New faces join campus in top faculty positions
Director searches for four different departments in three different colleges have ended and UALR welcomes new faculty members to campus this semester.
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
UALR’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences recently named former University of South Dakota faculty member Keith Alan Robinson the new chair of the Philosophy department.
Before moving to Little Rock to assume the position at UALR, Robinson spent seven years as assistant professor of language, linguistics and philosophy and a program coordinator at USD and taught at several other universities in the United States and Europe before that.
“I’m really excited to be heading up such a new and dynamic department,” he said. “I think UALR students are really going to want to try out some of our courses and experience what philosophy and the liberal arts have to offer them.”
Robinson received his PhD from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom in 1996. Much of his research has concentrated on 19th and 20th century European philosophy, most notably that of 20th century France. He has published a number of books, articles and essays in these fields.
“The origins of philosophy lies with the Greeks,” Robinson said, “so this fall I’m looking forward to teaching a class on ancient Greek philosophy,”
The department also recently appointed Michael Norton as an assistant professor of philosophy, who received his PhD last year at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. Norton’s areas of focus include philosophy of religion and contemporary continental philosophy.
College of Professional Studies
Olaf Hoerschelmann, former program coordinator at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, has recently been appointed as the new chair of UALR’s School of Mass Communication in the College of Professional Studies.
Hoerschelmann, who authored a book titled “Rules of the Game: Quiz Shows in American Culture” in 2006, assumed the position in July, taking the place of former director Dr. Jamie Byrne, who is now the interim dean of the College of Professional Studies.
“The faculty in the School of Mass Communication are highly dedicated and have created excellent educational experiences for our students,” he said in a quote from a university press release. “In the future, I want to build on the past successes of the students and faculty and review and improve our programs to keep up with the fast-moving field of mass communication.”
Hoerschelmann, a native to Germany, earned his PhD in mass communication from Indiana University, his M.A. in communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his B.A. in American Studies from the University of Tubingen in Germany.
Before joining UALR in July, Hoerschelmann was the graduate program coordinator for the Department of Communication Studies at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill.
“I hope that the School of Mass Communication will continue to offer cutting edge programs that attract students from across and beyond the state of Arkansas,” he said in the same university press release.
College of Business
Jeffrey Hamm, former Henderson State University dean and UALR faculty member, was recently named the College of Business’s new chair of the Department of Accounting.
Hamm is returning to the university after having served as Dean of Business at HSU in Arkadelphia since 2010, before which he was a UALR faculty member since 2003.
“I am very much pleased to be back at UALR,” Hamm said. “Central Arkansas is a great place to live and work, and UALR serves a vital role in educating students and enhancing the community. ”
He has also taught at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn., where he was promoted to full-time professor and department chair.
Hamm says that his preferred area of scholarship and research is taxation, and he has published articles on the subject in publications such as Advances in Taxation, Practical Tax Strategies, the Tennessee CPA, Today’s CPA and Tax Advisor.
“What we are doing today will make a difference in Little Rock and the state of Arkansas tomorrow. It is exciting to be able to help people achieve their dreams — it is a win-win situation.”
During life non-academic career, Hamm worked specializing in oil and gas taxation for Phillips Petroleum Company, public accounting and consulting in the restaurant industry.
He received a Bachelor Degree from Michigan State University, a PhD in accounting from Texas Tech University and is also licensed as a CPA in Oklahoma.
Karen Moustafa Leonard, who recently left her position as associate professor at Indiana University at Fort Wayne, has recently been appointed as professor and Chair of Management in the UALR College of Business.
Leonard, who says she “loves being a professor more than almost anything,” earned her Master of Science degree in Commerce from University of Auckland in New Zealand and her PhD in Management from the University of Memphis in 2004.
Her research emphasis is in organizational behavior, which Leonard describes simply as “how people interact in organizations. It includes such things as dysfunctional behaviors, accountability, and time orientation in organizations. Also includes cross-cultural organizational work with lots of international colleagues, which requires travel to these countries.”
For 26 years, Leonard worked in management and administration for various organizations, including the Auckland Area Hospital Board, Presbyterian Hospitals of Dallas and Tenet Healthcare System.
Leonard is married with three children and six grandchildren.
“[I] love being a professor more than almost anything — the teaching, research, and services just thrill me after being in management and administration for so long. [I] also love travel and reading, especially mystery and science fiction novels.”