Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Join us on Twitter
Join us on Facebook
Join us on Google Plus
Join us on YouTube

Department Chairs

Department of Anthropology
Laura Jane Levi II, Chair

 

As a settlement pattern analyst, I study the ways that humans organize themselves with respect to each other and in relation to their productive resources. I am also a student of lowland Maya culture history and my fieldwork documents the diverse spatial configurations characterizing ancient Maya residential architecture. Maya residential arrangements say a great deal about the various institutional affiliations of household members. Many of these institutions had clear territorial boundaries and ecological associations. Overall, therefore, my research in the Maya area examines how land, labor, and institutional memberships converged in the creation of highly complex community landscapes.

 
 
 

Department of Art & Art History
Gregory Elliott, Chair

 

Mr. Gregory Elliott begins his position as Chair of the Art Department at UTSA effective August 18, 2008. Mr. Elliott earned his MFA degree from Southern Methodist University in 1988, where he also received his MA degree in 1980. In 2003 Mr. Elliott, began serving as the Chairman for the Department of Art at the University of Texas at El Paso. During his tenure, the number of art majors grew by approximately 50% and he was instrumental in developing and implementing UTEP's Quality Enhancement Plan. Professor Elliott also served as head of the sculpture area and graduate coordinator at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from 1998 to 2002.

Professor Elliott comes to UTSA as a widely acknowledged leader of the arts in the El Paso region, and is credited with being instrumental in accomplishing the opening of the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts Center, the cornerstone of cultural activities at UTEP. As a tenured professor, he has shown a dedication to making education a priority and is committed to improving teaching and learning in the visual arts. Mr. Elliott also has a long list of artistic and scholarly awards and exhibitions and has received numerous grants and fellowships.

 
 
 

Department of Communication
H. Paul LeBlanc III, Chair

 

Dr. Paul LeBlanc began his position as Chair of the Department of Communication on September 1, 2010. He previously served as the Graduate Advisor of Record for the MA Program in Communication for three years. He received his MA in Communication in 1992 from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and his PhD in Communication in 2000 from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He has been a faculty member at UTSA since 2001. His research focuses on health communication, family communication and communication education. He is currently conducting research on marital communication. His primary research question is "How do relational partners communicate inclusion?" Dr. LeBlanc has received a faculty research award and served as a faculty mentor for the Lancy Scholarship program. In addition to research, Dr. LeBlanc teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in social interaction and interpersonal communication He also teaches in the communication core with a particular interest in research methods. He is an active supporter of graduate and undergraduate student research, and has supervised 14 student papers presented at conferences, three of which received honors. He has also supervised three student projects that were subsequently published. He has directed and reviewed both graduate and undergraduate theses.

 
 
 

Department of English
Mark Bayer, Chair

 

Dr. Mark Bayer began his tenure as department chair in 2013. His research focuses on the reception of early modern drama--both the local conditions of dramatic performance in sixteenth and seventeenth century London, and the reception of  Shakespeare’s plays in contexts ranging from the modern Middle East to nineteenth century America.  In his first book, Theatre, Community, and Civic Engagement in Jacobean London (University of Iowa Press, 2011), he claimed that playgoing enhanced social capital and contributed to community formation in early modern London—especially in the neighborhoods where specific playhouses were located.  His current project looks at the emergence of Shakespeare studies as an institutionalized academic discipline in the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

 
 
 

Department of History
Gregg L. Michel, Chair

 

Gregg L. Michel received a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. Dr. Michel's scholarly work focuses on movements for social change in post-World War II America, particularly in the 1960s South. His book, Struggle for a Better South: The Southern Student Organizing Committee, 1964-1969, examines the turbulent history of the leading progressive white student organization in the 1960s South. His current work focuses on government surveillance of student activists in the South in the 1960s and 1970s. Dr. Michel has served the university in a variety of capacities, including as chair of the Athletics Council and a member of the Core Curriculum Assessment Committee. He began his term as Chair of the Department of History in 2010.

 
 
 

Department of Modern Languages & Literatures
Marita Nummikoski, Chair

 

Associate professor and coordinator of UTSA's Russian program, Dr. Nummikoski was named interim chair of the department beginning with the Spring Semester 2002 and chair the following fall. A member of the UTSA faculty since 1988, she is author of Troika: A Communicative Approach to Russian Language, Life, and Culture, a Russian textbook first published by John Wiley and Sons, New York, in 1996. The updated edition was published in 2011 with extensive multimedia components, including videos filmed in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Dr. Nummikoski is also a co-author of News from Russia, published by Yale University Press in 2004. She received master’s degrees in English Philology and in Russian language and Literature from Helsinki University in Finland and earned her Ph.D. in foreign language education (Russian) at the University of Texas at Austin in 1991.

 
 
 

Department of Music
David Frego, Chair

 

Dr. David Frego began his duties as Chair of the Music Department at UTSA on July 1, 2008. Dr. Frego received his PhD from Florida State University in 1996 and has obtained both a license and certification in Dalcroze Eurhythmics from Carnegie Mellon University. He received his Master of Music Education and Master of Music, Choral Performance from Florida State University. Dr. Frego is considered a first rate musician, as a pianist, a conductor, a dancer and singer. He is supportive of choral and vocal programs and is committed to music performance and education. As an expert in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Dr. Frego is has received international recognition for his research. Dr. Frego comes to UTSA from Ohio State University where he served as Associate Director of the School of Music and Associate Professor of Music Education and Dalcroze Eurhythmics. He is credited with increasing the scholarship budget and has been successful in developing community financial support. Dr. Frego is admired nationally and internationally as a Dalcroze clinician and performs numerous workshops per year, including workshops in Bosnia-Herzegovina, France, Japan and Egypt. He has been widely published in major research journals, and recently completed a chapter for Oxford University Press and a new chapter for the Revised Handbook on Research in Music Education.

 
 
 

Department of Philosophy & Classics
Michael Almeida, Chair

 

Dr. Almeida received a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He came to UTSA in 1991, became Associate Professor in 1996 and has been Full Professor since 2004. His teaching and research interests are primarily in Ethical Theory, Metaphysics and Philosophy of Religion. He is the recipient of the President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Research Excellence in 2000; he received a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Grant 2005-2006, and was appointed as adviser to the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in 2007. He has organized the Annual UTSA Philosophy Symposium since 1996. He has published widely in Metaethics, Deontic Logic and Philosophy of Religion. His recent books are Freedom, God, and Worlds (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012) and The Metaphysics of Perfect Beings (London: Routledge, 2008).

 
 
 

Department of Political Science & Geography
Mansour El-Kikhia, Chair

 

Since 1989, Dr. El-Kikhia has been a member of the Political Science faculty at UTSA. He received his B.A. from the American University of Beirut and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Before joining UTSA Dr. El-Kikhia also held positions at the University of California at Riverside and the University of Arizona at Tucson. Specializing in International Relations and Comparative Politics with particular emphasis on the Middle East, his published works on Libyan Politics and Human Rights in the Middle East are highly regarded. He has testified on these issues before the United States Congress, the European Parliament, specialized United Nations committees as well as American, Canadian, and European governmental agencies. His weekly columns on international issues are published across the globe. Active in faculty affairs, he was elected for two terms to serve as the Secretary of the General Faculty and re-elected in 2004 to serve as President of UTSA Faculty Senate.

 
 
 

Department of Psychology
Robert Fuhrman, Chair

 

Bob Fuhrman received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. His primary training was in Social Psychology with additional work in Cognitive Psychology, Personality, and Psychological Measurement. His graduate research, conducted under the supervision of Bob Wyer and Tom Srull, investigated the cognitive processes and memory structures used when people make social and personality judgments about themselves and other persons. This work touched on a number of issues pertaining to stereotyping and confirmatory search biases and explored the manner in which people organize and use autobiographic events for judgments pertaining to both self and others (cf. Wyer, R.W., Shoben, E.J., Fuhrman, R.W. & Bodenhausen, G.V. , 1985; Fuhrman, R.W. & Wyer, R.S., 1988). Following his graduate work, Bob served as a postdoctoral fellow at The Ohio State University. He collaborated with Tom Ostrom, Constantine Sedikides, and Patricia Devine on a series of person memory projects, several of which examined the memory structures involved when people form impressions of others with whom they expect to interact (cf. Devine, P.G., Sedikides, C. & Fuhrman, R.W., 1989; Sedikides, C., Devine, P.G., & Fuhrman, R.W., 1991). Bob returned to Illinois as a postdoctoral fellow and pursued several projects that investigated the relationship between trait judgments made about the self and the retrieval of specific autobiographical events (Klein, S., Loftus, J., Trafton, G., & Fuhrman, R.W., 1992). He also compared the cognitive processes that underlie trait judgments made about the self with the processes used by familiar peers to make trait judgments about the same person (Fuhrman, R.W. & Funder, D.C., 1995).

 
 
 

Department of Sociology
Xiahoe Xu, Chair

 

Dr. Xu received his Master’s degree in sociology from Michigan State University and his PhD from the University of Michigan. His research examines how social change, race and ethnicity, and religion affect family lives in the United States. Over the past few years, Dr. Xu has developed a well-recognized expertise in the area of comparative family studies. His research explores the changing trends in marriage and family relationships in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan and the United States. His current projects examine 1) religion and the timing of remarriage among American Women, 2) correlates and public health consequences of intimate partner violence in urban Thailand, and 3) family violence in African societies. He has served as an editorial board member for American Sociological Review, and is currently serving as an editorial board member for Journal of Marriage and Family and Sociological Inquiry. Dr. Xu’s research has appeared in such journals as American Journal of Preventive Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Family Violence, Journal for Scientific Study of Religion, Journal of Marriage and Family, Population Research and Policy Review, Review of Religious Research, Social Indicators Research, Social Science Research, Sociological Quarterly, and Youth & Society. He is presently working on a service project to establish a secured laboratory in the Department of Sociology.