Karp Grants Awarded to Range of Scholars

NCIS administers grants that fund individuals at the discretion of donors who wish to remain anonymous. Recipients must be members of NCIS at Full or Associate level, but can apply immediately after membership has been granted.

Among these grants is the David Karp grant. Most recently, the Karp grant was awarded to an anonymous scholar based in China. Another recent NCIS scholar whom David Karp helped support is Véronique Zech-Matterne, whose book recently appeared online (with a note of thanks to NCIS on page 7). Details and link:

ZECH-MATTERNE, Véronique (ed.) ; FIORENTINO, Girolamo (ed.). AGRUMED: Archaeology and history of citrus fruit in the Mediterranean: Acclimatization, diversifications, uses. New edition [online]. Naples:  Publications du Centre Jean Bérard, 2017 (generated 17 January 2018). Available on the Internet. ISBN: 9782918887775. DOI: 10.4000/books.pcjb.2107.

David Karp has also supported Stephen Facciola's research, and the publication of his book on Edible Plants of the World With Selected Algae, Fungi and Bacteria: Parts Used, Usage, Types.

New NCIS Members Highlight Range of Scholarship

Our newest members highlight the wide range of scholarship NCIS members engage in, and include legal theory, electrical engineering, Theravada Buddhism, medical imaging and anthropology.

Corentin Briat received both his Engineer's degree and Master's degree in electrical engineering with specialization in control in 2005 from the Grenoble Institute of Technology, Grenoble, France. He received a Ph.D. in systems and control theory from the same university in 2008. From 2009 to 2011, he held an ACCESS postdoctoral position in the ACCESS Linnaeus Center at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, where he worked on the modeling of congestion control in large-scale communication networks. From 2012 to 2017, he held a postdoctoral position in the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology - Zürich, Switzerland, where he worked on the modeling, analysis and control of biological networks. He is now an independent researcher. His interests include general systems and control theory, applied mathematics, optimization and theoretical problems arising in the modeling, analysis, design and control of communication and biological networks.

Dawid Bunikowski holds a doctorate in legal theory and a master of law degree from Nicholas Copernicus University in Poland. He researches in Poland (a doctoral research-project) and Finland (postdoctoral research project) and cooperates with the University of the Arctic, where he leads the sub-group of philosophy of law. Bunikowski has published extensively in the fields of axiology of law, law and morality, enforcement of morality by law, legal interpretation, public law, criminal law, European law and its philosophical foundations, legal pluralism, law and language, indigenous rights in the Arctic, moral and political philosophy, and theory of politics. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Eastern Finland Law School from 2013 to 2015. He served as acting vice-dean in the Torun School of Banking from 2009 to 2011, and as an assistant professor from 2009 to 2015. Bunikowski has been a visiting scholar at numerous universities, including Oxford, Edinburgh, Cardiff, London, Navarre, Elche, Alicante, Zagreb, Minsk and Istanbul.

After retiring from a career in the U.S. government, Jason Jellison is beginning a graduate program in in Bangkok, Thailand, building on his research in southeast Asia. Jellison writes a successful monthly newspaper series in The Phuket [Thailand] News, “All About Buddhism,” focused on Theravada Buddhism. He won the RECONSA Regional Conference on Student Activism at UNIMAS-Petronas, Malaysia, in 2016 and his 2015 research project was the subject of Thailand's national news.

Sunday Moulton earned an American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women in her final year of writing her dissertation, which was focused on natural disasters, a subject she turned to after her losing her mother in the hurricane that tore through Joplin, Mississippi, in 2011. In 2016, her dissertation was selected as the top 50 anthropology dissertations and while at SUNY Buffalo, Moulton received a Presidential Fellowship. Now launching her career, she seeks to focus her research to help prevent disaster-related deaths while improving the recovery process for impacted communities.

Narenda Pulimia, a Ph.D. student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from JNTU, Hyderabad, India, and an M.S. at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). A former Motorola employee, Pulimia holds eight U.S. government-approved patents and submitted numerous patent disclosures.

A passionate mental health clinician and scholar, Bridget Sanchez seeks to generate important contributions to the field of mental health and mental health practices with historically underrepresented populations, specifically related to Latino immigrant mental health issues. She received her Master’s degree  from Purdue University Northwest in Marriage and Family in 2016 and works full time at one of Chicago's largest Hispanic serving agencies. Sanchez also has worked as a limited-term lecturer conveying to the next generation a passion for advocacy, change, and representation. I am a proud first-generation American who enjoys laughing, animals, and dancing.

Arul Venugopal, a radiology technologist, completed a Master’s degree in Medical Imaging and has learned Medical Imaging Coding and Processing. With a passion for medical imaging, he has initiated and learned many cross-functional skills, such as Coding (C, C++, Python), Medical Image analysis and artificial intelligence, and aspires to become a medical imaging scientist.

NCIS Welcomes New Members!

Welcome new members from Australia, Canada, Ghana and the United States!

After receiving his Ph.D. in English from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, Adam Lawrence taught at Cape Breton University (2010–2013) and Concordia University (2013–2014). Since 2014, Adam has worked independently as a researcher, editor, and proofreader for companies that develop educational curricula. His scholarly work examines folk narrative as a source for speculations on biological mutation. In addition to articles on folklore, science fiction, and philosophy, Lawrence has published film essays and poetry in Canadian magazines.

James Bukari, born in Ghana and living in the United States, sends along this video for his biographical background:

A 40-year professional magazine editor, freelance writer, and book author, Colorado-based Jeffrey Miller has launched six magazines, served as editor-in-chief of five inflight magazines, and director of communications for AAA Colorado. Miller’s co-authored men’s health book, Facing Your Fifties, was included as one of three health books in Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2002. Miller’s book, Behind the Lines: WWI's Little-known Story of German Occupation, Belgian Resistance, and the Band of Yanks Who Helped Save Millions from Starvation, was a finalist in the history category of Foreword Reviews’ international Indie Book of the Year 2014 Awards, which included eight other history finalists that were from university presses.

Pamela Turton-Turner holds a Ph.D., in Art and Design Theory from the University of Tasmania, Australia. An independent scholar, Turton-Turner taught art and design theory, general philosophy and gender studies at the University of Tasmania from 2003 –2016. Her primary research involves feminist aesthetics and the semiotics of neoliberal discourses evident in postfeminist visual culture. Turton-Turner’s focus centers on the interrelationship between fetishized glamor and violence in popular media and its negative impact on the cultural encoding of female identity. Turton-Turner, an associate editor for Common Ground Publishing, has published scholarly articles and conference papers. In 2013, Turton-Turner, one of 35 nominated interdisciplinary scholars, was inducted into the Oxford Round Table at Harris-Manchester College, Oxford University.

Welcome 12 New NCIS Members!

NCIS welcomes 12 new members based in Thailand, Ireland and United States with disciplines that include community medicine, Arabic and Islamic studies, film, and human resource management.

Safa Abdalla Abdalla, a member of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine of Ireland since 2012, has have taught, mentored and examined undergraduate and postgraduate students in Sudan and Ireland on various topics in public health. Abdalla, who holds a medical degree and a doctorate in Community Medicine in 2006 from the University of Khartoum, previously was assistant professor in University of Khartoum and worked part time as a biostatistician at Stanford University. Abdalla researched and published on the burden of disease in Sudan, ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities in Ireland and more recently on injury epidemiology in Sudan. He also serves the editorial board of the journal Injury Prevention.

An historian of the Middle East with a focus on late antique Iran and the late antique Roman empire, Keenan Baca-Winters received a doctorate from the University of California, Irvine in 2015 and a master’s degree from San Diego State University in 2010.

With 20 years of experience in top management and administration, both in international and Thailand as well as in private and government sectors, Saifon Chairungruang received two medals of honor from the late King of Thailand for his work as a Specialist/Expert on Development Problems and Policy in Thailand’s House of Parliament. His is currently researching entrepreneurship, family business, strategy and performance, and culture. Chairungruang holds a Ph.D. in Human Resource Management from the University of Waikato, New Zealand in 2016, with the thesis, “A Secret Ingredient for SMEs Performance: Human Resource Management in Cafés and Restaurants in Auckland and Waikato, New Zealand.

Anchalee Chaiworaporn, an independent scholar since 2002, focuses on film studies in her home country, Thailand, and throughout Asia. She is currently working with a team on a three-year project, “Common Awareness in the Evolution of Thai Art and Criticism: Significant Milestones after 1932.” She received a partial scholarship to study long distance for her doctorate at the University of Southampton where her project will be “Border Crossings and the Cinemas of Thai U.S.-Educated Arthouse Directors.” Chaiworaporn’s website is

Following a Fulbright Fellowship in Madrid, Foster Chamberlain completed his dissertation in 2017 under a Harry F. Guggenheim Dissertation Completion Fellowship. His research focused on how the cultures of military institutions in Europe helped influence the course of the continent’s violent conflicts from 1914–1945 and contributed to the fall of interwar democratic regimes.

Dorothy J. Della Noce holds a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences from Temple University and a J.D. from Western New England School of Law. She taught at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels for more than 20 years. Her primary research interest is communication and social change. She is especially interested in how change occurs at the micro-level during human interactions – in dialogue, conversation, negotiation, debate, argumentation, group decision making, team-building, and so on. In 2013, Dr. Della Noce founded The Academic Writing Coach, which is now her full-time occupation. She is also currently an Assistant Editor for Online Learning Journal.

Justin Lev-Tov, a visiting assistant professor, University of Alabama, Birmingham, holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee. He has been a museum reports editor at the university of Alabama and a guest researcher, University of Mainz, Germany. Lev-Tov held a three-year doctoral study fellowship with the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

Now a CEO of an historic research nonprofit, Tom Magnuson previously worked as general manager for the American Industrial Publications, a computer-based training and logistics system vendor, and an engineering director for a high-speed optical scanning manufacturer. He also has served in the U.S. Marine Corps and Merchant Marine.

A former assistant professor in the Political Science Department at East Carolina University, Steve Modlin holds a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University and an M.P.A. from East Carolina University, focusing on local government budgeting and finance in public administration and policy. Modlin also served as a managing consultant for the town of Princeville, North Carolina, and has published widely in journals that include the Public Administration Research, Public Administration Quarterly, Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, Public Finance and Management, Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, and Public Budgeting & Finance.

Aisha Musa hold a Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic studies from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. Her research and teaching interests include Hadith and Sunna, translation of classical Arabic texts, Qur’anic interpretation, women’s issues, Islamic Law, and modern-day reformist and neo-traditionalist movements. Her work in the formative and classical periods of Islamic history, and her interdisciplinary work in the contemporary period, make it possible to bridge the divide between past and present.

An independent scholar, consultant, coach, writer, and wisdom seeker, Connie Taylor aims to foster an understanding of the value of our human connections in both our personal and business lives. Taylor holds a Ph.D. and MEd and has served both the for-profit and not-for-profit business sectors with strategic planning, business development, and execution strategies.

Emily Winerock, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based historian focuses on the practices and politics of dance in 16th- and 17th-century Europe. Her publications include essays in Playthings in Early Modernity (2017); The Sacralization of Space and Behavior in the Early Modern World (2015); and Worth and Repute: Valuing Gender in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (2011); as well as reviews in Renaissance Quarterly, Early Theatre, and Dance Chronicle. She is a co-founder of the Shakespeare and Dance Project, and the founder and moderator of the Dance Historians Network on LinkedIn. A scholar-practitioner, she also teaches Renaissance dance workshops and choreographs for theatrical productions.

TIS Editorial Board Expands

Four new editors are joining the Editorial Board of TIS, your open-access peer-reviewed academic journal.

Following publication of the first three issues of TIS, the Editorial Board—Shelby Shapiro (General Editor), Amanda Haste (Humanities Editor) and Joan Cunningham (STEM Editor)—sought additional editors to expand the range of academic specialties serving the journal to accommoodate the diverse and increasing journal submissions.

The following four scholars accepted invitations to join the Editorial Board:

Tula Connell, Ph.D., is an historian of the United States focusing on 20th century labor and social movements. Dr. Connell has worked in labor communications for 25 years, including at the AFL-CIO and SEIU, and currently is Senior Communications Officer at the Solidarity Center, an international labor rights organization.

Dorothy J. Della Noce, Ph.D., J.D., is assistant editor, member of the Editorial Board, and member of the Editorial Review Board, for Online Learning, the journal of the Online Learning Consortium. She has served on the Editorial Board of Mediation Quarterly from 1996 to 2001, as well as on the Editorial Board of Conflict Resolution Quarterly from 2007 to 2009, and as guest editor for a special issue of Mediation Quarterly. In 2013, Dr. Della Noce founded The Academic Writing Coach.

Laurie Schiller, Ph.D., a retired lecturer from Northwestern University, has written extensively on Africa and the Middle East as well as the U.S. Civil War and has conducted field work in Kenya’s Nyanza Province on comparative Luo political systems.

Tim Woolley, Ph.D., is a British Methodist minister whose research interests include the field of nineteenth-century British Methodism, the Holiness Movement, Revivalism and Nonconformity. His article and reviews have been published in in Wesley and Methodist Studies, The Wesleyan Theological Journal, Holiness, The Ranter’s Digest and H-Pietism.

TIS uses a double-blind peer review process, with each manuscript submitted to at least two, and often three, peer reviews. Editors’ duties involve assigning reviewers for each paper submitted within their own specialism, following up on peer reviews, assembling them for the author’s revisions, and repeating the process once revised, until the reviewers and editors are satisfied that the paper is in its best possible form and fit for publication in TIS.

Congratulations Eisenstein Prize Winners!

We at NCIS are delighted to be able to announce the winners of the 2017 Elizabeth Eisenstein Essay Prize. This year's award drew a strong field: as Committee Chair Joan Cunningham says: 

"We had some terrific submissions this year!  We all enjoyed reading these papers, and found the decision difficult"  In fact, there were some exceptional papers, of which two were neck and neck in the scoring so, rather than name one as winner and the other as runner-up, the EC, in consultation with Prof. Eisenstein's daughter Margaret DeLacy, agreed to split the prize money—and kudos—between two winners.

In alphabetical order, these are: 

  • Toni Vogel Carey.  “Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand: A Brief History.”  Adam Smith Review 9 (2017) 88-104.
  • Patricia Silver.  “Remembering Abuela: Memory, Authenticity and Place in Puerto Rican Orlando.”  Latino Studies 13(3): 376-401 (September 2015).

The Eisenstein Committee believes it important to acknowledge the other candidates who were also on the short list (in alphabetical order):

  • Amanda J. Haste. “A Third Gender? Expression of Gender Identity in Celibate Monasticism through Words and Music.” Constructing Identity in an Age of Globalization, ed. James E. Block and Amanda J. Haste. Paris: Ex Modio, April 2015. 
  • Mary E. Zimmer.  “Seeking To Become All Things: The Neoplatonic Soul And The Next World In Sir Thomas Browne’s The Garden Of Cyrus.” Modern Language Review, Vol. 112, Part 1 (January 2017). 35‐53.


Welcome New NCIS Members!

A big welcome to our new NCIS members, whose scholarship includes linguistics, economics, the history of pets, and health care-related aging issues.

Linda Anderson retired from the University of Missouri Healthcare in 2011 after many years in a variety of nursing positions including critical and emergency care, bioinformatics, trauma, and orthopedic research. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Missouri. Anderson’s current research interest relates to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), with a focus on the issue of aging in persons with EDS.

After completing her Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, Julie Hughes published her first book, “Animal Kingdoms: Hunting, the Environment, and Power in the Indian Princely States” (Harvard and Permanent Black) in 2013. Hughes was an assistant professor at Vassar College for several years and is now an independent scholar. Her current project looks at the history of pets and pet keeping in South Asia, asking how tamed and domestic pets, from sarus cranes and song birds to tigers and fox terriers, have participated in our identity politics, and how in turn, our struggles and aspirations have changed the lives and status of individual companion animals and their species as a whole.

As language and social science professional for more than 30 years, Heather Mello has worked as an applied military linguist, translator, teacher, researcher, and statistician. Her bachelor’s studies at the University of the State of New York concentrated on the Vietnamese and Russian languages, she holds an M.A, in Sociology from Georgia Southern University and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Georgia. She has conducted research and teaching in the specific areas of TESOL/TEFL, English Language Variation, Vietnamese as a Foreign/Heritage Language, Corpus Linguistics, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Race and Cultural Relations, and Second and Heritage Language Acquisition and Maintenance. She currently works helping recently arrived refugees navigate their new lives in the United States by teaching English language literacy and civics for the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tony K. Yang holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Riverside, and is a scholar of U.S. Economic History based in Sunnyvale, California. His primary research focuses on the interaction between social economic attitudes, the formation of savings behavior, and cultural and economic preferences in institutional interactions. Yang’s dissertation, “The Needs of a Lifetime: The Search for Security, 1865-1914,” analyzes savings patterns and behaviors in the late-nineteenth century United States. Yang has presented several papers and is currently editing his manuscript of social insurance. Yang’s other fields of interest include: The Economic History of Slavery, Nineteenth Century U.S. History, History of U.S. Foreign Relations and Modern Latin American (specifically the Caribbean). 

A Warm Welcome to 10 New NCIS Members!

NCIS’s growing membership includes ten new independent scholars from the United States, Britain, France and Australia whose expertise includes psychology, biomedical engineering, urban planning and Southern Jewish history.

With a primary focus on language and English literature, Pamela Albert’s areas of research includes eighteenth-century British literature, transatlantic studies, world literatures in English, global Jewish migration and Jewish diaspora literature.

Mark Foster’s career living and teaching at a six day-a-week boarding school offered him the opportunity to create new courses and teach AP and senior level courses, including those outside his subject area, language and literature. With a research focus in romanticism, Shakespeare, and nineteenth century American history and literature, Foster welcomes professional and intellectual contacts and the opportunity to engage in scholarship now that he is no longer in the classroom.

Building on twenty years education, research, planning and urban design experience, Angela K. Frusciante, MRP, Ph.D., in 2016 founded Knowledge Designs to Change, where she consults for nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, networks and initiatives. A socio-political scholar whose research focuses on female-led change networks, Frusciante served as faculty member of Urban Design at Jackson State University and as Knowledge Development Officer for the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, where she was responsible for grants and contracts in areas such as organizational learning and management systems.

Christopher Gatti, a gymnast-turned-acrobat with a doctorate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in machine learning and data analysis, divides his time between training, coaching, and working on programming projects. Gatti competed for the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, between 2001 and 2005 and obtained a BSE in mechanical engineering, followed by an MSE in biomedical engineering, all from the University of Michigan. Gatti currently coaches for Cirque du Soleil on a big top show, and researches on circus-inspired problems that incorporate elements of biomechanics and data analysis or machine learning.

Rachel Gisewhite uses philosophical methodologies to study youth phenomenological experiences with and activism for the natural world. She is most passionate about the world’s oceans and how students interact with their local aquatic environments to stimulate intellectual engagement for a deeper understanding of science content as well as the power of their decisions and actions to promote an active citizenry. She most recently was a chemistry and environmental science high school teacher in Memphis, Tennessee, and now lives in Mississippi.

Kay Goldman’s book, “Dressing Modern Maternity: The Frankfurt Sisters of Dallas and the Page Boy Label (Texas Tech University Press, 2013) relates the story of three Texas Jewish women who manufactured maternity dresses in Dallas during the Great Depression and continued their business through the early 1990s. In 2012, Goldman’s manuscript, based on her dissertation, won the Lou Halsell Rodenberger Prize in Texas History and Literature. Recently retired, Goldman is researching Texas Jewish history for her project, tentatively titled, “Intersecting Lives: Jews and Their Gentile Neighbors in Texas and Beyond, 1840 to 1900.”

Based in Provence, France, David Marks was most recently a psychology professor at City University in London, and between 2000 and 2010, served as a professor of psychology at Middlesex University.

Gail Spilsbury, a Boston-based writer and editor, has published four books—two cultural landscape histories about Washington, D.C., and two works of fiction. She also recently launched a fiction podcast, which airs on Boston radio station WBZA. Currently freelancing after a long and satisfying editorial career in museum and cultural publications, Spilsbury edits the weekly concert notes for the National Gallery of Art and serves as editor for Rizzoli and private authors.

Following a career in technical writing and publishing in the computer industry, Geri Walton returned to history, her first scholarly passion. She published her book, “Marie Antoinette's Confidante: The Rise and Fall of the Princesse de Lamballe” (Pen and Sword Books) in 2016, and is completing two books proposals.

Based in Australia, Ian Willis, Ph.D. and Honorary Fellow of the University of Wollongong since 2010, focuses on three areas of research: the history and impact of urban growth on Sydney’s rural-urban fringe; the Red Cross in New South Wales 1914-1945; and the history of the interaction between Europeans and indigenous Australians across the Cowpastures and Southern Cumberland Plain, 1788–1840. Willis also is editor of the Journal of the Camden Historical Society.

Call for Editors

The Independent Scholar (TIS), your open-access peer-reviewed academic journal, is seeking to expand its editorial board, and invites members to apply. The present Editorial Board consists of Shelby Shapiro (General Editor), Amanda Haste (Humanities Editor) and Joan Cunningham (STEM Editor) who will all continue in these roles. The new editors will assist them through knowledge of their own particular academic specialities, hence this present appeal.

TIS uses a double-blind peer review process, with each manuscript being submitted to at least two, and often three, peer reviews. Editors' duties involve assigning reviewers for each paper submitted within their own specialism, following up on peer reviews, assembling them for the author’s revisions, and repeating the process once revised, until the reviewers and editors are satisfied that the paper is in its best possible form and fit for publication in TIS.

This is important and interesting work! Every issue brings forth fresh ideas and presentations, and we at NCIS are constantly trying to improve on the last number, and to ensure that TIS sets high standards of scholarship; for that, we need editors with a good publication record in their field. Ideally applicants will already hold a PhD, but this is not essential if their academic record and experience provide evidence of the skills necessary for this position. 

If you are interested in applying, please contact Shelby Shapiro at and he will guide you through the process.

Shelby Shapiro, Ph.D.
Amanda Haste, Ph.D.
Joan Cunningham, Ph.D.

13 New NCIS Members Represent Wide Range of Scholarship

A big welcome to the most recent NCIS members, who represent an impressive range of independent scholars with specialties that include archaeology, information technology, public policy and administration, and 19th century British Methodism. The 13 new members here live in the United States, Britain and Puerto Rico and include scholars originally from Nigeria and Venezuela.

Wendy Warren Austin, a 23-year tenured Associate Professor at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, moved to the Boston area in 2012 and most recently worked as an online English faculty member teaching research writing, linguistics, and literature for Southern New Hampshire University. Warren, whose primary disciplines are Language and English Literature,also has worked as visiting assistant professor of a Massachusetts state university, a professional writing tutor at a private college writing center, a data analyst/linguistic annotator for an MIT artificial intelligence researcher, and an instructional module writer for MindEdge, a company that produces etexts for online university courses.

With a B.A. in Archaeological Studies and History, Jesse Chariton is currently researching the Integration and Desegregation of Lutheran Churches in Columbus, and Georgia and Irish Immigration to Wisconsin. A genealogist, Chariton has experience in museums and libraries of Masonic organizations. His websites are and

A Portland, Oregon, native, Ray W. Clark served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy from 1970 to 1991 and while in the Navy, graduated from the Naval War College in 1985. Clark earned a Master of Arts Degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University in 1986 along with the designation as a Political-Military Affairs subspecialist. Most recently, he received a Master of Arts in History from George Mason University in 2006. After retiring from active duty, Clark worked as a project manager for PRC, Litton Industries, Northrop Grumman, and TASC on contracts supporting the Department of the Navy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Jacob Dankasa holds a Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of North Texas, Denton, and a Master’s degree in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University. He specializes in new media, information behavior, and information theory and design. His research centers on the intersection of information and religion, specifically how new media technologies can enhance the design, processing, dissemination and retrieval of religious information. Originally from Nigeria, Dankasa is a Catholic priest serving in parish apostolate in the Catholic Diocese of Dallas and is interested in researching the use of cyber technology to build communicative and interactive relationship among members of diverse faith communities.

A retired senior manager and senior executive service level graduate from the U.S. Department of Interior (National Park Service), Diane Dayson, Ph.D. most recently served as executive director/superintendent of Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island National Monuments. During the September 11, 2001, crisis, Dr. Dayson led, managed, and made command decisions for the safety of Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island National Monument and its employees, visitors, and park resources. She has more than 28 years experience in management, leadership, change management, incident command, and strategic planning. Dr. Dayson, who currently is a faculty member of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Capella University, served for 10 years as adjunct professor at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Dr. Dayson holds a doctorate in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University, a Master of Science in Management from New York University, and B.A. in Education/American History from SUNY at Cortland.

Robin William Girard received his Ph.D. in French Language and Literature from Washington University in St. Louis in December 2016. His dissertation employed the theories and representations of erotic love as a lens to explore the intersection of late 12th century narrative poetry and contemporaneous literary production of the Islamicate world. While much of his research centers on questions of the medieval Mediterranean and the place of Old French literature within it, other areas of interest include neo-Medievalism and storytelling in video games. 

With interests in the religious, artistic, and philosophical dimensions of birth, Anna Hennessey is writing a book on social ontology and the transformation of religious objects in birth as a rite of passage (Lexington Books, forthcoming). Her academic background includes Religious Studies (Ph.D., History of Chinese Religions, University of California, Santa Barbara,); Art History (M.A., Critical Theory, UCSB); and Philosophy (B.A., Western Philosophy, New York University). She also researches Daoism, Daoist representation, visualization, and alchemy in the context of Chinese religions.

Richard Howey’s 40-year career in implementing and using information technology inspired him to pursue a doctorate in Business Administration to learn the research skills needed to better understand the reasons for IT failures and so help others avoid those failures. Once retired, he received his Ph.D. in October 2016, completing a dissertation that explores how an internal market culture in a business enterprise can impact data withholding behavior inside that enterprise and, in turn, affect the success of IT initiatives intended to share data across organizational boundaries within that business enterprise.

Becky Nicolaides received her Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in 1993, and went on to serve on the faculties of Arizona State University West and University of California, San Diego. She left her tenured post at UCSD in 2006 to become an independent scholar and historical consultant. Her work focuses on the history of North American cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas. She is currently at work on her third book, On the Ground in Suburbia: A Chronicle of Social and Civic Transformation in Los Angeles Since 1945, with support from a Haynes Major Research Grant, an NEH fellowship, an ACLS fellowship, and Huntington Library fellowships. She is co-editor of the “Historical Studies of Urban America” book series published by University of Chicago Press and is co-coordinator of the L.A History and Metro Studies group at the Huntington Library. She is currently serving a three-year term on the governing council (Research Division) of the American Historical Association, advocating on the issue of democratizing research access for all scholars. She blogs at, and tweets at @BeckyNic7.

Lydia Platón, an adjunct professor at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey, has taught at other UPR campuses at the graduate and undergraduate levels and served as Dean of Academic Affairs in the School of Visual Arts of San Juan. Platón, a translator, independent scholar and arts administrator, has experience in non-profit management and teaching in the fields of theater and art education. Platón’s publications include a book-length study: “Defiant Itineraries: Caribbean Paradigms in American Dance and Film, Palgrave Macmillan;” an artistic book project: El Cuarto Acto with Ediciones Callejón (2005); and numerous journal articles.

Kai Rands holds a Masters and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Culture, Curriculum, and Change program, and a B.A. in Elementary Education and in Child Development from Vanderbilt University. Rands, an independent scholar, teaches fifth grade math.

Born in Caracas Venezuela, Hector Weir and his family moved to the United States in 2002. Since then, he has pursued studies in Anthropology and Hispanic Studies, receiving a doctorate, a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. Weir’s studies the effects of cultural contact in traditions and religions and their reflection in contemporary media and literature.

Tim Wooley, a British Methodist minister with a passion for Wesleyan theology, church history, missiology and fresh expressions of church, completed his doctorate at Cliff College and has presented papers at the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies, the Oxford-Manchester Studies Seminar, the Ecclesiastical History Society Postgraduate Colloquium, conferences at Wesley House Cambridge, and Englesea Brook Primitive Methodist Chapel and Museum. Wooley’s research interests include the field of nineteenth-century British Methodism, the Holiness Movement, Revivalism and Nonconformity. His article and reviews have been published in in Wesley and Methodist Studies, The Wesleyan Theological Journal, Holiness, The Ranter’s Digest and H-Pietism (forthcoming).


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