New Faculty


Rhodes Welcomes 18 New Faculty

Charles Arndt, assistant professor of modern languages and literatures, received his B.A. in Russian language and Soviet area studies from Dickinson College. He has a Ph.D. in Russian literature from Brown University. Prior to joining the Rhodes faculty, he was a visiting assistant professor at Connecticut College. He has worked with the Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and has presented papers at several conferences.

Frank Buscher, visiting professor of history, has his B.A. from Northern Michigan University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Marquette University. He has published The U.S. War Crimes Trial Program in Germany, 1946-1955 and articles in Yad Vashem Studies, Central European History, German History, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, German Studies Review and several edited books. He was professor of history, history department chair and dean of the School of Arts at Christian Brothers University. He also worked as a historian for the Canadian Justice Department’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section.

Thomas Caplinger, associate professor of mathematics and computer science, earned his B.A. from Hendrix College, M.S. from Florida State University and Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi (all degrees in mathematics). He has received several honors and awards, including Mortar Board Professor of the Year from the University of Memphis, the Distinguished Teacher Service Award (1975 and 1999) from the University of Memphis and Outstanding Advising Award from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Memphis. He is also a member of several professional organizations, including the Mathematical Association of America and National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Art Carden, instructor of economics and business administration, has a B.S. and M.A. from the University of Alabama. He received his A.M. in economics and will receive his Ph.D. from Washington University in Saint Louis. Honors and awards include the Don Lavoie Memorial Graduate Student Paper Award and the Washington University Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship. Prior to joining Rhodes, Carden taught at Washington University and St. Louis University.

Geoffrey Cockerham, assistant professor of international studies, has his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona and J.D. from Louisiana State University. He was an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Arizona and visiting assistant professor at the University of Louisville. He has also taught at the University of Louisville’s campus in Panama. He has published in academic journals and presented several papers on issues in international and comparative politics.

Stephen Faison, assistant professor of philosophy, earned his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Denver and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. His dissertation is titled “A Poor Man’s Existentialism.” His teaching experience includes positions at Belmont, Tennessee State and Vanderbilt universities.

Brandon Goff, assistant professor of music, received both his B.M. and M.Mus. degrees in composition from Arkansas State University, and recently received his D.M.A. in music composition at the University of Memphis. Prior to joining Rhodes in a full-time capacity, he was an adjunct professor at Rhodes. He also worked with several professional studios and performed worldwide with the pop group “Pierce.” He received the Smit Award for Composition and was selected as a finalist in the BMG Young Composers Award Competition. He is a member of the American Composers Forum and the Society of Composers.

Kim Gerecke, assistant professor of psychology, received her B.S. from Muskingum College, M.A. in psychology from University of Richmond and Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Before coming to Rhodes, she performed Parkinson’s disease research at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She has several published original articles. Some of her honors and awards include the Procter and Gamble Professional Opportunity Award, Outstanding Graduate Research Award (twice) and Neuroscience Training Grant.

Mike Hammock, assistant professor of economics and business administration, has his B.S. from Berry College, M.S. from Texas A&M and Ph.D. from Emory University (all in economics). His dissertation topic is “Lobbying, Political Contributions, and Corporate Emissions: Theory and New Data.” He taught classes at Texas A&M and Emory University.

Rafael Major, assistant professor of political science, received his B.A. from the University of Dallas, M.P. from the University of Dallas and Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Texas. While at the University of North Texas, he completed his dissertation, “Wisdom and Law in Shakespeare’s Comedies.” He taught a variety of classes at the University of North Texas and Trinity College. He was also awarded first place for the University of Texas Graduate Expository Writing Award for “Education and Tolerance: Attitudes toward Immigration and Multi-Culturalism in North Texas.”

Verónica Martínez-Matsuda, William Randolph Hearst Fellow in history, earned her B.A. in Latin American and United States history from the University of California at San Diego and M.A. in U.S. history from University of Texas; she is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas with a portfolio in Mexican American studies. She has received several honors, including a Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship from The National Academies, the U.S.-Mexico /Borderlands Dissertation Research Award and the Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship from the National Museum of American History.

Deseree Meyer, assistant professor of physics, has her B.S., M.S., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in physics from Yale University. Involved in research to probe the structure of the nucleus, she has collaborated with scientists and participated in experiments internationally. She was selected as a member of the American delegation to the 54th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students, where she had the opportunity to meet with Nobel laureates and students of physics from various countries and backgrounds. She has published and presented at several conferences.

Katherine Mickelson, assistant professor of anthropology/sociology, has a B.A. in anthropology from Appalachian State University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University. She also attended University College of London. The author of several publications, she has held positions at the University of Missouri, Heidelberg College, University of Alabama and the University of Memphis.

Angela Murdock, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science, earned her B.S. from Indiana University, M.S. from Middle Tennessee State University and Ph.D. from the University of Memphis. She has received several awards and honors, including the Harold Spraker Teaching Award from MTSU and the Graduate Assistant Meritorious Teaching Award from the University of Memphis. She has also participated in continuing education programs and has published several works.

Trever Nicholas, assistant professor of art, has his B.A. and M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Minnesota. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, some of which have been solo shows. He has also received awards, including Best of Show at the Soo Visual Art Center, Minneapolis. In addition, he has served as visiting artist for lectures and conferences in Minnesota, Michigan and Kansas.

Michelle Roberts, assistant professor of religious studies, received her B.A. from Calvin College and M.T.S. and Ph.D. from Emory University. Her dissertation is titled, “‘May Your Heart Dissolve:’ Duality and Relation in Mechthild of Magdeburg and Lalla of Kashmir.” She has undertaken research and language study in New Delhi and Pune, India, and taught at Emory University and the Candler School of Theology. She has also served as a guest lecturer and is currently cochair of the women and religion section of the Southeastern Commission for the Study of Religion.

David Romano, assistant professor of international studies, has his B.A. and M.A. in political science from McGill University and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Toronto. His research interests include Middle-East politics, the Kurdish issue and politicized Islam. He has conducted fieldwork in Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Israel-Palestine. The author of The Kurdish Nationalist Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2006), he has published several peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Patrick G. Sheridan, visiting assistant professor of chemistry, has a B.S. in chemistry from Stockton College and Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from Tulane University. His dissertation is titled “Progress toward the Total Synthesis of Cinncassiol D1, a Novel Biologically Active Diterpene.” He has served as a science day demonstrator at the Louisiana Children’s Museum and was an outreach mentor for charter and magnet schools in New Orleans. He was a lecturer at SUNY Binghamton, where he taught graduate, upper-level and introductory classes in organic chemistry. His research interests include preparation of indole alkaloids and other molecules of medicinal importance.

Peter Sturm, visiting professor of economics and business administration, has a M.S. in industrial engineering from Technical University Berlin. He also studied at El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City and received his Ph.D. in economics from Yale University. His dissertation is titled “A Comparison of Aggregate Production Relationships in East and West Germany.” He is the author of several published articles, and his professional career comprises university teaching, advising governments on economic policy and working for international organizations in developed and developing countries.