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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Board of Trustees awards tenure to four faculty members

<ong>Kelly Connole, assistant professor of art, earned her BFA at the University of Montana, Missoula in 1991 and her MFA at San Francisco State University in 1996. After teaching at several other institutions, Connole joined the Carleton faculty in 2004.

She teaches metals and ceramics in the Department of Art and Art History. Teaching in a field that requires students to work with their hands, bodies, and intellect is a challenging task in which Professor Connole excels. Professor Connole is attentive to creating a learning environment that instills some of the core values of a liberal arts education: experimentation, discipline, and creative problem-solving. Professor Connole is equally successful in her scholarly work.  Since joining Carleton College, Connole’s work has appeared in numerous important exhibits.  The venues are both local and national and they include Foot in the Door at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2010), the 30 Ceramic Sculptors at the John Natsoulas Gallery in Davis, California (2009), and the NCECA 2007 Clay National Biennial Exhibition at the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft in Louisville. Professor Connole’s work has been reviewed by several important art magazines and she is seen by her peers as “an asset to the field of American ceramic art practice.”

Melissa Eblen-Zayas, assistant professor of physics, received her BA in physics from Smith College magna cum laude in 1999. She then went on to graduate school in experimental condensed matter physics receiving a PhD in 2005 from the University of Minnesota.

Immediately after completing her PhD, Professor Eblen-Zayas joined the faculty at Carleton as an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy where she has established herself as a respected teacher, a valued research mentor, and an essential colleague. Both students and faculty praise Professor Eblen-Zayas’ effectiveness in the classroom and teaching laboratory.  Students repeatedly comment on her ability to explain difficult physics concepts and challenge students at all academic levels. Professor Eblen-Zayas excels in her pursuit of the elusive teacher-scholar ideal where the lines between research and teaching become invisible. The depth of Professor Eblen-Zayas’ research ideas has attracted considerable financial support from the Research Corporation and the National Science Foundation.

Jessica Leiman, assistant professor of English, earned her BA in English and classics from Williams College. After teaching high school for four years, Professor Leiman pursued a PhD in English language and literature at Yale University. She joined the Carleton faculty in 2003.

Professor Leiman empowers students not only to appreciate eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English literature, but to gain from it new insights into the dynamics of social relations, status, and power; the evolving and paradoxical role of gender; and the relationship between art and life. Professor Leiman’s research focuses on the rise of the novel as a new literary form and its broader literary, cultural, and social implications.  In several highly praised articles and a monograph currently under consideration at The Johns Hopkins University Press, she has explored larger questions of gender and literary authority by examining the ways in which male writers used their literary works to portray themselves as simultaneously potent and impotent, thereby offering a new model of authorial masculinity that acknowledged the importance of textual reception and the readership in realizing male authorial potency.

David Liben-Nowell, assistant professor of computer science, earned his BA in computer science and philosophy from Cornell University, his MPhil in computer speech and language processing from the University of Cambridge, and his PhD in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He joined Carleton’s Department of Computer Science in 2005.

Students praise the infectious enthusiasm Professor Liben-Nowell brings to the classroom, celebrating the clarity and wit of his lectures, and his ability to make computer science accessible to those without strong mathematical training. Professor Liben-Nowell’s research focuses on social networks, the abstract representation of connections such as friendship among a set of individuals.  Traditionally the province of social scientists, the field has attracted increasing attention from computer scientists following the rapid growth of web-based communities like Facebook and Twitter; Professor Liben-Nowell is emerging as a leading figure in social network theory. Professor Liben-Nowell’s work has been supported by a large grant from the National Science Foundation. Its results have been presented at prestigious conferences and published in leading journals, such as the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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