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Newly tenured faculty: Natalie Eppelsheimer, Chong-suk Han, and Enrique Garcia

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Middlebury Awards Tenure to Three Faculty Members

January 28, 2016

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Three members of the Middlebury College faculty have been promoted to the rank of associate professor without limit of tenure.

On January 23, 2016, the Middlebury Board of Trustees accepted the recommendations of President Laurie L. Patton and the College Board of Overseers in promoting: Natalie Eppelsheimer (German), Enrique Garcia (Spanish), and Chong-suk Han (sociology/anthropology).

The promotions from assistant professor to associate professor will take effect July 1, 2016.

Natalie Eppelsheimer of the Department of German is a recognized leader in the field of language pedagogy. Eppelsheimer has built a bridge between language acquisition and the development of intercultural understanding, which she described as an “indelible ecotone of language and culture” in a 2014 article that she co-authored. Her contributions to the theoretical understanding of the relationship between language acquisition and intercultural competency speak to one of the foundations of a Middlebury education. In addition, her literary analyses have been praised as nuanced and insightful, and her forthcoming book on German-Jewish exiles in Kenya is much anticipated.

Eppelsheimer is an exceptional teacher, one who has an excellent rapport with students while at the same time maintaining a commanding presence in the classroom, said Andrea Lloyd, vice president of academic administration and dean of the faculty. Her innovative approaches to pedagogy have benefitted her students, her colleagues, and the interdisciplinary programs with which she is affiliated. Eppelsheimer graduated Staatsexamen in English and biology from Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Universität in Bonn, Germany; earned an MA in German studies at University of Arizona; and completed her PhD at University of California, Irvine. She joined the Middlebury faculty in 2008 and also taught in Middlebury’s summer German School.

Enrique Garcia is one of the foremost scholars of Latin/o American visual culture and media studies in the United States. His work – including his first book, Cuban Cinema After the Cold War, his forthcoming book, Los Bros Hernandez, and his many articles and conference presentations – has received praise for straddling Latin American and U.S. Latino cultures, and for communicating scholarly insights in ways that are accessible, clear, and engaging.

A member of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese since 2008, Garcia is widely recognized at Middlebury as an enthralling teacher. Vice President Lloyd said he is passionate about teaching and about the material he covers, and his enthusiasm and accessibility creates a classroom environment in which students are fully engaged and motivated to learn. His courses on visual culture including Hispanic Musical Film, Catholic Culture in Hispanic Cinema, Hispanic Horror Cinema, and Latin American Comic Books have enriched the curriculum of his department. A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, Garcia earned a PhD in comparative literature at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has also taught graduate-level courses at Middlebury’s summer Spanish School.

Chong-suk Han is a prolific and highly respected scholar whose work has been lauded for advancing our understanding of the intersections of race, sexuality, and gender by examining, for example, how race and racism are related to HIV-risk behaviors, explained Lloyd. He has filled important gaps in his field’s understanding of the intersection between race and sexuality for Asian Americans. His new book, Geisha of a Different Kind: Negotiating Gay Asian Male Identities, was published in 2015 by NYU Press, and his recently published journal articles include “Stress and Coping with Racism and their Role on Sexual Risk for HIV” in Archives of Sexual Behavior, and “We Pretend Like Sexuality Doesn’t Exist: Managing Homophobia in Gaysian America” in Journal of Men’s Studies.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology at University of California, Berkeley, Han pursued a master’s degree in sociology and anthropology at University of California, Irvine, and a PhD in social welfare at University of Washington. A member of the Middlebury faculty since 2009, Han’s courses include Society and the Individual, Politics of Identity, Significance of Race in the U.S., and a first-year seminar in Cinematic Sociology.

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