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A&L Welcomes New Faculty


Old Dominion University will welcome many new faculty to the College of Arts and Letter this fall.


Department of Art


Cherilyn Colbert

Education/any previous experience: BA, English and Creative Writing, Roanoke College, 1999; MFA in Graphic Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, 2013; Adjunct Assistant Professor at ODU since 2015.

What is your area of research/expertise?: The objective of my practice-based research is to explore the function of design in visual storytelling — specifically through the development of illustration and motion graphics. I examine the techniques, methods, and trends in the current and historical markets of illustration, moving image, and visual storytelling, and conduct practice-based investigations through the production of work and goods, as well as participation in exhibitions and workshops. With a current focus on editorial illustration, illustrated places, and motion graphics, I examine how design methods and processes, as well as design choices in color, texture, style, line quality and form can contribute to the effective communication of ideas, experiences, and observations.

Digital illustration relies on technology, and my investigation in this area focuses on how the use of technology can replicate traditional mediums giving digital works the look of handmade, hand drawn graphics. Additionally, I explore how the limitations of technology might require unique attention to the reproduction of color and texture on various surfaces where printed illustrations and designs will function.

What classes are you teaching? Fall 2022: Introduction to Graphic Design, Design Concepts, Poster. Spring 2023: Design Systems, Illustration (Previously as adjunct at ODU I've taught: Digital Basics, Introduction to Graphic Design, Basic Typography, Illustrative Design, Motion Graphics)

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? I am an invited member of Illustrators for Hire, a curated list of 200 freelance illustrators world-wide.

Emily Culver

Education/any previous experience: Masters of Fine Art in Metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art

What is your area of research/expertise? Metalsmithing, Jewelry and Computer Aided Design & Manufacturing

What classes are you teaching? Introduction to Jewelry & Alternative Jewelry

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? I have a Boston Terrier named Ozzy

Kyle Kogut

Education/any previous experience - MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)

What is your area of research/expertise? - Interdisciplinary arts, primarily drawing and sculpture.

What classes are you teaching? - Drawing I, Figure Drawing Anatomy, Visual Communications

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? - Excited to join the faculty at ODU!

Susan Matherne

Education/any previous experience: Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication/Art Minor from Northwest Missouri State University; Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Vermont College of Fine Arts

What is your area of research/expertise? Susan is interested in design's relationship with sense of place and the components that intersect and contribute to it, including relationships, senses, self, visual language, culture, and nature. This includes all the research questions where design and place intersect at social, biological, cultural, political, economic, spiritual, and environmental levels, including design for social good, audience design participation, co-designing and others. She has a strong interest in design criticism, history, research and writing; as well as design pedagogy.

What classes are you teaching? Introduction to Graphic Design, Design Concepts, Web Design

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? I have my Master Gardener Certification from LSU AgCenter, LSU. I swam with whale sharks - twice!

Department of Communication & Theatre Arts

Najmeh Moradiyan-Rizi

Education/any previous experience Najmeh Moradiyan-Rizi is Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the Old Dominion University. She holds a Ph.D. in Film and Media Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Kansas. She has authored several articles and book reviews, and her book chapters have been included in such anthologies as Bodies in Transition in the Health Humanities: Representations of Corporeality (Routledge, 2019) and New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge, 2021).

What is your area of research/expertise? Dr. Moradiyan-Rizi's research interests include: Middle Eastern cinemas (with a special focus on Iranian cinema); documentary film; global women's cinemas; transnational film and media.

What classes are you teaching? Fall 2022 classes are "COMM 471: International Film History" and "COMM 388: Motion Picture Aesthetics"

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? I am a strong believer in the power of film to bring about cross-cultural understanding and exchange. So, I am always happy to recommend international films to anyone who is interested in expanding their film viewing practices.

Department of English


Sarah Lacy

Education/any previous experience PhD in Rhetoric and Composition from Kent State University, as well as a Master's in Literature from Cleveland State University. I have been teaching composition for the past seven years, as well as working as a writing tutor.

What is your area of research/expertise? Research areas include instructor feedback to student writing, pedagogy, WAC/WID, and teacher ethos in the classroom.

What classes are you teaching? Currently teaching ENGL 110C, ENGL 211C, and ENGL 327.

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? I used to manage a home beer and wine making store before going to graduate school, so I actually started my career as an educator teaching people how to make beer.

Don Rodrigues

Education/any previous experience: I received my PhD in English from Vanderbilt University and earned Graduate Certificates in Women's and Gender Studies from Vanderbilt and the University of Rhode Island, where I also triple majored in Philosophy, Studio Art, and English. After my PhD I was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at Vanderbilt and as Assistant Professor of English at the University of Memphis.

What is your area of research/expertise? My work focuses on early modern literature and culture, Shakespeare studies, queer theory, and digital humanities (using computers to solve humanistic problems). I bring these fields together in my first book, Shakespeare's Queer Analytics: Distant Reading and Collaborative Intimacy in Love's Martyr (Bloomsbury, 2022).

What classes are you teaching? In fall 2022, I'm teaching an undergraduate course on Shakespeare's Histories and Comedies and a hybrid advanced undergrad / graduate course on English Renaissance drama, which focuses on non-Shakespearean drama of the 16th and 17th centuries.

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? Before coming to academia, I worked in the fashion industry in New York City and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, where I studied accessories design.

Department of History


Miller Wright

Education/any previous experience: Dr. Wright earned his Ph.Ds. in History from Rice University and the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil. Before joining ODU, he worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Atlantic History at Wake Forest University.

What is your area of research/expertise? Dr. Miller S. Wright specializes in the Native American slave trade in the Americas in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He is interested in how Native captivity practices and the Native slave trade influenced conceptions of race, bondage, and Indigeneity in the Atlantic Slave trade. Some of Dr. Wright's previous work focuses on how Creek matrilineages and women developed their own understandings of racialized slavery and property in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

What classes are you teaching? This semester Dr. Wright is teaching two sections of HIST 104H Interpreting the American Past and one section of HIST 345 Native American Histories. Next Semester Dr. Wright will be teaching HIST 104H and an upper-level seminar on Cultural Change in Colonial America.

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? Dr. Wright grew up in Alabama and spent significant time in the American South, Chile, and Brazil. He is excited to meet ODU students and learn more about their interests while sharing his love for music, food, and sports.

F. Ludwig Diehn School of Music


Tyler G. Austin, ODU Bands

Education/any previous experience: B.M. Music Education - Susquehanna University, M.M. Bassoon Performance - University of North Texas, D.M.A. Michigan State University

What is your area of research/expertise?: My research focuses on the pedagogy of conducting, the expansion of the wind repertoire through commissioning projects, and using wind music as a tool for community building.

What classes are you teaching?: I will be conducting the Wind Ensemble, teaching Principles of Conducting and Advanced Conducting, and leading the graduate conducting studio of our M.M.E. degree.

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share?: I am originally from Maryland, and am excited to be returning to the east coast and a beautiful part of the country. The ODU Bands program has been a presence in the Tidewater community for nearly half a century, and I am excited to maintain the traditions of the program while continuing to push forward and innovate!

Philosophy and Religious Studies


Matthew Coate

Dr. Matthew Coate specializes in Phenomenology, Ethics, and Aesthetics. He completed his doctorate at Stony Brook with Ed Casey, writing a dissertation on the ethical dimension of time consciousness, based on the work of Emmanuel Levinas. His publications include a Levinasian analysis of Rawls's concept of politics, a Kantian account of ugliness, and an article on sadō (茶道), the Japanese tea ceremony, as exemplifying a Levinasian view of art. In the Fall, in addition to 230E, he will be teaching Social & Political Philosophy, which he plans to include readings from authors including Plato, Aquinas, Hobbes, Han Fei, Rousseau, Mencius, Kant, Marx, Marcuse, Foucault, Bauman, and Arendt. In the Spring, along with 230E, he will be teaching PHIL 324: Philosophy of Artin coordination with the Barry Art Museum and faculty from the Art Department.

Torrance Fung

Dr. Torrance Fung specializes in Philosophy of Mind and Epistemology. He completed his doctorate at the University of Virginia with Harold Langsam, writing a dissertation presenting a unified account of the felt character of perceptual and cognitive experience. He has an article forthcoming in Erkenntnis, "Dialogue and Cognitive Phenomenology," and articles under review on rationalism and naïve realism. In the Fall, in addition to 110P courses, he will be teaching PHIL 270P: Truth and Perception, as a South-East Comparative course, engaging on topics in epistemology and philosophy of mind in Indian and Chinese Philosophy without using Euro-American philosophy as an intermediary. This course will be available to interested majors and minors through 300/400-level independent studies under the title Indian and Chinese Philosophy. In the Spring, along with 110P, he will be teaching PHIL 435/535: Philosophy of Psychology, focusing on neuroscience and cognitive science; this course will be crosslisted as PSYC 496: TPCS: Philosophy of Cognitive Science.

Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice


Jeaneé Miller

Education/any previous experience: She is a graduate of Temple University (B.A.) and the University at Albany (M.A. and Ph.D.). She recently completed a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Delaware.

What is your area of research/expertise? She studies crime within the neighborhood context, along with police decision-making and interrogation

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? She is a huge basketball fan. She especially loves the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA, even though she has never been to San Antonio.

Shon Reed

Education/any previous experience: Ph.D., Criminology & Criminal Justice (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

  • M.A., Criminal Justice (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
  • Taught courses in the Criminal Justice Department on research methods and the criminal justice system

What is your area of research/expertise? Gender and crime, victimization, victim service providers, research methodology

What classes are you teaching? Teaching SOC 337 - Social Research Methods (Online, in-person)

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? I love to travel and experience other cultures; traveling to Iceland during Spring Break next year

Department of World Languages and Cultures


Rocío Drum

Education/any previous experience: Universidad Nacional de Ingeniería - Lima, Peru

Bachelor of Science, Chemical Engineering; Old Dominion University, Bachelor of Arts, Teacher Preparation - Spanish; University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Master of Education, Bilingual Education - Dual Language Specialization

From 2018-2022, I taught Spanish to over 400 students at Norfolk Public Schools. For the last 2 years, I served as the Electives Department Chair leading and mentoring 9 teachers.

What is your area of research/expertise? Spanish and Bilingual Education

What classes are you teaching?

Spanish 101, Spanish 102, Spanish 121

One interesting fact about you/anything else to share? I am a proud Veteran. I served in our great U.S. Navy, onboard the USS Nassau and the USS George HW Bush, where I worked in the Cryogenics Plant.