Six new house professors appointed for residential communities

by Jennifer Joo | 8/21/15 6:17pm


Six house professors were named earlier this year for the creation of house communities, a cornerstone of the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” policy initiative announced by College President Phil Hanlon. The idea of house communities was designed to bring more continuity to students’ on-campus living options and a greater opportunity for faculty-student interactions that extend beyond the classroom. The six professors, who come together from different departments and were chosen from a pool of two dozen applicants, include biologist Ryan Calsbeek, astrophysicist Ryan Hickox, engineer Jane Hill, sociologist Kathryn Lively, mathematician Craig Sutton and Japanese literary scholar Dennis Washburn.

Ryan Calsbeek

Professor Calsbeek is an associate professor of biological sciences and his areas of expertise include lizards, habitats and natural selection. In the past, he has taught “Vertebrate Zoology” and “Animal Behavior.” He is also the faculty director of the Biology foreign study program in Costa Rica. His research includes but is not limited to topics regarding ontogenetic conflict, maintenance of polymorphism and costs of reproduction.

Calsbeek is also the faculty chair of the Committee on Student Life and a member of the East Wheelock director search process.

He is thrilled to be a part of the house communities and is looking forward to this next adventure for him and his family.

Ryan Hickox

Professor Hickox is an observational astrophysicist with primary interests in supermassive black holes, evolution of galaxies, X-ray binary stars and active galactic nuclei. He is currently working on the connection between supermassive black hole growth and star formation in galaxies with Herschel and Chandra data.

Hickox began teaching at the College in 2011 as an assistant professor in the department of physics and astronomy. He has taught courses such as “Galaxies and Cosmology” and “Observational Cosmology.”

He is also a member of the “Moving Dartmouth Forward “ presidential steering committee. He is looking forward to helping build a house community where students will feel at home from the start of First-Year Trips all the way through graduation and beyond. Hickox hopes that the house communities will represent a true cross-section of Dartmouth, in which undergrads, faculty, postdocs, grad students, staff and alumni can all come together to share the intellectual curiosity, creativity, sense of adventure and warm friendship that make the College so special.

Jane Hill

Professor Hill is an associate professor of engineering at the Thayer School of Engineering. Her research interests are infectious disease prognosis and diagnostics, which include identification of biomarkers to rapidly identify infectious diseases. She teaches “Biological Physics,” “Heat, Mass and Momentum Transfer,” “Medical Diagnostics and Monitoring.”

She believes that the new residential system will present a fantastic opportunity to chart an inspiring and enriching course for all students, as well as faculty and staff, building on the hallowed cultures and traditions and current student-driven initiatives.

Kathryn Lively

Professor Lively began teaching at the College in 2002 as an assistant professor of Sociology and in 2011, she became the chair of the department. Her research and teaching interests include but are not limited to social psychology, medical sociology, sociology of emotion, mental health and affect control theory.

In 2013, she received recent contribution to research on the Sociology of Emotion Award for her work for the Social Psychology Quarterly titled “Equity, Emotion and the Household Division Labor.”

Lively is also a member of the Division Council, the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning Advisory Board, the Committee on Standards and the ad hoc Committee on Student Safety and Accountability.

Lively believes that the creation of house communities has the potential to change the community, which will enhance students’ feelings of belonging and community. She is very excited because this is a fun way to experiment in community building, which will be fun, exciting and instructive.

Craig Sutton

Professor Sutton began teaching at the College in 2007 as an associate professor of mathematics. His area of expertise is Riemannian geometry, which involve Lie groups and group actions. He is currently working on his paper, “Detecting the moments of inertia of a molecule via its rotational spectrum.”

Sutton is an adviser in the Advising 360 and E.E. Just programs and a member of the Committee on Standards and the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” presidential steering committee.

He is looking forward to getting together the entire intellectual community through this new mechanism. He believes that the house communities will create time and space for students in the fast-paced world of Dartmouth. Sutton also really excited because this will emphasize the important of the residential liberal arts college experience.

Dennis Washburn

Professor Washburn was an assistant professor at he College from 1992-97; promoted to associate professor in 1997; appointed to Dartmouth Professorship in Japanese Studies in 2001; then appointed to the Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professorship in Asian Studies in 2011.

He was awarded the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for Translation by the Donald Keene Center for Japanese Studies in 2008. He works most closely with Japanese literature and culture as well as comparative literature.

Washburn has taught many classes cross-listed with comparative literature, film and media studies, and Asian and Middle Eastern studies such as “Flickering Phantoms: Imagined Identities in Japanese Film and Animation” and “Tokyo and Shanghai as Ideas: Urban Space/Imagined Modernity.”

Washburn is also the chair of the Comparative Literature Program; foreign study program director in Japan; member of the Committee Advisory to the President, the Committee on Senior Fellowships and the Committee on Student Life and recipient of two Dartmouth teaching awards.

He hopes that bringing greater continuity and stability into students’ living arrangements will further deepen the already strong sense of a shared community that has been a hallmark of the undergraduate experience at Dartmouth.