New faculty members join the College

New college faculty members 2017

The University is pleased to welcome several new tenure-track faculty members in the College, along with other new faculty and the Brown Foundation and Tennessee Williams Fellows for 2017-2018.

Julie Garai, assistant professor of statistics, earned a B.S. from Doane College and a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research is in educational analytics, specifically in developing value-added model methodology for small school systems. She will also help to improve the statistical applications and extensions of current research being conducted at Sewanee.

Melody Lehn comes to Sewanee as assistant professor of rhetoric and women's & gender studies, as well as assistant director of the Center for Speaking and Listening. A graduate of Furman University with a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Memphis, Lehn studies the ways that language imagines and sustains democratic practices and communities, with an emphasis on the intersections of rhetoric, politics, and gender. She has a special interest interested in the rhetoric of and about U.S. political women as first ladies, as political candidates, and as elected officials.

Alison Miller earned a B.A. from Northern Illinois University, and master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. An assistant professor of art history, she focuses on modern and contemporary Japanese art history with secondary specializations in Buddhist art, transnational contemporary art, and museum studies. Miller’s primary interest is in the depiction of women in 19th- and 20th-century visual culture, and how these images impacted ideas of femininity, gender, and class in the modern era.

Tao Song, assistant professor of economics, conducts research that focuses on the relationship between local economic development and socio-economic assimilation of immigrants in the U.S. He also studies the impact of skill-based technological change on local economies. Song earned a B.B.A. from the University of New Brunswick; an M.A. from the University of Alberta; and a Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut.

Keri Watson, C’12, returns to Sewanee as assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences. In addition to her B.S. from the University of the South, she is receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Vermont. Her research focuses on ecosystem services, or the benefits that people receive from nature. Watson studies land cover change, its impact on ecosystem services, and trade-offs between ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation.

Special appointments this year include:

Jody Allen will be at Sewanee for the 2017-18 academic year as visiting assistant professor of history. She is the Lemon Project co-chair and managing director at the College of William and Mary, and in addition to teaching, will work with the Sewanee Slavery Project during her time on campus. Allen visited Sewanee last April, speaking to a large audience about William and Mary 's multifaceted attempt to rectify wrongs perpetrated against African Americans. She has a B.A. from the University of Delaware; an M.S. from Michigan State University; and a Ph.D. from the College of William & Mary.

Sewanee alumna Laurie Fowler is a Brown Foundation Fellow at the University this year. She earned a B.A. from the University of the South; a J.D. from the University of Georgia; and an LL.M. from the University of Washington. Fowler is the director for policy at the UGA River Basin Center, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to involve faculty and students in the development of management and policy tools based on the best freshwater science. At the University of Georgia, she is also executive director of public service and external affairs at the Odum School of Ecology and on the clinical faculty at the School of Law.

Daniel Groves is a Tennessee Williams Fellow and visiting professor of English. He is the author of The Lost Boys and co-editor, with Greg Williamson, of Jiggery-Pokery Semicentennial. His poetry has been published in Paris Review, Yale Review, and Poetry, among others. Groves has a B.A. and M.A. from Johns Hopkins University; an M.F.A. from Ohio State University; and a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati.