Welcome to Our New Dean and Faculty

Welcome to Our New Dean and Faculty

By Isabel Weinger Nielsen, editor

The College of Liberal Arts is pleased to announce the appointments of our new dean and four new assistant professors:

Dean Edward “Ted” Kohn is happy to be at Norwich and is looking forward to becoming part of a new community. Before coming to Norwich, he lived and worked in Ankara, Turkey, for 14 years. He received his BA from Harvard College in 1990, MA from Victoria University, New Zealand, in 1992; and PhD from McGill University in 2000. His area of specialty is U.S. History, and he is the author of several books on Theodore Roosevelt. For fun he likes to travel with his family.

Mark Boonshoft, assistant professor of history, will be teaching introductory American history courses and upper-division classes on the colonial and revolutionary eras. He is especially excited that this spring he will teach a capstone seminar on the making of the American Constitution. He specializes in the social and political history of the American Revolutionary era and is currently researching the ways in which early Americans attempted to use schools to create a functioning system of representative government in the republic’s formative years. He has also published on religion in the American Revolution, the origins of American legal education, and the debate over adopting the United States Constitution. Before coming to Norwich, he lived in the New York City area and was a post-doctoral fellow at the New York Public Library. He received his BA in History from SUNY-Buffalo, and MA and PhD from Ohio State University. In his spare time, he likes to play guitar, eat chicken wings, and watch the New York Rangers. He is looking forward to getting outside more, hiking around and exploring Vermont, and eating his body weight in maple syrup.

Jeffry Casey is the new assistant professor of theater. His areas of specialty are gender and sexuality in modern and contemporary American theater, performance studies, media studies, and representations of Muslims in America theater. This semester at Norwich he will be teaching EN 101, public speaking, and play production, and is looking forward to working with a group of really enthusiastic theater students to create some thrilling theater. He holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Theater Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied and taught. He also studied philosophy and English literature at the University of Texas at Austin, where he later earned an MA in creative writing. He used to work as an academic advisor and, consequently, is pretty good at listening to students talk about their problems, which he says can be the hardest part of the job but also the best part of the job. When not working, he likes to go to museums, theater, and cinemas, and enjoys hiking, music of all sorts, tabletop roleplaying, and hearing passionate people talk about their favorite subjects.

Sophia Mizouni, assistant professor of French, serves as the French Program Director, guiding students through the curriculum while providing study abroad opportunities during the summer and academic months. She teaches French language, literature, and contemporary French studies, including courses on the French novel, Global Paris, Contemporary Francophone Film and Social Issues, and Introduction to French Culture. She received a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph, Canada and an MA and PhD in French Language and Literature from Boston University. Mizouni specializes in nineteenth-century and contemporary French studies, and landscape architecture. Her current book project, Reading Paris, offers a new interpretation of nineteenth-century literary Paris in the light of the urban upheaval residents experienced as Paris was transformed into a modern metropolis. Based on a rich assembly of archival material, including architectural blueprints, photographs, journalism, poems, plays, and novels, this book reconstructs the experience of average and extraordinary Parisians living through conditions not unlike our own—rapid and unsettling social change affecting the very notion of identity. A native French speaker raised in Montréal, Mizouni has taken part in cultural initiatives throughout her career, including the Tournées French Film Festival, the Boston University Study Abroad Program in Paris, and the French Language Program operated by Dartmouth College’s Rassias Center for World Language and Culture in France.

Michael Thunberg, assistant professor of Political Science, specializes in the American presidency and institutions. Over the course of this year he will teach Introduction to American Government, The American Presidency, Introduction to Public Policy and Administration, and Citizenship. Born and raised in Chicago, he has a BS in Political Science from Northern Illinois University and a MA and PhD in Political Science from West Virginia University in Morgantown. Michael says “Norwich is a unique institution with students, faculty, and staff making a conscious decision and commitment to be here. I look forward to being part of this community, helping it grow, and getting to know people.” He loves to travel, explore new places, try new things, and eat local cuisines. He also enjoys golfing, and especially enjoyed being on the course during the fall foliage season. He is working to embrace all things New England, but says deep dish pizza is still the best.