College of Arts & Science at Miami University
Meet Some of Our New Faculty 2011-12
Read the fall 2012 updates to find out what these new faculty have to say about their teaching and research.
[Read what the 2010-11 new faculty had to say about their teaching and research.]
Department of Political Science
Dr. Baker's (PhD, University of Notre Dame) research focuses upon political parties and party polarization but also extends to congressional elections and the impact of money-centered politics on American democracy.
Department of Zoology
Dr. Blitz (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) previously held a Research Assistant Professor position at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include cellular, synaptic and circuit level mechanisms enabling the flexibility of neural circuits that underlie rhythmic behaviors.
Department of Political Science
Dr. Davis' (PhD, University of Kansas) research and teaching interests include public organization theory and behavior, municipal public management, public personnel administration, and quantitative research methods.
August 2012 Update: Dr. Davis had a rewarding first year at Miami. He enjoyed teaching the introductory course in public administration and the course exploring issues in public management, leadership and administrative behavior. He has been extremely impressed with the willingness and ability of students to engage in meaningful discussion within and outside of class. Dr. Davis also published three articles this year that will appear in Public Administration Review, Review of Public Personnel Administration, and Public Administration: An International Quarterly. These articles focus on the origins and outcomes of public servants' attitudes and motivation.
Department of Mathematics
Dr. DeBiasio's (PhD, Arizona State University) research interests are in graph theory and extremal combinatorics.
Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology
Professor Franklin's (PhD, University of Washington) research interests include documenting change in clinical approaches to accent modification, acoustic and articulatory phonetics, cross-language and second-language phonetics and phonology, child phonology, and socio-cultural aspects of communication.
Department of Philosophy
Dr. Gehrman (PhD, University of California, Los Angeles) is interested in questions about the nature of human deliberation and choice as well as the ethical and practical problems posed by human interactions with the environment.
August 2012 Update: Dr. Gehrman is enjoying seeing some familiar faces in her upper-level ethical theories course this semester, as some of her introduction to ethics students take the next step towards completing the ethics minor. Last year, in addition the introductory ethics course, Dr. Gehrman taught environmental philosophy and an ethics seminar on practical reasoning. This year, as an Altman Scholar, she’s looking forward to participating in an exciting series of events associated with this year’s Altman theme, “The Human and the Non-Human.” In May, she presented a paper, “Action as Interaction”, at the annual conference of the Northwestern University Society for the Theory of Ethics and Politics (NUSTEP). She is currently working on a new paper, concerning the idea of what is natural and its role in public discourse.
Department of Psychology
Dr. Kiel's (PhD, University of Missouri) research focuses on the influences of child temperament and parent behavior on the development of childhood anxiety problems, with a particular focus on the bi-directional nature of parent-child interactions.
August 2012 Update: Dr. Kiel had a wonderful year in the Psychology Department. She accepted two talented graduate students and, with their help, began the first phase of a longitudinal study examining developmental precursors to anxiety problems in young children. Dr. Kiel attended the International Conference on Infant Studies and had several manuscripts published. She looks forward to continued work with her graduate and undergraduate students in her research lab. Dr. Kiel taught a graduate seminar in developmental psychopathology and two undergraduate courses including a newly developed 400-level course on the psychology of parenting. Dr. Kiel is excited to be teaching this course again in the spring.
Kate de Medeiros
Department of Sociology and Gerontology
Before joining Miami, Professor de Medeiros (PhD, University of Maryland) was an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and a research scientist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is a gerontologist with research interests in the narrative construction of self in old age, genre and the life story, the meaning of generativity in later life, and understanding how "friendship" is defined and experienced by people with advanced dementia. Her studies have been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Brookdale Foundation, and the Alzheimer's Association. In 2008, she was selected as one of only four national Brookdale in Leadership in Aging Fellows for her work on autobiographical writing and cognitive performance in old age.
August 2012 Update: Since joining Miami, Dr. de Medeiros has taught two graduate-level courses — qualitative research methods and advanced theory and the construction of knowledge — and an undergraduate course on global aging. She was awarded a Howe Center for Writing Excellence grant to improve undergraduate writing in the global aging course by analyzing past students’ writing and redesigning the curriculum to better engage students in the writing process while learning about aging and the world. She is active on several university and department committees and is enjoying every minute of life in Oxford and in the Miami University community.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Before coming to Miami University, Dr. Scaffidi (PhD, University of South Carolina) was a postdoctoral associate and research scientist in the Fitzpatrick Institute for Photonics at Duke University. His primary research focus is development of tools and techniques for remote, on-site, and in situ analysis — that is, detecting analytes "as they are, where they are."