Honors Seminars Spring 2014 Instructors
Dr. John T. Ambrose
Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus; Dean Emeritus of DUAP
Dr. Ambrose is a long time faculty member and administrator at NC State University. He earned his MS and PhD degrees from Cornell University in Apiculture (honey bees) and Social Insect Behavior. He is also a retired US Navy Captain. He started work at NC State in the Dept. of Entomology as an Assistant Professor and the Extension Apiculturist in 1975, as well as being appointed as the Executive Director of the NC State Beekeepers Association. His research areas were apiculture (including bee diseases and parasites) and pollination. He is the recipient of NC State’s Outstanding Teacher Award, Member of the Academy of Outstanding Teachers at NC State, recipient of the Entomological Society’s Outstanding Teacher Award, and recipient of NC State’s Alumni Outstanding Undergraduate Teacher Award. From 2000-2012 he worked in a number of administrative positions in the Division of Undergraduate Academic Programs ranging from Director of the First Year College to Dean of the Division. Since 2012 he has been in Phased Retirement with his emphasis on teaching. His interests are apiculture, pollination, social insect behavior and the association of man and insects over time and today.
Dr. Alison E. Arnold
Teaching Assistant Professor
Dr. Alison Arnold is Assistant Teaching Professor of Music and Arts Studies at North Carolina State University, where she teaches courses in world music, music of Asia, and cross-cultural arts. She also teaches in the FYI (First Year Inquiry) program and for the Arts Forum (Arts Village). Together with colleague Dr. Jonathan Kramer, she was nominated for the 2007-2008 Gertrude Cox award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching and Learning with Technology. Prior to joining the NCSU Music faculty, Dr. Arnold taught at The Colorado College, Penn State University at Abington, Drexel University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her Bachelors degree in music at the University of Liverpool, England, and her Masters and Ph.D. in Musicology with a concentration in Ethnomusicology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also an active performing musician, playing in four Celtic music bands. Since 2005, she has run a traditional Irish Music Session at NC State, open to all NCSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as local community members and visitors.
As an ethnomusicologist, she has carried out research, presented conference papers, and published articles on Indian film and popular music, Asian Indian music in the U.S., and Vietnamese Montagnard music in North Carolina. In 2010, she was an invited keynote speaker at the Asian Popular Music International Workshop at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. She edited the South Asia Volume of The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music (2000), and is currently writing an online Music textbook with associate Dr. Jonathan Kramer titled (provisionally) What In The World Is Music? She served as Vice President and President of the Society for Ethnomusicology, Southeast and Caribbean Chapter, 2002-2004, and organized a joint regional conference with the North Carolina Folklore Society at NC State University in 2005.
Dr. Richard L. Blanton
Professor and Director
Dr. Larry Blanton is the Director of the University Honors Program, Professor of Plant Biology, and Director of Graduate Programs for the Department of Plant Biology.
Dr. Blanton graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.S. in Botany with Highest Honors from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), where he also earned his Ph.D. in Botany . He was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, NSF Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Georgia-Athens), and NATO Postdoctoral Fellow (Culture Centre of Algae and Protozoa in Cambridge, England). At various times in his career, he was a visiting research scientist in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge; the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, London, England; the Wellcome Trust BioCenter of the University of Dundee, Scotland; and the Wood Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan. Dr. Blanton's research interests center on the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum, specifically the biosynthesis of cellulose and the role of the extracellular matrix during development.
At NC State, he has taught PB 414 (Cell Biology) several times and developed and teaches each semester HON 310 (The Creative Process in Science). Prior to joining NC State in 2003, Dr. Blanton spent 18 years on the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where he directed a large grant-funded biological sciences education program. At Texas Tech, Dr. Blanton received the New Faculty Award, the Presidential Excellence in Teaching Award, and was twice the recipient of the student-initiated Mortar Board/Omicron Delta Kappa Outstanding Faculty Award. Prior to his departure from Texas Tech, alumni, students, faculty colleagues, and others established the Richard L. Blanton Endowed Scholarship in support of undergraduate research.
He was co-editor with Roman Taraban (TTU-Psychology) of "Creating Effective Undergraduate Research Programs in Science: The Transformation from Student to Scientist" (New York: Teachers College Press, 2008).
Dr. John W. Carroll
John W. Carroll is Professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. His specializations are metaphysics and the philosophy of science, especially the topics of laws of nature and causation. His article, "The Humean Tradition" was reprinted in The Philosopher's Annual, as one of the top ten philosophy articles to appear in print in 1990. His work also includes Laws of Nature (Cambridge University Press, 1994), Readings on Laws of Nature (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004), An Introduction to Metaphysics (Cambridge University Press, 2010), and scholarly articles appearing in British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Science, Philosophical Review, and Philosophical Studies. For more information, see http://www4.ncsu.edu/~carroll/hpage.htm.
Dr. Gary L. Comstock
Professor of Philosophy
Gary L. Comstock is a professor of philosophy at NC State who does research on ethical questions in the biological sciences. He has written one book, Vexing Nature? On the Ethical Case Against Agricultural Biotechnology, which was called a "watershed" in the discussion of genetically modified foods. Another critic wrote that the book's nuanced treatment of both sides of the issue is "virtually unprecedented in applied philosophy." Comstock also edited the books Life Science Ethics, Religious Autobiographies, and Is There a Moral Obligation to Save the Family Farm?. For two years he was a Fellow at the National Humanities Center. He spends his free time listening to string quartets, dragging his walker at noon onto the basketball floor in Carmichael, and wondering what goes on in horses' heads.
Dr. Tiffany L. Kershner
Adjunct Teaching Assistant Professor and Coordinator for Distinguished Scholarships and Fellowships
Hailing from a small coal-mining town in northeastern Pennsylvania , Dr. Tiffany Kershner began her training in anthropology at the University of Iowa where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with Distinction and Honors. After Iowa, she received a Masters Degree in Anthropology from SUNY-Albany. Her training continued at Indiana University where she focused on linguistics and African languages, completing another MA and then her doctorate in Linguistics. After several years teaching at Kansas State University, Dr. Kershner recently joined NC State in Fall 2011 as their new Coordinator for Distinguished Scholarships and Fellowships. Dr. Kershner has an extensive background in linguistic and cultural anthropology, descriptive linguistics, and African languages. She has done intensive fieldwork amongst the Sukwa culture of Malawi, through which she received funding through a Fulbright Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant. She also served for two years as an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Carleton College. Some of her current research interests in language and culture include folk ethnobiological classification systems, African oral literature, language and gender, cultural semantics and pragmatics, and tense, aspect, and verb classification systems. She began a new linguistic documentation project in Comoros in the summer 2008.
Dr. Charles Ludington
Teaching Assistant Professor
Chad Ludington studied history at Yale University as an undergraduate, but before pursuing his doctorate at Columbia University he had a variety of jobs and adventures. To wit, he played professional basketball in France, traveled very slowly by train from Seville to Hong Kong, worked as a prep chef, a wine store salesman, and a genealogist for a Franco-Irish-English-American Family. While in graduate school at Columbia he continued to work in a wine store, and was also a high school JV basketball coach. He is proud to say that his team was the second-best JV high school team in a metropolitan area of over 8 million people. Admittedly, that metropolitan area was London and not New York City. Related to my historical interest in food and wine, he spends an inordinate amount of time cooking, thinking about food, and contemplating what wines will complement the food he is making.
Dr. Ludington's research interests have focused on the connections between political culture, political thought, and material culture in England, Scotland, and Ireland (c. 1500 to c. 1860) in a European and Atlantic context. He has published works on the history of British and Irish political thought, the Huguenot Diaspora in Ireland, and the political meanings and uses of wine in England and Scotland. He recently completed his first book, The Politics of Wine in Britain: A New Cultural History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). He argues that the taste for wine, meaning what wine one consumed and how one consumed it, was an expression of political beliefs (and therefore party allegiance), competing conceptions of masculinity, social class, and social aspirations. Consequently, the taste for wine both reflected and helped to construct political power. As well as being a major study of political culture during the very time the British state was being created, his book is a methodological attempt to move beyond the years of theorizing about “New Cultural History,” and actually to write it. Thus, his book endeavors to reconcile the materialist insights of social historians of the previous generation and the dexterous decoding of language, cultural practices, and material objects that is the distinguishing feature of more recent cultural history.
Dr. Ludington's current research interests include a global history of cheddar cheese, and a study of the role of Irish merchants in the invention of first growth Bordeaux wines, the wines for which the region is most famous.
Dr. Alicia Ebbett McGill
Alicia McGill is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History. She received a BA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD in Anthropology from Indiana University. Dr. McGill has always been fascinated by human diversity in the past and present and the ways that people connect with history and has conducted archaeological and cultural anthropology research in Cyprus, Honduras, Belize, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. Dr. McGill has academic interests in heritage, public history, and anthropological studies of education. She has conducted extensive research in Belize, focusing on the ways constructions of the past are promoted through public venues like tourism, education, and archaeology, and how these constructions shape the cultural production of young citizens. Dr. McGill is particularly interested in the ways messages about the past are interpreted and negotiated by teachers and youth as they navigate racial and ethnic politics in the present. Her most recent publications focus on national cultural diversity rhetoric in the Belizean state and intersections between colonial dynamics, community connections with the natural landscape, and local heritage work.
At NC State Dr. McGill teaches courses on the Ancient Americas, Frauds and Mysteries in History, Cultural Resource Management, and International Cultural Heritage. In the next few years, she hopes to take NC State students to Belize to learn about archaeological research, tourism, and environmental conservation.
Dr. John D. Morillo
Dr. John Morillo has been teaching Eighteenth-Century and Romantic literature at NC State for twenty years, and directed Graduate Programs in English from 2002-2005. In 2013 he was awarded both the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award and the Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher Award. He enjoys teaching literature and theories of literary interpretation, the rise and fall of genres, and foundations of research in the humanities. He has taught all ranks and ages of students in graduate and undergraduate programs. He has been a member of the board of directors for First Year Inquiry Classes for freshmen, and has taught classes for that program, as well as English Honors courses.
His research has focused on the relationship between the Neoclassical and Romantic periods, and the history of representations of emotion in literature and criticism during those periods in Britain, and he has published in all of those areas. He is now interested in human-animal relations in the same periods. His own undergraduate degree is from Reed College, where he majored in English and minored in French, and his MA and PhD are from the University of Chicago. He likes to play music and to build things, including fish ponds and HO-scale train layouts. His pets include a fire-bellied newt over thirty years old. In the best of all possible worlds he would spend more time playing tennis and music, fly-fishing, and traveling with his family, Andrea Atkin, who works in NCSU's First Year College, and William, who is a student at Martin Middle.
Dr. Jennifer Anne Nolan-Stinson
Dr. Jennifer Nolan-Stinson earned her Ph.D. in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies from the University of Maryland in 2008, and teaches courses on twentieth-century U.S. literature and culture. In addition to the English, Honors, and Science, Technology, and Society (STS) courses she regularly teaches, she has developed a new interdisciplinary course in American Studies for NC State, which was offered for the first time during the spring 2012 semester. Her interest in interdisciplinary work began as an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with majors in English and Philosophy, and she followed this with an MA in English Language and Literature from the University of Virginia. Dr. Nolan-Stinson has published and presented on twentieth- and twenty-first-century American reading practices, genre reading, teaching American literature, and the materiality of the book, and her current research interests include ethnographic approaches to studying reading and the intersections between consumption, display, design, and marketing of paperback books. She also will serve as President of the Zeta of North Carolina chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for the 2013 - 2014 academic year.
Dr. Thomas P. Phillips
Having completed a multidisciplinary Ph.D. at Concordia University, Montreal, in 2007, I am currently active as an English lecturer, a fiction and theory writer, and a composer of minimalist, electro-acoustic music. I have had the great fortune of seeing these creative endeavors come to fruition in book publication and in numerous CD releases. I also perform music, alone and in collaboration, on an international scale. However, literary scholarship (most recently on brevity and the contemporary French novel) and pedagogy remain central to my artistic work in so far as they afford an invaluable theoretical foundation, not to mention an immensely pleasurable career.
Dr. Molly M. Pryzwansky
Molly Pryzwansky received her B.A. in Classical Civilizations from Wellesley College (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude, with honors in Classical Studies). Her Ph.D. in Classical Studies comes from Duke University, where she was the recipient of the Bass Advanced Instructorship in 2006-7. In 2007-8, Dr. Pryzwansky held the Kathryn Conway Preyer Fellowship for Advanced Study in History from Wellesley College for her work on Suetonius, a 2nd-cent. A.D. Roman biographer. Dr. Pryzwansky has also studied at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the American Academy in Rome, and the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. Since 2011 she has been a Research Associate (rédacteur) for L’Année Philologique, American Office. Her article on the reception of Cornelius Nepos was recently published in the Classical Journal (“Cornelius Nepos: Key Issues and Critical Approaches,” CJ 105.2 [2009-10]: 97-108) and she has recently spoken at the annual meetings of the Classical Association of the Middle West and South, the American Philological Association, and the Archaeological Institute of America.
Dr. Aaron J. Stoller
Dr. Aaron Stoller is Associate Director for the University Honors Program at NC State. He obtained a B.A. in English Literature from Wake Forest University, an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from the University of Arizona, an M.Div. from Wake Forest University, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) at Virginia Tech. His work focuses on the social and epistemological foundations of education and, in particular, in post-secondary pedagogy and theories of creative inquiry. His work was most recently published in the Journal of Aesthetic Education ("Educating from failure: Dewey’s aesthetics and the case for failure in educational theory," (Vol. 47 (1): 22-35). He has recently presented scholarship at the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy and the South Atlantic Philosophy of Education Society (SAPES), where his work was selected for inclusion in the 2013 SAPES yearbook.
Ms. Carolyn P. Veale
Carolyn Veale is Assistant Director for the University Honors Program. Her primary focus in the position has included recruitment, admissions, advising, and assessment. She has worked for NC State for the past fourteen years. Her positions have included Residence Director, Advisor for the College of Management, Assistant Coordinator for the Teaching Fellows Program, and Assistant Director of Student Services and Students Advocating for Youth for the College of Education. She has taught ECD 220 – College Student Development and Peer Counseling, ED 201 and 202 – Sophomore Teaching Fellows Forum, USC 110 – Freshman Advancement Seminar, ED 150 Students Advocating for Youth Seminar, HON 398-On Being Ethical, HON 398- Race, Intelligence and Eugenics. Carolyn has received a BA in Political Science and a BA in Public Relations from NC State University, a M.Ed. in Adult Education from NC State University, A.B.D Higher Education Administration from NC State University, and a Graduate Certificate in Counseling Education. Carolyn's areas of interest are racial identify development, social justice, and multi-cultural issues in educational and organizational settings.