After years of living all over the country (Maryland, California, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Connecticut, and New Jersey) with a few different countries (Scotland and France) thrown in for good measure, Patricia Armstrong has finally settled down in Nashville, where her perfect day includes going to Arnold’s for lunch, Las Paletas for a late-afternoon popsicle, and the Station Inn for some smokin’ bluegrass! A specialist in seventeenth-century French literature with a Ph.D. from Yale University, Professor Armstrong has taught introductory, intermediate, and advanced French at Yale, Princeton, and Vanderbilt. She particularly enjoys teaching writing, which she most frequently does as an instructor of French 201w, and advising students as they take on intellectual challenges at Vanderbilt.
A reformed slacker from Northern California, Beau Baca gave up his dreams of playing music and sold his electric guitar to pay for graduate school applications, only to end up in Music City. Far from letting himself be oppressed by the weight of such existential irony, Beau completed his Ph.D. in August of 2010 and has taught as a Lecturer in the department of English for the past two years. While his dissertation explored aesthetic engagement in British theater of the long eighteenth century, Beau’s teaching interests are varied and he has taught classes on satire, the pastoral, and nostalgia in contemporary culture. The university environment affords a chance for intellectual exploration and personal reflection and Beau is here to enthusiastically encourage you to take advantage of these chances while also reminding you to meet your AXLE requirements.
A native of Crooksville, Ohio, Stacy Clifford loves to call Nashville home. Stacy completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at Vanderbilt University in 2011; her research examines the political participation of people with intellectual disabilities in American democracy. In her class “Justice,” students debated political hot topics, such as citizenship and income inequality, through the philosophical work of Aristotle, Socrates, John Locke and Hannah Arendt. Stacy joined CASPAR in 2012, and helping her students meet their requirements in ways that promote their personal academic goals has been rewarding. When she’s not in her office, she is usually at a playground with her identical twin toddlers.
After teaching high school physics and math and coaching cross-country and track in the exotic locales of Asunción, Paraguay and Bell Buckle, Tennessee, Jeff Edmonds decided to come to Vanderbilt to think hard about the relation between education and democracy. He received his Ph.D. from the Philosophy department in 2009. He has since lectured in philosophy, teaching general logic as well as writing courses on topics ranging from environmental ethics to the nature of the self to the meaning of democracy. An avid runner, you might find Jeff roaming the streets of Nashville in his quixotic quest to run a marathon in less than two and a half hours. He enjoys helping students explore the wide range of possibilities that intellectual life at Vanderbilt offers.
A native of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Andrea Bradley Hearn came to Nashville in 2001 to do a Ph.D. in English at Vanderbilt specializing in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature. A lecturer in the English department since 2005, she’s taught writing courses in crime fiction, commodity culture, the Great War, the romantic comedy, and Jane Austen. A faculty pre-major adviser since 2007, she’ll be teaching upper-level British literature courses in both the fall and spring. She loves to walk dogs with her husband and cats and read mysteries, gardening memoirs, and children’s books with talking animals. Her favorite food is her mother’s chicken-fried steak.
Joshua Houston has been working closely with Vanderbilt students for several years, as a teacher in the Philosophy Department, as a consultant and fellow at the Writing Studio, and now as an adviser for CASPAR. He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt in 2011. His research concerns the nature of social life, communication, and social norms, and the implications of this for political philosophy, particularly in the areas of global justice and democratic theory. He finds happiness in learning and hopes to be able to help students do the same. When not working or reading philosophy (which is rare), he enjoys spending time with his wife and his dog, listening to music that most people find unpleasant to listen to, watching horror movies, or obsessing over some little thing or another.
Originally from San Antonio, TX, Wesley Lim considers himself more of a “Weltbürger” as he has spent extensive time in Europe—particularly Germany. After completing undergraduate work in Business and Dance at Emory University, he taught conversational English in Nagano, Japan. In 2012 he completed a dissertation at Vanderbilt on the representation of dance and city space in German literature around 1900. On top of his research, Wesley is a devoted teacher and enthusiastic adviser whose potpourri of life experiences, he hopes, makes him a great resource for students. In his spare time, he enjoys being a flâneur, frequenting Nashville’s coffee houses, and yearning for authentic Tex-Mex and onigiri.
John Morrell completed his Ph.D. in English at Vanderbilt. He studies American Literature from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, with a focus on environmental literature. His current project explores the intersections of science fiction and climate change, analyzing novels and films alongside scenarios in public policy documents and scientific literature. He has also recently developed an interest in film and photography work. During his time at Vanderbilt, John has been an instructor in the English Department and a fellow at the Center for Teaching. As a CASPAR adviser, John's goal is to help students pursue a broad range of interests and passions as they navigate their academic careers.
Rachel Nisselson has yet to leave the world of education. The year after college took her to Dijon, France, where she taught English to university students. She then spent the next four years teaching French and Spanish at the high school level. She has thoroughly enjoyed working at CASPAR since completing her Ph.D. in French literature at Vanderbilt in 2010. Rachel relishes new opportunities: after the 2012 spring semester, she accompanied a student group to Morocco and in fall she taught an advanced French conversation class. Outside of her academic pursuits, Professor Nisselson enjoys anything that gets her out of her desk chair. You’ll often find her on the squash courts, cruising around town on her bike, or taking her son on walks in his stroller.
Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, Jacob Sauer watched Raiders of the Lost Ark at a young age and decided to play in the dirt for a living. He received BA degrees in Anthropology and History from Brigham Young University, where he conducted research in southern Utah on the Fremont and Anasazi cultures. He then attended the University of Kentucky for a year before transferring to the Ph.D. program in the Department of Anthropology at Vanderbilt, from which he graduated in 2012. His research has focused on the Araucanian culture of south-central Chile, the only indigenous society in the Americas to expel the Spanish and maintain independence for over 300 years, as well as brief forays into work in Tennessee and Mexico. When not digging in the dirt, Jacob strives to finish crossword puzzles without cheating and watches dumb movies with his wife.
A native of Natchez, MS, Anna Catesby Yant is a Southern belle who doesn’t mind getting a little dirty. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Vanderbilt; her dissertation research focuses on the relationship between architecture, power and social change. She is a Maya archaeologist and no, she is not at all like Indiana Jones. During the fall, she loves to watch LSU football and in the spring, it’s “crawfish time”. In her spare time, she can usually be found chasing around a husband, two dogs and a toddler.