Newest faculty members bring diverse experiences to the Hill

August 24, 2009

Joining the ranks of McDaniel professors dedicated to teaching tomorrow’s leaders, the college’s newest faculty members include a psychologist whose expertise centers on false and prospective memories, an expert on Hispanic and Latin American culture and an award-winning television writer/producer.

Jack D. Arnal, assistant professor of Psychology, specializes in cognitive psychology. Most recently, he was an instructor in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Carolina Aiken, where he taught Psychology and the Law, Introductory Psychology, Statistics, Research Methods and Cognitive Psychology.

Last year, Arnal earned his doctoral degree in Experimental Psychology (Cognitive Emphasis) from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. He titled his dissertation, “A Stochastic Model of Prospective Memory.” In 2005, he earned his master’s degree in Experimental Psychology (Cognitive Emphasis), also from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and in 2003 he earned his bachelor’s degree with a double major in Psychology and Mathematics from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio.

Arnal has published work in several publications, including Experimental Psychology Research Trends, American Journal of Psychology and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition.

At McDaniel this semester, Arnal is teaching Cognitive Psychology and Psychology Methods I.

Frank Batavick is Visiting Professor of Communications. He will teach Introduction to Communication II: Media and Film Analysis. A freelance television writer/producer, Batavick’s current projects include work on a documentary about Harold Bloom, the famous literary critic, and a two-part DVD series on Spain’s “Generation of ’27.”

Most recently, Batavick served as chief content officer/vice president for New Jersey-based Films Media Group, where he supervised staffs based in the United States and the United Kingdom.

His television programs have earned dozens of regional and national awards, including: Peabody, New York Festivals Gold Medal and Golden Cines.

Batavick earned a master’s degree in Radio/TV/Film from the University of Maryland in 1971. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English from LaSalle University in Philadelphia in 1967.

Abigaíl Martínez-Sotelo is Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish. She will teach courses that are part of the college’s new Latino and Latin American Studies program, including the Hispanic World: Language and Society I and II, as well as Contemporary Latin American Culture.

Martínez-Sotelo’s teaching interests include 19th- through 21st-century Hispanic and Latin American narrative and culture; Spanish, Hispanic and Latin American film studies; cultural studies; literary theory; 19th- through 21st-century Spanish literature and culture; and Renaissance and Golden Age literature.

She most recently was a graduate associate in teaching at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where she was also assistant to the director of basic languages.

Martínez-Sotelo earned her doctorate in Spanish earlier this year from the University of Arizona, with a major in 19th- through 21st-century Latin American Literature and Culture, and a minor in 19th- and 20th-century Spanish Literature, and Renaissance and Golden Age Spanish Literature. She has a master’s degree in Spanish, also earned at the University of Arizona. She also has studied at Universidad de Sonora, Mexico.