Professor Linda Lankewicz, Mathematics and Computer Science
Linda Lankewicz is Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science and served 10 years as Provost of the University. She is the President of the Trustees of the Colleges and Universities of the Anglican Communion (CUAC), and in that role she works with Anglican schools throughout the world. This summer she will be in Seoul, Korea, preparing for CUAC’s 2014 Triennial meeting at Sungkongho University. She visited 15 colleges in India last year. In 2011, Sewanee hosted CUAC’s Triennial with participants from 52 colleges in 16 countries. In 2000 Lankewicz worked with Bishop Moore College in Kerala, India, to develop an online computer science course taken jointly by students in India and at Sewanee, with faculty visits to the two locations, and one of her current courses also has online conversations with students in Chennai, India. Lankewicz received her Ph.D. from Tulane University. Her research on detecting anomalies in computer operating systems was discussed in Intrusion Detection by R. G. Bace and cited in the patent of a commercial system. Lankewicz was Principal Investigator for two National Security Agency grants and a Department of Defense grant.
Professor Chris McDonough, Classical Languages
Chris McDonough, a native of Boston, has been teaching Latin and Greek at Sewanee since 2002. He received his B.A. from Tufts, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the UNC in Chapel Hill. He has written on a variety of topics, from technical aspects of ancient religion to the influence of Homer on literature of the Vietnam War, and often writes pieces for the Sewanee Review. His wife, Kelly Malone, is the chair of Sewanee's English department, his sons Daniel and Joseph are great kids, and even his dogs, Daisy and Biscuit would be more fun to spend time with, but I guess you're stuck with him.
Professor Jennifer Michael, English
A graduate of Sewanee, Oxford, and Northwestern, Jennifer Davis Michael has been teaching at Sewanee for 18 years, specializing in poetry of the 18th century and the Romantic period. She has also taught from time to time in the Humanities program and on British Studies at Oxford, where she developed a "Carpe Noctem" course. Her book, Blake and the City, was published in 2006 by Bucknell University Press. Her second book in progress, Apprehensions of the Sacred, grows out of a personal interest in contemplative practice combined with the classroom study of poetry. With the help of visiting poet Marilyn Nelson, she developed a course in 2011 called "Poetry, Nature, and Contemplation," bringing a meditative attention to bear on the acts of reading and writing as well as on the natural environment.
Professor Stephen Miller, Music
Stephen Miller earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago and began teaching at Sewanee in 1995. He had previously lived and studied in Rome as a Fulbright Fellow. He teaches a variety of courses in music history and culture, including the introductory Music of Western Civilization, Ramblin’ Blues — The Back Roads of Southern Music, and Music and Nature. His scholarly specialization focuses on the a cappella idiom, encompassing styles as diverse as Renaissance polyphony and American shape-note singing. He serves as chair of the music department and as campus liaison to the Watson Foundation in New York. Away from the office, Miller loves cycling in whatever form, though he tends to stay upright on his road bike more than on his mountain bike.
Professor John Willis, History
John Willis is beginning his 23rd year teaching at Sewanee. He offers courses in American history, American studies, and environmental studies. His research and courses focus on the U.S. South. John regularly teaches classes on the Old South, America's Civil War, Reconstructing the South, and Southern Lives (an American studies seminar that considers the region's past through individuals in fiction, biography, and autobiography). He has published on antebellum Virginia and post-Civil War Mississippi, and is currently working on a social and environmental history of Tennessee's Cumberland Plateau. When not in the classroom or archives, John enjoys hiking and photography, two interests he will share with the seminar in his second talk, "Finding the Domain's History in Plain Sight."
Dan Backlund, Professor of Theatre Arts
Dan Backlund is beginning his 25th year as a professor of theatre arts at Sewanee where he teaches scenic design, lighting design, scenic art, construction, CAD, model making, and Asian theatre. Since 1976, Backlund has worked professionally as a designer, scenic artist, and member of the production staff for more than 475 projects in 18 states and two countries creating scenery, lighting, and environmental designs for theatre, dance, opera, television, special events, live concerts, designed public space murals, museum, library, and restaurant environments, as well as residential, commercial, and other public spaces. He received his undergraduate training at Bradley University in Illinois, and received his Master of Fine Arts from the North Carolina School of the Arts. He has also served the university as an assistant dean of students, the manager of the Sewanee-Franklin County Airport, the chair of the department of theatre arts, the assistant provost for summer programs, and as the chair of the Jesse Ball duPont Library Planning Task Force. Backlund currently serves as an assistant chief for water operations with the Franklin County Rescue Squad, and as a state instructor for Dive Rescue and Rural Search and Rescue classes. He also is a flight and instrument instructor (Airplane), a master scuba diving instructor, and a first aid CPR/AED instructor. In October 2012, Dan earned his certification as a master underwater criminal investigator.
Director, Sewanee Summer Seminar