Eight new faculty members and two visiting Fulbright language instructors will teach at Albright College this fall, in the areas of English, Spanish, French, education and psychology. New faculty members include:
Conner Bassett, Ph.D., assistant professor of English
Conner Dylan Bassett holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. His poetry and fiction are published or forthcoming in Chicago Review, Iowa Review, The Literary Review and elsewhere.
Randall A. Grove, D.Ed., assistant professor of education
Randall A. Grove is a K-12 educator with 35 years of experience. He started his career as a classroom teacher, including 13 years as a music teacher. He then spent 10 years as a high school principal before moving into the role of assistant superintendent for two years. Grove ended his public school experience with 10 years as superintendent, during which he focused on incorporating technology into classrooms and utilizing effective frameworks for curriculum and lesson plan development. Additionally, he was an original founder of the Conrad Weiser Science Research Institute, encouraging an emphasis on critical thinking and learning engagement. Grove has also served as an adjunct faculty member at both Albright College and Alvernia University. Prior to joining Albright College as a full time faculty member, he served as the Superintendent of Conrad-Weiser School District in western Berks County, Pa. He holds a D.Ed. in educational administration from Penn State University.
Jimmy Hamill, M.A., instructor of English
Jimmy Hamill (he/him) is a teacher and scholar of composition and rhetoric. His dissertation, which he is currently completing at Lehigh University, focuses on the rhetorical practices of queer Catholics. Jimmy is also interested in multimodality, antiracist assessment and grading practices, Universal Design for Learning, and queer composition theory. His publications include the forthcoming chapter Metanoic Faith: Living Rhetorically in Dorothy Day’s The Long Loneliness in “Catholic Women’s Rhetoric in America,” published by Lexington Books. Prior to joining Albright, Jimmy taught first-year writing at Lehigh University and was an assistant acquisitions editor for Lexington Books.
Sarah Heidebrink-Bruno, Ph.D., lecturer of English
Sarah Heidebrink-Bruno recently completed her dissertation, “‘How Will You Grow?: Restorative Justice in Contemporary American Women’s Literature and Beyond,” at Lehigh University, where she earned her Ph.D. and MA. Her specialization is post-1945 American fiction and writing pedagogy, and her research interests include women’s writing, intersectional feminist theory, restorative justice practices and social justice pedagogies. She is a proud 2011 graduate of Albright College and she is excited to return to the English Department that first inspired her love of literature and writing.
Jaclyn Hilberg, Ph.D., assistant professor of English
Jaclyn Hilberg’s research focuses on the histories of rhetoric, composition and literacy studies. Her current book project explores the intersections between literacy education and community organizing during the civil rights era. Her work has appeared in College English and is forthcoming in the edited collection Racing Translingualism: Toward a Race-Conscious Translingual Pedagogy. She teaches first-year writing and upper-level writing courses. Before joining Albright, Hilberg was a Professor of English at Collin College in Frisco, Texas. She holds a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of Louisville.
Helen Lee, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of psychology
Helen Lee is a developmental psychologist who specializes in comparative and atypical child development. Her research particularly focuses on biological and socio-cultural factors underlying children’s development, including those affected by autism spectrum disorder. Lee has published a number of peer-reviewed articles, in which she examined young children’s social emotional development across cultures as well as issues related to early autism identification and intervention. As a board certified behavior analyst, she has also worked with special needs children as a behavioral therapist in school and home settings. She will teach Introductory Psychology, Adult Psychopathology, and Personality in the fall of 2021. Lee held postdoctoral research associate positions at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Southern California, and was an adjunct professor at Emerson College. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Chicago.
James Speese, Ph.D., lecturer of English
James (Jim) Speese is a writer and researcher, who earned his degree in post-World War II American literature at Lehigh University. His research has focused on historicity, postmodernism and the literature of protest and agency. He is particularly interested in literature as a tool to promote effective and ethical protest and action. He is also a fiction writer, most recently published in book form in the Punctum collection, “The Anthology of Babel” (2020). His short story, “The Story of Gombi”, is being published in August 2021 issue of The Pennsylvania Literary Journal. He working on a book on the lyrics of Roger Waters (of the band Pink Floyd) and a novel. Jim is also a singer/songwriter in the band Cloud Party, which has released five albums, most recently, “The Dying Art of Living.” He has taught literature, film, public speaking and media studies. Presently his teaching focuses on writing, rhetoric and composition, in which he encourages critical thinking, reading and writing skills to be applied to political and social movements. He was previously a visiting assistant professor at Drew University and at Lehigh University.
Lena Ziegler, Ph.D., lecturer of English
Lena Ziegler is a feminist scholar and teacher focusing on rhetorics of consent and sexual violence, gender studies, and the intersection of critical and creative writing studies. Her dissertation “A Revisionist History of Loving Men: An Autoethnography and Community Research of Naming Sexual Abuse in Relationships” was nominated for the 2020 Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition President’s Dissertation Award. A segment of this project was first published in the edited collection “MeToo, Feminist Theory, and Surviving Sexual Assault in the Academy” edited by Laura Gray-Rosendale (2020). In addition to her academic work, Ziegler is the editor and co-founder of the literary journal The Hunger and The Hunger Press, publishing multiple issues and chapbooks annually. She has published her own work in Split Lip Magazine, Indiana Review, Duende, Dream Pop Press, Autofocus Lit, Literary Orphans and elsewhere. Ziegler holds a Ph.D. in rhetoric and writing studies from Bowling Green State University and an MFA in creative writing from Western Kentucky University. She is an alumna of AmeriCorps Vista and is passionate about academic and community service.
Laura López Calonge, visiting Fulbright instructor of Spanish
Laura realized she loved languages even before finishing her bachelor’s degree in Spanish philology at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid — the city where she was born but left almost 10 years ago. She enhanced her education at other institutions in Spain (Universidad de Cantabria, Universidad de Sevilla) and Europe (Charles University of Prague) and focused on teaching Spanish as a foreign language for her master’s degree. She is currently preparing her Ph.D. thesis on Spanish pragmatics and conversation analysis at the University of Valencia. She has taught for over five years in high schools in England and India, as well as at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. She has worked in collaboration with the Cervantes Institute as an evaluator of Spanish-language proficiency for non-native speakers of Spanish and the Embassy of Spain in Trinidad organizing cultural events. She loves nature, sports (India brought the practice of yoga to her), connecting with other cultures, learning from them and trying to make this world a better place to live.
Eponine Leurs, visiting Fulbright instructor of French
Originally from Lille, Eponine is a French-language and travel enthusiast who has taught French in different countries for the past few years while completing internships or working for different organizations. Before that, she received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Lille, where she studied Japanese language and culture. She had the opportunity to continue her education by participating in a year-long exchange program at Toyo University in Tokyo. Aspiring to become a French teacher for non-French speakers upon her return to France, she obtained a master’s degree in teaching French as a foreign language at the University of Lille. After completing her master’s, she taught French in Belgium, Russia and Ukraine. When she isn’t in a classroom, Eponine is most likely dancing, going to the movies or reading a book in a cafe while drinking coffee. She is looking forward to learning more about the cultures of the United States and gaining teaching experience in U.S. classrooms.