Mount Holyoke's commitment to educating students for global citizenship resonates throughout our curriculum. It is the driving force behind the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives. The Center advances both on- and off-campus intellectual engagement with the global problems and challenges of the twenty-first century.
The faculty advisory board takes an active role in shaping a broad vision for international education for the 21st century, and its members are committed to help implement it in their respective spheres of influence at the College.
Kavita Khory’s current research explores transnational political mobilization among South Asian diaspora populations in North America and Europe. Locating contemporary forms of migration from South Asia in broader historical and theoretical contexts, Khory’s work focuses on transnational forms of activism and political violence involving diaspora organizations with ties to India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Khory regularly teaches courses on world politics, international security, ethnic conflict, propaganda and war, South Asia, and migration.
Ruby Maddox is the Study Abroad Advisor and international Internships Coordinator for the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives. Ruby has over 12 years of experience working in higher education and experiential learning. Ruby is the co-founder of Gardening the Community; a youth urban agriculture and food justice organization in Springfield, MA, and Leaders of the Free World; an international experience and leadership development program for young Black men.
Bri Rhodes is the Director of International Student Advising at Mount Holyoke College. She has over 10 years of experience working with international students at Western Illinois University, Truman State University, and the University of North Dakota. She served in the Peace Corps in Cambodia teaching English, and working in gender development and public health, followed by a year of teaching in Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. In addition to her full-time director duties, she is pursuing research for a Ph.D. in Education focusing on emotional labor and educational barriers faced by Native American students.
Faculty Advisory Board
As an applied microeconomist, Sarah Adelman works with data rather than theory. Her research focus is health and nutrition in developing countries and she spent time in Uganda researching her thesis, and has also worked in Malawi and Liberia.
While actively pursuing the application of software testing to artificial intelligence systems, Valerie Barr promotes the interdisciplinary application of computing through a combination of changes to computer science curricula and courses, as well as research and course collaborations with faculty from the full range of disciplines within the liberal arts. She is very active in the computer science education community and has led significant diversity efforts for the Association for Computing Machinery.
Robin Blaetz teaches Introduction to Film, History of World Cinema, Film Theory, and Experimental Film, as well as courses in various genres, including the Musical and Documentary. Her scholarly work centers on women and film; she has published an anthology called Women’s Experimental Cinema: Critical Frameworks (Duke University Press, 2007) and Visions of the Maid: Joan of Arc in American Film and Culture (Virginia University Press, 2001). Her current project explores the connections between the films of Joseph Cornell and his better known boxes.
Michael T. Davis
Michael Davis teaches courses on the art of the Middle Ages, the arts of Islam, and modern architecture. His research centers on French Gothic architecture including Notre-Dame, Paris and the cathedrals of Clermont-Ferrand and Limoges. Recently, he has been reconstructing lost buildings in medieval Paris (early video). Used in his seminars on Paris, these projects actively engage students in the evaluation of evidence, medieval design techniques, and the use of digital media.
Ombretta Frau has published extensively on nineteenth and early twentieth-century Italian cultural history, modern philology, Pirandello, and Italian women writers. At Mount Holyoke, Frau’s courses include literature for children, material culture, fascism, women, theater, and travel literature. Her classes incorporate many pedagogical tools, including film, music, and web design, and she believes in creating a relaxed and friendly classroom atmosphere that encourages communication. Frau is a frequent collaborator of the Mount Holyoke Art Museum and she keeps a blog that is on the Italian Huffington Post.
Dylan Shepardson works on mathematical problems that are motivated by applications in other disciplines, like biology, epidemiology, sociology, or archaeology. He is especially interested in new and unusual applications of optimization theory. In most physical, biological, and economic systems, a property is being optimized (like energy or entropy in physical systems, or reproductive success in evolutionary biology), and optimization techniques offer interesting insights into these systems. Shepardson's recent projects include voting theory and its connections to combinatorial geometry, infectious disease modeling, and the problem of using collections of radiocarbon data to estimate dates of the earliest human settlements of Pacific islands.