New Faculty 2015-2016 (I-S)


Christopher Johnson

Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Christopher received his PhD in Mathematics from Clemson University and holds an MS in Applied Mathematics from Western Carolina University.  Having numerous speaking engagements across the country, Chris has shared his insights on nuanced mathematical topics made accessible, including eigenfoliations of half-translation tori and their connections to involutive translation surfaces and Panov planes.  Chris has taught both introductory and advanced classes, speaking to his ability facilitate learning at all levels.  His contributions to the profession extend outside of the classroom, including organizing a graduate student seminar in algebraic geometry, and helping host the Southeastern Conferences for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics at Clemson University in 2013 and 2014.  Among his research interests are dynamical systems and ergodic theory, and particularly applications to flat surfaces.


C48F6550David Johnson

Visiting Assistant Professor of Counseling

David received his PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He holds an MEd in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. His collaborative research with leading scholars has been featured in prominent academic journals and texts, including the Journal of Counseling and Development and the Encyclopedia of Theoretical Criminology. He has given several presentations on mindfulness, most recently, the use of mindfulness exercises at a creative intervention for substance abuse relapse prevention. In 2014, he was awarded the Emerging Scholar Award by the Association for Assessment and Research in Counseling. His contributions to the profession include serving as a program reviewer for the 2014 Southern Association for Counselor Education and Supervision Conference and the 2013 Texas Counseling Association Professional Growth Conference. David is also a licensed professional counselor and has worked with adolescents, adults, families and couples in residential and community settings.

C48F6456Michael Kamtman

Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor of Theater & Dance

Michael has been a Triad director, actor, and teacher since 1988.  He has directed over 80 productions in the Triad, including 10 operas.  In the spring of 2013, Michael played Charles Dickens in the world premiere of A Perfect Likeness with The Paper Lantern Theatre.  In the summer of 2013 he played Lucky in Waiting for Godot with the High Point University Extension Project.   He spent 15 seasons as an actor/fight choreographer with the N.C. Shakespeare Festival where he performed in over 50 productions. He has taught stage combat and choreographed numerous productions at a variety of educational, professional, and community theatres in North Carolina. Michael has also created and steered impactful educational outreach programs, including the WINGS project, a theatre-based, curriculum enhancing program designed to introduce Shakespeare and theatre to elementary school students. He is a member of prominent professional organizations, including Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild.  Michael has an MFA in Directing from UNC-Greensboro, a MA from the University of Connecticut, and a BA from Bucknell University.  He has taught theatre at Wake Forest University, Greensboro College, Davidson College, UNC – Greensboro, Salem College, Guilford Technical Community College, and High Point University.


C48F6475Jessie Laurita-Spanglet

Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow in Theater & Dance

Jessie received her MFA in Dance from the University of Maryland and her BFA in Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Jessie is a Stott-certified Pilates instructor through the Balance Pilates Training Center, and spent four years teaching Pilates at Thinking Body studio in Charlottesville, VA. In 2010 Jessie moved to the DC area, where she had the great pleasure of dancing and collaborating with Meredith Bove, Matthew Cumbie, Dance Exchange, Adriane Fang, Sharon Mansur, Sara Beth Oppenheim, PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATRE, Maree ReMalia/merrygogo, and many others. In the fall of 2014 Jessie served as the Artist In Residence at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Jessie is currently at work on three new duets, which along with other work will be performed at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in the spring of 2016.


C48F6517Daniel Maroncelli

Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Daniel received his PhD in Mathematics from North Carolina State University and his MA in Mathematics from Montana State University. Prior to coming to Wake Forest University, Daniel was an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Concordia University St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota. Additionally, he has taught at North Carolina State and Montana State. His research foci include Functional Analysis, Ordinary Differential Equations and Difference Equations. Dan has produced considerable scholarship, which has been presented at a number of conferences, including The Southeastern-Atlantic Regional Conference on Differential Equations in 2015 and Joint Mathematics Meeting in 2013. He is the recipient of North Carolina State University’s Armstrong Maltbie Award for excellence in teaching in 2013; prior to which he received North Carolina State University’s Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Teaching Award in 2013 and 2012. Daniel’s contributions to the profession include serving on Concordia St. Paul’s Undergraduate Academic Policies Committee and the Mathematics’ Department Coordinator for university assessment. He also worked closely in the development of new Computer Science and Engineering programs.


C48F6517Robert Martinez

Visiting Assistant Professor of Counseling

Robert recently received his PhD in Counselor Education from North Carolina State University. He holds an MS Counseling from California State University. Prior to coming to the university, Robert served as the Assistant Director of Educational Talent Search and TRIO programs for the Division of Academic and Student Affairs at NC State. In this capacity, he managed, developed, and grew an academic development program that served middle and high school students in Wake and Johnson County in their post-secondary education plans. He has given several presentations for professionals in counseling, including UNC-Greensboro’s Counselor Education Summer Program. For his scholastic ability, Robert received both the Chi Sigma Iota and International Chi Sigma Iota Awards given by Chi Sigma Iota, the International Honorary Society for Professional Counselors. He is a member of the American Counseling Association, among other professional affiliations.


Kimberly Nelson

Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry





C48F6577A.Z. Obiedat

Assistant Professor of Romance Languages

A.Z. received his PhD in the area of Arabic Philosophy and Secularism from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where he also received his MA in Arabic Discourse Analysis in Islamic Law. The unifying theme of his research is Arabic Semantics as manifested in Arabic literature and Islamic scholasticism. He has significant experience teaching Arabic as a second language and Arab-Islamic intellectual history. Since 2002, he has taught more than 30 university courses in the four-year levels of Modern Standard Arabic, Spoken Arabic Dialect, and Advanced Media Arabic. He has also taught “Contemporary Arabic Culture and Society” and created several new classes such as “Major Dimensions of Classical-Medieval Arab-Islamic Civilization”. His scholarship has been funded by the University of Virginia’s Jefferson Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Bridging Cultures Grant. Among his previous administrative appointments are Program Coordinator of the Arabic Program at the Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Virginia and Director of the Shea Languages House at UVA (a residence house dedicated to the linguistic and cultural immersion of eight languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and Urdu). His research has been featured in prominent academic journals including the Journal of Qu’ranic Studies, published by Edinburgh University Press, and al-Mukhatabat Journal. Dr. Obiedat is a member of (MESA) the Middle East Studies Association and the Arab Society of Logic and Epistemology.

C48F6577Elizabeth O’Donnell Gadolfo

Earley Assistant Professor of Catholic & Latin American Studies, School of Divinity

Elizabeth O’Donnell Gandolfo received her PhD in Theological Studies from Emory University. In addition, she holds a Masters of Theological Studies from the University of Notre Dame and a BA in Theology from Saint Joseph’s University. Her first book, The Power and Vulnerability of Love: A Theological Anthropology, was released earlier this year by Fortress Press. A prolific scholar, Elizabeth’s work has been featured in a number of peer-reviewed publications. Her essay, “Mary Kept These Things, Pondering Them in Her Heart: Breastfeeding as Contemplative Practice and Source for Theology”, was awarded Best Article Published in Theology in 2013 by the College Theology Society. Her considerable experience as a presenter parallels her extensive publication history. She has shared her research at the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Latin American Studies Association, in addition to other venues. Before coming to the university, Elizabeth taught at Furman University and Converse College as an Adjunct Professor in the Religion Department and the Department of Religion and Philosophy, respectively.


C48F6577Samanta Ordonez

Assistant Professor of Romance Languagues

Samanta earned a PhD and an MA in Romance Studies at Cornell University, as well as an MA in Comparative Literature at the University of Western Ontario, and a BA in Hispanic Literature at the Universidad Veracruzana. While at Cornell, she was the recipient of a Tinker Graduate Field Research Grant to support her studies of indigenous self-representation in Zapatista documentary videos. Her current research examines masculinity and the post-NAFTA cultural politics of race and gender in Mexican film, literature and visual arts. Other areas of Samanta’s research include Latin American cinema, globalization, and coloniality. Samanta brings to Wake Forest her broad teaching experience on topics including Global Cinema, Latin American Culture, and Spanish as a second language. She has also been active in projects promoting Latin American culture and fostering shared engagement between academic and wider communities, such as a Latin American film series Cine con cultura, which she curated and co-organized in Ithaca, NY in 2014.


C48F6577Aurélie Perrier

Visiting Assistant Professor of History

Aurélie received her PhD in the History of the Modern Middle East and North Africa from Georgetown University, where she also received an MA in Arab Studies from the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her extensive research experience includes a research fellowship in the Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Qatar and a research assistantship at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars as well as archival research in France and Algeria conducted to complete her dissertation, “Intimate Matters: Negotiating Sex, Gender, and the Home in Colonial Algeria (1830-1914)”. She has presented her scholarship in prominent academic gatherings, including the Middle East Studies Association Conference in 2014 and 2012, Georgetown University’s Conference on Women in Politics and the American University in Cairo’s Gender and Empire Conference, both in 2007. Her recent interests center on the history of masculinity and imperialism in the Maghreb.


C48F6538Tim Pyatt

Dean, Z. Smith Reynolds Library

Tim comes to the Wake Forest Community from Penn State University, where he served as the Dorothy Foehr Huck Chair and Head of the The Eberly Family Special Collection. He has had prior appointments at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tim is a noted figure in librarianship. He was selected as an Association of Research Libraries Leadership Fellow and Fellow of the Society of American Archivists for outstanding contribution to the archival profession. As a thoughtful leader, he has published widely on various topics in library theory and practice, the latest of which were “Security Without Obscurity: Managing Personally Identifiable Information (PII) in Born-Digital Archives”and “The Harding Affair Letters: How One Archivist Took Every Measure Possible to Ensure Their Preservation.” Tim is a strong advocate for open access to scholarly research and helped start the institutional repositories at both Duke and Penn State. His service to the profession includes a myriad of presentations and workshops, addressing salient topics in archival librarianship. Tim received his MLS from North Carolina Central University and his BA in History from Duke University.


C48F6425Jenny Pyke

Assistant Teaching Professor of English

Jenny received her PhD in English Literature from Drew University, where she also received her MA in English. Prior to her time at Wake Forest, Jennifer was an engaged teacher-scholar at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of English, Acting Faculty Director of the Speaking, Arguing, and Writing Center, and served as an Academic Class Dean. She held similar appointments at Wesleyan University. Her scholarship in Victorian Literature and Modern Scottish Literature has been featured in several texts. Her most recent work, “‘On the South England, on the Western Eternity’: Mapping Boundless in Modern Scottish Fiction” is featured in Literary Cartographies: Spatiality, Narrative, and World Literature.  Additionally, her work has been highlighted at numerous conferences.


C48F6544William Revere

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

William received his PhD in English from Duke University. Prior to his doctoral study, he received an MAR in History of Christian Theology from Yale University and an MA in English Literature from Southern Methodist University. He served as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies after completing his doctoral study. A promising scholar, William was the recipient of Duke University’s Evan Frankel Dissertation Fellowship for PhD Students in the Humanities in 2013 as well as the Stephen J. Horne Graduate Teaching Award from Duke’s Department of English in 2011. He is currently turning his dissertation, “The Mutualities of Conscience: Satire, Community, and Individual Agency in Late Medieval and Early Modern England”, into a manuscript. His contributions to the profession include organizing the “Conversions” Working Group at Duke and a Graduate Pedagogy Forum in the Department of English.


C48F6636Ryan Safner

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Ryan recently received his Ph.D in Economics from George Mason University. Prior to that, he also received his M.A. in Economics from George Mason University and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Connecticut. His research focuses broadly on political economy, law and economics, and alternative institutions that provide public goods. In particular, most of his current research is focused on copyright law and innovation.


C48F6498Carter Smith

Visiting Assistant Professor of English

Carter received his PhD in English from Washington University in St. Louis and received his MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University. Carter is returning to his alma mater, where he received his BA in English from Wake Forest University in 1999 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. After completing his doctoral study, he was appointed Lecturer in the English Department at Texas State University, where he taught courses in Writing and Critical Theory. He writes poems and essays, which have appeared in journals such as Pequod, Pleiades, and ELH.


Stella Soojin Kim

Visiting Assistant Professor of Romance Languages

Stella recently received her PhD in Romance Studies (formerly Romance Languages and Literatures) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she also received her MA. Her research interests include 21st Century Transnational Film (Argentina, Spain, South Korea, Iran); Film Theory and Criticism; and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her dissertation focuses on the way that physical embodiment, sexual subjectivity, and spectatorial desire converge to challenge, subvert, or otherwise problematize the hegemony of what in cinema has been called the “male gaze.” Her professional activities include UNC-Chapel Hill’s Diversity Summit and Workshop and LGBTQ Safe Zone Training. Stella was also selected as a UNC Future Faculty Fellow in 2015.


Kenneth Strange

Associate Debate Coach

Ken received his MA in Speech from Northwestern University, where he also received his BS in Speech. He has had an illustrious career in the world of Speech and Debate. Ken is a nationally ranked debate coach. He has been in the top five in Coach of the Decade and Judge of the Decade Rankings since the 1970s. He has been on faculty for several summer debates institutes. He presently serves as the Director of Debate at Dartmouth College, a position he has held since 1980. Under his leadership, Dartmouth has won three National Debate Championships. Kenneth is the 1982 Emory/Wake Forest Award for Coach of the Year in 1982 and the 1988 Georgetown Award for Coach of the Year, among other accolades and accomplishments.