Tenure Track Faculty 2019 - 2020

Art & Design New Tenure-Track

Art & Design

 Stefanie Cobb holds an MFA in Visual Communication from Jacksonville State University and two undergraduate degrees from MTSU, a BFA in Graphic Design and a BS in Recording Industry.  She has spent most of her creative professional career as an art director and designer in Nashville, Tennessee, working at agencies, in-house design teams, and freelancing for clients across many industries. The combination of education and professional experience in her background has given her a unique perspective on the connections between design, business, culture, and society. She continues to build and strengthen this connection through her interest in studying visual communication through the lens of story and narrative in film, literature, and other pop culture.  

 Mark McLeod joins the Department of Art and Design as an Associate Professor, with research interests in the fallibility of memory and the use of new technology in the creation of sculptural works. Before moving to MTSU he served for ten years as the only full-time art faculty at Cleveland State Community College. While there he was awarded twelve grants to support both his own works of art and the self-directed international artist residency Accessibility.  Having earned an MFA in Sculpture from Syracuse University, Mark’s most recent work makes use of digital drawing and CNC technologies to create layered sculptural drawings. These works explore the error prone and changing nature of memory and how this affects the way in which we come to understand ourselves. 

 Tony Rodriguez joins our Department of Art and Graphic Design as an Assistant Professor.  In his work, he infuses flat color with bold line to convey a sense of spontaneity and simplicity. Although the art is created digitally, it has the look of traditional pen and ink gestural, dynamic, and expressionistic drawings. Rodriguez's works have been recognized by The Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, NBC Universal, Illustration Age, Creative Quarterly, 3x3, American Illustration, Applied Arts, Visual Arts Passage, Entertainment Tonight, Printed In Blood, The Society For News Design, and The United Kingdom's World Illustration Awards.


Communication Studies New Tenure-Track Faculty

Communication Studies

 Scarlett L. Hester (University of Memphis, Ph.D.)  Dr. Hester’s research is situated within the intersections of critical media studies and rhetoric with an emphasis on critical race studies, whiteness, sport and surveillance, gender, and sexuality.  She is especially interested in pursuing intersectional feminist scholarship in the context of professional sports culture.  Her work has appeared in journals such as The Popular Culture Studies Journal, Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, and Critical Studies in Media Communication.  Prior to coming to MTSU, Dr. Hester was a Perry-Williams Postdoctoral Fellow at the College of Wooster via the Consortium of Faculty Diversity in the Department of Communication.  


English New Tenure-Track Faculty


 Fred Arroyo is an Assistant Professor of English specializing in fiction writing and Latino/a literature. Fred was a visiting professor of creative writing at MTSU for the past two years, after being the Viebranz Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at St. Lawrence University. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an MA from Purdue University, and an MFA from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.  He is the author of Western Avenue and Other Fictions and The Region of Lost Names: A Novel. A recipient of an Individual Artist Program Grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, Fred’s fiction is a part of the Library of Congress series “Spotlight on U.S. Hispanic Writers.” Fred’s writing is also included in Camino del Sol: Fifteen Years of Latina and Latino Writing and The Colors of Nature: Essays on Culture, Identity and the Natural World. 

  Amanda Swenson comes to MTSU from the Boston area, where she has been teaching linguistics for the past three years. Her interest in understanding different people, cultures and languages led her to study linguistics, Spanish and Ancient Greek as an undergraduate at Baylor University. The realization that linguistics blends the study of language and culture with math and science led her to earn a Ph.D. in linguistics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Swenson's research focuses on the ways in which understanding the grammars of understudied languages can contribute to the discovery of the building blocks of human language.  She is happy to be back in the south and closer to her family in the Mountains. 


Global Studies and Human Geography New Tenure-Track Faculty

Global Studies & Human Geography

 Christabel Devadoss joins the Department of Global Studies and Human Geography as a human geographer with a focus on cultural and political geography.  Receiving her PhD in Geography from West Virginia University in 2018, Masters in Geography from Kent State University in 2014, and Bachelor of Science in Visual Journalism at Kent State University in 2009, her research broadly examines South Asia, South Asian diasporas and communities, identity, visual methods, and sound. She served as a lecturer at MTSU from 2018-2019 and has taught in Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

 Francis T. Koti serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Global Studies and Human Geography.  He is a broadly trained geographer with a focus on urban geography and participatory geographic information systems (PGIS).  Dr. Koti received his MA and Ph.D. degrees in Geography from West Virginia University and joins MTSU from the University of North Alabama, where he served for seven years as department head of Geography.  Koti grew up in Kenya, where he received his undergraduate education. His research focus is the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to understand urbanization processes.  Dr. Koti teaches a wide range of geography courses at the undergraduate level and graduate courses in planning theory, societal implications of GIS practice, and geographic thought.  


School of Music New Tenure-Track Faculty

School of Music

 David Cyzak (*see-zak) joins the School of Music as Assistant Professor of Music Industry and Oboe, where he serves as the Coordinator of the Music Industry Program.  Before arriving at MTSU, Dr. Cyzak taught at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Bradley University, Illinois College, and Illinois Central College.  In addition to teaching private oboe lessons, his course offerings included Music Technology, Music Theory, Music History, and Woodwind Methods.  Originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, Dr. Cyzak received his Doctorate from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a Master of Music Degree and Artist Diploma from The Hartt School, and a Bachelor of Music from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.  Always investigating and sharing the tradition of classical music, Dr. Cyzak's activities have consistently focused on working with living composers to perform and premiere their works while seeking to illuminate classical music's broad spectrum of expressive possibilities for any audience.

 Will Perkins joins the School of Music as an instructor of applied voice lessons, lyric diction classes, and Director of the School of Music Opera Theater.  During his time completing a DMA at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, he founded, produced, and directed The University Gilbert and Sullivan Society and was selected to sing leads in two world premiere operas, including Vincent by Bernard Rands, the recording of which can be found on the Naxos American Classics label.  Additional engagements for Dr. Perkins include performances with the Utah Festival Opera and Ohio Light Opera.  He is as equally at home singing Mozart as he is performing barbershop or contemporary musicals.  As an oratorio soloist, he has appeared with the Salt Lake Choral Artists in concert and the recording of Dan Forrest’s Lux: The Dawn from on High. Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra singing Bach’s Christen, ätzet diesen Tag; and at the Salt Lake Tabernacle singing Peter in Rob Gardner’s oratorio, Lamb of God.  


Theatre & Dance New Tenure Track Faculty

Theatre & Dance

 Lauren Shouse is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Directing at MTSU and is a working freelance director. Most recently, she was the Associate Artistic Director at Chicago's Northlight Theatre.  As Artistic Associate at Nashville Rep, Lauren directed the Ingram New Works Play Lab and Festival, which developed new works by John Patrick Shanley, David Auburn, Steven Dietz and Victoria Stewart.  Before moving to Nashville, Lauren lived in London, UK and worked with Producer/Director Hugh Wooldridge.  Lauren holds an MA in Performance Studies from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where she adapted and directed The Time Traveler’s Wife.  She received her MFA in Theatre Directing at Northwestern University, where she directed Stop KissEurydice and In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play.  In Chicago, Lauren has also worked with Steppenwolf Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Sideshow Theatre, The Gift Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, and Stage Left Theatre.


World Languages, Literatures & Cultures New Tenure-Track Faculty

World Languages, Literatures, & Cultures

 Alan Campbell is an Assistant Professor of Spanish at MTSU specializing in both Spanish translation and peninsular Spanish language. Alan holds a Ph.D. in Translation Studies and a Master’s Degree in International Communication, Translation, and Interpreting, both from the Universidad Pablo de Olavide in Seville, Spain. While in Spain, Alan worked as a professional translator and served for several years as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service where he was responsible for the US consular office in Seville. As an academic, Alan’s research includes audiovisual translation, language for specific purposes, translation for language learning, and proficiency-based language teaching.