The UCF College of Arts and Humanities welcomes new faculty members joining our college in fall 2023!
Department of English
Sarah Allen, Visiting Lecturer
Madison Brown, Visiting Lecturer
Madison Brown ’23MFA holds an M.A. in English from Mississippi State University and an MFA from UCF’s Creative Writing program. She is an editorial assistant with Braddock Avenue Books and Autofocus. Her published works can be found in Little Patuxent Review, Hoxie Gorge Review, JMWW, Rain Taxi and elsewhere.
Abigail Moreshead, Visiting Lecturer
Abigail Moreshead ’17MA ’23PhD earned an M.A. in English: Literary Cultural and Textual Studies and a Ph.D. in Texts & Technology from UCF. She researches the intersection of book studies and feminist media history with a focus on gendered labor in textual production. Moreshead has worked as a social media manager and researcher for Johnson’s Dictionary Online and in editorial roles for The Faulkner Journal and the James Joyce Literary Supplement. Her work has been published in Nineteenth Century Gender Studies and Feminist Media Studies.
Lauren Rouse, Visiting Lecturer
Lauren Rouse ’23PhD earned a B.S. in Secondary Education from Indiana University Indianapolis and an M.A. from DePaul University before coming to UCF to study Texts and Technology. Rouse’s research resides at the intersection of disability studies/crip theory and media studies. Xe has been published in Social Media and Society, Transformative Works and Cultures and Flow Journal. Xe is currently working on a monograph and is probably drinking coffee right now.
Department of History
Jessica Robkin, Visiting Assistant Professor
Jessica Robkin ’23PhD is an anthropological archaeologist with specializations in public history, emergency cultural heritage management, modeling and simulation, geospatial studies and ancient Egyptian monumental art. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, her graduate degree from Florida Atlantic University and her doctoral degree from UCF. Her fieldwork has taken her across the U.S. and overseas to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Before coming to UCF for her doctoral studies, she worked for the U.S. Army and the state of Texas, curating archaeology collections and working with stakeholders at the Fort Benning Military Installation and for the Texas Historical Commission, respectively. With training in both terrestrial archaeology and emergency heritage response, she has worked with local, state and federal governments, as well as military officials at all levels, to identify and stabilize at-risk heritage sites. While at UCF, Robkin’s research has focused on applying multidisciplinary approaches to the study of ancient urban social organization and cultural heritage protection during times of political unrest, including working with the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. and in Libya engaging with State-level and local stakeholder groups. She has extensive experience in 3D laser and structured light scanning and modelling and simulation methods. She is a researcher with the Chronopoints lab, the DATCH project, and is the Geospatial Coordinator for the Kerkenes Project.
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Nina Abuissa, Assistant Professor
Nina Abuissa holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Latin American literature from Tulane University and a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She teaches courses in Latin American literature and culture, Spanish, Portuguese and gender studies. Her research interests include contemporary Latin American literature, post-authoritarianism in the Southern Cone and Brazil, documentary theater and film, and gender studies. She has published in Quimera, Latin American Theatre Review, Revista de Estudios de Género y Sexualidades (formerly Letras Femeninas), Luso-Brazilian Review, Studies in Spanish and Latin American Cinemas and Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, and worked for PEN Argentina and Meninas Cartoneras. Her research and teaching excellence have been recognized through awards at Tulane University and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, most recently, for the innovative integration of Open & Affordable Educational Resources (OER/AER) designed to facilitate accessibility in Spanish courses.
Kyoko Blanchard, Visiting Instructor
Kyoko Blanchard is a visiting instructor of Japanese. She was born and raised in Japan. She earned her B.A. in English Linguistics from Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan and M.S. in Foreign Language Education from Florida International University. She has experience as a translator and a private tutor of English and Japanese for more than 20 years. She is passionate about reducing foreign language anxiety in classrooms.
Christina Torres, Assistant Professor
Christina Torres ’13MA ’22PhD was born in Orlando and spent summers in Puerto Rico with her family. Growing up in this area has given her the chance to observe UCF’s growth over the years and makes her proud to serve the diverse UCF community as a new assistant professor in TESOL. She earned her M.A. in TESOL from UCF’s Department of Modern Languages and Literatures in 2013. Afterwards, she taught in Seminole State College’s ESOL, EAP and ELI programs. She also worked abroad as an English Language Fellow, a U.S. State Department sponsored exchange program, in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2014-15. Torres has been working at UCF since 2016, when she was hired as an instructor to teach English for Academic Purposes classes to support international students’ English language development. She later transitioned to teach the undergraduate TEFL certificate classes and then developed and taught classes for the undergraduate Applied Linguistics minor. Torres worked as a lecturer in the department for one year after completing her Ph.D. in Education with a focus in TESOL in 2022. Her research interests include academic writing, corrective feedback and TESOL teacher training.
School of Performing Arts
Robert Hasty, Assistant Professor
Robert Hasty is a renowned conductor and music director holding multiple positions, including music director of the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, principal conductor of the Highland Park Strings, and associate director of orchestras and conductor of the Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia at Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music. He also serves as the Artistic Director of the International Schools Choral Music Society. Robert’s expertise extends beyond conducting, as he has contributed to music cognition research and presented his findings at international conferences. As a conductor, he has led numerous orchestras and ensembles across the globe, including performances in China, Taiwan and South Korea. In addition to his musical pursuits, Hasty is a skilled violinist and violist, a passionate cyclist and a member of the Dancing Bohemian Ukulele Team.
Michael D. Jablonski, Assistant Professor
Michael D. Jablonski is a seasoned musical theatre professional with a remarkable career spanning over two decades, encompassing roles as an accomplished artist, educator, director and choreographer. Jablonski‘s influence extends across regional and international stages. He notably served as dance captain for the Toronto and National Touring companies of the acclaimed Broadway production, Matilda, and has graced various Broadway casts, including The Book of Mormon and West Side Story. His extensive global tours include performances in renowned venues and collaborations with prestigious institutions. Jablonski has shared his expertise as a guest lecturer and master instructor in numerous universities and programs. Alongside his creative achievements in directing and choreography, Jablonski‘s contributions to the world of musical theatre remain significant and diverse. He holds a bachelor’s degree from SUNY at Buffalo.
Jason Marsalis, Visiting Instructor
Jason Marsalis, a member of the renowned Marsalis family of jazz, established himself as a remarkable musician from a young age. Marsalis began playing drums at three years old, later receiving lessons from legendary drummer James Black. By age seven, he was already performing with his father’s jazz group and his brother Delfeayo. Marsalis’s talent propelled him to become a seasoned touring musician before the age of nine. He furthered his education at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts and Loyola University while actively performing and recording with various ensembles. Over the years, he expanded his instrumental skills to include the vibraphone, leading his own band and collaborating with notable jazz and classical artists. Despite facing setbacks, Marsalis’s dedication to music remained unwavering, and he continues to thrive as a composer and performer, leaving a lasting impression with his mature and commanding style.
School of Visual Arts and Design
James Chambless, Visiting Lecturer
2D animator James Chambless ’15 ’22MFA holds a B.A. in Visual Language and an MFA in Emerging Media – Animation & Visual Effects from UCF. His expertise is in visual storytelling through story development, environment design, 2D hand-drawn digital animation and cinematography. Chambless’s versatility among the animation pipeline comes from 14 years of experience with digital animation software and experience accumulated through educational settings, contract-based freelancing, digital marketing, studio production, research and personal projects. Chambless endeavors to combine traditional analog animation methodologies with current technological advancements.
Christina Christie, Lecturer
Christina Christie ’19 ’22MFA is a highly accomplished character animator, with degrees in Emerging Media – Character Animation and Animation & Visual effects. She has held various positions in the industry, such as freelance illustrator, modeling artist and production manager for clients all over the country. As a filmmaker, Christie is highly accomplished, receiving over 60 accolades worldwide for her first short film Tiffany. Her second short film, Cycles, will be submitted to the festival circuit in late 2023.
Lorna Galloway, Lecturer
Born and raised in South Florida, Lorna Ruth Galloway holds an MFA from Florida International University and received her BFA from Florida Atlantic University with a focus in printmaking. Since completing graduate school, she has worked with the non-profit Project Art in Miami, the Vasari Project (a library collection dedicated to documenting, collecting and preserving Miami‑Dade County’s art history from 1945 to the present) in the Main Library Branch of Miami-Dade Library System, and volunteered with a nonprofit organization supplying kids with skateboards and teaching them how to skate. She’s had almost every job imaginable at Art Basel Miami Beach — from exhibiting, working for a German gallery, mural painting for other artists, art handling and installation for a private collection, and most importantly serving as a cafecito fetcher. Prior to joining UCF, she has participated in international exhibitions that focus on photo-based art work and play/gaming, while serving as an adjunct at Florida International University and Broward College.
Márcio Gonçalves, Assistant Professor
Márcio E. Gonçalves is a 3D artist, digital designer and filmmaker with more than a decade of experience working in three different countries: Brazil, Canada (in both the English and French-language regions) and the United States. Having spent four years as an assistant professor of film, animation and new media at the University of Tampa, Gonçalves’s expertise also extends to his work as a Maya Designated Specialist at Autodesk, where he supported esteemed clients like Disney, Pixar, ILM and Mattel. Additionally, his research at McMaster University explored virtual reality’s applications in education and urban design. Gonçalves’s creative pursuits, which include directing a recent feature-length 3D animated documentary titled Jambock Squadron funded by the Brazilian Government, align with his passion for utilizing technology to amplify voices from minority backgrounds. Both his artistic practice and creative research focus on how creative technologies can empower people from minority groups to tell their own stories. Gonçalves likes to find creative solutions using the most recent advances in technology to produce high-quality productions with limited crews and small budgets to tell stories that would not be told otherwise. Gonçalves’s comprehensive educational background enriches his diverse artistic and research endeavors; he holds a Master of Liberal Arts in Digital Media Design from Harvard University, a MFA in Motion Pictures and Television from Academy of Art University, a M.A. in Communication and New Media from McMaster University (Canada) and a B.A. in Digital Design and 3D Animation from the State University of New York.
Nick Kalemba, Lecturer
Nick Kalemba ’16 ’19MFA is an award–winning, nationally recognized artist whose work has been exhibited in over 25 group and juried exhibitions nationally. He has won multiple awards and recognitions, including a two-year residency at the Maitland Arts and History Center from 2019-21 along with having various public and private commissioned murals exhibited nationally, with his most recent commissions being in San Antonio and Miami. He received both his BFA and MFA from UCF before joining the SVAD faculty as an adjunct instructor and visiting lecturer, during which time he taught drawing, painting and sculpture. Outside of his pursuits in academia, he has built a successful mural/public art business with his wife, Ericka Sobrack.
Leeann Rae, Visiting Lecturer
Jeremy Robinson, Visiting Lecturer
Jeremy Robinson ’22MFA has facilitated and curated international workshops on topics of logo design, company branding and user interfaces. He recently served as an adjunct lecturer at UCF in spring of 2023, teaching courses in three-dimensional design. Robinson earned his MFA in Studio Art and Design at UCF.
Damian Thorn-Hauswirth, Visiting Lecturer
Damian Thorn-Hauswirth ’13 ’22MFA is a digital artist specializing in computer generated 3D imagery. With an interest in surreal imagery, his research and work focus on compelling visuals and sounds rather than traditional narrative to evoke an emotional response within the viewer. He has worked professionally on many projects, ranging from visualizations for Lockheed Martin to motion graphic projections for Disney. He attended UCF as an MFA Provost Fellow and graduated with an MFA in Animation and Visual Effects. His immersive VR thesis project, Castle of Unknowing, was a semi-finalist at the Student Academy Awards and premiered at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
Joshua Treadway, Assistant Professor
Joshua Treadway is an architect, designer and teacher. He attended Valencia College for an A.A. in Architecture and earned a Bachelor in Design at University of Florida. He received his Master of Architecture from Virginia Tech in 2017. His time there was where he gained a passion for academia and the teaching process. Between his time in school, he worked in architecture firms in Sarasota, Orlando and Washington, D.C. After graduating, Joshua started teaching at Valencia College and UCF in the Architecture programs. During this time, he has worked to develop the programs by restarting Arch. Fabrication Lab and pushing more tech forward lessons in his teaching. He has collaborated with Orlando professional organizations to bring more access to students and to blend the two ends of the profession – academia and practice – into one cohesive network. Treadway is eager to start his role at UCF and to bring his passion and optimism to every endeavor.
Wen (Vivian) Ye, Lecturer
Wen (Vivian) Ye received her bachelor’s degree in fashion design from Tsinghua University (Beijing, China) and two MFAs in Fashion Buying and Fashion Design from Istituto Marangoni (Milan, Italy) and the University of California at Davis, respectively. Before joining UCF, she was a fashion designer at VERO MODA and a fashion buyer at Armani and Diesel. She is also a practicing artist and freelance designer. Her research interest is focusing on using sustainable materials to create 3D textile and garments.
Department of Writing and Rhetoric
Ismael Benjelloun, Visiting Instructor
Ismael A. Benjelloun received both his B.A. in English Literature and M.A. in Writing and Rhetoric at UCF. He is fascinated by all things game and play, whether that be video games, theatrical plays or even simple schoolyard games. His research interest focuses on Ludic rhetoric, which seeks to observe the unique situations and forms of messaging exclusively within instances of play. His most recent project entailed studying the procedural rhetoric involved in fine-tuning difficulty illuminates the relationship between accessibility and authorial intent.
Kieran Leeds, Visiting Instructor
Kieran Leeds ’21 ’23MA seeks to bring a sense of inclusion and belonging to all students, as he believes change is the most radical when it comes from the empowered masses. He holds an M.A. in English: Literary, Cultural, and Textual Studies from UCF and his current research interests are ecocriticism, fantasy and continental philosophy.
Nandi-Tiye Mainer, Visiting Instructor
Nandi-Tiye Mainer ’20 ’23MA is a visiting instructor of English Composition 1 and 2. Her current research focuses on Afro-Diaspora Rhetorics and Black Feminist Rhetorics and how they are displayed in popular culture, like music and issues relating to religion and colorism. Her non-thesis focused on how three black female rap artists/singers brought attention to colorism using afro-diaspora and black feminist rhetorics. She presented at the Knights Write conference in 2020, Popular Culture Conference in 2023 and soon will present in the Southern Region of the Popular Culture Conference.
Kara Taczak, Visiting Assistant Professor
Kara Taczak earned a Ph.D. in English with a focus on rhetoric and composition from Florida State University. She is the current co-editor of Composition Studies, and incoming co-editor of College, Composition, and Communication (CCC). Her research centers on composition theory and pedagogy, specifically teaching for transfer and reflection. Taczak’s work appears in Writing Spaces, International Journal of Work-Integrated (IJWIL), Composition Forum and CCC. Based on her transfer research, she has been invited to give workshops at institutions across the country, and as such, worked with faculty from across the disciplines on building and developing effective writing and reflection activities and assignments into their curriculum. Prior to coming to UCF, she worked at the University of Denver where she taught first year writing courses, worked with students in the Honors program and helped develop curricula in various spaces on campus as well as designed workshops on reflection for faculty.
Abigail Turner, Visiting Instructor
Abigail Turner ’20 ’23MA received her M.A. in Rhetoric and Composition from UCF. She was born and raised in Illinois but moved to Orlando in 2018 to graduate with her B.A. in Writing and Rhetoric from UCF as well. Her research interests focus around digital, visual and feminist rhetorics with a specific attention on how social media is used rhetorically and its effects. Her most recent project used a multi-layered methodological approach to study the intersection of ‘Christian’ views and feminism on the social media platform Twitter, now known as X. After teaching as a graduate student at UCF, she is thrilled to continue to pursue this passion in the same department she received her education from as a visiting instructor!
Shane Wood, Associate Professor
Shane A. Wood is an associate professor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric and director of first-year composition at UCF. His primary aim is to support first-year composition students and instructors. His research interests include multimodality, digital rhetoric, writing assessment, composition theory and praxis, and rhetorical genre studies. His book, Teachers Talking Writing: Perspectives on Places, Pedagogies, and Programs, was published in 2023. In 2019, he created Pedagogue, an award-winning podcast in writing studies. Each episode is a conversation with a writing teacher about their pedagogies, practices, institutional contexts, and students.