New College Faculty 2013-14

Kevin Beanland
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Kevin arrives from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he has been teaching since 2007. He earned his doctorate at the University of South Carolina and began his teaching career as a visitor at Amherst College. He took a Fulbright Research fellowship to Athens two years ago.

Jon Berlin
Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Assistant Football Coach
He is an assistant football coach who has been coaching at the high school level, most recently in Rustburg and Amherst. His undergraduate degree is in History, he has a master’s in administration from Liberty University, and graduate training in Special Education.

Joel Blecher
Assistant Professor of Religion
Joel has a PhD in Religion with a specialization in Islamic Studies. His doctorate was just awarded by Princeton University. He has been teaching at Oberlin, and has an undergraduate degree from Swarthmore. A scholar of the commentaries of Hadith and Quran, he is fluent in Arabic and will teach courses on Islam in both Religion and History.

Art Brisbane
Visiting Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics
Joining the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications for the year as our Visiting Knight Professor is Art Brisbane, most recently the public editor of The New York Times. His prior posts include senior vice president at Knight Ridder, publisher and editor of the Kansas City Star, and a reporter at the Washington Post. He is a graduate of Harvard College.

Kacie D'Alessandro
Assistant Professor of Physics and Engineering
Kacie is the new materials engineer in the Department of Physics and Engineering. Kacie was  just-awarded her PhD in civil engineering from Virginia Tech, where she studied the design and analysis of concrete structures.

Colin Elliott
Mellon Junior Faculty Fellow in Classics

Wan-Chuan Kao
Assistant Professor of English
Wan-Chuan Kao is the new medievalist in the English Department. He is a CUNY trained scholar, from his BA in English and Music at Hunter College to his doctorate in English and certificate in Medieval Studies at the Graduate Center of the City of New York. Prior to arriving at W&L Wan -Chuan taught at Queens College of the CUNY system and St. John’s University.

Mitch Keller
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Mitch earned his PhD in Mathematics from Georgia Institute of Technology and has been working as a Research Professor at University of Nebraska. Prior to that, Mitch spent two years as a Visiting Fellow in Mathematics at LSE.

Toni Locy
Associate Professor of Journalism

Toni has been the Donald W. Reynolds professor of Legal Reporting for the past four years. She has both a BS in Journalism and a Master’s degree in the Studies of Law from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She reported for the Associated Press, USA Today, US News and World Report, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Daily News, and the Pittsburgh Press on courts, the justice department, and national legal affairs. Toni is now in a tenure-track position in Journalism and Mass Communications.

Shihua Lu
Visiting Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Literature
Shihua Lu is our new Hanban Professor in East Asian Languages and Literatures. A Visiting Associate Professor, he is on leave from Jianghan University, in Wuhan City, China. His work at Washington and Lee is sponsored by the Chinese government. An award winning teacher at his home university, Professor Lu is an active scholar of the literature of the Yuan Dynasty. He has translated over 1 million words from English into Chinese.

Jason Mickel
Assistant Professor and Director of Library Technology
Jason Mickel joins the library as their new Director of Library Technology. He has been serving as the Reference and Instructional Technology Librarian and a teacher of Information Technology and Computer Science at his alma mater, Juniata College. He holds a doctorate in Communications Media and Instructional Technology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MS in Library and Information Science from Drexel.

Barton Myers
Assistant Professor of History
Barton joins the History department, where he will teach courses on the American Civil War and the American South. A Georgia PhD and a graduate of the College of Wooster, Barton is the author of an award-winning LSU Press book on local guerrilla conflict in North Carolina's Great Dismal Swamp region during the Civil War.

Erin Ness
Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Head Women's Tennis Coach
Erin brings expertise in Kinesiology in Sports Psychology to her coaching and teaching. She was previously Head Women’s Tennis Coach at University of California, Santa Cruz. At W&L she has already led our women’s tennis team to an ODAC championship.

Greg Parker
Professor and Chair of Music
Greg joins W&L as Professor of Music, and the new Chair of the Music Department. He comes to us from Chowan University. His doctorate is from University of Missouri, Kansas City. A baritone performer himself, Greg teaches studio voice and voice pedagogy.

Howard Pickett
Director of the Shepherd Program
Howard earned his PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia. A graduate of Millsaps College, Howard has been teaching at both UVA and W&L for several years, and will take over the Poverty courses as well as administration of the various elements of the Program for the Study of Poverty and Human Capability.

Brandon Spalding
Assistant Professor of Physical Education and Head Coach of Men's Cross Country/Assistant Coach of Men's Track and Field
Brandon was educated at Bridgewater College and Virginia Wesleyan College and until 2012 he was coaching cross-country at Rhodes College.