Meet Fulbright College’s 2019 Class of Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

by | Jul 26, 2019 | Dean's Corner, Faces of Fulbright, Faculty Points of Pride

Just as the start of the 2019 fall semester marks a new class of students joining the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, so too does it mark a class of newly designated tenured and tenure-track faculty joining or returning to the Fulbright College family.

“Our faculty are the life force of the college, and we are so excited to have these outstanding folks make up our 2019 class of tenured or tenure-track faculty,” said Todd Shields, dean of Fulbright College. “Please help welcome and congratulate these colleagues and enjoy getting to know each of them.”

This year, 23 new tenured or tenure-track faculty make up the Fulbright College class of 2019. Read more about each in these 100-word or less bios:

Adrienne CallanderSchool of Art
Callander earned her M.F.A. from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, her post-baccalaureate in visual art from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and her B.A. in history from Reed College. She joined the U of A as a visiting assistant professor in art and entrepreneurship in 2017, and now holds a cross-appointment in the School of Art and the College of Business. Prior to 2017, she served as assistant professor of arts entrepreneurship at the University of Alabama and as a lecturer at Mississippi State University. Callander’s research and teaching focuses on art, entrepreneurship and integration.

Kátia de Ávila Fernandes, Department of Geosciences
Fernandes completed her Ph.D. in atmospheric sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She earned a M.Sc. in meteorology from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research and her B.Sc. in meteorology from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil. Fernandes comes to the U of A from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, where she was an associate research scientist. Her research explores the impacts of climate variability and change in tropical environments with a special focus in droughts, forest fires and agriculture.

Jeff Gruenewald, Department of Sociology and Criminology
Gruenewald received his Ph.D. in criminal justice from Michigan State University and his M.A. and B.A. in criminal justice from Indiana University-Bloomington. Gruenewald previously served as an assistant professor at Florida International University and, later, at the U of A. He rejoins the U of A after having served as associate professor at the O’Neill School of Public & Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. Gruenewald is also the new director of the Terrorism Research Center and an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology. His scholarship focuses on terrorism and extremism, hate crime, and media representations of crime.

Mengfei Guan, Department of Communication
Guan earned her Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Georgia, M.A. in communication studies from the University of Alabama, and B.A. in English language and literature from Ocean University of China. Prior to joining the U of A, she served as an instructor at Marquette University. Her research interests involve message framing, risk perception, efficacy beliefs and emotional appeals. Specifically, she seeks to understand how the design of persuasive messages can be leveraged to promote health-related and environmental protection-related behaviors. She has taught courses in health communication campaigns, interpersonal communication, and communication approaches to interviewing. 

Maggie He, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
He is an organic chemist with a Ph.D. in chemistry from ETH Zurich, an M.S. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, and B.S. from The City College of New York. After completing her Ph.D., she was a Swiss National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at MIT. Her research interests focus on the covalent functionalization of carbon nanomaterials, investigation of covalent dynamics on graphene, and development of carbon nanotube-based sensors.

Bryan Hurt, Department of English
Hurt comes to the U of A having most recently served as an assistant professor at Capital University. Hurt received his Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in English and German from Ohio State University. He is the author of Everyone Wants to Be Ambassador to France (2015) and editor of the anthology Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of Interest. Hurt’s research and teaching interests include fiction writing, nonfiction writing, screenwriting, contemporary fiction, experimental writing, the eighteenth-century British novel, publishing and editing, and the process of writing.

Mary Beth Long, Department of English
Long joined the U of A in 2014 as a visiting assistant professor of English. Prior to her arrival at the university, she was an assistant professor of English at Ouachita Baptist University. Long obtained her Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is proficient in five languages, and her work depends on archival research. Long’s scholarship focuses on late-medieval women’s reading practices, hagiography and devotional literacy, and manuscript and early-print culture. Her current book project is on fifteenth-century women’s literacies and Marian maternity. 

Linda Lopez, School of Art
Lopez earned her M.F.A. in ceramics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a B.F.A. in ceramics and B.A. in art education from California State University at Chico. Lopez has exhibited her work in New Zealand, Italy, and throughout the United States including at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Long Beach Museum of Art, Patrick Parrish Gallery and The Hole. She is currently represented by Mindy Solomon Gallery. Lopez has received the Lighton International Artist Exchange Program Grant and Artist 360 Grant. She first joined the U of A in 2012 as an instructor. 

Anastasia Makhanova, Department of Psychological Science
Makhanova received her M.S. and Ph.D. in social psychology from Florida State University and her B.A. in psychology from Hendrix College. Makhanova’s research examines links between people’s physiological processes and their social perception; assessing the ways in which neuroendocrinological, immunological, and genetic processes underlie perception of close others and of outgroup members. Makhanova’s research uses longitudinal methods to examine close relationship dynamics, as well as experimental manipulations of fundamental motives that influence people’s social behavior across different contexts.

Zora Murff, School of Art
Murff received his M.F.A. in studio art at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and holds a B.S. in psychology from Iowa State University. Murff initially joined the University of Arkansas as a visiting assistant professor in 2018. Murff combines his education in human services and art to explore how photography is intertwined with social and cultural constructs. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been featured in publications such as Aperture MagazineThe New YorkerVICE MagazineThe British Journal of Photography, and The New York Times.

Hiroyuki Nakamura, Department of Physics
Nakamura earned his B.S. in engineering-applied chemistry and his M.S. and Ph.D. in advanced materials from the University of Tokyo. Prior to his arrival at the U of A, he was an assistant professor of materials physics at Osaka University, a visiting scholar of applied physics at Stanford University, and since 2013, worked for the Department of Quantum Materials at Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research as a group leader. Nakamura is interested in exploring new quantum systems in solids including topological and two-dimensional materials, which could be useful for future quantum devices.

Kiwoong Park, Department of Sociology and Criminology
Park earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University at Albany, SUNY and his M.A. and B.A. in sociology from Seoul National University in Korea. Park studies the nature and sources of health disparities with a focus on temporal and contextual dimensions. Specifically, his research interests include social determinants of health, social stratification, demography, children and youth, and quantitative methods.

Kathleen S. Paul, Department of Anthropology
Paul is a bioarchaeologist whose work focuses on human teeth and what they can tell us about evolutionary processes. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Arizona State University and an honors B.A. in anthropology and Spanish from New York University. Prior to arriving at the U of A, she served as a postdoctoral research associate and instructor at Arizona State University. Her current research uses quantitative genetic analyses to understand how genes, environment, and development contribute to dental variation at the population level. This information is then applied to bioarchaeological investigations of kinship, migration, and community interaction.

Mark Plassmeyer, School of Social Work
Plassmeyer completed his Ph.D. in social work at the University of Denver, his M.S.W. at the University of Pittsburgh, and his B.A. in psychology at Fort Lewis College. Before coming to the U of A, he taught as an adjunct instructor for the University of Denver. Plassmeyer’s research focuses on U.S. drug policy and its implications for employment, education, housing, and other social and economic outcomes for people with criminal drug records; drug policy’s impact on the criminal justice system; affordable housing, and the role of social workers in politics.

Adam Pope, Department of English
Pope first came to the U of A as a visiting assistant professor in 2013 and has served as the founder and director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Technical Writing and Public Rhetorics since 2014. He earned a Ph.D. in English from Purdue University, his M.A. in English from the University of Arkansas, and a B.A. in English and Spanish from Freed-Hardeman University. Pope is interested in technical writing in online contexts, crowdfunding, technical writing pedagogy, and online pedagogy.  

Lauren Quetsch, Department of Psychological Science
Quetsch earned her M.S. in clinical psychology and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at West Virginia University. Prior to attending West Virginia University, she received a B.A. with honors in psychology from Georgetown University. Quetsch’s research focuses on implementation and dissemination of evidence-based treatments, including Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, with a particular focus on interventions for children with behavioral issues and those who are on the autism spectrum. Quetsch completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Christopher Schulte, School of Art
Schulte joins the U of A having previously served as an assistant professor of art education and early childhood education, undergraduate coordinator of art education, and assistant director of research for the Center for Pedagogy in Arts in Design at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. in art education from The Pennsylvania State University, and his M.A. in art education and B.A. in teaching K-12 art education from the University of Northern Iowa. Schulte’s research centers on the art and cultural production of young children, specifically the history of the study of children’s drawing.

Ben Corbett, Department of Theatre
Corbett obtained his M.F.A. in acting from the University of Pittsburgh and his B.A. in drama from the University of Dallas. He previously taught voice and acting at institutions such as the William Inge Center for the Arts/Independence Community College, Oklahoma City University, Appalachian State University, and Emory and Henry College. He specializes in voice and is certified as a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher. His professional vocal coaching credits include Shakespeare Dallas, City Rep, the William Inge Theatre Festival, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, Barter Theatre, Burning Coal Theatre Company, Bare Theatre, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

Gerry Snyder, School of Art
Snyder joins the U of A to serve as the inaugural director of the School of Art. His two most recent administrative roles include dean of the Pratt Institute School of Art and vice president of academic affairs at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. His M.A. in studio art is from New York University, and his B.F.A. in painting is from the University of Oregon. His artwork is included in major public collections including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the New Mexico Museum of Art, the DeYoung Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Colleen Thurston, School of Journalism and Strategic Media
Thurston is a media producer and film programmer specializing in documentary production and studies; Native American and Indigenous cinema; environmental documentary; depictions of race, class and gender in media; film curation and programming. She earned an M.F.A. in science and natural history filmmaking from Montana State University and a B.F.A. in media arts and anthropology from the University of Arizona. She previously worked for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian and the Smithsonian Channel. She also produced short documentaries for the Cherokee Nation’s television show, “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People,” earning two regional Emmy awards.  

Breanne Trammell, School of Art
Breanne Trammell earned her M.F.A. in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of Design and her B.F.A. in studio art printmaking from the University of Texas at Arlington. She previously taught at the University of Cincinnati, the University of Iowa, and Kent State University, and she has been an artist-in-residence at the Women’s Studio Workshop, Endless Editions, the Kala Institute, and Ox-Bow School of Art. Trammell is a multi-disciplinary artist, and her work explores archives as a site for artistic inquiry, objects and icons from popular culture, the confluence of highbrow and lowbrow, and mines from her personal history.

Ivan Vargas, Department of Psychological Science
Vargas most recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program and the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. in psychology in clinical science from the University of Michigan and his B.A. in psychology and sociology from the University of Notre Dame. His research broadly investigates the biopsychosocial factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of both depression and insomnia, with the end goal of identifying clinically useful markers that may inform treatment and prevention efforts.

Yaguang Zhu, Department of Communication
Zhu received his B.A. in journalism and mass communication from Shandong University, and his M.A. in media studies and Ph.D. in organizational communication and technology from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the U of A, Zhu was an assistant professor at Marquette University. Zhu’s research sits at the intersection of organization theory, health, and technological innovation. He conducts structural modeling and filed experiments to analyze technological issues in healthcare organizations and the effects of communication technology on individuals’ health.

For more information about our faculty or their departments, please visit Fulbright College online.

Andra Parrish Liwag

Director of Communications, J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences 

479-575-4393 // liwag@uark.edu