Holy Cross Announces 10 Faculty Promotions from Across Disciplines

Ten professors at the College of the Holy Cross from across disciplines have been promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure.

Chris Arrell, of the music department, earned his B.M. at the University of Oregon, his M.M. from the University of Texas, Austin, and his D.M.A. from Cornell University. His teaching interests include music theory, composition, technology, popular music, and French spectralism (the subject of his dissertation). A graduate teaching fellow at Cornell University and the University of Texas, Arrell’s accomplishments include a recent portrait concert at the Alte Schmiede (Vienna), selection as an artist-in-residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, awards from the Fourth International Ossia Prize Committee and the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Prize Committee, commissions from the Fromm Foundation of Harvard University and Music at the Anthology (New York), and a Fulbright-Hays grant to Argentina and Chile. A faculty member since 2008, Arrell recently received the first prize for the Suzanne and Lee Ettelson Composer’s Award. He serves as a member of the Performing Arts Center Planning Committee and the Arts Transcending Borders Steering Committee, the performance program coordinator for the music department, and is the founder of the Holy Cross Laptop Ensemble (H-CLEf).

Matthew T. Eggemeier, of the religious studies department, earned his B.A. at the University of Dayton, his M.T.S. at Harvard Divinity School, and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. He specializes in political and liberation theologies and has published work on political theology, ecological theology, and Catholic spirituality in publications including: Modern Theology, Horizons, The Heythrop Journal, and several other scholarly journals. A Holy Cross faculty member since 2009, he published his first book titled, “A Sacramental-Prophetic Vision: Christian Spirituality in a Suffering World” (Liturgical Press, 2014), which examines the dual crises of environmental degradation and global poverty from a Christian theological perspective. He is currently working on two book projects on the topics of political theology and radical democracy and the relationship between capitalism and Catholicism.

Kendy M. Hess, of the philosophy department, earned her B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia, her J.D. from Harvard Law School, her M.A. in liberal studies from Northwestern University and her Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She practiced corporate environmental law (compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and brownfields redevelopment) for 15 years, and her current research and teaching interests include corporate moral obligation and corporate social responsibility, ethics and political philosophy, and environmental philosophy. She was awarded a Mellon Summer Research Grant; The Best Graduate Student Paper at the North American Society for Social Philosophy; a Graduate Teaching Excellence Award and the Thomas Edwin Devaney Fellowship, the latter two from the University of Colorado. A Holy Cross faculty member since 2009, she has been heavily involved in the Montserrat and Odyssey programs, and has served as a faculty advisor for the International Business Ethics Case Competition.

Ben Kain, of the physics department, earned his B.S from Santa Clara University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2004, he was selected as an Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (Berkeley) and in 2009 he received a grant from New Jersey Space Grant Consortium. He has been published in numerous scholarly journals and his research interests include particle physics, cosmology, and cold atomic physics. Kain regularly attends meetings for the American Physical Society (APS) and has presented on numerous topics that include “Extraordinary Gauge Mediation at Finite Temperature” and “Polarons in a Dipolar Condensate.” He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, as a graduate student, and Santa Clara University, and Rowan University before joining the Holy Cross community in 2011.

Munya Bryn Munochiveyi, of the history department, received his B.A. (honors) from the University of Zimbabwe in economic history and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in history. Having taught at the University of Minnesota and the University of Zimbabwe before joining Holy Cross in 2008, his research and teaching interests include the history of liberation struggles in Sub-Saharan Africa, African social and environmental history, precolonial and modern African history, world/global history, and comparative colonial history. At the University of Minnesota he was the recipient of the Doctoral Dissertation Fellow, Compton Fellow Dissertation/Research Grant, and the MacArthur Fellow Pre-dissertation Field Research Grant and is an active member of the Africana Studies faculty. He published his first book “Prisoners of Rhodesia: Inmates and Detainees in the Struggle for Zimbabwean Liberation, 1960-1980” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2014), and currently serves as the faculty advisor for Phi Alpha Theta and director of the Kenya Study Abroad program.

Justin D. Poché, of the history department, has served as the Alexander F. Carson Faculty Fellow in the History of the United States and assistant professor at Holy Cross since 2008. He received his B.A. from Louisiana State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame. Before coming to Holy Cross, he taught at Valparaiso University in Indiana, Tulane University, the University of Notre Dame, and Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans, La. A recipient of the Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Lilly Fellows Program, a dissertation-year fellowship from the Louisville Institute, and a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, his research interests include U.S. and Latin American intellectual and social history with a particular interest in religion. He serves on the Advisory Committee for Center for Religion, Ethics, and Culture, and is the department liaison and adviser for the Teacher Education Program. Poché is also involved with the Worcester community, having taught ESL courses for Lutheran Social Services and is developing courses that work with the Catholic community in Worcester. He also works to develop interreligious dialogue as a member of the Mission and Identity Committee at Holy Cross.

Lorelle D. Semley, of the history department, received her B.S. in French from Georgetown University, her M.A. in African Studies from Yale University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University. She previously taught at Bryn Mawr College and Wesleyan University before joining Holy Cross in 2011. The recipient of several grants and fellowships, she has been a fellow at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research (formerly the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute) at Harvard University, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. She is the author of “Mother is Gold, Father is Glass: Gender and Colonialism in a Yoruba Town” (Indiana University Press, 2011). She has also written on memory and the slave trade, gender and the politics of culture, and revolutionary Haiti. She is currently working on a manuscript, which examines black citizenship during French colonial empire in West Africa and the Caribbean. At Holy Cross, she was recently appointed to the Diversity Leadership Team and was elected as part of the Academic Affairs Council.

Giovanni Spani, of the modern languages and literatures department, earned his Laurea in political science from the University of Padua (Italy), and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Italian literature from Indiana University, Bloomington. Before coming to Holy Cross in 2009, he taught at Indiana University, Trinity College, Middlebury College and Bowdoin College. He is co-author of the “Streetwise Italian Dictionary/Thesaurus: The User-Friendly Guide to Italian Slang and Idioms” (McGraw–Hill, 2005) and recently published “ La cronachistica toscana del Trecento: trascrivere, compilare e compendiare la storia” (The Tuscan Chronicle of Trecento: Transcribing, Compiling and Synthesizing History), (Edizioni dell’Orso, 2014), a book on chronicles of 14th-century Tuscany. He was elected in 2010 to a three-year term as Italian Area Director on the board of the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA). In 2012,  he co-developed and co-organized with the Universitat de les Illes Balears and UMass an ongoing annual international seminar series titled “Literature and Sin” that takes place at the Contemporary and Modern Art Museum “Es Baluard” in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. At Holy Cross he has enhanced the Italian program by offering many unique opportunities for students to extend their learning beyond the classroom that include: creation of the Italian radio program titled Radio Libera Italiana (FM 88.1); the Pasta Olympics, an annual competition in which students have the opportunity to prepare pasta dishes; and “Dante’s Inferno. Student Documentary Viewing,” a screening of a documentary entirely produced by the students in his Dante’s course.

Justin Svec, of the economics and accounting department, received his B.A. from Stanford University, and his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University. At Columbia, he was the recipient of the Wueller Teaching Award three years in a row; the Lewis A. Sanders Endowed Fellowship; and a finalist for the Columbia Presidential Teaching Award. His teaching and research interests include macroeconomics, public finance, and political economy. Since starting at Holy Cross in 2009, Svec has been published numerous scholarly journals, including the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics (Advances), the Journal of Public Economic Theory, and the Journal of Macroeconomics. He was the recipient of the best paper prize at the Conference on Empirical Macroeconomics using Geographical Data, hosted by the SF Federal Reserve Bank and the BE Journal of Macroeconomics. He has served on the Finance and Planning Council, the Faculty Compensation Committee, and multiple departmental committees.

Melissa F. Weiner, of the sociology and anthropology department, earned her B.A. in sociology, her B.S. in journalism from Boston University, and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Minnesota. An assistant professor at Holy Cross since 2011, she was previously affiliated with Utrecht University and the National Institute for the Study of Dutch Slavery and its Legacy, both in the Netherlands. She is the author of “Power, Protest, and the Public Schools: Jewish and African American Struggles in New York City” (Rutgers University Press, 2010). She has been quoted in numerous media outlets and published in many scholarly journals about her research interests, which include race and ethnicity, education, social movements, and qualitative methods. She is the recipient of numerous grants, including one from the Spencer Education Foundation, which sponsored research in the Netherlands. Based on her research around classroom practices, discourses and depictions of slavery, Africa and immigrants in textbooks, she currently works with many parent and community groups in The Netherlands and her research has been introduced to fight racism in Amsterdam city court and during an investigation by the UN Working Group of People of African Descent. She currently serves as a faculty mentor to ALANA and international students and is a member of the Curriculum Committee.