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Arts and Sciences introduces five new chairs

Sept. 12, 2007
By Anita Martin

The College of Arts and Sciences announces five new department chairs this academic year: Tom Carpenter, chair of the Department of Classics and World Religions; John Gilliom, chair of the Department of Political Science; Greg Nadon, chair of the Department of Geology; Najee Muhammad, interim chair of the Department of African American Studies; and Rosemary Rossiter, chair of the Department of Economics.

Carpenter came to Ohio University in 1997 to teach classic Greek and Roman literature, history and archeology. His research focuses on religious iconography in Greek and Roman art, for which he is considered a leading international authority. He earned his doctorate at Oxford University.

"As chair I hope to continue the good work of my predecessor, Bill Owens, integrating the Classical Studies program and the World Religions program into a seamless whole," Carpenter said. "One of the reasons we saw the two programs as compatible is that they're both based on the study of text. We hope in the future to expand language offerings beyond Greek and Latin (and recently Hindi) to allow students to study the texts of world religions in their original languages, like Sanskrit and Hebrew."

Owens will continue to serve on the faculty.

Gilliom joined Ohio University in 1991. He specializes in the politics of surveillance and in privacy law. He received the University Professor Award in 1994, the Outstanding Teaching Award in 1996 and the Graselli Teaching Award in 1997 and 2006. Gilliom earned his doctorate at the University of Washington.

"My first goal is to support my outstanding colleagues as they work to advance their research and provide first-rate teaching to the over 500 students in political science programs," Gilliom said. Central to that mission is the need to expand faculty to recover from recent personnel losses, he said.

Gilliom replaces former chair Ron Hunt, who has taken early retirement and will return to teach winter quarter.

Nadon has taught at Ohio University since 1995. He earned his doctorate at the University of Toronto and focuses his research on identifying ancient river systems and tracking the rise and fall of sea levels in the Appalachian basin.

"There has been a dramatic increase in employment opportunities as a professional geologist in both research and professional sectors. As a result, our undergraduate population is growing rapidly," Nadon said. "My main goal as chair is to help our faculty respond to that growth by hiring new faculty in exciting research areas."

Nadon takes over for David Kidder, who will spend a 2007-08 fellowship leave conducting research and working on a book about how silicon and silica assist living organisms.

Muhammad, who will serve as 2007-08 interim chair for the Department of African American Studies, has taught at the university since 1996, for the College of Education and the African Studies Program. Muhammad, who earned his doctor of education at the University of Cincinnati, is a leading authority on the education and philosophical legacy of Malcolm X, and he specializes in cultural diversity in education and transformational leadership. He will continue to teach part time in the College of Education.

This year, Muhammad plans to bring the university's annual Malcolm X Commemorative, which he founded, under the umbrella of the Department of African American Studies; launch a new symposium on race and the critical spectrum of consciousness; and begin planning for the 40th anniversary of the Department of African American Studies in 2009.

"This department, founded in 1969, is one of the first and oldest departments of African American studies in the country," Muhammad said. "This was a storied, significant, historical moment, forged directly out of the Human Rights revolution of the 1960s."

Vibert Cambridge, former chair of African American Studies, will continue to teach in the School of Telecommunications, research and write.

Rossiter has taught at Ohio University since 1983. She specializes in macroeconomics, monetary theory and applied econometrics. She earned her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"In economics we're trying to expand our programming and make people aware of the diversity of economics study," Rossiter said. "The study of economics can relate to the environment or labor issues, and it makes excellent preparation for law school -- or, with our new master's in financial economics program, a career as a financial analyst."

Rossiter replaces former chair Roy Boyd, who is on fellowship leave for the quarter and will return to teach winter quarter.

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