New Faculty Members Join Ursinus

This year 11 full-time, 2 part-time visiting, and 14 part-time faculty members joined the Ursinus College faculty. Competitive national searches were conducted for the full-time positions as well as the part-time visiting positions, resulting in strong applicant pools for all searches. “These searches have resulted in the hiring of especially promising faculty members,” said Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs Lucien “Terry” Winegar. “I am very pleased to present this group of exceptionally talented and accomplished new colleagues to the campus community.”


Talia Argondezzi

Director of Writing & Speaking Program

B.A., The University of Scranton
Ph.D., City University of New York

Talia Argondezzi joins the Ursinus community as the Director of the Writing and Speaking Program. In this position, she supports faculty as they integrate writing and speaking into their courses, coordinates the Center for Writing and Speaking, oversees the Writing Fellows program, and teaches interdivisional courses. Prior to her arrival at Ursinus, she was at Duke University where she was a lecturing fellow and an Associate Director of First-Year Writing.

She has taught writing and literature courses at Duke, the City College of New York, Baruch College, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Suffolk County Community College. Argondezzi spent two years as a Writing Fellow at the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute and five years as a consultant at the Baruch College Writing Center. Her doctoral dissertation, which she completed at the City University of New York, examines embodiment and politics in early U.S. literature.

Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown

CIE Mellon Teaching Fellow

B.A., Princeton University
M.A./M.Phil., Columbia University
Ph.D. candidate, ABD, Columbia University

Jeffrey Brown joins the faculty as a Mellon-CIE Post-Doctoral Fellow. He graduated from Princeton University and earned his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in 2013. His research focuses on twentieth-century British Literature and theatrical culture, and his dissertation is titled, “To Stage a Reading: The Actor in British Modernism.”

For the past two years, Brown has served as a graduate preceptor for Literature Humanities in Columbia’s Core Curriculum, and prior to that he taught University Writing, also at Columbia. He will be in the English Department and will teach CIE, participate in CIE-related activities, and teach an advanced level course in his area of expertise.

Deborah Feairheller

Assistant Professor in ESS

B.S., Pennsylvania State University
M.S., West Chester State University
Ph.D., Temple University

Deborah Feairheller joins the ESS Department after having served the department previously as an adjunct faculty two years ago. Feairheller completed her undergraduate degree in Microbiology at Penn State University in 1993 and her Ph.D. in Integrated Physiology in the Kinesiology Department of Temple University in 2010. Most recently she has been conducting research as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Exercise & Metabolic Disease Research Laboratory at UCLA. Her research investigates molecular mechanisms by which diet and exercise interventions reduce chronic disease risks, in particular obesity, cardiovascular disease and metabolic disease. She will be teaching Research Methods, Exercise Assessment and Current Trends in Health.

Jennifer Fleeger

Jennifer Fleeger

Assistant Professor in Media and Communication Studies

B.A., Macalester College
M.A., University of Iowa
Ph.D., University of Iowa

Jennifer Fleeger joins the Media and Communications Studies Department teaching in the Film Studies program. She earned a B.A. from Macalester College and a Ph.D. in Film Studies from the University of Iowa. Fleeger comes to Ursinus from Catholic University, where she taught film and media courses over the last four years.

Her research areas include American cinema, feminist theory, Scandinavian film, and film music and sound studies Her manuscript, Mismatched Women: The Voice Meets the Machine, is under contract at Oxford University Press.

Lisa Grossbauer

Lisa Grossbauer

Visiting Instructor in Mathematics and Computer Science

B.S., Villanova University
M.S., Villanova University

After 15 years at Lockheed Martin working as an Aerospace Software Engineer, Lisa Grossbauer entered higher education teaching at Rosemont College for 4 years. In addition to BS-Mathematics and MS-Applied Statistics, she has a secondary education certification in Mathematics from Ursinus.

Her interest in mathematics education focuses on the importance of the connections between mathematics and the real world.  She is an active member of the Collaborative Mathematics Education Research Group (CoMERG) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

As a mother of a special needs young adult son, she is a member of Parent Faculty (Family Partners) at the University of Pennsylvania, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where she guest speaks at the medical school, stroke clinic, and new employee orientations. This Fall she will teach calculus and statistics courses.

Anna Maria Hong

Anna Maria Hong

Visiting Creative Writer

B.A., Yale University
M.F.A., University of Texas—Michener Center for Writers

Anna Maria Hong joins the English Department as a Visiting Creative Writer. Hong earned an MFA in Poetry and Fiction Writing from University of Texas Austin and a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale. She has published poetry in more than thirty journals and anthologies.

She previously taught creative writing at Eastern Michigan University, the University of Washington Bothell, and the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. With a background in journalism and editing, she has also edited an anthology of fiction and memoir titled Growing Up Asian American and authored a nonfiction book for teenagers on family violence.

Abigail Kluchin

Abigail Kluchin

CIE Mellon Teaching Fellow

B.A., Swarthmore College
M.A./M.Phil., Columbia University
Ph.D., Columbia University

Abigail Kluchin joins the faculty as a Mellon-CIE Post-Doctoral Fellow. She graduated from Swarthmore with high honors and earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from Columbia University in 2012. Her research addresses fundamental questions about how we read, write and respond to writing, and her dissertation is titled, “The Allure of Affect: Rigor, Style, and Unintelligibility in Kristeva and Irigaray.”

Kluchin taught Contemporary Western Civilization I and II, part of the Core Curriculum at Columbia. In addition, she  is a core faculty member of a new experimental school in New York City, The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, which she co-founded in 2011. Kluchin will be in the Philosophy & Religious Studies Department and will teach CIE, participate in CIE-related activities, and teach an advanced level course in her area of expertise.

Brent Mattingly

Brent Mattingly

Assistant Professor in Psychology

B.A., University of Louisville
M.S., Saint Louis University
Ph.D., Saint Louis University

Brent Mattingly earned his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Louisville and his M.S., and his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Saint Louis University. He is an experimental social psychologist examining the intersection of romantic relationships with the self.

He is developing a theoretical model to explain how relationships affect individuals’ sense of self, and has conducted research examining how novel, interesting, and challenging or “self-expanding” experiences increase individuals’ self-concepts, self-efficacy for resolving problems, and effort exertion on difficult tasks. He will teach Social Psychology and Introductory Psychology.

Edward Onaci

Edward Onaci

Assistant Professor in History

B.A., Virginia State University
M.A., University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D., University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

Edward Onaci earned his PhD and MA from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and his BA in History from Virginia State University. He is currently teaching at Temple University.

His specialties are African American and Modern U.S. History, with a special focus on Black freedom struggles, gender issues, the Black Power movement, and the African diaspora. He has published several articles in his field and is working on two manuscripts.

He will be teaching survey courses in African American History and U.S. History since 1877; a course in Women’s Political Struggles; and a capstone seminar on Black Power Movements.

Jacob A. Rothermel

Technical Director/Production Manager

B.A., University of Maryland
MFA, Carnegie Mellon University

Rothermel joins the Theatre and Dance Department as the Technical Director and Production Manager. He will be teaching Stagecraft, managing the scene shop and instructing students on set construction techniques. He will  oversee all production assistant and crew assignments for all department performances and collaborate with the faculty, guest designers and guest artists to see all productions through processes from concept to design and implementation. Rothermel arrives from Carnegie Mellon University, where he completed is MFA in Technical Direction.

Jennifer Round

Jennifer Round

Assistant Professor in Biology

B.S., University of Rhode Island
Ph.D., Yale University

Jennifer Round is a cellular neurobiologist and joins the biology department as a tenure-track assistant professor. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Rhode Island and earned a Ph.D. at Yale University. She has been an HHMI Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellow at Davidson College, where she is currently a visiting assistant professor.

Round brings with her an NSF-RUI research grant which runs through February 2014 and which will support her and undergraduate researchers in her laboratory. Her research centers upon signaling mechanisms that shape neuron morphology during embryonic development using zebra fish as the model organism. She will teach Cellular Neurobiology, Cell Biology and Genetics of Health and Disease and other courses.


Faye Flam

Science Writer in Residence for The Center for Science and Common Good

B.S., California Institute of Technology
Graduate Certificate-Science Communication , University of California, Santa Cruz

Flam is a widely-published science journalist and joins the College and the Center for Science and the Common good as this year’s HHMI-sponsored Science Writer in Residence. She has just completed her appointment as Writer-in-Residence at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara.

She earned a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology and started her writing career with The Economist. She went on to cover the particle physics and cosmology beat at Science Magazine before coming to the Philadelphia Inquirer to write about science for the general public. She wrote two weekly science columns covering the science of sex. This led to her book, “The Score, How the Quest for Sex has Shaped the Modern Man.” Her second column, “Planet of the Apes” explored the topic of evolution. She now writes the Lightning Blog at WHYY/NewsWorks in Philadelphia and critiques her fellow journalists at the Knight Science Journalism Tracker.

Alexandria Frisch

Alexandria Frisch

Visiting Assistant Professor in Jewish Studies

B.A., The College of William and Mary
M.A., Baltimore Hebrew University
M.A., Yale University
Ph.D., New York University

Alexandria Frisch recently earned her PhD from New York University’s Hebrew and Judaic Studies Department, focusing on Second Temple period history and the Dead Sea Scrolls. She graduated from the College of William and Mary in 2000 with degrees in religion and history and completed a master’s degree in Jewish Education from Baltimore Hebrew University in 2004 and a master’s degree in Religion from Yale University in 2006.

Frisch also has been a fellow at the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Cardozo Law School and a scholar-in-residence at The Tikvah Center for Jewish Law and Civilization at NYU. She will be teaching courses in Jewish Studies in the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department and contributing to the development of a Jewish Studies program at Ursinus.