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Dresher Center Staff

Jessica Berman, Director
PAHB 217

Jessica Berman is Professor of English, and Affiliate Professor of Gender + Women’s Studies and Language, Literacy and Culture at UMBC. She is the author of Modernist Commitments: Ethics, Politics and Transnational Modernism (2011) and Modernist Fiction, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Community (2001); co-editor of Virginia Woolf Out of Bounds (2001) and the American Comparative Literature Association’s Report on the State of the Discipline (forthcoming, 2016); and editor of A Companion to Virginia Woolf (2015) and Purdah and Polygamy by Iqbalunnisa Hussain (reprint, forthcoming 2017). Berman also co-edits the Modernist Latitudes book series from Columbia University Press. Her new project investigates global radio in relation to transnational modernism.

A former chair of the UMBC English Department, Berman has served on the American Comparative Literature Association board and the MLA’s book publication committee. She is currently President of the Modernist Studies Association. In 2013 she was a Mellon-funded external fellow at the Institute of the Arts and Humanities at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She holds a Ph.D. (with Honors) in Comparative Studies in Literature from the University of Chicago and an A.B. (Highest Honors) in History from Princeton University.


Ana Oskoz, Associate Director and Director of the Humanities Scholars Program
PAHB 222

Ana Oskoz is Associate Professor of Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication. She is the co-editor of Technology Across Writing Contexts and Tasks (2012), and the author of the Laboratory Manual for Conexiones: Comunicación y cultura (1999) as well as of many articles on second language writing, intercultural competence, and digital literacies in journals and collections.

Oskoz is the associate editor of the CALICO Journal. She completed her undergraduate studies in Spanish Literature from the University of Deusto and holds an M.A. on teaching Spanish as a Second Language from the University of the Basque Country. She also holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education, and Foreign Language and ESL Education from the University of Iowa.


Rachel Brubaker, Assistant Director for Grants and Program Development
PAHB 218

Rachel Brubaker has developed and managed humanities grants and programs for over 20 years at UMBC and the University of Baltimore. She has also worked in education marketing and design for non-profit and governmental organizations, where she created print, digital, and social media campaigns. She has overseen the development of K12 history education curricular resources, including websites and apps, in collaboration with school systems and historical institutions. Ms. Brubaker earned an M.A. degree in Historical Studies from UMBC and a B.F.A. degree in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University.


Courtney Hobson ’14, Coordinator
PAHB 215

A native of Lanham, MD, Courtney Hobson has a B.S. degree in History and Government from Bowie State University and received her M.A. in Historical Studies from UMBC. Previously, she was the Program Assistant for Maryland History Day, Chautauqua, and Veterans’ Programs at Maryland Humanities. Ms. Hobson has also worked in educational and administrative capacities for museum consultants and small historical organizations. Additionally, she is a trivia wiz and frequent contributor to Wikipedia.


La Atwater, Administrative Assistant
PAHB 215

Priscilla (La) Atwater is a native of Catonsville, MD. She came to UMBC after working for ten years at the business she started with her husband, Atwater’s. Her professional life includes owning an upholstery business and opening several restaurants in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Baltimore but her favorite job has been raising three successful daughters.


Contact Us:
Voice: 410-455-6798; E-mail:

Advisory Board

Rebecca Adelman, Associate Professor, Media and Communications Studies

Beverly Bickel, Clinical Associate Professor, Language, Literacy, and Culture Doctoral Program

Viviana MacManus, Assistant Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies

Denise Meringolo, Associate Professor, History, and Director of Public History

Ana Oskoz, Associate Professor, Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication,
and Director, Humanities Scholars Program

Margaret Re, Associate Professor, Visual Arts

David Rosenbloom, Associate Professor and Chair, Ancient Studies

Constantine Vaporis, Professor, History, and Director of Asian Studies