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Excellence Professors

Greg Stuart, Professor of Psychology

Greg StuartDr. Stuart’s program of research has a particular emphasis on the role of substance use and abuse in intimate partner violence perpetration and victimization. His work examines the impact of substance abuse treatment on the prevalence and frequency of intimate partner violence and psychological aggression, as well as the effects of substance abuse treatment on other domains of relationship and family functioning. Dr. Stuart’s studies have shown that intimate partner violence perpetration and victimization are overrepresented in populations of individuals in treatment for substance abuse, and that substance abuse is overrepresented in men and women court mandated to attend batterer intervention programs. Other areas of research include examining whether including substance use treatments in batterer intervention programs improves outcomes for men and women arrested for domestic violence; as well as conducting treatment outcome research in general, and specifically for family violence and substance misuse.

Nate Kelly, Associate Professor of Political Science

Nate KellyNathan joined the faculty of the University of Tennessee in 2005. He was previously an assistant professor at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. Nathan received his M.A. (2001) and Ph.D. (2004) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and completed his undergraduate degree at Wheaton College (IL) with highest honors. His primary research interest is the macro political system of the United States, where he examines how different parts of the U.S. governing system (from Congress, to public opinion, to macro policy outputs) influence one another and respond to stimuli over time. He is also interested in political behavior and public opinion at the micro level. Finally, he conducts research in quantitative methodology that is motivated by problems encountered in his research agendas. For additional information about Dr. Kelly’s work, please visit his personal webpage.

Shih-Lung Shaw, Professor of Geography

Shih-Lung ShawShih-Lung Shaw’s research interests cover transportation geography, geographic information science (GIScience) and spatio-temporal analysis, especially with topics related to air transportation, effects of information and communications technologies (ICT) on human activity and travel patterns, transportation planning and modeling, time geography, space-time GIS, and GIS for transportation (GIS-T). Dr. Shaw is a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a recipient of the Edward L. Ullman Award for outstanding contributions to the field of transportation geography of the Association of American Geographers (AAG).

Sergey Gavrilets, Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Sergey GavriletsDepending on the context, I call myself a theoretical evolutionary biologist (most of the time) or an applied mathematician (sometimes). I use mathematical models to study complex evolutionary processes. Over the last several years, my research interests have mostly concentrated on the following major areas: social and cultural evolution, speciation and adaptive radiation, sexual conflict, holey fitness landscapes, and micro-evolutionary processes and macro-evolutionary patterns. I have also studied mathematical models aiming to describe/explain the maintenance of genetic variation in natural populations, dynamics of genetic variation under selection, frequency-dependent selection and coevolution, maternal and parental effects, hybrid zones and clines, and spatially heterogeneous selection. For additional information on my work, please visit my personal web page.

James McNulty, Associate Professor of Psychology

James McNultyMy program of research focuses on how strong beliefs may change or remain stable over time. For the most part, I have addressed this issue in the context of close relationships, where initially positive beliefs frequently become negative, despite partners’ strong motives to maintain them. This transformation raises the possibility that there may be limits to social psychological theories that suggest people possess effective techniques for maintaining their desired beliefs. My long-term research goals are to understand and define these limits and, in doing so, to suggest directions for promoting the resilience of initially satisfying beliefs about close relationships. Issues I am currently investigating expectations, forgiveness, cognitive structure, physical attractiveness, psychological and physical abuse, and sexual satisfaction.

E.J. Coffman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy

E.J. CoffmanMy research and teaching revolve around four interrelated topics:

  • The nature of luck, and its bearing—for better or worse (or both)—on the nature and scope of human knowledge and free, morally responsible action.
  • The epistemic requirements on free, morally responsible action (“What must you know—or at least believe, justifiedly or otherwise—to freely do things for which you deserve moral credit or criticism?”).
  • Two important connected questions about the nature of knowledge: (1) Can whatever it is that “fills the gap” between mere true belief and knowledge be had by false beliefs as well as true ones? (2) Are the conditions for your knowing something in any way sensitive to how important it is to you that the thing in question turn out to be true?
  • The nature of, and relations between, epistemically permissible (proper, justified) belief and assertion; the bearing this issue has on a central debate about the semantics of knowledge-ascribing and -denying sentences; and the bearing of that semantic issue on the nature of knowledge itself.

Christine Holmlund, Professor of Modern Foreign Language

Christine HolmlundChris Holmlund is President of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and Excellence Professor of Cinema Studies, Women’s Studies and French at the University of Tennessee. She is the author of Impossible Bodies (Routledge, 2002), editor of American Cinema of the 1990s (Rutgers University Press, 2008), co-editor (with Justin Wyatt) of Contemporary American Independent Film (Routledge, 2005) and (with Cynthia Fuchs) of Between the Sheets, In the Streets: Queer, Lesbian, Gay Documentary (Minnesota University Press, 1997). A fourth anthology, The Ultimate Stallone Reader: Sylvester Stallone as Star, Icon, Auteur, is forthcoming 2013 with Columbia University Press/Wallflower. She is working on Stars in Action (BFI), Female Trouble (Arsenal Pulp Press), and Being John Malkovich (Edinburgh University Press). She has additionally published numerous articles and essays on experimental, documentary, and mainstream films made in Canada, Europe, the U.S., and Latin America.

Not shown: Tim Sparer, Associate Professor of Microbiology