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.