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Meet Liberal Studies Faculty

Merle Bachman, MFA, PhD

Professor of English; Director, BFA in Creative Writing

Merle BachmThe courses Dr. Merle Bachman teaches reflect the eclectic breadth of her scholarly interests and include creative writing, modern American poetry, British literature surveys, science fiction in film and interdisciplinary subjects such as “The Monstrous in Literature.” The students she mentors develop a life-long curiosity and love of learning.

Bachman is a poet and translator with four books out, the most recent being the poetry collection Blood Party (Shearsman Books, 2015). She maintains a scholarly interest in American Yiddish literature; her monograph Recovering “Yiddishland”: Threshold Moments in American Literature, was published by Syracuse University Press in 2009, and she was named a Fellow of the National Yiddish Book Center for 2015-16. Bachman’s interest in literatures of cultural identity has led to her research and publishing on a “lost” Scottish Jewish poet, A.C. Jacobs. She is currently lead editor on Jacobs’ Selected Poems, which is expected to be published by Northern House, an imprint of Carcanet Books in England, in 2018.

Patricia Dillon, PhD

Chair, Associate Professor

Patricia DillonDr. Pattie Dillon serves as the chair of Liberal Studies and associate professor of History, having completed her BS in sociology at the University of Florida, her MA in history at the University of Central Florida, and her PhD in history at Mississippi State University (Starkville). Her doctoral research focused on the connections between race, gender, and religion during the Civil War and Reconstruction era. Dr. Dillon teaches courses on civil war and reconstruction, Jim Crow, gender history, and U.S. history since 1945. Within these courses, students use primary sources to explore the dramatic events, exciting personalities, and complex underlying forces that create historical narratives. Students are also encouraged to become their own historians by collecting and presenting oral interviews.

Deonte Hollowell, PhD

Assistant Professor
Deonte HollowellDr. Deonte Hollowell is a native of Hopkinsville, Ky., and a graduate of University of Louisville (Pan African Studies) and Temple University (African American Studies). Hollowell's special area of study is the relationship between African Americans and police. Hollowell is also on the Board of Directors for 2Not1, an organization that supports fathers and families, as well as The West Louisville Math and Science Project. He also works with the Pivot to Peace group, extending resources to victims of violence. Hollowell also currently serves as the Lead facilitator for the Rites of Passage Brotherhood which introduces young boys to conflict resolution tactics and traditional African method of being.

Youn-Kyung Kim, PhD

Associate Professor
Youn-Kyung KimDr. Kim currently teaches courses in linguistics, humanities, and composition. She taught TESL courses (e.g., second language acquisition theory, TESL methodology, teaching grammar, and introduction to linguistics) in the TESOL Endorsement Program for public school teachers (K-12). Her main research interests are in discourse analysis in educational settings and world English. She has presented papers at TESOL national convention, AAAL (American Association for Applied Linguistics), AILA, CCCC, and International Writing Center Association (IWCA) Conference. Her dissertation was published as a book, titled Frame Analysis of Writing Center Interactions. She also has written a chapter, entitled “Frame Analysis,” in Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics published by Blackwell Publishing.

Christopher Kolb, PhD

Associate Professor

Christopher KolbUrban anthropologist Christopher Kolb passionately works to create opportunities for students to engage in projects that promote peace and social justice by combining community service, first-hand research, and rigorous intellectual inquiry. Kolb conducts fieldwork with long-time users of crack-cocaine, the homeless, and the formerly incarcerated. In addition to W. E. B. Du Bois, the most important influences for Prof. Kolb include German Idealist philosophy, Judeo-Christian theology, psychoanalytic theory, and many literary figures, including Flannery O’Connor, Thomas Merton, Russell Banks, Mark Twain, and, of late, Roberto Bolaño.

Charles Maynard, MFA

Associate Professor

Charles Maynard The courses Mr. Maynard teaches focus on introducing students to the writing process while creating a foundation for academic writing and understanding that feedback and revision are necessary components of building a writing life. The students he teaches leave his classes with a feeling of empowerment, confidence, and understanding that they can become great writers. Mr. Maynard also serves as the Director of Spalding University’s Writing Center which allows him to pursue his scholarly interests in writing center theory and best practices. Maynard is a fiction writer and game designer. His upcoming novel, The Way Things End, is to be published by Tartarus Press in England in 2019.

Kathleen Nesbitt, PhD


Kathleen NesbittDr. Kathleen Nesbitt teaches courses in modern world literature and composition. Her travels to Central America, Europe, the Middle East and East Asia have led to the development of courses in magic realism, Irish drama, Palestinian and Israeli fiction, and Chinese film. She finds students are eager to learn about cultures through literary studies, an interdisciplinary discipline, and encourages participation in study abroad opportunities. Her current research interest is in Chinese language and literature. Also teaching expository writing courses, Nesbitt believes our small, process-centered classes, individualized instruction and tutorial support make it possible for each student to make significant progress over the course of a term.

Dorina Miller Parmenter, PhD

Associate Professor, Religious Studies

Dori ParmenterDr. Parmenter is right at home in the interdisciplinary humanities with a background in religion and art. She enjoys teaching and research surrounding the creative responses that humans have had and continue to have when they contemplate the human condition. Parmenter teaches a variety of religious studies courses including Religion in America and Religion, Art, and Visual Culture, as well as an interdisciplinary course on the topic of ritual. As the director of Spalding’s Study Abroad in Ireland program she teaches The Ireland Experience and Irish Religion and Culture. Dr. Parmenter is the vice-president of the Society for Comparative Research on Iconic and Performative Texts (SCRIPT) and her research interest is material uses of the Christian Bible.

John Wilcox, PhD

Professor, Philosophy

John WilcoxDr. John Wilcox has been teaching at Spalding since 1987 following completion of his PhD from Notre Dame. Since 1993, he has taught philosophy during the summer for the Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program. His primary teaching interests are in ethics, logic, and the philosophy of the person. In ethics he encourages students to search for the foundation of right and wrong. In logic he helps students to develop their abilities to think clearly and consistently. He also enjoys teaching advanced philosophy courses that develop the students’ abilities to read, understand, discuss, critique, and write about difficult philosophical texts.