Steering Committee

2018-2019 Steering Committee

CLAS’s steering committee composition reflects our faculty base. Our hybrid model consists of seven elected or appointed positions that rotate on a staggered 2-year term. Representatives from core LAS departments will be elected: Spanish and Portuguese (odd years), History (odd years), Political Science (even years), Anthropology (even years). Representatives from the professional schools and other departments will be appointed: Peabody/Law/Business (odd years), Medicine/IGH/VSN (even years) and Other (even years). This composition was proposed to the CLAS Steering Committee May 2010 and enacted in August 2010.

P_SC_celso-castilhoCelso Castilho, History (email)
Celso Thomas Castilho is an Assistant Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, where he was hired initially as a post-doctoral fellow in 2008.  His research and teaching interests align around the themes of performance and citizenship, racial and gender formations, and comparative slavery and abolition. With Professor Jane Landers, he co-directs the Circum-Atlantic Studies Seminar, funded by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. View faculty page

 Earl Fitz, Spanish and Portuguese (email)
As a Professor of Portuguese, Spanish, and Comparative Literature at Vanderbilt University, Professor Fitz has pioneered the application of comparative methodologies to the study of both Brazilian and Spanish American letters, the use of literature written in Spanish and Portuguese to comparative scholarship, and to the establishment of a new Ph.D. track concentrating on inter-American literary study. Professor Fitz also encourages a comparative approach to the literature of Spain and Portugal and to the development of Comparative Iberian Studies as an emerging field. View faculty page

T.S. Harvey, Anthropology (email)





Carolyn Heinrich, Education, Business, and Law (email)
Carolyn J. Heinrich is a Professor of Public Policy and Education in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at the Peabody College and a Professor of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on education, workforce development, social welfare policy, program evaluation, and public management and performance management. She works directly with federal, state and local governments in her research to improve policy design and program effectiveness and also collaborates with nongovernmental organizations (such as the World Bank, UNICEF and others) to improve the impacts of economic and social investments in middle-income and developing countries. View faculty page

Tiffany Patterson, African American and Diaspora Studies (email)
Professor Tiffany Ruby Patterson is Associate Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies, and History, at Vanderbilt University. Her research specializations include African American and African Diaspora History with emphasis on colonialism and anti-colonial movements, migrations, social history of gender and color, color and class in Afro-American Communities, gender matters in the African Atlantic world, decolonial movements and the moral imaginations of intellectuals in the African Diaspora. View faculty page

Elizabeth Zechmeister, Political Science (email)
Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science
Director, Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP)
Professor Zechmeister research focuses on comparative political behavior and public opinion, in particular in Latin America. Her work includes studies of voting, ideology, political parties, representation, charisma, and crisis. She has published articles in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, and Political Behavior, among other outlets. She is co-author of Democracy at Risk: How Terrorist Threats Affect the Public (University of Chicago Press, 2009) and Latin American Party Systems (Cambridge University Press, 2010). She is co-editor of The Latin American Voter: Pursuing Representation and Accountability in Challenging Contexts (University of Michigan Press, 2015). Her courses focus on Latin American politics, Mexican politics, research design, and comparative political behavior and public opinion.

Brent Savoie, Medicine/IGH/VSN (email)
Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in the Department of Radiology and is the Section Chief of Cardiothoracic Imaging. Founder of Primeros Pasos, a community health program that has provided communities in Western Guatemala with both preventive and curative medical services since 2002. Brent has published on topics related to health and human rights law- focusing on the impact of intellectual property law on access to pharmaceuticals and medical technology. As part of his research in this area he worked as a legal fellow with Physicians for Human Rights.