Faculty promoted and granted tenure

July 28, 2009

As McDaniel College prepares for its 142nd academic year, three professors noted by students for quality teaching and advising have been promoted to the rank of full professor in their respective disciplines, and seven faculty members have been promoted to associate professor and granted tenure.

Thomas Falkner, provost and dean of the faculty, announced promotions to full professor for Mary Bendel-Simso, Rebecca Carpenter and Donna Evergates, and promotions to associate professor with tenure for Kate Dobson, Julia Jasken, Amy McNichols, Mark Rust, Jonathan Slade, Bryn Upton and Deborah Clark Vance.

Promoted to full professor:
- Mary Bendel-Simso joined the English department in 1995 after earning a B.A. in English from The College of St. Catherine and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton. She recently published, with English Professor LeRoy Panek, “Early American Detective Stories: An Anthology,” which includes detective stories originally published in nineteenth-century newspapers and magazines, many of which have never previously been republished.

Bendel-Simso designed and implemented with her students the McDaniel College Short Story Project, a Web resource for the study of short stories by famous authors such as Mark Twain, Willa Cather and O. Henry. The site is created by students in the English department in Bendel-Simso’s classes as well as Julia Jasken’s classes and now features information and Web references on nine authors and their short stories.

Colonial, 19th- and 20th-century American Literature and Southern Literature are her specialties, and recent courses include “The College Essay,” “Writing about Literature,” “American Literature: Modern and Contemporary” and “American Novel.”

- Rebecca Carpenter brought her expertise in modern British literature, Victorian literature and Colonial/post-Colonial literature and theory to the English department in 1995. She earned a B.A. in English from Amherst College and a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and was named in 1997 most promising young Joseph Conrad scholar in the world.

She has published extensively and is a frequent presenter at various academic conferences. Most recently she presented “Harry Potter and the Enabling Anachronism” at the Northeast Modern Language Association Convention and “‘It’s a Job for Dad’: Reinforcing Gender, Class, and Familial Norms in ‘The Dangerous Book for Boys,’” at the Mid-Atlantic Popular and American Culture Association, arguing that the book promotes an exclusionary nostalgia for white, Christian, two-parent, middle-class families.

Carpenter has served the college through many faculty committees and college groups, including the Curriculum Committee, which helped design and implement the new curriculum, and “The Vagina Monologues,” which raises funds for the local Safe House, Rape Crisis and international causes.

- Donna Evergates earned a B.A. in Classics from Goucher College and a Ph.D. in Classics from The Johns Hopkins University. She has been a faculty member in the departments of Foreign Languages and History since 1987 and began teaching at the College in 1976 as an adjunct lecturer.

Fluent in Latin and Greek, Evergates teaches the works of Catullus, Cicero, Homer and Euripides in the original to small groups of capable students. She also helps many more build a strong foundation in the Classics through survey courses featuring Greek and Roman literature in translation.

Her dedication to traditional course work is rivaled only by her exploration of post-modernist academic disciplines. Since becoming the coordinator of the Women’s Studies minor in 1996, she’s taught courses that examine women’s experiences in medieval and early modern history as well as modern European and American history.

Evergates has sponsored independent studies in such topics as Women During Apartheid and Feminist Theory as well as Latin, Greek and history. She advises senior capstone research papers for student-designed majors in Classical Civilization and Women’s Studies with topics that include women’s psychology, feminism in the political theory of John Stuart Mill, post-Holocaust Jewish poets, and Latino immigrant women. Recently, she mentored a student doing a capstone paper on Jewish feminism – and will advise two students this fall, one tackling feminist art theory and another, Roman epic.

She has served on numerous faculty and college committees and was recognized with the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003 and the McDaniel College Special Achievement Award in 2007 for leadership and implementation of the College’s new curriculum.

Promoted to associate professor with tenure:
- Kathryn E. Dobson joined the English department in 2003, bringing with her teaching and research interests that include topics in both literature and rhetoric. Her expertise in literature includes literary nonfiction, memoir and autobiography, the graphic novel and Early American literature – while she maintains strong interests in rhetorical theory, narrative theory, rhetoric of history, biography, autobiography and law, advanced writing, composition and pedagogy. Dobson earned a B.S. in English and Mathematics from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from University of Maryland.

She has published and presented on the graphic novel and comics, and teaches the first-year seminar course, “My Life in Pictures: The Graphic Novel,” as well as classes in writing about literature, memoir writing, and rhetorical approaches to everyday discourse.

- Julia Jasken received a B.A. in English from the College of St. Benedict, M.A. in English with emphasis on Rhetoric and Women’s Studies from Northern Illinois University and Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication with emphasis on digital media, English composition and professional communication from Michigan Technological University. A member of the English department since 2003, Jasken’s interests focus on professional and electronic communication. She has mentored students doing independent studies in issues in a digital culture and designing and editing in a digital world.

In 2008, she and Suzanne Seibert received the Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Grant to design and implement a departmental writing fellows program to further the Writing in the Disciplines initiative mandated by the new curriculum. Jasken and English Professor Mary Bendel-Simso presented their Web-based short-story project, “The (Short) Stories We Tell: Connecting Communities through Literature on the World Wide Web,” at a special session at the Modern Language Association Convention in December 2005.

- Amy C. McNichols joined the department of Foreign Languages in 2003 with a B.A. in Modern Languages from University of Scranton, M.A., M.A.T. in Spanish from Binghamton University and Ph.D. in Spanish American Literature from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research and teaching interests include Spanish-American Colonial Literature, Spanish and Spanish-American early modern women writers. In addition to the traditional Spanish classes, she has taught “Latin American Theater,” “Contemporary Latin American Culture” and “The Latino Experience in Fiction, Memoir and Film.”

McNichols is involved as advisor to several student organizations, including Palabras to Words, in which students tutor non-English speakers; Mano en Mano, which organizes family-centered activities for Spanish-speaking children in the Westminster area, and McDaniel’s Hispano-Latino Alliance.

- Mark M. Rust earned a B.A. and an M.A. in Elementary Education/Deaf Education from the University of Northern Colorado and a Ph.D. in Education from Capella University. A member of the Education faculty since 2003, Rust is coordinator of the Graduate Deaf Education program. He has advised and consulted with American Sign Language and Deaf education programs nationally, and has frequently presented papers at academic conferences.

Rust was influential in the College securing funding from three foundations in 2008 – one, from the Charlotte Newcombe Foundation, supporting graduate candidates in Deaf education, and the other two, from the Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation and the John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, supporting the enhancement of technology for Deaf education instruction.

- Jonathan F. Slade is a graduate of the Communication department at McDaniel and earned an M.F.A. in cinema-television production from the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. Slade brings his expertise in television and film production, script writing and film analysis to Communication majors and particularly Film and Video Studies minors at McDaniel.

For 11 years, he was a full-time producer of documentaries and children’s programming at Maryland Public Television where he received four Emmy Awards for the educational “Vid Kid” series he created, wrote, directed, and produced. His most recent Emmy recognized him as producer, writer and editor of “Eatin’ Crabs Chesapeake Style,” a documentary about Maryland’s favorite crustacean which aired on MPT’s Chesapeake Bay Week in April 2009.

- Bryn E. Upton joined the History department in 2002 after earning an A.B. in History from Bowdoin College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from Brandeis University. A sampling of courses Upton developed at McDaniel includes “Greed, Gangsters and the Great Depression: The United States 1898-1940,” “Black America and the Civil Rights Movement, 1865-1968,” “The American Intellectual Tradition,” and “Pop Culture vs. Academia: The New American Anti-Intellectualism.” He is co-coordinator of the Africana Studies Program and editor of the History Department newsletter, “Dispatches from the Hill.”

Upton has presented lectures in various forums on topics that include “The ‘Obama Effect’: Is this the end of American racism?” and “Academics and Intellectuals in a Post-Rational America.”

- Deborah Clark Vance, a member of the Communication department faculty since 2003, earned a Ph.B. in Speech Communication from Northwestern University, M.A. in Mass Communication and Communication Studies from Towson University and a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication and Rhetoric from Howard University. Advisor for the WMCR Radio Club, her teaching and research interests span media and culture, media analysis and criticism, critical theories and rhetorical analysis.

Among Vance’s numerous publications and presentations are “Teaching about Television,” “Like a Neighborhood of Sisters: Can Culture Be Formed Electronically?” and “Creating self-reliant communities: Disaster preparation and response.” Before joining McDaniel’s faculty, Vance was a freelance writer and editor, an artist, a garden designer, teacher of adults with emotional illness, and held various positions in television and radio.