Effective June 30, 2014, Hobart and William Smith Colleges faculty members Kevin Dunn, Jim MaKinster and Nick Ruth will each be appointed to the rank of full professor.
Dunn is a political scientist whose teaching and scholarship focus on international relations and politics in Africa. He is co-author of Inside African Politics (2013); Politics of Origin in Africa: Autochthony, Citizenship, and Conflict (2013); and African Guerrillas: Raging Against the Machine (2007), among several other books. He’s also authored numerous articles on a diverse array of topics that have been printed in publications ranging from scholarly journals to independent music magazines. In 2009, he produced, edited, and directed a documentary on the legendary band Stevie Stiletto, titled My Life is Great: The Stevie Stiletto Story.
Dunn received his Ph.D. from Boston University, M.A. from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and B.A. from Davidson College. He joined the HWS faculty in 2001. He was a visiting professor of development studies at Mbarara University of Science and Technology in Mbarara, Uganda. In 2009, he was appointed honorary professor at the School of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where he also served as a visiting scholar.
In the Education Department, MaKinster teaches a variety of courses focusing on the intersection of education, research, science and technology. He has published seventeen journal articles, five teacher journal articles, eight book chapters, and three books including his most recent, titled, Teaching science and investigating environmental issues with geospatial technology: Designing effective professional development for teachers (2014).
MaKinster joined the HWS faculty in 2002 after earning his Ph.D. from Indiana University (IN), his M.S. from University of Louisiana and his B.S. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has received over three million dollars in grant funding for his scholarship, which focuses on how to design and implement teacher professional development opportunities, the nature and design of curricular materials, and how to engage students in ways that increase their interests in science and technology. He is the director of the Environmental Studies Summer Youth Institute at HWS, the Dean of Faculty at the St. Peter’s Community Arts Academy in Geneva, and one of the founders of Discovery’s Playground, an afterschool academic enrichment program on campus.
In the HWS Art department, Ruth teaches drawing, painting, and printmaking courses. His own drawings, paintings and prints have been featured in dozens of exhibitions, in galleries across the country and internationally. The work depicts themes, Ruth writes in his artist’s statement, that “hint at the often sad, funny, and absurd ways we humans try to control the worlds around us and within us.”
Ruth has been part of the art faculty since 1995. He has taught previously at Brookhaven Community College, Collin County Community College and the Dallas Museum of Art. After earning his B.A. in Studio Art from Pomona College, he interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, N.Y. He then earned his M.F.A. in Painting from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.