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Sarah E. Ramsey ’61 Ramsey, Sarah E. E. Ramsey ’61

Studio Instructor (part-time)
Keyboard Studies
Faculty  |  Music
Burton Hall
B.M.E., Denison University; M.M., Northwestern University
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Dennis Read Read, Dennis M. Read

Dennis Read
Associate Professor
Faculty  |  English
Barney-Davis Hall
B.A., SUNY-Brockport; M.A., New York University; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Dennis Read has been a faculty member at Denison since 1979. He teaches courses in nonfiction writing, English Romantic literature, the travel narrative, and literary biography. His Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He has published close to three hundred essays, articles, and reviews in such journals as The American Scholar, Philological Quarterly, American Literature, and Modern Philology. He is the author of R.H. Cromek, Engraver, Editor, Entrepreneur (2011). He received the Best Newsmaker Profile award from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists in 2012. His writing appears regularly in Columbus Monthly and Columbus CEO.

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Joe Reczek dr. Reczek, Joseph James Reczek

Joe Reczek
Associate Professor
Faculty  |  Chemistry & Biochemistry, Environmental Studies
Ebaugh Laboratories
B.A., Cornell University; Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin
Research Keywords: 
Synthetic Organic/Materials Chemistry
Research Overview: 
Interested in developing new organic materials, potentially for use in molecular electronics, and specifically for use in low-cost solar cells. His research integrates organic synthesis and characterization of self-assembling liquid crystalline materials along with the actual fabrication and testing of devices.
Research Details: 

Fields of Interest:

Research in the Reczek group spans several areas of Organic and Materials Chemistry, including Organic Synthesis, Supramolecular Chemistry, Crystal and Liquid Crystal design, and Organic Photovoltaics. We are broadly interested in the design, synthesis, and study of molecules which self-assemble, via non-covalent interactions, to exhibit new and unique properties. These properties are studies for potential application in new materials, specifically in the areas of molecular electronics and photovoltaics.

Current projects include:

  1. Synthesis and functionalization of anthracene diimides. Naphthalene and perylene diimides are two classes of electron-deficient aromatic molecules that have generated recent interest as components in Organic Materials and Molecular Electronics. The intermediate anthracene diimides show similar promise, but are relatively unexplored, largely due to difficulty in their synthesis. We are developing chemistry for the facile and versatile synthesis of anthracene diimides and related derivatives.
  2. Structure-property relationships in aromatic-aromatic charge-transfer interactions. The face-to-face association (pi-pi stacking) of certain electron-rich and electron-deficient aromatic molecules leads to formation of complexes with a new charge-transfer absorbance band. This absorbance is associated with the excitation of an electron form the HOMO of one molecule to the LUMO of the complementary molecule. We are interested in discerning how changes in the position of substituents and/or molecular orbitals of component molecules, affect the charge-transfer properties of the self-assembled complex.
  3. Aromatic donor-acceptor complexes as components of low-cost solar cells. The need to develop new photovoltaic chemistries for the efficient and affordable conversion of sunlight into electricity is a challenging problem of considerable importance. We are currently exploring the utility of aromatic donor-acceptor complexes as components of low-cost solar cells.

All research is carried out with undergraduate researchers, and a commitment to the training and development of the next generation of curious, innovative, creative thinkers and scientists. Students interested in participating in semester and summer research in the Reczek group should contact the Denison Chemistry Department or Dr. Reczek.

  • Reczek, Joseph J.; Kennedy, Aimee A.; Halbert, Brian T.; Urbach, Adam R. 2009. Multivalent Recognition of Peptides by Modular Self-Assembled Receptors. J. Am. Chem. Soc. v. 131 p. 2408-2415
  • Mazzitelli, Carolyn L.; Chu, Yongjun; Reczek, Joseph J.; Iverson, Brent L.; Brodbelt, Jennifer S.. 2007. Screening of Threading Bis-Intercalators Binding to Duplex DNA by Electrospray Ionization Tandem Mass Spectrometry. J. Am. Soc. Mass. Spec. v. 18 no. 2 p. 311-321
  • Reczek, Joseph J.; Villazor, Karen R.; Lynch, Vincent; Swager, Timothy M.; Iverson, Brent L.. 2006. Tunable Columnar Mesophases Utilizing C2 Symmetric Aromatic Donor-Acceptor Complexes. J. Am. Chem. Soc. v. 128 p. 7995-8002
  • Reczek, Joseph J.; Iverson, Brent L. . 2006. Using Aromatic Donor Acceptor Interactions to Affect Macromolecular Assembly. Macromolecules. v. 39 p. 5601-5603
  • Gabriel, Greg; Reczek, Joe; Iverson, Brent. 2003. Now Accepting Donation A - Molecular recognition in aqueous solution. Polymer Preprints. v. 44 no. 2 p. 453-454
  • Cheng, Ming; Moore, David R., Reczek, Joseph J., Chamberlain, Bradley M., Lobkovsky, Emil B., Coates, Geoffrey W.. 2001. Single-Site-Diiminate Zinc Catalysts for the Alternating Copolymerization of CO2 and Epoxides: Catalyst Synthesis and Unprecedented Polymerization Activity. J. Am. Chem. Soc. v. 123 p. 8738-8749
  • Reczek, J. R., . 2009. Synthesis of Anthracene Derivatives as Donor-Acceptor Liquid Crystal Components. Central Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society (CERMACS). Cleveland, OH
  • Reczek, J. R.. 2009. Designing Aromatic Self-Assembly: From Bio-Mimetic Recognition to Organic Solar Cells . Invited Seminar Speaker at The University of Toledo. Toledo, OH
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Jessica E. Rettig dr. Rettig, Jessica E. Rettig

Jessica E. Rettig
Associate Professor and Henry Chisholm Chair in the Natural Sciences, Aquatic Ecologist
Faculty  |  Biology
Samson Talbot Hall of Biological Science
513/lab 502
B.A., Earlham College; Ph.D., Michigan State University
Academic Positions: 
  • Academic Positions Associate Professor, Department of Biology at Denison University, 2006 - present
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biology at Denison University, 2000 - 2006
  • Assistant Professor, Biology Department at William Jewell College, Liberty, MO, 1997 - 2000
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Biology Department at Earlham College, Richmond, IN, 1996 - 1997
Honors & Awards: 

Grants, Fellowships and Honors

  • Phi Beta Kappa -Earlham College. 1991
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, Honorable Mention, 1992
  • NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant: Interactions in a stage-structured species: Resource mediated stage dynamics.  1995.
  • Declining Amphibian Populations Task Force Seed Grant: Stressor effects on amphibian larval communities: Integrated experiments on the effects of nitrate. (co-PI with Geoffrey R. Smith).  2002.
  • Sigma Xi -Denison University.  2002.
Research Keywords: 
Aquatic/Pond Ecologist
Research Overview: 
Population and community ecology of animals and plants inhabiting small ponds, including fish, zooplankton, algae, and macroinvertebrates.
Research Details: 

I am interested in understanding the interactions between different life stages of an organism (e.g., larva, juveniles, adults) and how these interactions, such as competition or predation, affect population dynamics. In addition I examine the effects that each life stage has on the community in which it lives and the overall role the species plays in a community. I am an aquatic ecologist and to address these issues I use bluegill sunfish, a common fish in local lakes and ponds. Bluegill have four distinct life stages: egg, larval, juvenile, and adult. My research examines the interactions between larval and adult bluegill and the effects of larvae on their prey community (zooplankton, tiny crustaceans). I use a combination of field surveys and experiments to understand the factors that affect larval growth and survival, such as food availability (i.e., zooplankton), competition, or predation by invertebrates, and how adult bluegill may influence these factors, for instance by consuming animals that typically prey on larvae.

I routinely have students working in my lab, either assisting me or working on their own research projects.

Current Research

  • Tracking the abundance and species composition of zooplankton and macroinvertebrates through time in two Ohio ponds. Zooplankton and macroinvertebrates serve as food for larval and adult bluegill.
  • Comparing diets of adult and larval bluegill to look for evidence of competition for zooplankton prey or evidence for adult consumption of larval predators.
  • Estimating biomass of certain macroinvertebrates through length-mass regression analysis.
  • Determining spawning patterns for adult bluegill in Middleton and Ebaugh ponds. How does timing of reproduction relate to larval success?
  • Dibble, C.J.*, J.E. Kauffman*, E.M. Zuzik*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. MS. Effects of potential predator and competitor cues and sibship on wood frog (Rana sylvatica) embryos. Amphibia-Reptilia. p. in press
  • Rettig, J.E. and G.R. Smith. MS. Class research projects in ecology courses: Methods to un-“can” the experience. Journal of College Science Teaching. p. In press
  • Russo, G.*, A. Chou*, J.E. Rettig, and G.R. Smith. 2008. Foraging responses of mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) to items of different sizes and colors. Journal of Freshwater Ecology. v. 23 p. 677-678
  • Smith, G.R., J.B. Iverson, and J.E. Rettig. 2006. Changes in a turtle community from a northern Indiana lake: a long-term study. Journal of Herpetology. v. 40 p. 150-185
  • Rettig, J.E, L.S. Schuman*, and J.K. McCloskey*. 2006. Seasonal patterns of abundance: do zooplankton in small ponds do the same thing every spring-summer?. Hydrobiologia. v. 556 p. 193-207
  • Michajliczenko, A.H.*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2004. Effect of diet on bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) tadpole growth and development. Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society. v. 40 p. 42-46
  • Johnson, L.D.*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2004. Summer activity of small snakes in four habitats in northwestern Missouri. Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society. v. 40 p. 47-52
  • Garvey, J.E., J.E. Rettig, R.A. Stein, D.M. Lodge, and S.P. Klosiewski. 2003. Scale-dependent associations among fish predation, littoral habitat, and distributions of crayfish species. Ecology . v. 84 p. 3339-3348
  • Taylor, M.*, J.E. Rettig, and G.R. Smith. 2003. Diet of re-introduced river otters, Lontra canadensis, in north-central Arizona. Journal of Freshwater Ecology. v. 18 p. 337-338
  • Rettig, J.E. 2003. Rettig, J.E. 2003. Zooplankton responses to predation by larval bluegill: an enclosure experiment. Freshwater Biology. v. 48 p. 636-648
  • Smith, G.R., A. Todd*, J.E. Rettig, & F. Nelson*. 2003. Microhabitat selection by northern cricket frogs, Acris crepitans, along a west-central Missouri creek: Field and experimental observations. Journal of Herpetology. no. 37 p. 383-385
  • Rettig, J.E. and G.G. Mittelbach. 2002. Interactions between adult and larval bluegill sunfish: positive and negative effects. Oecologia. v. 130 p. 222-230
  • Golden*, D.R., G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2001. Effects of age and group size on habitat selection and activity levels of Rana pipiens tadpoles. Herpetological Journal. v. 11 p. 69-73
  • Smith, G.R., M.A. Waters*, and J.E. Rettig. 2000. Consequences of embryonic UV-B exposure on the growth and development of plains leopard frog tadpoles (Rana blairi). Conservation Biology. v. 14 p. 1903-1907
  • Smith, G.R., J.E. Rettig, A.M. Frahm, and P.W. Gabrielson. 2000. Prediction Generation and Testing: An Exercise Using Plant Distributions. Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching. v. 26 no. 3 p. 19-21
  • Golden*, D., G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 2000. Effects of age and group size on habitat selection and activity levels of Xenopus laevis tadpoles. Transactions of the Nebraska Academy of Science. v. 26 p. 23-27
  • Smith, G.R., J.A. Dilts, P.W. Gabrielson, D.P. Heruth, J.E. Rettig, and A.F. Strautman. 1999. Using laptops in the biology classroom and laboratory. Bioscene: Journal of College Biology Teaching. v. 25 p. 11-12
  • Smith, G.R., J. E. Rettig, G.G. Mittelbach, J.L. Valiulis*, and S.R. Schaack*. 1999. The effects of fish on assemblages of amphibians in ponds: a field experiment. Freshwater Biology. v. 41 p. 829-837
  • Smith, G.R. and J.E. Rettig. 1998. Observations on egg masses of the American toad (Bufo americanus). Herpetological Natural History. v. 6 p. 61-64
  • Rettig, J.E. . 1998. Variation in species composition of larval assemblages: using electrophoresis to identify larval sunfish. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. v. 127 p. 661-668
  • Rettig, J.E., R.C. Fuller, A.L. Corbett, and T. Getty. 1997. Fluctuating asymmetry indicates levels of competition in an even-aged poplar clone. 80. p. 123-127
  • Smith, G.R. and J.E. Rettig. 1996. Effectiveness of aquatic funnel traps for sampling amphibian larvae. Herpetological Review. v. 27 p. 190-191
  • Mittelbach, G.G., A.M. Turner, D.J. Hall, J.E. Rettig, and C.W. Osenberg. 1995. Perturbation and resilience: a long-term, whole-lake study of predator extinction and reintroduction. Ecology. v. 76 p. 2347-2360
  • Rettig, J.E., N.R.Gray*, W.J. Kim*, A. Ali*, J.J. Arrington*, and E. Ubagharaji*. 2008. The nesting environment for bluegill in small ponds: Is there variation in seasonal nesting activity, colony activity, or nest characteristics?. Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference. Columbus, OH
  • Dibble, C.J.*, J.E. Rettig, and G.R. Smith. 2008. Relative strength of top-down and bottom-up effects in a simple aquatic food web that includes an invasive fish. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Milwaukee, WI
  • Rettig, J.E. and G.R. Smith. 2008. Double duty courses: Using an ecology course to fulfill a general education requirement for oral communication. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Milwaukee, WI
  • Rettig, J.E., N.R. Gray*, W.J. Kim*, A. Ali*, J.J. Arrington*, and E. Ubagharaji*. 2008. The nesting environment for bluegill in small ponds: Is there variation in seasonal nesting activity, colony activity, or nest characteristics?. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Milwaukee, WI
  • Smith, G.R., C.J. Dibble*, and J.E. Rettig. 2008. Small fish, big effects: The impacts of mosquitofish and ammonium nitrate on tadpoles, zooplankton, and phytoplankton. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Milwaukee, WI
  • Rettig, J.E. and G.R. Smith. 2008. Class research projects in ecology courses: Methods to un-“can” the experience. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Memphis, TN
  • Rettig, J.E., J.K. McCloskey*, T.E .Waggoner*, and M.M. Tribue*. 2004. Patterns of temporal variation for zooplankton and larval fish in two Ohio ponds. Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society. Madison, W
  • Rettig, J.E., L.S. Schuman*, and J.K. McCloskey*. 2004. Seasonal patterns of abundance: Do zooplankton in small ponds do the same thing every summer?. Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America. Portland, O
  • Rettig, J.E.. 200. Investigating interactions between larval and adult bluegill and their zooplankton prey. Invited research seminar at The Ohio State University.
  • Smith, G.R., J.E. Rettig, and H.A. Dingfelder*. 2003. Stressor effects on amphibian larval communities: Integrated experiments on the effects of nitrate. Annual Year-end Workshop of the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative, US Geological Survey.. Austin, T
  • Rettig, J.E.. 200. Variation in adult bluegill diets from two ponds with differing macrophyte abundances. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists/Herpetologists' League/Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles meeting. Kansas City, MO
  • Hatlelid, E.D.*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 200. Area usage and daily behavioral patterns of a captive spotted leopard Pantera pardus pardus). Missouri Academy of Sciences [3rd Place - Biology III - Ecology and Behavior].
  • Taylor, M.T.*, J.E. Rettig, and G.R. Smith. 200. Habitat selection and diet composition in Arizona river otters, Lutra canadensis. Missouri Academy of Sciences [1st Place - Biology III - Ecology and Behavior] .
  • Rettig, J.E.. 200. Performance and success in larval bluegill: the role of resources, predation, and habitat. 24th Annual Larval Fish Conference. Gulf Shores, AL
  • Todd, A.*, G.R. Smith, and J.E. Rettig. 200. Microhabitat selection by northern cricket frogs, Acris crepitans, along a west-central Missouri creek. Missouri Academy of Sciences [2nd Place - Biology III - Ecology and Behavior].
  • Smith, G.R., M.A. Waters*, and J.E. Rettig. 199. Consequences of embryonic UV-B exposure on the growth and development of plains leopard frog tadpoles (Rana blairi). American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists/ Herpetologist's League/Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Meetings. State College, P
  • Dilts, J., G. Smith, J. Rettig, A. Strautman, P. Gabrielson, and D. Heruth. 1998. Creating a student-driven learning environment. 42nd Annual Meeting of the Association of College and University Biology Educators, Rockhurst College. Kansas City, MO
  • Dilts, J., D. Heruth, J. Rettig, and G. Smith. 199. William Jewell College case study: Creating a student-driven learning environment. Enhancing Learning-Centered Environments: The Biology of the Future. Project Kaleidoscope Workshop. Liberty, MO
Professional Memberships: 
  • American Fisheries Society
  • American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
  • American Society of Limnology and Oceanography
  • Association for Women in Science
  • Ecological Society of America
  • The Ohio Academy of Science
  • Sigma Xi
Professional Service (includes Denison Service): 
  • Manuscript Reviewer: Archiv fur Hydrobiologie, Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Ecological Indicators, Ecology, Environmental Biology of Fishes, Great Basin Naturalist, Ichthyological Research, Journal of Animal Ecology, Limnology and Oceanography, Oikos, Oecologia, Transactions of the American Fisheries Society
  • Reviewer for Predoctoral Fellowships for the AWIS Educational Foundation (2004-2008). AWIS is the Association for Women in Science. Reviewed proposals in the fields of ecology and evolution.
  • Grant Reviewer: National Science Foundation (NSF) - Division of Environmental Biology, Ecology section (2002, 2003)
  • Grant Reviewer: American Association for the Advancement of Science, Women's International Science Collaboration (WISC) Program (2003)

Service to Denison

  • Coordinator for Anderson Endowed Fund and Ronneberg Endowed Fund (Sept. 2007-present)
  • Chair, Steering Committee on Institutional Self-Study for Denison’s Accreditation (Oct. 2007-present)
  • Faculty participant, Denison Service Orientation program (2007)  click here for information about DSO
  • Member, HHMI-working group (2007)
  • Coordinator, 2006 Fall Faculty Conference on Academic Challenges & Expectations (jointly with members of the Faculty Development Committee)
  • Chair, Student Enrollment and Retention Committee (2005-2006)
  • Member, Ad hoc Advisory Committee on Diversity (2005-2006)
  • Co-secretary, Denison Chapter of Sigma Xi (2005-2006) (with G. Smith)
  • Coordinator, 2005 Fall Faculty Conference on Quantitative Reasoning (jointly with S. Davis & K. Mead)
  • Faculty participant, Denison Outdoor Orientation program (2005 & 2006)
  • Member, University Council (Spring 2005)
  • Member, Student Enrollment and Retention Committee (2004-2005)
  • Coordinator, Denison Scientific Association 2004-2005 Seminar Series (with G. Smith)
  • Member, Faculty Development Committee (Fall 2003-August 2006)
  • Secretary, Denison University Chapter of Sigma Xi (2002-2003 )
  • Faculty Advisor, Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) student organization (Fall 2003-present)
  • Biology Department representative for Anderson Scholarship Committee (2001-2004)
  • Faculty participant: June Orientation, June Orientation phone registration, & August Orientation (2002-present)
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Eva Revesz dr. Revesz, Eva Revesz

Dr.Revesz, Eva Revesz
Visiting Assistant Professor
Faculty  |  German, Modern Languages
Fellows Hall
B.A., Wayne State University; M.A., Ludwig-Maximilian-Universitat, Munchen; Ph.D., Cornell University
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Heather J. Rhodes dr. Rhodes, Heather Joy J. Rhodes

Heather J. Rhodes
Assistant Professor, Neurophysiologist
Faculty  |  Biology, Neuroscience
Samson Talbot Hall of Biological Science
519/ lab504
B.S., University of California, San Diego; Ph.D., Duke University

Academic Positions

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology at Denison University, January 2008 to present

Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Biology at Boston University, 2004-2007

Grass Fellow, Neuroscience at Marine Biological Laboritories at Woods Hole, 2006

Postdoctoral researcher, Department of Neurobiology at Duke University, 2004

Research Keywords: 
Research Overview: 
I’m interested in understanding the biological basis of social communication. I study how sensory stimuli and endocrine state affect social behaviors in the African clawed frog.
Research Details: 

I am interested in understanding how neural circuits produce perceptions and behaviors. In my current research I study the vocal circuit of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis). Xenopus produce rhythmic vocal patterns using a type of neural circuit called a central pattern generator (CPG). CPGs are neural circuits that are capable of generating a rhythmic output without any rhythmic input; they are essentially pacemakers. They are used to control a wide variety of rhythmic behaviors in other animals, such as walking, swimming, and breathing. CPG circuits can take many forms and we don't yet understand the structure or function of the Xenopus vocal CPG, but that's one of the goals of my research.

The CPG in the Xenopus vocal system is cool in a couple of ways. First, we can activate it in an isolated brain preparation to evoke rhythmic neural activity patterns called fictive vocalizations (like vocalizations without a voice). Being able to reproduce the neural patterns associated with vocalizations in an isolated brain allows us to physically and pharmacologically manipulate the neural circuit and see how it affects vocal production.

Second, the Xenopus vocal circuit is altered by hormones. Male and female frogs produce different calls, and by changing hormone exposure you can change the types of vocal rhythms the brain produces. For example, giving a female testosterone will cause her to produce male-like vocal patterns. I'd like to know more about how hormones alter the neural circuits to produce these effects.

I am also interested in understanding what cues naturally activate the vocal CPG to cause the animals to start calling. What external stimuli or internal hormonal cues trigger vocal behavior and how?

The techniques I use in my lab include electrophysiology (recording the electrical potentials produced by one or more active neurons in brain tissue), histology (examining anatomical features of neurons), immunocytochemistry (using antibodies find the locations of neurotransmitters and other chemicals in the brain), and behavioral studies (using automated underwater microphones to monitor frog vocal behavior).

If you are interested in my research, read the publications listed below and also look up papers by Ayako Yamaguchi (my former mentor) and Darcy Kelley both of whom also study the Xenopus vocal system.

  • Rhodes, H.J., Yu, H.J., Yamaguchi, A.. 2007. Xenopus vocalizations are controlled by a sexually differentiated hindbrain central pattern generator. J Neurosci. v. 27 no. 6 p. 1485-1497 View online.
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Doug Richeson Richeson, Douglas Joel Richeson

Doug Richeson
Studio Instructor (part-time)
Faculty  |  Music
Mulberry House

Mr. Richeson lives near Columbus, Ohio.  He freelances Nationally and Internationally as a musician and teacher of Classical, Jazz and Contemporary Music on his instruments, the String Bass and Electric Bass.  He has recorded on several recordings, performing on Electric and String Bass. Performing in a variety of venues with many jazz greats, to name a few: Tony Bennett, Ralph Sharon, Count Basie Orchestra with Tony Bennett, Phil Collins Big Band with Quincy Jones, Gene Bertoncini, Bucky Pizzarelli, Frank Vignola, Jimmy Heath, Jack Jones, Sammy Nestico with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Columbus Jazz Orchestra musical director Byron Stripling, Newark - Granville Symphony Orchestra with Musical Director Tim Weiss and many more.  Mr. Richeson was the Bass Instructor at Capital University, Conservatory of Music 1987-93.  Summer of 1999 and 2006 he was the Guest Jazz Bass Clinician at the American School of Double Bass.  He is currently teaching Classical and Jazz Bass at Denison University, School of Music.

Mr. Richeson in May of 1993 through July 1997 was the Bassist with the “Tony Bennett” organization.  Touring three hundred days a year in the States and Internationally.  Recording on three CD’s, “Steppin Out”, “M.T.V. Unplugged” and “Here’s to the Ladies.”  All were Grammy award winning recordings with Album of the year for “M.T.V. Unplugged.”  Douglas has also recorded on “The Ralph Sharon Trio Swings the Sammy Cahn Songbook” with guest artist Gerry Mulligan, “Portrait of Harold” the Harold Arlen Songbook and “The Ralph Sharon Trio plays the Harry Warren Songbook.”  Douglas has also recorded for Movie and Television sound tracks and has performed several times at the White House for the President of the United States.

After leaving Tony Bennett in July 1997, Douglas has continued to perform and record with great musicians.  The summers of 1996 and 1998, Mr. Richeson was on tour with the “Phil Collins Big Band” with guest vocalist Oleta Adams, saxophonists Gerald Albright, James Carter and pianist George Duke.  The twenty piece jazz big band toured the United States and Europe.  A live recording was made and released on the Atlantic label, “A Hot Night in Paris.”  Douglas performs on string bass and electric bass for that tour.  The most recent recording is “February’s Promise” by local pianist Mark Flugge. You can often hear Douglas performing in Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland, Ohio.  You can hear and see Douglas perform on with many of these artists.

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Seth Rogers ’03 Rogers, Seth Adam Rogers ’3

Seth Rogers '3
Instructor / Gamelan Ensemble and Latin Percussion Instructor
Faculty  |  Music
Burton Hall

Originally from Cleveland, drummer Seth Rogers is now based in Columbus, OH. He actively performs around the Midwest in many genres and is best known as a jazz drummer. A member of the music faculty at Denison University in Granville, OH, Seth teaches Applied Percussion, Music Theory, directs the Latin Percussion Ensemble and the Balinese Gamelan Dwara Udyani. Seth holds degrees in Music, Economics, and Jazz Studies respectively from Denison University and Youngstown State University.

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Laura Allison Romano dr. Romano, Laura Allison Allison Romano

Laura Allison Romano
Associate Professor, Evolutionary Developmental Biologist
Faculty  |  Biology
Samson Talbot Hall of Biological Science
303 / Lab 402
B.S., College of William and Mary; Ph.D., University of Arizona

The favorite part of my job is teaching, whether as a mentor, academic advisor, or course instructor. I particularly enjoy the constant flow of students in and out of my office as they stop by for advice on a range of issues, both academic and personal. Consistent with this, I am eager to participate in activities that afford me the opportunity for extensive interactions with students (such as maintaining a team of research assistants to work in my lab, or mentoring a group supported by the Posse Foundation). In addition, I volunteer for committees that are most related to their needs (including the Committee on Residential Life, and the Student Enrollment and Retention Committee). While helping students, I try to demonstrate how they can make their own contributions to the campus community and beyond. For example, I frequently ask students in my classes to apply what they have learned in ways that might benefit society (such as proposing a way to overcome climate change in BIOL 150, designing a genetically engineered organism to feed a large population in BIOL 201, or developing a new contraceptive in BIOL 324). I also incorporate “service learning” projects into my upper level courses, and I recruit students to serve as mentors in local events (such as the annual Science Fair at The Works, for which I serve as a Judge, and the “Science, It’s Elementary!” program at Granville Elementary School, for which I serve as Chair). I hope that my efforts, besides serving to inspire and educate, also fosters unlimited compassion for others, in keeping with the mission of Denison.

Research Keywords: 
Evolutionary Developmental Biologist
Research Overview: 
Evolution of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying embryonic development using the sea urchin as a model system.
Research Details: 

Transcription is regulated by non-coding sequences known as cis-regulatory elements that are usually located upstream of the protein-coding sequence, but may be located downstream of the protein-coding sequence or even within an intron. Proteins known as transcription factors interact with these cis-regulatory elements to specify the level, timing, and spatial expression of genes. Changes in the sequence of cis-regulatory elements, or the activity of transcription factors that interact with them, can have functional consequences during development. In fact, such changes are hypothesized to be the primary basis for differences in the anatomy, physiology, and behavior of organisms (including disease susceptibility in humans).

My research utilizes the sea urchin as a model system to explore the functional consequence of changes in genes and their cis-regulatory elements with regard to protein-binding affinity, patterns of gene expression in the embryo, and/or phenotype. Most recently, my lab has focused on the extent to which there is variation in the cis-regulatory region of SM50in the "purple urchin" and several closely related species. This gene is essential for development of the larval skeleton and its transcriptional regulation has already been characterized to a considerable extent.  We are now extending our study to additional genes as well as more distantly related species such as the "pencil urchin" in an attempt to identify the molecular basis of differences in the origin and behavior of skeleton-forming cells during development.

Many undergraduate students have worked in my laboratory including Michelle Clark ('13), Efua Thompson ('13), Kayla Ako-Asare ('12), Emily Miller ('12), Saira Tekelenburg ('12), Donyea Moore ('11), Kelsey Wehrenberg ('10), Cecilia Murch ('09), Sadie Orlowski ('09), Ashley Dunkle ('08), Katie Merva ('08), Kyle Thaman ('08), Elaine Binkley ('07), Jenna Walters ('07), Laura Cannon ('05), and Nik Kiehl ('05). They have been supported by the Anderson Endowment, the Bowen Endowment, the Laura C. Harris Fund, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Office of Provost, and the NIH.


Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Clark, M., Thompson, E., and Romano, L.A. (2012) A novel approach to deliver morpholino oligonucleotides into sea urchin eggs through an endocytosis-mediated mechanism.  Manuscript in prep.
  • Ako-Asare, K., Clark, M., Miller, E., Moore, D., Tekelenburg, S., Thompson, E., Erkenbrack, E., and Romano, L.A. (2012) Characterization of eight late regulatory genes that control formation of the larval skeleton in the primitive pencil urchin, Eucidaris tribuloides. Manuscript in prep.
  • Walters, J.L., Binkley, E.M., Haygood, R. and Romano, L.A. (2008) Evolutionary analysis of the cis-regulatory region of SM50 in strongylocentrotid sea urchins. Developmental Biology 315, 567-578.
  • Romano, L.A. and Wray, G.A. (2006) Endo16 is required for gastrulation in the sea urchin Lytechinus variegatus. Development Growth and Differentiation 48, 487 – 497.
  • Romano, L.A., and Wray, G.A. (2003) Conservation of endo16 expression in sea urchins despite evolutionary divergence in both cis and trans-acting components of transcriptional regulation. Development 130, 4187 – 4199.
  • Wray, G.A., Hahn, M., Abouheif, E., Balhoff, J., Pizer, M., Rockman, M.V., and Romano, L.A. (2003) Evolution of eukaryotic transcription. Molecular Biology and Evolution 20, 1377 – 1419.
  • Romano, L.A., and Runyan, R.B. (2000) Slug is an essential target of TGFβ2 signaling in the developing chicken heart. Developmental Biology 223, 91 – 102.
  • Romano, L.A., and Runyan, R.B. (1999) Slug is a mediator of epithelial-mesenchymal cell transformation in the developing chicken heart. Developmental Biology. 212, 243 – 254.
  • Runyan, R.B., Wendler, C.C., Romano, L.A., Boyer, A.S., Dagle, J.M., and Weeks, D.L. (1999) Utilization of antisense oligodeoxynucleotides with embryonic tissues in culture. Methods, 18(3), 316 – 321.
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Rebecca Rosenberg dr. Rosenberg, Rebecca D. Rosenberg

Rebecca Rosenberg
Assistant Professor
Faculty  |  Psychology
Blair Knapp Hall
B.A., Brown University; M.A., Ph.D., Harvard University

Dr. Rosenberg, a developmental psychologist, joined the Denison faculty in 2011 after having completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Her research focuses on infant cognitive development, with an emphasis on infants’ object and number representations, and the flexibility and limitations of infants’ working memory. Dr. Rosenberg currently teaches Introductory Psychology as well as lecture and research courses in Infant and Child Development, and is the Director of Denison’s brand new Infant and Child Cognition Lab.

Research Keywords: 
Infant Cognitive Development with a focus on working memory, numerical reasoning, and object knoweldge
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Steven Rosenberg Rosenberg, Steven Rosenberg

Steven Rosenberg
Studio Instructor (part-time)
Faculty  |  Music
Burton Hall
B.M., Oberlin College

Steve Rosenberg is Instructor of Oboe and Chamber Music at Denison University, a position he has held since 1983. He currently performs with the Central Ohio Symphony and Newark Granville Symphony Orchestra, and is a member of the Rococoa Wind Quintet. For ten years he was a member of Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus. He has performed with the Columbus Symphony, Opera Columbus Orchestra, BalletMet Orchestra, and Broadway Series, among others. An active free lance musician and chamber music player, he performed the Mozart Oboe Quartet with the renowned Jacque Thibaud String Trio and the world premiere of Petite Suite for Oboe and Bassoon by James Geiger at Denison University. He played with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra in the award-winning Marquis Classics recording of works by Pulitzer Prize winning composer William Bolcolm. While in high school Steve was a student of Jerome Roth of the New York Philharmonic. He attended Oberlin College, where he studied oboe with James Caldwell and received a degree in Music and Psychology. He currently serves as Orchestra Manager of the Lancaster Festival in Ohio.

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Sarah A. Rundell dr. Rundell, Sarah Crown A. Rundell

Sarah A. Rundell
Associate Professor
Faculty  |  Computer Science, Mathematics
F.W. Olin Science Hall
A.B., Bryn Mawr College; Ph.D., University of Michigan

Sarah Rundell grew up in the Boston area, and she did her undergraduate work at Bryn Mawr College, where she earned an A.B. in Mathematics.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor under the direction of Phil Hanlon, and she joined the Denison faculty in 2007.  Dr. Rundell enjoys teaching a variety of math courses, including Calculus, Combinatorics, Introduction to Proofs, Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, Abstract Algebra, and Operations Research.  She is also the faculty advisor to the department's student chapter of the Association of Women in Mathematics.  Her community service includes being involved with the Elizabeth Ministry at her parish as well as being a sponsor for the RCIA process.  Dr. Rundell also enjoys watching Michigan and Patriots football games, running, cooking, and reading, and she is interested in Ignatian spirituality.

Research Details: 

Combinatorics is a field of mathematics that deals with the study of discrete structures.  At Denison, I teach a course in enumerative combinatorics that covers different methods for counting certain discrete structures, and I am interested in directing student research projects in this field.  My research interests lie in algebraic and topological combinatorics, which means that I use algebraic and topological tools to study discrete structures.  Recently, I have been interested in the coloring complex and the relationships between the topology of the coloring complex and the chromatic polynomial of the underlying graph, hypergraph, or signed graph.


Selected publications:

  • Hyperoctahedral Eulerian idempotents, Hodge decompositions, and signed graph coloring complexes (with B. Braun), submitted to the Electronic Journal of Combinatorics, 2013
  • Asymmetric 2-colorings of planar graphs in S^3 and S^2 (with E. Flapan and M. Wyse), submitted to the Journal of Graph Theory, 2013
  • The coloring complex and cyclic coloring complex of a complete k-uniform hypergraph, Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series A. 119. no. 5: 1095-1109, 2012
  • The Hodge structure of the coloring complex of a hypergraph (with J. Long), Discrete Mathematics 311 no. 20: 2164-2173, 2011
  • The homology of the cyclic coloring complex of a simple graph, Journal of Combinatorial Theory, Series A, 116, no. 3: 595-612, 2009
Student Collaborations: 

Selected student research projects:

  • Nathaniel Kell, Investigation of Coloring Complexes in Hypergraphs, Summer 2012.
  • Mary Kimberly and Beidi Qiang, A Combinatorial Interpretation of a Kostka Matrix Identity, Summer 2010.
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Sandy Runzo dr. Runzo, Sandra R. Runzo

Sandy Runzo
Associate Professor & Chair (English), Director of (Queer Studies)
Faculty  |  English, Queer Studies, Women's and Gender Studies
Barney-Davis Hall
B.A., West Virginia University; M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University

Sandy Runzo has been teaching at Denison since 1986.  With a Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington, she teaches courses in American literature and culture, women writers, and modern and contemporary poetry and fiction. She has published essays on American women poets in American Literature, ESQ: Journal of the American Renaissance, The Emily Dickinson Journal, Genders, and Women’s Studies, and is working on a study of Emily Dickinson and 19th-century American popular culture.  She has been a member of the editorial collective of the journal Feminist Teacher since 1984.  She served as Department Chair from 2002 to 2007. 

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Laura Russell Russell, Laura D. Russell

Laura Russell
Assistant Professor
Faculty  |  Communication
Higley Hall
B.A., Wittenberg University; M.A., University of Dayton; Ph.D., Ohio University

Drawn to issues concerning individual and collective well-being, Dr. Laura Russell’s interests center on understanding the communication of personal and relational health. As a phenomenologist at heart guided by theories of narrative and dialogue, she observes, participates in, and examines processes of human recovery in an array of contexts. In her recent work, she has investigated how self-proclaimed workaholics support one another and construct new understandings for what it means to live “well.” Inspired by this study, she currently explores ethical questions concerning the social politics of health and human worth. Her recent publications appear in Health Communication, Qualitative Inquiry, and Communication Theory.

Dr. Russell’s interests in well-being transpire through both her teaching and community service involvements. The courses she designs, such as Narrative Ethics, Communicating Kindness, and “Ill”usions of Wellness, invite students to reflect deeply on how they make sense of their well-being through relationships with others. Moreover, she encourages students to question the value of human life — how individuals construct meaning for their personal worth.

For the campus community, Dr. Russell is a member of the Eating Disorder Intervention Team (EDIT), a group that offers supportive outreach to students. She also serves as a Restorative Justice facilitator, collaborating with others through dialogue on resolving campus issues. Beyond the campus, she volunteers in collaboration with Behavioral Health Partners (BHP) in Newark, while serving as a “Big” for Big Brothers Big Sisters.

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Rob Russo Russo, Robert S. Russo

Rob Russo
Assistant Professor, Head Men's Soccer Coach
Faculty, Staff  |  Physical Education, Big Red Athletics
Mitchell Recreation and Athletics Center
B.S., Wilmington College; M.A., Miami University

Rob Russo has served as the head men’s soccer coach at Denison since 1999. Since his arrival in Granville Russo has guided the men's soccer team multiple North Coast Athletic Conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. to 148 victories, three North Coast Athletic Conference Championships and three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances.

Russo's 2003 squad posted a program-best 18-3 record and a share of the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship. Denison began the year with a school record 13 consecutive victories and was ranked as high as No. 2 in the NSCAA/Adidas Division III men’s soccer national poll. The Big Red qualified for the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in school history and the first time since 1983.  He was also named the NSCAA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.

Russo, who is certified by the United States Soccer Federation with an "A" license, holds a bachelor's degree in physical education (1977) from Wilmington College, where he also played varsity soccer. Russo continued his education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, earning a master's degree in health and physical education (1979). While at Miami, Russo served as both assistant and head coach of the Redhawks' men's soccer team. Most recently, he was the men's soccer coach at the State University of New York - College at Oneonta from 1995 through 1998.

Russo began his coaching career in 1978 at Miami University of Ohio as an assistant on the men's soccer staff. In 1980, he was named head coach of the program as well as serving as a physical education instructor during his time at Miami. Following his four-year stint in Oxford, Russo moved on to coach the men's soccer team at Gannon University in Erie, Pa. During his nine years at Gannon, Russo's teams appeared in the NCAA Division II tournament six times. He was named the Western Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Soccer Conference's Coach of the Year three times (1983, '84 and '85), Mid-Atlantic Regional Coach of the Year and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National Coach of the Year. In January of 2010, Russo was inducted into the Gannon University Hall of Fame where he remains the program's all-time leader in coaching victories.

In the fall of 1991, Russo took the head coaching position at the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg. During his four seasons in Spartanburg, Russo's teams advanced to the NCAA Division II tournament each year. In 1992, he was named the NSCAA South Regional Coach of the Year. He earned Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year recognition in both 1992 and 1994. Russo also served as a physical education instructor. He was president of the Western Pennsylvania Intercollegiate Soccer Conference in 1983.

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