University of Tennessee Appoints Four Women to Chair Academic Units

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville has announced the appointment of four women to chairs of departments or academic units.

Kirsten Block was named chair of the Latin American/Caribbean Studies interdisciplinary program. Dr. Block, an associate professor of history at the university, holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Beloit College in Wisconsin. She earned a Ph.D. in history from Rutgers University. Before joining the faculty at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Block taught at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. She is the author of Ordinary Lives in the Early Caribbean: Religion, Colonial Competition, and the Politics of Profit (University of Georgia Press, 2012).

Verle Keppens was appointed chair of the department of materials science and engineering. She was serving as interim chair. Dr. Keppens joined the faculty at the university in 2003 after teaching for four tears at the University of Mississippi. A native of Belgium, Dr. Keppens earned a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in physics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.

Christine Shepardson, the Lindsay Young Professor in the department of religious studies, was named chair of the Middle Eastern Studies interdisciplinary program. Professor Shepardson joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee in 2003. Earlier, she taught at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Shepardson is a graduate of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, where she double majored in religion and English. She holds a master’s degree from the Boston University School of Theology and a doctorate in early Christianity from Duke University. Dr. Shepardson is the author of Controlling Contested Places: Late Antique Antioch and the Spatial Politics of Religious Controversy (University of California Press, 2014).

Maria Stehle was appointed chair of the Cinema Studies interdisciplinary program. Dr. Stehle is an associate professor in the department of modern foreign languages and literatures. She joined the faculty in the fall of 2007. Dr. Stehle is the author of Ghetto Voices in Contemporary German Culture: Textscapes, Filmscapes, and Soundscapes (Camden House, 2012). She earned a Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Filed Under: Appointments


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