The College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences is pleased to recognize the promotion of three faculty colleagues to the rank of professor beginning with the start of the 2018-2019 academic year. The new full professors are Lizbeth Bryant, English; Meg Rincker, political science; and Steven “Kim” Scipes, sociology.
Dean Elaine Carey said the promotions reflect the professors’ dedication to excellence in discovery, learning and engagement in their respective fields.
“Attaining the rank of professor is no easy feat,” she said. “Those who attain the rank of professor have achieved national reputations in their disciplines. They do this through grants, conference presentations, and publication of numerous scholarly articles and books.”
Lizbeth Bryant has taught at PNW since 2004 and also serves as director of the first year writing program.
Her love of writing began with some direct advice from a high school teacher: “If you plan to go to college, you are going to have to learn to write.”
A native of Virginia, Bryant accepted the challenge and learned the basics of writing at a community college near Charlottesville. Eventually, she became a tutor in the writing center, developing her style of using individual conferences to teach writing.
“I worked with individuals, sat beside them and watched them grow. That’s what made me want to teach writing,” she said.
She cites the influence of the late Donald Murray, well-known writing teacher and Pulitzer Prize winning editorial writer for The Boston Globe, in stimulating her interest in the process of teaching writing.
She has written or edited several books on the writing process, including “Essays on Writing” and her latest, “Talking Back,” a workbook that provides instruction that she could not find in other publications. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of South Florida in 1994.
Her future plans include collaborating with graduate students on scholarly projects and encouraging them to attend writing conferences. She is eager to share what she has learned with future writing instructors.
“I want students to grow, read, write and think so they can become a person who will use writing to talk back and join the conversation,” she said.
Meg Rincker specializes in politics and gender issues, political representation and public policy. She has taught at the university since 2008.
Her most recent book, “Empowered by Design: Decentralization and the Gender Policy Trifecta,” examined gender issues in Poland, the United Kingdom and Pakistan. She conducted 112 interviews with leaders of women’s organizations in the three countries.
“My dissertation adviser put it this way: to do research well, you need to have been there, traveled there and spent time there,” Rincker said.
Her future projects include an examination of family ties among executives around the world and the environment sustainability of the Olympics, having taught a course on the latter topic this spring.
She urged young scholars to be persistent in their research. “You need so much patience, since every article can be a three- to five-year process.”
She hopes more women become involved in politics so they can break through the “glass ceiling” of executive leadership.
Rincker, faculty adviser to the Student Government Association, teaches courses in international relations, comparative politics, European and Russian politics, and gender and politics.
Steven “Kim” Scipes has taught on the Westville campus since 2004. A self-described global labor
scholar, Scipes is at work on updating his 1996 book, “KMU: Building Genuing Trade Unionism in the Philippines, 1980-1994,” for publication in the United States for the first time.
He was inspired to write the book by meeting two women labor officials who led a general strike involving about 26,000 mostly young, female workers in 1982.”I had to learn whether they were telling me the truth,” Scipes said about the new labor movement being created in that country. “They were telling me the truth.” Since then, he has visited the country eight times.
He is also revising his dissertation study, “Trade Union Development and Racial Oppression in Chicago’s Steel and Meatpacking Industries,” for possible publication.
He changed from a career as a printer, and later as a high school teacher and secretary to becoming an academician. He completed his doctorate in sociology at the University of Illinois in 2003. “I never planned to be a scholar.”
Scipes’ master’s study at the Institute for Social Studies at The Hague, The Netherlands, proved pivotal in shaping scholarly career. While there, he interacted with scholars from about 120 countries.
He has taught courses in media power and social control, the environment and social justice, and developing countries in the world in recent semesters. He is teaching courses in qualitative research methods and the sociology of labor this summer at Ton Duc Thang University in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.