Four Women Appointed to Endowed Chairs at Vassar College

Vassar College, the highly rated liberal arts educational institution in Poughkeepsie New York, has announced the appointment of four women scholars to endowed chairs.

Eve Dunbar, a professor of English was named to the Jean Webster Chair. Professor Dunbar has been a member of the faculty since 2004. She teaches courses on the African American literary tradition and is an acclaimed scholar of mid-20th Century and contemporary African American literature. Professor Dunbar is the author of Black Regions of the Imagination: African American Writers Between the Nation and the World (Temple University Press, 2012). Dr. Dunbar is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Shona Tucker, professor and chair of the drama department, was appointed to the Mary Riepma Ross ’32 Chair. Professor Tucker, who has served as chair of the drama department since 2017, began teaching at Vassar in 2008. She is an accomplished actor, director, and writer with credits in theater, television, and film. Most recently, she won rave reviews for her portrayal of Calpurnia in the cast of the Broadway production of To Kill a Mockingbird. Professor Tucker is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she majored in speech. She holds a master of fine arts degree in acting from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Myra Hughey, an assistant professor of biology, was appointed to the Mary Clark Rockefeller Chair. Dr. Hughey joined the faculty in 2017. She studies microbiome diversity and disease and teaches courses on evolutionary genetics, ecology, and ecosystem ecology. Dr. Hughey is a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans. She earned a Ph.D. at Boston University.

Michele Tugade, a professor of psychological sciences, was named to the William R. Kenan, Jr. Chair. Professor Tugade joined the faculty in 2004 and has taught a wide range of courses in health psychology. Her research focuses on the function of positive emotions in the coping process; the mechanisms that promote resilience in the face of stress and adversity; and emotion-related processes associated with health and well-being. Dr. Tugade is a graduate of Vassar College. She earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

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