Faculty & Staff

Endowed Chairs

Amitrajeet Batabyal
Arthur J. Gosnell Professor in Economics

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The Gosnell Professor of Economics teaches upper division courses in Benefit-Cost Analysis, Intermediate Microeconomics, and International Trade and Finance. Second, he conducts original research in applied microeconomic theory with an emphasis on natural resources and the environment. He has published over 400 books, book chapters, journal articles, and book reviews in various fields in economics and in ecology, mathematics, operations research, and political science (http://people.rit.edu/aabgsh/). Third, he sponsors the Gosnell Lecture Series (http://www.rit.edu/cla/economics/gosnell.php) that brings prominent researchers to RIT to deliver general purpose lectures to the RIT community. Finally, he frequently presents his research to audiences in universities and in conferences all over the world.

Benjamin Lawrance
Barber B. Conable, Jr. Endowed Chair in International Studies

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The Conable Chair in International Studies honors the late Rochester-area politician and diplomat, the Hon. Barber B. Conable, Jr., who served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1964-1984) and as president of the World Bank (1986-1991). The Conable Chair was made possible with a generous starting gift from the Starr Foundation.

The inaugural occupant of the Conable Chair is Benjamin N. Lawrance.

My research is situated at the dynamic interdisciplinary intersection of history, anthropology, and sociology, and focuses on international mobilities, including migration, smuggling, trafficking, and refugee movements. Over the past several years I have explored historical and contemporary slavery and human trafficking, the conditions of statelessness and deprivation of citizenship by refugees and asylum seekers, and the processes of asylum adjudication. My recent book, Amistad’s Orphans (Yale UP), examines the lives of six African children transported back and forth across the Atlantic, from Sierra Leone, via Cuba, the US, and back to Africa. My current research investigates how the lived experiences of refugees – as they navigate the asylum processes of industrialized countries and struggle to document and substantiate their traumatic narratives – influence, inform, or imperil the legitimacy of their refugee claims.

I have recently completed an edited collection documenting the experiences of "forced marriage" survivors in historical and contemporary Africa (with Richard Roberts and Annie Bunting). A second anthology almost complete explores struggles throughout the globe with citizenship documentation and nationality evidence (with Jackie Stevens). My research has been supported by awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and by fellowships from Yale University, Harvard University, the University of Notre Dame, and the Rotary Foundation. In 2009, I was an inaugural University of California President's Fellow in the Humanities.

Aside from my scholarship, I also serve regularly as a legal consultant, particularly for matters concerning contemporary Africa. I have served as an expert witness in over two hundred and fifty asylum claims of Africans in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia, Italy, Austria, South Korea, and Israel. I particularly enjoy working pro bono with law school clinics and non-profits. My expert opinions have featured in U.S. appeal courts decision and rulings from the Queen's Bench in the U.K.

As the Conable Chair, I support several annual programs, including, the Conable Global Film Series; the Conable Distinguished Lecture Series; the Conable Career Development Seminar; and the Conable Conference in International Studies.

Wade Robison
Ezra A. Hale Professor in Applied Ethics

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The Hale Chair in Applied Ethics is devoted to research and teaching within and about the professional disciplines. The Chair sponsors the Hale Ethics Series and conferences throughout the academic year as well as providing helpful material on ethics, including books, videos, and links on various aspects of ethics.

Jonathan Schroeder
William A. Kern Professor in Communications

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Jonathan Schroeder is the William A. Kern Professor of Communications at Rochester Institute of Technology. He joins RIT from the University of Exeter in England, where he was Chair in Marketing and Director of Research for the Department of Management. His BA (Psychology) is from the University of Michigan and his MA and PhD (Social Psychology) is from the University of California, Berkeley, and he did postdoctoral work at Rhode Island School of Design. He has held visiting appointments at Wesleyan University (Center for the Humanities), Göteborg University, Sweden (Centre for Consumer Science), University of Auckland, New Zealand (Centre for Digital Enterprise), Bocconi University in Milan (Program in Fashion, Experience, and Design), and Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Schroeder has published widely on branding, communication, consumer research, and identity. His current research involves four intersecting areas: aesthetic leadership, branding, ethics of representation and visual communication. He is the author of Visual Consumption (Routledge, 2002) and co-editor of Brand Culture (Routledge, 2006). He is editor in chief of Consumption Markets & Culture, and serves on the editorial boards of Advertising and Society Review, Critical Studies in Fashion and Beauty, European Journal of Marketing, Innovative Marketing, International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Journal of Macromarketing, and Marketing Theory.

Visit The William A. Kern Professorship in Communications Website


Cassandra Shellman
Administrative Assistant to Endowed Chairs

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Cass has been employed at RIT for 23 years holding various positions all within the College of Liberal Arts. For the past eleven years she has served as the Administrative Assistant to the CLA Endowed Chairs. Since being employed at RIT she has earned a B.S. in Applied Arts & Sciences and an M.S. in Human Resource Development. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Autism Council of Rochester.