Four Promoted to Professor• May 5, 2009
Dean of the College Gary Phillips recently announced the promotion of four members of the Wabash faculty to the rank of full professor, including Joyce Burnette in economics, Scott Feller in Chemistry, Gilberto Gomez-Ocampo in Modern Languages and Literatures, and David Timmerman in Rhetoric.
According to the Faculty Handbook, "the first consideration in promotion shall be excellence in teaching. In addition, the general requirements for promotion include participation in scholarly or creative work that extends beyond the College and allows the faculty member to test his or her ideas against the standards of the discipline." The four candidates this year present records of accomplishment worthy of promotion.
"Joyce, Scott, Gilberto and David — these four great Wabash teachers present a stunning array of talents and commitments," said Dean Phillips. "Day in and day out they are to be found in the laboratory, the classroom, the office, the Scarlet Inn, the Allen Center, Rogge Lounge — present to students and present to colleagues in all the ways that transform the Wabash community. Their unqualified dedication to teaching and scholarship of the highest quality merits promotion to the rank of full professor. It is a public acknowledgment of the many contributions they make to the fabric of Wabash life."
Joyce Burnette of the Economics Department
Professor Burnette's recent book Gender, Work, and Wages in Industrial Revolution Britain published by Cambridge University Press has been characterized as "the totemic reference" in the field of economic labor history.
She serves the College as co-chair of C&T and as a member of the Academic Policy Committee, and this year as the chair of the Teaching and Learning Committee’s year-long effort to strengthen writing across the College.
"Professor Burnette challenges Wabash students to grapple with both quantitative and qualitative issues in economic thought and practice," said Phillips. "And in her own research on British labor practices, she demonstrates the importance of asking the nonconventional question and challenging colleagues in her field to account for evidence differently. She is an exemplar of the critical scholar."
Professor Burnette is the latest recipient of the McClain-McTurner-Arnold Research Fellowship.
Scott Feller of the Chemistry Department
Professor Feller has served on several major College committees: the Dean’s Search, Strategic Planning, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant, and the Project Kaleidoscope grant, and has represented the College at the GLCA Faculty Leadership Project.
"Professor Feller combines the talents of a world-class researcher with the skills of an accomplished teacher. Able to connect the worlds of scholarship and classroom in a seamless way, Professor Feller serves as a model of the Wabash teacher/scholar for the whole faculty," Phillips stated. "From livestock barn to lab bench he shows the importance of the integrated life."
Feller serves on the National Science Foundation review board of biophysics and the editorial boards of the leading journals in the field of membrane research. Recipient of funding from the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Dreyfus Foundation, Professor Feller has authored 57 papers, presented 58 posters or talks at national meetings (many with Wabash student researchers), and has been invited to 20 national and international conferences.
Professor Feller is the recipient of the 2009 McClain-McTurner-Arnold Excellence in Teaching Award.
Gilberto Gomez-Ocampo of the Department of Modern Languages
Professor Gomez is an internationally renowned scholar and an active supporter of Hispanic students through his longstanding work with the Multicultural Concerns Committee and the Hispanic student organization, Unidos Por Sangre. Presently, Professor Gomez serves as co-editor of Revista de Estudio Colombos, the international journal devoted to Colombian studies (published at Wabash), and is author of 33 articles in the most prestigious journals in the field of Latin American Studies.
"Professor Gomez brings to his teaching and scholarship a hunger for the international experience that showcases the way cross-culture learning and living can make a difference in the liberal arts," Phillips said. "Students are exposed in his classes to Brazilian, Cuban, Colombian, and soon Japanese literature and culture as a means for discovering, perhaps for the first time, the fabric of the US culture as always already a multi cultural, multiethnic reality. "
Next year, Professor Gomez will represent Wabash in Japan as the Resident Director of the GLCA Japan Study program at Waseda University.
David Timmerman of the Rhetoric Department
Professor Timmerman is author of two books (one forthcoming), 14 book chapters or articles, and 28 conference presentations. Continuing the storied tradition Wabash’s own William Norwood Brigance, Professor Timmerman serves as the president of the American Society for the History of Rhetoric.
"Professor Timmerman traverses the fields of classics, rhetoric, religion, and black studies as easily as he does crossing Grant Avenue to make his way over to the MXIBS building," stated Phillips. "He performs invaluable service as Division Chair to his Humanities and Fine Arts colleagues. And to his students he shows how interdisciplinary teaching and learning — and even a little humor — can make a difference in how one thinks and acts."
Timmerman’s teaching ranges widely from classical to legal, and to African American rhetoric and the rhetoric of film and humor. His has co-authored with Wabash student Justin Killian an article on the 4th century theologian John Chrysostom. He has also assisted Derek Hickerson in publishing his summer research work on the influence of African Americans in Indiana in the journals Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History. Prof. Timmerman’s campus leadership has been extensive. He has served as department chair, Division II chair, co-chair of the Academic Program Review, co-chair of C&T, and advisory committee of the MXIBS.