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Featured Scholars

Recent Scholars

Winter 2014 Featured Scholars

F. Thomas Burke

F. Thomas Burke, College of Arts and Sciences

F. Thomas Burke is a professor of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences. He earned a BA in English/Philosophy and an MA in Mathematics from the University of New Mexico before completing his PhD in Philosophy at Stanford University. Dr. Burke specializes in the study of classical pragmatism, a philosophical tradition that originated in the United States in the late nineteenth century in works of William James, Charles Sanders Peirce, George Herbert Mead, and John Dewey. Dr. Burke's recent book What Pragmatism Was (2013) explains how pragmatism differs from simply adopting a practical attitude. As a philosophical style, pragmatism is an approach to linguistic analysis that recognizes the fundamental status of actions and their consequences as elements of semantic and pragmatic analysis. Dr. Burke's research, grounded in exegetical studies of pragmatist texts, interprets contemporary philosophy of mind, language, and logic through the lens of classical pragmatism. His work in the philosophy of mind shows how various conundrums in contemporary cognitive science were foreseen and avoided in the social psychology developed by Dewey and Mead over a century ago. Dr. Burke's work in formal logic explores the fit between classical pragmatism and contemporary dynamic logic. He is currently developing a pragmatist formulation of Euclid's Elements that offers new insights into the foundations of mathematics. Dr. Burke's work in the philosophy of language shows how pragmatism works as a form of semantic analysis. Some of his recent publications show how Peirce's method of defining the words 'reality' and 'truth' can be applied to other difficult words like 'knowledge', 'good', 'justice', and 'democracy'. Other work in progress is developing connections between classical pragmatism and contemporary pragmatics.

Tisha Felder

Tisha M. Felder, College of Nursing

Dr. Tisha Felder, Research Assistant Professor, joined the College of Nursing in Fall 2013. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program (CPCP) at the Arnold School of Public Health. Prior to working in academia, she was a Presidential Management Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. A native South Carolinian, Dr. Felder earned a PhD in behavioral sciences (University of Texas) and a Master's degree in social work (University of Michigan). She combines her multidisciplinary academic training with her passion for identifying solutions to address the pervasive health disparities experienced among African Americans and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations. "I made the decision to pursue my PhD because I wanted to make a difference. When I see data that show that African American women are more likely than other women to die from breast cancer but are less likely to be diagnosed with the disease, I feel an obligation to not only understand why, but to do something about it." Dr. Felder recently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the USC College of Pharmacy and CPCP. Her postdoctoral research explored if there were racial differences in the receipt of adjuvant hormonal therapy among Medicaid enrollees diagnosed with breast cancer. The results of this work showed that, although there were no racial differences after adjusting for other social and clinical factors, nearly one-third of clinically-eligible breast cancer survivors did not receive adjuvant hormonal therapy during the study period. Dr. Felder plans to take her research to the next level by identifying multi-level intervention targets that may address non-adherence to adjuvant hormonal therapy among breast cancer survivors from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Robert Hock

Robert Hock, College of Social Work

Dr. Robert Hock is an Assistant Professor at the College of Social Work. Dr. Hock's research interests are informed by his clinical work with children and families in mental health settings. Specifically, Dr. Hock uses qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine the relationship between family adjustment (coparenting quality, parent stress, depression) and child outcomes (adaptive behaviors, mental health, treatment responsiveness). In addition, Dr. Hock is adapting evidence-based parent interventions to be used with parents of children with autism. Dr. Hock is Co-Principal Investigator for the Recovery Program Transformation and Innovation project, a statewide initiative funded by the SC Department of Health and Human services to enhance substance abuse treatment and recovery throughout SC. He is also Co-Principal Investigator for the Systems of Care Planning Grant for the South Carolina Department of Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Services. Additional community partners include Family Connection of South Carolina, South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, and the South Carolina Autism Society.

Kate Holland

Kate Holland, USC Lancaster Department of Psychology

Dr. Kate Holland, Assistant Professor of Psychology at USC Lancaster, holds the Ph.D. in Developmental and Biological Psychology from Virginia Tech University and has been a part of the USCL faculty since 2008. A gifted and enthusiastic teacher whose courses include Research Methods, Cognitive Psychology, and Physiological Psychology, she is a prolific scholar who has emerged as a campus leader in recruiting undergraduate students into cognitive and physiology-based psychological research. Her latest manuscript (including USCL student co-authors) "Physiological and Behavioral Indices of Hostility: An Extension of the Capacity Model to Include Exposure to Affective Stress and Right Lateralized Motor Stress" has recently been accepted for publication in the journal Laterality: Asymmetries of Body, Brain and Cognition.

Alex McDonald

Alex McDonald, School of Medicine

Dr. Alex McDonald is a professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Neuroscience at the USC School of Medicine. He received a B.S. in Zoology from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in Anatomy from West Virginia University, before joining the School of Medicine in 1978. Over the last 30 years Dr. McDonald has investigated the chemical neuroanatomy of the amygdala, a brain region important for emotional behavior and emotional memory. His lab uses light and electron microscopy to study the cell types of the amygdala, including their connections and receptors, in order to elucidate brain circuits involved in fear. He has recently developed collaborations with neurophysiologists at USC and Emory to perform integrated structural/functional investigations of fear circuitry. Dr. McDonald's research has been supported by nearly continuous funding from the NIH for over 30 years which has resulted in over 80 peer-reviewed publications in prominent journals in the field. He has given invited talks at major meetings on the amygdala, and is currrently serving as chief advisor on amygdalar neurons for the NeuroLex database, part of the NIH Neuroscience Information Framework (NIF). Dr. McDonald has also served on the editorial board of the Journal of Comparative Neurology, the world's premier neuroanatomical journal. He received the University of South Carolina Educational Foundation Research Award in the Health Sciences in 2006, and has received the USC School of Medicine Research Advancement Award several times. Dr. McDonald served as President of the South Carolina Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience in 1988.

David F. Stodden

David F. Stodden, College of Education

Dr. David F. Stodden is an Associate Professor in the College of Education's Department of Physical Education and Athletic Training. He earned his Ph.D. in Motor Behavior from Auburn University, his M.S. in Exercise and Sport Science from Iowa State University and his B.S. in Biology at Buena Vista University. Prior to joining the University of South Carolina in the fall of 2013, Dr. Stodden held faculty positions at Texas Tech University and Bowling Green State University. Additionally, he served as a consultant and minor league strength and conditioning coach for the Cleveland Indians organization and has worked at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, AL. Dr. Stodden's research focuses on identifying constraints in the acquisition and development of ballistic motor skills; the association of motor competence with physical activity, health-related physical fitness, perceived competence and obesity across the lifespan; and strength and conditioning related to performance. Dr. Stodden has received research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Association for Sport & Physical Education other sources throughout his career. His research has been published in journals including Motor Control, Pediatric Exercise Science, Journal of Physical Activity & Health, Sports Medicine, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Journal of Applied Biomechanics and multiple others.

Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams, School of Music

Dr. Sarah Williams is Assistant Professor of Music History at the University of South Carolina School of Music. Her research focuses on representations of seventeenth-century English witches and female transgression through the broadside ballad, a single-sheet tabloid publication combining news, gossip, history, and morals in verse with woodcut imagery. These ephemeral publications were then performed to orally circulating tunes, melodies that are largely ignored by music historians, in public markets, alehouses, homes, and London's playhouses. Dr. Williams' work examines ballads through a multi-disciplinary methodology—from literary history and archival research to performance, gender, and speech-act theories—taking into consideration their original function as dynamic, performative works situated in a unique cultural context. Her work demonstrates that the broadside ballad, its accompanying music, and its embodied performance were extraordinarily efficacious in shaping seventeenth-century notions of female domestic crime, acoustic stereotypes of witchcraft and transgression, and connections between various outsider groups in English society. Her book exploring these intersections, Damnable Practises: Performing Witches and Dangerous Women through Seventeenth-Century English Broadside Ballads and Their Music, is forthcoming with Ashgate Press. Dr. Williams has been the recipient of grants and awards from the National Endowment of the Humanities, the American Musicological Society, the USC Office of the Provost Humanities Grant Program, and the USC Women's and Gender Studies Program. At the USC School of Music she co-coordinates the Music History Colloquium Series and teaches music and culture in the European Renaissance, Tudor England, representations of gender and disorder in Baroque opera, music and magic, and, most recently, a course celebrating the centenary of British composer Benjamin Britten and his reinterpretations of the English musical past.

Alicia Wilson

Alicia Wilson, College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Alicia Wilson is a hydrogeologist whose nationally- and internationally-recognized research investigates groundwater flow and transport as it applies to a wide variety of interdisciplinary environmental issues. Since her arrival at USC in 2001, Wilson and her students have addressed topics ranging from the residence time of porefluids in deep petroleum-rich sedimentary basins to the influence of groundwater flow on the ecology of coastal salt marshes. Her most recent NSF-funded project is motivated by studies of radium isotope tracers in the coastal ocean, which have suggested that salty groundwater migrates from seafloor sediments into the ocean in volumes that rival or exceed river discharge. Wilson's project will test the hypothesis that the unexpected radium concentrations can be explained by massive exchanges between groundwater and seawater over wide swathes of the continental shelf, far from shore, where groundwater flow mechanisms and chemical exchanges are very poorly understood. This ground-breaking work has the potential to significantly revise textbook views of the hydrologic cycle and chemical budgets for the coastal ocean. Dr. Wilson's research has been funded by agencies as diverse as the American Chemical Society, the U.S. Department of Energy, South Carolina SeaGrant, and the National Science Foundation. She is a member of the management board of the Hydrogeology Division of the Geological Society of America, and she has served on review panels for such organizations as NSF, DOE, and the International Ocean Drilling Program. Dr. Wilson is tenured in the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences and is an active member of the multidisciplinary Environment and Sustainability Program.