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Meet Our New Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty

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The College of Humanities and Social Sciences welcomes a dozen new tenure-track faculty to its ranks for the 2017-18 year. Their scholarship and research interests range from race and immigration to organizational health psychology and urban food systems of the ancient world. Meet these stellar scholars, researchers and teachers, and join us for our Welcome Back reception in Caldwell Lounge from 4:30-6 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2017.   

Zachary Beare joins the Department of English as an assistant professor in rhetoric and composition.

  • Ph.D., English, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2017
  • M.A., English Studies, Western Washington University, 2010
  • B.A, English Literature, Western Washington University, 2008

Beare’s research investigates sites and practices of rhetorical activity that are undervalued. His recent work focuses on how rhetoric and composition specialists “story” their discipline; that is, how they compose narratives about the field, their teaching, their students and their research in public digital spaces and other non-traditional sites of disciplinary knowledge-making. His work has appeared in College Composition and Communication and the Journal of Cultural Research and will appear in the forthcoming collection, Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Research. Beare will also serve as associate director of First-Year Writing and teach courses in composition theory, research and pedagogy.

Ronisha Browdy joins the Department of English as an assistant professor in composition and rhetoric.

  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and Writing, Michigan State University, 2017
  • M.A., English: Rhetoric and Composition, University of South Florida, 2013
  • B.A., English, University of Florida, 2011

Browdy’s primary research interests are in Black women’s literacies, language and rhetorical practices, cultural rhetorics and feminist rhetorical practices. Her most recent research used Black feminist concepts of self-definition and self-valuation to interrogate Black women’s word choices for naming and giving meaning to their identities as Black women. Through her analysis she identified themes of strength, care and sisterhood, and situated individual Black women’s stories and definitions within her research as counter-narratives to dominant stereotypical images of Black womanhood. Browdy also has a professional and personal investment in participating with, and within, community-based organizations that serve minority youth.

Yang “Alice” Cheng joins the Department of Communication as an assistant professor in the area of public relations.

  • Ph.D., Journalism, University of Missouri Columbia, 2017
  • MBA., University of Missouri Columbia, 2017
  • M.A., Global Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2011
  • B.A., Management, Beijing Normal University, 2010

Cheng’s research interests include social media effects, relationship management, crisis communication and agenda-setting/building research. Some of her publications have appeared in such top journals as New Media & Society, International Journal of Communication, Public Relations Review and Asian Journal of Communication. She has also received awards and honors from global institutions including the Institute of Public Relations and PRIME research, and has acted as the principal investigator in eight grants including the Arthur Page Johnson Legacy Scholar Grant.

Seonghee Cho joins the Department of Psychology as an assistant professor in industrial and organizational psychology, specifically personality psychology, selection research methods and occupational health psychology.

  • Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2016
  • M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2013
  • B.A., Sogang University, 2011

Cho’s research focuses primarily on individual differences and health in the workplace. Particularly, Cho applies advanced psychometric strategies to examine the quality of non-cognitive ability measures, such as personality and emotional intelligence assessments, in order to improve their measurement and promote informed administration in practice. Her studies in organizational health psychology aim to understand the mechanisms of employee health, safety and well-being (e.g., recovery), using longitudinal and diary data.

Celeste Curington joins the Department of Sociology and Anthropology as an assistant professor in the areas of race, care work and emotional labor, as well as gender and migration. She will teach courses in the sociology of the family as well as in race and ethnicity.

  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2017
  • B.A., Spanish Language and Literature; B.A., Sociology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 2009

Although a newly minted Ph.D. from U. Mass Amherst, Curington’s research has already been published in such places as the American Sociological Review and the Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. In her ASR articles, she found that multiracial daters on an online dating website were treated in ways we might not expect. Specifically, multiracial men and women are given higher status in online dating by white and non-white monoracial daters. More generally, Curington’s work on multiracial identity points to the importance of the socio-historical and political contexts for the social construction of multiraciality. In addition to her research on online dating, Curington has studied extensively health workers for the elderly, specifically Cape Verdean health care workers in Lisbon, Portugal.

Stephen C. Ferguson II joins the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies as an associate professor of philosophy and Africana studies.

  • Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Kansas, 2004
  • M.A., Philosophy, University of Kansas, 1998
  • B.A., History and Philosophy, University of Missouri, 1996 

Ferguson comes to NC State from North Carolina A&T State University. He specializes in Africana philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of race and philosophy of sport. He is the author of Philosophy of African American Studies: Nothing Left of Blackness (Palgrave, 2015). His other publications include a co-authored book, two co-edited books and more than 15 scholarly articles. With John H. McClendon, he is currently writing a book entitled African American Philosophers and Philosophy: An Introduction to the History, Concepts and Contemporary Issues for Bloomsbury. He also serves as co-editor of the American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience.

Ebony Jones joins the Department of History as an assistant professor in the area of the history of slavery and history of the Caribbean.

  • Ph.D., History, New York University, 2017
  • M.A., History, New York University, 2012
  • B.A., History and Sociology, University of New Mexico, 2009

Jones’ research interests focus on the social and legal history of Anglophone Caribbean slave society during the 17th and 18th centuries. Her research explores the history of slavery and abolition throughout the Atlantic world, especially in the Caribbean, looking at punishments administered to the enslaved — specifically, “transportation” — and the ways in which punishment differentiation intersected with the British government’s attempts to end the institution of slavery during the early 19th century. Transportation was used explicitly to permanently remove individuals from a given colony. Jones’ work raises new questions about the relationship between slavery, punishment, criminality, commodification and freedom in the Black Atlantic world.  

Moses Khisa joins the School of Public and International Affairs as an assistant professor of political science and Africana studies.

  • Ph.D., Political Science, Northwestern University, 2016
  • M.A., Political Science, Northwestern University, 2013
  • MPhil., Social Sciences, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta-India, 2009
  • M.A., Human Rights, Makerere University, 2007
  • B.A., Social Sciences (political science major), Makerere University, 2005

Khisa comes to NC State from Northwestern University, where he served as a lecturer of political science. His research and teaching interests are at the intersection of comparative and international political economy, comparative political development and African politics. He has conducted fieldwork in several African countries, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. His most recent scholarly publication, “Managing Elite Defection: the 2016 Ugandan Elections in Comparative Perspective,” appeared in the Journal of Eastern African Studies (December 2016). Khisa combines scholarship with social justice activism and writes a current affairs Friday Op-Ed for a Ugandan newspaper, The Observer.

Sung-Ju Kim joins the Department of Social Work as an assistant professor. He will teach social welfare policy classes to undergraduate students and conduct research in Korean nonprofit and philanthropy research networks and corporate social responsibility.

  • Ph.D., social work, Indiana University
  • M.A., social administration, Mandel School of Social Science, Case Western Reserve University
  • Certificate in nonprofit management, Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Case Western Reserve University
  • M.A., social welfare, Catholic University of Korea

Prior to joining NC State, Kim taught at Monmouth University School of Social Work as an assistant professor. He has also taught at Rutgers University School of Social Work and Indiana University School of Social Work. Kim has worked as a professional social worker at several social work agencies, including Asian Service, Inc., in Cleveland, Ohio; the Center for Homelessness in Korea; the Community Welfare Center in Korea; and the corporate social responsibility department in SK Telecom in Korea. His specialties in social work include nonprofit management and leadership; philanthropy and fundraising; qualitative research methods; program and practice evaluation; and community development as a social work macro-practitioner.

Dru McGill joins the Department of Sociology and Anthropology as an assistant professor in the area of archaeological anthropology. He will teach courses in the archaeological methods, as well as Cultural Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, Anthropological Theory and Pots and People: Ceramic Analysis Sociology.

  • Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington, 2013
  • M.A., Indiana University, Bloomington, 2010
  • B.A., Archaeology, Boston University, 2003

McGill served as a curator of collections at Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University from 2014-15. He became a lecturer in anthropology at NC State in 2015, prior to his appointment as assistant professor. He is co-author of Ethics in Action: Case Studies in Archaeological Dilemmas and has published several articles in journals such as Archaeologies, Southeastern Archaeology, and Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology. He worked for several years on the Mississippian site of Angel Mounds. McGill is working with a potential site close to NC State: the African-American Oberlin Cemetery, where he is part of Friends of Oberlin Village, and where he serves as an archaeological and material culture consultant.

Tate Paulette joins the Department of History as an assistant professor in agricultural history. 

  • Ph.D., Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Chicago, 2015
  • M.A., Near Eastern Archaeology, University of Chicago, 2004
  • M.A., Archaeology, University of Edinburgh, 2001

Paulette studies urban food systems in the ancient world. His research explores agricultural practices, gastro-politics, and state making in the world’s first cities and states, with a focus on Mesopotamia and the Near East. He is also interested in ancient alcohol, and he has spearheaded an effort to recreate Sumerian beer using authentic ingredients, equipment and brewing techniques. Paulette has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Cyprus, Scotland and the United States. He has recently completed the first season of a new field project in Cyprus. His teaching focuses on agricultural history, food, urbanism and the ancient world.

Kevin Richardson joins the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies as an assistant professor of Philosophy.  

  • Ph.D., Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2017 (September)
  • B.A., Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012

North Carolina native Kevin Richardson has just completed the Ph.D. in Philosophy at MIT, where he was active in the development of programs that promote diversity in philosophy. He specializes in metaphysics, philosophy of language and pragmatism. He is especially interested in the broad categories that we use to structure the world around us and in how language users construct linguistic meaning. Richardson’s Ph.D. dissertation, Grounding Pluralism, defends a pragmatic and pluralistic account of the metaphysical relation of grounding. His current research explores the way that language is used as a tool for social expression.