Leadership

The Templeton Institute (TI) is led by Co-Directors Andrew Burkett, Professor of English, and Ashok Ramasubramanian, Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

Andrew Burkett

Andrew Burkett

Prof. Andrew Burkett’s research and teaching interests center on the intersections among science, technology, and culture from the nineteenth century to the present. He holds a Ph.D. in English literature from Duke University, where his doctoral dissertation examined the impact of Romantic poetry on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. His more recent work examines the emergence and development of media technologies such as negative-positive photography and phonography in the nineteenth century and their ties to the literature and culture of the period. Since joining Union College in 2011, he has developed a strong interest and expertise in the Digital Humanities and holds certificates in this area from Leipzig University and the University of Oxford. As Co-Director of the Templeton Institute, Prof. Burkett brings his passion for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarship and teaching, which often brings together collaborators from diverse intellectual backgrounds and forms of expertise.

Ashok Ramasubramanian

Ashok Ramasubramanian

Recently appointed as the Dean of Engineering and Co-Director of the Templeton Institute (TI), Dr. Ashok Ramasubramanian is a member of the Mechanical Engineering faculty at Union College, where for 17 years he has taught classes in Control Theory and Solid Mechanics. He also has an active research program that studies the biomechanics of the developing heart and brain in chick embryos. Born in India, Ashok earned his Ph.D. at Dartmouth College in 2002. Prior to joining the faculty at Union, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. He is a Fulbright fellow and also completed an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship with the U.S. Department of State.

Ashok is passionate about undergraduate education and is an ardent supporter of teaching and learning engineering in a liberal arts framework -- something Union excels at. As Dean of Engineering, his priorities include increasing diversity and promoting Union College to external audiences. As Co-Director of the Templeton Institute, he aims to bring together Union faculty and staff together in order to facilitate the development of new learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom that integrate liberal arts and engineering approaches and expertise. He is also deeply passionate about strengthening Union's connections to the local community.

The TI Steering Committee

Working closely with the TI Co-Directors, the Templeton Institute Steering Committee (TISC) will help to oversee the workings of the institute and its various projects. It is currently composed of Cole Belmont, Deidre Butler, Angela Commito, Mark Dallas, Carolyn Rodak, and Cherrice Traver.