Faculty Research & Creative Activity

Dean's Office

  •  Dr. Michael Vincent, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters is the 2015 recipient of the Juliana Yoder Friend of the Humanities Award, presented by Arizona Humanities.  This award is given annually, and recognizes individuals, organizations or businesses that have made a lasting contribution to the cultural life of their communities through their active support of and involvement in promoting the humanities. Michael is a French Scholar focusing on seventeenth-century French Literature, with a special interest in La Fontaine.  During his thirty-five year career, Michael has worked tirelessly supporting Arts and Humanities education, and has introduced scholars and community members alike to the beauty and richness of French literature and culture.  Michael has been with the College of Arts and Letters since 2006. Prior to his arrival in Arizona, Michael was Vice President and Dean for the American University in Paris.  Vincent's education includes University of Wisconsin-Madison, Universite' de Paris-Sorbonne, Alliance Française Paris, and Saint John's University, Collegeville, MN.  For over 20 years the Arizona Humanities Awards have recognized community members and organizations that have made significant contributions to Arizona's civic and cultural life through the humanities.  The awards celebration is on Friday, November 13, 2015 in Phoenix, AZ.



  • Philosophy Professor George Rudebusch has co-authored (with Jorg Hardy of Free University of Berlin) Ancient Ethics (2014) with Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht press.  This nearly 500-page volume includes 25 essays from scholars in seven different countries, including one essay on the ethics of the Cynics by NAU’s Richard Wood Professor for the Teaching of Philosophy Julie Piering.  The essays discuss ancient ethical thinking from Homer to Plotinus, and connect ethical, epistemological and cosmological matters with an eye toward enlightening contemporary ethical thought.


  • Professor of History Michael A. Amundson recently completed Wyoming Revisited: Rephotographing the Scenes of Joseph E. Stimson  published by University Press of Colorado. The book highlights the historic evolution of the American west over the past century and showcases the significant changes that have occurred during the past 25 years.

  • Associate Professor of History Leilah Danielson’s monograph, American Gandhi: A.J. Muste and the History of Radicalism in the 20th Century, will be published by University of Pennsylvania Press in September 2014. The book traces the evolving political and religious views of one of the most beloved figures of the American left, while also charting the rise and fall of American progressivism over the course of the twentieth century. Michael Kazin, historian and editor of Dissent magazine calls it a “first-rate study” and historian Doug Rossinow describes it as “a major work in the history of twentieth-century American radicalism.” 

  • Visiting Assistant Professor Jeremy LaBuff published the  article “Who(‘)s(e) Karian? Languages, Names, and Identity” in the Ancient History Bulletin of 2013, arguing for methodological precision when portraying the interaction between local, regional, and trans-regional identities.  He will also be presenting the paper "Pride of Place: Remembering Herodotos in late Hellenistic Halikarnassos” at the 2015 annual meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in New Orleans.


  • NAU Regents’ Professor and Director of Choral Studies Edith Copley has been selected to conduct one of the ensembles at the National Associate of Music Educators (NAfME) conference to be held in October at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. The NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles represent the top performing high school musicians in the United States.
  • Associate Professor of Clarinet John Masserini performed a half-hour recital at the International Clarinet Association Conference in Assisi, Italy in July 2013. His CD (“Flux”) with his clarinet and saxophone duo Velocity2 (with Jonathan Bergeron) will be released on the classical commercial label Centaur Records in the spring of 2014. Velocity2 recently finished a concert tour of Louisiana and Mississippi in 2014 and was nominated for a Viola Award in 2014. 
  • Karin Hallberg, Senior Lecturer in violin and string pedagogy in the School of Music, has been awarded The Flagstaff Cultural Partners 2014 VIOLA award for Excellence in Arts Education. In addition, Karin also presented her research "Does Music Instruction Using the Suzuki Method Increase Working Memory and Visual-Spatial Processing In Kindergarten Children?” at the American String Teacher's Conference in Louisville, KY, in March 2014.
  • Rebecca Rinsema, Lecturer of Music in General Studies, will publish Listening in Action: Teaching Music in the Digital Age as part of the Ashgate SEMPRE series. Chapters from the book will be presented at the New Directions in Music Education Conference at Michigan State University in March 2014 and at the CMS 2014 Summit: Music, Science, Society, held at University of Washington in Seattle. 
  • NAU Professor of Music Theory, Timothy Smith, has been awarded a 2014 MERLOT Classics Award in Music for “Exploring Bach and its Creative Choices.” “Exploring Bach” features four interactive websites on the major works of J.S. Bach. Professor Smith will at the conference regarding the creation of the sites and the creative process’ influence on the final product.

Comparative Cultural Studies

  • NAU Professor of Religious Studies Jason BeDuhn was featured as a source in the Jan. 2-9, 2015 Newsweek cover story, “The Bible: So Misunderstood it’s a Sin.”

  • NAU Professor of Humanities Dr. Krista Rodin spent her 2013-2014 sabbatical leave exploring the relationship of ancient sacred goddess sites and her imagery with contemporary use and worship. She spent the summer and fall of 2013 visiting the select sacred sites from all major religions across Eurasia. Her XEurasia blog, which was written for CCS students, can be accessed at journals.worldnomads.com/krodin. Dr. Rodin will discuss her sabbatical research and results on October 23, 2014 in Liberal Arts (#18), Room 136.
  • NAU Professor of Religious Studies Dr. Bruce Sullivan spent his 2012-2013 sabbatical researching the representation of Asian religions in museum settings. He interviewed over a dozen curators of Asian art at major museums in Britain and the United States. At the end of his sabbatical, he proposed to a group of curators and religion scholars the compilation of a volume entitled Sacred Objects in Secular Spaces: Exhibiting Asian Religions in Museums. Six curators and five scholars of Asian religions will work with Dr. Sullivan on the chapters in this innovative volume. The anticipated publication date for paperback, cloth, and electronic versions of the volume is 2015. Dr. Sullivan will present a talk about his sabbatical research on November 6, 2014 in Liberal Arts (#18), Room 136.


NAU Professor of Art History and Religious Studies Dr. Zsuzanna Gulácsi identified the seal-stone of the ancient Iranian prophet and funder of the Manichaean religion, Mani (216-276 CE), in the collection of theBibliothèque nationale de France. This seal is the single Manichaean work of art known today from Mesopotamia and Iran, where Mani’s religion originated. The identification was announced at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (2013) and published in the Corpus Fontium Manichaeorum-Syriac Series (2013) with a follow-up study in Bulletin of the Asia Institute (2014). http://www.iranica.com/articles/manichean-art

  • NAU Professor of Art History and Chair of the Department of Comparative Cultural Studies Dr. Alexandra Carpino presented“The Iconography of Violence against Women on Engraved Etruscan Bronze Mirrors” at the 2013 annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in Seattle. She also delivered the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2012/2013 Ferdinando and Sarah Cinelli Lecture in Etruscan and Italic Archaeology at the Nashville Parthenon. Her essay on Etruscan portraiture will be part of Routledge’s 2013 volume, “The Etruscan World,” edited by Jean M. Turfa. 
  • Associate Professor of the Comparative Study of Religion Paul Donnelly, has been awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award to conduct his sabbatical research project in India in Fall 2014. Donnelly will study a Buddhist pilgrimage route in the Himalayas of northwestern India and live in the village at the start of the route. He will join pilgrims on the route over a four-month period, photo-documenting the trip and recording pilgrims’ accounts along the way. 


  • NAU English Department Regents' Professor Douglas Biber is being honored this year with two published tributes to his massive international influence in linguistic analysis. Biber’s work, resulting as of 2014 in more than 200 articles and over 20 books/monographs, has revolutionized the field of applied linguistics and, in many ways, the world’s understanding of language variation across different text types or registers.  His influence on the field of Applied Linguistics was celebrated in a special issue of Corpora titled Twenty-five Years of Biber’s Multi-Dimensional Analysis (Edinburgh U Press), and John Benjamins published Multi-Dimensional Analysis, 25 Years On:  A Tribute to Douglas Biber. A third volume, Corpus-based research in Applied Linguistics: In honor of Douglas Biber (John Benjamins), will be published early 2015.
  • Nicole Walker, professor of creative writing, was awarded an Artist and Research Development grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Walker’s winning proposal focused on a lyrical nonfiction book that discusses the challenges of scarcity, abundance, sustainability and regeneration. (August 2014) 
  • In March 2014, Creative Writing Professor Allen Woodman kicked off the third year of readings conducted by the Pumphouse Poetry and Prose Project in Sedona.  Woodman gave a reading of humorous love stories.  His book sales at the event went to benefit Flagstaff's Second Chance Center for Animals. 
  • In 2013 Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics Luke Plonsky published the introductory textbook “Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course (4th ed.) and two articles: “Study quality in SLA: An assessment of designs, analyses, and reporting practices in quantitative L2 research,” Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 35, 655-687, and “Focus on form and vocabulary acquisition in the Spanish L2 classroom.”Language, Interaction, and Acquisition, 4, 1-24.
  • Professor of Creative Writing Ann Cummins' novel "Yellowcake" was chosen by San Juan College and the Four Corners Community in northern New Mexico/Southern Colorado as their One Book/One Community selection for 2013/14. The purpose of *One Book/One Community" is to encourage interested people in San Juan College and the surrounding communities to read the same book and come together to discuss it in a variety of settings. 
  • Justin Bigos' chapbook of poems, “Twenty Thousand Pigeons,” will be published in February 2014 by iO Books. His short story, "Fingerprints," will appear in issue 46 of McSweeney's (late Feb or early Mar). Bigos also organized and will be presenting on the panel, "A Tribute to the Poetry of Raymond Carver” at the AWP Conference in Seattle, WA.
  • Erin Stalcup and Justin Bigos co-founded the online literary magazine Waxwing, which is committed to promoting the tremendous cultural diversity of American literature, alongside international writing in translation. Issue One has had over 2,400 readers from over 30 countries, including the US, UK, Mexico, Italy, China, Ghana, Tunisia, Russia, and other nations. Justin serves as Co-Editor alongside fellow NAU alum Bojan Louis, and Erin serves as Prose Editor. http://waxwingmag.org/
  • Creative Writing Lecturer Erin Stalcup had a story, "Hit" published recently in Hinchas de Poesía, an online magazine that features writing from all of the Americas: 
. She will present papers as part of two panels at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in Seattle--A Tribute to Sherman Alexie, and Designed Instability: Open Endings in Fiction.
  • Assistant Professor of Creative Writing Nicole Walker’s book, “Quench Your Thirst with Salt,” was recently published. She was a finalist and won an award for her essay “Regeneration” in the sustainability issue of Creative Nonfiction. She has work forthcoming from River Teeth, The Normal School, the Sonora Review, Passages North and Field. She will present on two panels at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in Seattle. The Arizona Commission on the Arts awarded her a 2014 Artist’s Grant.


Associate Professor Donelle Ruwe will publish “British Children's Poetry in the Romantic Era: Verse, Riddle, and Rhyme” in May 2014. The book is an engaging introduction to children’s poetry between 1780 and 1835. Ruwe reveals the formula for Romantic-era children’s verse and discusses the creation of a children’s poetry canon, the rise of sentimentality, and early fads for fantasy verse, rhyming puzzles, and versified textbooks.

  • Sibylle Gruber, professor of Rhetoric and Writing in the Department of English, published “Imagining Social Action: Tailoring Multimedia Production to the First-Year Writing Classroom” (2013) in collaboration with Nancy G. Barron and Scott Guenthner. Her presentations at national conferences include “Ideologies in Online Learning: Student Liberties and Student Rights” (2013), “Ethical Travel Writing: Perspectives on Writing as an Outsider” (2013), “Rhetorical Approaches to Travel Writing: Teaching Cultural Awareness through Theory and Application” (2013), “Literary Journeys, Individual Travels: Discovering Fictions and Truths” (2013), and “Active Learning, Public Writing, and Informed Blogging: 21st Century Approaches to Teaching and Learning” (2014).


  • Bridging the Curriculum through Art: Interdisciplinary Connections by NAU Professor of Art Education, Pam Stephens, and Nancy Walkup (University of North Texas), has been published by Crystal Productions. The book focuses on the relationship between art education and other content areas with an emphasis upon the importance of including creativity in STEM schools (STEM to STEAM).
  • Elisa Colleen Wiedeman from the Department of Art has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Higher Education Art Educator award presented by the Arizona Art Education Association. This year’s conference will be held in November 2014 in Tempe. 
  • David Van Ness has been invited to be part of the International 3D Printed Sculpture Exhibition in Burbank, CA in January 2015. His work will be printed by the University of Texas.  One copy of the printed work will also become part of the University of Texas' permanent art collection.  
  • Art Professor Jim O'Hara will participate in a workshop at the University of Chicago centering on the conservation of Wolf Vostell's “Concrete Traffic,” a piece of public art completed in 1970.
  • Foundations instructor and Beasley Gallery Coordinator Chris Taylor was featured in “New American Painting No. 108 (October/November 2013). 
  • Assistant Professor of Practice, Melissa Santana, will present "Transformative Learning within the Framework of the Design Process: The Berlin Wall Relocation Project" at the Interior Design Educators Council's Southwest Regional Conference in San Francisco. In addition, she is also publishing a book chapter titled "Integrating Historic Preservation into the Undergraduate Interior Design Curriculum" in Preservation Education: Sharing Best Practices and Finding Common Ground by the University Press of New England. Interior design students, Will Joffroy and Edan Maoz, tirelessly worked over the summer to finalize construction plans for a new exhibit to relocate a piece of the Berlin Wall that was gifted to the University. Construction in the Union should begin soon.
  • Foundations Coordinator David Van Ness was part of a round table discussion on 3D Printing at the College Art Association Conference in Chicago in February, 2014 at the Center for Paper and Book Art at Columbia College. He will also speak at the BIT 1st Annual Congress on 3D Printing in Dalian China . David will then participate in the 3D Printshow in NYC. His work will be at the Dallas Art Fair in April and is currently on display in Boston at the Collision Collective Show.



Christina Gutierrez-Dennehy, a lecturer in the Theatre Department, has an article entitled "Our Lines and All are Bolingingbroke's:  Alternating Double Casting in Richard II."  It was published in Theatre Topics (Volume 25, Number 2, June 2015).  The article investigates the thematic and performance-based implications of of double casting actors in both early modern and contemporary productions of Shakespeare. In particular, the article takes up a production of Richard II directed by the author (Christina Gutierrez-Dennehy) in which two actors flipped a coin before each performance to determine which of the play's two main roles they would perform. The article blends theory and practical performance analysis to analyze how extreme doubling influences actor-audience dynamics. In addition, Christina directed productions for Theatrikos Theatre Company here in Flagstaff (John Patrick Shanley's DOUBT in April of 2015), and for the 7 Towers Theatre Company in Austin, TX (Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well in July-August of 2014).

  • Kathleen M. McGeever, Professor and Chair of NAU Theatre has been named to the Editorial Board of the Society for Directors and Choreographers (SDC) print journal, SDC Journal, and has also been named the Associate Book Review Editor. McGeever’s participation will be part of a new model where a practical journal for professional directors and choreographers is coupled with the scholarly academic writing and practice of stage direction in Higher Education.  The exciting collaboration will include one peer reviewed article and one peer-reviewed book review on a quarterly print cycle.  The first edition to include the collaboration will be summer, 2015.  

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  • Bruce M. Sullivan, professor of Religious Studies, had a chapter published in a volume titled Notes from a Mandala: Essays in the History of Indian Religions in Honor of Wendy Doniger. Bill Wiist, special assistant to the executive dean in the College of Health and Human Services, Bruce M. Sullivan, professor of Religious Studies, Heidi Wayment, psychology professor, and Meghan Warren, assistant professor of physical therapy and athletic training, published "A Web-Based Survey of the Relationship Between Buddhist Religious Practices, Health, and Psychological Characteristics: Research Methods and Preliminary Results," in the print version of the Journal of Religion and Health.
  • Alexandra Carpino, chair of the department of Comparative Cultural Studies and associate professor of art history, has become the assistant editor and editor-elect of Etruscan Studies: Journal of the Etruscan Foundation, the leading scholarly publication of Etruscology and related disciplines in the English language.
  • Bruce M. Sullivan, professor of Religious Studies, has had an article accepted for publication in Oxford University's Journal of Hindu Studies. The article, titled “Kerala’s Mahabharata on Stage: Texts and Performative Practices in Kutiyattam Drama,” describes a tradition of sacred theater still performed in India and the ancient Sanskrit texts on which it is based. Ethnographic research was supported by the Fulbright Association.
  • George Rudebusch’s book, Socrates, was published by Wiley-Blackwell & Sons. “Plato’s dialogues tell a story about Socrates’ life, focusing on his conversations about human excellence from age 36 to age 70,” Rudebusch said. “The book defends the wild conclusions Socrates reaches in his arguments, such as: we who lack expertise at making ourselves happy are guilty of the worst sort of negligence if we do not spend our lives trying to discover that expertise—better not to live at all!”
  • Karina Collentine, assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages, published “Learner Use of Holistic Language Units in Multimodal, Task-Based Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication” in Language Learning and Technology. Collentine studies the discourse-pragmatic and sociocultural behaviors learners use in task-based Spanish activities that are technology-based.
  • “Connecting to Nature,” an interview with Northern Arizona University art instructor Nancy Reynolds, and written by Pam Stephens, associate professor of Art Education, can be found in the March 2011 issue of “School Arts” magazine. Reynolds’ concept of creating organic sculptures from plywood is highlighted in the article. Three images of Reynolds' artwork are also highlighted.
  • Pam Stephens, associate professor of art education, Edith Copely, professor and director of choral studies, and Ann Cummins, professor of creative writing, have been nominated for the 2010 Governor’s Arts Awards. Stephens and Copely are nominated under the “Arts in Education” category and Cummins under the “Artist” category. The awards ceremony will be held on April 19 at The Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Nicole Walker, associate professor of creative writing in the Department of English, along with painter Rebecca Campbell, has been blogging for the Huffington Post since August 2010. “7 Days, 7 Artists, 7 Rings” is a living, responsive work of art. Each week Campbell and Walker alternate kicking off the current week's collaborative artist project. Painters and poets, photographers and essayists, musicians and story writers will collaborate to create ongoing art. The responses come daily, with artists having only twenty-four hours to respond to each other’s work. The blog can be found here.