SMTC

2020-21 Steering Committee

  • Andrew Burkett
    SMTC-Burkett

    ANDREW BURKETT

    Associate Professor of English

    Karp Hall 111
    (518) 388-6119
    burketta@union.edu

    Department/Program: English

    Research interests

    British Romantic Poetry and Prose; Victorian Poetry and the Novel; Literature and Science; Science and Technology Studies; Cinema and Media Studies; Digital Humanities.

  • Angela Commito
    SMTC-Commito

    ANGELA COMMITO

    Lecturer in Classical Archaeology

    Lamont House 104
    518-388-7186
    commitoa@union.edu

    Department/Program: Classics

    Research interests

    Archaeology of the countryside, archaeological field survey, environmental archaeology, urban biography, social resilience, nostalgia.

  • Mark Dallas
    SMTC-Dallas

    MARK DALLAS

    Associate Professor of Political Science
    Director, Asian Studies

    Lippman Hall 211
    (518) 388-6361
    dallasm@union.edu

    Personal Website

    Department/Program: Political Science, Asian Studies

    Research interests

    Comparative and International Political Economy, China, Economic and Political Development and Public Policy, Trade, FDI and Foreign Economic Policy, High-tech Development and Policy, East Asian Regionalism, Security.

  • John Garver
    SMTC-Garver

    JOHN I. GARVER

    Professor of Geology

    F.W. Olin Center 317
    (518) 388-6517
    garverj@union.edu

    External Website: John I. Garver

    Department/Program: Geology, ESPE

    Areas of expertise

    Tectonics, sedimentation, Mohawk River, landslides, ice jams

    Research interests

    Primary interests are focused on low-temperature thermochronology, flood hazards, watershed analysis, the sediment record of environmental change, and the systematics of zircon and fission track dating. The main research focus in the area of tectonics is on the tectonic evolution of orogenic belts in the Pacific Rim using thermochronology, structural and basin analysis. In the last few years this research has focused on the thermochronologic evidence of the exhumation of orogenic belts. Research in the Mohawk watershed is directed at understanding hydrology, sediment budget, climate change in the watershed. Part of this focus has been in the timing and occurrence of landslides and on the effect of ice jams on flooding.

    Field Areas: Pacific Rim, including Alaska; Mohawk watershed

  • Ashraf Ghaly

    ASHRAF GHALY

    Carl B. Jansen Professor of Engineering

    F.W. Olin Center 102D
    (518) 388-6515
    ghalya@union.edu

  • Melinda Goldner
    SMTC-Goldner

    MELINDA A. GOLDNER

    Professor of Sociology
    Chair of the Department of Sociology

    Lippman Hall 217
    (518) 388-6425/629
    goldnerm@union.edu

    Department/Program: Sociology, American Studies, Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies

    Research interests

    Professor Goldner studies a range of health care issues and health social movements, such as online health searching and the complementary and alternative medicine movement. Her work has been published in a variety of journals, including Sociology of Health & Illness, Information, Communication and Society, Research in the Sociology of Health Care and Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change. She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journal. She teaches courses on medical sociology, public health, global health, social movements, sociological theory and gender.

  • Kim Plofker
    SMTC-Plofker

    KIM PLOFKER

    Associate Professor of Mathematics

    Bailey Hall 208A
    (518) 388-6674
    plofkerk@union.edu

    Areas of interest

    I study the historical development of math, astronomy and related subjects, mostly in Sanskrit, Arabic and Latin texts from before the twentieth century. Research travel takes me most often to India, where there are tens of thousands of manuscripts of little-known early scientific works that I use in piecing together this history. Topics I’ve published on include the early history of numerical approximation methods in Sanskrit texts, different approaches to spherical trigonometry in Islamic and Indian astronomy, and Euler’s study of Indian calendar computations. These days I’m collaborating with a colleague in New Zealand on a study of algorithms in Indian astronomical tables; we’re hoping to break out some of the work into undergraduate research projects (no Sanskrit knowledge required!).

  • Sean Tennant
    SMTC-Plofker

    SEAN TENNANT

    CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation

    2nd floor, Schaffer Library
    (518) 388-6632
    tennants@union.edu

    Department/Program: Schaffer Library, Research Services

    Research interests

    The application of network analysis methods to Roman domestic architecture and archaeology.

  • Mark Walker
    SMTC-Walker

    MARK WALKER

    John Bigelow Professor of History
    Director of Common Curriculum (General Education)

    Lippman Hall 216
    (518) 388-6994
    walkerm@union.edu

    Department/Program: History, Common Curriculum, Academic Affairs, First-Year Preceptorial

    Research interests

    I research and publish on twentieth-century science, including in particular science and technology under National Socialism, and comparisons of science and technology in different political, cultural, and ideological contexts.

  • Nick Webb
    SMTC-Webb

    NICK WEBB

    Associate Professor of Computer Science

    Steinmetz Hall 223
    (518) 388-6374
    webbn@union.edu

    External Website: website

    Department/Program: Computer Science, Data Analytics

    Areas of interest

    Natural language processing; social robotics; computer science education.

  • Kirk Wegter-McNelly

    KIRK WEGTER-McNELLY

    Dona and Marshall Robinson Assistant Professor of Science, Philosophy and Religion Program in Religious Studies

    Lamont 203
    (518) 388-6214
    wegtermk@union.edu

    Department/Program: Religious Studies

    Areas of interest

    I am a theologian who studies how cultural developments, especially those related to the sciences, affects religious beliefs and behaviors. I have taught previously at Manhattan College and Boston University. My courses typically tend to focus on the relationship between the religious dimensions of life, on the one hand, and some prevalent aspect of contemporary culture, such as science, food, or literature, on the other hand. I am currently a Research Associate at the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion, where I am working on a novel characterization of the relationship between religion and science through an investigation of the controverted nature of the discipline of economics.