College welcomes five new academic chairs
The College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities has appointed new leadership in five academic departments.
“I am pleased to welcome these new academic leaders,” said Richard Goodstein, dean of the college. “Three are new to the university, and two are new to the role of chair. I am very excited about the talent, experience and insight each of these professors is bringing to their department, to the college and to Clemson.”
Richard Amesbury joined Clemson’s faculty this summer as professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy and Religion. A scholar of religious and social thought, Amesbury held the chair in theological ethics at the University of Zurich in Switzerland from 2013 to 2017. While at Zurich he led the university’s Center for Ethics, which comprises some 60 researchers in ethics from the philosophical, theological and medical faculties, and directed the Institute for Social Ethics, a research center devoted to the study of religious ethics. Amesbury serves as Religion and Law Area Editor for the journal Religious Studies Review, as well as on the editorial boards of various journals and book series. Amesbury was Senior Schell Fellow at the Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School in 2016. He holds degrees from Harvard University and Oxford University and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University.
“I am honored to have been invited to join Clemson’s Department of Philosophy and Religion and look forward to working with its faculty, staff and students,” said Amesbury. “As a philosopher and scholar of religion, I am thrilled to be part of such a vibrant community of research, teaching and service.”
Susanna Ashton, Clemson professor of English, will lead the Department of English. Ashton joined the Clemson faculty in 1998. She is widely published and has written, edited or co-edited five books. In 2003 she was awarded a Fulbright to teach American literature at the University College Cork in the Republic of Ireland. Among other prizes, Ashton held a faculty research fellowship from the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University in 2015. Ashton earned a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.
“The English Department at Clemson has long been known for its spirited activity and engagement,” Ashton said. “I eagerly anticipate supporting that busy hum of festivals, initiatives, and projects, as well as helping improve the teaching and working conditions of the faculty and staff because those are, of course, the learning conditions for our students. Most of all, I look forward to seeing how we will move ever forward as a department to create art, to confront literary and textual questions with research and analysis, and to encourage students to see the abundant possibilities that imaginative reasoning offers.”
John Gaber joined the Clemson faculty this summer as professor and chair of the Department of City Planning and Real Estate Development. Gaber previously served as chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Arkansas. He has a B.A. from UCLA, a master’s degree from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. from Columbia University. Gaber has published extensively on a wide range of planning-related topics and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
“I am tremendously honored to be given the opportunity to work with the internationally recognized City Planning and Master in Real Estate Development programs at Clemson University,” Gaber said. “I look forward to working with faculty, students, alumni and community partners to continue Clemson’s tradition of discovering new directions on best practices in city planning and real estate development in the South Carolina and the world.”
Mike Jackson joined Clemson this summer as chair of the Department of Construction Science and Management. Previously, Jackson served as chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Management at Georgia Southern. He has 30 years of experience focusing on heavy civil engineering and construction. His professional career includes employment in both the public and private sectors, including design, construction oversight and inspection of large earthwork, foundation and roadway projects. He earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Oregon State University. Jackson is a licensed Professional Engineer. In 2015 he received the Chancellor’s award for distinguished service in Georgia for his success with expanding cooperative education participation among his students. He also engaged his students with numerous local service providers, including Habitat for Humanity and the Statesboro downtown development board. He also spearheaded the approval of a new undergraduate academic program in construction engineering and a new master’s degree in civil engineering at Georgia Southern in 2017.
“I look forward to working with the faculty to enhance the already well respected construction science and management department at Clemson,” Jackson said.
Valerie Zimany, associate professor of art, has been appointed to serve as interim chair for the Department of Art at Clemson. Zimany began her career at Clemson in 2010 as the ceramics area coordinator and lead faculty member in ceramics. Zimany teaches both undergraduate and graduate-level ceramics and leads the highly successful Clemson Community Supported Art Creative Inquiry team. A two-time Fulbright Scholar and Japanese Government Scholar, Zimany holds a Master of Fine Arts in crafts/ceramics from Kanazawa College of Art in Kanazawa, Japan, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in crafts/ceramics and art education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her work is in multiple public and private collections, including the Icheon World Ceramic Museum, the American Museum of Ceramic Art and the National Museum of Art, Slovenia. Zimany exhibits both internationally and nationally.
“To assume duties as interim department chair of such a talented and accomplished faculty in the Department of Art represents a wonderful challenge and a true honor,” Zimany said. “I am excited to build upon the teaching and research of our faculty to further the mission of the college and university, as well as promote the growth of our respected undergraduate and graduate art programs. We are gearing up for full year of exciting art events, and we invite you to join us in these activities and engage with our programs, both on and off campus.”
A national search for a new chair of the art department will commence this fall.