University News

2018 Tenured Professors

Provost's Office
March 9, 2018

1st Row: Ayana Hinton, Rachel Mitton-Fry, Hanada Al-Masri
2nd Row: Regina Martin, Jason Busic, Sam Cowling, Steve Olmschenk
Missing: Hollis Griffin

GRANVILLE, Ohio - Denison University’s Board of Trustees recently has awarded tenure to eight members of the faculty. Those who have been granted tenure and who will be promoted to associate professor in the fall of 2018 are Hanada Al-Masri, Jason Busic, Sam Cowling, Hollis Griffin, Ayana Hinton, Regina Martin, Rachel Mitton-Fry and Steven Olmschenk. “We are thrilled to welcome these outstanding teachers, excellent scholars, and engaged members of the Denison community to the ranks of our tenured professors,” said Denison Provost Kim Coplin. “These faculty are committed to deep knowledge of their disciplines, and to excellence in their pedagogy and mentoring of our students.”

Hanada Al-Masri joined Denison’s Department of Modern Languages in 2012. She earned her doctorate at Purdue University-IN, her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Jordan, Jordan. Al-Masri’s teaching at Denison includes all levels of Arabic language courses and cultures of the Arab world. Her research is the fields of applied linguistics and sociolinguistics, where she particularly researches translation theory and Arabic literary translation, language teaching and Arabic language pedagogy, discourse analysis, language attitudes and linguistic code switching in Arabic. She is the co-author of the Arabic textbook “Arabiyyat Al-Naas: An Intermediate Course in Arabic, Part II,” Routledge Press (2014). Al-Masri also is a certified ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Tester and a certified Rater of The ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL). In addition to her duties in Modern Languages, she serves on the advisory committees for the International Studies Program and Global Commerce.

Jason Busic joined the Department of Modern Languages in 2012 after teaching at St. Michael’s University, VT, for three years. Busic earned his doctorate from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University in 2009 with a concentration in Medieval and Early Modern Peninsular Studies and a secondary concentration in Colonial Studies. Prior to attending The Ohio State University, Busic completed his undergraduate work and a master’s degree in Spanish from Ohio University. His research focuses on the intersection between language, religion, and culture in the formation of identity, particularly in the medieval Mediterranean and early modern Iberia. His publications explore this theme in Christian-Muslim encounter and dialogue as communicated in catechism, apology, and the manuscript tradition of biblical translation from Latin into Arabic. Busic teaches at all levels of the Spanish curriculum including beginning and intermediate Spanish, introduction to literary analysis, and Peninsular culture surveys and seminars.

Sam Cowling joined Denison’s Department of Philosophy in 2013. He holds a bachelor’s from the University of Victoria; a master’s from the University of Manitoba; and a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Cowling’s research focuses on metaphysics and the philosophy of science. His book, “Abstract Entities” (Routledge, 2017), is a critical assessment of contemporary debates over the existence and nature of abstract entities like numbers, meanings and possibilities. In addition to his areas of research, Cowling teaches courses on logic, philosophy of language, and the history of analytic philosophy.

Hollis Griffin joined Denison’s Communication Department in 2012. Griffin’s research and teaching interests include the history and theory of media, critical theory, queer theory and issues related to affect and emotion. His book “Feeling Normal: Sexuality & Media Criticism in the Digital Age” was published by Indiana University Press in 2017. “Choice,” the magazine of the American Library Association, named it an “Outstanding Academic Title” for 2017, an honor bestowed upon the top 10 percent of academic titles published in a given year. The project was also awarded the Society for Cinema and Media Studies Dissertation Prize. His research can be found in venues like “Cinema Journal,” “Journal of Popular Film and Television, Quarterly Review of Film & Video, Popular Communication, Television and New Media,” “Velvet Light Trap,” “Spectator,” “JumpCut,” and “Media Res,” and the anthology “A Companion to Reality Television” (Wiley, 2014). He earned his doctorate at Northwestern University, his master’s degree at the University of Texas, and his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. He previously was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at Colby College.

Ayana Hinton joined Denison’s Biology Department in 2010. Her courses at Denison include Molecular Biology and Unicellular Life, Eukaryotic Cell Biology, General Microbiology and other courses in the biology department. Hinton received her bachelor’s from University of Michigan and her doctorate from the Wayne State University School of Medicine. Her research focuses on the role of acid pumps in cancer metastasis using human breast cancer cells as a model system and assembly of these pumps using S. cerevisiae as a model system. Hinton is interested in the way proteins interact and how those interactions play a role in promoting normal cellular function and how those interactions contribute to disease.

Regina Martin teaches and researches 19th- and 20th-century British literature and literary and cultural theory and her research interests in British literature have focused primarily on modernism, contemporary literature, economic criticism, and the history and theory of the novel. Martin’s articles on the novels of Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster, Charlotte Lennox, Jean Rhys, Samuel Richardson, H. G. Wells, and Edith Wharton have appeared in “PMLA,” “Criticism,” “Twentieth-Century Literature,” and “The Eighteenth-Century Novel.” She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled “Modernism and Finance Capital: British Literature, 1870-1940,” which interprets British modernism as a historical moment of financial crisis very much like our own. In addition, she has begun work on her next book project, tentatively entitled “Literature and Professional Society,” which is a study of the rise of the professional classes in Britain during the twentieth century and their influence on that century’s literature. Martin earned a bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Oklahoma and a doctorate from the University of Florida. After completing a post-doc at The Georgia Institute of Technology, she joined the English department at Denison in the fall of 2012.

Rachel Mitton-Fry joined Denison’s Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in 2011, following a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship at Yale University. She received her bachelor’s from Carleton College and her doctorate from the University of Colorado at Boulder. At Denison, she teaches courses in general chemistry, intermediate biochemistry, and advanced topics in nucleic acid research. Her research interests include structure-function relationships in non-coding RNA elements. Current work in the Mitton-Fry laboratory focuses on RNA thermometers, RNA elements that affect gene expression levels in response to temperature variation. Mitton-Fry has a strong commitment to working with undergraduates on this research, both in the summer and throughout the academic year. Her research has been supported by a grant from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

Steven Olmschenk arrived at Denison in 2012, following postdoctoral research in the Laser Cooling group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. At Denison, he teaches at all levels in the physics curriculum and has a strong commitment to undergraduate research. His field of research is in experimental atomic physics and quantum information. In particular, Olmschenk is interested in using light to control individual atoms, and to use this control to store, process, and transmit information. This is being pursued at Denison using trapped atomic ions, laser-cooled to near absolute zero (less than -459 °F). His research has been supported by grants from the Army Research Office and Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Olmschenk received his bachelor’s from the University of Chicago and doctorate from the University of Michigan.

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