New Faculty

The College of Humanities and Public Affairs welcomes several new faculty. Each of these faculty members represent the efforts of the College to strengthen its teaching and research mission and to support the University mission of Public Affairs.

Joining the Criminology faculty

HassAida Hassreceived her PhD from George Washington University in Sociology in 1996. Her major areas of interest are in Criminology, Deviance and Corrections. Aida has also worked for the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Probation/Parole Agency in the Office of Research and Evaluation, conducting program evaluation, policy implementation, and research development. Before joining Missouri State University, Aida was conducting qualitative research for the Applied Research Center at California State University in Bakersfield, CA, on programmatic initiatives of the First 5 Kern Commission. Aida’s research interests include an examination of the social organization of the modern penal institution, with a focus on the impact of the changing dynamics of sentencing and corrections on the structural operation and interaction between inmates, correctional officers and prison functions.

Joining the Anthropology faculty

Elizabeth SobelElizabeth Sobel is an anthropological archaeologist. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 2004. Before joining the MSU faculty in 2006, she served as an archaeologist for the Yakama Indian Nation in Washington State. Liz’s research interests include: archaeology and ethnohistory; Native American societies and cultures, particularly in the Pacific Northwest; hunter-gatherers; stone technologies; early Native-European culture contact in North America; exchange systems and social inequality in pre-modern societies. Throughout her career, Liz has been involved in both academic and applied archaeology. Recent projects include her role as first editor of Household Archaeology on the Northwest Coast. She currently serves as researcher for the exhibit Yakama Exchange Traditions, coming in 2007 to the Yakama Nation Museum in Toppenish, Washington. In addition, Liz is initiating a new field project on the southern Washington Coast, where she plans to work in the summer of 2007.

Joining the Economics faculty

SelfSharmistha Self received her Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University in 2002. Her dissertation was entitled “Education and Economic Growth: A Causal Analysis.” Her fields of interest are development, education, gender, and health. She notes that doing research is not just a fulfilling experience for her; she tries to make it serve a dual purpose by using it as a teaching tool to motivate students to take an interest in doing research while serving as a role model for her students. Her primary area of research is development economics with special focus on Asia, gender, healthcare, education, institutions and the labor market. Her articles have been published in various academic journals and she is currently teaching from her own book manuscript, which is expected to be published in December of 2006, in her development class.

MitchellDavid Mitchell received his Ph.D. in Economics at Oklahoma State University. He describes his research interests as numerous, including environmental economics, with an emphasis on water pollution, how the economy impacts elections, and understanding the causes of urban economic growth. At Missouri State he will also serve as the new director of the Bureau of Economic Research. In this capacity he has already started to produce an economic forecast, among other things, as part of the Bureau’s public outreach mission.

Joining the History faculty

NelsonEric Nelson received his D.Phil. from the University of Oxford in 1999. Over the past year he has had two book length projects appear in print: his monograph The Jesuits and the Monarchy: Catholic Renewal and Political Authority in France (co-published by the Institutum Historicum SocietatisIesu and Ashgate Academic Press), and his edited volume, Justice and Violence: Political Violence, Pacifism and Cultural Transformation (Ashgate). He continues to research in the field of early modern French religious and political history, particularly in the field of peacemaking after religious conflict. He is also increasingly interested in the effects of confessional co-existence on the sacred landscape of France. Before arriving at Missouri State University, he held the position of Associate Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi.