The administrators and faculty members listed below are the architects of the unique Bard Academy experience and curriculum.
Research Interests: 17th century French drama, Greek mythology and tragedy, French cinema (Poetic Realism, Gangster Movies, Transcendentalism)
Teaching Interests: Early modern French literature, modern French narratives of disenchantment, language acquisition (Spanish and French), creative writing, French gangster movies
Other Interests: Latin American short story, New Journalism
Ph.D., Rutgers University
M.A. in French Literature, Rutgers University
M.A. in Hispanic Literature, Villanova University
B.A. in Journalism, Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia
Dr. Franco’s research examines the notion of heroism in 17th century French drama, with Greek mythology and Classical tragedy as points of reference. Dr. Franco’s dissertation, entitled "Corneille: a tragedy of the image," focuses on the works of Pierre Corneille, and challenges the myth of a dazzling cornelian hero by showing his struggle to obtain recognition. An article derived from the last chapter of Dr. Franco’s dissertation was published in The French Review. A native Spanish speaker, Dr. Franco has extensively taught both language and Literature classes in Spanish, French and English. He has presented his work at the annual conference of SE17 (Sociéte d’Études du dix-septième siècle français) and at the University of Gent, Belgium. Other honors include a Mellon Grant to conduct research at the Maison Jean Vilar in Avignon as well as a full scholarship by the Institut d’Avignon during the most important theater festival in Europe. Dr. Franco also received a fellowship to participate in the MLA Connected Academics program in NYC, and an exchange award to spend a full year at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. He joined the faculty at Simon's Rock in 2019.
Research Interest: Gender and sexuality in Latin America, Latin American popular culture
Teaching Interest: Applied linguistics, creative writing, Hispanic studies
PhD, University of Pittsburgh
MA, with honors, Université de Montréal
Dr. Giraldo’s research explores queer artistic expressions in Latin America, and offers a set of theoretical tools based on local contexts in order to create a productive dialogue between European/North American and Latin American sexual and gender categories. His teaching and research interests focus on LGBTQ artistic expressions, gender and sexuality rights issues in Latin America, as well as popular culture, literature, creative writing, and indigenous cosmologies. Dr. Giraldo worked as coordinator at the Centre de ressources de l’espagnol (Spanish Resources Center) at the Université de Montréal, and as the editorial assistant of the literary review Variaciones Borges at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Giraldo received the Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship, and the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for a project in which he analyzed the conservative articulation of subversive discourse in Fernando Vallejo’s novel Our Lady of the Assassins. Other honors include a Doctoral Research Scholarship from the Fonds Québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC) and a honorific mention from the Société des écrivains de la Mauricie. He has presented at the Queering Paradigms Queer Studies International Conference, the Jornadas Andinas de Literatura Latinoamericana, and the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences Congress. Dr. Giraldo joined the faculty at Simon's Rock in 2016.
Research Interests: The historical and political legacies of the plantation in the Americas; the Caribbean and its place in a global modernity; slavery in the Americas
Other Interests: Festival practices throughout the African Diaspora, intersectionality, queer theory
PhD, New York University
MA, New York University
BA, Howard University
Dr. McMorris has been an early college educator for nearly a decade. She began her work as a member of the faculty in Literature at Bard High School Early College in Queens, New York. She was the founding director of the Bard Early College at Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy and was Bard Fellow at Bard College at Simon's Rock from 2016–2018. Dr. McMorris is an associate for the Bard Institute for Writing and Thinking and is the Dean of Bard Academy at Simon's Rock.
Research Interest: Linguistics, with a focus on semicreolization; second language acquisition; and comparative romance linguistics.
Teaching Interest: Spanish and Linguistics.
Other Interests: French language and Romance linguistics.
PhD, CUNY Graduate Center in New York
MA in TESOL, NYU
Dr. Pichard's doctoral dissertation, Non-standard Dominican Spanish: Evidence of Partial Restructuring, represents a culmination of her interests in Latin American history, colonialism, and second language acquisition by looking at fossilized features of African languages in the vernacular Spanish of the Dominican Republic. She has published articles, chapters in books and presented at conferences on the subject of semicreolization in dialects of Spanish. Dr. Pichard began teaching linguistics courses at Hunter College as an adjunct faculty member, then worked at the American University of Paris for nearly 10 years. She has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2011.
Research Interests: 20th- and 21st-century Latin American narrative; comparative literary journalism
Teaching Interests: Latin American detective fiction, novellas, graphic novel, and nonfiction; Hispanophone and Francophone film
Other Interests: Vocal and instrumental music; Argentine and Cuban composers
MA, PhD, Brandeis University
BM, Oberlin Conservatory
BA, Oberlin College
Dr. Roe's areas of specialty include: Latin America narrative, critical theory, francophone and Spanish-language film, and the adaptation of stories across artistic and linguistic boundaries. Her recent work considers literary journalism from a comparative, international perspective. Her work has appeared in the Canadian Review of Comparative Literature, Scope: An Online Journal of Film Studies, and Literary Journalism Studies. Dr. Roe has also taught at Brandeis University and Boston College and is a former staff editor for the Atlantic Monthly. She has been teaching at Bard College at Simon’s Rock since 1999.
January-in-Sevilla: Simon’s Rock Study Trip to Spain, 2015
Research Interests: Renaissance intellectual history; Italian Fascism; American popular culture; modern Middle East
Teaching Interests: European history; Italian history; French Revolution; American intellectual history; modern Middle East
PhD in European History, Yale University
David Baum has taught at NYU, Skidmore College, Union College, The American University in Iraq - Sulaimani, and West Texas A&M University. He was a Scholar-in-Residence at the Remnant Trust in Louisville, KY, and Head Master at Tempe Preparatory Academy. He started teaching at Simon's Rock in 2016.
Research Interests: Rural land use and biodiversity conservation; animal geographies; sacred landscapes; historical geography/environmental history, property, possession, and personhood; Sino-Tibetan Borderlands; Southern China-subtropical cultural ecologies
Teaching Interests: Political ecology; philosophies and religions of East Asia; geography of nature conservation; critical spatial theory; property, possession, and personhood
Other Interests: Backcountry skiing, freestyle cross-country ("skate") skiing, trekking, swimming, ultimate frisbee, soccer, kayaking, running, mountain biking, wildlife observation
PhD & MS, Louisiana State University
BA, Wesleyan University
Dr. Coggins's research focuses on rural China, political ecology, biodiversity, sacred landscapes, protected area management, globalization, and property/possession. He has led students and faculty on eight trips to China since 1999, six of which have involved intensive field research. He is the co-editor (with Emily Yeh) of Mapping Shangrila: Contested Landscapes of the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands (University of Washington, 2014), and the author of The Tiger and the Pangolin: Nature, Culture, and Conservation in China (University of Hawaii Press, 2003) (runner-up for the 2003 Julian Steward Award for best book in environmental/ecological anthropology and nominated for the Kiriyama Prize in nonfiction). He is also the co-author of The Primates of China: Biogeography and Conservation Status – Past, Present, and Future (China Forestry Publishing House, 2002). He has published refereed articles in many geography, environment, and Asia-related books and periodicals. Since 2011, he has led teams engaged in a multi-year, mixed methods, field and archival research project on the fengshui forests of southern and central China. His work on the history of humans and tigers in China has been featured on BBC 4's Natural Histories. Dr. Coggins has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 1998.
2011-2018: With funding from ASIANetwork, The American Philosophical Society, and the Luce Foundation LIASE (Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment), Dr. Coggins has led teams of faculty and students from Simon's Rock, Bard, Bard affiliates, and other colleges and universities in the US, China, and Japan in a multi-year field research project on the sociocultural and ecological characteristics, past and present, of southern China's village fengshui forests. This is the first systematic multi-province research on these community-protected sacred groves, which are found in 10-14 provinces in central and southern China. Their publications are among the first English language works on this subject. The study aims to explain how and why the groves have been systematically protected for centuries; to map their present regional distribution and analyze their ecological effects, particularly in terms of biodiversity and local water quality; and to learn what local people, government, and other conservation stakeholders are doing to protect this remarkable legacy. LIASE funding also supports an annual student research conference on Asia and the environment, held each April at Bard College, and has provided a forum for students from Simon's Rock, Bard, and other institutions to share their research results in a supportive environment.
Research Interests: Africa (historic and contemporary); conflict, displacement, and resettlement; migration studies; material culture; life cycle rituals and ceremony; gender; Islam
Teaching Interests: Life histories; urban anthropology; anthropology of religion; material culture; conflict, displacement, and resettlement; food studies; apocalypticism and dystopianism; comparative religions
Other Interests: Intellectual history of anthropology; art history; film
MA & PhD, Indiana University, Bloomington
BA, Drew University
Kathryn Boswell's recent publications include “Establishing ‘Stable Beginnings’ through Alternative Channels: Voluntary Association Membership, Marriage, and Women’s Socio-Economic Welfare in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso” in Africa Today and “Accumulation, War, and Dispossession: Burkinabé Repatriates’ Problematic Reincorporation in the Homeland” in NEAA Bulletin. She has previously taught at Indiana University, Richmond and served as an OSI-Africa Doctoral Scholar; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C. She has been the recipient of several Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships as well as two-time IIE Fulbright awardee to Côte d’Ivoire (1999-2000) and Burkina Faso (2004-2005). Dr. Boswell has presented at the African Studies Association, American Anthropological Association, Northeastern Anthropological Association, among others. She has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2008.
Other Interests: Student Outcomes, Human Research Reviews
B.A., Ph.D., Boston College
Dr. O'Dwyer has had articles published in the British Journal of Social Psychology, the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, and the Peabody Journal of Education. She has presented at many professional conferences, including the American Psychological Association, American Psychological Society, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and many of her students have presented their research at national and regional conferences. Dr. O'Dwyer previously taught at Boston College and UMass Boston and served as President of New England Psychological Association. She has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 1997 and served as Simon’s Rock’s associate dean of academic affairs from 2008-2010 and academic dean from 2010-2016.
PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
BA, Bowdoin College
Francisca Oyogoa is assistant professor in Sociology and African American Studies at Bard College at Simon's Rock. Her research focuses on the intersection of racial, ethnic, gender, and national hierarchies in the workplace. She is also the recipient of numerous research grants and an award for excellence in teaching. Dr. Oyogoa has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2009.
Research Interests: Scientific realism and antirealism, the problem of evil, religious pluralism
Teaching Interests: Philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, logic, metaphysics, the New Testament, ethics
PhD in Philosophy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
BA summa cum laude, Washington University in St. Louis
Dr. Ruhmkorff’s research focuses on scientific realism and antirealism, probabilistic epistemology, the problem of evil, and the religious pluralism debate. His most recent publications concern religious pluralism, the problem of unconceived alternatives, and the pessimistic induction. He has taught at the University of Michigan, where he received the John Dewey prize for excellence in teaching and an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award, as well as at the University of Missouri–Columbia and Smith College. Dr. Ruhmkorff served as the academic dean at Bard College at Simon's Rock from 2005–2010. He has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2001.
Research Interests: Malacology; limnology; political ecology; climate change
PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Department of Environmental Conservation)
MSES, Bard College
BA, Bard College at Simon's Rock
Dr. Coote is the Coordinator of Sustainability Programming and a lecturer in Environmental Studies. He runs the Tropical Ecology and Sustainability program in Montserrat, and is the director of the Berkshire Environmental Research Center based on the Simon's Rock campus. His research focuses on landscape ecology and genetics with a particular focus on aquatic ecology and molluscs. His teaching draws from several disciplines including fisheries, limnology, agroecology, political ecology, landscape ecology and genetics. Dr. Coote has been the recipient of the Hudson River Foundation’s Polgar Fellowship as well as the New York National Sea Grant Fellowship. Before coming to Simon's Rock he spent a decade in the fish farming industry and taught at Waynesburg University and California University of Pennsylvania. Current research includes work on the freshwater and marine snails of the Caribbean island of Montserrat as well as the Massachusetts endangered snail Marstonia lustrica. Dr. Coote has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2000.
Ph.D. Princeton University 1981 (mathematics)
Sc.B. Brown University 1976 (mathematics and Russian studies)
Dr. Dunbar's work in geometric topology and differential geometry has been published in the journals Topology and Its Applications, Contemporary Mathematics, Indiana University Mathematics Journal, Annales de l’Institut Fourier, and the Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society. Dr. Dunbar has previously been the G.C. Evans Instructor at Rice (1981-1984), a Visiting Researcher at UFRGS and IMPA in Brazil (1984-1985), Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan (1985-1988) and Assistant Professor at the Pennsylvania State University at Erie (1988-1993). Member, American Mathematical Society and Mathematical Association of America. He has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 1993.
Other Interests: Occasional appearances as bossa nova vocalist, with John Myers, at Jazz Ensemble concerts. Very occasional appearances in the Dance Concert.
Research Interest: pattern recognition, online learning, prediction
Other Interests: Good posture, reading the classics, and mismatched socks
PhD in applied mathematics, North Carolina State University
BA in English, North Carolina Wesleyan College
Dr. Landi's graduate research focus was the Nonnegative Matrix Factorization, an unsupervised machine learning technique commonly used in data reduction and feature selection applications. Her future research interests include optimization and analysis of big data from a mathematical and an industrial point of view. She taught mathematics for several years at North Carolina State University. Dr. Landi has taught at Simon's Rock since 2015.
Spoken Language Processing
PhD Computer Science, Columbia University, 2007
BA Linguistics, University of California at Santa Barbara, 1999
Dr. Liscombe has 15 years experience in the field of Spoken Language Processing, the subset of Artificial Intelligence comprising automatic understanding and production of human speech by computers. Before joining the faculty at Simon's Rock, he worked for Nuance, the leader in Spoken Dialog Applications (Siri, Dragon) and before that for a smaller company specializing in Automated Troubleshooting Agents. His dissertation was on the automatic detection of emotion in speech and he continues to be interested in exploring automation of paralinguistic phenomena. Dr. Liscombe has been teaching Computer Science at Simon's Rock since 2014 and at Bard Academy since its inception in 2015. During the academic year 2017–18 he served as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.
Teaching Interests: General introductory biology courses and topical biology courses for non-majors; upper level courses with a more cell and molecular biology focus; evolutionary biology, with a focus on molecular evolution and population genetics; symbiosis
Other Interests: All things biology, from the very small (molecular biology) to the very large (ecology)
PhD, The Pennsylvania State University
BA, Oberlin College
Before obtaining her doctoral degree, Dr. McMullin was a predoctoral fellow in a cancer research lab at the NIH, then a field assistant with Margaret Davis at the University of Minnesota, and, finally, a bookseller at Barnes & Noble while applying for graduate programs. After graduate school, Dr. McMullin held a post-doctoral position at the University of Delaware, and then taught at Bowling Green State University as a Visiting Assistant Professor and at Denison University as a Visiting Professor. She has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2011.
Research Interests: Non-Markovian models in finance; stochastic macro-economic models in the direction of Farjoun and Machover’s work.
Other Interests: Rowing, bridge, ukulele, wood.
Algebra II and Trigonometry
PhD in Mathematics, Washington University
BS in Mathematics, Brooklyn College
Dr. Putz has taught at CUNY, Columbia University, and the Belfer Graduate School of Science at Yeshiva University, with research supported by the National Science Foundation; and was a National Science Foundation Faculty Fellow in the Electrical Engineering Department at Columbia. Dr. Putz’s work has been published in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, the Transactions of the American Mathematical Society, and joint publications with A. Koranyi and A. Kaplan. He has also worked at JCPenney on network optimization, and in quantitative financial analysis at Solomon Brothers and Sanford Bernstein. Dr. Putz has taught at Simon’s Rock since 2016.
Research Interests: Choreography, dance pedagogy, flamenco history
Teaching Interests: Flamenco dance, dance composition, dance technique
Other Interests: Children's dance, arts in education
Madrid, Spain: Research-based studies in Flamenco dance and pedagogy
BA, Bard College
Kati Garcia-Renart's performance experience includes various venues in Spain and throughout the United States. She is currently the director of the Kaatsbaan Academy of Dance in Tivoli, NY, and is a long-time faculty member of Kaatsbaan's Extreme Ballet (summer intensive course). Kati Garcia-Renart was previously a visiting professor at Bard College. She has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2010.
Piano performance, early twentieth century American music
Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance, City University of New York Graduate
Master of Music in piano performance, Mannes College The New School For Music
BA, Bard College
AA, Bard College at Simon's Rock
American pianist Manon Hutton-DeWys has long been earning praise and recognition for her performances of classical and modern music. In Musical America, Christian Carey wrote: “Hutton-DeWys did an admirable job creating legato lyricism in a solo line that resides amidst a tremendously active accompaniment. Her sensitive dynamic shadings and subtle use of rubato demonstrated an artist possessing a great deal of promise." Manon has performed in some of classical music's best-known venues, including Weill and Zankel Halls at Carnegie Hall, and the Salle Cortot at the École Normale de Musique in Paris. She has also appeared at Symphony Space, Bargemusic, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Steinway Hall, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Northeastern and Tufts Universities, and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, home to radio station WNYC. Manon holds degrees from the City University of New York Graduate Center, Mannes College of Music, Bard College, and Bard College at Simon's Rock. Her research, for which she received a 2017 Elebash Research Grant, focuses on early twentieth-century American music. She formerly served on the faculty of Lehman College and Greenwich House Music School and on the Executive Board of the Piano Teachers' Congress of New York. A native of New York's beautiful Hudson River Valley, Manon started teaching at Simon's Rock in 2017.
Research Interests: Shakespeare, feminist theater, playwriting (particularly by women), relationship between theater and film, actor training, political theater
Teaching Interests: Viewpoints training, ensemble work/devising, playwriting, teaching directing, Shakespeare, teaching designer/director relationship
Other Interests: Musical theater, theater design, theater as activism
MFA, Tulane University
BA with honors, Louisiana State University
Ms. Michel’s interest in theater is inherently political and her work as a theater director has always focused on the sociological and political roles that theater plays in a community. Before coming to Simon’s Rock, Ms. Michel was the artistic director of the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane (SFT), a professional theater in New Orleans, for ten years. At SFT she directed over 14 of Shakespeare’s plays. She also directed and produced new plays by Louisiana playwrights. At SFT she launched a three-part educational initiative, “Shakespeare Alive,” which exposed over 100,000 Louisiana schoolchildren to professional productions of Shakespeare’s work over ten years. She also developed training institutes for LA middle and high school teachers to support better teaching of Shakespeare’s plays. Before SFT, she was the artistic director of the Directors Project in New York City, where she ran an extensive directing program for early career directors. She has been teaching at Simon’s Rock since 2006.
Research Interests: New computer-based art forms and their relationship with traditional art forms, including implications for representing and defending cultural diversity
Teaching Interests: Jazz, music theory, interactive arts, world music
Other Interests: Chinese language
PhD, University of Maryland at Baltimore
MM, Howard University
BA, Towson State University
Dr. Myers is a composer, performer, media developer, and author, and has a broad range of activities that reflect his expanding interests and areas of professional engagement. He often performs as a guitarist, either as a soloist or in ensembles, playing jazz and Western classical music. Dr. Myers has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 1987.