Hillsdale College Welcomes 11 New Faculty Members for 2018-19 Academic Year

Hillsdale College Welcomes 11 New Faculty Members for 2018-19 Academic Year

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Hillsdale, Mich. – Hillsdale College welcomes 11 new faculty members to campus for the 2018-2019 academic year.

“We are pleased to welcome these accomplished scholars and teachers to the Hillsdale faculty,” said Hillsdale College provost David Whalen. “They join a dedicated cadre of professors, and our students will cherish these new faculty as well.”

Hillsdale College welcomes:

Dr. Robert Atra, associate professor of finance
Dr. Nicole Coonradt, visiting assistant professor of English
Dr. David Diener, headmaster of Hillsdale Academy and lecturing professor of education
Dr. Elizabeth Fredericks, assistant professor of English
Dr. Kevin Gerstle, assistant professor of mathematics
Dr. Khalil Habib, associate professor of politics
Dr. Christopher Matsos, assistant professor of theater
Dr. Sang-Chul Nam, associate professor of biology
Dr. James Strasburg, assistant professor of history
Dr. Benjamin Winegard, assistant professor of psychology
Dr. Qianying (Jennie) Zhang, assistant professor of finance and economics

Dr. Robert Atra joins Hillsdale College as an associate professor of finance. Dr. Atra received his bachelor’s degree in business from The College of the Ozarks, his master’s degree in finance from Northern Illinois University, and his doctorate in finance from the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned credentials as a certified financial planner in 1993 and as a chartered financial analyst in 2002. Dr. Atra comes to Hillsdale from Lewis University, where he served as professor and chair of the finance department.

Dr. Nicole Coonradt joins Hillsdale College as a visiting assistant professor of English. Dr. Coonradt earned her bachelor’s degree in English at Hillsdale. She completed her master’s degree in English language and literature at Central Michigan University and her doctorate in literary studies at the University of Denver. Dr. Coonradt previously served as an adjunct professor in English for Hillsdale College. In 2015, she began teaching writing courses in Cotton Correctional Facility as a part of Jackson College’s Prison Education Initiative, a program by which inmates can earn an associate degree.

Dr. David Diener is the new head of school for Hillsdale Academy and also serves as lecturing professor of education. Dr. Diener completed his bachelor’s degree in integrative philosophy at Wheaton College. He earned his master’s degree in history and philosophy of education and dual doctoral degrees in philosophy and philosophy of education from Indiana University. He was head of school at Grace Academy in Georgetown, Texas, and prior to that was head of upper school at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, Texas. He has also taught at Taylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Indiana University.

Dr. Elizabeth Fredericks joins Hillsdale College as an assistant professor of English. She received her bachelor’s degree in English from Hope College, her master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Regent College, her master’s degree in English from Durham University and her doctorate in English from Baylor University. Her dissertation focused on how 20th-century authors of British and Irish communities incorporated rituals into their writings as cultural protection against modernity. Dr. Fredericks was previously a Lilly Fellow and lecturer in English at Valparaiso University.

Dr. Kevin Gerstle joins Hillsdale College as an assistant professor of mathematics. Dr. Gerstle earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and mathematics at Kenyon College and a master’s degree in mathematics, a certificate in college teaching and a doctorate in mathematics at the University of Iowa. His current research focuses on computational harmonic analysis. Dr. Gerstle taught mathematics at Oberlin College and at the University of Iowa and was also an apprentice teacher in Chinese courses at Kenyon College.

Dr. Khalil Habib joins Hillsdale College as an associate professor of politics. Dr. Habib earned his bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Maine, his master’s degree in political science at the University of Toronto and his doctorate in philosophy at Boston University. His articles have been published in three books, and he is co-editor of Cosmopolitanism in the Age of Globalization: Citizens without States. Dr. Habib was an associate professor in philosophy and director of the Pell Honors Program at Salve Regina University. He is an associate editor of VoegelinView.

Dr. Christopher Matsos joins Hillsdale College as an assistant professor of theater. Dr. Matsos received his bachelor’s degree in theater from the College of Wooster, his master’s degree in acting from the University of Florida and his doctorate from The Ohio State University. He is a published playwright and has acted in theater productions around the U.S. and in Ireland. Last year, Dr. Matsos was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Florida.

Dr. Sang-Chul Nam joins Hillsdale College as an associate professor of biology. Dr. Nam earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural chemistry at Seoul National University, his master’s degree and doctorate in biology at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and also pursued postgraduate studies in biology at Columbia University. Much of his research and published articles have focused on genetics through studies of Drosophila. Dr. Nam has taught as an associate professor at Texas A&M International University and as assistant professor at Baylor University.

Dr. James Strasburg joins Hillsdale College as an assistant professor of history. Dr. Strasburg earned his bachelor’s degrees in history and theology from Valparaiso University and studied as a Fulbright research scholar at the University of Leipzig. He then received his master’s degree in theological studies from Duke University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in history from the University of Notre Dame. His journal articles and writings have examined 20th-century Protestantism in Germany and America. Before coming to Hillsdale, Dr. Strasburg was a visiting scholar and research fellow at the University of Heidelberg.

Dr. Benjamin Winegard joins Hillsdale College as an assistant professor of psychology. Dr. Winegard earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology at Grand Valley State University and his master’s degree and doctorate in developmental psychology at the University of Missouri. His many journal papers, online magazine articles and book chapters frequently address issues in evolutionary psychology. He was previously an assistant professor of psychology at Carroll College.

Dr. Qianying (Jennie) Zhang joins Hillsdale College as an assistant professor of finance and economics. Dr. Zhang earned her bachelor’s degree in economics at East China Normal University, her master’s degree in economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her doctorate in economics at Florida International University. Dr. Zhang’s research focuses on empirical asset pricing and applied time series. Most recently, she was a visiting assistant professor in the economics department at Allegheny College.

About Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College, founded in 1844, has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an educational outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 3.4 million.

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Media inquiries may be directed to:
Emily Stack Davis
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