CASL faculty receive promotion and tenure

May 18, 2018

The Board of Regents, at their meeting on May 17, approved promotions and tenure for the following CASL faculty members.

"One of my greatest privileges is to be able to advocate on behalf of CASL's outstanding faculty and to support their promotion and tenure cases.  Every year I am both humbled and inspired by the work of my faculty colleagues.  This year is no exception.  Please join me in congratulating our peers on their successful promotion and tenure cases!  Well done!"

- Martin J. Hershock, Dean

(Click on each name to read a summary of the promotion recommendation.)

John Chenoweth, assistant professor of anthropology, without tenure, Department of Behavioral Sciences, promoted to associate professor of anthropology with tenure. Prof. Chenoweth’s research focuses on how religious groups work through material culture. He examines how communities are created through practice and the material culture involved in those identifications. Most of his work has been on the Religious Society of Friends — known as “Quakers” — and how the Quaker community dealt with conflicting influences and priorities while maintaining a global sense of self. He has also studied sites in the Caribbean, initially focusing on Quakerism in the British Virgin Islands where the group’s ideals directly conflicted with racial identifications and an economic system centered on race-based slavery. His research has significant implications for how we understand religious practice and identity.


Scott DeGregorio, associate professor of English, with tenure, College-Wide Programs, promoted to professor of English, with tenure. He is known for his eclectic and diverse course offerings, which testify to his teaching versatility and interdisciplinarity. In the area of research, he is among the most influential current scholars of Anglo-Saxon culture and a major figure in scholarship on the “venerable” Bede. Currently, DeGregorio is engaged in major studies examining Bede’s exegesis and reform agenda, Gregory the Great, monasticism, and the Old Testament in the early Middle Ages. One reviewer noted “He is, in my estimation, the leading North American scholar of his generation who is working within his field and is known and respected internationally.”

Matthew P. Heinicke, assistant professor of biology without tenure, Department of Natural Sciences, promoted to associate professor of biology, with tenure. Professor Heinicke studies evolutionary patterns in reptiles, amphibians, and occasionally other organisms, specializing in geckos and terraranan frogs.  His work on the use of phylogenetic trees to test hypotheses and to understand patterns in the evolutionary history of amphibians and reptiles is very highly regarded. One reviewer wrote “I think Professor Heinicke is already emerging as a leader in his field and will have a great impact over his career. Few others that I can think of at his stage have such a bright future.”

Kelly A. Jabbusch, assistant professor of mathematics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, promoted to associate professor of mathematics, with tenure. She is an outstanding instructor in the classroom and is engaged in cutting-edge research work with her collaborators, especially in the areas of the study of the positivity of vector bundles and toric varieties. One reviewer commented, “The first thing impressed me about Jabbusch’s work is the intellectual range that it reflects.”

Ulrich Kamp, professor of geography, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana with tenure, Department of Geography, promoted to professor of geology, with tenure, Department of Natural Sciences, College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters. Professor Kamp carried out fieldwork in Algeria, India, Jordan, Mongolia, Lesotho, South Africa, Pakistan, Peru and Venezuela and works together with geologists, geographers, environmental scientists, mountain specialists (National Geographic), and others. His most cited papers (both in geomorphology) describe findings resulting from the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir. “All his publications show that Dr. Kamp is one of the recognized experts to use remote sensing and GIS technologies to study landslides in the earthquake affected regions using geomorphological features,” noted one reviewer.

Jamie Shinhee Lee, associate professor of linguistics, with tenure, Department of Language, Culture, and Communication, promoted to professor of linguistics, with tenure. An expert in the field of socio-linguistics and "world Englishes," her book on Popular Culture in Asia is the first that brings together chapters by writers from different Asian countries who analysed popular culture in different countries focusing on the sociolinguistic importance of English within Asian popular culture. This book is important as it does a linguistic analysis of popular culture, when in the past, studies on popular culture have been sociological, anthropological and cultural. The publications on English in popular culture would be considered to be outstanding as Korean popular culture has become very widespread not only in Asia but all over the world.

Nicolas A. Licata, assistant professor of physics, without tenure, Department of Natural Sciences, promoted to associate professor of physics, with tenure. Professor Licata is a superb teacher and scholar. His research is thoughtful, collaborative, and seeks to understand the complex integration of the worlds of physics and biology. His publications focus on new and very significant overlapping domains within the physical and biological disciplines such as: the diffusion of bacteria through different semisolid supports, their adhesion, and their mechanical considerations for swimming. A reviewer commented “He performs extensive teaching duties, advises many undergraduate students, and manages to write technically sophisticated theoretical physics papers with some of them.”

Pamela McAuslan, associate professor of psychology, with tenure, Department of Behavioral Sciences, promoted to professor of psychology, with tenure. Professor McAuslan first gained a reputation in the study of sexual assault, with a major contribution to a landmark study examining perpetrators of sexual aggression. In recent work, she focuses on the powerful impact of media on social behavior, as well as the social and personal factors which motivate and predict identification with particular media. Her most recent publication (in the APA journal Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 2017), in which she presents a theoretical model of dating violence and tests its validity in a sample of young adults, is considered an outstanding contribution to the field.

Susana Peciña, associate professor of psychology, with tenure, Department of Behavioral Sciences, promoted to professor of psychology, with tenure. Professor Peciña is an internationally known scholar whose work is widely cited and has significantly impacted the field of affective neuroscience. Her research centers on emotions and motivation and has had major impact in the field of biopsychology. This work has transformed the field of affective neuroscience (the neurobiology of emotion) and has had profound implications for understanding the neural mechanisms of addiction and obesity, in both animals and humans. A reviewer commented “The research questions she tackles and the procedures and techniques she used are quite extraordinary; and this is what sets her off from her peers in the neuroscience community.”

Brenda R. Whitehead, assistant professor of psychology, without tenure, Department of Behavioral Sciences, promoted to associate professor of psychology, with tenure. Professor Whitehead is an innovative and rigorous research who is on track to make very significant contributions in the field of healthy aging. Her research focuses on health and well-being for older adults, emphasizing the impact of stress and coping in later life, factors that influence well-being and the development of depressive symptomatology, ways to promote healthy behavior, as well as factors that are associated with functional decline in older adults. One reviewer stated “…Dr. Whitehead is clearly making her mark on the field and I have no doubt that she belongs to the very select group of young scholars that will challenge our current thinking and take aging research to the next level.”

Back to top of page