Allegheny Welcomes New Faculty

From a former resident of nearby Townville to a fantasy football player to a dedicated amateur chef, Allegheny’s new faculty members bring many unique backgrounds and qualities to the teaching table in the fall of 2018. Let’s meet each of them briefly:

Catherine Allgeier
Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Catherine AllgeierAs a visiting assistant professor of economics, Catherine Allgeier comes to Allegheny with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

After graduation, she taught at a business college and then worked in the corporate world as a chief financial officer and a human resources director. “I realized that I missed the interaction with students and started teaching part-time in addition to my CFO role. I now have been teaching full-time for eight years (most recently at her alma mater) and use my corporate background to provide real-world accounting examples and experiences to my students,” says Allgeier.

“I am interested in information systems and communication, as they relate to costs and effectiveness in health-care diagnoses, such as using Watson as a diagnostic tool and the implications in not only a more timely diagnosis but also more cost effective,” she says.

She also has a green thumb. “My ‘other’ career would be in landscape and interior design,” says Allgeier. “I quit counting at 40 houseplants.”


Timothy Bianco
Assistant Professor of Economics

Tim BiancoTimothy Bianco joins Allegheny as assistant professor of economics, having taught previously at Bowling Green State University, where he also earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He also obtained a master’s degree and his doctorate from the University of Kentucky. He also has worked as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for five years.

“I enjoy teaching economics and researching cutting-edge financial and monetary economics, focusing on corporate credit,” says Bianco.

Bianco and his wife, Victoria, grew up in northeast Ohio “so moving to northwest Pennsylvania has been a smooth transition. I am a Cleveland sports fanatic and I enjoy traveling to Cleveland to catch a game from time to time.

“An unusual combination is that I have been known to apply cutting-edge econometric techniques to playing fantasy football,” he says.


Paula Burleigh
Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History

Paula BurleighPaula Burleigh joins the Allegheny community as visiting assistant professor of art history and director of the Penelec, Bowman, Meghan Art Gallery. She earned her Ph.D. in art history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

She earlier earned a master’s degree at Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s degree at Emory University.

“I’ve taught undergraduate courses at City University of New York Baruch College, Bard High School Early College, and at Bard College, and I’ve taught adult education courses at the Museum of Modern Art (New York) and at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where I was a teaching fellow for several years before coming to Allegheny,” says Burleigh.

Burleigh specializes in art history and visual culture of Europe and the United States, from 1945 to the present. Her research interests include visionary architecture, feminism and gender as they relate to art, and utopian/dystopian themes in art and popular visual culture.

“I love to cook, and I didn’t let a decade of tiny New York City kitchen life stop me from elaborate culinary experiments — some failed, many succeeded, all were eaten at least an hour later than I intended,” she says.


Kimberly Caldwell
Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology

Kimberly CaldwellKimberly Caldwell joins the college as a visiting assistant professor of psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in behavioral neuroscience at the University at Buffalo, “so my background is a blend of psychology and neuroscience.”

She has taught introductory psychology and biopsychology, “and I am excited to be teaching a new course this semester that I developed called ‘Ingestive Behavior,’ which will explore the neuroscience behind eating and drinking. My research interests are broadly focused on how the brain controls eating and drinking, thus the inspiration for my new class. I am particularly interested in a peptide system called ghrelin that is capable of influencing both behaviors.

“Along with behavioral neuroscience, I have always enjoyed the arts and took several art classes through high school and even a couple here at Allegheny as a member of the Gifted Program — I don’t know if they still call it that, it’s been a while since I was in high school — at Maplewood,” she says.

“This brings me to my fun fact, I grew up locally in nearby Townville and took classes at Allegheny in art and dance while in high school.”


Michael Michaelides
Assistant Professor of Economics

Michael MichaelidesMichael Michaelides joins the Economics Department as an assistant professor. He has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Essex, a master’s degree in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics, a master’s degree in economics from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in economics from Virginia Tech.

Prior to attending Allegheny, Michaelides spent one year as a visiting assistant professor at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. His research interests include: Financial econometrics, empirical asset pricing, time series econometrics, applied econometrics, behavioral finance, volatility modeling, and financial risk forecasting.

“My research has focused on exploring the behavioral biases of investing through the quantitative application of statistical and mathematical models. Yet, my research has been so strongly influenced by the philosophy of science literature,” says Michaelides.

When not in the classroom or on a research mission, Michaelides is a Liverpool Football Club supporter.


Matthew Mitchell
Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Matthew MitchellRight out of college, Matthew Mitchell traveled to Japan and taught English as a foreign language for six years. He had earned a bachelor’s degree in religious studies, with a minor in chemistry, from Illinois Wesleyan University. As an undergraduate, he also found time to sing in the university choir and teach rock climbing.

Mitchell later completed an M.A. in Asian religions from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Ph.D. from Duke University’s Graduate Program in Religion. “I spent a lot more time in my office writing than on the beach,” he said of his two years in Hawaii.

Mitchell’s teaching experience includes posts at the University of Hawaii, Duke University, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University. And he worked at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, helping to bring Chinese students and scholars to the institution for short-term and degree programs.

Mitchell’s research interests include Asian religions — especially Japanese Buddhism, social history, and women and gender in religion. This year in the Religious Studies Department, he will be teaching a number of courses across traditions from Asian religions to Islam. He is currently studying the social, financial and legal activities of a group of Buddhist nuns in Japan’s 17th–20th centuries. “One of the biggest surprises people have is the diversity of the nuns’ activities,” he says. “Most people tend to think of nuns as cloistered, not active, and certainly not involved in gambling or lawsuits.”

Along with Japan’s importance to Mitchell’s research, the nation holds other special meaning for him: it’s where he met his wife and it’s the birthplace of his oldest daughter.


Pamela Runestad
Assistant Professor of Global Health Studies

Pamela RunestadPamela Runestad likes to know how things work.

“I found I could fold all of my interests — infectious disease, nutrition, culture, Japan, writing and narrative, and film — together through becoming a medical anthropologist,” she says. “These combinations will be at the heart of my courses in global health studies here at Allegheny.”

Runestad holds a B.A. in biology and English — with a minor in psychology — from Augustana College (now University) in South Dakota and an M.A. in Japanese language and society from the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. She also earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in medical anthropology with a focus on Japan at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu.

Her doctoral research focused on socio-cultural responses to HIV/AIDS in Japan and how those have an impact on health. Her current research project explores institutional food for pregnant and postpartum mothers in Japan.

Runestad’s life and work experiences outside of the continental U.S. give her unique perspective. “I grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and I lived in Nagano, Japan, for 10 years,” she says. “So at this point, I’ve only lived about one-quarter of my life in the ‘lower 48’ — Alaska-speak — or the ‘mainland’ — Hawaii-speak. That time was spent in South Dakota, Nebraska and North Carolina.”


Yee Mon Thu
Assistant Professor of Biology

Yee Mon ThuYee Mon Thu describes herself as “a scientist who likes to learn how the natural world works — and an amateur artist who likes to use imagination.”

Before arriving at Allegheny, Thu taught biology at her undergraduate alma mater, Grinnell College. She earned a B.A. in biology with a concentration in global development studies there before completing a Ph.D. in cancer biology at Vanderbilt University.

“I am interested in how cells maintain genome stability in the face of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that can cause DNA damage,” Thu says of her research. “I am also fascinated by the involvement of these pathways in cancer.”

When away from the classroom and laboratory, Thu enjoys visiting national parks.


Birgit Weyhe
Max Kade Writer in Residence

Birgit WehyeAs a graphic novelist, Birgit Weyhe uses both her writing and drawing to explore historical and political incidents. She’s primarily interested in migration and the definition of home and identity. In addition to authoring several books, Weyhe has a monthly page in a Berlin newspaper where she draws the “lifeline” of a person who has changed places of residence often.

Weyhe was raised in Uganda and Kenya and came back to Germany at the age of 19. “I consider all three countries as my home,” she says. After returning to Germany, she earned a master’s degree in German literature and history from the University of Hamburg and a Diplom in illustration from the University of Applied Sciences, also in Hamburg.

Since 2012, Weyhe has taught at the Universities of Hamburg, Kiel and Düsseldorf in Germany and at the National Art School in Maputo, Mozambique. She also has led workshops at the German Cultural Center (Goethe Institut) in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Finland, France and Canada.

Wehye said that she is a passionate reader. On a three-month trip to Patagonia last year, she and her husband read 15 novels to each other. “We praised the invention of eBooks,” she says. “Otherwise our backpacks would have been very heavy.”


Tarah Williams
Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science

tarah williamsTarah Williams uses survey and experimental methods to understand how social identities —partisan identities, racial identities and many more — shape individual political behavior, for better or worse. Her current research explores whether and when individuals will confront prejudice and discrimination in their daily lives.

“As a shy person, I often struggled to speak up as a student,” she says. “My job now requires me to help students find ways to participate in class, and because I needed to work to find my voice, I have become committed to helping others find theirs. Similarly, my research is concerned with how we can encourage people to speak up to confront prejudice.”

Williams earned her B.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois. Before pursuing graduate school, she worked in state government as a researcher for the Illinois Legislature. She has taught courses in politics and policy at Washington University in St. Louis, Miami University in Ohio and the University of Illinois.

Along with her teaching and research, Williams enjoys walking, cooking, musical theatre and — since arriving at Allegheny — exploring Meadville.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Students’ Work to Be Displayed in Annual Art Show

The 2018 Student Art Show at Allegheny College will be held from April 3 to April 15. Students who wish to participate can drop off their work on Monday and Tuesday, March 26 and 27, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. The opening reception and awards ceremony will be Tuesday, April 3, from 6 to 7 p.m.

This year’s juror is Susan Barnett, curator of the Erie Art Museum. Allegheny students submit their art to the gallery, and Barnett selects works to be displayed in the galleries.

Doane Prizes in Art are awarded for a work in the categories of painting or drawing, sculpture or ceramics, and graphics (which includes prints, photographs, video and computer art). The award winners, who are selected by the art department faculty along with the outside juror, receive a cash award and an inscribed book. The Doane Prizes are provided through the generosity of the late Foster B. Doane, a former Allegheny College trustee.

Additionally, the art department faculty selects artwork to be purchased through the Doane Student Art Merit and Acquisitions Fund. These student works are acquired for public display at Allegheny or awarded a cash prize in cases where acquisition of the artwork would be impractical due to size or other constraints. The Doane Juror’s Awards are selected by the outside juror for outstanding individual works of art in the show.

In addition to the juried exhibition, a selection of works will be on display in the areas adjoining the galleries. This exhibition is organized by the Student Art Society as a “Salon des Refuses,” which is an art tradition of displaying alternative works not chosen by the juror.

Gallery hours are: Tuesday through Friday, 12:30 to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1:30 to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. The galleries are not open on Mondays.

The Art Galleries are located in the Doane Hall of Art on the Allegheny College campus, North Main Street, between College and John streets in Meadville. The art galleries are wheelchair accessible; gallery tours are available to groups by request. All events at the Allegheny College art galleries are free to the public. For more information, phone (814) 332-4365.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

“Rough Trade” Art Exhibit

The Allegheny College Art Galleries will present an exhibit titled “Rough Trade” in Doane Hall from January 23 through March 4, with opening ceremonies on Tuesday, January 23, at 7 p.m.

This exhibition will revolve around the word “trade,” exploring its meanings and preconceptions. The exhibit will explore male sexuality, queer art theory, non-normative identities, power play, desire, and the allure of risky assignations.

The curator and head of the Art Department, Darren Miller, says, “With any furtive encounter, there is a danger of being taken advantage of, stereotyped, or outed, yet the potential rewards of trade seem to outweigh the risks. This exhibition challenges the notion that trade is necessarily a reductive power play.”

Many of the artists’ works were made using traditional methods, including ceramic sculptures. The artists include Mark Burns, Jeremy Brooks, Wesley Harvey, Ryan Wilson Kelly, Kathy King, Howard Kottler, Matt Nolen, Anne Drew Potter, Anthony Sonnenberg, Caitlin Rose Sweet, H.M. Thompson, and Triesch Volker. This exhibition is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

The reception and the exhibit are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 12:30 to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1:30 to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. The galleries are closed on Mondays.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny Senior Art Projects Exhibit

The Allegheny College Art Galleries will display the work of graduating seniors as well as art majors and minors from the Advanced Studio Projects seminar course in Doane Hall from Dec. 5-15, with the opening ceremonies on Tuesday, Dec. 5, starting at 7 p.m.

Elijah Prince is this semester’s sole graduating Studio Art Major, and his specialty is portraits in a variety of drawing styles.

Lauren Erdman and Alyssa Lisle integrate their research interests in psychology with their work: Lisle challenges preconceptions of beauty with ceramic sculpture, and Erdman’s installation uses fabric and patterning as analogies to the organization of biological structures.

Other student artists’ work to be displayed include Shelby Piper, Sarah Sherwood, Caleb Enis, Marilyn Boatwright, Morgan Davison, Lucas Thomas, Sandra Munguia, Karla Atcheson, Sarah Cole, and Cali Banks.

The reception and the exhibit are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 12:30 to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1:30 to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. The galleries are closed on Mondays.

The Art Galleries, which are wheelchair accessible, are located in Doane Hall of Art, east of North Main Street between College and John streets in Meadville. For more information, call (814) 332-4365.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny Senior Art Projects to Be Presented

The Allegheny College Art Galleries will display the work of graduating seniors as well as art majors and minors from the Advanced Studio Projects seminar course in Doane Hall from Dec. 5-15, with the opening ceremonies on Tuesday, Dec. 5, starting at 7 p.m.

Elijah Prince is this semester’s sole graduating Studio Art Major, and his specialty is portraits in a variety of drawing styles.

Lauren Erdman and Alyssa Lisle integrate their research interests in psychology with their work: Lisle challenges preconceptions of beauty with ceramic sculpture, and Erdman’s installation uses fabric and patterning as analogies to the organization of biological structures.

Other student artists’ work to be displayed include Shelby Piper, Sarah Sherwood, Caleb Enis, Marilyn Boatwright, Morgan Davison, Lucas Thomas, Sandra Munguia, Karla Atcheson, Sarah Cole, and Cali Banks.

The reception and the exhibit are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 12:30 to 4 p.m.; Saturday, 1:30 to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 to 4 p.m. The galleries are closed on Mondays.

The Art Galleries, which are wheelchair accessible, are located in Doane Hall of Art, east of North Main Street between College and John streets in Meadville. For more information, call (814) 332-4365.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Thomas Publishes Essay as Artwork Tours Country

An essay by Ian F. Thomas, a staff member in Allegheny’s art department, has been published as an afterword in the Edward Ederle retrospective exhibition catalog.

Thomas’s art work has been continuing to tour the country in the exhibition titled “Mindfulness: Mental Heath and Art.” This exhibition has been shown at The Virginia Museum of Art, Lynchburg College, and Ohio Craft Museum, among other locations, and will finish its tour next month at The Fuller Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts. Thomas also has had two solo exhibitions, one at BlueOrange Gallery in Houston, Texas, and the other at CASP in Lubbock, Texas.

His artwork was a finalist in the Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics in Janesville, Ohio, and one of 60 artworks that were chosen from more than 1,100 entries internationally. Additionally Thomas was selected to be part in the “Contemporary Ceramics 2017” exhibition in Athens, Ohio. He had two exhibitions in association with National Education for the Ceramic Arts Conference in Portland. “Recursive” at Also Know As Gallery and “Politics of the Figure: Ideologies of Failure” at the Archer Gallery at Clark College.

Thomas was a visiting artist at Texas Tech University and is currently currently working on a project with West Virginia University as a visiting artist.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Works by Allegheny Alumni on Display at ArtPrize Nine

Two Allegheny College alumni are exhibiting their work in ArtPrize Nine, an international art competition that bills itself as the most attended annual public art event in the world.

Zane Miller ’09 is one of five artists on a juror’s short list in the installation category for his work “Two-way Protocols” and one of 25 artists leading a public vote in the same category, putting him in contention for prizes to be announced Friday, Oct. 6. The competition awards more than $500,000 in prizes each year, including a $200,000 Jurors’ Grand Prize and a $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize.

Adrienne Vittorio ’04 is displaying her work “Horses Being Horses: Western Wild Herd” in the three-dimensional category.

Now in its ninth year, ArtPrize is art on a grand scale, attracting 500,000 visitors to downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. For 19 days — this year, Sept. 20 through Oct. 8 — theaters, restaurants, museums, parks, hotels and other spaces are transformed into galleries showcasing all manner of art. The 2016 competition featured 1,453 works created by artists from 40 states and 44 countries, exhibited in 170 venues. This year’s competition showcases 1,346 entries in 175 venues.

Miller, 30, of Columbus, Ohio, graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design in May with the ArtPrize entry as his master’s thesis.

“Two-way Protocols” is an interactive installation of two large suspended cubes made with a two-way mirror. Participants who enter the cube see multiple reflections of themselves and participants in the adjacent cube; viewers on the outside can observe the participants within.

“It creates a kaleidoscopic effect where you see yourself repeated around you in mirrors,” Miller said. “(The people outside) can see you inside the box but you can’t see them. It’s really about our participation with private and public spaces and contemporary communication in the 21st century.”

Miller’s work is part of a larger six-artist show within the competition, “Society of Spectacle.”

“It’s really an honor” to participate, he said.

Vittorio’s piece, “Horses Being Horses: Western Wild Herd,” is a three-dimensional sculpture of five horses made from copper, wood, jute twine, leather and metal. She made a similar sculpture for her senior comprehensive project at Allegheny.

“It’s still surreal to me that I’m doing this,” said Vittorio, 35, of Saegertown, Pennsylvania. “This is way outside of my comfort zone.”

Vittorio and her husband were vacationing at a dude ranch in Montana in 2016 when they met a couple from Grand Rapids. When the subject of art came up — Vittorio’s degree is in studio art — the couple told her about the ArtPrize competition and suggested she enter.

Vittorio, an inventory coordinator at Lord Corp. in Saegertown, hadn’t practiced art since she graduated in 2004. But the thought of entering kept nagging at her and, finally, she did.

Is art now again in her future?

“We’ll see where this goes,” she said. “This might open big opportunities and I might go in that direction. I’ve always been a planner. Now that I’m getting older, I’m trying to get away from planning every aspect and enjoying life and seeing where it takes you.”

Amara Geffen, the Eila V. Bush Professor of Art at Allegheny, has worked with both Miller and Vittorio.

“This is exciting news for Adrienne and Zane, and for the College,” Geffen said. “It clearly reflects their strength as artists, and the strength of our studio art major. To have two alumni involved in one year, one in contention for prizes, is both serendipitous and significant. Having worked closely with both Adrienne and Zane, and knowing how profound this sort of experience can be for artists, I am thrilled for them, and I am proud of them and our program.”

Photo at top courtesy Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University; photo: Matt Gubancsik.

Photo of horses courtesy of Adrienne Vittorio.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Allegheny Art Galleries Feature ‘Arab Spring/Unfinished Journeys’

The art galleries of Allegheny College will exhibit ‘Arab Spring/Unfinished Journeys,’ works by Helen Zughaib, from Tuesday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Nov. 12. An opening reception and artist’s lecture, free and open to the public, will be held Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the galleries.

Zughaib was born in Beirut, Lebanon, living mostly in the Middle East and Europe before coming to the United States to study art Helen currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. Of her work she writes, in part, “I feel that my background in the Middle East allows me to approach the experiences I have in America in a unique way, remaining an observer of both the Arab and American cultures. I believe that the arts are one of the most important tools we have to help shape and foster dialogue and positive ideas between the Middle East and the United States.”Zughaib’s work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States, Europe and Lebanon, and included in many private and public collections, including the White House, World Bank, Library of Congress, US Consulate General, Vancouver, Canada, American Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, the Arab American National Museum in, Michigan, and the DC Art Bank collection.

Please note that the exhibit frankly acknowledges the inhumanity of war and highlights the humanity of refugees, and that the exhibit will be closed for fall break between Saturday, Oct. 7 and Tuesday, Oct. 10.

The exhibition is supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 12:30-4 p.m.; Saturday, 1:30-5 p.m.; and Sunday, 2-4 p.m. The galleries are closed on Mondays. The Art Galleries, which are wheelchair accessible, are located in Doane Hall of Art, east of North Main Street between College and John Streets in Meadville. For more information, phone 814-332-4365 or visit the art galleries website.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research

Fall 2017 Kleeman Award Recipients

This years 2017 Fall award recipients are:

Karla Atcheson, Cali Banks, Elijah Prince and Audrey Trotta.

The Richard Kleeman Research Fund, an endowed fund, created in 1992 in recognition of Professor Kleeman’s 39 years of dedicated teaching at Allegheny College is designed to, (1) help defray the expenses of art-related travel and study, (2) help with the expenses of significant senior projects, and (3) help students meet studio or art historical research expenses for other ambitious work.

Award recipients are named in the Spring and Fall of each year by the faculty of the Art Department after proposals are submitted and reviewed on a competitive basis.

‘Arab Spring / Unfinished Journeys’

The Allegheny College Art Galleries will present “Arab Spring/Unfinished Journeys,” works by Helen Zughaib, from Oct. 3 through Nov. 12. An opening reception will be held Oct. 3 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the galleries. The exhibit will be closed from Oct. 7 through Oct. 10 for Fall Break.

Source: Academics, Publications & Research