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Trustees Approve Tenure or Promotion for Six Faculty Members

by Bill Giduz

The Board of Trustees recently voted to approve tenure and promotion for six faculty members. The new full professors are Mark Foley, Sharon Green, Van Hillard, Chris Paradise and Vivian Shen, and the newly tenured associate professor is Mark Sample. A short overview of each professor's research and teaching interests follows below:

Mark Foley

Mark Foley (economics) teaches courses in game theory, econometrics, statistics, labor economics, microeconomic theory and behavioral economics – an interdisciplinary subfield that blends psychological insights with economic models. His recent research, co-authored with departmental colleague Fred Smith, analyzed the role of inequality in group performance. He also has studied the effect of youth demographics on conflict across countries, highlighting the importance of the labor market. He has been a visiting Fulbright Scholar to Corvinus University Business School in Budapest and to the mathematics department of Károly Róbert Főiskola in Hungary. He earned his doctoral degree from Yale University and joined the Davidson faculty in 2000.

Sharon Green Sharon Green's (theatre) academic research delves primarily into two areas of interest-theater as a vehicle for social justice, and feminist performance criticism and the work of contemporary female playwrights. Green teaches courses in theatre history, acting, community-based theatre for social change, contemporary performance, feminism and performance, 20th century political theatre, and Augusto Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. Productions she has directed at Davidson include Waiting for Lefty, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Diary of Anne Frank, The Love of the Nightingale, 9 Parts of Desire and Sonia Flew. Her scholarly work has been published in numerous journals, and she has participated as an actor, director and facilitator in numerous community-based and forum theatre performances. She is currently directing a play about cyberbullying which will tour to area middle and high schools. She serves as chair of the theatre department.
Van Hillard Van Hillard is the inaugural director of the College Writing Program, which since 2008 has supported Davidson's course in written argument required of all first-year students and taught by faculty from across the college. The first-year writing course introduces students to the production, distribution and reception of public, intellectual and academic discourses focused on political, ethical, historical, aesthetic and social issues of interest to both wide audiences and scholars alike. Trained in rhetorical history and theory, Hillard examines sites of discursive exchange in the U.S. public sphere where diverse populations have been awarded rhetorical status by some, but marginalized by others. He has published essays on the 19th century settlement house as a site of rhetorical instruction, the reception of historical and contemporary memorialization efforts, and the ethical obligations of recuperating public memory through pedagogic means. Along with Brad Thomas, the previous director of the Van Every/Smith Galleries, and with the help of a generous gift from Wells Fargo Bank, he produced Davidson Collects: 100 Writers Respond to Art, which brought together one hundred artworks from Davidson's permanent collection with one hundred student responses to those works. He was recently named the incoming chair of the Small Liberal Arts Colleges Writing Program Administrators, a national organization devoted to teaching writing as a liberal art.
Chris Paradise Chris Paradise (biology and environmental studies) teaches in the areas of entomology, ecology, ecotoxicology, environmental science, science and policy of renewable natural resources, and integrating concepts in biology. He has team-taught several of his courses with nine other professors over the past six years, and involved about 25 students in research studies that have yielded about 20 articles in professional journals. His research has focused on insect communities in a variety of habitats, including mosquitoes in tree holes, macroinvertebrates in streams, beetles and bugs on cattle pastures, and cankerworms in urban forests. In fall 2011 he lead eight students abroad for a semester to live and study ecology and environmental issues in India. Paradise has been working recently with Malcolm Campbell (biology) and Laurie Heyer (math) to write an innovative e-textbook titled "Integrated Concepts of Biology" that they will publish next fall. Over the years he has given many presentations about insects to community groups, and he teaches a basic entomology short course at UNC Charlotte's botanical gardens each spring. He also has been involved with sustainability issues on campus over the years, and has served on the board of Clean Air Carolina. He earned his doctoral degree from The Pennsylvania State University and joined the Davidson faculty in 2000.
Vivian Shen Vivian Shen (Chinese studies) founded the Chinese program at Davidson when she joined the faculty in 1998 after receiving her doctoral degree from UCLA. Since then and until early 2012, she chaired the program and built it from a one-person program with five courses to an academic department with a full range of course offerings. A leading scholar on early Chinese cinema, she is the author of the Routledge Press book The Origins of Leftwing Cinema in China, 1932-37 as well as many articles on Chinese and Hollywood films. She has won an Associated Colleges of the South/Andrew Mellon Faculty Renewal Grant, and is actively involved in the community, from presentations at Davidson Elementary School to briefing former Mayor Anthony Foxx and his China delegation prior to its visit to China in 2011.
Mark Sample Mark Sample is launching Davidson's new Digital Studies program, adding classes to the curriculum as he develops them. There are two at this point - "Introduction to Digital Studies" and "Hacking, Remixing, and Design." Next fall he will add a third titled "History & Future of the Book." Sample comes to Davidson from George Mason University, where he received the university-wide "Teaching Excellence Award" in 2010. Last September his new media work "House of Leaves of Grass" was selected for the exhibition Chercher le texte digital literature in Paris. He also is co-author of "10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1));:GOTO 10," a collaboratively written book about creative computing and the Commodore 64, published by MIT Press. He published the article "Location Is Not Compelling (Until It Is Haunted)" in The Mobile Story: Narrative Practices with Locative Technologies, and "Criminal Code: Procedural Logic and Rhetorical Excess in Videogames" in Digital Humanities Quarterly. Sample is active in the Modern Language Association as an elected member of its Division Executive Committee on Methods of Literary Research, and as an elected member of its Media and Literature Discussion Group.