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.
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.
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.
Recently appointed Roland K. Blumberg Endowed Professor in Music and Chair of the Department of Music at The University of Texas at San Antonio, Tracy Cowden’s professional life centers around making music with others, whether in duos, chamber music, or orchestral settings. Her work as a collaborative pianist includes a wide range of music and partners, from the music of Jane Austen’s songbook with soprano Julianne Baird, to klezmer-influenced music with clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein and cellist Nick Cannelakis, to American fiddle music with violinist Mark O’Connor. She is also active in commissioning and performing 21st century music, and has premiered works in concerts from Kalamazoo to Bangkok. One recent project debuted classical duos for trumpet and piano written by jazz composers, which was released on the Origin Classical label. Cowden’s interest in poetry and art song has led her to commission a song cycle by Gregory Hutter that features the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, and another by Daron Hagen titled Vegetable Verselets, which features poetry by Margaret Hays, and which will be released on a forthcoming recording in 2019.
Also active as a clinician and lecturer, Cowden has presented master classes and workshops on topics related to collaborative music-making and creative programming across the country. She has been a presenter or performer at conferences including the National Opera Association, Music Teachers National Association, College Music Society, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, International Trumpet Guild, International Tuba Euphonium Conference, and the National Flute Association. Cowden is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music through the Music Teachers National Association, and currently serves as chair designate to the MTNA National Certification Commission, as well as a visiting evaluator for the professional accrediting organization, the National Association of Schools of Music.
A Michigan native, Cowden has previously served as a faculty member at Virginia Tech, Ohio Wesleyan University, Kalamazoo College, and Hope College. She received the D.M.A. and M.M. degrees in piano accompanying and chamber music from the Eastman School of Music, and a B.M. degree in piano performance from Western Michigan University.
Eve Browning joins UTSA as chair of the Department of Philosophy and Classics. She grew up in Florida, graduated from the University of Florida, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California San Diego. Most recently she was Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Her research centers on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy and culture. In her spare time she enjoys trail riding with her horse Gentle John.
James H. Bray, Ph.D. will join the University of Texas San Antonio as Chairman of the Psychology Department in August 2017. Dr. Bray will establish the UTSA Family Psychology Health Laboratory to continue his research on the impact of family transitions and relationship factors on children, adolescents and adults. He will also pursue continued work on psychosocial and family factors associated with adolescent substance use and abuse.
Dr. Bray is currently an Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Bray serves on the Council of Representatives of the American Psychological Association for the Division on Addictions. He was the 2015 President of the Texas Psychological Association and the 2009 President of the American Psychological Association. His presidential themes were the Future of Psychology Practice and Science and Psychology’s Contribution to Ending Homelessness. He is also president of the Division of Professional Practice of the International Association of Applied Psychology. Dr. Bray’s NIH funded research focuses on adolescent substance use, divorce, remarriage and stepfamilies. He has published over 200 articles in major journal and books. He was the director of a federal HRSA faculty development program for physicians and was the director of the SAMSHA funded project on screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT) project. He is a pioneer in collaborative healthcare and primary care psychology. He has presented his work in 20 countries. He also maintains an active clinical practice focusing on families and health psychology.
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.
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