News and Events

CLAS Welcomes New Faculty

This article was originally published in the August - September 2005 issue of CLASnotes.

More than 50 new faculty members join CLAS this year. In the next few issues, CLASnotes will introduce these new names and faces.

Deborah Amberson

Deborah AmbersonDeborah Amberson is an assistant professor of Italian in the Romance languages and literatures department. She completed her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University College Cork in her native Ireland. Before coming to UF, Amberson was a visiting faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Her research examines the 20th-century Italian novel, and her current project concerns the representation of rage in 20th-century Italian literature. Her interest lies in examining rage not as a form of identity loss, but instead as a form of intellectual engagement by means of which a political identity is found or created.

This fall, she is teaching a course on Italian cinema and Beginning Italian I.

Florence Babb

Florence BabbFlorence Babb came to UF in January as the Vada Allen Yeomans Professor of Women’s Studies. She also has affiliations in the anthropology department and the Center for Latin American Studies. Babb earned her PhD in anthropology from the State University of New York, Buffalo in 1981 and has spent the past 22 years at the University of Iowa, where she served as chair of the anthropology department and the women’s studies program.

Her research focuses on gender and cultural politics in Latin America, and she has conducted research in Peru, Nicaragua and Cuba. A current project focuses on the cultural impact of tourism in post-revolutionary nations. This year, she will teach graduate seminars on Feminist Ethnography and on Love, Sex, and Globalization.

James Harnsberger

James HarnsbergerJames Harnsberger is an assistant professor in the communication sciences and disorders department. He earned his PhD in linguistics from the University of Michigan in 1998 and was a postdoctoral research fellow in the psychology department at Indiana University before coming to UF.

His background is in phonetics, articulation, acoustics and perception of speech. Specifically, his work has focused on how speech perception guides learning, which can be defined as how information is stored in long-term memory and how that information interacts with prior knowledge. At UF, he is involved in a number of interdisciplinary projects, including the perception of age in voices and the acoustic characteristics of stress and deception in speech. He is teaching Human Communication Dynamics this fall.

Diane Kendall

Diane KendallDiane Kendall, an assistant professor in the communication sciences and disorders department, received her PhD in CSD from the University of Pittsburgh in 1999. She is a research speech-language pathologist with an interest in rehabilitation of acquired disorders of communication in adults who have suffered a stroke.

She was a research investigator at the VA Brain Rehabilitation and Research Center and an assistant professor in UF’s neurology department before joining CLAS. Kendall is interested in developing theoretically motivated treatments for acquired disorders of communication such as speaking, reading and writing. She works with individuals who have suffered a left-hemisphere cerebral vascular accident and exhibit aphasia, alexia and agraphia. Kendall teaches Motor Speech Disorders.

Victoria Rovine

Victoria RovineVictoria Rovine is an assistant professor jointly appointed between the Center for African Studies and the School of Art and Art History in the College of Fine Arts. She earned her PhD in 1998 from Indiana University with a specialization in African art. Before coming to UF, she was a curator at the University of Iowa Museum of Art and an assistant curator at the Brooklyn Museum.

Her research interests include contemporary African artistic expressions, particularly dress and textiles and the globalization of African styles. Rovine’s dissertation and first book focused on the contemporary revival of a type of textile in Mali, West Africa. She is currently working on a project that examines African fashion designers and the uses of African forms in Western design. This fall, she is teaching the introductory level course African Humanities and a graduate seminar on contemporary African art.

Sergei Shabanov

Sergei ShabanovSergei Shabanov, an assistant professor of mathematics, earned his PhD in theoretical and mathematical physics in 1988 from the State University of St. Petersburg (Russia). He has held research positions at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Russia), the Service de Physique Theorique (Paris, France) and Free University of Berlin, where he received the Alexander von Humboldt Award. He also was a visiting professor at the University of Valencia in Spain and in UF’s math department.

His research interests in applied mathematics have focused on the development of fast pseudospectral numerical algorithms for electromagnetism and quantum physics and radar signal processing and imaging. This fall, he is teaching Analysis 1 and a special topics course for graduate students on pseudospectral methods in numerical simulations.

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