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In the spotlight

New members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

With scholarly interests ranging from neuroethics to Spanish cinema, the ecology of evolution to voting irregularities, and from theater studies and production to graphics software engineering, the newer members of Dartmouth's Faculty of Arts and Sciences bring a rich diversity of personal and intellectual expertise to the campus community. Vox of Dartmouth is pleased to offer the second in a series of articles introducing some of these distinguished scholars and offering readers an opportunity to learn more about their work. (Read the first in this series.)

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Biological Sciences Carol Folt says, "Recruiting outstanding faculty who uphold the highest standards of teaching and scholarship while engaging colleagues and students in the advancement of knowledge and the emergence of new fields of study is crucial to Dartmouth's continued success as a premier institution of higher learning."

Peter Hackett '74
Professor of Theater and Chair of the Department of Theater

Peter Hackett '74
Peter Hackett (Photo courtesy of Peter Hackett '74)

A 1974 graduate of Dartmouth, Peter Hackett received his M.A. from the University of California, San Diego in 1978. His thesis was a full production of August Strindberg's A Dream Play. He has held faculty positions at the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, was codirector of the M.F.A. Directing Program at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., associate professor in the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and served as artistic director of the Cleveland Play House from 1994 to 2004. During his tenure there, he instituted several innovative artistic programs including the Associate Artists Program, the Next Stage Festival of New Plays, and the Professional Actor Training Program, in partnership with Case Western Reserve University, where he was also an adjunct professor.

Of the over 80 plays he produced at The Cleveland Play House, six moved to Broadway and off-Broadway theaters, earning national distinctions including Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle nominations, and the AT&T OnStage and Obie awards. In recognition of his contributions to the cultural life of the city, Jane Campbell, the Mayor of Cleveland, issued a proclamation in his honor in 2004. The Governor of Ohio, Bob Taft, officially recognized him for his "exemplary service," and he was also honored that same year by U.S. Senator George Voinovich (R-OH) for his "decades of dedication."

In addition to his work at the Cleveland Play House, Hackett has directed at theaters across the country and abroad, including the Denver Center Theater, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, the GeVa Theater, and the National Theater in Miskolc, Hungary. From 1980 to 1988, he was a member of the Tony Award-winning Denver Center Theater Company, serving variously as acting artistic director, associate artistic director for new play development, and director of the National Theater Conservatory.

Hackett has been a screener for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Playwriting Program, a consultant to the theater department at Georgetown University, and a panelist for the NEA's Creation and Presentation Panel. He also advised the theater department at Williams College, is a member of the artistic committee of the Northern Stage Company, and is a site evaluator for the NEA Theater Program. His acting credits include "Bottom" in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, "Gaston" in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, and he was principal actor in "The War" episode of Dusty's Treehouse.

His work has been supported by major grants and awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, American Express, and the Cleveland Foundation, among others. The Cleveland Play House production of Lost Highway: The Music and Legend of Hank Williams at the Little Shubert Theater in New York (2002-2003), received two Lucille Lortel nominations, three Outer Critic Circle nominations, three Drama Desk nominations, and an Obie award. The production was named one of the Top Ten Productions in New York for 2003 by Time Out: New York Magazine.

Michael Herron
Associate Professor of Government

Michael Herron
Michael Herron (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Michael Herron joined the Dartmouth faculty in the government department in 2003, having previously served as an assistant professor of political science at Northwestern University. He applies statistical techniques to a variety of problems in political science and his current research focuses on voting irregularities in general elections, invalid votes, and issues related to voting technology. With a particular interest in estimating the fraction of invalid votes that are intentional abstentions as opposed to technological errors, his research also seeks to understand the consequences of changing voting technologies. A 1989 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, he received an M.A. in political science from the University of Dayton in 1992 and an M.S. in statistics from Stanford University in 1995. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford in 1998, where his dissertation topic was Political Uncertainty and the Prices of Financial Assets.

Herron's research has been published widely, and he has become known as an expert on matters of voting irregularities. Some of his articles include "Black Candidates and Black Voters: Assessing the Impact of Candidate Race on Uncounted Vote Rates," with Jasjeet S. Sekhon, (Journal of Politics, 2005); "Government Redistribution in the Shadow of Legislative Elections: A Study of the Illinois Member Initiatives Grant Program," with Brett A. Theodos, (Legislative Studies Quarterly, 2004); and "Studying Dynamics in Legislator Ideal Points: Scale Matters," (Political Analysis, 2004). He is currently working on articles about Ralph Nader's effect on the Gore candidacy, Congressional "pork," and a study on gerrymandering based on a legislative redistricting in Illinois.

Herron has received research grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Enterprise Institute, The Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and Northwestern University, and he served as an intelligence analyst and military officer, U.S. Air Force, Foreign Technology Division, from 1989 to 1992. He is coeditor of The Political Methodologist, a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Political Science, and serves on the publications committee of the Society for Political Methodology.

José Manuel del Pino
Professor of Spanish

Jose Manuel del Pino
José Manuel del Pino (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

The author of numerous works of poetry and literary criticism, José Manuel del Pino is an expert on Spanish film, modern and contemporary Spanish literature, and cultural studies. He graduated from the Universidad de Málaga (Spain), where he received the "Licenciatura" (B.A. and M.A. degrees) in 1981. He holds two degrees from Princeton University, having received a second M.A. there in 1989, and a Ph.D. in 1992. A member of the faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder beginning in 1991, he joined the Dartmouth faculty as a full professor in 2004. At Boulder, del Pino served as an assistant professor of Spanish from 1991 to 1998, and as an associate professor of Spanish from 1998 to 2004, during which time he also served as associate chair and then chair of the department.

His scholarly books include Montajes y fragmentos: una aproximación a la narrativa española de van-guardia (Montages and Fragments: An Approach to the Spanish Avant-Garde Narrative) 1995, Del tren al aeroplano: ensayos sobre la vanguardia española (The Train and the Airplane: Essays on the Spanish Avant-Garde) 2004, and a coedited volume, El hispanismo en los Estados Unidos, Discursos críticos/prácticas textuales (Hispanism in the United States: Critical Discourses/Textual Practices) 1999. The focus of his research is Spanish modernism and the avant-garde and Spanish cinema. His scholarly articles in these areas have appeared in numerous journals and literary magazines and he is a frequent reviewer of major books on Spanish cinema and modernism.

Currently he is working on a book on nostalgia and utopia in contemporary Hispanic film and he is the codirector of the series "Literary Studies/University" of Ediciones Libertarias (Madrid). Del Pino has published three volumes of poetry, including De lago ya quebrado (A Lake Already Broken) 2001, Los altos oleajes (High Tides) 1988, and Mi afición desmedida por lo inútil (My Disproportionate Liking for the Useless) 1985. Individual works of poetry and fiction appear frequently in publications ranging from the Seneca Review to Another Chicago Magazine, among many others.

Del Pino's expertise is sought at universities and scholarly seminars across the nation and around the world. He has spoken on contemporary Spanish film and literatures at Columbia University, the University of St. Andrews (Scotland), Oxford University, the University of Alberta at Edmonton, the University of Southern California, New York University, The College of Wooster, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, the University of Texas at Austin, and Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.

With major institutional and external support for his work, beginning with a Mellon Fellowship in 1988 at Princeton and earlier grants from Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo in Santander, he received a Twentieth Century Humanities Grant for the project "Stereotypes of Marginality: The Representation of Gypsies in Spanish Film," numerous awards for research funding from the University of Colorado and, from Dartmouth, an award from the John Sloan Dickey Center and a Welling Fellowship for 2005–2006.

A member of the Modern Language Association of America, in whose executive committee of the division of 20th-century Spanish literature he served from 1998 to 2002, del Pino is also member of the editorial advisory council of Annals of Contemporary Spanish Literature. He has been an invited reviewer for professional journals such as Arizona Journal of Hispanic Cultural Studies, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, and PMLA.

David Bucci
Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences

David Bucci
David Bucci (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

A 1990 graduate of Wesleyan University, David Bucci received his Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of North Carolina in 1998. Before joining the Dartmouth faculty in 2004, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University in the departments of psychology and neuroscience. Earlier, he was an assistant research scientist with Bristol-Myers Squibb (1990-1992), a consulting scientist with Sention, Inc. (2000-2001), and was an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Vermont (2001-2004).

His research interests focus on the neural mechanisms of learning and memory, the neurobiology of attention, psychopharmacology, the biological substrates of emotion, and the neural bases of cognitive disorders. His articles have appeared in the leading journals of his discipline, such as Behavioral Neuroscience, Behavioral Brain Research, and the Journal of Neuroscience.

The goal of his research is to further an understanding of the basic mechanisms of information processing in the brain, ultimately relating these findings to the biological basis of cognitive dysfunction in humans. Current research projects are focused on competition and interaction between cortical systems that regulate attention, the cellular mechanisms underlying attention and memory formation, the role of neurotransmitter systems in attention and learning, and mechanisms underlying contextual fear memory and extinction.

Bucci is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including five Research Grants and National Research Service Awards from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), a Hoechst-Celanese Neuroscience Award, and an Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). He is also a nominee for a Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research Award, a John Merck Scholars Program Award, and a Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Career Award. His memberships and professional service activities range from the Society for Neuroscience and the American Psychological Association to the Vermont Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, where he served as that organization's vice president from 2004 to 2005. He is an ad hoc manuscript reviewer for several neuroscience journals, and was cofounder and president of the Brown University Postdoctoral Association.

Martin Dimitrov
Assistant Professor of Government

Martin Dimitrov
Martin Dimitrov (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

An expert on Russian and Eurasian studies, Martin Dimitrov received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2004. His dissertation, Administrative Decentralization, Legal Fragmentation, and the Rule of Law: the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Laws in China, Russia, Taiwan, and the Czech Republic, reflects his broad-ranging interests in how governmental structures take shape and function under several different models. With a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College, where he double-majored in Government and French, and in Asian studies, Dimitrov has conducted research at Middlebury College in Chinese and French, the International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University, Stanford University School of Law, the Tsinghua University, and Washington University in St. Louis. A native of Bulgaria, he is fluent in five languages (Bulgarian, English, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, and French), and has deep knowledge of German, Spanish, Serbo-Croatian, and Japanese.

Before coming to Dartmouth, Dimitrov was an An Wang Postdoctoral Fellow at the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, both at Harvard University. He has written or spoken on the impact of decentralization on environmental protection laws in China, exporting revolutions in Belarus, and the politics of intellectual property rights in China. His current research includes three main projects: a book on federal pathologies, especially the negative impact of decentralization on the prospects for the rise of the rule of law in China and Russia; a project titled "Why Communism Didn't Collapse," examining the resilience of Communism in China, Vietnam, Laos, North Korea, and Cuba; and a study on the role of ethnic parties in protecting minority rights in the ethnically divided societies of Eastern Europe.

Rebecca Irwin
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences

Rebecca Irwin
Rebecca Irwin (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

A specialist in community ecology, species invasions, plant/animal interactions, and plant mating systems, Rebecca Irwin came to Dartmouth after teaching and conducting research at the Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia, from 2001 to 2004. Earlier, she was a postdoctoral associate at the Center for Population Biology at the University of California, Davis. A graduate of Middlebury College, where she obtained her B.A. in 1996, she received her Ph.D. in biology in the Program in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Vermont in 2000.

Interested in the impact of species interactions on evolutionary change, Irwin studies the relationships among plants, pollinators, and multiple antagonists (including herbivores, seed predators, and nectar robbers) to test how these relationships affect the evolution of plant and floral traits in natural populations. She also studies the ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences of species invasions. Understanding the complexity of interactions among plants, mutualists, and multiple antagonists provides a deeper knowledge of how species are ecologically and evolutionarily linked in biological communities.

Her research has been supported by multiple grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and her research linking economic activities to the distribution of exotic plants has received widespread attention in both the scholarly and the popular press.

A mentor to her students, Irwin has used her interest in environmental ecology to comment on how the academic environment affects the evolution of young scholars in a recently submitted book chapter with colleague B.W. Taylor. Irwin is also committed to involving undergraduate students in research in her lab, providing an opportunity to generate excitement in education through hands-on research.

John Kulvicki
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

John Kulvicki
John Kulvicki (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

A 1995 graduate of Princeton University, John Kulvicki received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Chicago. His dissertation, Pictures and Perceptual Representations, is representative of his wide-ranging work across several fields, including the philosophy of mind, aesthetics, and the philosophy of psychology. Kulvicki was the recipient of a Franke Institute for the Humanities Dissertation Year Fellowship, one of only four awarded annually in the humanities at the University of Chicago. Before joining the Dartmouth faculty in 2004, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis and at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario.

His research spans the fields of cognitive science, philosophy, and perception. He examines how perceptual states represent the environment, resulting in awareness, and how the so-called "secondary" characteristic of color differ from the "primary" characteristics of shape and form. In addition to his work on perception, Kulvicki also examines the nature and uses of pictorial representation, exploring how pictures differs from diagrams and why some images are perceived to be more realistic than others. Both of these research areas investigate representational systems, whether innate or created. He is a faculty fellow this year at the Leslie Center for the Humanities Institute, "Visual Culture and Pedagogy in the Life Sciences," and he is the author of a forthcoming book, On Images: Their Structure and Content (2006).

Ana Merino
Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese

Ana Merino
Ana Merino (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Poet, essayist, and expert on contemporary Latin American literature and culture, Ana Merino is also an expert on the art of comics and graphic novel criticism. With a Ph.D. in Latin American and Spanish literature from the University of Pittsburgh, she received the "Licentiatura" in modern and contemporary history from Universidad Autonóma de Madrid, and obtained her M.A. from Ohio State University in 1997. Before joining the Dartmouth faculty in 2004, Merino was an assistant professor of Spanish at Appalachian State University and, earlier, was a teaching fellow at the University of Pittsburgh. From 2002 to 2003 she directed the study abroad program in Madrid for Appalachian State University.

Her other areas of scholarly interest include transatlantic cultural studies and women's studies. She has published four books of poetry, Preparativos para un viaje (1995), Los días gemelos (1997), La voz de los relojes (2000), and Juegos de niños (2003). The recipient of the Adonais and Fray Luis de León awards for poetry, she was also awarded the Diario de Avisos Award for best critical short articles about comics for the Spanish literary magazine, Leer.

Her work has been supported by numerous grants and awards, including an Andrew Mellon Predoctoral fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000–2001, and a Suzanne Karpus Grant for graduate students in peninsular studies from Ohio State University. The author of El Cómic Hispánico, she has edited a series of three articles, with Julián Acebrón, Del Fanzine al Mango Yaoi: Lesbianes, Gais i Transsexuals al Cómic, and contributed nine articles to the International Journal of Comic Art under the title, "Spanish Comics: A Symposium."

Merino is a member of the executive committee for the International Comics Art Festival (ICAF) and member of the board of directors for the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vt. She has served as curator for three comics exhibitions, one in the United States and two in Spain.

She has lectured on Spanish cultural studies and representations of cultural trends through the art of cartooning at seminars and symposia across the United States and overseas, and gives frequent readings of her poetry. Merino is cofounder and organizer of Cine-Estudio (Hispanic Movies Series and Marathons) at Appalachian State University, and has participated in the production of several film documentaries on Spanish poetry and literature.

Edward Miller
Assistant Professor of History

Edward Miller
Edward Miller (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Edward Miller received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2004. His dissertation, Grand Designs: Vision, Power and Nation-Building in America's Alliance with Ngô Dinh Diêm, 1954-60, reflects his primary research interests in the areas of U.S.–East Asian relations and the Vietnam War. He is a 1991 graduate of Swarthmore College and received his M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1997, where he pursued additional course work in Vietnamese and Southeast Asian history.

Miller is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a Dwight D. Eisenhower/Thomas A. Pappas Graduate Fellowship, a Harvard Merit Fellowship in the graduate school of arts and sciences, a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship for Doctoral Dissertation Research in Vietnam and Singapore, a Whiting Dissertation Completion Fellowship, and a John M. Olin Predoctoral Fellowship in National Security Studies, among others. He joined the Dartmouth faculty in 2004 and, since then, has received a travel grant for study in Vietnam from the John Sloan Dickey Center, a junior faculty fellowship from the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend to support research in Vietnam.

He is currently working on a book, Grand Designs: The Making and Unmaking of America's Alliance with Ngô Dinh Diêm, 1954-1963, a work that enlarges on his dissertation research. This monograph, which is based on research in Vietnamese, French and American archives, reinterprets the origins of the U.S. intervention in the Vietnam War by examining the interactions between American and Vietnamese ideas about nation building. It shows how Diêm's pursuit of his modernizing vision for South Vietnam led eventually to his undoing and to deeper American involvement in Vietnam. He is also working on a volume, coedited with Frank Ninkovich and Alexis Albion, titled Global America: Essays in International History. This collection highlights the work of some of the most promising young scholars currently working in the field of international history.

Miller is a member of the executive council of the Vietnamese Studies Group, the academic advisory council of The Vietnam Center at Texas Tech University, and the editorial board of The Journal of Vietnamese Studies.

Fabio Pellacini
Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Fabio Pellacini
Fabio Pellacini (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Fabio Pellacini received his Ph.D. in computer science specializing in computer graphics from Cornell University in 2002, after completing an M.S. in computer science there and a Laurea Degree in physics from the University of Parma, Italy. His primary research interest concerns the development of computational tools for digital artists. Prior to joining the Dartmouth faculty, he spent two years at Pixar Animation Studios as a graphics software engineer, followed by a year at Cornell as a visiting assistant professor.

Pellacini's work focuses on the technical side of digital art, as it is applied to interactive and artist-friendly appearance design. At a time when synthetic images are becoming ubiquitous, major questions still need to be answered in the creation of the models required for image generation. Artists now require extensive technical training and image synthesis costs continue to rise. Pellacini seeks to address some of these issues by developing more efficient algorithms that provide artists with interactive feedback when manipulating complex environments and new user interfaces that provide them with more freedom of expression with less technical training.

Widely published in scholarly and technical journals in the computer sciences as well as in physics, Pellacini has also contributed book chapters on cinematic lighting and shadow map antialiasing. He received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the computer science department at Cornell in 2000, and the Academic Accomplishments Award from the University of Parma in 1997. His screen credits at Pixar reflect his research and development contributions, and include The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and the soon to be released Cars.

Pellacini's research is also moving into the area of information visualization. Thanks to the availability of computers and the Internet, a wealth of information is accessible, often so much of it that it is difficult to find interesting trends. He is currently exploring ways to create visual summaries and interactive tools for applications as varied as "eyetracking," social networks evolution, and mobile computing paths.

Adina Roskies
Assistant Professor of Philosophy

Adina Roskies
Adina Roskies (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

After graduating from Yale University in 1988, Adina Roskies pursued graduate work at the University of California, San Diego, receiving an M.A. in philosophy, an M.S. in neuroscience, and a Ph.D. in neurosciences and cognitive science. Her doctoral work in neural development was conducted at the Salk Institute, and following that she pursued postdoctoral research in cognitive neuroimaging at Washington University Medical School in St. Louis. In 1997, she became senior editor of the neuroscience journal Neuron, where she played a key role in broadening its scope to include systems and cognitive neuroscience. Before coming to Dartmouth, Roskies returned to graduate school to obtain a second Ph.D. in philosophy from M.I.T. A member of the Dartmouth faculty since 2004, Roskies spent time on campus earlier in her career as a fellow attending the McDonnell Summer Institute in Cognitive Neuroscience.

At the Salk Institute, Roskies conducted research on the molecular processes underlying the formation of visual topographic maps, and was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute summer fellow there. She has also studied neural systems and behavior at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory.

Her research interests in philosophy include the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and ethics. She has worked as a member of the McDonnell Project in Neurophilosophy, which aims to integrate philosophical thought and neurobiological research.

Roskies has published articles in numerous scholarly journals in neurosciences and philosophy, among which are several devoted to exploring and articulating issues in neuroethics. For one of these she was awarded the William James Prize by the Society of Philosophy and Psychology. She was recently awarded a three-year fellowship from the Australian Research Council.

Her current focus is on the philosophy of neuroscience, in particular, the philosophical issues related to new neuroimaging results and technologies, including increasingly pressing neuroethical issues about privacy and cognitive enhancement. Another project involves combining neuroscience research with philosophical inquiry to better understand the nature of motivation and its philosophical roles. Her interest in motivation extends to metaethics, and the relation of moral judgment to moral motivation. Roskies has an ongoing interest in understanding the nature of animal thought, theories of concepts, and conceptual representation.

By LAUREL STAVIS and JANE CARROLL

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Last Updated: 12/17/08