ph.D. in Ecological Science from Old Dominion University. He wrote a dissertation titled “Ecology and Vegetation on the Pimple Dunes on Virgina’s Barrier Island.”

Kathleen M. Oxx, assistant professor of Religious Studies, was a visiting assistant professor of Theology at Saint Joseph’s University. Her specialization is the history of Christianity with a concentration in North American Religious History. She earned her B.A. in English from The College of New Jersey and a M.A. in Religion and a Ph.D of Philosophy in Religion from Claremont Graduate University with a dissertation “Considerate Portion[s]: Problematizing the Religious Ecology of Early National Philadelphia, 1827-1845.”

Madeline E. Rhodes, assistant professor of Psychology, served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Smith College, where in addition to teaching she continued research investigating steroid hormones as a putative mechanism for the effects of commonly used therapeutics. She has also taught at Skidmore College and Rennsselaer Polytechnic Institute. Rhodes received her B.A. in Psychology from Southwestern University, her M.S. in Psychology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and her Ph.D. at SUNY—Albany in Behavioral Endocrinology. She did subsequent post-docs there and at the U. of Hartford.  She has a long list and impressive list of publications and presentations.