The faculty members of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences are extraordinary teachers and scholars; that’s why we refer to ourselves as teacher-scholars.
Click on the boxes below and read on to learn more about some of the 106 faculty members who call the School of Humanities and Social Sciences their home.
Teaching is our top concern here, and it shows. Students often describe their TCNJ faculty with the words “excellent,” “exceptionally well-organized,” “awesome,” and “inspiring.” Quantitative ratings for most of our instructors hover between 4.0 and 5.0 on a 5-point scale. The excellence of our faculty in the classroom derives foremost from our ambition for student success: we work here at The College of New Jersey because we want to teach and see teaching as our top professional priority. Accordingly, excellence in teaching is the first category of assessment for faculty in the tenure and promotion processes here at TCNJ.
The excellence of our faculty in the classroom also derives from our focus on scholarly research. By continuing to investigate questions that intrigue us, we contribute to the development of new knowledge in our fields and model that process for our students.
In the 2011-2012 academic year alone, the 106 faculty members of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences presented 38 papers at international conferences, 38 papers at national conferences, and 26 papers at local and regional conferences. We published 38 book chapters in edited volumes, 73 articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, 8 articles in magazines and trade publications, edited 3 volumes of scholarly essays, and published 13 scholarly books. Our faculty doesn’t only engage in research by themselves; with the support of TCNJ’s MUSE (Mentored Undergraduate Summer Experience) and other programs, TCNJ faculty members mentor students in the area of undergraduate research. This is why many of our students present papers and posters at scholarly conferences and publish articles in peer-refereed scholarly journals.
When a faculty member co-authors a work with a student, it counts a great deal in the tenure and promotion processes: we value the mentoring of our students and we practice what we preach.
Faculty members for the TCNJ School of Humanities and Social Sciences are not all New Jersey natives, but come together from across the country and around the world to teach students at this highly selective and competitive college.
Michael Robertson, professor of English, is among the many Humanities and Social Science professors who bring their research into the classroom in ways that enrich students’ experience. While he was researching his award-winning book Worshipping Walt: The Whitman Disciples, he taught a First Year Seminar on Whitman’s poetry and nineteenth-century American culture, and since then he has regularly brought his expertise on Whitman into his sections of the poetry course that is taken by every English major. He is currently completing his third book, The Last Utopians, while teaching an Honors course on Utopia, which extends from Plato’s Republic to the dystopian movie Children of Men.
Dr. He Len Chung, Associate Professor of Psychology, successfully engages her students both in and out of the classroom. Through her teaching and research, she has developed innovative learning opportunities that allow students to apply psychological principles to solve real-world problems. From clinical internships to classroom activities to community-based research projects, she and her students have addressed issues ranging from neighborhood poverty, mental health and well-being, juvenile justice, civic engagement, and positive youth development. Their collaborative efforts have resulted in numerous publications and presentations at national and international research conferences. To recognize her outstanding teaching contributions, Dr. Chung was awarded the 2012 Jane S. Halonen (Early Career) Teaching Excellence Award by the American Psychological Association.
Our faculty members are evaluated by students in every course they teach, but here are some thoughts from our students that cannot fit on the evaluation forms; these are just a few of the many examples of faculty members having a true impact in the academic and professional lives of our students. The full names of students and professors have been edited out.
A student named Tanya wrote: Over the course of my four years at TCNJ, I learned a lot about different molecular structures, physical phenomena, and mathematical models; however I didn’t learn to truly analyze outside of the classroom. [Dr. N's] class taught me to question and analyze everything I accepted as true and has therefore made me a better, more grounded person. Now, I tend to think about my actions and the reasons for my actions, not just professionally but also personally. My friends and family have seen a marked difference in my character and I strongly believe that [Dr. N's] class was the catalyst for my personal growth and passion. The class was a journey I am surely never to forget.
A student named Ryan wrote to Dr. S from graduate school and said: I just wanted to let you know that I got a syllabus for one of my classes at Penn–a general topics in criminology kind of class; policy-oriented. It’s almost identical to your class. I found it hard to believe that you could teach a group of seniors at a graduate level, however, based on the syllabus, your class was more demanding. We have a take home mid-term and final and then a 6-8 single-spaced policy memo and a class debate on a variety of topics. Some of the readings are the same exact ones I read in your class–a lot of the Pew Center pieces on incarceration and such. Thanks for teaching the class the way you did, I know that I can handle graduate level classes based on my experience at TCNJ.
A student named Katie said: Dr. M. is knowledgeable and helpful, but more importantly, she is constantly looking for new and exciting ways to improve the program. She has successfully prepared me for all aspects of my future career. She exposed me to not only the important things I can do for my students inside the classroom, but also those I can do for my profession outside the classroom. This past summer, I got the opportunity to work on a project with Dr. M. in the MUSE program, researching an important topic with her. More importantly, though, I’ve learned the importance of research and the influence it can have on social change. I hope to continue my research in the spring, co-authoring an article on the issue alongside Dr. M. I never would have imagined gaining an experience as rewarding as this research project, and it wouldn’t have been possible without her. Whether as my research mentor or just my professor, she continues to extend my learning, pushing my classmates and me to challenge ourselves and our society, and providing us with the tools we need to do so.
A student named Julia said: Dr. B., a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, has changed my life. Dr. B. has helped me make the most of my sociology major by serving as the faculty advisor for my internships, by encouraging me to spend a semester abroad, by helping me find a way to complete research abroad, and by being a thought-provoking professor in two different courses. Dr. B. has helped me understand complex topics such as neoliberalism and ontological insecurity. She has also challenged me to develop a deeper analysis of the issues I am studying in my senior thesis. Throughout my undergraduate experience, Dr. B. has fostered a love of the study of society in me, with a particular interest in environmental sociology. She has helped me find my passion and has offered great advice in my pursuit of post-graduate plans.
A student named Katelin wrote: Dr. H. has been my adviser since my sophomore year…and she has been a constant source of support for me throughout this time. She has always gone above and beyond what I have asked of her and even what she is required to do. When I was looking for an instructional internship opportunity she jumped right in, more than willing to share that journey with me. When I was gathering information about transfer credits and trying to organize my schedule so that I could graduate a semester early, she told me I could do it and inspired me to work harder. And when I was struggling to find a career path, she provided me with the insight and determination to do what I really love and not to settle for anything less.
A student named David said: Having two majors and a minor, I have had the opportunity to interact with a number of professors at TCNJ. Despite which department they call home, I have found EVERY professor I have worked with to be highly dedicated to their work. When applying to colleges, I never imagined that I would have professors who would be as accessible as those at TCNJ. They are committed to each and every student, and are always willing to help. Our faculty are truly extraordinary educators and mentors, and I consider myself lucky to have the chance to work with them.
Here are highlights of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences’ faculty research productivity during the 2011-2012 academic year:
Scholarly Papers Presented at Conferences July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012
38 at international conferences
38 at national conferences
26 at local, state, and regional conferences
10 external grants are currently active within our school, under the direction of Celia Chazelle, John Krimmel, Kim Pearson, Qin Shao, and Bruce Stout, and other faculty members.
Publications appearing from July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012
38 Book chapters in edited volumes
64 Articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals
3 Edited volumes
13 Scholarly books or volumes of poetry or short fiction
8 Newspaper and magazine articles
31 Book reviews
Throughout the year, the TCNJ School of Humanities and Social Sciences faculty has made media contributions to such prestigious news organizations as the Star Ledger, Wall Street Journal, China Radio International, Philadelphia Inquirer, Michael Moore Blog, News12 NJ, FoxNews, Deseret News, Philadelphia Bulletin, Pottstown Mercury, TheLoop21, Discourse, and the New York Times (Disunion Blog).
Faculty Books Published July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012
Celia Chazelle, Why the Middle Ages Matter (editor)
Xinru Liu, The Silk Road: A Brief History with Documents (author)
Miriam Lowi, Oil Wealth and the Poverty of Politics: Algeria Compared (author)
Michele Tartar, Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America (editor)
Shaun Wiley, Social Categories in Everyday Experience (editor)
External Awards and Recognitions for HSS Faculty 2011 – 2012
David Blake (English) was cited extensively in an article on Celebrity Advocacy in Congressional Quarterly Research.
Dan Crofts’ (History) essay, “William Henry Hurlbert and the ‘Diary of a Public Man’” was published in the New York Times.
He Len Chung (Psychology) won the 2012 Jane S. Halonen Teaching Excellence Award (first 5 years of teaching at any level) given by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology (Division 2 of the American Psychological Association) for her success as a teacher and mentor, which derives from her use of a range of teaching and curricular strategies, including the use of experiential learning activities, diagnostic workshops, and well-designed research projects with scaffolded learning tasks appropriate for the level.
Jason Dahling (Psycology) was cited in an article in Fox Business News about how people go make job and career choices.
Ellen Friedmen (English) was awarded the Yad Vashem Fellowship.
James Graham (Psychology) was given the award for Top 2- Most Read Articles in American Journal of Evaluation.
Cassandra Jackson’s (English) exhibit “Wounding the Black Male” was hosted here at TCNJ before being picked up by the Light Work Gallery in Syracuse, New York, where the exhibit was on view from February 23 through May 21.
Marla Jacsch (Women’s and Gender Studies) was granted the NEH Digital Humanitites Award.
Jean Kirnan (Psychology) received the Distinguished Reviewer Award.
Emilie Lounsberry (Journalism and Professional Writing) received an award from the Society of Professional Journalists NJ Chapter as well as the Newspaper Publishers Association Keystone Award.
Robert McGreevey (History) was named Teacher of the Year for New Jersey Studies by the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance (NJSAA) for innovation and creativity in teaching New Jersey Studies.
Michael Robertson (English) received the Rodney Dennis Fellowship at Harvard University.
Catie Rosemurgy (English) featured on the “Poem a Day” website of the Academy of American Poets and received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts.
Teresa San Pedro’s (World Languages and Cultures) article “Puerto Rico y la defense de su identidad linguistica” was published through the prestigious Instito de la Lengua Castellano y Leones in a volume honoring the Royal Academy of Spanish Language.
Qin Shao (History) received a Humbold University Fellowship.
Bruce Stout (Criminology) served as a panelist in a December program on the U.S. Drug War on China Radio International’s “Today” show, where he, together with a professor from American University, answered questions and spoke on drug policy in America.
Simona Wright (Modern Languages) spoke on her paper “Imagined Italy: Lampedusa’a Gaze,” examining the use of language by politicians and the media, at the Graduate Student Conference “ImmagiNazione” at Rutgers University.