Bard Academy at Simon's Rock
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Meet Our Faculty

Bard Academy courses are designed and taught by faculty from Bard College at Simon’s Rock—who are rated by The Princeton Review as among the nation’s best.

The administrators and faculty members listed below are the architects of the unique Bard Academy experience and curriculum.

Division of Languages and Literature

Faculty member David Franco

Assistant Professor of French and Spanish

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

  • French Literature
  • Classical tragedy

Interests

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

Biography

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.

Highlights

PUBLICATIONS

  • “Suréna: l’héroïsme est-il possible en dehors de la représentation?” The French Review, Vol. 92.4.
  • Desaparecido.” Short Story. El Espectador. Bogotá, Colombia, March 2012. 

Conference Papers

  • “Agir pour se faire aimer et aimer pour empêcher d’agir: effets et fonctions de l’amour dans la logique héroïque cornélienne.” University of Gent, L’ Amour et l’amitié au Grand Siècle, May 10, 2019. 
  • “Sertorius: le cas du héros dépassé par son image.” SE 17 (Société d’Etudes du 17e siècle), Mills College-Stanford University, CA, November 3, 2017.

Professor Daniel Giraldo

Assistant Professor of Spanish

Contact

Liebowitz Center for International Studies

Areas of Specialization

  • Latin American literature
  • Queer studies

Interests

Research Interest: Gender and sexuality in Latin America, Latin American popular culture

Teaching Interest: Applied linguistics, creative writing, Hispanic studies

Biography

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.

 

Professor Kristy McMorris

Dean of Bard Academy
Faculty in Literature

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Contemporary African American and Caribbean literature
  • Black feminist theory
  • Postcolonial criticism

Interests

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

Biography

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.

Faculty member Kate Pichard

Faculty in Spanish

Contact

Liebowitz Center for International Studies

Areas of Specialization

  • Spanish
  • Applied linguistics

Interests

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.

Favorite/Regular Course Offered

  • Accelerated Beginning Spanish

Biography

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.

Highlights

Publications

  • “Palenquero.” With Armin Schwegler. In J. Holm, ed. Comparative creole syntax. Battlebridge Press, 2006.
  • “El marcador de pasado a: Palenquero en Santo Domingo.” In Y. Moñino and A. Schwegler, eds. Palenque, Cartagena y Afro-Caribe: historia y lengua. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer Verlag, 2002.
  • Holm et al. “A comparison of serial verb constructions in Cape Verdean and other creoles. In K. Zimmerman, ed. Lenguas criollas de base lexical española y portuguesa. Frankfurt: Vervuert Verlag, 1999.
  • Holm et al.Copula patterns in Atlantic and non-Atlantic Creoles. In J.R. Rickford and S. Romaine, eds. Creole genesis, attitudes and discourse: studies celebrating Charlene Sato. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1999.
  • “The creole pronoun i in non-standard Dominican Spanish.” In K. Zimmermann, ed. Lenguas criollas de base lexical española y portuguesa. Frankfurt: Vervuert Verlag, 1999.
  • “The preverbal marker a in a semicreolized variety of non-standard Dominican Spanish.” In L. Ortiz, ed. El Caribe hispánico: perspectivas lingüísticas actuales. Frankfurt: Vervuert Verlag, 1999.
  • Holm et al. “The creole verb: a comparative study of stativity and time reference.” In J. McWhorter, ed. Language change and language contact in pidgins and Creoles. John Benjamins: Amsterdam, 2000.

Grants and Awards

  • Wenner-Gren Foundation predoctoral grant for dissertation research in the Dominican Republic (1994-1995)
  • CUNY-Caribbean Exchange Program travel grant to visit the Dominican Republic on a preliminary field trip for dissertation research (1994)
  • CUNY-Caribbean Exchange Program travel grant to participate in the VII Conferencia Lingüístico-Literaria: El español del Caribe. Santiago de Cuba (1992)
  • New York University. Linguistics Department fellowship (1988-1990)

Professor Mileta Roe in the classroom.

Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature

Contact

Liebowitz Center for International Studies

Areas of Specialization

  • Comparative Literature
  • Latin American and Iberian Studies

Interests

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

Favorite/Regular Courses Offered

  • SPAN 204 Intermediate Spanish I: Perspectivas de América Latina
  • SPAN 205 Intermediate Spanish II: España y sus culturas
  • SPAN 212 Love and Other Demons: Latin American Novella
  • SPAN 213 Passion, Trickery, and Revenge: Latin American Detective Fiction

Biography

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.

Highlights

January-in-Sevilla: Simon’s Rock Study Trip to Spain, 2015

Faculty member Yinxue Zhao in the classroom.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Chinese Studies and Historical Linguistics
  • Foreign Language Pedagogy

Interests

Research Interests: Speech chain model in cultural context; Chinese dialects and regional cultural studies; contemporary Chinese cinema and pop culture; foreign language pedagogy and second language acquisition

Biography

MA in Linguistics and Cognitive Sciences, University of Delaware
BA in Chinese Teaching as a Foreign Language, Beijing Language and Culture University

Yinxue Zhao, a scholar and writer, is certified by American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language as an Oral Proficiency Interview tester and is a scholar of China 5th and 10th Advanced Linguistics Summer Institute. In addition, she was an interpreter for CCTV4 (China Central TV) in the documentary "Across China" in 2011, where she interviewed Lester R. Brown, the president of Earth Policy Institute in Washington, D.C, on China's strategies towards sustainable development. and Sidney Rittenberg, one of the first American journalists and scholars who travelled to China during World War II, on the interface of traditional values and political reform in China. She led the Simon's Rock summer Chinese Qingdao program with Bard College in 2013 and the northern China research trip on text-based study of sacred trees in 2015. Before joining Simon's Rock, she taught at Vassar College. She has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2011.

Highlights

  • Luce Mini Grant Winner, 2015
  • Session Chair, The Use of Films/TV Shows in Language Classrooms, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages 2014 Annual Convention
  • Certified Oral Proficiency Interview Tester, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
  • "Zhuang Yuan" (Number One with highest score) of Liberal Arts in China's National College Entrance Exam, Datong City, Shanxi Province
  • Education Advocate Blog

Division of Social Studies

Professor David Baum

Faculty in History

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Renaissance and modern Italy

Interests

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

Favorite/Regular Courses Offered

  • Ottoman History
  • Fascism
  • US History

Biography

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.

Highlights

  • Two NEH Summer Institutes
  • Advanced Study in England Grant
  • Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento Research Grant
  • Several articles on the Italian Renaissance, Italian Fascism and US Intellectual history, including “Race, Antisemitism and the Renaissance,” in Hebraic Aspects of the Renaissance
  • Director of West Texas A&M University's Great Books program
  • Currently working on a book-length manuscript entitled Fascism and the Italian Renaissance

Professor Chris Coggins in the field

Professor of Geography and Asian Studies

Contact

Liebowitz Center for International Studies

Areas of Specialization

  • Geography
  • Political ecology
  • China
  • Critical spatial theory
  • Nature conservation
  • Landscape ecology
  • Biodiversity
  • Property and land tenure

Interests

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

Biography

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.

Highlights

Recent Media Coverage and Outreach

Books

Current Research

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.

Selected Book Chapters and Articles

  • "Fengshui Forests as A Socio-natural Reservoir in the Face of Climate Change and Environmental Transformation," Asia Pacific Perspectives 15, no. 2 (2018).
  • "Fengshui forests and village landscapes in China: Geographic extent, socioecological significance, and conservation prospects," Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 31 (April 2018): 79-92.
  • "Conserving China’s Biological Diversity: National Plans, Transnational Projects, Local and Regional Challenges" in The Routledge Handbook of China's Environmental Policy. Ed by Eva Sternberg. NY: Routledge. (2017).
  • "Commentary Response to ‘Harmonious spaces: the influence of Feng Shui on urban form and design’, by Manuela Madeddu and Xiaoqing Zhang," Journal of Urban Design 22, no. 6 (2017): 729-31.
  • "Village Fengshui Forests of Jiangxi Province" in Forests and Humankind 2014 (12) (Chinese/English).
  • "Animate Landscapes: Nature Conservation and the Production of Agropastoral Sacred Space in Shangrila" with Gesang Zeren, in Emily Yeh and Chris Coggins (eds), 2014, Mapping Shangrila: Contested Landscapes in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • "'When the Land is Excellent: Village Fengshui Forests and the Nature of Lineage, Polity, and Vitality in Southern China" in J. Miller, D. Yu and P. van der Veer (eds.), 2014, Religious Diversity and Ecological Sustainability in the People’s Republic of China. New York: Routledge. 
  • "'We Work the Black Seam Together' Ritual Politics and the Educative Ethic of Tending Delirium" (with P. Mabry), in Educating Outside the Lines: Bard College at Simon’s Rock on ‘a new Pedagogy’ for the Twenty-first Century, 2011.
  • "Village Fengshui Forests of Southern China – Culture History and Conservation Status" with Joelle Chevrier, Maeve Dwyer, Lindsey Longway, Michael Xu, Peter Tiso, and Zhen Li. in ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts Volume 19, No 2, 2012.
  • "The Fate of the ‘Lord of a Hundred Beasts’ in the Wilds of Southern China," in R. Tilson and P. Nyhus (ed.), 2010, Tigers of the World: The Science, Politics, and Conservation of Panthera tigris. New York: Elsevier Press. View PDF
  • Refereed journal articles in: Asian Geographer, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, Geographical Review, Journal of Cultural Geography, Policy Matters, Proceedings of New England – St. Lawrence Valley

Professor Kathryn Boswell

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Division Head, Social Studies

Contact

Liebowitz Center for International Studies

Areas of Specialization

  • Africa (both North and sub Saharan Africa)
  • Conflict, displacement, and resettlement
  • Material culture studies

Interests

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

Favorite/Regular Courses Offered

  • ANTH 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 223 Life Histories
  • ANTH 227 Gender in Africa
  • ANTH 232 City Life: Anthropology, People, and Place at Home and Abroad
  • ANTH 328 Preternatural Predilections: Witchcraft, Sorcery, and Possession in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ANTH330 Anthropological Perspectives on Dispossession and Displacement
  • ANTH 317 Subjects and Objects: Engagements with Material Culture
  • ANTH 331 Anthropological Encounters with Rapture and Rupture

Biography

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.

Highlights

Professor Anne O'Dwyer in her office.

Associate Professor of Psychology, Director of Institutional Research

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Social psychology
  • Interpersonal conflict and conflict resolution
  • Psychology of the self
  • Research methods and statistics
  • Road rage

Interests

Teaching Interests: 

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Conflict and Conflict Resolution
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Political Psychology

Other Interests: Student Outcomes, Human Research Reviews

Biography

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.

Professor Francisca Oyogoa.

Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American studies

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Labor studies
  • Race-gender inequality
  • Globalization

Biography

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.

Professor Samuel Ruhmkorff

Associate Professor of Philosophy

 

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Religion
  • Epistemology

Interests

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

Biography

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.

Highlights

Selected Publications

  • "Unconceived Alternatives and the Cathedral Problem." 2015. Synthese.
  • "Global and Local Pessimistic Meta-Inductions." 2013. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27: 409-428.
  • "The Incompatibility Problem and Religious Pluralism Beyond Hick." 2013. Philosophy Compass 8: 510-522.
  • "The Equal Weight Argument against Religious Exclusivism." 2013. In Models of God and Alternative Ultimate Realities, edited by Jeanine Diller and Asa Kasher, 955-968. Springer.
  • "Some Difficulties for the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives." 2011. Philosophy of Science 78: 875-886.
  • Kierland, Brian, Bradley Monton, and Samuel Ruhmkorff. "Avoiding Certain Frustration, Reflection, and the Cable Guy Paradox." 2008. Philosophical Studies 138: 317-333.

Philosophy Blog

Division of Science, Mathematics, and Computing

Faculty member Thomas Coote in the field.

Coordinator of Sustainability Programming

Visiting Faculty in Environmental Science

 

Contact

Fisher Science & Academic Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Environmental Studies
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Aquatic Ecology
  • Bioinformatics

Interests

Research Interests: Malacology; limnology; political ecology; climate change

Favorite/Regular Courses Offered

  • Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • Introduction to Bioinformatics
  • Limnology
  • Agroecology
  • Sweet History: The science and story of maple sugaring
  • Principles of Environmental Management

Biography

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.

Professor Bill Dunbar

Professor of Mathematics
Chair, Faculty Senate

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Geometry
  • Topology

Biography

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. 

Interests

Other Interests: Occasional appearances as bossa nova vocalist, with John Myers, at Jazz Ensemble concerts. Very occasional appearances in the Dance Concert.

Amanda Landi, faculty member in Mathematics.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Mathematical optimization and scientific computing
  • Applied linear algebra

Interests

Research Interest: pattern recognition, online learning, prediction

Other Interests: Good posture, reading the classics, and mismatched socks

Biography

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.

Professor Jackson Liscombe headshot

Visiting Faculty in Computer Science

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

Spoken Language Processing

Biography

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. Jackson 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.

Faculty member Erin McMullin

Assistant Professor of Biology

Contact

Fisher Science & Academic Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Population genetics
  • Evolutionary genetics

Interests

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)

Favorite/Regular Courses Offered

  • Bard Academy Year 2 Biology
  • Introduction to Biology
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Neurobiology
  • Immunology

Biography

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.

Highlights

Recent Publications

  • (In prep) S.J. Snyder, R.E Schmidt, E.R. McMullin, B.F. Parker & H.J. Ferus. “Gymnophthalmus underwoodi Grant, 1958 (Reptilia: Gymnophthalmidae), a new record for the island of Montserrat.” (in prep for Check List, a journal of biodiversity data)
  • 2016. N.F. Shoobs, R.E. Schmidt, & E.R. McMullin. “A new record of the freshwater polychaete, Namanereis hummelincki (Polychaeta, Nereididae) from epigean waters of Montserrat.” Zootaxa. 4061(2):157-63.
  • 2015. R.E. Schmidt and E.R. McMullin. “Freshwater and Brackish-water Fishes Observed on Montserrat, Lesser Antilles, West Indies.” Caribbean Naturalist. 25:1-12.
  • 2013. J. Hemdal and E.R. McMullin. “Husbandry of a Lake Victoria cichlid, the Pitch-black fulu Haplochromis piceatus, in public aquariums: a 20 year retrospective.” International Zoo Yearbook. 47(1):112-119.

Faculty member Bob Putz

Lecturer in Mathematics

Contact

Hall College Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Harmonic analysis
  • Mathematical finance
  • Mathematical macro economics

Interests

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.

Favorite/Regular Course Offered

Algebra II and Trigonometry

Biography

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.

Division of The Arts

 

Professor Katie Garcia Renart

Assistant Professor of Dance

Contact

Daniel Arts Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Flamenco Dance
  • Dance Composition
  • Dance Fundamentals

Interests

Research Interests: Choreography, dance pedagogy, flamenco history

Teaching Interests: Flamenco dance, dance composition, dance technique

Other Interests: Children's dance, arts in education

Favorite/Regular Courses Offered

  • Flamenco Dance
  • Dance Composition
  • Dance Concert Workshop
  • Ballet
  • Modern Dance
  • Dance Fundamentals

Biography

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.

Adjunct faculty member Manon Hutton-DeWys

Adjunct Faculty in Music; Professor of Piano, Applied Music Program

Contact

Daniel Arts Center

Areas of Specialization

Piano performance, early twentieth century American music

Biography

Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance, City University of New York Graduate Center
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.

Highlights

 

 

Faculty member Aimee Michel

Associate Professor of Theater

Contact

Daniel Arts Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Directing
  • Playwriting
  • Theater history
  • Viewpoints training
  • Dramatic literature
  • Producing
  • Shakespeare

Interests

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

Favorite/Regular Courses Offered

  • Viewpoints I and II
  • Shakespearean Scene Study for Actors and Directors
  • Playwriting
  • Directing
  • Directors and Designers in Collaboration

Biography

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.

Highlights

Directing

  • As a freelance director, Ms. Michel has directed in theaters all over the country including Capital Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, the Hangar Theatre, the Actors Theater of Louisville, and Williamstown Theatre Festival.
  • Finalist and participant in the Drama League of New York’s Directors Project
  • Curator director with the New York Theatre Workshop
  • Participant in the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab
  • Artistic director of the Directors Project in New York City, where she ran an extensive directing program for early career directors

Awards

  • Boris Segal Fellowship at Williamstown Theatre Festival
  • Directors Project Fall Program Fellow
  • CODOFIL Scholarships for study in both Quebec, Canada, and in Montpellier, France

Professor John Myers

Professor of Music, Electronic Arts, and Cultural Studies

Contact

Daniel Arts Center

Areas of Specialization

  • Jazz
  • Composition
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Animation
  • Guitar performance

Interests

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

Biography

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.

Highlights

  • His extended composition for chorus, narrator, and instrumental ensemble; "The West Lake Cycle" was awarded the Chorus America/ASCAP Alice Parker Award in 2014. His postgraduate work was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Committee on Scholarly Communication with the People's Republic of China, and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.
  • In April 2003, working with Swiss artist Etienne Delessert and Alice Myers, he created a series of wide-screen (30 X 60 foot) digital animations, for live performances by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra of Ravel's Ma mère l'Oye. They created an interactive DVD computer installation for an exhibit at the Visual Arts Museum at the School for Visual Arts in New York City, Fall 2003. His compositions appear on several CDs, including Look In, Jazz at the Rock, Volumes I-IV and in various multimedia productions.
  • John also did the Lingo programming for Tabla: A Journey into Eastern Percussion, an instructional CD-ROM program exploring rhythmic techniques and form in the classical music of North India, (AIM Records, 2003) and for The Virtual Jury (1997), an online interactive role-playing program based on the circumstances of the Unabomber trial. In 1994, John was assistant sound designer and guitarist for Louis Cat Orze: The Mystery of the Queen's Necklace (an Interactive Adventure in the Court of Versailles), a CD-ROM program (IVI Publishing, Minneapolis, 1995).
  • His current project; “Paintings in Song: Visions of Norman Rockwell” commissioned by Crescendo Chorus, scheduled for April 2017, is a nine-movement suite for 70 singers and instrumental ensemble, with each movement based on a single iconic Norman Rockwell paining spanning the 1920s-1960s.

Publications

  • Look In (audio CD, Jungsoul, 2004) features his original jazz compositions and performances on guitar, clarinet, and electronic instruments.
  • Way of the Pipa: Structure and Aesthetics in Chinese Lute Music, Kent State University Press (1992).
  • Articles in Yinyue Yishu, Soundboard, Jazz Research Papers, College Music Society Newsletter, and other journals.
  • Entries for the Asian-American Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of the Ancient World, The Fifties in America, the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and many others.