2011-2012 New Faculty Profiles (Q-Z)

Senior, John

Director of the Art of Ministry Program & Assistant Professor of the Practice of Religion and Society

Wake Forest University School of Divinity (WFUSC)

John received his B.A. from Bowdoin College, where he graduated summa cum laude in Religion and Philosophy. He achieved a Full Fulbright Grant to Tubingen, Germany before completing his M.Div. at Harvard University and his Ph.D. at Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion. While completing his Ph.D., John was honored with the Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship as well as the Woodruff Fellowship. He has authored several works, including a book chapter in Contextualizing Theological Education, and has given a variety of presentations, such as “Cruciform Political Agency: Politics between the Penultimate and the Ultimate” at the Annual meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics in New Orleans.

Sikes, Sandy

Sandy Sikes

Clinical Visiting Instructor

Department of Education

Sandy received her Associates Degree in Applied Science from Elon College and her B.A. and M.A. in Biology at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG). She completed her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at UNCG, where she wrote “The Evaluation of the Ninth Grade Success Team at High Point Central High School: A Transition Program for At-Risk Ninth Grade Students.” Sandy has achieved vast experience in the Education field, including 31 years in public schools as a teacher/administrator and as a Clinical Supervisor for elementary education at Salem College. She comes to Wake Forest University from her position as Principal at Piney Grove Elementary School and from Gardner Webb University where she has been teaching classes in the Elementary Education Masters Program.”

Sinanoglou, Penny

Postdoctoral Teacher-Scholar Fellow

Department of History

Penny received her Ph.D. in History from Harvard University. She graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University where she received her B.A. in History and Middle Eastern and Asian Languages and Cultures. She has published on twentieth-century British policy-making in the Middle East, and works more broadly on questions of empire, nationalism, ethnic identity, and decolonization. Penny has received a number of honors for her work, among them the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Education. She previously taught in the Princeton Writing Program and in Harvard’s Program in History & Literature. At Wake Forest University, she will teach courses on European and imperial history.

Sloan, Michael

Michael Sloan

Assistant Professor

Department of Classical Languages

Michael double majored in Classics and Economics at Baylor University before attending Texas Tech University for his M.A. in Classics. He completed his M.Litt. in Divinity as well as his Ph.D. in Classics at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. While completing his Ph.D., Michael was awarded with a Research Grant from the Leverhulme Trust. Michael has published works on Augustine, Aristotle and Cicero, including his latest article, “Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics as the Original Locus for the Septem Circumstantiae” in Classical Philology.

Strand, Thea

Thea Strand

Visiting Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

Thea was a Phi Beta Kappa at Hamline University where she received her B.A. in Anthropology and International Studies before attending the University of Arizona to complete both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology. She has been awarded several grants and fellowships, including the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Educational Foundation American Fellowship as well as the Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Grant for her dissertation research in Norway. Thea has authored several articles and book chapters on language and society in Norway and the United States, and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. She comes to Wake Forest University from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Tauber, Joel

Assistant Professor

Joel Tauber

Department of Art

Joel is an artist and filmmaker who received his M.F.A. in Art from Art Center College of Design and his B.A. in Art History and Sculpture from Yale University.  His work has been shown in solo art exhibitions at a number of locations, including Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects in L.A. and Galerie Adamski in Berlin and Aachen, Germany.   He has been included in numerous group art exhibitions including the 2004 and 2008 California Biennials at the Orange County Museum of Art; “The Gravity in Art” at the De Appel Centre For Contemporary Art in Amsterdam; and “Still Things Fall From the Sky” at the California Museum of Photography.  Film Festivals include the Sedona International Film Festival, San Francisco Documentary Festival, and the Downtown Film Festival – Los Angeles, where his movie, “Sick-Amour”, was awarded “Best Green Film.”

Tucker, Eric

Eric Tucke

Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow

Department of Chemistry

Eric received his B.A. in Chemistry at Elmira College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from North Carolina State University. While at N.C. State University, Eric completed the “Preparing the Professoriate Program” and was awarded the GAANN Electronic Materials Fellowship. He has given several presentations related to his research, including at the 123rd and 124th NC ACS sectional meetings, and he recently published “Terminal Alkynes as an Ink or Background SAM in Replacement Lithography.” His laboratory skills and interests include Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM), Atomic Force Miscroscopy (AFM), and Cyclic Voltammetry. Eric comes to Wake Forest University from N.C. State University.

van der Zwan, Natascha

Natascha van der Zwan

Visiting Assistant Professor

Department of Political Science

Natascha attended the University of Amsterdam to receive her M.A. in Political Science. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at the New School for Social Research in New York, where she majored in Comparative Politics. She has received numerous grants, including a Doctoral Fellowship in International Business History from the German Historical Institute in Washington, DC. Recently, Natascha received the 2010 Shared Capitalism Dissertation Proposal Award from the Aspen Institute and co-sponsors for her project “Contentious Capital: The Politics of Investment in the United States and Germany.” She has presented her work at numerous conferences, including the American Political Science Association annual meeting and the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics.

Villalba, José

Jose Villalba

Associate Professor


José attended the University of Florida for his B.S. in Psychology, his M.Ed. and Ed.S. in School of Guidance and Counseling, and his Ph.D. in Counseling and Counselor Education. In addition, he is a National Certified Counselor. He has authored several works, including the article “The impressions of school nurses and school counselors related to health disparities of Latina/o students in rural, emerging Latino communities,” published in Hispanic Healthcare International, and a book chapter entitled “Individuals and families of Latino heritage,” in The handbook for developing multicultural competency: A systems approach. José has been awarded several grants to support his research, including funding from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute for Minority Health and Health Disparities, and he recently spoke on a workshop panel for Latina/o students and parents in Stateville, NC.

Voss Roberts, Michelle

Assistant Professor of Theology and Culture

Wake Forest University School of Divinity (WFUSC)

Michelle received her B.A. in Religion and Theology from Calvin College, her M.T.S. from the Candler School of Theology, and her Ph.D. from Emory University’s Graduate Division of Religion. She has authored a variety of publications, including a book-length work of comparative theology entitled “Dualities: A Theology of Difference.” In 2010, she received the Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza New Scholar Award from the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion for her article on multiple religious belonging. Michelle’s current research interests include the role of aesthetics and emotion in religious experience.

Wardle, Timothy

Timothy Wardle

Visiting Assistant Professor

Department of Religion

Timothy received his B.A. from Wheaton College where he double majored in History and Biblical & Theological Studies. He attended The Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel for his M.A. in Religious Studies before completing his Ph.D. in Religion at Duke University. Timothy has published several works, including a monograph entitled The Jerusalem Temple and Early Christian Identity (2010), and has spoken at several academic conferences, most recently presenting “Mark as a Sectarian Document? An Investigation into Mark’s View of the Law” at the SBL Annual Meeting. Tim’s area of specialization is in New Testament Studies and Christian Origins, and he comes to Wake Forest University from Elon University where he taught Religious Studies.

Wasserman, Casey

Casey Wasserman

Visiting Assistant Professor

Department of English

Casey was a Phi Beta Kappa at The George Washington University where she received her B.A. in English before attending Duke University to complete her Ph.D. in English. While at Duke University, Casey taught several English courses, including “Representative American Writers: The American South,” and received numerous honors, such as the William Preston Few Dissertation Fellowship. She has authored a variety of publications and recently presented “The Horror of Genre: Octavia Butler’s Kindred and the Limitations of Genre Identification” at the South Atlantic Modern Language Association.

Way, Elizabeth

Visiting Assistant Professor

Department of English

Elizabeth graduated magna cum laude from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in English, received a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and an M.A. in English at the University of Durham in England as a Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar. She completed a Ph.D. in English at the University of Georgia. Before working as an Adjunct Professor in the English Department last year, Elizabeth taught several advanced English courses at the University of Georgia as a Robert E. Park Teaching Fellow. She specializes in British Romantic literature and culture, travel writing, and women’s and gender studies. Her chapter, “Teaching Mary Seacole in a First-Year Writing Seminar,” will appear in the forthcoming Teaching Anglophone Caribbean Literature, ed. Supriya Nair (MLA). She is currently working on a book-length study of women travelers, domestic materiality, and the French Revolution.

Welland, Heather

Heather Welland

Assistant Professor

Department of History

Heather received her B.A. and her M.A. in History at the University of Toronto and completed her Ph.D. in Early Modern British History at the University of Chicago. She has been honored with numerous awards and fellowships, including the Social Sciences Dissertation Fellowship and the North American Conference on British Studies Dissertation Year Fellowship. Heather has forthcoming publications on lobbying and interest politics in eighteenth century Britain, and on Quebec’s role in the British Empire. She has presented at several conferences and recently spoke on “Early America and the Imperial Economy Before 1760” at the Organization of American Historians.

Wetzel, Grace

Grace Wetzel

First Year Writing Lecturer

Department of English

Grace received her B.A. in English and Economics at Loyola University Maryland where she graduated summa cum laude. She received her M.A. in English as well as her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of South Carolina. While completing her Ph.D., Grace was awarded the Northeast Modern Language Association Research Fellowship and the University of South Carolina Education Foundation Teaching Award. She has authored several publications, including “Contradictory Subtexts in Willa Cather’s O Pioneers! and Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd“ for the Great Plains Quarterly. Recently, Grace was invited to speak at the Conference on College Composition and Communication.