College Welcomes New Faculty and Staff

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This semester, the College of Arts & Letters is pleased to welcome 22 new faculty and staff members. Please join us in welcoming the following people to Michigan State University and the College of Arts & Letters:

Ruth Nicole Brown
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Ruth Nicole Brown is the Inaugural Chairperson for the Department of African American and African Studies (AAAS). Previously, she worked as an Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A Whiting Foundation Public Engagement Fellow (2018-2019) and Conrad Humanities Scholar (2018-2023), Brown has devoted her career to engaged scholarship with Black girls to create new worlds with, ask questions of, and celebrate Black girlhood. Her research documents, analyzes, and interrogates Black girls’ lived experience and explores the gender and racialized power dynamics of collectivity, particularly as it relates to Black girlhood as practiced in Saving Our Lives Hear Our Truths (SOLHOT). Her book, Hear Our Truths: The Creative Potential of Black Girlhood, engages Black feminist poetics and women of color feminisms to analyze SOLHOT’s pedagogical interventions, artistic contributions, and radical expressions of Black girlhood. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan.

Ogamauh annag qwe (aka Sue Chiblow)
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Ogamauh annag qwe (also known as Sue Chiblow) is a Pre-Doctoral Fellow in the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program and is crane clan born and raised in Garden River First Nation. Her work focuses on “N’bi G’giikendaaswinmin” (water knowledge) exploring humanity’s relationship to N’bi and how improving this relation can support well-being for N’bi, other beings, and humanity. She received her M.A. from Royal Roads University and currently is working on her Ph.D. at York University. She is the recipient of the Vanier Graduate Scholarship, co-chair of the Indigenous Advisory Committee to the Canadian Impact Assessment Agency, and a member of the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Sub Committee to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. She has worked extensively with First Nation Peoples and is a volunteer for the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Elders of the Robinson Huron Treaty territory. 

Caitlin Cornell
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Caitlin Cornell, Assistant Director of the Center for Language Teaching Advancement, is also a Ph.D. student in MSU’s Second Language Studies Program. As a doctoral student, she founded an “Applied Interdisciplinary Scholarship in Second Language Acquisition” student reading group and led an undergraduate reading group on topics of accessible teaching in second language learning. She has an M.A. in Linguistics with a specialization in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL) from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Her research interests include accessible teaching and learning (particularly within second/foreign language learning contexts), inquiry into individual differences, and equity and fairness in language learning environments and assessments. She has taught English language courses for more than a decade both in the U.S. and abroad. She completed two U.S. State Department English Language Fellowships in Beirut, Lebanon. She also taught undergraduate language teaching methodology courses and designed and taught a course on Race, Language, and Disability in Spring 2020.

Megan Dean
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Megan Dean, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy, specializes in Feminist Bioethics and has a research focus on ethical issues related to eating. While most food ethics concentrates on the impact of food production and consumption on human and non-human others, the environment, and health, Dean highlights the ethical importance of the activity of eating itself. Her work in this field has appeared in academic journals such as Feminist Philosophy QuarterlyJournal of Medical Ethics, and Journal of Bioethical Inquiry. Her research interests also include Disability Studies, Continental Philosophy, and Science and Values. She received a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Georgetown University in 2019 and most recently held the Chauncey Truax Postdoctoral Fellowship at Hamilton College. She also has an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Alberta.

Stephen Di Benedetto
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Stephen Di Benedetto, Professor and Chairperson in the Department of Theatre, comes to MSU from the University of Miami where he was an Associate Professor of Theatre History. Di Benedetto also served as a Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Chair, and Chair and Executive Director of the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. His current research and publications explore scenographic design in various cultural contexts and examine the ways in which the five senses are harnessed by artists in performance from a phenomenological perspective. He also is interested in the ways that performance can inform other disciplines. He has written two books and co-edited another one. He also is currently co-editing The Cambridge Companion to American Theatre since 1945, which is expected to be published in 2021. Di Benedetto received his Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre from Goldsmiths College, University of London, in 2000

Meagan Driver
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Meagan Driver, Assistant Professor in the Department of Romance and Classical Studies and the Second Language Studies Program, is an applied linguist who specializes in second language acquisition and heritage language education. Her research implements cognitive theories and methodologies to explore the relationship between various topics including emotion, bilingualism and multilingualism, and study abroad. Her work on curriculum design focuses on third language acquisition, including an Integrated Language Exchange program in her design of a Spanish for French Speakers course at Georgetown University, where she earned a Ph.D. She has two co-authored handbook chapters on heritage speakers in study abroad and cognitive perspectives on corrective feedback, as well as one co-authored meta-analysis on self-efficacy in second language acquisition, scheduled for the current year.

Erica Hooker
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Erica Hooker, Academic Advisor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, has advised and provided social, emotional, and academic support to students for the past 11 years. She spent the first eight years working in student housing at Kansas State University, University of Iowa, and Southern Indiana University. In 2016, she became a Career Readiness Advisor and Academic Advisor at Southern Indiana University, where she advised and supported students with career- and major-related questions. She is looking forward to being back with students who are pursuing degrees in the arts, as her undergraduate degree is in Art Education. Hooker also has her own photography business, called Sweet Olive Photography. She has an M.S. in College Student Development from Kansas State University.

Akiko Imamura
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Akiko Imamura, Assistant Professor of Japanese and Japanese Language Program Coordinator in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, previously taught Japanese Language and Japanese Linguistics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Swarthmore College. Her research focuses on Japanese language use and social interaction. Her current research project investigates compliments and the recipients’ treatment of compliments in Japanese everyday conversation using conversation analysis. She currently is working on a manuscript that is being reviewed: Sequential Environment, Epistemics, and Contingent Operation of Preferences in Japanese Ordinary Conversation. She has a Ph.D. in Japanese Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Alan Hezao Ke
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Alan Hezao Ke, Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics and German, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, has taught a variety of college-level linguistics courses since 2014. His research focuses on syntax and its interaction with sentence processing, language acquisition, and computational modeling. He has been a part of research projects such as The Emergence of Logic in Child Language (2010-2013) and Linguistic Knowledge in Children with Specific Language Impairment (2012-2013). His work has been published in the Journal of Linguistics and the Journal of Psycholinguistic Research. Ke earned his Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Michigan and his M.A. in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from the Beijing Language and Culture University.

Eun Hee Kim
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Eun Hee Kim, Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics and German, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, is a Korean language instructor who previously taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at Rice University. Her research focuses on second/heritage language acquisition, bilingualism, Korean linguistics, experimental syntax, and psycholinguistics. Kim also has worked as a high school English teacher in Korea and as a content developer of a Korean language learning app development team. She received both her Ph.D. and M.A. in Linguistics along with a certification of Second Language Acquisition and Teacher Education (SLATE) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also has an M.Ed. in English Language and Education from Korea University.

Young Joon Kwak
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Young Joon Kwak, Artist-in-Residence of Critical Race Studies, Department of Art, Art History, and Design, is a multidisciplinary artist and founder of Mutant Salon, a beauty salon and roving platform for collaborative performance and community building within the queer, trans, POC, womyn, and mutant communities. Kwak has presented solo and collaborative exhibitions and performances around the world and is this year’s recipient of the Korea Arts Foundation of America’s Award for the Visual Arts. Kwak has an M.F.A. from the University of Southern California, M.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago, and B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has taught at the University of California, San Diego, California Institute of the Arts, and served as a Mentor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Low-Residency MFA Program.

Dan Li
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Dan Li, Art Education Specialist in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, has a Ph.D. in Art Education from the University of Houston and both an M.A. in Contemporary Studio Arts and Criticism in Education and Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Education University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on social justice art education, issues-based art education, critical visual literacy, interdisciplinary art education, and technology in art education and has been funded by the Office of the Provost Global Initiatives and Cougar Initiative to Engage Grant at the University of Houston. She has published peer-reviewed articles in national and international journals including Art Education JournalInternational Journal of Education & the Arts, and International Journal of Arts Education. She serves on the Art Education Journal editorial review board.

Tamura Lomax
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Tamura Lomax, Associate Professor in the Department of African American and African Studies, received her Ph.D. in Religion from Vanderbilt University, where she specialized in Black Religious History and Black Diaspora Studies. In 2018, Lomax published her first single-authored book, Jezebel Unhinged: Loosing the Black Female Body in Religion and Culture, and currently is working on a new book, Parenting Against the Patriarchy: Raising Non-Toxic Sons in White Supremacist America. In 2017, she co-organized “Our History, Our Future: A Multigenerational Human Rights Conference” at Boston University, which brought together 1960s Civil Rights and Black Panther Party activists with Black Lives Matter activists. And in 2011, Lomax co-founded The Feminist Wire, an online publication committed to feminist, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist socio-political critique.

Hui-Ling S. Malone
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Hui-Ling S. Malone, Assistant Professor of English Education in the Department of English, is a former secondary English teacher who has worked in various communities including Detroit, Michigan; Los Angeles, California; and the South Bronx, New York. She is interested in language and literacy that sustain communities as well as young people. Her scholarship centers on young people through leading Youth-led Participatory Action Research groups, researching with youth organizers, and studying various youth learning experiences in and outside the classroom. Her research focuses on community-centric practices through teaching and learning in the hopes of strengthening relationships among students and surrounding school community members to address immediate social issues. She has a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning, with a focus on urban education, from New York University.

Takuma Miura
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Takuma Miura, Instructor of Japanese in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, has taught at Harvard University, Bates College, and Carthage College prior to coming to MSU. He was the Instructor of the Harvard Kendo Club at Harvard University and the Carthage Kendo Club at Carthage College. He also was the instructor of the Weekly Japanese Cultural Event at Bates College. In 2017, he received the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching at Harvard University. In 2013, he was named Target Language Expert at Carthage College. Miura also was a Japanese Instructor at Aoyama Gakuin University and Tamagawa Gakuen High School in Tokyo, Japan. He received his M.A. in Language Arts at Carthage College and his B.A. in Japanese Language and Literature at Aoyama Gakuin University.

Abhishek Narula
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Abhishek Narula, Assistant Professor in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, is a conceptual artist, hacker, and educator who received his M.F.A. from the University of Michigan and his M.S. and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His practice-based research explores the complex relationship between technology, society, and culture. His work has been exhibited at Speculum Artium Media Festival, Stamps Ann Arbor Gallery, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Boulder Public Library, Boulder Creative Collective, Hyde Park Art Center, and Sector 2337 Art Gallery & Printing Press. He is an honorary board member of the Open Source Hardware Association and has presented at several conferences including New Media Caucus, Tangible Embedded Interaction, International Symposium of Electronic Arts, and Infosys Pathfinders Institute.

Frederick Poole
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Frederick Poole, Assistant Professor of Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching, Center for Language Teaching Advancement, this year received his Ph.D. in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences from the College of Education at Utah State University and has a Master of Second Language Teaching Degree. His research investigates the implementation of technology for improving and assessing second language literacy skills and the effect of well-designed games on second language learning, teaching, and classroom dynamics. His work has been published in Foreign Language Annals, System, and Language Learning & Technology. Poole has taught both English and Chinese as a foreign language as well as graduate-level courses related to second language teaching methods, educational technology, and using games for learning.

Bonnie Russell
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Bonnie Russell, Project Manager, Dean’s Office, has more than 20 years of experience in digital and interactive technology. She previously worked as a Technical Project Manager at Wayne State University from 2011 to 2020 and before that worked as a Digital Manager at EEI Global in Rochester Hills, Michigan, from 2001 to 2011. She also has extensive experience with digital asset management and metadata management and creation. In 2019, she served as Chair for the Association of University Presses Digital Publishing Committee and was on the Planning Committee for the Network Detroit Digital Humanities Conference. She has a Master’s of Library and Information Science and a B.A. in Film Studies with a minor in Theatre, both from Wayne State University. 

Betsy Sneller
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Betsy Sneller, Assistant Professor of Linguistics in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, is a sociolinguist who researches how social and linguistic factors interact to produce patterns of language change. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. from the University of Essex. She is a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship award, a National Science Foundation (NSF) summer fellowship grant, and an NSF dissertation grant. Her work has appeared in several top journals including Language Variation and Change and Cognition. Her current research, the MI COVID Diaries project, investigates how social distancing practices in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic are impacting Michiganders’ daily lives and social experiences as well as their language use. 

Bruna Sommer-Farias
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Bruna Sommer-Farias, Assistant Professor in the Master of Arts in Foreign Language Teaching program in the Center for Language Teaching Advancement, has taught English and Portuguese as a second language at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil and as a Graduate Teaching Associate at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include genre and corpus-based approaches to pedagogy, multilingual genre learning, teacher education, foreign language teaching, and language program evaluation. Her work in these fields has been featured in several publications, including Written Communication and Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages. She received her Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona and her M.A. in Language Studies from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul.

Kuhu Tanvir
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Kuhu Tanvir, Assistant Professor in the Department of English, has taught several courses on Film History as a Visiting Instructor and Graduate Teaching Fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the founding co-editor of Wide-Screen, an open access, peer-reviewed film journal. She has published several peer-reviewed articles, including “Breaking Bollywood: Moving Pictures on Mobile Screens,” which appeared in the Spring 2018 special issue of Resolution. Tanvir earned her Ph.D. in Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She received both her M.A. and B.A. in English Literature from Delphi University. She has received several scholarships and grants, including the Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship in 2017-2018 and the Richard C. and Barbara N. Tobias Fellowship in 2016-2017.

Getu Workenhe
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Getu Workenhe, Academic Specialist in the Department of Theatre, worked as a professional playwright in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for more than a decade. Four of his plays were staged at City Hall Theater and the National Theater there. He has wrote more than 120 television and radio dramas for the Ethiopian federal government; taught playwriting at Addis Ababa University; supervised and managed student internships in theatrical production at Addis Ababa University and Merkuria Theatre Studio; and supervised, scheduled, and coordinated volunteers and students for the East African Theatre Festival. Before moving to the United States, he worked with non-governmental organizations in East Africa to solve local problems using popular education and theatre-for-development. Workenhe received his B.A. in Theatre Arts at Addis Ababa University.