The following four faculty members will newly hold endowed chairs during the next academic year, beginning on July 1.
Pamela G. Hollie Endowed Chair, Global Challenges:
Professor of Chemistry Yutan Getzler
Since arriving at Kenyon in 2004, Yutan Getzler’s scholarship has focused on sustainability in materials science, with work addressing the critical problems around plastics, particularly plastic waste. He is the inaugural holder of the Hollie chair, which is designed to support a “faculty member in any discipline whose teaching and research programs address global challenges including (but not limited to) climate change, immigration, food security, access to justice and civil rights.”
Getzler’s proposal includes continued work in the laboratory with the target of creating plastics that degrade more easily, as well as developing an interdisciplinary course and campus programming that examine waste disposal in different settings, countries, and communities around the world, and, by leveraging contacts with organizations, raising awareness of issues surrounding waste disposal.
John B. McCoy-Banc One Distinguished Teaching Professorship:
Professor of Anthropology Kimmarie Murphy
The McCoy-Banc One Distinguished Teaching Chair was established in 1998 with a $1.5-million gift from former trustee chair John B. McCoy and the Banc One Corporation with the goals of providing a mentor for new professors and of fostering excellence in teaching at Kenyon. Kimmarie Murphy was selected based on an application process that included an examination of her teaching as well as a written proposal outlining a plan to encourage the exchange of ideas about good teaching practice at the College through seminars, presentations, and discussion.
Murphy is “interested in expanding the opportunities for peer mentoring to all faculty by exploring the benefits of reverse mentoring, co-teaching as mentoring, communal mentoring, and mentoring to enhance collective care within our community,” she wrote in her application for the professorship. Trained as a biocultural anthropologist, Murphy joined the Kenyon faculty in 2004 and is interested in understanding contemporary patterns of health and nutrition as a way of interpreting diet and disease in the past. Her research focuses on human osteology with an emphasis on paleopathology and stable isotope analysis.
John Crowe Ransom Professorship in English:
Professor of English Jesse Matz
In nominating Jesse Matz, Chair of the Department of English Pashmina Murphy wrote that he “is a well-known scholar of Modernist literature and culture [and] the author of four books (with a fifth in progress). … His work is strongly rooted in early 20th-century literary cultures while also deeply engaging in art, aesthetics, and temporality. His book-in-progress, “Montage Diversity,” adds a focus on the cinematic as he examines the format of the montage to consider how diversity is represented.”
The John Crowe Ransom Professorship was announced on April 28, 1988, the 100th anniversary of the birth of its namesake, who served as the Kenyon Review’s founding editor. Established with a gift of $1 million from an anonymous donor, the chair has been occupied by many distinguished members of the faculty in the Department of English, starting with inaugural holder Galbraith M. Crump H’90.
Peter Rutkoff Distinguished Professor in Diversity and Inclusion:
Professor of Biology Karen Hicks
Established in 2015, the Rutkoff chair “will be held by a faculty member who follows Rutkoff’s commitment to promoting diversity, inclusiveness and understanding American history from multiple viewpoints,” according to a Kenyon Collegian story announcing the professorship.
In her application for the Rutkoff chair, Karen Hicks wrote that she “plans to organize a series of hands-on participatory workshops about inclusive teaching strategies, led by outside experts and Kenyon faculty, and also convene faculty discussion groups for reading and reflection, primarily focused on racism and higher education, but also addressing transgender discrimination, the challenges experienced by first-generation students, and other topics.” Hicks joined the Kenyon faculty in 1999 and teaches courses in genetics and developmental biology as well as introductory lecture and lab classes. Her research focuses on the regulation of reproductive development in land plants in response to photoperiodic seasonal cues.