Dickinson Adds Eight New Tenure-Track Professors
This fall, Dickinson welcomed eight new tenure-track faculty with research and teaching interests ranging from the economic effects of climate change to evolutionary genomics. Read their brief bios below.
Top row, from left: Jonathan Cogliano, Tiffany Frey, Sarah Niebler, David O'Connell; bottom row, from left: James Sias, Greg Steirer, Kristin Strock, Dana Wohlbach.
Jonathan Cogliano, Assistant Professor
Department of Economics
Jonathan Cogliano received his Ph.D. in economics in May 2013 from the New School for Social Research, where he was a David M. Gordon Dissertation Fellow, a University in Exile Fellow, and a Dean’s Fellow. He holds a B.A. in economics with a minor in mathematics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research focuses on developing new theoretical approaches to analyzing the political economy of advanced capitalist economies, including the development of computer simulation tools, exploring instability between the real and financial sides of the economy and consideration of the economic and distributive effects of climate change. At Dickinson, he will incorporate these aspects of his research into teaching political economy, macroeconomics and a course focused on exploring the limits to economic growth in the context of global warming.
Tiffany Frey, Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
Tiffany Frey earned her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2008. She earned her B.S. in 2000 from The Pennsylvania State University. Frey has been teaching at Dickinson since 2011 and was moved to tenure track this fall.
Sarah Niebler, Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
Sarah Niebler earned her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012; her dissertation examined the U.S. presidential nominating process. Her research on campaigns, media effects and public opinion has been published in American Politics Research and Legislative Studies Quarterly. In 2011, she won the Hovland Paper Award for the best paper submitted to an academic journal for the article "Dollars on the Sidewalk: Should U.S. Presidential Candidates Advertise in Uncontested States?" which she co-authored Carly Urban. Niebler's pedagogy focuses on writing and communication skills, and while at the University of Wisconsin, she was named the department's teaching assistant fellow for the 2011-12 academic year. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Niebler was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at Vanderbilt University. She is originally from Gettysburg, Pa. and holds a B.A. from Muhlenberg College and an M.A. from Lehigh University.
David O’Connell, Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
David O’Connell received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University in 2012. He also holds an M.A. and M.Phil. from Columbia, as well as a B.A. in political science and economics from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include the presidency, religion and politics, and American political development. O'Connell’s research on presidential campaign decision-making has been published in Presidential Studies Quarterly. His current book project, God Wills It: Presidents and the Political Use of Religion, is a comprehensive study of presidential religious rhetoric – when it has been used, how it has been used, and when it has, or more often has not, been successful. An enthusiastic teacher, David was a finalist multiple times for teaching awards at Columbia. He spent the 2012-13 academic year teaching at Bard College.
James Sias, Assistant Professor
Department of Philosophy
James Sias received his Ph.D. in philosophy in 2013 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He also holds an M.A. in philosophy from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (2009), an M.A. in philosophy from Georgia State University (2007) and a B.S. in humanities and biblical studies from Point University (2005). His research focuses primarily on issues in ethics and moral psychology, but he also has published in the philosophy of language, and has interests in applied ethics and the history of moral philosophy as well. He is an award-winning teacher; most recently he won UNC’s prestigious Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Outside of academia, he spends most of his time hanging out with his wife and kids, watching college sports and reading science fiction.
Gregory Steirer, Assistant Professor
Department of English
Gregory Steirer received his Ph.D. in English and cinema studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. From 2011-12 he served as a researcher for the Connected Viewing Initiative of the Carsey-Wolf Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research focuses on the impact of technological and economic changes on the production and consumption of old and new media forms. His work has been published in Postmodern Culture, The International Journal of Comic Art and elsewhere, and is forthcoming in the anthology Connected Viewing: Selling, Sharing, and Streaming Media in a Digital Age (Routledge, 2013). Steirer’s current book-length project, Narrative Inc., examines big-brand media franchises and the changes they have wrought to traditional processes of narrative creation and consumption. An award-winning teacher, he has taught classes on film, television, realism, audio culture, world literature, Shakespeare and narratology. He also keeps a blog, Cultural Production, which can be found at culturalproductionblog.com.
Kristin Strock, Instructor
Department of Environmental Studies
Kristin Strock will receive her Ph.D. in ecology and environmental science from the University of Maine where she was the Michael J. Eckardt Research Fellow and a Correll Fellow. She holds a B.S. in biology from James Madison University and an M.S. in ecology and environmental science from the University of Maine. Strock uses modern aquatic ecology and fossil records contained in lake sediments to explore issues that are critical to effectively managing freshwater resources. She has published on a range of environmental topics including aquatic food-web interactions, the effects of climate change on algae in arctic lakes and recovery from the effects of acid rain in the northeastern United States. At Dickinson, Strock will engage students in classes and research that explore the effects of global environmental change, such as changes in climate, atmospheric pollution and land use on aquatic ecosystems and the implications for resource management.
Dana J. Wohlbach, Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
Dana J. Wohlbach received her Ph.D. in genetics in August 2007 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also holds a B.A. in biology and mathematics from Franklin & Marshall College. From 2007 to 2012, she completed research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was a National Library of Medicine Computational and Informatics in Biology and Medicine postdoctoral fellow. Prior to joining the faculty at Dickinson, she was a lecturer in biology at Edgewood College in Madison, Wis. At Dickinson, Wohlbach’s research program will focus on understanding genome evolution and environmental stress response and adaptation in symbiotic fungi. In the classroom, she will develop and teach courses that integrate computational concepts into biology curricula in areas such as evolutionary genomics, bioinformatics and microbial genetics; her courses also will incorporate broader areas of interest such as scientific literacy and outreach.