Welcome New NCIS Members!

A big welcome to our new NCIS members, whose scholarship includes linguistics, economics, the history of pets, and health care-related aging issues.

Linda Anderson retired from the University of Missouri Healthcare in 2011 after many years in a variety of nursing positions including critical and emergency care, bioinformatics, trauma, and orthopedic research. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Missouri. Anderson’s current research interest relates to Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), with a focus on the issue of aging in persons with EDS.

After completing her Ph.D. in History from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009, Julie Hughes published her first book, “Animal Kingdoms: Hunting, the Environment, and Power in the Indian Princely States” (Harvard and Permanent Black) in 2013. Hughes was an assistant professor at Vassar College for several years and is now an independent scholar. Her current project looks at the history of pets and pet keeping in South Asia, asking how tamed and domestic pets, from sarus cranes and song birds to tigers and fox terriers, have participated in our identity politics, and how in turn, our struggles and aspirations have changed the lives and status of individual companion animals and their species as a whole.

As language and social science professional for more than 30 years, Heather Mello has worked as an applied military linguist, translator, teacher, researcher, and statistician. Her bachelor’s studies at the University of the State of New York concentrated on the Vietnamese and Russian languages, she holds an M.A, in Sociology from Georgia Southern University and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Georgia. She has conducted research and teaching in the specific areas of TESOL/TEFL, English Language Variation, Vietnamese as a Foreign/Heritage Language, Corpus Linguistics, Systemic Functional Linguistics, Race and Cultural Relations, and Second and Heritage Language Acquisition and Maintenance. She currently works helping recently arrived refugees navigate their new lives in the United States by teaching English language literacy and civics for the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tony K. Yang holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Riverside, and is a scholar of U.S. Economic History based in Sunnyvale, California. His primary research focuses on the interaction between social economic attitudes, the formation of savings behavior, and cultural and economic preferences in institutional interactions. Yang’s dissertation, “The Needs of a Lifetime: The Search for Security, 1865-1914,” analyzes savings patterns and behaviors in the late-nineteenth century United States. Yang has presented several papers and is currently editing his manuscript of social insurance. Yang’s other fields of interest include: The Economic History of Slavery, Nineteenth Century U.S. History, History of U.S. Foreign Relations and Modern Latin American (specifically the Caribbean). 

A Warm Welcome to 10 New NCIS Members!

NCIS’s growing membership includes ten new independent scholars from the United States, Britain, France and Australia whose expertise includes psychology, biomedical engineering, urban planning and Southern Jewish history.

With a primary focus on language and English literature, Pamela Albert’s areas of research includes eighteenth-century British literature, transatlantic studies, world literatures in English, global Jewish migration and Jewish diaspora literature.

Mark Foster’s career living and teaching at a six day-a-week boarding school offered him the opportunity to create new courses and teach AP and senior level courses, including those outside his subject area, language and literature. With a research focus in romanticism, Shakespeare, and nineteenth century American history and literature, Foster welcomes professional and intellectual contacts and the opportunity to engage in scholarship now that he is no longer in the classroom.

Building on twenty years education, research, planning and urban design experience, Angela K. Frusciante, MRP, Ph.D., in 2016 founded Knowledge Designs to Change, where she consults for nonprofit organizations, collaboratives, networks and initiatives. A socio-political scholar whose research focuses on female-led change networks, Frusciante served as faculty member of Urban Design at Jackson State University and as Knowledge Development Officer for the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, where she was responsible for grants and contracts in areas such as organizational learning and management systems.

Christopher Gatti, a gymnast-turned-acrobat with a doctorate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in machine learning and data analysis, divides his time between training, coaching, and working on programming projects. Gatti competed for the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, between 2001 and 2005 and obtained a BSE in mechanical engineering, followed by an MSE in biomedical engineering, all from the University of Michigan. Gatti currently coaches for Cirque du Soleil on a big top show, and researches on circus-inspired problems that incorporate elements of biomechanics and data analysis or machine learning.

Rachel Gisewhite uses philosophical methodologies to study youth phenomenological experiences with and activism for the natural world. She is most passionate about the world’s oceans and how students interact with their local aquatic environments to stimulate intellectual engagement for a deeper understanding of science content as well as the power of their decisions and actions to promote an active citizenry. She most recently was a chemistry and environmental science high school teacher in Memphis, Tennessee, and now lives in Mississippi.

Kay Goldman’s book, “Dressing Modern Maternity: The Frankfurt Sisters of Dallas and the Page Boy Label (Texas Tech University Press, 2013) relates the story of three Texas Jewish women who manufactured maternity dresses in Dallas during the Great Depression and continued their business through the early 1990s. In 2012, Goldman’s manuscript, based on her dissertation, won the Lou Halsell Rodenberger Prize in Texas History and Literature. Recently retired, Goldman is researching Texas Jewish history for her project, tentatively titled, “Intersecting Lives: Jews and Their Gentile Neighbors in Texas and Beyond, 1840 to 1900.”

Based in Provence, France, David Marks was most recently a psychology professor at City University in London, and between 2000 and 2010, served as a professor of psychology at Middlesex University.

Gail Spilsbury, a Boston-based writer and editor, has published four books—two cultural landscape histories about Washington, D.C., and two works of fiction. She also recently launched a fiction podcast, which airs on Boston radio station WBZA. Currently freelancing after a long and satisfying editorial career in museum and cultural publications, Spilsbury edits the weekly concert notes for the National Gallery of Art and serves as editor for Rizzoli and private authors.

Following a career in technical writing and publishing in the computer industry, Geri Walton returned to history, her first scholarly passion. She published her book, “Marie Antoinette's Confidante: The Rise and Fall of the Princesse de Lamballe” (Pen and Sword Books) in 2016, and is completing two books proposals.

Based in Australia, Ian Willis, Ph.D. and Honorary Fellow of the University of Wollongong since 2010, focuses on three areas of research: the history and impact of urban growth on Sydney’s rural-urban fringe; the Red Cross in New South Wales 1914-1945; and the history of the interaction between Europeans and indigenous Australians across the Cowpastures and Southern Cumberland Plain, 1788–1840. Willis also is editor of the Journal of the Camden Historical Society.

Call for Editors

The Independent Scholar (TIS), your open-access peer-reviewed academic journal, is seeking to expand its editorial board, and invites members to apply. The present Editorial Board consists of Shelby Shapiro (General Editor), Amanda Haste (Humanities Editor) and Joan Cunningham (STEM Editor) who will all continue in these roles. The new editors will assist them through knowledge of their own particular academic specialities, hence this present appeal.

TIS uses a double-blind peer review process, with each manuscript being submitted to at least two, and often three, peer reviews. Editors' duties involve assigning reviewers for each paper submitted within their own specialism, following up on peer reviews, assembling them for the author’s revisions, and repeating the process once revised, until the reviewers and editors are satisfied that the paper is in its best possible form and fit for publication in TIS.

This is important and interesting work! Every issue brings forth fresh ideas and presentations, and we at NCIS are constantly trying to improve on the last number, and to ensure that TIS sets high standards of scholarship; for that, we need editors with a good publication record in their field. Ideally applicants will already hold a PhD, but this is not essential if their academic record and experience provide evidence of the skills necessary for this position. 

If you are interested in applying, please contact Shelby Shapiro at and he will guide you through the process.

Shelby Shapiro, Ph.D.
Amanda Haste, Ph.D.
Joan Cunningham, Ph.D.

13 New NCIS Members Represent Wide Range of Scholarship

A big welcome to the most recent NCIS members, who represent an impressive range of independent scholars with specialties that include archaeology, information technology, public policy and administration, and 19th century British Methodism. The 13 new members here live in the United States, Britain and Puerto Rico and include scholars originally from Nigeria and Venezuela.

Wendy Warren Austin, a 23-year tenured Associate Professor at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, moved to the Boston area in 2012 and most recently worked as an online English faculty member teaching research writing, linguistics, and literature for Southern New Hampshire University. Warren, whose primary disciplines are Language and English Literature,also has worked as visiting assistant professor of a Massachusetts state university, a professional writing tutor at a private college writing center, a data analyst/linguistic annotator for an MIT artificial intelligence researcher, and an instructional module writer for MindEdge, a company that produces etexts for online university courses.

With a B.A. in Archaeological Studies and History, Jesse Chariton is currently researching the Integration and Desegregation of Lutheran Churches in Columbus, and Georgia and Irish Immigration to Wisconsin. A genealogist, Chariton has experience in museums and libraries of Masonic organizations. His websites are and

A Portland, Oregon, native, Ray W. Clark served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy from 1970 to 1991 and while in the Navy, graduated from the Naval War College in 1985. Clark earned a Master of Arts Degree in National Security Studies from Georgetown University in 1986 along with the designation as a Political-Military Affairs subspecialist. Most recently, he received a Master of Arts in History from George Mason University in 2006. After retiring from active duty, Clark worked as a project manager for PRC, Litton Industries, Northrop Grumman, and TASC on contracts supporting the Department of the Navy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Jacob Dankasa holds a Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of North Texas, Denton, and a Master’s degree in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University. He specializes in new media, information behavior, and information theory and design. His research centers on the intersection of information and religion, specifically how new media technologies can enhance the design, processing, dissemination and retrieval of religious information. Originally from Nigeria, Dankasa is a Catholic priest serving in parish apostolate in the Catholic Diocese of Dallas and is interested in researching the use of cyber technology to build communicative and interactive relationship among members of diverse faith communities.

A retired senior manager and senior executive service level graduate from the U.S. Department of Interior (National Park Service), Diane Dayson, Ph.D. most recently served as executive director/superintendent of Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island National Monuments. During the September 11, 2001, crisis, Dr. Dayson led, managed, and made command decisions for the safety of Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island National Monument and its employees, visitors, and park resources. She has more than 28 years experience in management, leadership, change management, incident command, and strategic planning. Dr. Dayson, who currently is a faculty member of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Capella University, served for 10 years as adjunct professor at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. Dr. Dayson holds a doctorate in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University, a Master of Science in Management from New York University, and B.A. in Education/American History from SUNY at Cortland.

Robin William Girard received his Ph.D. in French Language and Literature from Washington University in St. Louis in December 2016. His dissertation employed the theories and representations of erotic love as a lens to explore the intersection of late 12th century narrative poetry and contemporaneous literary production of the Islamicate world. While much of his research centers on questions of the medieval Mediterranean and the place of Old French literature within it, other areas of interest include neo-Medievalism and storytelling in video games. 

With interests in the religious, artistic, and philosophical dimensions of birth, Anna Hennessey is writing a book on social ontology and the transformation of religious objects in birth as a rite of passage (Lexington Books, forthcoming). Her academic background includes Religious Studies (Ph.D., History of Chinese Religions, University of California, Santa Barbara,); Art History (M.A., Critical Theory, UCSB); and Philosophy (B.A., Western Philosophy, New York University). She also researches Daoism, Daoist representation, visualization, and alchemy in the context of Chinese religions.

Richard Howey’s 40-year career in implementing and using information technology inspired him to pursue a doctorate in Business Administration to learn the research skills needed to better understand the reasons for IT failures and so help others avoid those failures. Once retired, he received his Ph.D. in October 2016, completing a dissertation that explores how an internal market culture in a business enterprise can impact data withholding behavior inside that enterprise and, in turn, affect the success of IT initiatives intended to share data across organizational boundaries within that business enterprise.

Becky Nicolaides received her Ph.D. in History from Columbia University in 1993, and went on to serve on the faculties of Arizona State University West and University of California, San Diego. She left her tenured post at UCSD in 2006 to become an independent scholar and historical consultant. Her work focuses on the history of North American cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas. She is currently at work on her third book, On the Ground in Suburbia: A Chronicle of Social and Civic Transformation in Los Angeles Since 1945, with support from a Haynes Major Research Grant, an NEH fellowship, an ACLS fellowship, and Huntington Library fellowships. She is co-editor of the “Historical Studies of Urban America” book series published by University of Chicago Press and is co-coordinator of the L.A History and Metro Studies group at the Huntington Library. She is currently serving a three-year term on the governing council (Research Division) of the American Historical Association, advocating on the issue of democratizing research access for all scholars. She blogs at, and tweets at @BeckyNic7.

Lydia Platón, an adjunct professor at the University of Puerto Rico in Cayey, has taught at other UPR campuses at the graduate and undergraduate levels and served as Dean of Academic Affairs in the School of Visual Arts of San Juan. Platón, a translator, independent scholar and arts administrator, has experience in non-profit management and teaching in the fields of theater and art education. Platón’s publications include a book-length study: “Defiant Itineraries: Caribbean Paradigms in American Dance and Film, Palgrave Macmillan;” an artistic book project: El Cuarto Acto with Ediciones Callejón (2005); and numerous journal articles.

Kai Rands holds a Masters and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Culture, Curriculum, and Change program, and a B.A. in Elementary Education and in Child Development from Vanderbilt University. Rands, an independent scholar, teaches fifth grade math.

Born in Caracas Venezuela, Hector Weir and his family moved to the United States in 2002. Since then, he has pursued studies in Anthropology and Hispanic Studies, receiving a doctorate, a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. Weir’s studies the effects of cultural contact in traditions and religions and their reflection in contemporary media and literature.

Tim Wooley, a British Methodist minister with a passion for Wesleyan theology, church history, missiology and fresh expressions of church, completed his doctorate at Cliff College and has presented papers at the Oxford Institute of Methodist Theological Studies, the Oxford-Manchester Studies Seminar, the Ecclesiastical History Society Postgraduate Colloquium, conferences at Wesley House Cambridge, and Englesea Brook Primitive Methodist Chapel and Museum. Wooley’s research interests include the field of nineteenth-century British Methodism, the Holiness Movement, Revivalism and Nonconformity. His article and reviews have been published in in Wesley and Methodist Studies, The Wesleyan Theological Journal, Holiness, The Ranter’s Digest and H-Pietism (forthcoming).

Newest NCIS Members Focus on Politics, Linguistics and More

NCIS welcomes our newest members, whose fields include linguistics, education policy, communication and politics.

Darnella Davis received her doctorate in Education Policy from The George Washington University, where she researched federal Indian education policy, producing a study that asked how a culturally relevant curriculum engages Native Americans, statistically the poorest performing student group in the United States. Dr. Davis holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, where she also taught drawing and color theory. She began her advanced education with a scholarship to the Parsons School of Design, studied French language and civilization at the University of Dakar in Senegal, and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, graduating cum laude from the University of Michigan. 

During her career as a research analyst, Dr. Davis wrote technical reports and edited publications on equality of access to rigorous curricula for traditionally underperforming K-12 public school students. In her work as a writer, researcher, artist, teacher, yoga practitioner, and samba enthusiast, Dr. Davis has consolidated many of her interests in Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage, A Personal History of the Allotment Era, a book that covers 130 years of her racially-mixed family history and their place in our nation’s current racial discourse (forthcoming in 2018 from the University of New Mexico Press). Her next project examines Alexis de Tocqueville’s thoughts about the future of the three races that inhabited the U.S. in 1830 and their long-term impact on democracy.

Can Küçükali holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. In his doctoral thesis, later published as a book, he conceptualized discursive strategies as hegemonic projects and analyzed their functions in the policymaking process of Turkish politics. His areas of interest include aggression and legitimation in political discourse, Critical Discourse Analysis, political discourse analysis and rhetorical strategies. He also published articles on Turkish and German politics. Recently, he has published an open access book, Discursive Political Analysis.

Elizabeth Jonick-Grant graduated Summa Cum Laude from Miami University with a B.A. in sociology and philosophy and holds an M.A. in Philosophy from Miami University with a special emphasis on ethics. Dr. Joniak-Grant received an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology at UCLA with a special emphasis on deviance, homelessness, interaction, social control, institutions, and qualitative research methods, particularly ethnography and in-depth interviewing. While at UCLA she conducted research on a drop-in center for homeless youth, a mobile van unit conducting HIV testing in high-risk populations, and spent three years conducting ethnographic research with homeless youth living on the streets. She also oversaw a variety of undergraduate and graduate ethnographic projects in her role as a teaching fellow. Currently Dr. Joniak-Grant serves as a consulting patient representative for the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration.

Julie Hunsberger received her Ph.D. in Communication and Rhetorical Studies from Duquesne University.

James Horrox is an independent researcher and freelance editor based in Los Angeles. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D in Politics and has published on a range of humanities and social science subjects, primarily focusing on communities and the voluntary sector, neotribalism, and 19th/early 20th century European social and political thought. He has worked as an Associate Lecturer at Manchester University, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Salford and the Open University.

Valerie Abrahamsen joins NCIS board of directors

Welcome to theologian Valerie Abrahamsen, who has been co-opted onto the NCIS Board of Directors, effective February 2017. Valerie was in fact voted onto the Board in 2016, but could not attend board meetings due to a timetable clash. Following a change in the meeting schedule, we are delighted to be able to welcome Val to office, and look forward to her contribution. Val is already working on the searchable online Membership Directory, which we hope to see going live on our redesigned website before too long.

NCIS Welcomes 11 New Members

New members joining NCIS include scholars from Bulgaria as well as Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the United States, with disciplines ranging from architecture to engineering.

Daniel S. Brown, an adjunct instructor at several universities and colleges, including the University of Toledo and Oakland Community College, earned his Ph.D. in English with a specialization in Victorian British Literature from the University of Florida in 2012. He worked as a visiting instructor at the University of South Florida in Tampa from 2012–2015. Brown’s research interests include realism, Pre-Raphaelitism, masculinities, and the interactions between verbal and visual representation.

Roberta Cohen is a specialist in human rights, humanitarian, and refugee issues, and a leading expert on the subject of internally displaced persons and on human rights conditions in North Korea. Cohen has published more than 100 articles on human rights and humanitarian issues. She has received numerous awards, including the Diplomatic and Consular Officers, Retired Fiftieth Anniversary Award for Exemplary Writing on Foreign Affairs and Diplomacy and the Washington Academy of Sciences Award for Distinction in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Cohen has been a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration, and an adjunct associate professor at the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in American University’s Washington College of Law. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Bern Faculty of Law, a master’s degree “with distinction” from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a bachelor’s from Barnard College (Columbia University), which awarded her its Distinguished Alumna Award in 2005.

After receiving a Ph.D. in history from Texas A&M University in 2012, David Conley Nelson published Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany with the University of Oklahoma Press in 2015. Conley holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism from the University of Oregon and French from the University of Houston and served six years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He combines his focus on small religious denominations and totalitarian governments with research on collective memory—how groups and even whole societies choose to remember their past.

Miriam Díaz-Gilbert, author of English for Pharmacy Writing and Oral Communication, publishes on spirituality and healing and teaches theology/religious studies. Her unfinished dissertation topic focused on modern ultrarunning in the context of desert asceticism. She has directed a writing center has lectured on first-year writing and rhetoric, and academic ESL. Diaz-Gilbert is a Huffington Post blogger who has written on a variety of topics, including ultrarunning and spirituality, and has been teaching in higher education nearly 25 years and running ultramarathons since 2005.

A director of project management at Celldex Therapeutics in Needham, Massachusetts, James M. Huebner has more than 20 years experience in drug development project management, competitive intelligence, clinical operations and discovery and basic research. He is a frequent invited lecturer on drug development and project management at national professional meetings and has served as a course director and faculty member for the Pharmaceutical Education & Research Institute (PERI) since 2005. Huebner holds masters degrees in Biological Sciences from Western Michigan University and in Ethics & Public Policy from Suffolk University in Boston and publishes in academic journals.

Perry Miller in November 2016 defended his dissertation on the application of psychoanalytic concepts to mental health self-help literature. His research interests include the contributions of interdisciplinary cultural studies to institutional and public humanities, especially in the areas of community mental health and medical humanities.

Priya Parrotta Natarajan, a writer, musician and facilitator, is committed to fostering empathy, curiosity, and responsibility across geopolitical divides in the interest of our shared, brilliant planet. She is the author of The Politics of Coexistence in the Atlantic World (forthcoming), which brings to light what is arguably the Caribbean’s greatest gift to the world: centuries of experience in living together, under dizzyingly complex conditions. Recently featured as one of Washington, D.C.’s “Outstanding Millennials,” Natarajan was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Scott Pellegrino’s current research concentrates on the logical analysis of language and knowledge by investigating the nature, structure, and limits of world description and quantification. His secondary research interest includes historical biographical, architectural, and geographical research of St. Louis during the Second Industrial Revolution.

With a doctorate degree in Marriage and Family Studies and several graduate degrees in Literature, Library Science, Theology, James Sauer has published more than 250 articles and reviews as well as essays in anthologies. Sauer, a Buffalo, New York, native, plans to begin significant research on topics in politics and theology with a focus on specific authors such as C. S. Lewis, John Newton, John Bunyan, Pascal, and Chesterton.

A full time as an engineer since 1990, Steven Sawyer holds Ph.D. and master’s degrees in Economics and works periodically as an adjunct professor as well as on other projects, such as analyzing Nigerian price data. Sawyer’s research has been published in the Journal of Economic Issues.

James Stout teaches in the San Diego Community College system and his dissertation “Breakaway Nations: The Use of Sport and Physical Culture to Create a Cross-Class Catalan Identity during the Second Republic,” examines youth groups in the Second Republic, the role of sport in empowering republican women and the use of cycle races to define and united a diverse community. A former professional athlete, Stout also is founder and executive director of a nonprofit organization that works with people in the Native American community.

Architect and an independent researcher Iva Stoyanova works in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, and holds a M. Arch. (2011, UACEG, Sofia, Bulgaria) and a Ph.D. with merits, Doctor Europaeus, in Preservation of Architectural Heritage (2015, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy). She upgrades her doctoral studies “Gallery Vittorio Emanuele II. The iron-glass cover: conservation, innovation, continuity” and develops her research interests as an independent scholar. She is interested in historical building techniques, conservation and preservation of heritage architecture (19th/ 20th c.). Her passion is to study the building technology of threatened heritage architecture and to reconstruct it virtually.

NCIS Leadership Election Results

NCIS is pleased to announce the results of the 2016 NCIS Leadership Elections. The new Executive Officers and Board Members are as follows:

Executive Officers

President: Amanda Haste
Secretary: Susan Lanzoni
Membership Officer: Yvonne Groseil
Communications Officer: Tula Connell

Board Members

Luis F. Clemente
Joan Cunningham
Annette Dunlap
Isabelle Flemming
Efrat Sadras-Ron
Shelby Shapiro
Ed Wall
In congratulating the newly-elected Leadership team, NCIS President Amanda Haste says, "We are eager to begin working with members of our new team, whose impressive professional accomplishments and skills will greatly contribute to our ongoing efforts to better serve our members and build our momentum as a vibrant and growing organization.
"Together, we will advance a dynamic future for NCIS."

NCIS Welcomes New Members!

NCIS welcomes two new members, Dr. Claudia Keenan and Dr. Sarah Weaver. 

Dr. Claudia Keenan is an historian of American education and culture with interests ranging from progressive education to the symbolization of U.S. First Ladies. In recent years, her publications have focused on local history in Westchester County, N.Y., and Atlanta, and continues to research in American history and culture circa 1870–1920. After growig up in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., Keenan graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in cultural anthropology. In 1995, inspired by the story of the Bronxville, N.Y., public schools (among the few progressive school districts in the nation during the 1920s), she entered NYU’s doctoral program in History of Education. Keenan’s thesis, P.T.A. Business: A Cultural History of How Suburban Women Supported the Public Schools (2002), explored the manipulation of local PTA initiatives to affirm social hierarchy, manage flaming youth, and otherwise enforce conservative values. Subsequently, she taught at Emory & Henry College and published articles and chapters on various topics. Keenan lives in New York City and blogs about little-known historical figures at “Through the Hourglass.”

Dr. Sarah Weaver is a scholar of nineteenth-century British literature. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Cambridge in 2015 for a dissertation that examined the influence of Victorian philology on Alfred Tennyson's poetry.

Welcome New NCIS Members!

NCIS is pleased to welcome four new members whose diverse scholarship--public health, religion and philosophy--highlight the broad spectrum of academic foci in our association.

Phronie Jackson, Ph.D. specializes in issues relating to the impact and improvement of situations involving health disparities in chronic disease prevention and management, health equity, social determinates of health and health literacy. Jackson has more than 20 years of public health, community health, population health and worksite wellness experience. She recently completed a Ph.D. in Public Health and holds a master’s degree in Public Health from Walden University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services from Spelman College.

Race MoChridhe (MRS, Nations University) is an independent scholar of religion writing from a Traditionalist perspective whose current research focuses on the intersections of New Religious Movements, feminist theology, and the sophia perennis. His most recent activities include work on the Encyclopedia of Women in World Religions, a featured response for The Religious Studies Project, and a forthcoming presentation at the conference of the Pagan/Academic European Associates Network (PAEAN). More about his work can be found at his website,

Ashton T. Sperry-Taylor (Ph.D. University of Missouri) specializes in the philosophy of science, the epistemic foundations of decision and game theory, and logic.

David White taught philosophy for 40 years using the performative format. White’s focus on Joseph Butler, an 18th century bishop, theologian, and philosopher included a doctoral dissertation, a comprehensive bibliography, website, and the first new print edition of the Butler’s complete works in more than a century. White founded the Bishop Butler Society Ltd. and the Bishop Butler Digitization Project.


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