Leadership, Advisory Committee and Staff

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Leadership and Advisory Committee

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Peter Hahn
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Peter Hahn | Lead Dean

Peter Hahn, divisional dean for Arts and Humanities, is professor of history and served as chair of the department from 2006 to 2015. An accomplished research scholar, Professor Hahn has published seven books on the history of American diplomacy in the Middle East, most recently, Missions Accomplished? The United States and Iraq since World War I and Historical Dictionary of U.S.-Middle East Relations, as well as scores of articles, essays and reviews.

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Wendy Hesford
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Wendy S. Hesford | Faculty Director

Wendy S. Hesford is professor of English and Ohio Eminent Scholar of Rhetoric, Composition and Literacy. She has published six books, including the award-winning Spectacular Rhetorics: Human Rights Visions, Recognitions, and Feminisms. Her research, teaching and community engagement efforts are geared toward social justice, human rights literacy and transformative understandings of our historical place in the world. She has held visiting scholar appointments at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights, Emory University School of Law, and Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

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Theodora Dragostinova
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Theodora Dragostinova | Faculty Fellow: Migration, Mobility + Im/Mobility

Theodora Dragostinova is associate professor of history. She is the author of Between Two Motherlands: Nationality and Emigration among the Greeks of Bulgaria, 1900-1949 as well as Beyond Mosque, Church and State: Alternative Narratives of the Nation in the Balkans. As faculty fellow, she advises on priorities for advancing Migration, Mobility and Immobility Project initiatives and plans and implements annual events

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Julia Nelson Hawkins
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Julia N. Hawkins | Project Director: Medical and Health Humanities and the Arts

Julia N. Hawkins is associate professor of classics with expertise in ancient medicine and Latin poetry. She is working on a monograph, “The Poetics of Medicine in Augustan Rome: Therapoetics after Actium,” which examines the pervasiveness of medical imagery in Augustan poetry. As Project Director, she advises leadership on focus area priorities and is producing an institutional scans of ongoing research in the Medical and Health Humanities and the Arts.

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Hasan Jeffries
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Hasan Kwame Jeffries | GAH/ODI Faculty Fellow: Undergraduate Experiential Learning

Hasan Kwame Jeffries is associate professor of history. He is author of Bloody Lowndes: Civil Rights and Black Power in Alabama’s Black Belt, and his current book project is titled “Stealing Home: Ebbets Field and Black Working Class Life in Post-Civil Rights New York.” As faculty fellow, he advances student experiential learning opportunities by working with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and contributing to the development of Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Field Schools.

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Susan Melsop profile photograph
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Susan Melsop | Faculty Fellow: Community

Susan Melsop is an associate professor in the Department of Design. Prior to this appointment, she taught design studios and graduate seminars at the Knowlton School of Architecture. As faculty fellow for the Community Focus Area, Melsop works in collaboration with GAHDT leadership on strategic planning for the development of community and civic engagement initiatives, with particular attention to creative practice.

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Michael Mercil profile photograph
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Michael Mercil | Advisory Committee Member

Michael Mercil is a professor of art whose art and teaching explore the realms of “the near, the low, the common.” His works in sculpture, drawing, painting, landscape architecture, film, and performance have been included in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and have received numerous regional and national awards.

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Dorothy Noyes profile photograph
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Dorothy Noyes | Faculty Fellow: (Humanities) Methods and Practices Amplifier

Dorothy Noyes is a professor with a joint appointment between the Departments of English and Comparative Studies and courtesy appointments in the Departments of Anthropology, French and Italian and Germanic Languages and Literatures; she also teaches in the Program in International Studies. As faculty fellow for Humanities Methods and Practices, Noyes is working in collaboration with GAHDT leadership to define the parameters of the Amplifier Focus Area and contribute to strategic planning with special attention to opportunities for integration of cross-disciplinary methods and creative practices.

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Susan Petry profile photograph
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Susan Petry | Faculty Fellow: (Arts) Methods and Practices Amplifier

Susan Petry is a professor in the Department of Dance, teaching contemporary technique, composition, pedagogy, professional practices and improvisation. She has a background in Erik Hawkins technique, Iyengar Yoga, Contact Improv, Bartenieff Fundamentals and Alexander Technique. From 2006-2015, she was chair of the department. As faculty fellow for Arts Methods and Practices, Petry is working in collaboration with GAHDT leadership to define the parameters of the Amplifier Focus Area and contribute to strategic planning with special attention to opportunities for integration of cross-disciplinary creative practices.

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Townsand Price-Spratlen profile photograph
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Townsand Price-Spratlen | Advisory Committee Member

Townsand Price-Spratlen is an associate professor of sociology and holds expertise in urban sociology. He is currently studying the community capacity building process, which includes the role of grassroots organizing in desistance and post-prison reintegration success; how faith-based organizations inform health disparities and wellness outcome; and historically, how local assets mattered during and after the Great Migration. 

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Mytheli Sreenivas profile photograph
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Mytheli Sreenivas | Advisory Committee Member

Mytheli Sreenivas is associate professor in the Departments of History and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She has research interests in women’s history, the history of sexuality and the family, colonialism and nationalism, and the cultural and political economy of reproduction. She teaches courses on modern South Asia, comparative women’s history, postcolonial and transnational feminisms, the politics of reproduction and world history.

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Jennifer Suchland
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Jennifer Suchland | Advisory Committee Member

Jennifer Suchland is an associate professor of Slavic and Eastern European languages and women's, gender and sexuality studies. Suchland is an interdisciplinary scholar, trained in political and feminist theory and area studies and jointly appointed in the Departments of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies. She teaches and advises students in both programs as well as in the International Studies program (including with the Human Rights Minor).

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Susan Williams
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Susan Williams | Faculty Fellow: Strategic Advancement

Susan Williams is a professor in the Department of English whose teaching and research interests are in nineteenth-century American literature and culture. She is the author of Confounding Images: Photography and Portraiture in Antebellum American Fiction (1997) and Reclaiming Authorship: Literary Women in America, 1850-1900 (2006) and has edited two other books, including an edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. She has held departmental, college and university leadership positions focused on graduate education and faculty affairs and served as Vice Provost in the university’s Office of Academic Affairs from 2009-2014 and Vice Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 2014-2018. From 2015-2017, she co-led the initial planning for the Global Arts and Humanities Discovery Theme.

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Staff

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Puja Batra-Wells profile photograph
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Puja Batra-Wells | Program Manager

Puja Batra-Wells is a scholar of American material cultures and folklore who studies informal economies and modes of cultural display and presentation. She is co-editor of a forthcoming volume on the intersections between folklore and economics, “The Folklorist in the Marketplace,” and she holds a doctorate in comparative studies.

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Breanne LeJeune profile photograph
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Breanne LeJeune | Program Coordinator

Breanne LeJeune provides tactical and operational support, develops and executes strategic marketing and communications initiatives and meets graphic design and multi-modal storytelling needs. They hold an MFA in creative writing (poetry and nonfiction) from the University of Alabama and a BA in writing from Grand Valley State University. Their areas of expertise include graphic design, fine arts, creative and professional writing, strategic marketing and communications, teaching and student mentorship.