The new academic year brings with it new beginnings, new adventures and new aspirations – not to mention new faces! And many of those new faces belong to the College of Charleston faculty!
The College’s new faculty members have come from all over the world – with a diversity of expertise in a variety of disciplines – to teach, mentor and inspire students across campus. And the College couldn’t be more proud to welcome them to its community.
Over the fall 2023 semester, we will introduce these new faculty members to campus a few at a time – in no particular order – giving the CofC community the opportunity to get to know them all a little better.
Please welcome the College’s newest faculty members in the first of this introductory series!
Amanda Aldridge, Political Science
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Political Science
Background: I am a veteran police officer for the City of Pittsburgh, retiring in 2010. I served in various capacities during my 20-year career: community-oriented policing, academy instructor, patrol sergeant, recruiter and sergeant in charge of the Sex Assault Family Crisis/Missing Persons Unit. I recently retired from the Office of the District Attorney of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. As an assistant district attorney assigned to the Phoenix unit, I processed 30–40 cases a day, prepared and negotiated pleas and tried cases. As ADA in charge of the Auto Theft Unit, I worked with local law enforcement, Pennsylvania State Police and district attorney investigators. I followed cases from initiation of charges to successful prosecution, plea or agreeable resolution.
I graduated from Point Park University magna cum laude and returned to school to receive my juris doctor from Duquesne University School of Law while I was working and being a mom. I am married to Glenn Aldridge (32-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Police), and have a daughter, Chelsea, two fabulous grandsons, Levi and Cairo, and two kitties.
Expertise: My focus is on criminal justice and the impacts on communities.
Outside Interests: I enjoy swimming, going on vacation and collecting seashells. I also enjoy reading and doing jigsaw puzzles.
Looking Forward: I’m looking forward to the opportunity to share my knowledge with students, to see them grow, to expand minds and to learn from students.
Dawn Bagwell, Teacher Education
Assistant Professor of Multilingual Education, Department of Teacher Education
Background: I completed my undergraduate studies in Lyon, France, where I taught for nine years before returning the United States. Upon returning to the U.S., I taught various subjects in K-12 (K-12 ESL, 9-12 French, 9-12 English) and was the federal Title III coordinator in a small North Carolina district before starting my Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Expertise: My research examines how the design and implementation of professional learning impacts teacher self-efficacy when supporting multilingual learners and their families. By highlighting certain efficacy-forming experiences, my research has the potential of contributing to the ways in which teacher educators engage pre-service and in-service teachers. My areas of expertise are multilingual learners, culturally and linguistically responsive practices and teacher education.
Outside Interests: I enjoy reading, walking/hiking and travel.
Looking Forward: I am excited to explore second-language acquisition and language development with in-service teachers and to work with pre-service teachers in schools throughout the community.
Max Daniel, CofC Libraries
Librarian and Public Historian/Jewish Heritage Collection Coordinator, Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries
Background: I’m originally from the suburbs of Chicago, and completed my undergraduate degrees in American studies and Jewish literature at Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. Before beginning my Ph.D. program at UCLA, I spent a year living in Moldova teaching English and learning (and subsequently forgetting) Russian. After completing my dissertation in 2022, I taught Jewish history courses at a private high school in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Expertise: I am a scholar of modern Jewish history, and I’m particularly interested in the discourse on Jews and race in the United States, diaspora, historical memory, language, community, identity and culture. My dissertation and other published works focus on Jews from Southwest Asia and North Africa, also known as Sephardi/Mizrahi Jews, particularly those from Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) speaking backgrounds. At CofC, I look forward to delving into the rich history of Jews in Charleston, the South and the Atlantic World.
Outside Interests: I’m a big fan of live music, particularly bands like Phish, who I’ve seen over 20 times (rookie numbers for some). I also enjoy playing (and learning) guitar and banjo, collecting and playing retro video games, and hanging out with my cat, Luna.
Looking Forward: I’m very eager to teach classes that will introduce and expose students to hands-on archival research and public history, utilizing the excellent resources at CofC and Charleston.
Michael DeLucia, Geology
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences
Background: I attended Gustavus Adolphus College, a small liberal arts college in southern Minnesota, where I became interested in and majored in geology. After graduating, I worked for the Illinois State Geological Survey for a year. That experience strengthened my interest in the geological sciences, and I then decided to pursue graduate school. In 2014, I joined the geology department at the University of Illinois as a master’s student. That transitioned into a doctorate program, and I graduated with my Ph.D. in geology in 2020 with a focus on tectonics. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to teach every semester – and those experiences, combined with the liberal arts setting of the college I attended, harbored my continued interest in teaching. After graduating, I moved to Lexington, Kentucky, where I worked as a geologist cleaning up petroleum spills for the state, as well as adjunct teaching for a regional comprehensive university.
Expertise: My research interests are very broad. Although my subdiscipline is technically in structural geology, which is simply defined as the study of the deformation histories of rocks and the Earth, I also use geochemical and geophysical techniques as complimentary datasets. Some of my areas of interest include the supercontinent cycle (Pangea and others!), the geologic history of North America and the cause and timing of plateau uplift and mountain range formation, among many others.
Outside Interests: Like many other Earth scientists, I enjoy most anything that involves being active outdoors, more so when my two puppies (Opal and Duncan) can tag along. Skiing, mountain biking and road cycling are some of my passions, but I also really enjoy cooking, gardening and fermenting foods. Particularly hot sauces! I am also a sports fan and primarily watch Premier League soccer – go Everton!
Looking Forward: Many students are not exposed to the Earth sciences prior to attending college, so I am most excited to be able to introduce students to how the Earth, climate and human activity are all linked. Where we fit in time and space. And, for example, sharing stories such as how Pangea, the Appalachian Mountains, erosion, mining and the glacial events are all linked. I also attended a small liberal arts college as an undergraduate, and I have always been interested in returning to teach at a similar student-oriented school.
Scott Greene, Marketing
M. Scott Greene
Instructor of Marketing, Department of Management and Marketing
Background: I am excited to be starting this new chapter in academia after nearly 25 years in the corporate world. Most of my time was with Fruit of the Loom, where I oversaw the management of iconic brands like Fruit of the Loom, Russell Athletic and Spalding. Prior to my corporate career, I served as a surface warfare officer in the Navy. I am a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and earned a master of liberal arts and science (MLAS) from Vanderbilt University.
Expertise: I have always been drawn to solving complex problems, where obvious solutions become less certain once we look past our own biases and consider the interests of others. A broader perspective is particularly important in brand management, where we often market to consumers facing different circumstances than our own. In the classroom, I hope to help students think critically as they develop their marketing skills and consider the consequences of their marketing decisions.
Outside Interests: Fitness is important to me, particularly running and cycling, and I look forward to exploring the roads and trails of the Lowcountry. My wife, Christy, and I started our family 30 years ago in Charleston, when I was stationed here in the Navy. We’ve always dreamed of one day returning, and we can’t wait to explore everything that makes this region so special.
Looking Forward: I am most excited about the interaction I will have with students in the classroom as we debate the marketing decisions of many well-known brands. We’re all consumers with unique experiences and perspectives. Every brand is trying to attract new consumers without alienating its core, and the balance can be tricky. Together, we’ll develop our own marketing skills by learning from the successes (and occasional mistakes) of others.
Xiaohu Guo, Finance
Assistant Professor, Department of Finance
Background: I am from China and did my Ph.D. at University of Alabama. I was a visiting assistant professor at College of Charleston in 2021.
Expertise: My research interests are corporate finance and diversity, equity and inclusion in the managerial labor market.
Outside Interests: My hobby is basketball.
Looking Forward: I look forward to the investment.
Undraa Lhamsuren, German Studies
Visiting Assistant Professor of German Studies, Department of German and Russian Studies
Background: I grew up both in Mongolia and Germany, and earned my master of arts in German and American language and literature from the University of Bonn, Germany. In my Ph.D. from UNC at Chapel Hill and Duke, I studied the ways Black German authors push back against exclusionary tendencies and define themselves on their own terms as Black and German. I have been teaching since 2012, when I taught German to migrants and refugees in Bonn, Germany. For the past few years, I’ve been teaching at the collegiate level in the United States.
Expertise: My research interests include Black German literature, race studies, migration, and race in children’s and young adult literature.
Outside Interests: In my free time, I love traveling and visiting family in the U.S. and abroad. I’m a big fan of board games and love growing our board game collection.
Looking Forward: I love connecting with students and supporting them in their journey to learn German. I love seeing the progress they make from not speaking German at all to holding small conversations in the span of just one semester!
Arjun Ramani, Exercise Science
Assistant Professor of Exercise Science, Department of Health and Human Performance
Background: I’m from Queens, New York, originally, but completed my Ph.D. at the University of Northern Colorado in exercise physiology with an emphasis in exercise immunology.
Expertise: I would like to bridge the gap in exercise recommendations for pregnant women and how that can better facilitate a positive immunological relationship for both the mother and the fetus.
Outside Interests: I played ultimate frisbee for about 10 years, but now enjoy my free time cooking, listening to music and taking long walks on the beach with my dog, Kiwi.
Looking Forward: I’m excited to have full autonomy in what I believe fully encompasses the description of a course, and to bring my own perspectives of physiology and immunology into what I teach here at CofC.
Mia Wang, Computer Science
Yaqin “Mia” Wang
Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science
Background: I am from China originally. For the past five years, I have lived in West Lafayette, Indiana, where I completed my Ph.D. at Purdue University.
Expertise: My research interests include drone detection and classification, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and acoustic/audio applications.
Outside Interests: I am passionate about outdoor activities, particularly hiking and running, as they allow me to connect with nature and stay active. Alongside my love for the great outdoors, I derive immense joy from spending quality time with my beloved pets. At present, my fiance and I are proud parents to a delightful furry family, comprising two lovely golden retrievers, three cats and two fluffy chinchillas. They bring boundless happiness to our lives, and caring for them is a constant source of joy and fulfillment.
Looking Forward: The courses I’ll be teaching at the College of Charleston will be Python programming, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it! Python is an incredibly versatile and powerful language that has widespread applications across various industries, making it an essential skill for students in today’s tech-driven world.