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585.475.7120 (fax)

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Building 6, Suite 2210
585.475.7166 (fax)

College of Liberal Arts
Rochester Institute of Technology
92 Lomb Memorial Dr.
Rochester, NY 14623

James J. Winebreak James J. Winebrake Dean 585.475.2447
Ann Howard Ann Howard Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Science, Technology & Society/Public Policy 585.475.5104
Babak Elahi Babak Elahi Associate Dean, Associate Professor of English 585.475.5235
Israel Brown Israel Brown Budget Officer 585.475.7352
Marsha Johnson Marsha Johnson Assistant to the Dean 585.475.2076
Barbara Bangs Barbara Bangs Director of Development 585.475.2638
Josephine Bonds Josephine Bonds Senior Staff Assistant 585.475.2929
Talya Meyerowitz Talya Meyerowitz Assoc Director of Alumni Relations
Vanessa Davis Vanessa Davis Senior Staff Assistant 585.475.7206
Charles J Hall Charles J Hall PC Systems Administrator 585.475.2419
John Smithgall John Smithgall Assistant Dean and Director for Student Services 585.475.2440
Marcia Beattie Marcia Beattie Sr. Academic Advisor 585.475.5855
Rachel Scott Rachel Scott Assistant Director of Student Services 585.475.5611
Deborah Copenhagen Deborah Copenhagen Receptionist 585.475.2444
Pat Sanborn Pat Sanborn Sr. Exploration Advisor 585.475.7820
Tammi Wiley Wickson Tammi Wiley Wickson Academic Advisor 585.475.5267
Kristen Roach Kristen Roach Academic Advisor 585.475.7395
Lawrence Contéro Lawrence Contéro Academic Advisor 585.475.5484
Sheila Oakden Sheila Oakden Academic Advisor 585.475.5392
Amy Lyman Amy Lyman Recruiting and Marketing 585.475.4137
Amy Lyman Holly Stiner Sr. Staff Assistant 585.475.6837
Holly Rollins Holly Rollins Sr. Scheduling Assistant 585.475.2448
Benjamin N. Lawrance Barber B. Conable, Jr. Endowed Chair in International Studies

Held by:
Benjamin N. Lawrance

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Benjamin N. Lawrance holds the Barber B. Conable Jr. Endowed Chair in International Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. A graduate of Stanford University and University College London, his research interests include comparative and contemporary slavery, child trafficking, cuisine and globalization, human rights, and asylum.

Professor Lawrance is currently writing a history of West African child trafficking spanning the 19th and 20th centuries. He has published three books, and a fourth, on historical and contemporary trafficking in women and children in Africa, is shortly forthcoming with Ohio University Press. His essays appear in the Seattle Journal of Social Justice, the International Labor and Working Class History,Food & Foodways, the Journal of African History, African Economic History, Anthropological Quarterly, Cahiers d'Études Africaines, and the African Studies Review, among others.

Professor Lawrance is a legal consultant on the contemporary political, social and cultural climate in West Africa. He has served as an expert witness for over one hundred and thirty asylum claims of West Africans in the U.S., Canada, the U.K, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Israel, and his opinions have featured in appellate rulings in the U.S. and the U.K.

Professor Lawrance is the recipient of several national and international awards, including a 2011-12 faculty development fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and fellowships at Yale, Harvard, the University of Notre Dame, the Rotary Foundation, and the inaugural University of California President's Fellowship in the Humanities.

Dr. Mary Lynn Broe Caroline Werner Gannett Professor in Humanities

Held by:
Dr. Mary Lynn Broe

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Mary Lynn Broe, Caroline Werner Gannett Professor of Humanities, founded and directs the award-winning Gannett Project's "Visionaries in Motion" series, dedicated to exploring new intersections of sciences, technologies, humanities and social sciences. See for current and past speakers, events and activities.

Broe has published five books: Protean Poetic: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath (U. Missouri, 1980); edited Women's Writing in Exile (U North Carolina, 1989); Silence and Power: A Reevaluation of Djuna Barnes (Southern Illinois University, 1991); and two collections of letters by American expatriate women, Black Walking: Selected Letters of Djuna Barnes to Emily Holmes Coleman, 1934-38, published by Wagenbach (Im Dunkeln Gehn, Berlin, 2002) and by Archinto (Camminare nel Buio, Milan, 2004).

Her poetry is published in journals such as Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Nebula, Janus Head, disClosure, as well as in several anthologies. She delivers international presentations each year, most recently at the triennial EACLALS Conference in Istanbul, Turkey (May, 2011).

Mary Lynn Broe received a classical A.B. degree from St. Louis University, an M.A. and a Ph.D. from University of Connecticut. She has taught at Notre Dame University, Binghamton University, and held the inaugural Louise Rosenfield Noun endowed chair at Grinnell College (1986-2002)

Her interests range widely across modern and contemporary culture, including revisions of modernism, contemporary poetry and poetics, feminist theory, life-writing and select diasporic literatures. Courses include "Truth and Consequences: Studies in Disciplinary Evidence" and a student-directed interview course, "Visionaries in Motion" for The Gannett Project, as well as "Maps, Spaces and Places" and "Auto/Biography" in the College of Liberal Arts.

Broe has been awarded grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Ford Foundation (co-participant) and the Getty Museum. She was also awarded a residency at The Rockefeller Center’s Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy. Her website ( details additional achievements, publications and papers.

Dr. Amit Batabyal Arthur J. Gosnell Professor in Economics

Held by:
Dr. Amit Batabyal

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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 ( Third, he sponsors the Gosnell Lecture Series ( 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.

Dr. Wade Robison Ezra A. Hale Professor in Applied Ethics

Held by:
Dr. Wade Robison

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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.

Dr. Jonathan Schroeder William A. Kern Professor in Communications

Held by:
Dr. Jonathan Schroeder

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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.

Cassandra Shellman Administrative Assistant to Endowed Chairs

Held by:
Cassandra Shellman
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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.

In its "Strategic Plan" from 2008, College of Liberal Arts describes Shared Governance as follows:

"The College faculty and administration will work within the proposed guidelines and definition of shared governance to allow all levels of faculty to provide input into college decisions and to foster a sense of collegiality."

The governance bodies of the College include committees on curriculum, tenure and promotion, and all other areas teaching, learning, research, and advising.

For faculty and staff, visit the COLA Shared Governance page on myCourses

Dean's Advisory Board

The Dean's Advisory Board of RIT College of Liberal Arts (the College) serves in a volunteer advisory capacity to support the vision and mission of Rochester Institute of Technology in education, research, and service. This group serves at the pleasure of the Dean of the College, and its membership is comprised of business, community, and alumni/ae leaders. The Advisory Board provides the Dean independent, external perspectives on various College programs, initiatives, and strategic direction. Advisory Board members also provide leadership in philanthropic events and activities for the College, and serve as ambassadors in the community. Advisory Board members are advocates of the University and are integral to the success of programs and projects through work on development, appeals, and events.

2012 Board Members:

Mr. John S Parke, Chair

John Parke, Chair of the College’s Advisory Board, is retired after a career in marketing and sales with Procter & Gamble, Ralston Purina, Bausch + Lomb and the PPI Marketing Group where he was the founding Partner. In addition to his long standing interest in the College and RIT, he has served as Chair of its Nathaniel Rochester Society, he is on the Board of the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery and is Past Vice President of the Genesee Valley Club. A graduate of Dartmouth College, John also holds an MBA from its Amos Tuck School of Business Administration.

Dr. Tony Bannon

Ms. Susanne Carpenter

Susanne Carpenter is an alumnus of RIT. She has served on the Advisory Board for several years. Her continued interest in COLA is due to the college’s strong commitment to improving student & faculty excellence and the desire to build stronger relationships in the community. Giving back to the community is important to Susanne. Her past board experiences and affiliations include the Big Brother Big Sister Organization, Pirate Toy Fund, Oatka Residential Center, African-American Leadership Development Program (AALDP), and Habitat for Humanity. Susanne is employed by Wegmans Food Markets where she is a Human Resources Staffing Specialist.

Ms. Nancy Fiedler

Nancy Fiedler worked for the Eastman Kodak Company for 20 years where she held a number of positions in information technology, market research, human resource development and corporate recruitment. She played an active role in the transition from large mainframe computers to a distributed approach to information technology always with a focus on process improvement. Since leaving Kodak, Nancy has done independent statistical consulting and has volunteered with a number of community organizations. She is currently a board member for The Center for Youth and serves on the Development Committee. As a graduate of the RIT College of Liberal Arts, Nancy welcomes the opportunity to use both her academic and professional background in process work to enhance the learning opportunities within the college. Nancy holds a B.S. in Economics and an M.S. in Statistics from RIT.

Mr. Robert Lowenthal

Robert Lowenthal is Senior Vice President of Commercial Services at Canandaigua National Bank and Trust Company in Canandaigua, New York, where he is responsible for business development and management of new and existing commercial lending and depository relationships. With more than 35 years of commercial bank experience, he participates in approval of loans, staff mentoring and training, and strategic planning. Prior to joining CNB, Bob worked at Citibank (New York State) NA, Bankers Trust Company of Western New York and KeyBank, NA in Rochester. Bob's clientele consist of small to medium sized, service, retail, real estate, agricultural and manufacturing businesses located in Western New York. Bob is a graduate of the University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee with a degree in Economics and extensive study in Mathematics and Literature. Bob's interest in liberal arts, primarily literature, began at an early age and blossomed at Sewanee, where he was fortunate to attend lectures by Andrew Lytle, Allen Tate and other Southern poets and prose writers.

Mr. Daniel C. T. Ruchman

John Parke, Chair of the College’s Advisory Board, is retired after a career in marketing and sales with Procter & Gamble, Ralston Purina, Bausch + Lomb and the PPI Marketing Group where he was the founding Partner. In addition to his long standing interest in the College and RIT, he has served as Chair of its Nathaniel Rochester Society, he is on the Board of the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery and is Past Vice President of the Genesee Valley Club. A graduate of Dartmouth College, John also holds an MBA from its Amos Tuck School of Business Administration.

Mr. Barry Strauber

Barry Strauber is Director of Agency Services at Martino Flynn advertising in Pittsford, New York, where he plays a unique role in fostering collaboration among departments and focusing on process improvements. He also plays a key role in staff development, recruiting talent, staff training, and leading the internship program. Barry is a 30-year veteran of the advertising agency industry, and he is excited about opportunities to integrate new technologies with liberal arts disciplines in order to expand student learning and success. Prior to joining Martino Flynn, Barry worked at Young & Rubicam and Saatchi & Saatchi, Della Femina and Vicom/FCB in New York City. Barry’s client experience includes Eastman Kodak, Citibank, Bausch & Lomb, Constellation Wines US, Delaware North Companies, Lactalis American Group Inc, UPS, Thule, Wegmans, Excellus/Univera, Shared Health, Friendship Dairy, and Nissan Motor Corporation. Barry holds a degree in television/radio advertising from Syracuse University.

Mr. Hiram W. Taylor Jr., Student Representative

Mr. David Whitaker

David J. Whitaker is a retired financial services executive having served in senior management positions at Security Trust Company, Essex Investment Group, McDonald Investments and KeyCorp. His expertise is in marketing, business development, property management and securities compliance. Whitaker has served on numerous community for-profit (Matrix Unlimited, Bearium Metals, Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad) and not-for profit (Al Sigl Center, Rochester Friendly Home, Valley Manor, Kirkhaven, Medical Motor Service, Family Service of Rochester, Sonnenberg Gardens, Otetiana Council, Easter Seals, Salvation Army, United Way, Landmark Society of Western New York, Historic Brighton and Brighton Historic Preservation Commission) boards. He recently served as Interim Executive Director of The Landmark Society for eight months. Whitaker's involvement in RIT includes Co-chair of the NRS membership committee (NRS was founded by his father, Gaylord [Gee] Whitaker) and serving on the NRS Awards Committee. He attended Union College where he majored in Psychology and English. Whitaker and his wife Stephanie, also a member of the RIT/COLA Advisory Board, are life-long residents of Rochester and have two sons and six grandchildren, all living in the Rochester area.

Ms. Stephanie Whitaker

Stephanie S. Whitaker is managing partner of Whitaker & DePrez Travel Partners LLC, a member of the exclusive Virturoso group of travel agencies. She has had 45 years of experience in the travel industry. She supervises development, training, seminars, marketing and consumer events, as well as her private clients. Stephanie had been a member of the Junior League of Rochester, Women's Council of the Memorial Art Gallery, the Geva Theatre board, and the St. Joseph's Villa board. She is also the foundation secretary at Sonnenberg's Arts At The Garden fine arts show and author of the RPO Women's Committee's newsletter. Stephanie holds a BA degree in English from Hollins University. She is a strong believer in a liberal arts education. Stephanie's involvement at RIT includes Co-chair of the NRS membership committee and service on the NRS Awards Committee as well as being a current member of the RIT/COLA Advisory Committee.

Welcome to the Liberal Arts Reading Room -- a selection of recent books by Liberal Arts faculty. This selection will continue to be updated and reflects the high level and diversity of faculty scholarship in the college.

Naturally Woman: The Search for Self in Black Canadian Women's Literature Sharon Morgan Beckford Purchase on Amazon »
Looking Within: A Sociocultural Examination of Fetoscopy Deborah Blizzard Purchase on Amazon »
You've Got To Be Kidding!: How Jokes Can Help You Think John Capps Purchase on Amazon »
The Water Cooler Effect: A Psychologist Explores the Extraordinary Power of Rumors Nicholas DiFonzo Purchase on Amazon »
The Fabric of American Literary Realism Babak Elahi Purchase on Amazon »
Snake's Daughter Gail Gilberg Purchase on Amazon »
Outposts of Civilization: Race, Religion, and the Formative Years of American-Japanese Relations Joseph Henning Purchase on Amazon »
Outsourcing America: The True Cost of Shipping Jobs Overseas and What Can Be Done About It Ron Hira Purchase on Amazon »
More Daring Escapes Steven Huff Purchase on Amazon »
The Oyster Question: Scientists, Watermen, and the Maryland Chesapeake Bay since 1880 Christine Keiner Purchase on Amazon »
Cultures of Fear: A Critical Reader Uli Linke and Danielle Taana Smith Purchase on Amazon »
In The Neighborhood: The Search for Community on an American Street, One Sleepover at a Time Peter Lovenheim Purchase on Amazon »
Freedom's Prophet: Bishop Richard Allen, the AME Church, and the Black Founding Fathers Richard Newman Purchase on Amazon »
Road Ghosts John Roche Purchase on Amazon »
Religion and Popular Culture: Rescripting the Sacred Richard Santana Purchase on Amazon »
Criminalogical Theory: A brief Introduction Chris Schreck Purchase on Amazon »
Japanese and Continental Philosophy: Conversations with the Kyoto School Brian Schroeder Purchase on Amazon »
Visual Consumption Jonathan Schroeder Purchase on Amazon »
Engaging Agnes Heller: A Critical Companion Katie Terezakis Purchase on Amazon »
Processing and Producing Head-final Structures Hiroko Yamashita Purchase on Amazon »
Hands: Physical Labor, Class, and Cultural Work Janet Zandy Purchase on Amazon »